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Reviews for Blackwater 10.5 Kayak by Dagger


Rated: 8.76/10 Based On: 25 Reviews

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07-29-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my first (of two) kayaks. 44 lbs and able to put on top of my car. Tracks very well with the skeg down, in fact, a whole different boat. My "creek" boat that tracks better than my Vision, which I got for flatwater and extended trips. The Blackwater carries enough gear & food for an overnight or 2 and handles well enough on flatwater, though it isn't a fast or sleek boat, I have absolutely no problems keeping up with people paddling longer kayaks.
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04-05-2012
Submitted by: Tony NilesSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I brought one new after 20 years in a fibre glass locally made canoe, It was firstly like going from a 1988 Ford RS Codsworth then onto a Rolls Royce Silver shadow, Secondly its a whole lot of fun for My young family as they prefer the stability, tracking with the skeg, and just plain old looking good in a new modern canoe... Essex UK has a river I paddle all year called the Blackwater (look it up) for which this craft is ideal for a paddle along the canal & river Chelmer (look it up again!) The river Stour in Suffolk also, as I said this canoe is great for this type of paddling. My seat is great it springs back for easy get in & outs, the weight although heavier than My olde fibre glass one is fairly light and easy for portage points... go but and enjoy... Oh i put a camping stove and frying pan in My dry compartment for duck egg sandwiches sat along the river
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08-29-2011
Submitted by: RobSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The blackwater 10.5 is a very good, versatile boat. I paddle a number of waters; lakes, ponds, swamps, rivers, and some whitewater.

On flat water the blackwater may not be the fastest boat but it tracks well with the skeg down and is very stable. With the skeg up the boat becomes very maneuverable and responsive.

I've taken this kayak on class II, and II+ waters with no incident, but I wouldn't take it down anything more than that. If you plan on doing any class II, do yourself a favor and pickup a skirt. The boat will take on water from waves splashing over. I ran the boat with a skirt, and felt confident and safe on the ww.

The seat is comfortable,is foam padded, and adjustable. The dual density dry storage stayed dry.

All in all the blackwater 10.5 is a boat you won't outgrow quickly, and can be taken on a number of different types of water. Not the fastest, but very stable, tracks well with the skeg down. Being a shorter boat it is easier to maneuver, and is responsive with the skeg up, which is great in mild white water.

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07-31-2009
Submitted by: ajmSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought this kayak after many months of reading and researching. I was looking for an all around kayak that would do everything. And I found it in the Blackwater series. It is light and easy to portage by yourself. I use mine for fishing, leisure paddling, as well as river running. I have taken this down local creeks and the Missouri River. It handled everything that was thrown at it. It does paddle heavy in the water, but I believe that with the larger boats like the 12 or 13 you would make this problem go away. The dry storage works well and I am able to fit my tent pack and sleeping bag in it with ease. It is very comfortable to sit in for hours on end and the cockpit is large enough to move around in but not to large that it allows a lot of water to get in. It has great stability in the water and I have rolled it only twice (more but those where on purpose trying to show off) without the spray skirt an eskimo roll is almost impossible. Great boat for the money. Hope this helps
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05-19-2009
Submitted by: ShawnSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This boat for me was a fantastic buy!....it does rapids well; not a speed machine but with the skeg down gives a great performance. I've Outrigged it for some serious fishing but it's a fun boat in the surf too!
For the money you can't go wrong!

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05-15-2009
Submitted by: K. Blodke
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have had my Blackwater 10.5 since 2003. I have really enjoyed this boat, and think it was a good purchase. Over the years I have outfitted my boat to make it more functional in regards to fishing. I have added rod holders, anchor trolley, depth finder...etc. I have caught a lot of fish from this boat, and have a lot of miles under my belt as well.

They gave it a perfect name, because it performs best in blackwater. I have explored swamps, blackwater creeks, slow moving rivers, ponds and smaller lakes. The boat tracks very well with the skeg down. The boat doesn't perform very good in windy choppy conditions, but the boat wasn't made for those conditions.

My biggest gripe with the 10.5, is the seat. The seat becomes very uncomfortable after 45 minutes. I made some modifications and now I can fish/paddle for hours in comfort. Keep in mind that I have an older model, I'm sure they've made the seating more comfortable. I have really enjoyed my Blackwater for many years, and plan to enjoy it for many more to come.

