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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Coosa FD  (Read 4522 times)

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Gearaddict

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I am so close to pre ordering this kayak. I just want to peddle one first.

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I would highly recommend you try it first.
I agree, I have beating up the local dealers to find out when they come in. They all say hopefully this month and Jackson echoes this sentiment.   

We will see.

Sent from my Fish Finding Samsung

I believe CCK has one? I know they had one for their demo day recently.
It was at the demo day last Saturday but was not a shop boat.  I believe it belonged to their rep.  That's why Rob and I recommend folks test a production version, as we both rode it last weekend, but I don't know if that was a production boat or not.  I couldn't get over the rather useless reverse.  Everything else was "ok".
Can you define useless reverse? Was the prop pitch effecting the speed of reverse? Or reverse was not working?

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bmb

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Can you define useless reverse? Was the prop pitch effecting the speed of reverse? Or reverse was not working?

Sent from my Fish Finding Samsung
The kayak, as made, is not designed to reverse at any sort of speed.  The drive is engineered to pop up in shallow water, and not be "locked down".  Because of that, when you try to reverse at any speed, it will pop up to zero draft or mid position.  According to their rep, that was by design, as they think the shallow water retraction is more important than reverse.

In my experience with pedal drives, the best benefit of reverse is to be able to stop on a dime, then hammer it backwards.  This particular yak isn't built to do that.  You can reverse slowly.  In test riding it, anytime i reversed with any sort of speed, it would pop to zero position. 

If you think that a drive automatically popping up to zero draft if you hit the shore or an obstruction is important, the JK would probably do fine.  If you're like me and primarily fish deep water lakes (like most of our foothill lakes), then you'll likely only need to pull up the drive once or twice a day. 

I also found the gearing to not be to my liking, but that might be because I'm so used to Native's drives.  I preferred our drives (biased) and the Wildy PD (unbiased) over the FD.   But I always tell people to pick the kayak (in totality), not the drive.  These kayaks are all new, so you really need to try them out before buying them blind.  Some guys (big, tall guys) aren't a great fit for the Native drives as their legs may end up at awkward angles.


racer414

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I don't believe anyone has received the production version yet...

Thoughts on seating position, stability, etc. ???

I've never tried any pedal kayak and I can see the advantage of having reverse, but why would you need to reverse fast? (This is an honest question) I assume Jackson put emphasis on the retractable drive since they seem to cater to river/creek fishing and of course to bring something different to the table.

At least you're admit you're biased 😂
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RacinRob

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I was cruising at a modest pace, stopped pedaling, and hit reverse. I did not even hit it hard and the drive popped up. I also just hit reverse from a total stop hard and it popped up. Overall the drive is ok. I am biased towards the Wildy boat/drive of course, but I like the Native/Hurricane also. It is in the gearing I see the difference in all the boats. I have not tried the Predator yet. I felt a little cramped in the Native and Hurricane due to me being 6'2". There is more room in the Radar for sure and Coosa in my opinion.

As far as why you need to hit reverse hard. I was in the American river after the demo day. The flows were pretty high. Maneuvering back and forth in the current I had to hit reverse a lot that day hard to correct my direction due to weird directional flows at times. One example. Another example. Fishing in the ocean with big current and following seas. I used my drive very hard those days at Shelter Cove. Popping up would have been bad. Running down a river and getting pushed into a bank/tree/rock hard reverse is nice for stopping the collision. Trolling a deep lake or drifting fast in the ocean and getting your lure or even worse your down rigger ball snagged. Super hard reverse is a safety issue.. I can go on with why you need hard reverse. I like their zero draft in theory, but in reality I want the drive solid. Wildy zero draft is just the push of a button and it pops up. Honestly not sure how fast the Native can be lifted if need be.

I like all the drives in general that I have tried. Some seem better than others for different reasons. Native/Hurricane is smooth pedaling. Wildy is just a little less smooth than the Native. Jackson takes more effort to get it going and keep it going due to the high gear ratio. More effort to pedal means you get wore out quicker during the day. Native and Wildy have a better, easier gear ratio to use for long days.

This is just my .02. Test them out for yourself.
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bmb

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I don't believe anyone has received the production version yet...
I'm sure that's accurate but I would recommend test driving a production version before purchasing one sight unseen.  The one I tried out may not be as refined as a "production" version.

As for the rest of the stuff, it feels fine, but nothing different than all the other models on the market these days.  Stable enough, seating comfortable enough.  Nothing that is any better than the other manufacturer's kayaks, more of comparable.

