Jackson Cuda Review with Drew Gregory

Jackson Cuda Review with Drew Gregory

The Coosa was Jackson's first true fishing kayak. It was an enormous success, especially considering the fact that JK is known for whitewater boats, and not for products that assist you in slaying bass and trout. JK's got a few secret weapons in regards to their fishing kayak popularity. For starters, kayak fishing legend Drew Gregory has joined the team. He has been very instrumental in research and design, as well as creating a buzz in the kayak fishing world because of his genuine enthusiasm. Jackson also employs Tony Lee. He has been designing kayaks for a long time, and is known as one of the best out there. Tony's got over 30 successful designs to his credit, so he can surely get a fishing kayak to have primary stability, and track well! When we first heard news of of a bigger and badder Jackson fishing boat, we were pretty psyched. Longer, faster, more features and capable of paddling open water-Awesome. In order to get the most accurate info, we reached out to Drew Gregory, who was very instrumental in the boats' design:


This video is lengthy, but does a stellar job of highlighting all of the Cuda's features. In fact, the boat has so many fishing features on it, I am surprised Drew could cover it all in 15 min! Here is some good info from the man himself, Drew Gregory! 1. How does the boat differ from The Coosa? The Cuda is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the Coosa, as far as boat performance goes. Where the Coosa needed to be nimble and maneuverable to get into tight places and to run rivers, the Cuda is a faster, straighter tracking boat. The Cuda is also lower profile making it less affected by the wind on those gusty days out in open water. 2. Who is the Cuda intended for and who is the Coosa intended for? The Cuda is intended for the anglers who loved the stability and all the cool features of the Coosa, but needed the speed and tracking of a boat like the Cuda to reach their fishing locations a little quicker and with less effort. So, mainly we're taking about large lake anglers, and both inshore and offshore fisherman. The Coosa is for the people who fish in smaller bodies of water, or rivers,where maneuverability and stability are more crucial than speed.
Stability is a key asset with The Cuda. Stand up and fish with out getting sea legs!
3. Would Coosa owners want to upgrade? Coosa owners would want to get the Cuda, not because it is an "upgrade," but because with these two boats in your arsenal you'll likely never need another boat! You see, we agree with most every kayak angler out there that one boat can never do it all, but we feel that these two, when their powers combine, can cover every water type there is! From the rivers to the sea, the Coosa and Cuda should be the only two boats you'll ever need! Wow, that even rhymes. 4. Any tech info on the design of the boat? Cool features? The coolest new features on the Cuda would definitely have to be the rod tip cover, fly rod stagers/holders, center hatch, removable utility bag, stand assist strap, and vertical and side tackle stagers (see product video above for more info on these features). Of course all the sweet features of the Coosa are also there, such as the removable elite hi/lo seat, bow and stern hatches, removable skid plate, paddle stager and of course the wide, flat standing platform. Another cool thing in general for anglers to look out for with all Jackson Fishing boats, is the number of accessories we'll be providing in 2012 that will make your time on the water even more enjoyable. 5. Here in Colorado, lots of people fish the rivers...How does the Cuda do in downriver environments? Kinda like a drift boat but more maneuverable??? In rivers, the Cuda is really only best fit for flat water environments or class I at best. Maneuverability is not as good on the Cuda as it is on the Coosa simply because if you make a boat track well, like the Cuda, you'll always lose maneuverability and vice versa. It still may be more nimble than a drift boat however! The better replacement for a drift boat in the Rocky Mountain rivers may actually be the "Big Tuna," which launches in early 2012, because it can hold one or two anglers so that someone can control the drift while the other fishes. However, we'll talk more about that boat later! Or, you can always fish the rivers best by just hopping in two Coosas! 6. Would non anglers like The Cuda? Family toy? Absolutely, the Cuda would make a great sit-on-top touring kayak given that it is fast, tracks well, is stable and waaaay more comfortable than a traditional touring kayak due to the elite seat. Not to mention you can move to the high seating position giving you more comfort and a better vantage point for bird watching, sight seeing, viewing into the water and taking photos of it all!
You don't necessarily fish on The Cuda to have a good time.

Here are some other really cool facts about the Cuda:

  • The Cuda is built from the same linear (Super Linear) plastic as that Jackson uses on their class V whitewater boats. In other words, this boat is over engineered as far as durability goes.
  • You can surf the Cuda. There is enough rocker (rise) on the hull to allow anglers to occasionally surf their way back into shore after fishing open water
  • There are lots of great bright color options. If you are planing on paddling near large shipping lanes, you will want a color selection that is easy to see!
  • Jackson will be introducing a plethora of accessories and add-ons for 2012. Keep an eye out! This video shows some of the ones that Drew likes.
  • Looking for a tandem? Wait for the Big Tuna. JK is once again taking fishing to the next level. This thing even has a live bait well.
Last but not least, here are some really good fishing links. Drew has a website, tournament, and a really good fishing forum. Also, be sure to check out the video of him getting attacked by a wild goose! DrewGregory.com JacksonKayak.com RiverBassin.com RiverBassinTrail.com

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