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11-04-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is a very good boat for lazy rivers. I added mine to an Approach, which is far better in faster, trickier water, but horrendous on slower stretches. The Blackwater 10.5 does not turn easily compared to the Approach, but glides far better. I do not take it on open water, as I have a Current Designs Caribou for that.

I can get comfortable with the adjustable seat, and the only downside I can mention is the lack of thigh braces, and the fact that the footpeg adjusters get in the way of adding these. The padding on the cockpit rim is nice, but I don't really want my knees that high, so something inside to rest thighs/knees on would be nice.

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09-05-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Blackwater is fast and tracks very well. Compared to my Approach, though, it turns like a battleship, nor is it as stable. I've learned to make sharper turns by pulling up the skeg before turning. It's great for open flat water & cuts through small waves. I plan on touring with it next summer, after I make the seating more comfortable. It gets uncomfortable after 45 - 50 minutes. I knock it down one point for the seat.
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08-21-2008
Submitted by: C.D
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have been in my 2008 model for about a month now. Coming from a whitewater back ground this thing is dead stable with the skeg down. I have used it in relatively large lakes so far. Wind does not bother it at all. My only complaint is that it is quite slow. The longest that I have been in it is about 3 hours and the seat was very comfortable. I am 6'4" 235 and it fits me like a glove.
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09-17-2007
Submitted by: JCKSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I didn't really know what to expect due to the fact that its been 14yrs since I sat in a yak. Rented a few SOTs to get me interested in it again. I initially bought the yak to get back into the sport living in S.FL. The gentleman asked me to take it out of his store with skirt and paddle for $700, it wasn't a cheap rec paddle or skirt either!

Initially I had problems tracking it due to improper forward paddle technique... and yah it does sorta plow water a lil bit until I got it on the open water with gear and water/food. The extra weight does seem to help the boat for some reason and have had no complaints. My boat is the 12.0 not the 10.5, so the extra length might be what I have to smile about. Oh and yes, if you purchase one, just buy a paddle pad ($9.99) and it will solve your seat problems... other than that it's ready to go!

