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Picture Of The Month

BigFishy with a big springer!

Topic: Big Orange Crush, one year later.  (Read 2819 times)

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  • Rockfish
  • ****
  • A bad day of fishing is still better than a good d
  • Location: Bremerton, WA
  • Date Registered: Sep 2018
  • Posts: 136
It has been a year since I had the Fisha 555 delivered up here in Washington.  I want  to share some of the good as well as some of the, what I refer to as the not so good.

The yak is long, I don't I truly grasped how long it was. It is about 18 feet 2 inches long.  When you load it, you pay attention to what you are doing. Don't rest the yak on the non retractable rudder . The rudder is my one and only major gripe. I hate it! There I said it(Ruddy says it doesn't bother him, and he got used to it) .  Does it make the boat handle better? I am sure it does. But here is the negative, You can't retract it. I got stuck out on a mud flat, not fun at all. the water was passible if I could of retracted but I could not. This, and finding that you tend to want to rest your yak on the rudder when you are loading and unloading, doesn't help the rudder at all.  This has led me to purchase a conventional stern mounted rudder and I will retro that in and tie into the wires already in place for the rudder.

Okay paddling, you will smoke pretty much everyone else who is in a fishing kayak paddle or peddle.  Provided you have a good stroke.  Only type of yaks smokes me, and that is those Sit Inside Sea Kayaks and true surf skis yaks. Even on my best day, eating my Wheaties, they will smoke me hard and fast. It is like being at a stock car track and being king of the hill in your division, till the main event cars come out. This last year I have done maybe a half dozen open water trips between 8-12 miles. That is something I never would of done with that barge of a Hobie Quest.

Stealth's CF Angler Paddle, I bought one, and I like it, it is light, and does make paddling easier, but I think it could be longer. I am not a Surf Skier, and at 6'2"  I would like a longer paddle than what it comes in.

Seating, IMHO you need a seat with this yak. I just haven't dialed in the right one yet for me. Keep in mind I am 6'2" and around 205lbs right now (lost a lot of pounds when home for covid, but half of it came back once I went back to work).

Storage: Yes you can put an 8 foot rod in and its cousin the 8'6" and a 240 cm paddle without issue (I may have had that in 2 pieces, and then again may not have).  Foot pegs...the absolutely tightest foot rest/pegs on the planet. If they ever pop out it is because you did something wrong.

How is it in the swell?  Well I confess I don't have a lot of swell time. But I can tell you of an experience I had one Friday evening. Not far from Bremerton is Illahee state park. I launch there, about a mile across the sound is Bainbridge Island. The tip of Bainbridge Island is known to be a good place for salmon, but you never see to many reports from there. So I decided to check it out. It is about a mile from Illahee. Getting there was easy, but that is when the fun started. The tides were changing, and real quickly I was in a  bad spot, I was about 300 yards off the tip and the water started  boiling, I had to work to stay upright, and paddle my dumb ass out of there.   It was a challenge, as I was now paddling into a tidal current.  What took me 15-20 minutes to get there, took me closer to 1 hour 45 minutes to get back. Had I been in my Hobie, I think I would of been in a Coast Guard/Harbor Patrol boat for the ride back, or ended up paddling to shore.  This adventure gave me a lot of confidence in the yak and its stability under pressure, I never felt like I was going to roll or lose it.  It tracks well and got the job done.

So my final thoughts: If you are thinking of getting one, I would skip the Carbon fiber option.  I cry every time I hear a scrape on a rock, and up here, there is a lot of rocks, shells, concrete boat ramps, and anything else that can make you cringe.  If you are one of those guys who wants every single thing possible, including 27 selfie cams, a BBQ grill, boom box and an Espresso machine, this is not the yak for you. If you like a minimalist approach, you will enjoy this yak.  I made sure to contact Loleta Eric (from NCKA) to get his way of trolling, as you may think you need to have peddle drive (I have nothing against a peddle drive, I just think some of the makers are forgetting that kayaks are lean, not Bismarck sized battle cruisers).  Hook up with someone and try one out, and see if a Stealth will work for you. If you find yourself near Seattle, give me a holler, I am a ferry ride away. Good luck and tight lines.
US Army & Army National Guard Veteran of 34 years
Veteran 36th Infantry Division "The Fighting Texans!," FOB Danger, Tikrit Iraq 2005
Boston Sports Fan since 1967, I have seen the highs, and the lows of Boston sports teams.
aka Kevin