Rated 4 out of 5áby NewOwner Not a recent purchase
I purchased this item in 2009. I DO really like the kayak but have a couple of issues with it.
1. The 'flush mounted rod holders' are virtually useless to me as I am not a contortionist and cannot reach them. Certainly would not be able to see the rods.
2. The front rod holder is so far away that I had to purchase an extension to make it useful.
What I like is that I can load it onto my car top carrier by myself, that the cockpit is large enough to get in and out of easily, that it is very stable on the water, and that it handles very well.
I would recommend this kayak to others. As a matter of fact my girlfriend purchased the same model without the 'fishing' accoutrements. She who is deathly afraid of boats and does not like canoes, loves her kayak.
May 1, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5áby rscimagery Nice Boat
This is a pretty slick boat. Light enough to carry in to the ponds, nimble enough to hit light whitewater and solid (stable enough) to practically stand up in (not advised) - this boat is great for fishing small trout pounds. extremely stable, wide shallow hull keeps you flat. Paddles well, nothing like a sea kayak, but thats not what its for. rod holders are in somewhat odd places - hard to reach - but the majority of the time the rods are in my hand(s) so I dont see a huge issue. Anchor is a little too lightweight but it works fine to slow drift. A really nice, simple boat for flatwater fishing. Does will with light chop. Note that the drywell is not dry/protected. Plenty of room in the feet area. padded knees and easily adjustible foot pegs. Seat us super comfy and padded - Sat for 4-5 hours straight without cramping and back pain (not possible in my sea kayak). Above all - stable enough to cast, fly cast, catch and release fish. Love this boat!
April 24, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5
áby Indianafisher Great Fishing Kayak
Used my Kayak for the 1st time in spring of 09. Greatest fishing boat purchase I ever made. It is very stable. Manuvers well even in slightly choppy water. Being an old guy I do have a little problem accessing the pole holders, but I'm getting better. Transports easily. I wouldn't trade it for anything
January 19, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5áby KansasFlyFisher Good Value
This was my first Kayak, so I did extensive research. I receieved it in good time without any damage or problems. You can't beat the Manatee for the price.
It's light weight makes it easy to load on my SUV--a very big plus.
I've used it 8 times.
It's steady and sturdy enough for use in light winds on Kansas lakes although I'm not sure I would take it into the middle of a big lake. I bought this for small lake and watershed ponds and it works perfectly for that purpose.
I fly fish and use spinning rods with ease. By adding a different rod holder I have also trolled while paddling.
There are limitations due to its size. This is not a criticism of this kayak, just a fact about small kayaks that are limited in space.
I'm 6'2", about 200 lbs and I fit just fine. Realize, however, that there is little room to shift around.
There is no room for a minnow bucket so no live bait fishing. There is very little room for even a mid-size tackle box. I've solved that problem by being selective in what I take and by using my fly vest to hold any tackle I may need. There is little room for more than one rod. If you want to keep your fish then you'll need to improvise something to hold a stringer.
This is a joy to paddle, but it's tracking leaves something to be desired. I usually spend about 3 hours on the water and have been quite comfortable.
As with any kayak, be sure you feel comfortable about getting into and out of a sit-in. Practice near the shore before venturing too far away from land.
I'm looking forward to using it again next year!
November 4, 2011
Rated 4 out of 5áby flyfishingaddict Love my Manatee!
The Manatee Angler Kayak is my first kayak so I'm not a seasoned veteran, but after taking it out several times on lakes I am very pleased with it. I wanted a kayak that I could throw on my roof rack at a moments notice and hit the water. The Manatee is very maneuverable and easy to carry. I fly fish from the kayak and that is working well also. Although the front rod holder is a nice feature, I agree with other reviewers that its a little hard to reach. The rear hatch cover is also a little hard to get on and off. These are minor complaints; I love the boat and am very happy with the purchase.
September 8, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5áby Flyphishnfool Manatee angler kayak
I'm a novice kayaker but find this kayak very stable and easy to fish from. I haven't flyfished from it YET but I plan to very soon. I've had no trouble using a cast rod with a worm or spinner.
August 11, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5áby Scooter56 FanFishingTastic!
I went from a 10 foot sit on top fishing kayak to a 16 foot sit in. When I injured my shoulder I was no longer able to lug the big boat around. I did my home work and found the Manatee and had it shipped to sunny California and I am STOKED! I also bought the Harmony console and put two Scotty rod holders on it. I can load the "yak" any time any where. Since the Manatee came with the one forward rod holder (too far forward) I use it for a running light that pops right in. I fish back bay ocean waters and the High Sierra fresh water. WHAT A FANTASTIC KAYAK!!
August 27, 2009
Rated 4 out of 5áby NewOwner First use experience
I received my Manatee less than three weeks after ordering. Needless to say I was excited as this is the first Kayak I have owned. And I was planning a week long fishing trip. So from my first experience.
I like the extra large opening, find the kayak very stable, and it tracks well through even 1 foot waves. It is light and easy to carry.
I have found a couple of issues. First I find the rod holder that is up front is difficult to reach. Second the rear rod holders are placed to be reached by someone who is young and flexible. And that is not me. So if you are thinking that these are great features and you are older you may be better off buying the other Manatee that does not have these features.
August 22, 2009
Rated 5 out of 5áby 75andpaddling Oops
I entered my previous review too soon. As soon as I e-mailed LL Bean about my problem with the kayak, they sent me a message telling me that they had ordered a new one for me. I've been buying from them for 60 years and shoulkd have known that they would rectify the problem. I apologize!
August 19, 2009
Rated 4 out of 5áby Billfisherman Happy fishing
My wife bought this for me as a Father's day gift and I have been having fun with it. I agree with the comments about the bow rod holder but I found that the company that makes the holder makes and extender that works great for getting the holder close enough to easily reach, even for an inflexible type like me. LL does not carry the extension but I was in the store and metioned to one of the staff that it is very helpful. At first I wondered about not having the rear compartment sealed but I like the ability to reach in and get things while paddling if necessary. First big Bass on the line was actually pulling me and the Kayak along the water which was a blast. Enjoy...good value.
July 15, 2009