Feelfree Fish 'N' Tour
2019 Review Update
A simple, affordable design that is a great option as a first step into the kayak fishing world.
The right plastic is used in their manufacture.
The ‘Feelfree Fish N Tour 12’ is the result of a 2 year search for a ‘value-for-money’ fishing & touring Sit On Top where quality and design is not sacrificed for price.
The need for a kayak to fit this criteria was apparent from the continued rise in the cost of living and due to an influx of mass-produced Chinese LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) kayaks such as ‘Galaxy’ and ‘GoSea’ arriving into the UK.
I’ll therefore start this review by stating that the ‘Fish N Tour’ is manufactured in ‘MDPE’ (Medium Density Polyethylene) , which is the industry standard grade of Polyethylene used by the top kayak manufacturers in the world including Ocean Kayak.
The manufacturer is a well established and a highly regarded brand; Feelfree have been manufacturing kayaks for decades and 10’000s of units have been sold into the UK.
So we’ve established that the materials and manufacturing techniques fit the bill, but what is the actual design like, and how will it paddle ???
We wanted a kayak that we could sell for under £400, so what do you get for your money:
Front Oval Storage Hatch
Adjustable Keeper Footrests
2 x Rear flush mounted rod holders with rod leashes
1 x Forward mounted Baitcaster style adjustable rod holder
Centre round hatch with mesh bag.
Bow/Stern & side carry handles
2 x Rear Tank wells
1 x Elasticated net for rear tank well.
2 x Paddle Parks
At A glance :
At first glance the kayak is attractive with a tidy deck layout and some well placed features.
The hull shape looks good, suggesting moderate stability, good straight-line tracking and moderate forward speed. The other thing you notice when turning the kayak hull up, is that the MDPE hull is rigid and feels very durable in comparison to the LLDPE kayaks we have seen.
Tracking channels and a slight keel line suggest that the boat will track easily in a straight-line.
Feelfree have not cut corners with the fittings, and have opted for more expensive stainless eyelets over plastic, which gives the impression that cost was not the only factor considered when designing this boat.
OK, so far so Good, but how does it perform on the water....
Testing conditions :
Wembury, South Devon, 25th June 2014.
Simon, 6ft, 17 Stone.
Chris, 5ft 9, 12 Stone
The fish N Tour is quite light for a 12 foot Sit On Top, so was easy to carry down to the waters edge, and would be a doddle when trollied.
I paddle out first and the Fish N tour immediately feels sleeker than I had anticipated and cuts through the water easily and tracks naturally.
Initial stability feels fine and secondary stability when edging to manoeuvre is also very good.
I turn around to see Simon paddling out, and although it’s best to say he is on the top end of the weight range, the boat does not sit low at all and he reports plenty of stability.
This might not be the case for a larger paddler who has not had much experience in a kayak.
I would suggest that the optimum paddler range for this kayak is up to 16 stone, but heavier subject to paddling ability and experience.
We paddled about 6 miles that evening, across the entrance of the Yealm estuary, fished the headland for a couple hours and paddled back around the Mewstone (Island), before returning back to Wembury bay to discuss the kayaks performance.
Paddling back we were paddling against an ebbing tide and into a slight headwind and gentle chop.
The Fish N Tour handled really nicely and cut through the water with little effort, I genuinely was not expecting it to paddle quite as well as it did.
The only criticism I have is that the bow profile is very flat, which tends to slap into oncoming chop; reminded me very much of a Tarpon 120 in that respect.
This really isn’t a great bother unless you are seeking a rough-water fishing kayak.
Unfortunately no decent fish were caught, but this did give us a good opportunity to properly test out this new design and to deliberate a verdict....
In my opinion, this is the best 12 foot Sub £400 fishing and touring Sit On Top on today’s market and I say this having paddled dozens of other boats in this category.
I was not expecting it to paddle quite as well as it did!
It is basic in comparison to other models on the market and does not have the bells and whistles of some of the Ocean kayaks and Wilderness System boats, but it offers exceptional value without compromising on quality.
There is no longer any need to buy a Chinese LLDPE kayak on Ebay, with the ‘Feelfree Fish n Tour 12’ available.
Feelfree Moken 12.5:
- Front deck bungee cords
- Drain plug
- Oval rubber hatch
- Molded-in space for one 3600 tackle box and bucket (tackle box and bucket not included)
- Screw top hatch with mesh bag
- 2 flush mount rod holders with leashes
- 1 Swivel rod holder
- Stern tank well with mesh covering
- Adjustable footpegs
- 2 paddle parks
- Side, bow and stern carry handles
- Manufacturer's one year warranty
Length:12' (365 cm)
Width: 30" (76 cm)
Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)