Chris Ritchie 01/01/2019 | Posted in Fishing, Liska
Every since it’s birth, I have said that the Coosa HD was the ultimate kayak for what I do. It handles incredibly, it paddles well, it’s very stable and it provides a lot of different ways of customization. By all standards, it is a more than competent river fishing kayak. I didn’t think that I would ever have another kayak change my mind as to what my primary kayak would be.
Lets rewind a little. My very first time buying a Jackson Kayak, I bought two. A Cuda 12 for me and a Cruise 12 for my wife. I spent all of my time in the Cuda because it was more of a “fishing kayak” than the Cruise, or so I thought. One day, I went on a float with a friend who was thinking about buying a Cuda 12. I let him use my Cuda and I spent the float in the Cruise. I was amazed at how much I liked the “bareness” of the Cruise. It is, plainly put, a very well built boat. I loved the open, clean deck and I really liked the giant tank-well. It was a blank slate that had all of the important things that a person would want in a fishing kayak but for some reason, no one in the kayak fishing community seemed all that excited about it.
In 2015 the Coosa HD was released. I got rid of my other kayaks and jumped headlong into the Coosa HD world, buying 3 of them. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t like it but thankfully, I did! I loved it! In my first season in an HD I had it on the water over 90 times. You can be on any (non whitewater) river around and not feel under gunned. It’s everything that a river rat could ever want or need. My only two complaints were that the tank-well was a little too small and the rear hatch was so small that I didn’t really have any use for it. I felt like they could have taken the rear hatch out and made the tank-well larger. These things didn’t take away from the overall awesomeness of the HD but they were things that made it a little less effective for me.
At about the same time the Coosa HD came out, I suggested to a few people that I thought a “Cruise HD” would be a huge hit. Keep the simplicity of the cruise but make it a little wider, give it a transducer scupper, make it power pole ready, give it a hinged front hatch and give the seat trimability….all while keeping it budget friendly. In hindsight, they were way ahead of me. When I found out about the Liska I was so excited but I was also cautiously optimistic. It had so much potential to be a huge success but I had serious reservations as to if the design team had the same thoughts as what I had envisioned.
Let me tell you why I love this boat so much, from start to finish. The first thing you notice when you start your day of fishing is the weight of a kayak. This is a kayak that I can easily load into the back of my truck by myself. Once you have this boat down in the water, the stability of the kayak will catch you by surprise! Its rock solid! I can easily reach over the side of the kayak and grab a handful of gravel from the river bottom. One of the great features of this boat is how versatile it is, paddle-wise. Part of that is because of how the boat is made. It naturally tracks very well. However, in a river, you want the boat to turn well. This can easily be adjusted, even while sitting in the seat, by loosening the wing nuts and sliding the seat to accommodate your needs. I sit with the seat almost all the way back and it makes the boat handle perfectly! The front hatch is big enough that I can easily store my tent, pad and sleeping bag and the tank-well is plenty big enough to hold pretty much anything else that I need to take with me. The standing deck is open and clean and the center console is low and not intrusive in any way. The profile of the boat is low so it doesn’t get blown around by wind as bad as others and the top of the gunnels is flat which makes it easy when strapping it down or laying my paddle down. This boat is just plain cool!
Don’t let its “budget build” price keep you from taking this boat seriously as a top tier fishing platform. This boat will exceed your expectations! Go to a dealer and demo one!