Railblaza sponsored UK angler Ian Pickering (Ocean Kayak UK Fishing Team) has been putting his thinking cap on and applying a little DIY to make use of his Railblaza accessories on the Old Town Predator 13 fishing kayak. The Predator 13 comes with mount plates fitted to the gunnels, which allow the mounting of accessories without the drilling of holes into the kayak. Ian has used these plates to recess mount the Railblaza StarPort. Here’s what he had to say:
The mounting plates fitted to the Old Town Predator and Ocean Kayak Big Game II are a fantastic idea. No holes to be drilled in the kayak and you can change your mind as often as you like without worry. I’ve started off by fitting a star port to the left hand forward plate. If I change my mind I could rotate the plate 180 degrees to move it further forward or even swap it with another position.Very versatile.
Our first shipment of the newly revamped Prowler Big Game II has landed at ACK and I gotta say, this ‘yak is slick! Ocean Kayak has taken a note from sister company Old Town and integrated a number of features from the new Predator kayak into their 2014 version Prowler Big Game II. This includes things like mounting brackets and the high/low Element Seating System.
You can tell right off the bat that this kayak is meant for big stability and comfort. It’s got stern stringers designed to carry volume in the rear of the kayak and plenty of convenient features like the easy to adjust Glide Track foot braces, paddle keepers and new comfort carry handles.
It’s also a ‘yak meant to hold your gear. Between the Mod Pod center hatch and 6 strategically placed mounting brackets, there’s plenty of ways to mount after-market accessories like Scotty, Ram and YakAttack. Couple that with a weight capacity of 550-600 lbs and you can imagine that the Prowler Big Game II will hold just about anything you can think of.
Watch Mike Garcia give a run down of the new Prowler Big Game II at our booth at the Austin Boat Show:
The Predator 13 and Predator MX, from Old Town Canoes and Kayaks are sleek and innovative fishing platforms that offer a lot of great features for kayak anglers of all types. Saltwater bays and marshes, open ocean, freshwater lakes, streams, rivers, or small ponds, the Predator kayak can do it all. What is the point of offering two different models, you might ask? Well, let’s take a look at both boats and focus in on some distinguishing characteristics and differences between the two new models.
Designed for Larger Bodies of Water – With an elongated bow keel line, the Predator 13 is able to take on the more adverse conditions you may encounter on larger bodies of water, such as larger wind chop or surf, due to its superior tracking ability. Large lakes, bay systems, and the open ocean are the perfect playing grounds for the Predator 13.
Rod Pod Storage Hatch – This elongated hatch that is found in the front deck space is only found on the Predator 13 and is designed to give you the ability to stow away smaller rods and reels while out on the water. The top of the hatch offers multiple mounting locations for electronics, rod holders and other accessories.
Large Bow Hatch – A perfect place to store larger items that you’d like to take with you on your trips. It is fairly easy to take off the hatch and store items such as tents or folding camp chairs in the large cavity found in the Predator 13’s bow.
Rudder Capable – To help increase the performance of the Predator 13 on larger bodies of water, you have the ability to mount a rudder on the rear handle. With this essential piece of equipment, it will be much easier to tackle strong crosswinds and currents that you can experience in wide open areas. The Predator 13 Rudder Kit is available at ACK.com.
Designed for Smaller Bodies of Water – Unlike the Predator 13, the Predator MX does not feature the elongated bow keel line that is needed for those long paddles on large, open areas. Instead, the MX has a more rounded hull that helps make it more maneuverable on bodies of water that are smaller and have more moving water. Small lakes, gentle rivers and streams are where this boat shines.
Uncluttered Deck Space – With nothing on the floor of the deck, you will find a large space to move about freely and stand facing whichever direction you care to without having to be mindful of anything tripping you up.
Maneuverability – At only 12 feet long, the Predator is perfect for navigating tight quarters where the ability to turn easily can be key. Couple the shorter length with the rounded hull design and you have a kayak that can pretty much explore all the little nooks and crannies you always wanted to access, and still be able to turn around and get back out easily.
As similar as these two boats are, they are still two very different kayaks suited to various types of fishing and water bodies. No matter what conditions are out there, you can rest assure that one of these two awesome new fishing kayaks will tackle whatever you throw at them!
Unveiled earlier this month, the Old Town Predator kayak has been turning heads in the kayak fishing community. I recently sat down with Steve Messana, co-owner & president at ACK.com, and spoke with him about his recent opportunity to play a unique role in the development of the new kayak.
Is this the first time you’ve been involved in product development with a manufacturer?
