#howirigmynative PHOTO CONTEST

We want to see how you rig your Native Watercraft!

Here is how to enter the contest…

  1. Make sure you like our Native Watercraft Facebook and/or Instagram page. You must like at least one or both to win.
  2. Like and Share the #howirigmynative PHOTO CONTEST post on Facebook OR Like the #howirigmynative PHOTO CONTEST Instagram post.
  3. Post a picture of your Native Watercraft kayak on Facebook and/or Instagram AND include the hashtag #howirigmynative and tag @nativewatercraft in the post. You must do both to be entered to win.

The eligible contest posts with the most likes and shares by February 28th, 2017 will be entered to win a Native Watercraft / Railblaza Pro Package! (Make sure you get your friends to like and share your post!) The contest winner will be announced March 1st, 2017. The Pro Package includes…

  • NATIVE WATERCRAFT RAILBLAZA STAND ‘N CAST
  • RAILBLAZA VISIBILITY II KIT
  • RAILBLAZA STUB PORT WITH MOBI
  • RAILBLAZA ROD HOLDER R with STARPORT HD and TRACMOUNTS

 

ELIGIBILITY: You must be in the contiguous United States to win and be at least 18 years old. Contest ends 2/28/2017.

Titan Propel 13.5 SNEAK PEEK

SNEAK PEEK OF THE TITAN PROPEL 13.5!

The Titan is a “First with Reverse” Propel Pedal driven bass fishing kayak extraordinaire. Large and in charge, the Titan offers unsurpassed stability and ample room and flexibility to move around. Optimal for sight casting with plenty of leverage to reel in the catch, this is a fisherman’s fantasy fulfilled. This kayak features easy-to-reach horizontal rod storage with rod tip protection. Elevated First Class Seating is designed for comfortable transitions between standing and sitting, and it can be moved out of the way for a walk-around deck. The kayak also features two stern Power Pole mounts for dual anchoring to further increase stability. The Titan can be purchased with a custom motor mount that will accept trolling motors for a power-assisted ride. The image above displays some of the many features found on the new Titan.

The Titan will be available at a dealer near you March/April 2017. The colors offered will be Hidden Oak, Lizard Lick and Copperhead. Current specs are… Length: 13′ 6″, Width 41.5″, Weight: TBD, Capacity: 550 LBS. Retail Price is currently slated at $3,249 USD with the super quiet Propel Pedal Drive System, $3,339 USD with Transom-Style Motor Mount Included or $2,489 USD without the Propel Pedal Drive.

To find/contact a dealer near you, please go to our dealer locator map by clicking here.

Also, check out our new Propel Pedal Drive kayak models available now…

Manta Ray Propel Angler 12 Fishing kayak
Manta Ray Propel Angler 12
Slayer Propel 12 LT Fishing Kayak
Slayer Propel 12 LT

 

Photo Credit: BASS Australia Nation

Ben Faro Wins the Fish Arrow Australia Blue Rock Blitz!

Native Watercraft Pro Staffer, Ben Faro takes the Fish Arrow Australia Blue Rock Blitz! Check out the video of Ben describing how REVERSE was key to his BASS Australia win…

To learn more about Native Watercraft models that offer the Propel Pedal Drive System with Reverse, click the models below.

SP10 SP13 UP13

Featured Image Photo Credit: BASS Australia Nation

NEW! Ultimate Fx Propel 13 hits the Fishing world

First, if you’ve followed Native Watercraft through the years you may recall there once were Ultimate 12 and 14.5 Propels’ in their lineup. Ah, you do remember? Well, those who favored an open-hybrid (read lighter) version of a pedal kayak, over a heavier SOT, model once again have the option… albeit it in a heavily revised model.

Ch-ch Changes

As you turn to face the changes, casting your eyes over the Ultimate FX Propel 13, you’ll notice very little similarity to its discontinued cousins. The bow entry profile and hull rocker are similar, and of course there is a Propel drive (updated as well), and then the changes being.

Hull:  For greater performance, the once deeper tunnel-hull is drawn shallower in keeping with the Ultimate FX 12 and 15 models. This allows greater ease of speed and less resistance in cross currents, inspiring greater confidence ferrying currents.

