Well picked up one of these at an estate sale. What a find!!! I have other sit on tops (Cobra, Wilderness Systems, Emotions) and this one is for sure my favorite. In fact anyone I have taken out for the first time I have them use this kayak.
This is not a fishing kayak by any means. It seems tippy at first but once you learn the angles you can really get this boat moving and use the rounded bottom to maneuver this boat much faster then other boats of its size. It is not a fishing boat by any means. This is a cruiser, has plenty of speed, maneuvers excellent and is well suited for the lakes, rivers, and ocean. The biggest bonus comes if you see any waves on this yak! Enjoy the ride!!Since kayak performance is a function of the paddler's size and intended usage, let me begin: I'm 6' tall, 165 lbs, 64 years old. Been paddling for many years (almost all flat water), and I wanted this boat for fishing. I also own a Pygmy Coho kit boat that I built about 6 years ago - a paddling dream, BTW. However, my only annoyance with the Coho is that it is too much boat for poking around bass fishing. It is fast, but doesn't turn very well (17.5 feet long), and is so large that with my weight, any small breeze moves it around, making it difficult to fish. If I weighed 230 it might be different.
I have also owned a Perception Prism. Again, fairly fast but very hard to turn. And wind makes it drift sideways - not a good thing for fishing.
I had read rave reviews of the Spike on the Ft Lauderdale yakfishing page, and decided to try it. It an absolute joy for my purposes. It is 28 inches wide, but has a lot of flare to the sides, so it is only about 20 inches wide at the bottom. Initial stability is low for a SOT boat, but just fine if you are already used to a "real" kayak. Final stability is great - I can sit sideways on the boat with both feet hanging in the water, no problem. It tracks well and due to low wetted surface area is very easy to paddle at about 3-3.5 mph. However, it is only 12 feet long, so top speed is perhaps 4.5 or 5mph, and no more, no matter how hard you paddle (my Coho can probably reach 7-8 mph in a sprint).
But as a fishing boat, this thing excels. It paddles easily, has lots of flat deck space and a rear tankwell to carry stuff, and turns on a dime (two easy sweeps to spin 180 degrees). I have the rudder kit, which is totally unnecessary when paddling - the boat tracks well without it. But when I start to fish, I drop the rudder and use it to control the boat's drift. That drift is generally slow because the boat sits low, and the rudder lets me fish long drifts along the shoreline without having to put down the rod to paddle.
The Spike has a high flared bow, and lots of rocker, so it should go through surf very well, for the times when I take it to the Texas coast for trout or redfish.
So I sold the Prism, and haven't regretted it for an instant. The Spike is a great fishing kayak if it fits you (max height about 6 feet because of a somewhat short cockpit), and an agile, responsive playboat as well. If you are larger, try another boat. If you are timid of tippiness (any really serious sea kayak SHOULD be tippy), either buy another boat or get a Spike and grow to love it.
BTW, I also rented a WS Tarpon 160 to try it, and it is a barge compared to the Spike. Again, if I weighed 230, I might not feel that way.