This wasn’t the first time a manufacturer has reached out to us at ACK.com to help give feedback about an upcoming product. People here have been involved multiple times in multiple ways and I personally have helped on a few. Usually it’s the boat manufacturers that get retailers like ourselves involved and sometimes that means they ask a couple of questions about things like what features we’d like to see and other times we’re asked to play a bigger role in the process. This particular project was probably the most involved I’ve been in any development projects.
How did the process work exactly?
It started off with a conference call about a year ago with a mix of retailers, pro-staffers and the Johnson Outdoors R&D team. They gave us a short presentation about the idea for the Predator and fielded some initial Q&A about the purpose of the kayak & basic features. After another meeting and a few prototype mock ups, they invited us out to test an actual prototype against similar kayaks already in the market. In the end, the process was about how they could pack as much fish-ability into the Predator as possible.
As an ACK representative, what were you able to bring to the table?
There were a number of retailers involved so that they could get different views from different areas around the country. We were unique in that we span both the open water market and inland lakes & fisheries. So a lot of our customers are using kayaks that might be designed for the coastal fisherman on bodies of freshwater or vice versa. As a result we’ve received a lot of feedback over the years about what’s different between the bodies of water and how certain models perform. Things like getting through surf versus paddling calm flat water or going beyond the breakers versus fishing on a moving river, so that’s really what we brought to the table.
What was Old Town able to glean from the feedback?
A lot the features that came out of the discussion are not really surprising. It was the high/low seat option which we hear resoundingly from our customers that they want and then there was a number of other things like having an open deck area to stand comfortably in the boat and the positioning of the scupper holes so you’re not worried about tearing your scupper tubes up in moving water going over rocks or oyster bars.
We talked a lot about trying to balance stability with something that still performs really well, in terms of speed & tracking, especially in flat water where wind can become an issue. In a big wide open lake where you have wind blowing in your face you want really good performance without your stability suffering too much. It’s a trade-off but it’s about finding the right mix. I can’t speak for the designers on what the actual trade offs were but in my eyes it’s turned out to be a great blend of stability without the tracking noticeably diminishing.
What differentiates the Old Town Predator kayak from other fishing kayaks?
On a feature by feature basis, you can probably find most of the features on other kayaks. But I think what the Predator does is really well is bringing all of the features together: you have stability, an open deck where you can stand up and flip the seat out of the way, the option to replace the seat with a cooler if you want a standing deck, multiple paddle rests, a place for your stake out pole, a very easy to use hatch, a center pod that’s got great rigging ability, a place to mount a trolling motor and a lot of locations for mounting rod holders that also have Starboard to prevent drilling directly into the kayak. It’s brought together all these great features that are maybe on five or six different boats and put them all onto one.
What feature do you think people should be most excited about?
I really like the high-low seat and that’s something our customers have really loved on other models like the Slayer & Pro Angler. What makes the Predator’s seating system so cool is that it will actually flip it out of the way to add extra standing area.
What kind of kayak anglers will most appreciate the Predator?
Any angling customer looking for a feature-rich kayak should check out the Predator. It’s not an inexpensive kayak, so it’s not necessarily for the guy who just wants to try it out for the first time. It’s really for the customer who know’s what they want and understands the importance of the features in the boat. In regards to whether they’re taking it to lakes, rivers or bays – I think it’s well suited for any of those locations.
When will the Predator be available for purchase?
We’re already accepting pre-orders for the Old Town Predator 13 kayak and the Predator MX kayak and we’re expecting to have them in stock sometime in July, likely sometime between the middle to end of the month. We’re going to be getting our hands on one even earlier than that so keep an eye out for more photos and maybe even video footage when we do.
Who Can Say No to a Little Kayak Fishing for a Good Cause?
ACKer’s Chris Hackerd, Andrew Moczygemba & Brock Nedland have set course for Port Aransas today with plans to tackle some coastal fishing in the Casting for a Cause Fishing Tournament that starts tomorrow (June, 28th). The volunteer-driven event has grown to become the premier charitable fishing event in the Coastal Bend of Texas and last year had 160 kayak anglers participate out of a total of 500 anglers.
Forming Team Austin Kayak, the guys have put all hands in; working together to come up with a strategy for this event. After reading over the Hook-n-Line fishing maps for the area and consulting with fellow kayak anglers who have experience in these waters like Fil Spencer (who ironically will most likely be fishing in the tournament as well), they’ve got the best fishing spots mapped out and ready to go.
An Old Town Predator 13 just arrived for us to play around with before the truckloads are sent out to retailers. I must say, sometimes it pays to be in the business and this is definitely one of those times. Thanks Old Town!
Old Town Predator 13 Looking Good at the ACK Warehouse
Unwrapping it is too exciting to keep to ourselves, so we thought you guys might enjoy it if we shared a few pictures. Check them out!
