Today we put the Tarpon 120 and Moken 12 on the water. Having fished the Tarpon 120 for two days (and liked it) it’s my turn to give the Moken 12 a test drive. Chris has the Tarpon 120 and before we head down to our launch we fit front Scotty rod holders to the front sliders on the Tarpon. I make no mods to the Moken other than to tie off an anchor system. The front rod holders have been removed so that you fit a mount base plate of your choice. I will fish one rod on the drift and two at anchor across my lap. Both these boats will be faster through the water than the Tarpon 100 and Moken 10. Out of the four boats we are testing nothing comes close to the Moken 10 for deck space and fishing-ability. Today we plan to paddle a lot further so we need faster hulls than the Tarpon 100 and Moken 10.
Lousy Weather Again
We have been so unlucky with the weather, low pressure after low pressure. Driving rain, swells and cross winds have made catching fish harder work but at least the boats have been put through their paces. When we landed after this trip (approx 6 hrs) we were greeted with flooding all around the area so wet was the day. We both got off the water wet and cold and after a week of this my hands are falling apart.
Moken 12 Angler - The Review Bit
Footpegs and seat adjusted, kit loaded and we are off.
Following a outfitting update in 2017, you are now able to fit any seat of your choice as the Feelfree Canvas, Deluxe, Angler and Kingfisher seats are all compatible with the Moken 12 Angler!
Before we even think about fishing we have a few miles to paddle to get anywhere near the Pollock mark. What is very clear is the Moken 12 is a superb touring kayak. The boat is feature rich and built like a “brick outhouse”. The Feelfree boys always toss in a few extra kilo’s of plastic (it’s what they call their “commercial/hire” build quality) which makes the boat feel stiff and strong. This extra weight comes from a thicker hull; wheel and hatches all the features weigh something. We've taken a few snaps of the deck layout below to give you an idea of the features included!
I also feel I am sat in the boat and not on the boat. This makes the boat feel very solid and forgiving in these lumpy conditions. The footpegs work, the seatback work but by the end of 6 very wet and cold hours I could do with something a little softer under my backside. If I had opted for a Feelfree Kingfisher Seat, I would of been much more comfortable on the water! There must be a “British Standard Backside” somewhere but I don’t have it. The new seat options will ease a numb bum. The Wheel-In-The-Keel has also been upgraded to that included in the rest of the Feelfree range.
Wind Against Tide, and More Wind
We are again restricted to where we can fish and can’t reasonably leave the shelter of this small headland. On my first drift I send down a 4oz lead and plum a drift over 150 yards or so, I have found the rock shown on the chart. Ideal, the rock comes up about 10 metres and the tide is pushing up over it, the Pollock will be just down tide of the rock (I hope). Next drift I send down a small weighted sidewinder on its own on a 6ft flyer. Sort of free lining a lead head and a nice little Pollock takes the bait.
Chris is about 150 yards further out and drifting back towards my mark. I send down the sidewinder again and Chris arrives in time to take this nice picture of me, Moken 12 and a splendid kelp Pollock. The colour of this fish indicates just how shallow this mark is. Light gear in shallow water and the Pollock go ballistic.
We get about 6 drifts in and it’s time to move away to a more sheltered area. We do not want to practice our deep water rescues in these conditions. The back tide is rushing out of the channel between the headlands and the wind over tide calls for a sensible withdrawal. We paddle across to cliffs seen in the background in the image above. Conditions are better but the mark is wrong, there is little or no tidal push here. We both get more Pollock to 4lb, some mackerel and a flock of Terns fishing all around us.
We are being pushed up the coast and are forced to anchor or call it a day.
The ray’s and the dabs give us some sport and both of us land more really nice Spotted Ray, Thornbacks and dabs. The Dabs are small again compared to the monsters we caught 4 days ago, the tides are heading towards neaps this may be the reason.
The front hatch rod rest works for me and I like the rods in my lap.
Fishing the Moken 12 Angler on the drift or at anchor is brilliant. Another treat, remembering we are wet, cold and been fighting the weather now for hours. The Moken 12 footpegs can be easily adjusted and I set them so that my legs could lie flat, lifted my bum off the seat for a while and it felt good and circulation improved. The difference really is in the details, the Moken 12's flush rod holders come with handy rod leashes as well as usual side storage pockets, which are a perfect fit for my braid scissors!
The mile and half back to the van was running down downwind (force 5) across a busy chop. The Moken 12 and Tarpon 120 were both weather cocking but you would expect that. The fine bow and front handle configuration on the Moken 12 was wetter than the Tarpon 120. Not that that mattered, we were already saturated and part of paddling is coming into contact with the water. When your hands are falling off the Moken handles and wheel are so good.
Moken 12 fits inside the Brighton Canoes Transit and would look good on the roof of any car. Moken 12 paddles like a dream and fishes beautifully. A very satisfactory few day’s kayak testing – shame about the weather.
Special thanks to The Erk for letting the Old Duffer catch the biggest fish! The Moken 12 was and still is the best 12 footer for those that can paddle a bit and are sub 15 stone.
Duffer and Erk
The Canoe Shops Group Ltd.
For more info and details on how to buy, please see our website here: Feelfree Moken 12 Angler