Friday, May 16, 2014

NuCanoe Frontier is a fly fisher's dream

Fly fisher Joe Mahler of Fort Myers lands a peacock bass while fishing out of his NuCanoe Frontier 12.
It's not good to make change for no reason.

As the late Ed Pierce once said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Pierce was the managing editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for many years and was not only a mentor, but also a friend, confidante and a great boss.

I'm sure Pierce didn't coin the phrase. However, no one could say it like the mealy-mouth mumbler from Georgia.

I'm making a change. And for a good reason.

After months of deliberation, I've decided to switch my kayak allegiance to NuCanoe. I talked with NuCanoe owner Blake Young a few days ago and ordered three, 12-foot NuCanoe Frontiers.

I began thinking about NuCanoes last year after fishing out of a Frontier owned by fly-fishing buddy Joe Mahler of Fort Myers. I found the boat has everything I need -- and less.

To understand what I mean, you've got to know from where I'm coming. Too many kayaks these days feature every bell and whistle known to man. There's something for almost everyone, but not everything is for everyone. Most kayaks have features that you'll rarely use. Most you probably don't even want.
But those features are great for marketing -- and great for driving up the price.

I like the NuCanoe Frontier for several reasons: 1. It's simple; 2. It's roomy; 3. It's so stable you can stand up and tap dance on the deck.

The only accessories I will add are anchor trolleys on each and a stand-up bar on my personal boat. I might add a some other frills later.

Mahler sold me on NuCanoe. He's a fly-fisher extraordinaire, and knows full well what he wants in a boat. There are many "fishing" kayaks out there that are deplorable fly-fishing boats. Always remember the golden rule: The fly line will tangle on anything it can.

If you're not familiar with the Frontier, please check it out:

The boat is a hybrid kayak. It's a cross between a kayak and a canoe, hence NuCanoe. It's roomy, well-planned and simple.

I like simple the best.

Now here's something that really appealed to me: NuCanoe's customer service. I ordered my new fleet on May 13. They were packaged and shipped out the next day. According to my UPS tracking number, there's scheduled to arrived at my house May 21.


I'll be rigging them out and fishing next week!

First thing you'll notice about the Frontier 12 is that it's beamy. It's 41 inches wide. But that makes it very stable.

The seats are unbelievable. They swivel 360 degrees. That means you can fish 360 degrees, something you can't do in most kayaks.

One of the neat things about the Frontier is that you can turn it into a tandem (two angler) kayak in a matter of minutes. That will come in handy when taking my wife out or when I want to guide fly fishers on night snook trips.

I've been guiding for eight years. I've been doing this full-time for five years. I've owned  many kayaks over the years. I usually get a new fleet every 12 to 18 months.

What I've found in the kayak industry is that there are some great designers, but most don't fish. They rely on their Pro Staffs for sage advice. That's why we get so many boats with countless bells and whistles.

I think I've found a home.

Home is where the heart is. Home is where you're comfortable.

Thank you, NuCanoe.

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