Probably the first thing that you will notice about this kayak is its excellent moulded finish. There is no evident distortion in any of its sleek lines – testimony to modern polyethylene moulding processes.
On the water the Dagger tracked very true and straight, an endearing feature many plastic kayaks have trouble with. The slightly raised bow cut through chop easily, making the ride very flat with little or no porpoising even on the paddle power stroke.
What more could you want than a smooth, flat, dry ride? Well, this kayak has plenty more to offer the flat-water angler.
It doesn’t take long in the small confines of such craft to know whether the seat is going to be a back-breaker but I would have to admit that it wasn’t something that really came to mind until I eased myself out of the boat some hours later and that stiff feeling in my back and knees after sitting in the one position for so long came to the fore – so full marks for the seating.
Foot rests are moulded into the hull and can be used to brace yourself when paddling but the best thing about the cockpit are the elastic straps and storage moulding. There’s plenty of room in there to store a small packed lunch and a drink, plus a camera and/or a small tackle box and other incidentals.
The deck layout can be customised and this model was bought with the Fisherman’s Pack which includes an adjustable rod holder that you fit yourself to suit your needs.
Other components include an elastic paddle holder which remains flat to the hull. I have plastic clips on my own kayak and they can be knuckle-busters when my paddling technique gets lazy. There is a bungee rack on the foredeck and one on the aft deck as well. These are ideal should you need to carry a few extra things on an extended day trip.
You will have to pick your day but the slightly raised bow and extra length offer the angler the opportunity for some open-water paddling. Chasing open-water palagics such as salmon, tailor and bonito is almost too much fun in these small craft.
Where this boat excels is in small rivers or on the many small dams where no powered craft are allowed – of which there seems to be a growing number. Becoming intimate with structure such as standing timber, weed beds or rock bars in these quiet places is nothing short of a treat when paddling a craft like the Dagger Drifter.
The only negative I could find with this craft was the sharp edge moulding around the cockpit, which made carrying a bit of a chore over a long distance. A simple way around this would be to fit a plastic or rubber beading around the cockpit rim.
Apart from that the Dagger gets the thumbs up from me and after talking to my mate Ross Boardman from Jervis Bay Kayaks, it would seam that a growing number of anglers is also recognising the virtues of this kayak.
Test boat supplied by Jervis bay Kayaks. Call Ross on 02 44 417157 or check out www.jervisbaykayaks.com on the web.
DAGGER DRIFTER KAYAK
Cockpit 91cm X 42cm
The sleek lines of the Dagger Drifter are the first thing that draw your attention to this kayak.
A big, comfortable folding seat and secure stowage moulding with bungee straps on the slightly raised floor keeps items secure and out of the swill in the bottom of the Dagger Drifter kayak.
The low-profile elastic paddle clip is a ripper idea.
Simone Kerrison lifts a neat Dunns Swamp golden perch for the camera. Out on the water doing its job, the Dagger is an excellent fishing platform.