Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Stealth Pro Fisha 475 owners review

My review of my Stealth Pro Fisha 475:

During a session last autumn with Chris I had a paddle of his Pro Fisha 575 as soon as I was back on the beach I had already seen the error of my ways so promptly put my Kaskazi Dorado up for sale with the intention of buying a Pro Fisha 575 but at almost 19ft long I had some storage issues so went with the next best thing the Pro Fisha 475

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After finally choosing a colour scheme and all the other options it was just a case of waiting for the next shipment to arrive, Not too long later I had the first glimpse of the shiny new Kayak

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The factory had got my design slightly wrong and to Chris's credit he was prepared to let me use this one until he could get another shipped for me and then he would have took this one off me but the minor changes were not a problem and it really did look awesome.

Once I had taken delivery of the 475 it looked even better in the flesh and it is one very light kayak super easy to car top alone and the finish was very good indeed however there was a very small imperfection on the hull where it looked a little bumpy and could have been smoothed off a little better

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The Pro Fisha range comes with adjustable pedals and scuppers in the foot wells and the velcro foot straps to aid surf control

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And as usual a massive fish hatch plus a second hatch behind the seat

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The pro Fishas are a very fast sleek boat which cut through the water very well but also the 475 has a pronounced rocker which makes it a bit easier to manoeuvre and a bit more user friendly in the surf

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Also good to see that it has still kept the elasticated paddle keep and rubber protection like on my Supalite

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Also the hatch straps are great on the Pro Fisha a big improvement over the supalite as you can quickly and easily get a very tight fit and they are simple to thread (after I asked Chris the correct way of threading them I didnt take much notice when it arrived and struggled trying to use all of the holes to thread them!)

I have heard complaints on the straps that they are fiddly which makes me wonder if these owners are over complicating a very simple system!

Then onto the Rudder a straight forward "Dagger" type design but with no protective skeg on the Pro Fishas a very effective ruder placed far enough back to remain in contact even in rougher conditions I think there could be an area of improvement here if it could be made retractable but only a small quibble and very easy to repair any knocks or wear to it

I have started loading it on to a C-Tug back wards lately so Im lifting the rear carry handle when wheeling down to the beach as this lifts the rudder high out of the way of obstructions

fitting the rudder takes minutes a very simple set up 023-6_zps1c03d6d0.jpg

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(please note the nuts and washers are in the wrong sequence on the above pic)

I had the factory fit a battery box on this Kayak not for the purpose of holding a battery but more for hull access for mounting my FF transducer making the job very simple indeed also had the S/S pad eyes fitted on the left hand bow and stern for simple anchor trolley rigging small touches but good to see Stealth responding to what the customer wants

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My first paddle out with 475 required a tough surf launch which I got wiped out but put this down to the new wing paddle I was also testing for the first time as it had a tendency to flutter a lot until I got used to it

However gave me a chance at a self rescue which was surprisingly easy given the narrow width of the boat a lot easier than I was expecting and can leap on and off it at will even in heavy surf

I was soon punching through the waves with ease but with the bow shape spearing through the breaking waves meant a lot more water in the face than if I was on my Supalite

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Once out of the back of the surf I couldn't stop smiling by the speed at which a relaxed paddle was achieving and the paddle position which is higher than the Dorado felt very nice and was so easy to move about on either for accessing the rear hatch or just sitting side saddle to fish from even on a narrow kayak like this it feels unbelievably stable and it is quite easy to lean it over and find the shoulder of secondary stability, I have had a few comments by other paddlers that it looks tippy but it really needs to be paddled to fully appreciate, also it will be a lot different in terms of "stability" to the regular users of the wide Plastic boats where these have a great deal of stability until you push them and then there is a very fine line between upright and upside down!

