Nik Brown 15/01/2015 | Posted in Coosa HD, Fishing, Internationalization, Reviews, Uncategorized, United States
Jackson Kayak introduced the Prototype of a new Drew Gregory Signature kayak the Coosa HD, at the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Show. When I first saw the press release I became very interested. Living in TN I have access to many beautiful rivers to fish, but living on Chickamauga Lake, I am primarily a lake fisherman with roughly 30% of my time spent on the River. Until now I have relied on my Jackson Kilroy for any time spent in moving water.
The reason the Coosa HD prototype intrigued me was because of its ability to be trimmed fore and aft while still maintaining the ability to fish in the High and Low position. This feature is possible because of the New Elite Seat 3.0. This feature was the game changer for me. This meant I could trim the seat forward while fishing in flat water, but I could also trim it aft when fishing in my local rivers.
At this year’s Jackson Kayak Dealer Summit in Rock Island, TN I got the opportunity to paddle the Coosa HD prototype for the first time. After spending time with it on the water in both moving current and flat water, I was very impressed. The kayak tracks well with good speed when the seat is trimmed forward, and it maneuvers well when the seat is trimmed aft. What surprised me was the stability of the platform. There are very few kayaks in this world with the kind of stability I experienced with the Coosa HD prototype. As soon as I left the Dealer Summit, I knew I had to have one.
I love living in East Tennessee. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains and water, but most of all I love being just an hour drive away from the Jackson Kayak Factory! Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the factory and pick up my brand new custom color Coosa HD, and a new 65 QT Orion Cooler. It turns out I am one of the first to pick up the Coosa HD, so I decided to share some photographs and information that many people are on pins and needles waiting for.
The Coosa HD comes with many great features not seen on the original Coosa. One of those features is the Rod Tusks. The Rod Tusks are very similar to the Rod Tip Protectors on the Big Rig. They are used to protect your rod tips from anything they may get caught in. After inserting your rod tip into the tusk there are two bungees on each side that allow you to secure your rod. These bungees are arranged in a way that they will be able to accommodate casting, spinning, and fly fishing rods of all sizes.
The next feature is the new-hinged hatches. The Coosa HD comes with three hinged hatches. There is a large Forward Hatch, a Center Console Hatch, and a smaller Rear Hatch. The Forward hatch is now secured by two bungees toward the cockpit area and has a crisscross of bungee to be used to stage your paddle. The Center Hatch is removable to give anglers the choice of having a feature rich console or a obstruction free flat floor. The Center Hatch features a unique line spooling station that can accommodate two or more large spools of line, and a small round sealed pouch hatch. The Center Console Hatch also covers bungees to keep the included Nalgene Bottle out of the sun, a Deck molded Battery Tray, and a Scupper designed for the Raymarine Dragonfly or most transducers. The Rear Hatch is also hinged and secured with a crisscross of bungee that can also be used to lash things to the lid. Both the Front and Rear hatches give access to the inside of the hull, which is great in my book. Many kayak manufactures often leave rear hull access off of their kayaks.
Moving back from the bow the Coosa HD is equipped with the new 2015 Jackson Kayak padded, adjustable foot braces and Yak Attack GearTrac. These foot braces are a big upgrade for 2015, and I look forward to being able to fish and paddle barefoot while resting my feet on the lush new padding. The GearTrac is something that many owners of the original Coosa always wanted. It will give the paddler the ability to mount any number of accessories to the rails of the kayak. On each side of the cockpit there are two threaded inserts with small nylon screws in them. These inserts are to mount the included Buck Knife Splizzors sheath. The Buck Splizzors are an amazing tool that is part scissors and part pliers. They also have many other functions that make them a true multi-tool and a very valuable fishing tool.
This brings us to the feature that attracted me to the Coosa HD, the seat! The Coosa HD comes with a brand new 2015 JK Elite Seat 3.0. This is the same seat used in the new Off Shore Kayak, the Kraken. The seat itself features four pockets. There are three pockets under the seat and one large pouch on the back of the seat. The three pockets under the seat include one in the front center as seen on the previous Elite Seat 2.0, and one on each side that can accommodate the two waterproof Plano 3600 boxes that come with the HD. The best feature of the seating area is the ability to trim the kayak. The Coosa HD has two forward positions and two rear positions. There are two forward and two rear positions for paddling with the seat raised and two for paddling with the seat more low profile. The ability to trim the seat makes the Coosa HD a double threat. In the forward positions the kayak is a very capable flat-water boat that tracks great. In the rear positions the kayak loosens up and increases the paddlers ability to maneuver in moving water situations. All of these trim options are made possible by a unique sliding Cam-Buckle that slides on a piece of Aluminum YakAttack GearTrac.
The Tank Well of the kayak is surrounded by YakAttack GearTrac and is designed to fit the Jackson Kayak JKrate perfectly. It has a crisscross of bungees running across the tank well that are connected to the GearTrac with YakAttack Mighty bolts. This makes them easy to adjust or be removed. The Mighty bolts holding the bungee have threaded knobs on top so the adjustment or removal can be done on the fly, without tools. There are also flush mounted rod holders on each side of the kayak. These flush mounted rod holders are angled toward the rear of the kayak to help protect your rods from low hanging branches. They also feature a deck loop for attaching rod leashes.
Between the Tank Well and the Rear Hatch is a RAM Adapt-A-Post Plunger Base. The kayak comes with one of these plungers on the port side of the kayak and has room to add a second on the starboard side. The RAM Adapt-A-Post Plunger base has many different accessories that can be used with it. The Coosa HD comes with the brand new to the market, GoPro Ready, YakAttack BOOM Stick Camera Pole, and an Articulating RAM Adapt-A-Post mount that works great in the included RAM Plunger Base. The combination of the Boom Stick and the Articulating Adapt-A-Post mount provide almost unlimited options for anglers who like to film their adventures.
The stern of the kayak features dual drag chain shoots that can be set to deploy a drag chain from either the Port or Starboard side. The Coosa HD also includes molded in areas on both side handles to insert a retractable dog leash. The retractable dog leash is used to connect your drag chain or anchor and is routed through deck loops. This gives a very clean setup and keeps the paddler from having to deal with tangles of anchor line. The stern also includes threaded inserts designed for mounting the Power-Pole Micro shallow water anchor system. I prefer the Power-Pole Micro in slow moving or flat water and a drag chain while fishing in current. The Coosa HD gives me the ability to use the option that suits the body of water I am fishing. Another feature on the stern of the kayak is a new replaceable drag plate that is bent at a 90deg angle. This new drag plate will improve the protection of the stern when the kayak is being dragged.
I am very excited about the Coosa HD and all of its new features. Stay tuned for my on the water review coming next week!