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.
 

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