Rudder: Dropped, as in a drop-down rudder, is gone, in favor of the more durable factory molded rudder. The control cabling is run off the control disc perpendicular to the gunnel, allowing greater rudder angle positioning, translating to a tighter turn radius. Though the rudder is removable and attaches rather solidly, in my opinion it’s not ideal to constantly remove it. The bolt self locks into a plastic stem and over time could compromise the threads, requiring a replacement. Some users and non-users have cast judgement, saying “it’s not durable”,  you can’t drag the kayak”, or “it gets in the way when loading”. Well, the molded rudder has been proven to be much more durable than a typical aluminum rudder in factory torture tests. From dropping a rigged hull from shoulder height, rudder striking first onto the concrete, to throwing a cinderblock at it from multiple angles, the rudder didn’t break, deform or become unusable. Ideally, you shouldn’t drag any hull on the ground but when you just gotta get your drag on, it’s best do do it with a rope or leash attached to the bow handle. This way the hull remains flatter to the ground and doesn’t plow the rudder into the ground. Lifting and loading is simply a matter of raising/loading the stern first.

Ultimate FX 13 Rudder

Ultimate FX Propel Rudder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seat: The seat frame and material is the same as in the Slayer Propels, Ultimate FXs’ and Slayers. It sits on an aluminum framed support, in a higher fixed height position, adjusting fore and aft, for the perfect leg/foot reach to the pedals.

No Adapt-a-Track, No Skirts: In favor of keeping weight down the previous fabric skirts and joining  track material have been jettisoned for the more durable, lighter-weight (INCLUDED) molded hard cover. (available for bow only)

Performance/Experience 

The following thoughts are based on a brief amount of time testing a prototype.

At first glance I initially thought the seat height may be too high as you sit just below the gunnel. While opinions will vary due to each users perception of stability, their size and weight, at 6′ and 188.2 lbs (casually dressed) I felt completely comfortable after giving it a wiggle and feeling the hulls response. The elevated seat position, more so than a Slayer Propel, in relation to the drive does give the user a more downward pedal stroke than any previous models, which I think most will welcome, as it’s a more natural upright seated position.

Stability was very good for me, again, alleviating any concerns about the seat height. Users will quickly notice the added ease of standing from a seated position, the easiest I’ve ever experienced.

Turning radius, though not measured, felt really good. I’d definitely say better than a SP 13 and about the same or maybe a little better than a SP 10, likely negating the need or even desire for an aftermarket modification as some have installed on SP 10’s and 13’s.

The benefit of a hull with nice, sharp entry lines typically results in appreciated tracking performance, as well as efficient speed, both of which have been bestowed upon the Ultimate FX 13 Propel. Within in a few pedal revolutions your moving quickly and quite effortlessly. Speed freaks will appreciate being able to maintain higher speeds longer, resulting in less consumption of energy drinks, or beans.

Paddling the FX Propel is quite doable, albeit it from a higher seat position, which is very similar to the high seat position of a Slayer 12 or 14.5. Since the FX Propel lacks solid foot rests it isn’t quite ideal for lengthy paddles or in high winds or current since you can’t brace and leverage power from being able to brace with your feet.

Other than a few boats wakes no real rough water was experienced, yet it did handle the wakes very similar to that experienced in an Ultimate FX 15. Obviously being an open boat any water you take on, or fluids you excrete; and I know some you guys use your scuppers as an emergency port-a-potty, you have to remove… unless you con or pay the neighborhood kids into doing it for you, so you have to be a little more cautious as to where or how far out you venture into open water. The bow deck cover does help in deflecting some bow spray and in really gnarly junk can roll waves off as you dip the nose into the rabbit hole.

Outfitting

Sans adjustable rod holders, and of course rods and tackle, the Ultimate FX 13 comes ready to fish. The included, position adjustable, stern track mounted, tackle and rod tube holder is really a nice convenient bit of kit. I’m all about making getting on and off the water as well as gear storage easier and more efficient, and with this handy gizmo it doesn’t get much better.

Ultimate FX Propel Tackle Box

Groove tracks line the gunnels as well as fore and aft decks for mounting the usual suspects, such as rod holders, display units, POV cameras, stern lights, stake-out0-poles, anchor cleats, whirly gigs and whatever else gear hounds might want to embellish upon their relatively tiny craft.

Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 13 Propel

Native developed a practical method of mounting higher definition, more featured transducers to the hull, negating the need to drop one off the side, or loose image quality by shooting the signal thru the hull. On the underside, in front of the Propel drive mount, is a recess with molded-in nuts, allowing you to attach the transducer mount at this point. Cabling is neatly held in place within a recessed groove and secured with tabs. The recess is wide and deep enough to accept most transducers commonly used on kayaks.

Being that the seat is the highest its ever been, there is a plethora of under-seat  storage space, able and willing to party with Natives’ seat storage accessories or soft cooler bags.

Not-shown but can be seen when delivered are cleverly placed under-gunnel bungees for stowing a two-piece paddle out of the way, one section of paddle per side.

