Native Watercraft Slayer 12' On The Water

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Native Watercraft Slayer 12' On The Water

Post  izzetafox on Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:00 pm

Well Native Watercraft sell this kayak as being designed by anglers for anglers. That's American would UK anglers find it?

As many of you may know the majority of American kayak anglers fish on what they know as 'flat water', what we in the UK know as freshwater. That is lakes, canals and rivers and perhaps the odd estuary or sheltered bay.
Would it be any good for old fashioned, stuck in their ways UK anglers.

So Terry ( Izzetafox), Daz, Simon ( Dorado ) and Steve ( Lureman ) from set out for a post Christmas trip to the kayak friendly Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire. A beautiful lake created in Victorian times as a ballast reservoir for the canal network.
We followed in the footsteps of the first Channel swimmer Captain Webb and the great tightrope walker Blondin, we would be in good company.

We hit the slipway with a dubious forecast of rain and 18mph winds, Potentially a good test for the Slayer
As this was a test of a fishing kayak I decided it needed loading up. With the front and rear wells as well as the cockpit space it looked as if even a ' I'll take it just in case' angler like myself might be catered for.

Look at that seat!! You cannot be serious that's more like a garden chair and it's far too high.

Indeed I was!

The first thing I missed was the rod holders. Looking on Native Watercraft's web site I saw that they have a Fishing Buddy bag which it would appear many American anglers favour.

So I used my crate with rod tubes but also laid a rod on the in cockpit rod top rest. So no real problem there.

After a few minutes familiarisation and setting the foot pegs and adjusting the back rest on the chair to compensate for the 'bulge' in the back of my pfd I was off

OK now for a paddle up wind and along the beautiful lake, despite the gloomy light the Rudyard still has it's own charm.

And on to the famous Lady Of The Lake. Always worth a visit.

I have to say that the Slayer paddled nicely into the wind when you consider that the paddler is sitting high in 'That American Chair'! I have to say at this point that this is not a 'Paddler's' kayak it is an 'Anglers' kayak. This is not a criticism, often a fast sleek kayak is great for speed but lousey for carrying as much gear as some anglers ( ME!!!) want to take. There will always be a compromise. The Slayer is by no means a slow kayak though, it is a kayak built for a job and as such it is plenty fast enough. I have to say that as I paddled across the lake the side wind, albeit not the 18mph predicted, caused me no problems. I was beginning to like this lady.

I tied off by the Lady Of The Lake boathouse and suddenly wondered about the lack of a paddle park. Now if you owned this kayak and really wanted one then 10 minutes with a drill, rivet gun and 6inches of bungee cord and you would be sorted. However I found that the front well bungee did the job adequately.

You can also get an idea of the forward storage space.

As I paddled around the lake I was constantly feeling that 'That American Chair' and the high centre of gravity should affect stability. I need not have worried I felt secure at all times, in fact more secure that one or two kayaks I have paddled.

As it is a fishing kayak access to the storage areas is essential. This is where the Slayer really scores. Turning to get gear from the rear well is safe and easy and moving to the forward area is simple with the flat cockpit floor. Easiest way is to just kneel and get your gear. No worries of swamping if you take the hull cover off, no need to put your feet over the side to straddle the kayak to maintain stability. Two large scuppers in each well ensure swift drainage. The Slayer just fills you with confidence making life so easy.

As I have not fitted an anchor trolley I just used a concrete mud anchor and tied off to the side handle, but again fitting a trolley would be an easy enough job. For those who love personalising their kayak there is six lengths of the ‘Groove’ system on the gunwales and a length on the hull access hatch so fitting Scotty accessories will set things up just as you want them.

Towards the end of the day I had to hand the kayak over to Daz and Lureman for their opinion and a bit of a play. Low light and slow shutter speeds spoiled the pictures a little but you can see that the promised 'You can stand on this kayak' is true.

And Daz's best side......

So what is my opinion?

I love it and I want one! This is indeed a freaswater kayak anglers kayak. It is stable and spacious, it has plenty of easily accessible storage and enough speed to keep an angler happy.
Sorry? What was that? What do I think of 'That American Chair'? Native Watercraft call this the 'First Class' chair. A lot to live up to.

After sitting on it for about five hours I have to say 'First Class' does not do it justice. When sitting on a kayak for long periods I suffer the dreaded 'numb bum' and stiff legs. At the end of the day I felt great it is a very comfortable chair soft where it needs to be and supportive where it needs to be.
It has high and low positions, personally I cannot see that I would want anything other than the low position. Paddling is a little awkward in high and I guess you would only ever use this whilst actually fishing and not when travelling.
It makes you wonder why us UK freshwater anglers have missed out on the comfort that our American friends have been enjoying. Not anymore.

Oh yes, what did Lureman and Daz think?
Lureman is a very experienced paddler both at sea and on freshwater. he like it very much and saw just how stable it was.
Daz? Well Daz is in love! Daz has a constant back problem and no kayak he has paddled has eased the problem. Until now!
Daz loved 'That Americam Chair' he found it very comfortable and his back loved it too.

I should add that although this is an anglers kayak it would be ideal for the nervous paddler who finds most kayak too tippy for them. This is perfect a very stable kayak.

Prices: Slayer 12' £820 and will be available from Native Watercraft stockist shortly.
Slayer 14' £940 will only be available to order.

Many thanks to System X ( ) for the loan of the kayak and to Desperate Measures of Nottingham ( ) for supplying it.

Thanks also go to Ray the Ranger at who was very welcoming. He is always ready with a cheery word, a cup of tea and the latest information of how Rudyard Lake is fishing. Just £10 includes fishing, parking and launch fees. There are toilets, changing facilities and a cafe.


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Join date : 2012-11-01

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