The motto "Designed by fisherman for fisherman" is perhaps a little worn out in the world of fishing, but despite its overuse it is still the best motto to describe the SafariH20 Murray kayak.
The crew at RV Aqualine industries are switched on when it comes to making things out of plastic. They make a variety of things ranging from motorbike fuel tanks to plastic kayaks and many things in between. Their expertise lies in making things from plastic, so the quality of all SafariH20 kayaks is top notch.
As their expertise is not in fishing, they asked me to help them develop a kayak that best suited my needs of long fishing days on inland rivers and lakes. So the Murray is a purpose built kayak for anglers of all levels, designed by anglers and built by experts.
The Murray is a great all-rounder and is at home both in the open water of the freshwater lakes and estuaries as well as in the rivers and creeks. I would say it is better suited to river fishing as it is quite a short and wide kayak at 304cm long and 83cm wide. This short wide design gives excellent stability in all conditions, but makes the kayak slower to paddle than a longer skinnier kayak, which is why I believe it is a bit more suited to the rivers and creeks.
In saying that, the Murray is a lovely stable fishing platform on lakes and has a lot of carrying capacity, so you can take your cooler, tackle boxes, change of clothes and so on without having to worry too much about space.
The Murray has four scupper holes in it to drain water out, so that if you are in the open water and a rogue waves swamps you, the water will drain right out, or each time you climb on and off with wet clothes that water does not pool up in the bottom of the boat.
The Murray comes complete with a tackle box fitting neatly underneath the anglers legs and is attached to a lanyard with a clip on it allowing for quick removal when necessary. It also has four built in rod holders and comes with a seat with a comfortable high backrest. The Murray has two built in and water-tight storage hatches as well as a fully removable moulded plastic hatch which can be quickly clipped in and out of the back of the kayak with elastic clips, similar to those found on the back of a ute.
There are two small storage compartments a little larger than car ashtrays on either side of the kayak next to the seat which are ideal for carrying smaller items such as pliers and fishing knives. The lids of these compartments are held on firmly from the inside with elastic so that if you do capsize they cannot come open. I have left my pliers in mine, and driven home over 100km with the kayak upside down on the roof and the lid has not come open and the pliers were still there when I got home, only to lose them one week in the King River on a non kayaking trip!
Not only does the Murray have moulded foot pegs like most kayaks, but it is also fitted with Easy Put Foot rails. These adjustable foot rails allow better support for your feet and can easily be slid forwards and backwards to suit anglers of any size.
There is also bungee deck rigging at the front and far back of the kayak, which is elastic that stretches over your gear and keeps it safely in place, so that if you do capsize your gear does not fall out. There is a cup holder, or can holder if you prefer to drink your water from a can directly in front of the seat, and if you look closely you will see another small moulded seat in front of the main seat, so that at the end of a hard days fishing, or when you are camping with the family you can take the kids for a paddle.
At just 25.5kg, the Safari H20 Murray is quite manageable onto the roof on any car by most anglers. Smaller people may find it a little heavy, but for most people it is not too bad, and with the carrying capacity at a whopping 160kg the Murray is a fantastic option for those anglers carrying a bit of excess weight, like myself!
The Murray is purely a paddle kayak, and does not have provisions for attaching peddles. It is also a kayak that could quite easily be mounted with an electric motor if you are that way inclined.
I find the Murray paddles extremely well for a kayak of this shape. Many sit-on-top style kayaks can get quite laborious to paddle, especially long distances, but the Murray is pretty good and actually paddles quite well, and tracks very straight. It is a well known fact that sit-on-top kayaks do not paddle as well as sit-in kayaks, however with the double tracking fins on the bottom of the hull the Murray comes pretty close to the sit-in kayaks.
Now the main thing, fishing.
As mentioned at the start, the Murray was designed purely as a fishing boat, and it certainly performs very well as just that. The rod holders are just far enough forward to be out of the way when paddling, but also remain close enough that they can be easily reached by the angler. The Murray is a delight to fish from, is very easy to climb in and out of which makes it really come into its own in smaller creeks and rivers where you need to get out and drag over logs and other obstacles.
It is very comfortable which is great for long days, and the angler can even swing around and dangle his/her legs over the side at any time with no compromise to stability. As mentioned there is stacks of storage space so you do not need to pick and choose a fine selection of lures when you set out, just take the whole bloody lot...they will all fit!
The Murray is an ideal fishing kayak for everything from trout and redfin, to Murray cod and even the tropical species like mangrove jack and barramundi. Bass anglers will love the Murray, especially those anglers that fish the smaller waterways and like to float downstream.
With its great storage space, the Murray is an ideal kayak for extended kayaking trips and camping adventures.
Fishing Monthly Fact Box.
Max capacity: 160kg
Deck height: 30cm