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Reviews for Callisto Kayak by Dagger


Rated: 8.4/10 Based On: 10 Reviews

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09-08-2003
Submitted by: DaveSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is the first Kayak I've used and have used it about 20-25 times in a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. It's relatively stable and quite fast compared to my friends kayaks. if you have the money you might want to upgrade the seat, but the stock one is OK. Deck lines are good, but the hatch is kinds small unless you have a storage box that will fit in there. Doesn't track great in the wind, but no kayak really does. It's pretty light and durable. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner, but if you have some experience then you might like it.
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11-24-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had this boat for 3 months now and paddled it 6 or 7 times. Each time is better than the last. This little boat is incredibly quick, stable, manuverable and tracks great. If you've ever driven a British sports car or a Mazda Miata that's what this boat is like on the water. I think I've paddled around 15 different kayaks the past 10 years and the Callisto is the most fun of all of them. Dagger has decommisioned so many boats the past few years and I'm not sure why. There are still some Callistos left in dealers old stock at great prices. If you are under 200 pounds, 32 inseam and size 10 shoe don't hesitate. this boat is tops in fun per dollar.
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08-20-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     My 13 year old son just got this. He loves it, and really moves along in it. He's 5'11 or so, and maybe 135. I tried it once. The cockpit is very far forward. I fit, but only with my feet against the front bag and the pedals at about ankle height. I weigh right around the max capacity of the boat (210 for me, 205 for the boat), and the bow looked to me to be about an inch out of the water. Pretty wet into the waves, even for someone lighther, I'll bet. He weaves a lot, but we're all new to kayaking, so the boat may or may not track well. I have no evidence of great tracking, at least. Nice and light to load on the car.
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08-19-2002
Submitted by: hirpmSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I was looking for a small touring boat for less than 1,000 and found a Callisto Expedition, new for 536.00. I could not pass it up at that price and now I'm glad I didn't. It's quick, nimble, and tracks well. Stability is very good for a boat 13'8" and 24" wide. I gained confidence in it quickly. It makes a great exercise boat and that was what I was looking for. I'm 5'9" and 190 lbs. with size 9 feet My feet hit tne next to the last peg slot just right. I paddle barefoot. This is my second Dagger Kayak and they just seem to fit me well. I have a Cypress listed on Ebay now, also a fine rec. kayak. The max. capacity of the Callisto is 205 lbs so I plan on taking 15 lbs off of the paddlers girth to lighten the load.This web site has been a lot of help in my research for this purchase. I started fishing for Largemouth Bass from Kayaks several years ago and it is the most fun I've ever had on water. I would advise, if you get a Callisto get the Expedition model with a stern bulkhead and put a float bag in front. It is a very low volume boat and sometimes the water can look very big. Have fun, be safe.
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06-03-2002
Submitted by: PaulSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     My family has owned the Callisto for about 2 years and we are selling it. While no expert - my family (wife and 2 children ages 9 and 12) have found this boat mediocre in handling. It turns and tracks "mediocre" and is very difficult (impossible) to carve a turn. It is easily blown by wind dispite its low profile, perhaps because of its poor carving ability. We do not have a rudder on the boat. That my help the turning and tracking in wind. We have used it mainly along lakes and the intercoastal waterways in North Carolina. It is a small sized kayak which is quite narrow making it a good size for smaller adults and kids - but the weak performance has us looking to replace it. The Calabria we purchased at the same time, primarily for my wife and myself, has served us very well and despite its larger size it is perferred by everyone in the family.
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02-04-2002
Submitted by: MCATSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am a rank beginner to paddling, I started last spring and tried out several boats before choosing the Callisto. I am very petite, 5' tall and about 100lbs. I have really short legs so the foot room problems that a lot people experience when boat shopping wasn't an issue for me at all. I looked for boats that were described as being for children or small women.

On the positive side, the Callisto has the ability to carry gear for an overnight or weekend better than some other children's boats, e.g. the piccolo by w.s. and the perception Umiak. The Callisto is however on the larger side of kids' boats compared to those. I've heard people say that the weight given for most plastic boats is a joke, and I gotta say I'm tempted to agree. The weight I saw listed for the Callisto was I believe approx. 50lbs. Granted this weight might be without the fittings and rudder, but I grew up on a farm lifting 50lb grain bags without a problem, and I can't carry this boat for more than a few feet at a time. I remedied this by buying a Paddleboy cart. I live near the water so I haven't had to deal with cartopping much, and when I do my husband lends a hand... Not a big problem for me, but something to keep in mind considering the boat's target paddler is small women and kids.

