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#12360600 - 07/27/17 06:47 AM 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1510
Loc: Texas
I thought I had posted this, that my super light weight Cuda LT (thermo-formed ABS) has gone bye-bye. Why? It took on water, lots of it, on its maiden voyage. The Jackson warranty people (really nice to work with by the way) wanted a look at it so I shipped it back, they found the culprit(s) . . . and I suggested, and they agreed, that instead of replacing the hull that I'd just move to a HDPE (polyethylene) hull model. So, I looked at Jackson's many fishing kayak options, and chose a Big Rig.

You may recall that the reason for a second kayak in the first place is the very heavy vegetation on my primary fishing spot, Lake Athens, where even in open water there can be quite a lot of floating weed yanked loose by boat props. A Propel drive's propeller is particularly sensitive to gumming up and I like a no-frills approach anyway. Paddles = no grease, no drive maintenance.

The big deal for me, if not for this issue, I'd go paddle-only, is holding position on the water. So, a Big Rig has a built-in set-up for a drag chain or an anchor, a hole at its stern end and a anchor line route to the back dedicated for such things. Hmm? It might work! And, I had already purchased an Anchor Wizard for the Cuda LT so I can use it to raise and lower a piece of heavy chain. We'll see how it goes.

Other than that, I picked up a C-Tug to roll the thing around. It weighs around 98 with its seat, more like 110 lbs. the way I'll have it set up. The C-Tug looks like it can be broken down and placed in the front hatch with room to spare. I have a stake-out pole, too, so that might be helpful at times along with a drag chain.

Big Rigs have carrying places for 5 rods from the factory . . . more than I have ever carried out. It has places on each side of the seat molded in with dimensions for two Plano Tackle boxes, about what I carry. There is more under-seat storage if I need more tackle access. It already has a ton of options to carry and store a paddle, so no need to add anything for that.

I'll put my Austin Kayak black milk crate in the tank well area . . . for lunch, water, other "stuff" and that'll be that. A finesse rigging is my general preference, as usual.

I'll tweak the rigging as I sort things out.

If you see a group of kayaks making off for the far side of a lake, I'll likely be bringing up the rear. Not the fastest kayak on the water, no.

Brad




Edited by Brad R (07/27/17 06:48 AM)

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#12360634 - 07/27/17 07:30 AM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
PlanoTom Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 551
Sounds like you found a great solution to the leak! That's a good looking kayak.

I have a c-tug and it works well most of the time. My biggest issue with it is trying to put the kayak on it when I get out of the water and I'm on an inclined boat ramp. The incline makes it tough. I bring a beach towel with me and lay it down by the wheels so the unit doesn't roll when I'm loading it.

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#12360692 - 07/27/17 08:13 AM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1510
Loc: Texas
Excellent tip, PlanoTom! Thanks!

I have watched a few videos and one guy is putting the C-Tug down, say to the left side of the kayak, then aligning the bow end in front of it with the stern end kicked out and a way. So, the kayak, on a clock face, is 11 (bow) to 5 (stern) and cocked over like that, and the C-Tug is sitting at 7 directly below the bow position. Then, they pick their stern end up and bring it in line (from position 5 to 7) and drop the kayak down on it.

I'll need practice!

Supposedly, C-Tug has improved the strapping where there had been some complaints in the past, people replacing them with others. They now have a cam strap I believe.

Brad

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#12360785 - 07/27/17 09:18 AM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
T- Gil Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 1115
Loc: Burleson, Tx
I bet you will love it! I got a 17 Big Tuna. I don't get out every weekend, but have sure enjoyed it when I do. I don't know what brand my "wheels" are, but they are a pain! They fold for storage. Due to this, unless you use straps on front and rear of the contraption, it wants to fold up if you change directions (forward or back).
_________________________


TEAM HUMDINGER


1st teach a child to love God, teach him second to love Family, 3rd teach him to fish and hunt and by the time he is in his teens no dope dealer under the sun can teach him anything. CC


"Una Stamus"

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#12360885 - 07/27/17 10:06 AM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
BigDozer66 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/20/12
Posts: 1473
Loc: Lufkin, Texas USA
Awesome news! banana

I have a C-Tug that I have used on all of my yaks from the OK Prowler Trident 13, my Jackson Big Tuna, and a couple times on my Hobie Pro Angler 12.

It worked great with all of them with the exception of the Hobie. The way the bottom of the Hobie is formed the pads on the C-Tug doesn't quite fit it but it worked just not to my liking.

I have contemplated getting a Big Rig for my son to use but have not pulled the trigger on it yet. peep
_________________________
"...one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


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#12361282 - 07/27/17 02:06 PM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1510
Loc: Texas
I'm hoping the Big Rig comes in tomorrow as expected, that it is early enough for them to process papers so I can pick it up the same day.

Rigging time!

***

A new announcement from Jackson, T-Gill/BigDozer66/all: they are releasing a new kayak in 2018, named Liska, that will be 12'1" by 34" wide. This is supposed to be an upgrade to the Cuda series where it will likely be much more stable.

Price point? $1349. See attached photo of the prototype. This looks like a kayak with very clean lines, simple, effective looking paddling option.

Brad


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#12363096 - 07/28/17 06:23 PM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Crankalot Online   content
Angler

Registered: 06/01/12
Posts: 458
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
Did Jackson give you a discount on the Big Roof for the inconvenience?

