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What do you look for in a tournament kayak? Is it stable enough to stand and move around comfortably in? Check. Plenty of storage for tackle? Check. Fast access to rigged and ready rods? Check. Pedal drive that can handle shallow water, rocks, stumps and logs with instant reverse?  Check. Ability to easily add a motor? Check. Easily paddled and maneuverable? Check. Side scan transducer ready? Check. If these are some of your must haves for a kayak to compete in, then the all new Big Rig FD/HD has you covered!

 When I first laid hands on The new Big Rig, it was evident that this kayak was going to be something special. The Team at Jackson Kayak has done a great job of creating a well thought out platform that I feel is going to be just what the tournament kayak fisherman is looking for in a kayak.

One of the first things that stand out is the new pod system which will allow the angler to use one of two systems. In the FD configuration you have the Flex Drive which offers a pedal drive that can retract upon hitting objects which can be disastrous on tournament day when you bend or break your pedal drive. In the future, this pod will also allow the angler to purchase the FD drive and turn their kayak into a motorized kayak with ease. The other option is the HD pod which gives the angler a center storage hatch which will allow storage of tackle or other gear right at your feet.  With this configuration you will have the benefit of hands free rudder control for quick turning and incredible boat control while drifting. This configuration may be just the ticket for those anglers who may already have a trolling motor like the Torqeedo which can be added to the power pole ready stern.

 The other key improvement that I love is the duel horizontal rod storage on both sides allowing four rods to be staged and ready at all times. This design keeps rods from being snagged in trees and caught while casting. If vertical rod storage is what you want, there are two recessed rod holders behind the seat giving you places for six rods total.

 When out on the big water it’s important to have a boat that will be stable during those rough days battling wind and power boat waves.  If you’re looking for stability during rough conditions or the ability to stand, cast or turn in your seat to reach into your tackle crate behind you, this boat has you covered.

Finally, it is the part of the kayak you don’t see which can make the biggest difference in a fishing platform. The hull of this boat was designed for stability and tracking while the addition of the standard rudder makes this big boat turn like a much smaller kayak. Also improved on this hull is the larger transducer scupper located in the center of the boat, under the seat.  This position allows side scan to work without being blocked by the large skeg board of the FD drive.

 I look forward to spending a lot of time this coming year in the seat of this new kayak. I think Jackson hit it out of the park with this boat. Stop by your local Jackson Kayak dealer and give this kayak a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Check out the Big Rig FD and the Big Rig HD!