Feelfree’s ultimate fishing kayak, the Moken, was named in honour of the nomadic sea fishing people. The 13ft fishing kayak brims with features that will appeal to all fishers. It has been designed for the avid paddler wishing to do a little bit of diving, fishing and overall exploring.
The Moken features a large front well storage space that is enclosed by a large hatch hinged from the side. Within reach of the paddler is a handy flip-up console for lures and gear, with a nearby mounting area for additional fishing rod holders and fish finder.
It also includes a thermoformed seat pad and adjustable backrest, two 6” round hatches with mesh bags, rear deck shaped to secure a dive tank, barrel or crate, two recessed rear fishing rod holders, molded-in bow and side carry handles, paddle park and a rudder with foot pedal system.
The flip up console is convenient for stowing lures, pliers, sunscreen and anything else you need to access easily. If you are diligent clipping down the latch, this gear will remain secure even in the unlikely event of a capsize.
Rod holders, rudder up haul and downhaul were all easily accessible. If you don’t clip the latches on the large front hatch it is easily reachable for fish storage. As this is a well area, not opening into the main hull of the kayak, fish won’t get lost down under the seat and it is also much easier to clean.
The Moken performed well in all areas. It is not the fastest or most stable kayak on the market but does make a nice stable fishing platform for anglers of all sizes.
My only criticism was of the rudder mechanism. While in the water it operated perfectly, but when retracted part of the rudder housing still contacted the water. This meant that while the rudder was up it still needed to be kept straight or it would effect the steering of the kayak. My main concern is that if you were a long way from home in windy conditions and a rudder cable failed on you, it may be difficult to keep the craft straight.
For someone just learning to paddle, a rudder can provide a short-term solution for steering problems, especially in side winds. For an amateur kayaking for the first time, you would always recommend a kayak with a rudder.
A rudder’s real purpose is to hold your boat on a straight course in strong winds by keeping your stern from skidding out (weathercocking). They are not meant as a substitute for learning crucial steering strokes. If you depend on a rudder to steer and something goes wrong, you’re literally up the creek!
Learn to steer with your paddle and save your rudder for when you need help holding your course. In the surf zone, a rudder can turn into an implement of destruction, so raise and secure it.
There are also many misconceptions about design fundamentals in the marketplace. Often simplistic comments, such as long being fast, fail to see the bigger picture of matching the correct hull to the paddler’s abilities, strengths, weight and needs. All kayaks are a blend of variables, and there is no perfect kayak—just a lot of great ones!
The Feelfree Moken is great value for money and a good stable fishing platform for all types of fishing. Its best application would be as an estuary kayak. The great storage options, and fish finder option, allow you to deck your boat out as you would like.
The morning I took the Moken out, I caught a lovely big bream while others caught nothing. I can’t put this down to the skill of the fisherman, so it must have been the boat! – Craig McSween
Craig McSween of Splash Safaris Sea Kayaking is a Sea Kayak Instructor with Australian Canoeing. For feedback on this review you can contact us at Adventure Outlet (Kayaking, Camping & Outdoor Store) in Southport on (07) 55712929 or --e-mail address hidden--
Contacts: Active Watersports (07) 55648077, or
Feelfree dealers in Australia:http://activewatersports.com.au/