I’ve owned a native watercraft slayer fishing kayak ( Slayer 10 propel ) now for several years. I have hit the water countless time with it so I’ve had plenty of time to assess this fishing vessel overall performance, stability and affordability. You can see Native Watercraft kayak videos here. Overall it’s a good kayak that’s very stable, feels good on the water and offers all the basic features that you could ever ask for in a Kayak.
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Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Fishing Kayak Review
My Native Watercraft Slayer fishing Kayak journey began 3 years ago. I was really existing on the idea of kayak fishing. I had used some non-pedal kayaks and find you spent the majority of time with the paddle in your hands paddling as opposed to fishing. So I was completely convinced a foot pedal kayak was essential. At the time I was very torn between buying a Hobie Pro Angler and a Native Watercraft slayer propel. The Hobies a popular and well-established brand and product vs the almost unknown Native Watercraft brand.
There were some distinct differences between the two branded options and ultimately my decision was made by convenience rather than features. That convenience was simply being able to purchase one at a heavily discounted rate from a friend. The other major factor is that I owned a small hatch car and had struggled to lift the Hobie Pro Angler on the roof by myself.
I immediately noticed some key strengths and weaknesses in features between the two different branded options. The Native Watercraft had reverse, something the hobies didn’t have at the time. That appealed to me greatly especially as I had planned to hit both the bay and estuaries and was thinking of finding bream within the structure. That being said the Hobie Pro Anglers certainly looked more refined. They were a more mature product that looked more polished, offered better storage, more rod holders and a lot more available accessories. Nonetheless, I choose the slayer and was still one very happy camper.
Check out this video, I take a beginner kayak angler out in my Native Watercraft Slayer to teach them some basic safety tips, before you know it we find ourselves in a huge school of salmon and the fishing is amazing.
Native watercraft stability and performance
Almost immediately what really stood out to me about the slayer was its stability. I had taken many other kayaks out on the water and never really felt stable or safe. The first time I felt stable and safe. I was even confident enough to stand on it out on the bay kilometres from shores in my first session. Whilst moving around during a hot bite or relocating rods behind the seat I never felt uncomfortable or unstable. I generally never go kayak fishing in choppy conditions. 10 kilometre winds and less are my optimal weather conditions. However, when it did get a little choppy the kayak handled with ease. Water was easily drained out. I also fished many of our estuary and rivers where the conditions were calmer and after some practice found it reasonably easy to stand and cast.
The slayer handled really well on the water. It has a very clever hull design and spans to 68cm in width which helps add stability. The rudder next to the seat made it very easy to move around and it moved swiftly on the water. I did do some comparisons against the Hobie Pro anglers with others on the water. We did note that the pedal system can be louder then hobies mirage drive and that it was a little slower. That being said it still handled remarkably well in most situations.
Native slayer kayak Colour options
There are 4 available colours to choose from Blue Lagoon, Copperhead, Hidden Oak, and Lizard Lick. No doubt as you can tell mine came in copperhead which is bright and stylish. I always took a liking to the green and black colour. But the cosmetics are the last thing that enter your mind when you’re out on the water chasing fish.
Check out this video in my Native Watercraft. A guide on catching flathead. A short session we catch countless flathead whilst fishing from our kayaks.
Native Watercraft slayer Size, weight and Model options
The slayer comes available in 10 foot, 12 foot and 13 foot options. For those with small cars that anticipate moving it around via roof racks then the 10 foot is a great option. The slayer kayaks are also significantly lighter than its rival the Hobie Pro Angler which is another real positive. Surprisingly I have several firns that have given kayak fishing away due to crook backs and this is helpful.
The slayer is available in the following sizes and models
Necessary upgrades to my Native Watercraft Kayak
After several sessions on the water, I realized that the basic unit was missing some key necessities. In fact, it’s very surprising that you don’t get them included by default for a product with an RRP value of $4,500. For starters, I only had one-rod holder which is a major oversight for a fishing kayak. The model released shortly afterwards added 2 additional rod holders. But for me, I was forced to buy 2 extra rod holders and fitted them behind the seat on each side. Can’t help but feel very wary about drilling holes into a brand new toy that’s worth $4,500, just makes you feel like you have been a little short-changed.