After finishing up at the Houston Boat Show this past Sunday, it was time to go have a little fun on the water. I had been eyeing and slightly drooling over the new Old Town Predator 13 kayak that has been on display in our Houston store this past week. With advertisements boasting it’s user friendliness and stability, I figured there is no better way to find out if it is true than to take it for a test drive myself.
First Impression of the Predator 13 Kayak
Right off the bat, I was impressed that that rumors of the Predator 13 being a very quiet hull were true. Moving into the cockpit area, the layout was very well designed. The seat DID NOT block the mod pod hatch which allowed me easy to access to my gear in both the low or high position. Also, the side mounts were close enough for me to reach without obstructing my paddle stroke. One thing I did feel it was missing were brass inserts for an anchor trolley similar to what you find on the Ocean Ultra 4.7, however, it was overall a very nice set up.
Beyond Expectations for Stability
Standing at 6’1” and 230 lbs., I must say I was most excited about the kayaks stability. It was easy for me to fold up the seat and get it out of the way, letting me stand and move around quite comfortably. Putting it through a true test, while kneeling I pulled a loaded Yeti Tundra 45 from the rear tank well and place it where the seat normally goes. I was then able to sit sideways on the cooler and even stand up on it and paddle. After paddling for a while, I can tell you that you will definitely not win a race with this boat. However, I am willing to give up a little bit of speed for the added stability. In my book, the Predator 13 definitely gets an A+ for stability.
To sum it all up… I can truly say I was blown away by this kayak. Other than a few additional features that would have been added bonuses, the overall layout design, stability and smooth paddling make the Predator 13 Kayak top notch. Way to go Old Town!!!!
For those interested in purchasing the Predator, we are currently accepting pre-orders online or via any of our locations and expect to have them sometime near the end of July.
If you’ve been keeping up with Old Town’s unveiling of their new kayak fishing machine, the Predator, you’re probably like us and ready to see it hit the water. Well, your wish just came true! Old Town & their parent company, Johnson Outdoors, have brought together some of their top kayak anglers around to put this new ‘yak to the test.
Experience The Action
The video features Randy Vining, a Georgian pro-staffer who describes the Predator as being “like standing on the deck of a bass boat.” He proceeds to seamlessly transition between sitting & standing as he casts and catches. Check it out!
The suspense has been killing us here at ACK! We have been excited for the unveiling of Old Town Canoes & Kayak’s “New Predator on the Water” and we’re definitely not disappointed. It just so happens that ACK will be one of the first retailers to get these bad-boys in stock, so pre-order the Predator MX or Predator 13 so you can get it in the water ASAP!
Old Town, Maine (June 13, 2013)Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, one of the most storied brands in the paddlesports industry, today launched the new Predator kayak. Developed in combination with Old Town’s renowned designers and pro staff members throughout the country, the Predator is completely engineered, below and above the waterline, to deliver the perfect platform for fishing.
The Predator brings anglers closer to the water and the action with nearly unlimited options to customize the kayak around their specific equipment and unique needs. Featuring six strategically-placed, removable mounting plates, the Predator enables consumers to install rod holders, GPS units, fish finders, cameras and more virtually anywhere around the boat without drilling into the hull so they can tailor the craft for their personal style.
The Predator boasts standout features including the three-stage Element™ seating system that can be lowered for paddling, raised for fishing or even flipped out of the way in stand-up mode for poling, sighting and casting. The proprietary, slip resistant Exo-Ridge™ deck is designed for sure footing and superior drainage, while the Tri-hull construction provides both incredible durability and stability. A package unique in the marketplace, the Old Town Predator ensures anglers can paddle in comfort, arrange equipment to their exact specifications and even stand to fish.
“In designing and building the Predator, we set out to turn convention upside down and deliver a totally new fishing experience,” said David Hadden, Old Town Brand Director. “The Predator still delivers the stability and comfort kayak anglers demand, but the ability to customize this kayak to your specific needs, and adjust it on the fly as your needs change, helps set it miles ahead of the competition.”
The Predator possesses a large capacity center console for maximum storage and additional mounting options, while dual rod tip holders at the bow help store valuable fishing rods safely and securely. Other key features include a large bow hatch with Old Town’s patented Click Seal cover, scupper holes for quick drainage, large rear tank well with Exo-Ridge design to keep gear accessible and dry, paddle keepers, adjustable foot braces and side-mounted rod retainers that allow for convenient grab and cast.
The Predator is tailor made to accept aftermarket options like Scotty™ outriggers, Steady Stand-Up Bar and a Minn Kota™ trolling motor mount. Available in two new models, Old Town Predator kayaks land at authorized dealers in Summer 2013.