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10-18-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had this kayak for two years and it is my first. I paddle around Presque Isle- in the lagoons, the bay and Lake Erie. I have only used it for short paddles and find it comfortable. It is very stable, tracks well with the skeg down. It is a bit of a "tugboat" though, as it dows plow through the water, as several have noted already. Very stable. I use it partly for the great upper body workout, partly because I enjoy the feel of powering the paddle and moving the kayak through the water, and partly for the peace of being on the water. It is a body-mind-spirit experience for me. I plan to buy a longer Kayak in the near future, and keep the Blackwater. The Erie Outing Club members recommend >14' for longer paddles, although I note that a few have taken longer paddles in the blackwater with success.
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09-25-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just returned from a two river, 4 day, 100 mile trip with my 10.5. I was a little leary at first about taking this boat on an extended excursion, but it proved itself in the end. Even with the weight of four gallons of water and all the essential gear, the boat handled extremely well. With some creative packing, I found ample room in the cockpit, dry storage area, and on top of the deck for all of my gear. At the end of the trip, I ran into some class III rapids with an occasional short burst of class IVs. In 100 miles, I never tipped the boat. It is the most stable kayak I have ever paddled. The bottom took a beating from rocks but the only scars are minor scratches on the plastic and a pretty good gash in the alumimun skeg that will buff out. The skeg remained straight and true the duration of the trip. This boat is the perfect length for any trip that offers water from extremely calm to extremely fast. A very hardy and well designed craft!
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01-02-2006
Submitted by: MikeSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought my kayak off ebay and got a steal on it along with a nice paddle. Anyway, this boat does all I need. Perfect for rivers and small bays/inlets. Tracks well with the skeg down but when itís up, can be a bit iffy in a current. Overall, I love it!
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06-13-2005
Submitted by: MaverickSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is my first kayak, and I absolutely love it!! I tried out several models before purchasing this Dagger, and I am quite satisfied with the Blackwater. Being and beginner, I don't know that much about kayaking, but from what little I have picked up already, this is an awesome boat!! The best way to look at - it is that this is a great multipurpose kayak! I've already used in on some open lakes and in a creek. It works great in both places! The one minor gripe I have is that the seat could be a little better. I can see where hours of use could give you a sore butt, but it's so fun right now that I don't care! I only wish I had purchased one sooner! I can't believe how fun this is!!
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06-09-2005
Submitted by: N.R.O.Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Overall a decent buy. I purchased one on a 14-day trial, took it on a three-hour tour and with the skeg down it is very pleasant. However, with the skeg retracted, it drifts off to the left leaving me to work twice as hard to keep it straight. Instead of gliding through the water, it plows and after a while the seat gets uncomfortable. It looks solid, is very easy to transport, and has neat features. Overall I was more "wowed" by another kayak and took this Blackwater back.
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01-27-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Fantastic multipurpose kayak. Great in moderate rivers or on lakes. Like it better than my longer touring kayaks for general use. Would definitely buy another one. Great price too.
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09-29-2004
Submitted by: JOHN (SLOOP) BSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     WOW, WOW, WOW and WOW. If you want a boat that can glide you down a canal, river or just simply to trawl around in the surf. Get out and buy one. An absolutely fantastic purchase.
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09-29-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I tried to like this boat but just can't bring myself to get enthusiastic about it. It plows, no glide, wallows in the turns, and generally acts like a low cost entry level kayak, which it is, especially the low cost seat padding and back band. There are much better kayaks that cost the same or less. I traded my Blackwater for a Necky Santa Cruz, which also has a skeg and wow what a difference! The Necky is extremely well outfitted, very comfortable, turns like a leaf on the current, runs rapids up to Class II with great fun, and will make excellent speed on the flats with the skeg down. Cost almost identical to the Blackwater, and in my honest opinion it's twice the boat.
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11-25-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     As a beginner, and being 6'2", I really appreciate the design and stabilty of this, my first, boat. I use it mostly at sea, either messing about in the surf or for coastal trips, and it copes with waves and winds very well. I can't offer a very objective review as my experience of using other kayaks is relatively limited, butI love it and I'd say its a very seaworthy little boat that copes well with the weather and sea conditions here in West Wales, even if that's not what its designed for. Its certainly the best choice for me until I am ready to purchase a full sea kayak.I really like the footrests, and the great seat too. Very pleased overall with all its features.
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09-25-2003
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had my 10.5 since June, and I love it. It is very responsive and stable. This is a great boat for beginners or people looking for a do-it-all hull. The storage is alright, and would probably do well on an overnight trip (I have not tried it yet). My only complaint about this boat is the skeg cord. Mine was far too long and kept slipping off. A few knots and that was fixed. All in all, a great boat for a resonable price.
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08-29-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have had my blackwater since may. I quickly migrated from river to sea, and now use my 10.5 for surfing. It isn't that good at it, but I feel you should try and get as much out of your kayak as possible. So far I have lost all of the foam padding out of it, jammed the skeg up, broken off both foot rests and rails, and scrathed the bejesus out of both topside and underneath. Several modifications have been made, including drilling out both sections for bung-holes. Even though dagger did not have this sort of treatment in mind when they designed it, it does pretty well against my friend's perception whiplash, getting a much longer and stable ride from 12 footers offshore. I would definitely recommend to those currently restricted to rivers to take achance on the open sea. Don't forget the bungs.
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08-18-2003
Submitted by: zondoSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Dagger has put a lot of quality in this boat. It is a very responsive kayak and has lots of room. A wonderful seat! The only drawback is that it is very slow. A good boat for a beginner or a fisherman.
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07-18-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have had my Blackwater since May of 2003. The boat tracks well with the skeg down, and is great for fishing on small winding trout streams. Paddling long distances on flat water is quite a workout, as the boat tends to plow through the water, rather than cut through. I have had it on several overnight and 2 night trips. It actuall paddles better with a load than it does without. Nice little boat for what I use it for.
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08-13-2002
Submitted by: tye holstSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Well lets see, I bought my yak june of this year 02. I bought it for the exercise and to fish out of. It works get to fish out of I can float side ways going down the rivers i have been on casting as I go. And as far as the work out I like the fact that my Blackwater doesn't glide across the water, I really get a great shoulder work out and can get my heart beating as if i were on a treadmill. Since june I've paddled some 50 to 55 miles in my Blackwater and I love it. The only draw backs for me are I had to lengthen the skeg cord for more tracking abilities, and the boat wanders to the right when the skeg is up but I can correct that by twisting my midsection when paddling.
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07-16-2002
Submitted by: scottSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had the kayak on the water a few times now and I love it. It tracks well with the skeg down and is very maruverable with the skeg up. The blackwater is stable enough for me to jump out of and climb back in with the use of a paddle float. Great all around boat.
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