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Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler Kayak
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- Inflatable kayak; designed for anglers; features multi-layer material and patented aluminum rib frame
- Abrasion pads offer maximum durability; wide beam increases kayak's stability
- High-back seat with two rod holders and inflatable lumbar support; removable mounting rail
- Measures 9 feet 8 inches by 35 inches; weighs 41 pounds; has 300 pound weight capacity
- Covered by one-year manufacturer warranty
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The Straitedge Angler inflatable kayak has been designed with the needs of the kayak angler in mind. Its wide beam provides maximum stability while bringing in big catches. Multilayer material, added abrasion pads, and multiple air chambers provide maximum durability for aggressive conditions. Its revolutionary removeable mounting rail offers a varitey of easy access options. By adding aftermarket rail mounts, you can customize your kayak with rod holders, a fish finder, or other equipment. Other key features include an ultra comfortable high back seat with two rod holders and an inflatable lumbar support for long days on the water, stainless steel d-rings and bungee deck lacing for abundant gear storage, paddle holders, and abrasion pads for extra durability. Combine all of these features with a patented aluminum rib frame technology for superior tracking and you have a kayak anglers dream boat.
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Updated 7/30/13: After 1 year, I still rate this boat as "OK". However, I've had to replace 3 air chambers under warranty so far with failures at the base of the seams (and I am extremely careful to avoid over-inflation). Warranty claims were handled quickly by AE. I just can't see this lasting for many years to come considering. Also have yet to find a way to get this boat to dry in a reasonable amount of time due to water hiding in the floor. Hopefully AE doesn't discontinue this model since I will obviously need to purchase bladders in the future. I wouldn't even think of doing any overnight trips in this.
The first time you get the kayak I suggest taking it out and playing with it... set it up, take it down, inflate, deflate, etc... that way you don't look like a total noob when you are out and ready to take it out for it's maden voyage. Also on that note I wouldn't suggest cristening it by shattering a bottle of champagne against the bow... just sayin'. Anyways, after familiarization, the kayak goes from packed up to completely set up in no more than 5 quick minutes and deflation and take down is even less... prolly around 3 or so. I guess my only complaint with the kayak itself would be the metal bar thing (accessory bar) to add attachments. First, for anyone else that has wondered the same and found no answers, let me say that it cannot go on backwards. Meaning that the metal bar is fitted to go only one way... towards the bow. I thought that it might make it easier to access equipment (fishing rod holders, gps, etc..) if it were closer to the pilot's seat... but it wont go that way. Now let me say that on my specific kayak I think the manufacturing boogered up the attatchment process for the accessory bar cause mine one go on neither backwards nor forwards. The hard black rubber gromets that the metal bar attaches to on the boat, while secured strongly to the boats sides, are unfortunately placed in the wrong location thereby making it impossible to use the metal accessory bar at all. The only solutions I could think of would be to either A) take the metal bar to a machine shop and have them bend the tube to allow for proper angle adjustment B) send the kayak back and ask for a new one or C) try and fabricate something myself that is similar out of 1" metal tube or PVC from Home Depot. Instead I opted for option D and I don't even use the metal accessory bar. I suppose if you're a really hard core fisherman and you wanted to attach sonar and GPS to it then it might be a minor set back but short of that... I really dont see any problem just not using it. It takes one less step to set up the kayak without it and it weighs one pound less. The hardened rubber gromets that are meant to hold the metal accessory bar have a one inch hole and anything of that diameter will fit rather nice and snuggly in there... I may see what I can muster up at the local hardware store in the future but for now... it's really not an issue. Also those gromets are secured very strongly (as is everything on the kayak) to the boat itself and you could easily attach an anker, moaring line, or really anything else you wanted to it without worry or problem.
