I arrived to the ICAST On the Water Demo early and there was already a line of anglers anxious to paddle the new Bonafide SS127. After a year of build-up, everyone was excited about paddling the new kayak from the folks who make YakAttack kayak fishing accessories.
Since we first paddled a prototype of the SS127 a few weeks before the show, the design team has been busy getting the boat ready for the big debut. After waiting my turn, I found a few tweaks in the utilitarian boat since my preview paddle.
First, the innovative tunnel hull has been shaved to reduce noise, increase speed and improve handling. Stability remains the boat’s strongest suit. The primary stability is loose enough to enable maneuverability with rock solid secondary stability to keep the angler upright whether standing on the bow or the stern or turning around backwards making the SS127 a 360-degree fishing machine.
They also tweaked the high-low seat to improve comfort and toughness. I put the mesh material to the test in the hot and steamy Orlando sunshine. Moving the seat forward and back or raising and lowering is made easy with over-engineered clamps that lock the seat in place. It’s also easy to move the seat out of the way to stand on the boat’s sweet spot. The seat is one of the highest in the industry allowing anglers better visibility and improved comfort. Foot pads on either side of the seat provide another place to stand and fish, or paddle.
The star of the show is the deck layout. Flush mounted gear tracks on the gunnels and in the deck allow plenty of rigging options without snagging lines. Nonslip, closed-cell foam padding covers the deck. The boat includes a waterproof center pod for gear or electronics. My favorite detail is the bow hatch. Not only is it large enough to fit fishing rods and camping gear, it’s also grooved to hold rods horizontally on the deck. The best part is the removable hinges in the front and back of the hatch. I can open the hatch from the bow, the cockpit or remove it completely.
While the SS127 is a boat for all waters, it will really shine on back waters and skinny water. The incredible stability and ultra-high seat make it great for sight fishing and all day stand up action. At 75 pounds its light enough to car-top and easy to move to the launch. Bonafide will add a 10-foot model to the line in the next few months for younger anglers or anglers looking for a smaller, lighter boat for skinnier, tighter water.
SS127 Pre-production SPECS
Length: 12.7 FT.
Width: 33.5 IN.
Weight: 75 LBS.
Capacity: 475 LBS.
Deck Height: 11.5 IN.