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After what seemed like an eternity I finally got my brand new Coosa FD out on the water. Neither the FD nor Lake Erie disappointed. I picked up my yak early last week from The Backpackers shop and was as excited as a kid on Christmas. After a couple turns of an Allen wrench she was locked and loaded! After seeing and unfavorable forecast I decided to wait a day and I’m glad I did. As I pushed off the beach the following day I was greeted by calm waters and a warm southeast breeze. On Lake Erie days like this don’t come along often with such a massive body of water, wind is always an issue.

                The first thing I noticed when pedaling off the shore was the agility and responsiveness of the steering. Second was the stability test, I never stand in my yak on Erie, it’s a big lake with big waves and boats. I stood up and cast my jerk bait and even rode out a couple boat wakes with ease. Hands down my favorite part of the boat was the flex drive, being able to sit on a small drop off or rock pile made all the difference in being able to pick apart these areas. In the past I would catch a fish get blown off the spot then have to find it again wasting time and a lot of paddling. Not so with the flex drive, I was able to stay locked on the spot all day.

              Another huge benefit that became very obvious during this trip was the ability to cover water. It’s been an unusually cool spring throughout the country and with snow just a couple weeks ago it has had anglers and fish alike scratching their heads. Fish seemed to be scattered with some holding deeper others super shallow. I was having to pick apart drop offs and rock piles with a Ned rigged 412 bait co. free minnow and then covering large amounts of water with jerk baits. As the day went on the wind shifted and picked up a bit in typical Lake Erie fashion. With this change I was able to find a good number of fish hugging the shoreline around rocky areas and riprap walls. With the wind now blowing predominantly out of the west being able to comfortable hold position on these areas resulted in some of my best catches of the day.

      I can say going into this I wasn’t all in on a pedal kayak. I love my paddle yaks but after spending a time in the Coosa FD I’m sold. I was able to safely and comfortably stay out when usually I would head in or become frustrated battling wind. The next step is putting it through the ringer on local rivers! I’m excited to see how if performs in some of our small rivers here in Ohio. Where I hope it will again prove me wrong on my thoughts on pedal driven kayaks. I would ask everyone to at least demo this boat, it’s certainly changed my mind!