Positives -
Pitch adjustable prop (although that can't be adjusted on the fly)
zero draft/stowing position
Maneuverability - it definitely turned well, better than the Wilderness Radar and most of our boats (except the Titan which turns like a top).  But I think of maneuverability as kind of a gimmick, as to be able to turn really well, you have to slow down. 
High-Lo seat - I didn't actually try the low position as the rep recommended pedaling it in the high position.  But I do like that its an option for people and it seemed solid enough in the high position.

Negatives -
Weight of the kayak - I've had enough of heavy boats, and that's the reason I sold my Slayer Propel 13, which was a great kayak, just too much to deal with off the water.  Not being able to easily remove the pedal drive system adds weight to the kayak that can't be removed at the end of the day.
Reverse - Hard reverse is most useful when trying to stop or re-position yourself in the wind or current.  I go backwards almost as much as I do forwards, and those who fish around me see that.   I see slow reverse as almost irrelevant for most situations, other than backing away from shore
Pedal Power - the 12:1 ratio seemed more difficult to pedal to me, and the drive seemed to have some sort of grinding.  But that could be because its a demo boat and has been abused. 

Wash -
Everything else.  It didn't seem to be quite as fast as my current pedal boat (the Manta Ray Propel) or the Radar, but I don't think that speed difference is significant enough to matter to most people.  Seemed easy enough to rig, but the Radar has all that.  Don't remember its carry handles, which Wilderness sucks at.
edit: Rudder control - the rudder, not a traditional left right, but a push/pull is not intuitive.  This was annoying to me to remember which direction is which, but I'm certain someone would get used to it over time.  So this is not a "negative", just something to be aware of for folks interested in switching over from a Hobie/Native for example which have the standard left/right rudder controls.

I could see it as a useful enough river and creek boat, but for the most part those types of water don't need pedals as you're going downstream and don't need the power as much as the maneuverability.

Target audience -
I would say folks that want a nice, stable, kayak and can easily transport it in a pickup bed or trailer would like it, as long as they think that the shallow water retraction is important to them.  I can say with honesty that I've never hit my pedal drive on any obstruction hard enough to break the prop, but others have.  I wouldn't try to cartop it with the integrated pedal drive system, just seems to be too heavy to deal with on a day to day basis. 
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 10:52:41 AM by bmb »


bmb

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I could have a whole other conversation about reverse and how useful it can be, but that's not specific to this one kayak.  I can try to write something up about the benefits some other time but as I haven't done it in 4 years on Native craft I doubt I'll suddenly decide to do it now.


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Pedaling in reverse is the new Ned rig.
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racer414

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Word is that the issue with reversing that BMB and RacinRob describe will be fixed for the production boats. Hopefully they're out soon.
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The drive popping up is a pre-production issue that has been resolved in the production models.

Identifying issues like this in advance of release is exactly why they sent test mules all over the globe.

Production boats are still a month or two out.  I will let everyone know when the official release is scheduled.


polepole

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But I think of maneuverability as kind of a gimmick, as to be able to turn really well, you have to slow down.   

That's just crazy talk Ben.  What exactly do you mean?

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But I think of maneuverability as kind of a gimmick, as to be able to turn really well, you have to slow down.   

That's just crazy talk Ben.  What exactly do you mean?

-Allen
You can't power drift a pedal kayak around a turn to keep speed.  Any time you try to turn hard, you lose inertia.  I personally like kayaks that track straight better than those that turn tighter.  I don't see the point in needing to make a hairpin turn in the types of fishing that I do.  It slows my kayak down, I lose momentum, then I have to get back up to speed again. 

Of course most of the time I'm fishing I'm either trolling or drifting. I don't bass fish for the most part, where the maneuverability would come in handy.  If I need to make a turn, I plan it well out in advance and do it in an arc so my lines don't cross and I can keep my trolling speed up.

That's why "maneuverability" is a gimmick to me.  It's just a marketing ploy to sell kayaks, using it as a selling point.  For most guys, they could turn just as efficiently by utilizing a "hand paddle" and/or edging, even in a pedal craft, at the same speed.  But the manufacturers sell the kayaks with a more maneuverable hull instead of trying to teach their customers better technique, at a general cost to kayak speed and hull efficiency.  I've always said that certain things can be taught, but you can never teach a faster hull.


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There's lots more to prop driven kayaks that can be taught, little tricks like how to utilize prop torque to your advantage when turning left, etc. But those are things that the manufacturers should be informing customers about. 

None of those have anything to do with the Coosa FD itself so I'll just say I'm glad to hear they're addressing the drive popping up and not stating it as a tradeoff like their sales rep said at a demo day.


polepole

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But I think of maneuverability as kind of a gimmick, as to be able to turn really well, you have to slow down.   

That's just crazy talk Ben.  What exactly do you mean?

