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The Big Rig has been the most anticipated kayak of 2014 for myself as well as many others, but as with all new to the market kayaks there are allot of questions that can’t be answered until it is on the water. One of these questions was the overall size of the kayak. The first feature that brought up questions was its width. Coming in with a width of 37 inches it would be one of the widest kayaks I had ever paddled. I also had questions about some of the new features of the kayak and how they would work in real world fishing situations. On Sunday I finally got a chance to answer some of those questions for myself. When I arrived at Chickamauga Lake in TN I was greeted by wind gust of 15mph and white caped waves. The wind was blowing straight into the ramp and I knew I would get the chance to really put the Big Rig through her paces in some tough conditions.

As I paddled out with the stern pointed into the wind I got a little pre occupied with looking around at the features of the kayaks deck. When I looked up I realized that I was cruising at a fairly decent speed straight into the wind. It almost felt like I was paddling a Cuda 14 the way it was smoothly cutting through the chop. This answered a few questions for me. I had two rods stored in the rod troughs and with my new 260cm paddle I was able to easily paddle without banging my hands or the paddle on the sides of the kayak or my rods. I am really impressed with not only the way the kayak handles, but also the new rod troughs. When I kayak fish I tend to leave multiple rods stacked in front of me that eventually end up being in the way. The rod troughs enabled me to keep the rods protected and out of the way while still being within easy reach. I will even go as far as saying they are my new favorite feature of the Big Rig.

At this point it was time to start fishing so I turned her around and paddled to an island. Turning the Big Rig is almost as easy as turning a Coosa. A couple paddle strokes and you can make an easy 180. Since the Big Rig was so easy to turn I decided to see how she drifted while fishing. I set the Big Rig up to drift with the wind blowing on the port side. The Big Rig remained true in her drift and did not spin on me the entire trip down a one hundred yard bank.

Once I got to the end of the island I saw a good opportunity to test some of the Big Rigs other features. The island was acting as a wind block and there was fairly calm water on its backside. The first thing I wanted to try was the new stand assist bar. To my dismay I realized I had left the bar secured with the bungee near the front handle. So in a first test of the Big Rigs stability I grabbed the stand assist strap and crawled to the front of the kayak. I was able to unhook the bungee and insert the pins into the legs of the stand assist bar without ever feeling like I was in danger of tipping or falling out. After easing back into the seat I figured it was all or nothing so I grabbed the strap and stood up with no problems at all. After I stood up I walked my way forward to the rail and was able to stand, cast, and make adjustments with my paddle while never feeling the least bit unstable.

The Next day I decided to let my Father-In-Law Don give the Big Rig a try while I took out my new Jackson Kilroy. My Father-In-Law is sixty-nine years old and has never felt comfortable enough in a kayak to stand and has often had trouble getting in and out of them. As we started to paddle out Don’s first comment was how easy it was to get into the Big Rig and how stable he felt. After a long day fishing Don decided to try and stand for his first time. He was able top pop up out of the seat and fish with no problems what so ever. He also was able to land a nice 6-pound bass just a couple minutes after standing for his first time. After returning to the ramp Don’s could not stop talking about the Big Rig’s stability, ease of getting in and out, and the new Lower Back Jack Lumbar support. At this point I am afraid he will want to fish out of the Big Rig every time we go out. It may be time to order another!