Performance:
I've paddled the Callisto mainly out on the Chesapeake Bay, in a variety of conditions. I occasionally take it to some small marsh inlets off of the bay. I have found the boat to track well, I have not used the rudder at all because I want to be completely comfortable without it. The Callisto has expectedly excellent primary stability, but I've also found it to be forgiving in chop. I took it out twice on very windy days where the bay with frothing with whitecaps and after some initial trouble getting past the breakers, the boat was more than stable. On quiet days, I've picked up a pretty good speed. I agree with the other reviewer who commented that the Callisto was fast.

I haven't started rolling yet, but I plan to this spring and I will probably write a follow-up to report on how that goes. I am curious, I have a feeling that there is where I am going to find some problems with the Callisto. Because I am so tiny, I've padded out the cockpit but I don't know if my knees have the purchase they're gonna need to roll the boat. I might consider thigh braces...

Overall, the Callisto was a good choice for me because while it is small enough for me to handle, it's not so tiny that my husband or friends can't use it once in awhile. That was a primary reason why I did not go with a boat like the Umiak, which would work for me, but no one else in my family. If you are a small or medium adult, check out the Callisto. If you are buying a boat for a smaller child however, I would pass this one up.

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03-29-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Update on the Callisto: Ordered and installed a mini cell foam bulkhead, a rear deck rigging kit, a wrap around thigh brace unit, and lengthened the rudder cables 3 inches. The Kayak now fits like a glove. Comfortable for long paddles. I can brace and lean on edge without sliding all over the cockpit. This well fitting boat is a pleasure to paddle.
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10-24-2000
Submitted by: BillSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Easy to unload/load/put in. Easy to paddle upriver in river currents of 4-5 knots. Fairly comfortable for my 180 lbs - but not enough room for long-legged. Stays on course w/o rudder. Use on Colorado River below Boulder Dam & points south. Has high visibility yellow for protection from California PWCs/jetboats. Carries a sixpack and enough water for one long day but not much else. Good exercise boat - which is why I bought it. Bought boat new on sale for $500 - can't beat that.
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09-13-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Further review on the Callisto: After several small lake and muddy stream paddles with the callisto, OK scupper pro and Manta and Perception Carolina, I have updated impressions on this boat. First problem is this boat is not an expedition model with a real bulk head. Can not store stuff in a "dry" area. Second, it is small, not much storage space. Third, the callisto is uncomfortable for longer paddles when compaired to the OK boats and the Perception Carolina. By trading boats periodically on these trips, the uncomfortable nature was solved. Our trips included my son and his friend and another adult. I asked them should I trade the callisto in for a different boat. They said no!!!! Surprised me. Well lets relook at the advantages of this boat. First, the callisto is small. While the bigger OK boats and canoes were hung up by rocks and downed trees and deadfalls, I was able to manuver around and through them requiring only once getting out of the boat. Second, she is fast. True, not as fast as a big touring sea Kayak, The Callisto was faster than the OK sit on tops and much easier to move through the water with a lot less effort. Third, she is manuverable. The bigger kayaks and canoes can not make the turns in the muddy stream or slide under, through and around the rocks and dead falls like I can. Forth, she is light, one person can carry the callisto to and from the water. That includes, carrying paddle, fanny pack with water and supplies and PFD. Fifth, she is stable, I feel safe in the craft, I often will take the Callisto alone after dark and paddle a local lake. Bottom line, we are keeping the Kayak. I have ordered a rear bulkhead and rear decking kit. Going to customize this kayak.
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08-18-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Found a deal on this boat. Never been used. Stored along the wall in the master bedroom. Husband liked white water and thought the callisto would be nice for flat water use. After four months the Wife wanted it gone so I bought it with spray skirt and rudder.

The Boat is smaller than I thought and not an expedition model. There are no bulkheads. Just a back hatch with bow and stern floatation bags. At 51 lbs it is easy to handle and in the water it feels more stable than dagger's larger kayaks - Baja and Atlantis - that I have paddled.. Its weigh range is up to 205 lbs and I weigh 220! However this kayak is easy to handle by my self. Both loading on truck and carrying quite a distance to the water. Its fits my daughter nice but cramps my feet bad. I will have to adjust the foot braces for my longer legs and get some thigh braces. Even overloaded with my bulk and gear, it is quiet stable. I feel quite safe paddling alone at night when things are quiet.

It has worked out as a very nice exercise kayak with very good speed. I have shaved two minutes off my best two kilometer time in larger boats (dagger and perception). I would not use it for fishing or camping. For what it does as a exercise boat I would give it a 10 of 10. For my long term needs for fishing and expedition use a 6 of 10.

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