Cuda LT Review

When I first began looking into buying a kayak, both my Dad and I went to several local shops and rented different brands, along with several models from each brand. At the time I was looking for a kayak that would “do-it-all”. I wanted a kayak able to fish the local rivers, lakes, and eventually the ocean. After all my research and time on the water I chose the Jackson Cuda 12. Even with all the options for fishing kayaks nowadays, it was an easy choice for me. I love the deck layout, as well as its size and hull make it great to paddle in a variety of types of water. I used my Cuda 12 for several years and put countless hours on it fishing for a variety of freshwater species, but then Jackson came out with the Cuda LT.

The Cuda LT immediately intrigued me, being it was essentially the same kayak I had, just lighter weight. For the type of fishing I do I have to cart, lift, and carry my kayak frequently. Often its loaded with not only fishing gear, but my camping gear too. In my case every ounce of weight saved counts for something. So, I sold the old Cuda and greeted my new Lime Green Cuda LT.

I will admit I have not had it all that long, but I feel at this point I have developed a good impression of it, having paddled the local river, several lakes, and one ocean trip. All I can say is I’m in love! It’s one of the ultimate “overall” kayaks you can buy.

You can easily feel the weight difference moving it around in the garage or loading it in the truck. I do quite a few solo trips and the weight savings makes my life a lot easier and with two people it’s almost pleasant to move around. Between the weight savings and the smoother finish of the different material, it glides and paddles easier than the standard Cuda. It is definitely faster, but still doesn’t quite have the speed of the Kilroy that my Dad paddles. It also is more responsive and quicker turning when I have to “eddy out” while fishing the river. Overall stability seems about the same, I had no issue standing right away and working my fishing grounds. Having it out on the ocean was a great test as well. The Cuda LT is not the purpose built ocean kayak, like the Kraken, but it handled punching through waves and “washing machine” ocean conditions without issue. At no point did I feel uncomfortable on my LT during my first saltwater experience.

Overall I think the Cuda LT is a great option for people looking for a “do-it-all” kayak. The little bit of extra cost is well worth the weight savings.

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