In some ways kayaks can be like shoes, not all fit just right or should be worn for all occasions. That’s why it’s important, and extremely helpful, to try a kayak on for size and on the water. My local paddlesports outfitter, Get:Outdoors, of Greensboro, NC provides on-water demos throughout the season, with its Annual Paddlefest scheduled April 8th-10th. On-water demo happens April 9th, Lake Brandt, Greensboro, NC. Hopefully they’ll have their demo Ultimate FX Propel ready to go.

As of 3/15/2016, production has just begun with shipments arriving at dealers asap and in the order they were received.

 

NEW Ultimate Propel at ICAST

With the introduction of the “Ultimate FX” series of kayaks last year, I knew it was only a matter of time before Native Watercraft added the hands-free fishing capabilities of the Propel drive. Last month at ICAST 2015, we got our first look at their prototype “Ultimate FX 13 Propel” and some of the cool additions they have made specifically to the Propel version.

Jameson talks to Woody Callaway of Native Watercraft about their newest Propel series fishing kayak, the Ultimate FX 13 Propel.

The Ultimate FX 13 Propel uses the same Propel drive as the “Slayer Propel 10.”

Ultimate FX 13 Propel Drive

The Ultimate FX 13 Propel has a new built-in battery shelf that is unique to this model.

 

Ultimate FX 13 Propel Battery Box

You lose the high and low seating option of the original Ultimate FXs, but this allows you to position your feet comfortably on the Propel Drive.

Ultimate FX 13 Propel Adjustable Seat

There is plenty of under-seat storage in the Ultimate FX 13 Propel, especially when you use their cooler bag.

Ultimate FX 13 Propel Under Seat Storage

The Ultimate FX 13 Propel adds a new Thwart Box for added storage of your rods and gear behind the seat.

Ultimate FX 13 Propel Thwart Box

After seeing this kayak at ICAST 2015 we were  pumped to test this kayak out on the water at Outdoor Retailer this week. Sadly, this is their only prototype and Woody said it would not be on the beach at the open water demo. Hopefully we’ll get our hands on one soon so we can give it a thorough run through.

Bringing back the Ultimate and Manta Ray 2016!

Native Watercraft bringing back the original Ultimate and Manta Ray series. Taken out of the line-up for the 2015 season, Native will be reintroducing the original Ultimate series and the Manta Ray series. We did not have these available for the 2015 season in order to work on the molds says, Woody Callaway, Brand Manager for Native, the molds are running well, boats are looking good and they come at a great price for those wanting a superior fishing kayak.

Pro Staffer, Scott Jontes: Cover of The Fisherman’s Journal

Why Fly Fish From a Kayak – by Scott Jontes

red_fly_fx
As kayak fishing becomes more popular by the year, naturally fly fishing from a kayak is also growing in popularity. When I decided to start kayak fishing I knew I would incorporate my passion for fly fishing to the kayak. Fly fishing to me is one of the most rewarding types of fishing you can do. I love the whole experience of fly fishing, from tying my own flies and leaders to making that well placed cast to a fish and watch it take fly that you tied.

red

At times a kayak can give you the ability to get closer to the fish than you can with a boat, and it surely can get you into places that a boat is not able to go. I honestly prefer to fly fish from a kayak because, it’s just you and the fish. It’s the ultimate game of cat and mouse, and you’re solely responsible to find the fish and to get yourself into position to make the cast. That is the big draw for me is to do all the work by myself and when all of those things come together and you have the satisfaction of catching that fish, it’s such a feeling of accomplishment.

bonefish3

Fly fishing from a kayak is not difficult but it can be a challenge and that is how I feel people should look at it. You should challenge your self to leave your regular set up at home and only take a fly combo with you. It will take you out of your comfort zone and could open up a whole new world of fishing to you. You may try it and end up not liking it, but it could also lead you to a new passion in the world of fishing. It will surely add another arrow to your quiver that you may want to pull out and use from time to time.

fly line and stripping mat

You can set your kayak up in multiple ways for fly fishing and honestly it all comes down to your own personal preference. I like to keep my kayak very clean and clear, I do not have rod holders or any other mounts on my kayak other than a camera pole. If you do have something on your deck that fly line can get hung up on IT WILL. This is one of the biggest issues you will run into while fly fishing is your line management. You have all of the extra fly line laying on your deck just looking for something to get snagged on. A few of the ways you can help to deal with this issue is to use a stripping basket or a stripping mat. You can buy ready made stripping baskets, or you can make a DIY one from a collapsible laundry basket that you can buy at Walmart or Target. One advantage of a collapsible laundry basket on the kayak is you can stow it away so it does not take up room when not in use.

