The New Moken 12.5 E-mail
Written by Tony Hart   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 13:59

P1130008It’s not an understatement to say that I was anxious to try out the new Moken 12.5 from Feel Free Kayaks. I could tell that a great amount of thought and time was put into the layout of the kayak. The design of the kayak is made with the kayak angler in mind. The Moken 12.5 is definitely a kayak made for fishing, and its subtle features make a day out on the water chasing your favorite species of fish that much easier and enjoyable. While every kayak angler has their own preferences regarding what makes a great kayak, here are my thoughts on this new Moken line of kayaks from Feel Free Kayaks.

First Glance

The deck layout of the kayak is extremely appealing to the eye. Several hatches provide for easy access to the guts of the kayak, and the center hatch offers the angler dry storage or the ability to make a rod pod. The slide track system gives the angler the ability to put rod holders or other accessories in different positions. The rear storage area has ample room for a tackle bag, cooler, and or milk crate. The lines of the kayak are clean, and with several color options, these kayaks definitely have the Wow factor.

Hatches

There are three hatches on the kayak. First, on the front is an oval hatch with a 3 point lockdown, which ensures a watertight water seal. The area is large enough to easily slide rods into the inside of the kayak for transportation or storage. The center hatch is long and slender, and opens away from the angler on a hinge offering easy access to dry storage for cell phones, keys, lures, pliers, etc. The center hatch can also be cut out to store rods and access the inside of the kayak. In the rear cargo area is another smaller hatch offering access to the inside of the kayak from the rear. A small gear bag can easily be added for keeping small items secure.

25.5in redfish Cockpit

The cockpit of this kayak is easily its best feature. The slide track on each side of the kayak offers the angler the ability to move rod holders or other accessories to desired positions. The center hatch is positioned to give the angler easy access to storage and locks down to prevent water entering the storage area. The standing platform is between the seat that the center storage tank, and is cushioned to allow an angler to stand for long periods of time without fatigue or pressure to the feet. There is also a mesh side pocket on each side next to the seat for storage close at hand accessories such as pliers or a fish grip. There’s plenty of leg room so the angler doesn’t feel cramped.

Seat

All Moken kayaks come standard with the high quality seat Kingfisher seat. The high back offers plenty of support for long days on the water. The bottom of the seat is cushioned at an angle and provides all day comfort. I’ve spent long hours on the water with this seat with no numbness in the rear whatsoever.

Rear Storage

The rear storage area has ample room for a cooler bag, tackle bag, and/or milk crate. There is a strap on each side of the rear storage area for securing a cooler or milk crate. The straps keep your milk crate or cooler securely locked down, but are a little on the long side. I have found putting something to raise the height of the crate or cooler will alleviate that issue. There is also a cargo net, which is also on a slide track system, allowing for moving the bungees in several different positions for securing gear or simply moving out of the way. Each Moken 12.5 comes with a flush mount rod holder on each side, but has ample room available to add 2 more flush mount rod holders to each side, or some other accessory.

P1200068

Stability

The stability of the kayak is quite good for its width. The kayak sits well in the water and I felt no fear of tipping from the sides. Standing up in the kayak is a fairly easy process, and each kayak has an attach point for a stand up leash to assist an angler in reaching a standing position. Standing on the kayak takes a little getting used to, but offers the angler an extra sight advantage for tracking fish. This platform is positioned perfectly to get the angler in a comfortable position and keep balanced.

Additional

Every Moken kayak comes with the “wheel in the keel” which offers the ability to move the kayak to the water without the need for a kayak cart. I’ve found that the wheels works great on a variety of surfaces to include grass, dirt, pavement, hard-packed sand or gravel.

Another useful feature is the “smart track” rudder. I have been extremely pleased with the rudder system that Feel Free employs on their Moken series. With most rudders on kayaks, you lose the stability of the foot pegs. The Feel Free rudder system gives you the stability of the foot pegs being stationary with a “toe” pedal on the top of the foot peg being used to control the rudder system.This makes paddling and controlling the rudder all the more easier. Even when wearing waders with boots, the rudder system is still easily controlled.

Overall

I have been very pleased with not only the layout of this kayak, but also its maneuvering and performance. It paddles extremely well, and tracks as well as any kayak I have ever paddled. The kayak has clean lines, which make it a breeze to paddle whether on calm days or in rough weather. There are many color options, which only add to the allure of these kayaks.

The handles on the kayak are molded which alleviates the worry of dry rot, or breaking when carrying the kayak and damaging the kayak. I would like to see a handle added near the rear of the kayak, but that can be an easy fix with the addition of a handle kit from any kayak accessory retailer. The rear of the kayak does have molded openings on each side just underneath the kayak that is used for a tandem carry. The layout of the kayak will suit any angler out there, and the ability to add accessories with ease will make this one of the premiere fishing kayaks on the market.

 


 

TonyHart Tony Hart is an avid kayak angler from NE Florida. He is currently on the Pro Staffs for Feel Free Kayaks, Saltwater Assassin, Accent Paddles, MTI Adventurewear, Yak Gear, and Overboard Fishing Rods. Tony is also part owner of Overboard Fishing Rods, and owner of River City Kayak Fishing, a guided kayak charter service in NE Florida. Tony spends his free time sharing his passion of kayak fishing with his 2 small sons.

 

 

 

 

 

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