Storage and organization was another key problem. I immediately went out and purchased a solid esky, added 4 additional rod holders to the esky and placed double-sided velcro to make it stay in place. This I must say that this is an absolute must. I just found it so difficult to store rods, nets and catches of fish without these customisations. Again I can’t help but feel this is something missing with the base unit. The hobies offer tackle box storage and fish catchments areas cleverly designed. This is easily achieved with a tackle box and will power but again feels strange that it’s not considered in the base unit. These are basic things that make you wonder if the hull could have been designed with some of these ideas in mind.
I also found it absolutely necessary to upgrade to the better chair. The improved chair offers storage for tackle boxes, pliers, scissors, drinks, clothes. It makes the whole kayak experience more enjoyable. The organization is the essential key when kayak fishing and the upgraded chair brings that to the table. list of available accessories can be seen here https://nativewatercraft.com/shop
Native watercraft fishing kayak drainage
One of the big differences between the Native series of kayaks and the hobies is drainage The hobies hull are cleverly designed in a way that encourages all water to drain quickly. This is done through channels within the hull that passes the mirage drive system which then escapes the kayak. That is a big positive for the hobies. The native watercraft on the other hand have multiple scupper plugs scattered around the kayak. Whenever you take water you are forced to quickly stop and take the scupper lugs out to allow the excess water to drain. This can be particularly annoying and at times dangerous.
Last week 4 of us went fishing 2 in hobie pro anglers and 2 in Native watercraft. We had a moment of heavy rain and high swells. In the short time, the hobies held no water in the hull whilst the Natives held onto a large volume of water. For those in the Natives, it was a little tricky during those conditions to get the scupper plugs out and one of them needed to be assisted by one of the people in a hobie pro angler. The newer Titans also have the same hull design and draining issue.
But there are still plenty of accessories available if you know where to look
But don’t worry there are plenty of positives too. Thankfully there are companies out there like Railblaza who make a great range of accessories. I purchased several starports that work great on the running track system. Then attached rod holders, a sounder mount kit, camera mounts and a safety flag.
Check out this video in my Native Watercraft catching countless pinkies with soft plastics and bait.
Native Watercraft slayer propel kayak features and specifications
Propel Pedal Drive System with forwarding AND REVERSE
Hand Sewn 1st Class Seating with Adjustable Inseam
Left Hand Rudder Control System
Impact Resistant Stern Rudder
17? Dry Bow Hatch Cover
Right Hand Forward Facing Rod Holder/Cup Holder
Two Flush Mount Rod Holders Aft
Several Groove Tracks for Accessory Mounting
Premium Deck Padding for Standing
Propel Drive Trunk Cover with Accessory Tray and Cup Holder
5? Dry Storage Hatch
Padded Carry Handles
Rear Storage Well
Super Seal Scupper Plugs
HULL DESIGN FEATURES
Sharp Bow Entry for Tracking
Modified Tunnel Hull for Ultra Stability and Tracking
Rudder Protective Keel for Tracking
Native Watercraft Slayer kayak Price Point
The base unit at most locations sells for around $4,500. I must say that this is a steep price point to pay and the base unit misses many key features that you would find in the rival Hobie. Again I was able to achieve all of those key features with upgrades and some cleverness but all came with extra cost.
Native Watercraft Kayak moving from slayer to the Titan
Recently Native watercraft has released the range of Titan Kayaks. These are the predecessors of the slayer range. From everything, I have seen the Titan doesn’t add a lot of new features or storage. But does offer some new sizes. Perhaps if you’re in the market for a native watercraft consider trying to find a slayer which may offer better value.
A final word from the author
Thnk you for reading Native Watercraft Slayer fishing Kayak review. It’s fair to summarize this fishing kayak by Native watercraft by saying its simply not a Hobie. It sells at a very similar price point but it’s missing the polish, the vast range of accessories and the continual innovation that you get with a Hobie. That being said its a very good kayak, has great stability, the added benefit of reverse and if you get creative you can customize it to be simply amazing.
Make sure you have a look at our video link which has many videos of this kayak featured in them
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