To their parents, teenagers often seem all too eager to fly the coop. If I fish the east side of a creek my daughter, Dasha, will surely be on the west side. So, I came up with a foolproof plan to let us fish together—fish out of a tandem kayak. Looking at the long list of tandems to review I picked the Lure II from Feelfree Kayaks, a Cadillac of two‑seaters.
Feelfree Lure II
Weight: 92 lbs
Capacity: 500 lbs
Feelfree Lure II Lets You Fish Together
I borrowed a Feelfree Lure II from the good folks at Appomattox River Company in Hampton, Virginia and started to lay my dad plan. I waited until a boring day, about a week into summer vacation, to catch Dasha as she emerged from her bedroom to forage food.
“Hey, you want to go fishing?” I asked.
After a long sigh and two full eye rolls, she agreed. I waited until we were loading the truck to spring my tandem trap.
“Where’s my kayak?” Dasha asked when she saw only the Lure II in the truck. “We can fish out of this together,” I offered then started the engine and pulled out of the drive before she could escape.
Weighty Boat is a Breeze with Wheel in Keel
The Lure is Feelfree’s top-of-the-line series with a ton of unique features and rock solid construction. The Lure II is just over 14 feet long and 36 inches wide, plenty of room for any two people. The specs on Feelfree’s website list the weight at 92 pounds, but those numbers must not include the Gravity seats and other accessories. The boat feels heavier fully rigged.
Feelfree’s famous “Wheel In The Keel” is a welcome feature when moving the Lure II Tandem. According to my friends at Appomattox River Company, the wheel in the stern is Feelfree’s most popular selling feature. Previously I was not a big fan of the wheel—I always felt it would create drag, affecting the Lure’s performance in the water. With the Lure II, I have changed my opinion. The convenient wheel makes it possible to roll the boat to the launch while your teenager sits in the truck sending selfies—totally worth it.
The heavy-duty, molded handles in the bow, stern and both sides offer comfortable grip for lugging around the big boat.
A round day hatch in the bow provides dry storage for small items. The tankwell is small, only big enough for a 13- by 13-inch crate. To maximize storage, I added Plano’s new V-Crate, which has a small base and large upper storage compartment allowing me to fit a ton of gear in the cramped space. Two flush-mount rod holders behind the back seat are not angled for trolling, but they provide a convenient place to stick rods between fishing spots. Gear tracks run along each gunwale providing plenty of accessory options for both anglers.
Feel Free to Remove the Lure II’s Seats
The Feelfree Lure II can be configured and adapted for a variety of uses. Dasha and I had the boat rigged with two Gravity seats. As an alternative, remove the front seat and paddle the boat as a single. I could see the Lure II loaded to the gunwales with camping and fishing gear for weekend getaways. With a 500-pound maximum capacity, there’s plenty of flotation for two anglers and gear.
Another option is to remove both seats altogether. The long, flat padded deck offers acres of fishing room. Add Feelfree’s 45-quart cooler as a standing platform for a super-sized standup hybrid.
For more outfitting options, the Lure II comes with two removable pods. Use the pods as dry storage. Another option is to install a fish finder display on top of the pod. The battery lives inside and the transducer below for an easy-to-install electronics station. As I expand my horizons, the rear pod can be replaced with Feelfree’s Overdrive pedal and motor system for hands-free operation.
Stable Hull for Standup Fishing
On the water, the Feelfree Lure II is surprisingly nimble for a big, heavy kayak. With two paddlers, the boat scoots along quickly. The 14-footer is easy to turn and spin, making it fun to test the handling and synchronizing of our paddle strokes.
I was pleasantly surprised with the stability. I expect a 36-inch wide kayak to remain solidly planted on the water, but the Lure II has looser primary stability than I anticipated. This is good, in my opinion. The hull allows the boat to roll and pitch over waves. While it is initially a little wobblier than some kayaks, the tri-hull’s secondary stability kicks in to keep the kayak upright no matter how hard we tilted to one side or the other.
Team Up with the Feelfree Lure II Tandem
In no time, Dasha and I were paddling and fishing like tandem pros. I would paddle while she fished. She paddled while I fished. We fished together standing up, with confidence. I even turned to face the stern so we each had plenty of room to cast and retrieve.
After a few minutes together, I stopped cracking corny dad jokes and Dasha quit rolling her eyes. We slipped into casual conversation. That day our casts didn’t produce many fish, but it didn’t matter. Feelfree’s Lure II Tandem is a keeper.
Video Review of the Feelfree Overdrive Motor & Pedal Drive System:
“Not every successful man is a good father. But every good father is a successful man.” — Robert Duvall | Feature photo: Roberto Westbrook