2012 Jackson Kayak Coosa Review

2012 Jackson Kayak Coosa Review

If there was one word to describe the 2012 Jackson Coosa, it would be "features". The Coosa is stacked with features. You can tell that someone with a distinguished pedigree designed this beast. Jackson Kayak knew what they were doing when they partnered with professional kayak angler, Drew Gregory; this boat is no joke. At 11'2" long and 32" wide, the Coosa will float any type of person ranging from the smaller paddler, to a 250 lb river basser. The hull is designed to turn easily, making it fun for the smaller paddlers, and also a good boat for fishing in the technical rivers of Colorado. Check out the review:




  • The hull is designed to be able to handle up to class III whitewater. The Coosa is built out of the same plastic, the the rest of JK's fleet is, which means that it could actually paddle harder rapids if the captain was up for the job. It has a foam center wall inside the boat, so as far as safety features go, this boat will be able to handle whatever you throw at it.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Hull_Whitewater.jpg A stable and aggressive hull for both whitewater and flats fishing.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_in_WW Ferrying across whitewater is easy in the Coosa.
  • The Hi-Lo seating is unique and extremely functional. It raises and lowers, is removable, doubles as a camp chair, and also comes with storage built right in. The material is a synthetic micro fiber that is durable, dries quickly, and is very light in weight.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_High_Chair.jpg The Hi-Lo seat is supportive, light weight and durable. The chair is in low position in this photo.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_behind_Seat_Storage.jpg Behind the seat storage.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Under_Seat_Storage.jpg Under the seat storage for items that you need quickly.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Camp_Chair.jpg The Hi-Lo seat makes for a top shelf camp chair
  • The Coosa is wide enough for the big boys (i.e the 200 lb plus club, which I am proudly a member of)to feel stable when standing up and fishing in the water. There is a cool grab strap that allows you to hold your balance while standing up in the boat.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Grab_Handle.jpg Grab the loop and stand up. It's innovative features like that that separate the Coosa from the rest of the pack.
  • Storage...Did somebody mention storage?Well, if you are looking for a boat that will safely store the kitchen sink, the Coosa is the one for you. With 2 large locking cargo bins (bow and stern), and a waterproof hatch with storage bag in arms distance of the captains helm, this boat will allow you to bring all that you need for a day of fishing. It's also got room on the back for a cooler (just behind the seat).
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Bow_Storage.jpg The locking bow storage compartment.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Bow_Storage_Wont_Float_Off.jpg The hatches are permanently attached to the boat, and will not blow away in the wind, or float downriver...
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Inside_Storage.jpg Lots of open storage space inside...The center wall is a great touch too; added safety is always welcome.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Hatch_Liner.jpg The waterproof storage pod within arms reach of the captains chair. It has a removable pouch, as not to bang up your camera or phone.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Stern_Storage.jpg Stern storage and and a bungee area for larger items. You can remove the bungees and put your cooler there too.
  • Adjustable foot pegs help dial in a snug and supportive fit. Again, the Coosa is designed to be able to handle whitewater paddling, and having your feet well placed is key.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Foot_Pegs.jpg Adjustable foot pegs as well as a spot for your heels.
  • There are multiple scupper holes to drain the water. This is a pretty standard feature, but just the same, the Coosa's got em! Jackson also makes scupper plugs to prevent water from seeping into the boat.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Scupper.jpg The scupper holes will drain the water out, and the Jackson Kayak brand scupper plugs will prevent it from coming in when you want to stay dry.
  • THE AMOUNT OF FISHING FEATURES ON THIS $1100 BOAT IS WHERE THE COOSA TRULY BREAKS AHEAD OF THE PACK.This boat has rod holder in the rear, rod organizers attached to the front storage hatch, a paddle holder on each side of the boat for hands free fishing, and plenty of mounts for more rod holders, GPS, a fish finder, and whatever you would need to bring with you for a serious day of fishing.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Rod_Holder.jpg The rod holders in the aft.
    : Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Rod_Holder_Cut_Out.jpg Cut outs for additional fishing add-ons.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Rod_Holder_Paddle_Holder.jpg The paddle holder for hands free fishing.
  • There's a red flag attached to the stern of the boat. This was added to the Coosa's long list of features last year. They decided to add it for the pick up truck driving population that needs the flag to be able to legally have the Coosa hanging out of the back of the bed.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Truck_Flag.jpg The Coosa is easy to shuttle around, especially with the built in flag (it's street legal!).
  • 11'2" of roto-mold fishing beast weighs in right around 70 lbs. Jackson added a skid plate on the stern, which makes solo carrying less difficult. The plate is meant to be worn down and replaced (able to be swapped out in less than 2 minutes).
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Skid_Plate.jpg Skid plate close up. The CKS demo boat has had a lot of use, and the plate seems to be doing just fine.
    Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Skid_Plate2.jpg Another shot of the removable skid plate.
Jackson_Kayak_Coosa_Stable_To_Stand CKS owner Earl Richmond dropping a line in the Arkansas River.


  • The Coosa is almost too heavy for one person to load on and off of a car, or carry to the water. I was able to load / unload it, and carry it down the boat ramp (a very steep one), but it took everything I had. Personally, I would rather have the Coosa weigh 70 lbs, and be as durable as it is, rather than weigh 50 lbs and crack or split in the hull. We also recommend purchasing a boat cart (like a C-Tug) for longer carries to the river or lake.

The Verdict:

The Jackson Coosa just might be the best overall fishing kayak that we've ever stocked. It is nimble, stable, has every possible feature that you could ever want in a fishing boat (and even some that you don't need, but are nice to have anyways), and comes in some great colors. With a guy like Drew Gregory behind the design it is no surprise that the boat is as popular as it is. Here at CKS, we cannot keep the Coosa's in stock, and it is for good reason.
WIN A FREE JACKSON COOSA PACKAGE WORTH OVER $2000! Enter to win a Jackson Coosa, GoPro Hero2 Cam, Bending Branches paddle, NRS tackle bag, and some IR clothing and layers. Click on this link to enter! http://woobox.com/bfq6jg

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