-Allen
You can't power drift a pedal kayak around a turn to keep speed.  Any time you try to turn hard, you lose inertia.  I personally like kayaks that track straight better than those that turn tighter.  I don't see the point in needing to make a hairpin turn in the types of fishing that I do.  It slows my kayak down, I lose momentum, then I have to get back up to speed again. 

Of course most of the time I'm fishing I'm either trolling or drifting. I don't bass fish for the most part, where the maneuverability would come in handy.  If I need to make a turn, I plan it well out in advance and do it in an arc so my lines don't cross and I can keep my trolling speed up.

That's why "maneuverability" is a gimmick to me.  It's just a marketing ploy to sell kayaks, using it as a selling point.  For most guys, they could turn just as efficiently by utilizing a "hand paddle" and/or edging, even in a pedal craft, at the same speed.  But the manufacturers sell the kayaks with a more maneuverable hull instead of trying to teach their customers better technique, at a general cost to kayak speed and hull efficiency.  I've always said that certain things can be taught, but you can never teach a faster hull.

The part I object with is that you HAVE to slow down to turn really well.  With rudders, you need to be moving to turn.  The faster you go, the faster you turn.

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bmb

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But I think of maneuverability as kind of a gimmick, as to be able to turn really well, you have to slow down.   

That's just crazy talk Ben.  What exactly do you mean?

-Allen
You can't power drift a pedal kayak around a turn to keep speed.  Any time you try to turn hard, you lose inertia.  I personally like kayaks that track straight better than those that turn tighter.  I don't see the point in needing to make a hairpin turn in the types of fishing that I do.  It slows my kayak down, I lose momentum, then I have to get back up to speed again. 

Of course most of the time I'm fishing I'm either trolling or drifting. I don't bass fish for the most part, where the maneuverability would come in handy.  If I need to make a turn, I plan it well out in advance and do it in an arc so my lines don't cross and I can keep my trolling speed up.

That's why "maneuverability" is a gimmick to me.  It's just a marketing ploy to sell kayaks, using it as a selling point.  For most guys, they could turn just as efficiently by utilizing a "hand paddle" and/or edging, even in a pedal craft, at the same speed.  But the manufacturers sell the kayaks with a more maneuverable hull instead of trying to teach their customers better technique, at a general cost to kayak speed and hull efficiency.  I've always said that certain things can be taught, but you can never teach a faster hull.

The part I object with is that you HAVE to slow down to turn really well.  With rudders, you need to be moving to turn.  The faster you go, the faster you turn.

-Allen
Sorry if that's what you gleaned from what I said, maybe I phrased it incorrectly from what was in my head when I wrote that. What I meant to imply is that turning slows you down.  You definitely turn better when you're moving at speed. So I find it generally useless to turn since it slows me down.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 11:08:31 AM by bmb »


polepole

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But I think of maneuverability as kind of a gimmick, as to be able to turn really well, you have to slow down.   

That's just crazy talk Ben.  What exactly do you mean?

-Allen
You can't power drift a pedal kayak around a turn to keep speed.  Any time you try to turn hard, you lose inertia.  I personally like kayaks that track straight better than those that turn tighter.  I don't see the point in needing to make a hairpin turn in the types of fishing that I do.  It slows my kayak down, I lose momentum, then I have to get back up to speed again. 

Of course most of the time I'm fishing I'm either trolling or drifting. I don't bass fish for the most part, where the maneuverability would come in handy.  If I need to make a turn, I plan it well out in advance and do it in an arc so my lines don't cross and I can keep my trolling speed up.

That's why "maneuverability" is a gimmick to me.  It's just a marketing ploy to sell kayaks, using it as a selling point.  For most guys, they could turn just as efficiently by utilizing a "hand paddle" and/or edging, even in a pedal craft, at the same speed.  But the manufacturers sell the kayaks with a more maneuverable hull instead of trying to teach their customers better technique, at a general cost to kayak speed and hull efficiency.  I've always said that certain things can be taught, but you can never teach a faster hull.

The part I object with is that you HAVE to slow down to turn really well.  With rudders, you need to be moving to turn.  The faster you go, the faster you turn.

-Allen
Sorry if that's what you gleaned from what I said, maybe I phrased it incorrectly from what was in my head when I wrote that. What I meant to imply is that turning slows you down.  You definitely turn better when you're moving at speed. So I find it generally useless to turn since it slows me down.

Well, I don't agree on maneuverability being a gimmick either, but wanted to make sure your statement wasn't based on the belief that you have to slow down to be able to turn really well.  Of course it is a balance.  I've been on kayaks that didn't want to turn and just stuck a straight line.  I've been on kayaks that didn't want to track and just wandered all the time.  I think it is important to have both tracking and maneuverability, way more important than having one or the other.

-Allen
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