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I’m a simple girl with simple tastes. I want a clean, open, deck and a boat that’s stable and maneuverable. I spend a lot of time on smaller river systems hunting bass and not as much time on windswept flats or lakes. Ready for a second boat and having logged scads of time in my Coosa, I was looking for a kayak that was nimble, could cover water quickly if asked and was easy to throw on top of my car for a lunchtime paddle/fish venture.
I eyeballed the Cruise. The ability to customize what I wanted and *where* I wanted it appealed greatly to me – here was a blank slate! I paddled both the Cruise Angler 12 and 10. The 12 was a quicker at ‘full speed’ and tracked a little straighter than its 10’ counterpart, but. Stability when standing and maneuverability being more important to *me* made the 10 an easy choice.

The Cruise Angler 10 comes equipped with thumb screws predrilled and ready to receive the 1.5” RAM Tough Ball in any of several likely positions. Also outfitted with a RAM 2007 Rod Holder (good for a spinning rod rig), my first purchase was a mate for the Tough Ball. From this I added a RAM Tube Jr for my baitcasting outfits as I generally only have one spinning rod on my kayak for crappie or other light-action lure riggery.

Next up: a resting spot for my rods when repositioning. They need to be immediately in front of and easily accessible, so I added a set of rod holders to my deck. A triple rod rack drilled and bungeed to my crate yielded three bonus spots to get rods out of my way; a pool noodle around the base of my (floating!) Vivitar monopod secures my GoPro behind me in the bungees that wrap around my crate. An extra length of pool noodle is tucked beside my four 3600 Series Plano boxes that reside under my seat for holding lures after cutting them off allowing them to dry before storing them in their boxes (two crankbait boxes, one jig box, one spinnerbait box – suppose I don’t seem like such a simple girl anymore). Rubber pipe insulation soundproofs the underside of my bump board and also serves as a place for me to tuck my paddle when I’m met with windy conditions.
Speaking of windy conditions – the Cruise sits relatively high in the water. This is great for whisking across a body of water with a quickness but not necessarily so great when you want to park and work in the wind. Being a park-and-work kinda girl, I needed an anchoring solution. I added a ¼” screw eye to my front handle and ran a traditional drag chain rig (via dog leash) off the front of the Cruise. The body of the leash rests flush with the metal stand-assist strap receiver on the deck. Downside? I have to climb nearly onto the front hatch to retrieve my anchor. Upside? With a hull wider than the Coosa and at a foot shorter, this is a *stable* boat.
Most importantly, my Cruise 10 Angler positions me to catch fish, and that’s what we’re all after, right? Quick adjustments to the ever-changing water I’m working are paramount, and my Cruise does a terrific job of that. There was indeed a learning curve involved in figuring my center of gravity in the Cruise vs the Coosa, but that’s the case with *any* new boat. Since figuring *that* out, I’ve learned to trust this nimble beast. I’ve also learned that ‘clean’ and ‘simple’ translate to ‘well –thought-out’ and ‘yay!’