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#12363284 - 07/28/17 09:00 PM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1510
Loc: Texas
No discount but, thankfully, I have another kayak so I was able to fish. But, it took a while for me to decide to pursue a claim. I kept thinking I could find the issue and fix it myself. Once I did contact Jackson, it went pretty fast. I guess I should add that I bought the Cuda LT in Houston at Fishing Tackle Unlimited. When I contacted my sales person after the first time out and my new kayak had picked up about 2 gallons of water, he was sympathetic . . . but the company (his manager?) had no interest in getting involved. I even offered to trade up for a more expensive model and pay the retail to retail up charge. Odd, too, because they have a rental fleet so a boat like the Cuda LT could have been mended and used for that or they could have sent it back to Jackson. Hmm? Would I buy another kayak there? Nope. Jackson, though, was easy to deal with. Some manufacturers don't work with retail clients and route them through dealers but I guess Jackson handles it own. Not sure.

I picked the Big Rig up today in Kilgore, got it home around lunch, too hot to fish, so I took it out just an hour or so ago, no fishing equipment to concentrate on getting familiar with the feel and operations, checking seat settings, foot peg positions, etc. Oh! And, loading, unloading with my new C-Tug.

My first impressions are that it is much more stable than I thought it would be. On a Cuda Lt, the high seat position was really wobbly to me so the few times I had it out, I always set it low. On the Big Rig, I like it sitting up high and it works great. I stood in it at the very end of my trial. It is very stable. It tracks very well, too, and it moves at a decent pace. The difference in the paddling is that you can feel the stroke, that is, the weight of the kayak pushes back a bit so to speak. In the Cuda LT, paddling was effortless. A Big Rig feels like cycling a bike in a one or two speeds higher gear setting compared to pedaling in a lower speed (analogous to the Cuda LT).

I'd say the top end speed for me in the Big Rig would be around 4 mph for a sprint, an easy pace at around 2.5 or maybe a bit closer to 3 mph. I need a lot more testing than the 30 minutes I have had so far.

I'll be out on the lake tomorrow in the AM before it heats up. Gonna fish this time!

Brad

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#12367103 - 07/31/17 11:15 PM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Aggie.ER.Vet Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 3
Nice kayak Brad R!

I don't mean to hijack your thread but wanted to ask for some opinions. Those with the Big Tuna (or other Jackson) kayak. What is your overall impression of them? What is the learning curve? Have you tried it as a tandem?

I am definitely interested in a larger stable kayak that my wife can come with on occasion or I can use as a single kayak. I have kayaked a couple of times (used the Diablo chupacabra I rented from ACK). I keep going back and forth between getting into kayak fishing vs power boat fishing.

Anyways, I like the big tuna for what it offers based on the video I have seen but would like some real life input.

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#12367279 - 08/01/17 07:24 AM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1510
Loc: Texas
The Big Tuna is longer, narrower and has two seats, so if fishing/paddling "two up" is in your plans, this'd be the way to go. I have never been in one but suspect you'd need a trailer.

For the Big Rig, I think it'd match a Hobie PA 14, on the pedal side of things, in terms of stability, so maybe one of the most stable pure paddlers.

After a leak issue with a 2-piece ABS thermoformed Jackson Cuda LT, I find the Bug Tuna super solid with its HDPE material and its construction and refinements.

Good Stuff:

1) Lots of standard equipment for fishing including a stand-up bar with a place to rest your paddle, molded in areas on each side of the seat for Plano Tackle boxes, in-hull routing for anchor and rudder lines, 1/4" 20 screw mounts in several places, front hatch will hold at least 8 rods, rod tip protectors and horizontal storage for one rod port and starboard (great!), paddle carry, a formed in hole at the vessel's stern end to drop an anchor chain and clips all the way back for the anchor line, pre-set holes for a micro anchor pole if desired, 2 large rod holders just behind the seat, one track rod holder to be mounted anywhere, water bottle mounting between the legs, back pack on back of seat, stand up strap, lots of tracks and more.

It comes pretty much fully equipped for fishing. All I have added to mine is an Anchor Wizard I already owned and I built an anchor chain. I'll go out "finesse" with 2 or 3 rods most of the time though I could carry 5 on board with the standard equipment, 2 Plano boxes and I have a small milk crate I'll put odds and ends in.

Downside? In order to get the super stability, the Big Rig sacrifices speed and acceleration. Most fishing kayaks split the difference with a few leaning toward speed over stability, a few leaning to stability over speed. I'd just dial in the Big Rig at a listed 37" or 38" (listed both ways) width as one of the fishing kayaks far over on the continuum to the stability side. One can easily set the seat in the high position and it doesn't appreciably affect the balance. In my Cuda LT, it had such a low primary stability that setting up on the high seat felt wobbly. So, I'd say that typical cruising speed we all have would be around 2.5 to 3 mph, depending on fully loaded weight of course, and top end speed would be 4+. You aren't going to win any races in it, but you'd have to go out of your way to fall out of it.

One guy said it drafts in such shallow water you could float it on wet grass.

So, great for inshore fising down at the coast, lakes . . . especially smaller ones easier to cover distance-wise, it'd do good in ponds and it'd be good for fishing rivers/streams with slower moving water. Nope, too big and not nimble enough to shoot really big big rapids. It does track well without a rudder.

I've had boats. The issue with power boat fishing is not that once you are on the water it isn't great, it is the getting there, on and off, and back home, the general storage issues, gas/insurance/maintenance and on and on. For this reason, power boats are often bought then used sparingly, especially pleasure boats. I like kayaks much better.

Brad


Edited by Brad R (08/01/17 07:32 AM)

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#12367320 - 08/01/17 07:53 AM Re: 2017 Jackson Big Rig on its way [Re: Brad R]
Aggie.ER.Vet Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 3
Thanks for the info. Greatly appreciated

Carlos

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