Freedom Hawk 12 Review E-mail
Sunday, 31 January 2010 13:04
Freedom Hawk 12 Fishing Kayak

 

The company calls it the Freedom 12.  It’s the kayak I asked the company to build, sort of.  After using the 14 last winter in Texas I spoke with Dave Hadden about what things I’d like to see to make the concept more viable for a lot of anglers.  Even the improved 14’ kayak was still a bear to load alone so I suggested going to 12’.  That alone would trim some weight.  The kayak with the outriggers deployed drifted backwards.  I suggested it should be designed so they’d be parallel so the kayak would drift bow first.  Also reinforcing the leaning bar and incorporating molded in handles like the Hobie Revo.  I got everything but the handles.  I was able to load the fully assembled kayak onto the roof of my Tundra and also unload it.  Something I found nearly impossible with the old style 14.
 
The folks down at ‘Cast and Blast’ in Texas discovered with the outriggers deployed one could use a canvas seat in the cockpit and paddle fr IMG_0116a_s om this elevated sitting position.  I loved it and that’s the first thing I checked.  I wanted to make sure this attribute worked for the 12.  I can attest that it does.  I’m a bit over 200 pounds and it was very solid.  If you’re a big person then you may wish to opt for the 14.  Standing for me was very secure too but I prefer sitting in the canvas seat because I can paddle the kayak and cover more water while still having excellent vision.  It is much slower to stand and paddle or pole the kayak.  If you go this route the chairs are available at stores like Walmart for $7.00.  I’m 5’9” and a 230cm paddle still worked for me but I would think anglers over 6’ would find a 240 a better choice.

The kayak has a flat bottom for stability and this is the antithesis of a touring kayak.  The 14 paddles better which makes sense as the extra 2’ gives it more glide.  Nobody is buying a Freedom Hawk for paddling.  It’s a standup fishing vessel and does so superbly.

The company thought about this and has added threaded inserts in the bow for mounting a battery box and had Bassyaks design a trolling motor bracket for the stern.  A trolling motor with a tilt feature would allow an angler to propel the kayak using a motor both standing and seated.  That’s what I plan on doing when I get one.

In some places where there are a lot of flats the Freedom Hawk makes a great primary kayak.  In my native northeast it wouldn’t be my first choice but it is the second kayak I’d want in my fleet.  A lot of people I know once they try one will be adding one to their fleet as well.
 

Comments  

 
-5 #1 Guest 2010-02-14 11:48
If one, like you indicated, prefers to sit than stand, why on earth would you buy this thing? Standing, short trips, ok.
 
 
+1 #2 Guest 2010-02-14 21:54
Just fished the 12 and the 14 Freedoms for a couple of days. In gusty winds up to 20, the stability was awesome. For anyone that enjoys sightfishing or just all day on the water, the ability to comfortably stand is incredible. They both paddled better than I would have thought. You gotta try them out.

Louis Conn
 
 
+2 #3 JonS 2010-02-17 10:26
Dixie, I meant sitting in the canvas seat which raises me up a couple feet. This way I can propel the kayak while having excellent vision too. I do stand when I get to a spot I'm going to fish for a while too but the ability to maneuver and see is great while using the canvas chair.
 
 
+1 #4 Guest 2010-04-15 22:55
Hey Jon,
I am looking for a good fishing kayak mostly lake, slow rivers, and lake erie in ohio. If this is your second choice, what is your first.
Thanks
 
 
-1 #5 Guest 2010-06-28 17:30
I have not found the canvas seat and i have been to three walmarts and did find one would someone post a picture of what it looks like this would help if I see one some other place Thank you AL .
 
 
+4 #6 Guest 2010-06-30 12:09
I would like to get a better look at how the canvas chair in the back is mounted. could you provide a picture or two showing the chair and the back of the freedom 12.

Thanks
 
 
0 #7 Guest 2011-05-05 21:27
New to the Freedom Hawk 12 I honestly have to say it's what I've been looking for all my life. At fifty-one years old with back and knee arthritis I can break down and re-assemble the Kayak in fifteen minutes.

I can fish for hours, add a bench and sit when tired, rest and be back up for that special moment.

I wish i bought one years ago.

Trolling motor being added very soon.
 
 
0 #8 Guest 2011-05-06 07:17
Started out with a Victory Blast bass yak. Very little room to maneuver, cramped and difficult to grab stowed gear.

Found a deal on a Freedom Hawk 12 and couldn't refuse. Fishing time extended to all day. Ability to stand or sit and rest is awesome. Stability in standing and fishing is amazing.

Although it doesn't paddle as fast as the Bass Yak I can cover a lot of water easily and confidently.

You have to remember it's a Kayak. Although with the pontoons expanded you can still step in a manner that will cause you to lose your balance.

Just as I did on my first trip and landing a 6lb Bass. Kayak safety rules still apply.
 
 
+1 #9 Guest 2011-05-15 12:53
I have the Hawk 12 Ultra-light, I weight 215, it is rated for 250 so with my gear I Pretty much max it out. Definitely get a bigger boat if you are more than 220lbs....It is very portable... I take off the pontoons and slide it into my 2011 Kia Optima trunk and it rides with a couple feet sticking out the back, the pontoons sit right in beside it, I made a trailer out of a milk crate, ratchet straps, and my wheels from my hand truck and I can get any where. I have landed alot of big bass from my home lake and I sure can stealth up on them in this. I do a combo of standing and sitting but honestly I get in close to the target area and just cast from the seat mostly. It is just plain quiet!!!Before I go into the sea with it I will get a bailing hand pump, IT IS NOT SELF BAILING. I did a capsize drill in my pool with it and there is no way to drain the boat unless you get it back to shore. Over all I like it alot, I will get a longer fishing Yak eventually, It is a good buy in my opinion.
 
 
+1 #10 Guest 2011-05-15 14:59
I have the Hawk 12 Ultra-light, I weight 215, it is rated for 250 so with my gear I Pretty much max it out. Definitely get a bigger boat if you are more than 220lbs....It is very portable... I take off the pontoons and slide it into my 2011 Kia Optima trunk and it rides with a couple feet sticking out the back, the pontoons sit right in beside it, I made a trailer out of a milk crate, ratchet straps, and my wheels from my hand truck and I can get any where. I have landed alot of big bass from my home lake and I sure can stealth up on them in this. I do a combo of standing and sitting but honestly I get in close to the target area and just cast from the seat mostly. It is just plain quiet!!!Before I go into the sea with it I will get a bailing hand pump, IT IS NOT SELF BAILING. I did a capsize drill in my pool with it and there is no way to drain the boat unless you get it back to shore.
 
 
+1 #11 Guest 2011-11-04 22:35
Has anyone used this in shallow salt flats targeting red drum, speckled trout?
 
 
0 #12 stinkmax1 2013-07-19 11:24
I bought the 14' Freedom Hawk over a year ago and i couldn't be happier. The trolling motor is the only way to go.
I'm 6'4 around 230lbs and I am flyfishing the southern
estuaries on Cape Cod. At 65, I like comfort, simplicity and
affordability. Standing while casting at a slow troll, with stripping basket wrapped around the standup bar, I'm in
heaven. great safe boat!
m stearns Barnstable Ma
 

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