By Steven Riding
The Intrepid 100X Angler is an extremely light kayak for its size. Coming in at only 18kgs it is easy to load onto the roof racks of the car. The lightness comes from the manufacturing process that utilises RAM-X, a multilayer product with high impact resistance.
After using the kayak in a river with rough sharp rocks, it got some good scratches in the hull. I am planning to be a lot more careful dragging this kayak and may have to carry it over sharp ground. In a river with round smooth boulders I ran down a few small rapids and had some pretty hard impacts and the kayak bounced back. There appeared to be no additional scratches to the hull from fishing in this environment.
As the name might suggest the 100X Angler comes kitted out for fishing. There is an adjustable rod holder mounted at the front of the cockpit. The location is easily reached to put the rod in and out. It is also located so that it is easy to troll on either side of the kayak without the line or rod interfering with the paddle stroke. There are a couple of vertical tube rod holders behind the seat that hold the rod securely for travel, but I do recommend leashing them to the yak to keep them from sinking to the depths if they do fall out.
The seat is moulded into the kayak and has an adjustable backrest. The seat as a whole is very comfy but I need to eat more food and get some more padding on my rear end and this seat has given me the worst case, of kayak numb-bum I have ever had. I rectified this with a piece of foam. There is some very thin neoprene on the seat and I think if I was feeling motivated I could probably cut my foam so it slid under the neoprene and look like a more permanent and professional solution. The back support is excellent. It is adjustable with a couple of straps and fits snuggly across the back offering great support.
Behind the seat is a screw hatch with an attached bag. Perfect to safely store car keys or anything else you do not use while on the water. This is not waterproof so if you need to keep something dry you need a separate dry bag. The well behind the seat is of an ample size to take my ice box and has a couple of elastic mesh straps to hold stuff in there. There are no scupper holes in the well, so any water that gets in there will stay there. So it is another place where you need a dry bag for anything you want to keep dry. There is also a covered hatch at the front of the kayak. Again this is not waterproof but I have found it is a great place for my sounder battery and cables, so it is really useful.
The only modifications I made to the kayak were a few Railblaza mounts for using the CameraBoom 600 and the Sounder and Transducer Mounts. It is possible to mount the transducer into the floor of the kayak but I have found that when I have done this in a sit in kayak the leads and everything become a bit of a hassle around your feet and fishing tackle.
How it goes on the water
The Intrepid paddles very easily and tracks straight. This probably has to do with the hull design, which has quite a large keel at the back of the kayak. It also does not appear to get much of a wiggle while paddling, a problem often experienced with shorter kayaks.
I have found the kayak is pretty stable and have tested this in a couple of different ways. Running down small flowing rapids, the kayak was responsive and easily handled the bumpy water. Wake waves from large boats also did not pose any problems. Being a sit in kayak I would not recommend it for open water where waves may come into the cockpit, filling the hull with water.
There is enough room in the hull between my legs to easily accommodate my Pelican box with my camera inside and a couple of trays of lures. I can easily reach behind me to access my icebox while on the water and did not feel unstable doing so.
When drifting with the tide and wind the yak drifts at an ok angle to cast without having to continuously correct it using the paddle. Correcting a drift is actually pretty easy and the yak is responsive to little movements of the paddle.
Fighting fish from the kayak was pretty easy and as it is short I had no problem moving my rod from one side to the other over the front or rear of the kayak while hooked up. Landing fish either by pulling them into the kayak or using a net did not pose any problems either. The vertical rod holder behind the seat is a great place for your net and it is readily available when required.
I have been extremely happy while using this kayak and getting to know it. It’s light weight is definitely one of the major positives and ultimately it is great to fish and film out of, which for me is why I go kayaking.