Versatility is almost a required option these days and the Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 Propel Angler offers plenty. This is a kayak with a host of features that will appeal to casual anglers through to hardcore fishos looking at taking on some serious fish.
Peter Jung and I were lucky enough to have a bit of time in this craft while visiting Lake Mulwala and the Cod Opening Classic, and we came away with a good impression of what this rig offers anglers.
I’ll paint a picture here to give you some idea of what the Mariner 12.5 had to contend with; Peter Jung is almost 190cm and weighs in around 90kg, I’m a bit shorter but about the same weight. This craft would have to be good to allow us to feel comfortable on the water as neither of us are as agile as we used to be, well I never really was that agile anyway!
Pete was the first to jump on board the Mariner 12.5 and he peddled out with the aid of the fantastic Propel Pedal Drive system. This system has been talked about before, however a brief overview is worthwhile. To my knowledge this is the only pedal drive that allows the user to pedal backwards as well as forwards. It offers ultimate control in just about any situation, especially when hooked up to a fish that is dragging you into its home. It’s tough, durable and has built-in features that protect it from major damage. A real winner that’s for sure.
Other features of the Mariner include the Tunnel Hull design. The amazing stability of the Tunnel Hull comes without compromising other key performance attributes like speed and manoeuvrability. Additionally, the concave wells inside the boat let your feet ride lower than your torso. For all round performance, the Tunnel Hull stands alone and is a design feature that is every bit as good as the manufacturer states.
Factory rigged with two Scotty flush rod mounts, one Scotty side rod mount, a groove mount outfitting plate, anchor trolley system and anchor kit, this rig is ready to fish. All of these accessories make use of the Native Watercraft’s Plug and Play design. Plug and Play provides a place to install a number of lash points or other accessories for tying down gear, or rigging a system of your own creation on your Mariner. It’s brilliant and allows you to create your own fishing machine in a way that does not require holes to be drilled and filled in the craft.
One of the best features is the seating. Like the Ultimate Propel Angler reviewed earlier this year the Air-Lite seating suspends you in cool comfort. The Textelene Solar Screen fabric is stretched over a lightweight anodized aluminium frame and is resistant to damage from the sun or from saltwater. The suspension and quick draining fabric ensure that you will never spend your day on the water sitting in water. The back easily adjusts forward or reclines to provide the perfect level of back support while the bottom can be raised to three different levels offering customizable thigh support. It is one of, if not the most comfortable seat I have used in a kayak.
But the most important part of this review is not all the features and benefits, but what we thought about the Mariner 12.5 Propel Angler. Questions like, did we like it? Was it easy to pedal and paddle? Do we think this will be good to fish from? Let’s answer these questions with both Pete’s and my own thoughts.
Pete and I really liked this rig. It was set up with fishing friendly accessories and all of it was in the right place. An overall impression from Pete was “I’d buy one as it was comfortable, easy to use and small enough for one person”. My thoughts were along the same lines as it’s a neat little craft that would get me into some fishy spots quite easily.
Peter and I both loved pedalling around in this craft. It was easy to get going and once you had a bit of speed up, it was super easy to maintain. If you wanted to travel any distance on the troll, such as chasing salmon, trout or natives, the Mariner 12.5 would easily accommodate without fatiguing you too much. The directional control was responsive and really allowed you to finesse into position with subtle forward and backward pedalling.
Absolutely. Pete said the ability to move this around into the right spot allowed access to snags and structure that is unparalleled by anything other than an electric motor. I really liked the way you could do a dodgy cast, then go and easily retrieve the lure from the snags and get back into position quickly.
The stability of the rig also allowed you to stand easily and get a higher aspect on your target. This makes casting accurately far easier and improves your end results markedly as casting accuracy is paramount to success in most fishing situations.
The trolling option is also fantastic as mentioned earlier. This craft will be the demise of many trout and redfin on the troll and it would be a great thing to get smashed up by a big cod on the troll, just to see how I handled it as I am sure the craft would take the punishment no worries.
And with the seat being such a comfortable unit, you could literally fish all day mixing your fishing up with casting, trolling and jigging. Good for a fish? You bet it is.
The Mariner 12.5 Propel Angler is a really impressive craft for an angler and with a retail price of $____ it will not break the budget. The big, flat back deck can take accessories such as fish bags, cooler and tackle bag, while the Plug and Play design allows the front of the craft to be fitted out to your needs. The accessories make this a fishing machine without any additions, but I’d think about an anchor system and a cooler bag to store the catch.
Check out the range of Native Watercraft at www.nativewatercraft.com including all the information on the Mariner 12.5 Propel Angler. The site also has all the explanations of all the accessories so you can customise your rig on the spot.
|Length:||12' 6", 381cm|