- Heavy-Duty construction
- I wanted to write a quick letter describing my experience with the FK396 fishing inflatable kayak that I purchased last June. We have been using an inflatable kayak for the last four years. We purchased a Sea Eagle 330 to take with us in our fifth wheel trailer as we traveled full time around the country for approximately three years. Although the Sea Eagle did a satisfactory job most of the time, we found it wanting in several areas. I like to fish in everything from small rivers and ponds to large lakes and even inshore ocean bays. I was looking for a heavy duty inflatable that I could easily mount fishing accessories to and even possibly a trolling motor. My search took me to the boatstogo.com website where I found just what I was looking for. I must admit I was extremely skeptical when I saw the low price on what seemed to be a very high quality boat. I had seen similar boats advertised for at least twice the price but the specifications and the reviews I read convinced me to give the FK396 a try.
We received our kayak in June of 2010 and I set about rigging it with a fish finder and pole holders and I made a dolly to transport it. All this was made extremely easy due to the many attachment points ( D-rings) and the aluminum platforms (seats) front and back. I was pleasantly surprised by how heavy duty this boat is and the high quality of construction as compared to my Sea Eagle and I was anxious to get it in the water. In July of 2010 we left on an extended trip to the northwest. Our first chance to use our new boat was in the Bend/Sunriver, OR area. We kayaked down many miles of the Deschutes River as well as the Little Deschutes and put the boat in several of the local lakes. The first thing I noticed was that this kayak is built like a tank. It is extremely stable for a kayak. I am over 250 pounds and I can stand up in the boat without fear of capsizing. The wide stance of the boat gives a great sense of security and the boat tracks very nicely downstream. I turned the boat around and paddled upstream for about a quarter mile just to see how it paddled against the current. Although it is not as fast as my smaller Sea Eagle, I found I really didn’t give up very much in speed for the extra size and stability of this boat. I met a river guide on the Deschutes River who examined the boat and said it was easily as well built as the boats he uses on guided trips on up to class three or four whitewater.
After three weeks in Bend, OR we moved on to Couer d Alene, ID where we spent a month using the boat almost every day on most of the local lakes and rivers. We used the FK396 on clam water, rough water, upstream and downstream and caught many fish out of this boat. After a summers worth of heavy use I am still very pleased with my purchase and I am apparently not the only one. I am constantly being stopped by fellow RV’ers who, like myself, is looking for a good, strong fishing platform that is still easily portable. The strength and durability of this boat is very apparent. I had this boat inflated for three weeks in Oregon and a month in Idaho and I never had to add air. Compare this to my Sea Eagle that needs to be topped off literally every time you use it. While using my Sea Eagle, I have gotten several punctures from sharp fish hooks over the years. This last summer I struck the FK396 with the same type lures that had caused punctures in my Sea Eagle and I saw no damage at all to my FK396. My next step is to mount a trolling motor and that project is currently underway. I can’t wait to try it out this spring.