The best kayak for might not be the best for you! We all know that the Jackson Coosa was built for small rivers and moving water, and that the Big Rig was built for stability in big water and to stand and fish out of. Also that the Kraken was designed for offshore with its length, narrow hull and bullet speed. Well just because this is what is said what these boats are for, doesn’t mean that is what is best for you.
My first kayak was a Jackson Big Tuna, I bought it because I wanted a tandem kayak so I could take my wife with me from time to time. Well after a year or 2, my wife didn’t have the interest in it that much and I also had purchased a John Boat and if we were to hit the water together, she just preferred we take the boat. So I started trying out different models that Jackson had made. I fished out of a Coosa for a while, but in lake situations it wasn’t for me, as I tournament fish a lot in reservoirs and lakes. Then I borrowed a Cuda 14. I loved how fast the boat was. I was passing other kayakers to the spots I wanted to fish. A few years later the Cuda HD was designed and I fished out of it for 2 years. I liked it a lot as it had a lot more stability than the Cuda 14, but it had lost some speed, which is expected, and I then realized what I love in a boat is speed.
This past year I bought a Kraken 13.5 for my tournament fishing. I absolutely fell in love with it. It is incredibly fast and is plenty stable enough for me, that if I want to stand and fish in it, I still can. Then I fished a small river with it. To my surprise, it is still one of my favorite boats. Some people laugh at me when I recommend a Kraken to them when they ask what is a good all around boat. The Kraken was NOT designed for rivers, but for ME it is amazing! It does what I want it to do, and it still has the fast speed and tracking that I love in a boat.
So all I can say, as you have all heard before, try to demo as many boats as possible before you make a purchase. Most wouldn’t chose the Kraken as the boat of choice for lakes, rivers and an all purpose boat. But to this day, it is still my favorite boat I have ever paddled!