This leads me to my next topic... ruggedness. Holy Moly.... if you're thinking pool toy... you could not be farther from the truth. This thing is super rugged and durable!!! I've taken this thing out on class three rapids, river's, lakes, and fishing. The only thing I have yet to do is take it out to the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston and do some saltwater activities with it. This yak handles rapids like it's an old war veteran.... meaning that the sudden "action" one would see with rapids proves to be almost nothing with this boat. So when you see it's rated for class 3 rapids you better believe it. The two outer air chambers provide for unwaivered stability helping to maintain the boat upright through almost whatever. I took the boat on it's maden voyage to Dallas' white water park, the Dallas Wave, to see how it handled rapids up to class three. Easy Peasy. This boat handles Class 1, 2, and 3 rapids almost like it's nothing. And I have very minimal previous whitewater experience (once in Chile in the Andes Mountains and once in Colorado in the Rockies). Unless the rapids are class 3 or higher you wont even feel any bumps or have to do any paddling at all because of the wonderful stability and the fact that you're riding one big air cusion. All that being said.. .I did manage to flip the kayak once on my second trip down the class 3 rapid section of the whitewater park... but mostly due to my inexperience. First off the 24 scupper holes are a god send for surf or whitewater. Water goes in. Water goes out. I love em. But you have to remember to open them... woops. My bad. I went down the class 3 section and forgot to open them prior. Water came in the boat and stayed in... then I became so heavy it pinned me up against a rocky embankment and at 425cfs... proceeded to flip me over. Boy was that fun! :) next thing I know I'm floating down the Trinity River with my paddle in one hand and my kayak upside down in the other. I got soaked but loved every minute of it! In hindsight I should have had the scupper holes open and not gone down the class 3 chute a little catty wompus but instead go straight on. So I hopped out, stuck the kayak on my shoulder and hiked back up river to try again. I wasn't gunna have it best me again. Second attempt... this time with drainage holes open... water came in, water went out, I went down the chute straight on and avoided the rocky embankment with a swift push from the paddle and woohoo! .. I made it... easy peasy! This boat is rugged! I've smashed into rocks, limestone cliffs, been up against trees, run over gravel... not even a scratch! Not even a dent in the aluminum bars in the bow or stern! Only some marks but those came out with just rubbing on em with a wet cloth. I'm truly amazed by this boat. It would seriously take some serious stuff to puncture this heavy duty boat. The bow and stern landing plates are awesome and allow one to paddle full speed into the shore and they take all the friction from the gravel and sand. The reinforced areas on top of the lateral air chambers are nice and provide for extra durability. I wish they covered more of the boat... but I imagine that would make it even heavier and at 40lbs I feel it's just heavy enough. Because of the durability, the versatility and the stability this boat has... I easily see it lasting me a lifetime.
The comfortability of this yak is top notch... it's open so you can sit in it however you darn well please... feet forward, indian style, over the sides, sideways, on top of one of the sides... heck, you can even lay down in it and Bam! Waterbed! :) I'm 5'9" and 145lbs 29 yr old guy and it's the perfect size for me. One day I wanna go kayak camping and ill just use the kayak as an airmatress... and sleep under the stars. Just yesterday I tried this kayak with two people in it... It says it can hold up to 300lbs and with the girl I was with we didn't even reach a total combined weight of 275. It's prolly not recommended seeing how it says "Only 1 person" but just incase anybody is wondering if one person sits towards the stern and the other towards the bow and you don't inflate the floor chamber as much and you both face each other... it easily supports two people as long as you don't pass the 300lb weight limit. It actually tracks better with the extra weight. If you're really fat this obviously wont work... but if you're average or skinny it's no problem and makes for a fun day fishing out on the lake. For us, it was still comfortable with two people in it.
You do have to remember to clean and dry this kayak thoroughly after every use otherwise it may get mildew build up and start to stink.. but i found if you just inflate it and set it up when you get home it air dries pretty well. Then just go over it with a cloth and rub the excess water off and wipe it down.
I also bought the big Wind Paddle Cruiser sail for the kayak and in North Texas winds I can easily reach a full 10 knots (12mph) or maybe even more... (im estimating)... When I used it out on lake Lewisville I was haulin' butt! Other people in kayaks and canoes saw me... I popped up the sail and took off! In about 1 minute I was out of sight of them. Just use the paddle as a makeshift rudder and you're good to go! Wiith the sail it makes long water trips a breeze!
I love all the D rings, bungies, and attachment points on the kayak... there are plenty of spots to attach gear and equipment and they're all very strong so you don't even have to worry about them ripping out or anything like that.
Overall I'd give this kayak 4.5 stars out of five but even with the minor accessory bar mistake... I feel like it's earned 5 stars in my heart. Versatility is unbeatable. I can fit the kayak, my mountain bike, and camping equipment all in my Ford Ranger with ease. Comfortability is unbeatable. It's like an air matress on top of a waterbed! Ruggedness is suprisingly strong! A lot stronger than anticipated. I no longer worry about holes or damaging it. Because the chambers of air are filled with air it floats no matter what. Swamped it floats, upside down it floats, or any other position it floats.
On the minor side: it's not as aerodynamic/streamlined as a solid kayak. You will need to work a little harder to keep it moving.