Jackson kayak just unveiled their latest creation, The Coosa. It's intended use is kayak fishing, and also a general recreational sit on top kayak. Jackson's known for making user friendly, high quality and reasonably priced boats. The Coosa definitely fits into all of these categories. Drew Gregory is the man behind this boat. He has a pretty impressive resume, and is one of the nations authorities on kayak fishing. We sent him a few questions about the design and intended use of the boat. Here is what he had to say:
Q: What makes the coosa better than other fishing boats out there?
The Coosa is an absolute fishing machine for several reasons.
A: It was designed in conjunction with a kayak fisherman (myself, obviously) that had spend over 700 kayak fishing trips on the water and therefore knew many of the issues/problems that kayak anglers had been working around the the past 10 years. It isn't just a recreational kayak that a manufacturer added rod holders to and now touts it as a '"fishing kayak." Nope, from the ground up the Coosa was designed to be a fishing platform by an actual kayak angler and in conjunction with some of the top Jackson Kayak architects, most notably Tony Lee and Scott Henderson.
It gives the angler a small, maneuverable boat that is still light enough for one man to carry, but yet also has the ability to stand and fish from comfortably. A nice flat and wide (31.5 inches) standing platform gives anglers the comfort and ability to even swivel their feet around when the numerous situations occur where you may need to move your feet at numerous different angles besides straight forward. Standing is a HUGE advantage in most types of fishing and anglers who can get to that higher vantage point will also have higher catch rates!
The hi/lo elite seat gives anglers the comfort advantage that has previously only experienced in a hybrid kayak. The seat also can be removed as a camp chair and placed in one of two positions - a high, more comfortable position or a lower, more stable position for paddling longer distances or running rapids. The high position is most popular and allows for tackle storage under the seat of the boat which makes it far easier to access compared to trying to turn around awkwardly to get to your tankwell as you do in other kayaks.
The ability to store more gear for camping is accomplished by creating a large front hatch and a stern hatch that also allows for more gear storage, not to mention the ability to access the inside of the stern for stern accessory installations.
These hatches are also lockable, adding a whole new element to kayak fishing because anglers no longer have to worry about their expensive rod/reel investments when they want to make a stop at the store before or after the day on the water. Or, maybe you're grabbing a bite to eat with the guys after a trip and it just makes you feel all warm and cozy inside knowing that your investments are locked up in the back of your truck inside the kayak as it sits in the parking lot.
As I have fished in many kayaks over the years I have blown out many keels on boats because that is the area that gets worn down the quickest. On the Coosa we have a removable skid plate that can be replaced when it wears down. So, instead of buying a new kayak, just buy the replacement $10 part and you're right back on the water!
The Coosa also has numerous rod stagers/holders and well as a paddle stager/holder. These stagers allow for quick easy access to rods but yet enough support where they won't slide all around and get tangled onto one another. Ideal for the angler who is constantly picking up different rods during the day and fishing numerous methods. The holders are more substantial places to put rods and your paddle that, even when flipping over, will keep them in place so you don't lose them.
Because it is a sit-on-top with scupper holes it makes the boat more versatile to handle any water type, from big river rapids to flat water and even big waves in the ocean. Solo canoes or hybrid kayaks are limited
1. What accessories would you recommend?
A: Right now Jackson doesn't have a big accessory line for the boat but it will be coming out with one this fall. But, for now I would recommend buying the Coosa Tallon Receiver that the Coosa was designed around. It is an innovative receiver that anglers can install on the boat (in the oval recessed areas on the Coosa) and buy either the RAM or Scotty adapter for them. Anglers can then use any of the RAM or Scotty accessories on their Coosa and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, their boats can return back to flush whenever they want them to by simply taking the RAM or Scotty adapter off. This is crucial for those that don't need those accessories on some trips or when targeting certain species of fish. Maybe you are taking the family out on a recreational paddle or you are fly fishing and just don't need the permanent RAM or Scotty mounts getting in your way. The boat is truly a versatile fishing machine with the Tallon receivers installed and you'll be able to efficiently catch striped bass in a lake with your RAM rod holder on one trip and then next day make a class III river run where you don't need those accessories in your way.
1. What makes it good for a family boat?
A:Probably the comfort and stability. Families need a good, stable boat that is hard to turn over because most families probably don't paddle as much as the hard core kayak fishing crowd. This gives them the comfort with the elite seat and the stability that we've designed into the boat to make for the perfect family boat. Not to mention on family trips you are often getting out and relaxing on shore, so removing the elite seat is ideal for that shore lunch or sand bar relaxation situation.
1. What is the biggest fish that you have ever caught in the Coosa?
A: Well, I mostly bass fish in rivers and a 4 or 5lb river bass is considered a big river bass but I caught one a few weeks ago that was in the 10lb range - a true trophy for anywhere, rivers, lakes or ponds. I do know of a 35lb striped bass that was caught by a first time kayak angler when taken on a guided trip by one of our fishing team members, Ben Adrien. That was certainly a thrill for her!
1. Where's your favorite spot to fish?
A: Well, it is sort of taboo to mention medium and smaller river names when talking about favorite places to fish. You do this out of respect for the others that fish them and call them their "local" or "home" waters, but I can say that my favorite places to fish are off the small to medium sized rivers that are off the beaten path and have some significant rapids, further making them a seldom fished river. I especially enjoy the southeastern rivers that hold shoal bass or smallmouth bass. I also enjoy fishing the marsh and mangrove inshore salt water areas and even going offshore some more for some BIG fish that can really tow you around!
Here are some links that have more information on Drew, and The Coosa. If you do not see the answer to what you are looking for here, leave a comment on this review, and we can get your question to Drew. He is a wealth of knowledge!1. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of this boat? Did you design it? What is your background?