Just like the stripping basket you can buy a pre made stripping mat or you can make one yourself. I decided to make a stripping mat for myself using a rubber floor mat and wire nuts and I have been really happy with it. You can look up online the many DIY ways you can make either a stripping basket or mat. You can also look into stripping baskets that you can wear or that can attach to a stand up bar if you have one rigged on your kayak. Another thing you can do to minimize your fly line getting caught on your kayak is to lay a towel on your deck to cover any hatches, snags or even peddles.

Tarpon

If you are new to fly fishing it can be helpful to go to a local pond and start out catching Bass or Bream to help you to learn how to play a fish and to manage your fly line. This helps you to learn to cast efficiently with no added pressure before you get out on the water with your kayak. If you are not able to stand in your kayak you can practice by either sitting in a low chair or even on the ground to help your back cast to not hit the water behind you. Obviously casting from the seated position has a few disadvantages compared to being able to stand up and cast but can still be plenty effective. On the kayak you are adding a lot of factors when a fish takes your fly and in a short amount of time. You have to make sure the fly line does not get snagged on your kayak while your fighting the fish and trying to keep yourself balanced. I would recommend being comfortable with all of the things before you head out on your kayak with the fly rod.

bay_red

To get started in fly fishing you do not have to break the bank to get your first set up. You can get good starter combos for under $200.00 that come with everything you need to get on the water. As you progress in fly fishing and get a feel for it you can then step up to a more expensive combo that will suit your casting style. A good all around fly to start out with would be a Closuer Minnow. It will catch anything and not only are they inexpensive but they are also very easy fly to learn to tie if you decide to get into tying your own flies. A few other good patterns to start out using would be shrimp fly patterns and also any of the Enrico Puglisi flies. If you do get interested in tying your own flies I highly recommend getting yourself a good quality vise. Starting out tying your own flies can be expensive to start but you will save money in the long run. I find that tying my own flies can very relaxing and it is a hard feeling to beat when one of your flies you tied caught that fish you were after.

red1_7-25-2014

If you do decide to go down the rabbit hole of fly fishing I will warn you that it can consume you to the point that it is all you can think about. It can become such an obsession in your life that it can lead to multiple fly combos that can range from a 1wt for trout or panfish to a 14wt for Marlin or Sailfish. You will have vises, leader material for tying your own leaders, multiple boxes of fly tying materials and boxes and boxes of flies that you tied. You will find yourself constantly day dreaming about getting that next cast. But if you ask me all of that is not a bad thing.

Fernandina Fishing Rodeo

The Fernandina Fishing Rodeo is a boat tournament that added a Kayak Division allowing anglers to launch anytime with a 6:30AM fishing start time.  I set out in my Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 kayak into the St. Johns River about 6AM. I went to my trout spot and fished for about 15 minutes before several boats showed up and proceeded to fish all around me.  I was not getting any action and saw all the boat fishermen were catching sand trout so I moved off and fished down the shoreline.  By now it was 8:20am and I was starting to think a skunk was a possibility.   With no bites, I switched from soft plastics to a Rapala Skitterwalk chartreuse topwater lure on a whim and noticed that the lure was attracting swirls about 10 feet off the bank.  After repositioning my yak parallel to the shoreline so my lure would stay at that 10 foot distance during the entire retrieve, more fish seemed interested and within 5 minutes had a hit so violent I thought it was a redfish. When it got close to the yak I saw it was a beautiful large speckled trout.   I had a nice 5 minute fight before playing the net game with it for a heart stopping minute, but finally got it boated and measured it out at exactly 24”.  Since I had only hoped to catch a trout in the 20” range I felt a surge of confidence and felt I had a chance to do well in the standings.

Choosing the Slayer Propel

My first thoughts when I finally set eyes on my brand new Ultimate FX 12 was simply this: Native Watercraft hit a home run with this kayak.  This kayak screams “designed by fishermen”.  The first thing I noticed was the seat.  It not only has the Native First Class High-Low seat, but it also gives the paddler the option of moving it forward or backward in the kayak.  I have spent a solid 7-8 hours in this seat with absolutely no discomfort or leg pain.  The seat also has an organizer that offers 2 slots which can hold up to 2 of the Plano 3500 tackle trays.  The rear of the kayak has a built in rear thwart with a gear track on each side, which are perfect for adding accessories like rod holders, light, and/or camera mounts.  There is also a large open hatch area perfect for carrying a crate, cooler, or a BlackPak.  The rear cargo area also has bungees to help secure your gear.