Select Page

Cuda 12 Illuminati in the moonlight!Jackson kayak recently introduced the new Illuminati series of glow in the dark fishing kayaks.  Before we made the call to go full steam ahead on this project, led by product manager Damon Bungard, Brooks Beatty and I, and others at Jackson Kayak, took the glow boats on the water for some testing to make sure it was indeed going to A.) work and B.) determine if it would be a winner with anglers or not.

We tested the boats in a variety of ways.  On our first trip we decided to fish down a river during the evening and into the night to see how long the “sun’s” charge on the glow boat would last once it finally got fully dark.  A full charge (whether with sun or without) is around 4-5 hours so we knew on this trip we would only have 2.5 or 3 hours of bright glow given the fact that the kayak would stop receiving direct sunlight about an hour and a half before it truly got dark.  So, any time the boat is not getting a “charge” it is giving off its glow and of course very slowly losing it.

Brooks Beatty in the Jackson Kayak Illuminati Coosa The good news is that the boat did glow well after dark for about 2.5 hours.  It was still glowing longer than that, but at that point it just wasn’t as bright.  So, the good and bright glow lasted a total of about 4.5 hours that day with about 2.5 of them being when it was truly dark.  If you ever get stuck out on the water after dark unexpectedly then this will be a safe feature to have on your boat for sure.  And, on the bright side if you just want to stay out until it truly turns dark to get that final light bite then you can feel safe knowing your visible and you can still see things on your deck and function in your kayaks.

Brooks showed how awesome that late evening bite can be when he slimed the Illuminati with a solid lunker bass of about 6.5 lbs.

We did another test where we “charged” the kayak with headlights and/or a bright spotlight while it was already dark.  For those who intentionally fish at night, or want to get out an hour or two before daylight,` this is the way to go because the second you cut the headlights off and put your boat on the water you instantly are seeing the boat at its brightest point and you’ll have several hours of super bright glow, with a couple more hours of average glow brightness as well.  Seeing items on your deck, even tying knots or unhooking fish were possible.  The darker the environment, the better!  If you have a full moon or city lights nearby it is still clearly evident the boat is glowing, but it will not appear as bright when you have any other light sources around.  However, while in the boat the glow in these environments the benefits of the glow are useful as you can see your pliers, boga grips, net, scissors or whatever else you keep on your deck.

Another thing Brooks did on that initial test to make it REALLY GLOW is put a headlamp or any kind of light inside the hull of the boat.  Due to the translucent nature of the glow boats a light inside will make you shine like Casper!  This is one of the favorite ways to fish out of the boat and if you are looking to attract large numbers of bait fish, this is the way to go!  Pull out the cast net and load up on bait – booyah!!

One of the main things I like about the boat has nothing to do with the benefits of the glow, but simply the unique experience it gives you on the water.  I never once come away from a trip in the Illuminati feeling disappointed because it is so cool to be on a glowing boat!  I can only imagine what my niece and nephew are going to think the first time they get in one at night!

During the day the boat basically looks white, but it is a milky or translucent white color.  I actually love this “lighter, clean look” in the day.

lluminati Coosa running rapids

The series is offered right now in the Coosa, Cuda 12, Cuda 14 and Big Tuna and is an additional $200 at your local Jackson Kayak Dealer.

Be sure to always check your local lake or coast guard regulations about whether or not you do need an additional light to be seen on the water where you fish.  Also, although night fishing can be productive, cooler in the summer, and a unique experience, be sure to keep the gear and rods/reels to a minimum to avoid the chance of a mishap while on the water.  We truly hope you enjoy the Illuminati series and that it makes your night time fishing experience even better than it already is!

Chris Funk showing off the Illuminati!


Illuminati Cuda 12 under the stars!Big Thanks to everyone at Jackson Kayak who had a part in making this series happen!

Drew Gregory