Monday, August 27, 2012

Big Tuna (Review)

Now that i've been able to fish all bodies of water out of it ,i'll give a review of what I like and what I dislike about the kayak. Remember, this is just my opinion after fishing out of it the last couple of months.

The Big Tuna is made by Jackson Kayaks and is designed to be used as a tandem kayak with many seating arrangements. The surprise was how well it fishes out of set up in the solo position.
In the solo position the seat is in the perfect position for balance. It is extremely stable making it easy to stand and fish or just stretch your legs.

I have been camping out of it on the Colorado river twice. Took it and fished the bay in Mississippi for a week and spent three days on the Texas coast chasing redfish from it.

On the first camping trip I had all of my gear stored in the back hatch. The next trip I put all of it in a dry bag and sat in on the front deck to balance out the weight, this helped out with the trim.
For such a large kayak you will be surprised how fast it is. I was able to keep up with another kayak which should be faster. Sitting up high in the water you are able to get pretty skinny. The one downside about sitting up high is the wind will move you around so a drag chain setup or the optional rudder will help a lot with that.

Skinny water

Since I fly fish a lot. It's important to keep the deck area clean and uncluttered so it doesn't catch the line that I have stripped. So far so good with this. At the coast I was able to use the paddle like a push pole to move me around. It was easier than paddling so now I am in the process of making a push pole for the next trip.

I was worried at first about the weight of the Tuna. It's close to 95lbs with one seat in it and i'm not getting any younger. So far i've been able to load and unload as well as drag it where I need it with no problems. I did get me a kayak cart but have not tried it out yet. Yeah it's heavy, but I like it. I would love to see them add a large compartment to the front of this kayak, shorten it by a foot, keep the width and drop the weight by 15lbs and then in my opinion you would have the perfect big boy kayak.

While in Mississippi I took my daughter out in it. I paddled her around for hours letting her fish, the Tuna would work pretty good as a guide kayak.

To recap, it works well as a tandem but I think it really shines as a solo kayak.
The wind is the only thing to ever bother me while fishing from it but i'm able to overcome it. It handles rough water excellent and I felt safe crossing the shipping channel in it as well as the huge waves I got caught up in on a sudden storm while fishing the bay in Mississippi.
Great to camp out of and for running rivers. Excellent to stand up in as well as fly fish. I do need to add a few fly rod holders to get them out of the way while paddling.
The only big negative when using it solo is the weight. It's to be expected since it designed as a tandem and is a large kayak.
See you on the water.


  1. Great review and some beautiful photography. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Just bought one. Gotta go get it wet and see if I made the right choice.