Following the Richmond Fishing Expo, Jim Hager of FeelFree Kayaks left the FeelFree Lure 11.5 Fishing Kayak with us. I was anxious to take it out. That's when the winter cold snaps started rolling across the East Coast. The weather has not been very cooperative. The one ideal day, weather wise, I arrived at Briery Creek Lake to find this situation.
So, I only got the Lure in the water one day, for 3 hours, a couple days prior. It was a windy, cold, overcast day and I didn't have much luck, but I did get to test the kayak out a bit.
The Gravity Seat shown in these photos is a prototype and I understand that the production model will be a little more stylish. Here is a video, by FeelFree, showcasing that seat.
The seat has been the main focus of the hype surrounding the Lure. I found the seat to be extremely comfortable and very easy to adjust while on the water. The Gravity Seat adjusts in 1"in. increments, for a total of around 10 different positions. The kayak remained stable in every one of them. Of course, when your center of gravity is raised, you lose some stability, but the highest positions are meant for casting/ fishing a spot, not paddling to it.
Standing in the Lure was a cinch. The standing platform has great traction and the kayak feels solid under foot. I used the stand assist strap to raise and lower the seat as well as to stand and sit back down. I felt secure of foot, even with the wind blowing.
I also got to check out the FeelFree Uni-Bar, which I did not anticipate liking, but in fact did appreciate. I liked the dashboard nature of the Uni-Bar and it gave me increased options for GoPro camera angles.
How did it paddle?
The FeelFree Lure 11.5 is a solid kayak and super stable. I see the Lure 11.5 and 10 as being great river kayaks and good bass lake kayaks. When I first got in the Lure, with winds gusting, my stern was blowing around, but it probably had more to do with me sitting up high with the White BlackPak behind me. My gear and I were catching wind.
The seat and the standing platform sell this kayak. It's very maneuverable and tracks adequately, without the rudder deployed. When you drop the rudder (not standard) it of course improves the glide. Ultimately, the fishing experience out of the Lure is top notch. It really is a very comfortable and stable platform. I loved the wide open deck space and the plush seating. In my neck of the woods, this would be an excellent Briery Creek Lake rig, hunting largemouth or a James River kayak, catching smallies.
We should have the FeelFree Lure 11.5 kayaks in stock VERY SOON. The 10 foot version will be out shortly after and they look pretty tight as well.
The Cannon Wave Slider Paddle is the perfect fit for this kayak. It adjusts from 230 to 250, which compliments all the seat adjustments. The Slider features a large powerful blade with an aggressive dihedral angle for easy pull through the water. Plus the blade is made of recycled material. This is a pretty sweet stick for any fishing kayak that features High and Low seating options.
Finally, the Astral Ronny Fisher PFD, seen in all the above and following photos. Astral is making a big splash in the kayak fishing market with this new PFD.
- ThinVentTM back is compatible with all kayak seats and offers breathability
- Multiple front pockets for easy access storage
- Stowable drink holder
- Quick access knife tab
- Reflective trim
- Stowable rain hood in the neck collar
- Mesh liner for added comfort
- Additional tool organizer
- USCG approved PFD
- Design buoyancy - 16 lbs
- Foam insert is 100% PE foarm
- Shell fabric is 500 Denier CorduraTM and 1000d ballistic fabric
- Liner fabric is 200 Denier Nylon & Polyester mesh
- Zipper is Self Locking Vision Teeth from YKK