Old Town Predator MX- Review
The Old Town Predator MX is a ‘Mixed Water’ kayak that features a slightly more rounded hull, designed for moving water conditions such as rivers without sacrificing the Predator's class leading stability and performance.
I chose the Predator MX for my freshwater fishing, although I have ventured onto the salty stuff with it a couple of times. At first I was sceptical about using it on the sea as I’ve always preferred to use a longer sleeker kayak that is more suited to that environment. The day I launched in Poole harbour it was very windy, choppy and generally quite unpleasant. However, I was very impressed how well it handled the conditions and it certainly didn’t disgrace itself.
My usual saltwater rides are an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 which I use for inshore work and an Ultra 4.3 for serious offshore paddling. I will use the kayaks for the purpose for which they were designed, but if you don’t venture far offshore, the MX would be absolutely fine. I just wanted to try it out to see how it handled the conditions.
The Predator MX also features a spacious Exo-Ridge deck providing the perfect standing platform. There are dual tackle holders down the side of the seat which I use to put scissors and a few loose lures. Dual-tip rod holders at the bow, removable accessory mounting plates, and a large bow hatch with the Click Seal cover make this the ultimate fishing kayak.
Handling off the water is fine too. Lifting with the side handles is aided by 50/50 weigh distribution making it easier to lift onto the car. For a fairly wide and very well-made kayak, it’s not too heavy at 37kgs.
The fixtures and fittings are all of the highest quality and the hull construction is nothing short of outstanding. The hull also comes with a lifetime warranty for that added peace of mind. The removable accessory plates make mounting your gear so effortless. They’re all interchangeable so if you change your mind or get new equipment, you can swap them around or just get new ones to replace. No more holes in the hull.
Summary: If you’re after a freshwater kayak with the occasional inshore fishing trip, this kayak would suit you well. I would never recommend it for serious offshore fishing, but for the purpose for which it’s designed; it’s an excellent fishing platform. I regularly fish all day and have spent as long as 12 hours in the saddle. Even after this length of time, I can still walk at the end of the day. Other kayaks I’ve had I would really suffer after that long without stretching my legs.
Ian Pickering 8th April 2016
I fish on large freshwater open lakes and reservoirs in the UK targeting Pike, Perch and Zander. It paddles with ease, tracks really well but also remains manoeuvrable enough to twist and turn around obstacles. The excellent stability, super comfy Element seat coupled with vast amount of deck space make this craft absolutely outstanding for long days afloat.
With so much deck space (due to the fact that there’s no centre hatch) I’m able to permanently lay out my unhooking mat. This is perfect for my catch & release fishing as I can lay the fish on the mat to unhook which reduces the risk of causing any harm to the fish or me! The high gunwales that feature on this kayak also reduce the risk of the fish escaping, this is really handy when measuring a fish during a competition.
The versatile Element seating system gives you that stability while seated, yet can be folded away for standing and casting. The seat has two positions, high or low. I however only use it in the low position.
Old Town Predator 13- Review
I collected the Predator 13 in March of this year and have had many successful and comfortable trips on her. The main question I get asked when people see it is “Is it heavy?” Well, yes, it is heavier than most kayaks at 39kgs, but like the OK Ultra 4.7, the weight is perfectly balanced 50/50 when lifting using the solid handles. It hasn’t.... READ MORE
Ocean Kayak Big Game 2- Review
The Ocean Kayak Big Game 2 is one of the most stable kayaks produced by Ocean Kayaks. It's 12' 9" long or 3.9m and 34" or 86.4com wide. It comes brimming with features inc glide track foot brace system, oversized tankwell, large bow hatch with click seal cover, mod pod centre hatch, built in carry handles and paddle keeper.
Lets face it you are looking at the BG2 it's the element seat system that draws you toward to such a kayak. The multi position seat provides comfort all day long. The lower position for paddling is as comfortable for long sessions out at sea as it is for still waters and rivers. In the high position it's like sitting in a quality fishing chair, not recommended when there's a bit of chop or strong winds though. If you are into your predator fishing and sight casting the seat hinges out of the way so you can stand and fish, also ideal for fly fishing.
Ocean Kayak say, "The element Seat System featured in your boat sets a new standard for comfort and performance. The frame is constructed of high strength anodised aluminium and weather resistant mesh weave provides a new degree of all day comfort when you're on the water." It describes the seat perfectly and I'll add that the seat also has a built in storage bag on the back with a velcro lid, easily accessible and great for chucking in your lure case or flask when out.
Accessory Mount Plates
Another great innovation with this kayak is the accessory mount plates. Six are placed at strategic points on the kayak allowing to fit all your electronics and rod holders etc without the need to drill into the hull. Accessories are easily moved and the plates appear robust enough to allow changes to configuration and the movement of mounts with ease.
On mine I've fitted the railblaza HD star ports and standard starports to fit camera booms, flag wipe and a navigation light.
On the water
The team have taken the kayaks out on freshwater on the coldest of days, you really appreciate the seat in these conditions. On the British Predator championships on Llangorse lake in the Brecon Beacons the wind was gusting to almost gale force. The kayaks remained solidly stable and surprisingly didn't catch cross nearly so much as you would have expected from such a large hulled craft. There's no denying that a sleeker faster kayak was easier to handle in these winds however it's test amount to the kayak that it remained stable and competent with good tracking despite the weather.
This is not a kayak I would recommend for rough sea forays around headlands such as Flamborough Head unless conditions were perfect. It is easily capable of handling the likes of Swanage, Oxwich and all other bays, estuaries and reasonably assessed inshore waters around the UK. I know Dane paddled his out to the breakwater at Plymouth enjoying a days fishing at that range.
It is perfect for the growing enthusiastic band of fisherman taking to lakes, lochs and canals for freshwater predator fishing. You can while away hours fishing in comfort for course fish on our rivers and estuaries too.
This kayak has a mammoth carrying capacity of 550 to 600lbs or 250-272kgs. On a trip on the River Thames I carried my tent, sleeping bag, stove and enough food and water for a weekends fishing and then added all my fishing gear on top.