RTM K Largo Review E-mail
Friday, 23 October 2009 16:54

RTm Kayaks


RTM Kayaks K Largo
Length: 13’6” 415cm
Width: 30 ½” 78cm
Weight” 55 lbs 25kg
Capacity: 400 lbs 180kg
 
I had the opportunity to test drive the new K Largo by RTM kayaks. RTM Kayaks has been making kayaks for a long time, with most of their market closer to their home base in France. Looking at RTM kayaks website you will see most of their kayaks are made with a more sleek and performance driven hull designs. The new Key Largo, in my opinion, is a kayak made to compete in the U.S. fishing market. They chose to go after a popular kayak market – that being; the-super-stable-take-anything-along-kayak-made-for-any-sized-paddler-market. Let’s see how the kayak compares with the other kayaks in its class.

RTM

Layout: The K Largo design is all about comfort while fishing, I fished their angler model, which comes with 4-rod holders and a center lure/storage box. Paddle holders are standard on all models. It has 2 smaller 8” screw deck hatches; one behind the seat and one right in front of feet. I am not a big fan of these hatches as most people never get to use them on the water and they are too small to really stow anything of size. One standout feature is the large front hatch; it is more of a hatch within a tank well. The hatch has an opening so you can put your catch in it but also pull the whole thing right out to just leave the tank well open. The kayak is also rigged with an anchor system that is easy to deploy on the water; it uses the bow handle area to control the anchor line and hold the anchor until you chose to drop it. When you are ready to anchor you use the cleats from the seat area..

I am not sure there is a kayak fisherman large enough to push the capacity of this craft; it has tons of freeboard and legroom. The kayak has two forward scupper holes that drain very well but there is no scupper in the seat area. Should you take a wave you have to deal with water all day – not a good thing – but if you don’t take on any water in you will be dry and not have to deal with water leaking up through a scupper leaking, so for calmer waters this is a plus. I suggest keeping a boat sponge handy as it’ll solve the potential problem. The rear tank well is roomy but a bit further back then I like it due to the round hatch space. Mounting accessories will be a breeze as there are areas on both the lower deck and gunnels for Scotty and Ram-Mount accessories.

Stability: As mentioned earlier, this kayak is all about the stability and comfort, a fishing kayak SUV. I easily stood up and looked around from a vertical position. The deck is flat and has a nice area for your feet. I was able to sit comfortably sidesaddle and really able to lean over. The kayak has both good primary and secondary stability.

RTM

Paddling Performance: The kayak tracks well and maneuvers well; even without the optional rudder. I got it up to about 5.3 mph on my GPS, which is not bad for a kayak that’s only 13’6” and has the volume and capacity it does. I cruised comfortably at around 3.5 mph. As you can see the kayak has a slightly upturned bow and stern and it did very well handling some large chop made from boat wakes - It cut right through without any splash coming over. The Key Largo hull does exhibit some hull slap and I felt it even it in some small chop. This could be an issue in fishing areas where you are looking for stealth and staying quiet.

rtm

Final Thoughts: I guess I would say that the RTM K Largo is a kayak that might bridge the gap for those looking for a fishing kayak that has the size and stability to handle any sized paddler with loads of gear but still have some performance. The kayak is well thought out and fishes very well. It is a good all around size and is also manageable out of the water, they list the kayak at 55lbs, I would guess it is actually around 65lbs but still is a good weight to load onto your vehicle.

As we have expressed many times, there isn’t a perfect fishing kayak and there are always going to be compromises. The trick is to figure out what features are really important to you and work from there in choosing a fishing kayak.

 

For more info visit RTM Kayaks: www.rtmkayaks.com

 

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