The first surf landing was not to bad a bit wobbly but nothing major but after a few successful attempts I waited for a bigger set to come this is where I made the mistake of using it like my Supalite and surfing in a straight line to the beach which is fine on small waves but on these larger waves the bow burried and dug in the sand in approx5-6ft of water catapulting me out and made a hell of a noise too I was dreading the swim back to the kayak expecting a lot of damage but was amazed to drag it ashore in one piece and found no noticeable damage at all other than a slight sand impact mark on the nose

Lesson learned there and now always set up to surf in on an angle on larger waves to prevent "Perling"

I'm no expert paddler and still find surfing it in challenging at times but always enjoyable and this is down to paddler more than boat as I have caught some really good waves on it successfully so just need to hone my skills a bit

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A quick pic of the 475 alongside one of its competitors the Dorado you can see the sleeker lines and more aggressive bow on the 475 

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Getting it out fishing

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The 475 is in my eyes one of the best and most capable fishing kayaks available it is a joy to paddle any distance is super comfy to paddle for long distances and also a very comfy and usable platform to fish from easy to reach the rear hatch great storage in the front hatch but sometimes hard to retrieve stuff from the cavernous fish hatch but simple to remedy this by attaching lanyards to any gear yo may need

The rod holders at the very rear are angled more or less straight up great for when wheeling to launch as the rods aren't in the way hitting things and the ones set closer to the seat are used when fishing at anchor or for keeping the rod whilst baiting up etc or of course you can fit your own ram/scotty holders to suit your needs

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And quite stable enough to get to grips with my first angry Kayak Tope!

I recently got the chance to paddle the 475 and the 575 in some mildly challenging conditions and even though it was the storage that put me off the 575 I feel I made the right decision by choosing the 475 as I found it a lot easier to manoeuvre against strong winds and just felt more suited to my 475 this could of course be the fact I was more used to the 475 as I think Chris preferred the 575 to my 475 and he also found the 575 was faster and could catch waves with less effort which could be down to the same reason 

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A few quick specifications 

Pro Fisha 575

The biggest and fastest kayak in the fisha range. Speed and still loads of stability with some excellent design concepts make this a fast, lightweight and complete fishing kayak. The 2012 design concept for a neater and larger storage hatch but still keeping the kayak light and manageable are one of the kayaks winning features. As the name says, this kayak is for the serious angler looking for the kayak that is almost certain to give him the edge.

Longer kyak for maximum speed

Premuim materials used for finest quality

International Safety Standards Bouyancy Compliant

(L) 5.75m x (W) 0.605m

Weight - 25KG

Maximum Load - 170KG

All kayaks are customisable, colour/colour patterns, hatches, rod holders etc

more details here:   http://www.stealthkayaks.co.uk/

Very pleased with this kayak and dont think there is anything out there at the moment which would make me want to change (however would love a paddle of the new Pro Fisha 525)

Andy

3 comments:

  1. Nice review Andy. I agree with most of your comments (and I still think those straps are fiddly!). I have noticed quite a few "bumps" on my rudder now. Not sure if that's when wheeling it to and from launch or when I land, but I think it's the former. A retractable rudder like on the Epics would be the finishing touch on an otherwise perfect kayak! Anyhow, like you I'm very happy with my 575 - that's really one quick boat. My mate just took delivery of his Dorado 2 recently and isn't completely happy with it. I notice it's a good bit slower than mine, the storage isn't as good IMO and like you say, you've a bit more flexibility to move around.

    The only thing I might change is the trolling rod holders, the angle is a bit too low. I clipped my rod with a paddle a while back and lost both rod and reel over the side! Never happened in all the years I've been kayak fishing. Apart from that, I love it as it is.

    Great fishing platform.

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  2. I should add that having a permanent rudder is a great idea. I really like that feature, it makes paddling across wind a total breeze! (sorry, bad pun!). I'd just like the option to retract it when out of the water.

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  3. I agree mate I have bumped my rudder whilst rockhopping some exposed scars my own fault but quite an easy repair also when putting it on the trolley I have started doing it backwards so I'm lifting the stern therefore the rudder is well clear of the rocks when dragging it simple solution but took me a few weeks to think of doing it

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