The Coosa FD: Jackson Kayak’s First Pedal Drive

From Paddle To Pedal

By now everyone in the kayak fishing world knows that pedal drive kayaks are all the rage. I wasn’t one of the people feeling that rage. After taking one basic skills course here at Alder Creek, I felt that me and my paddle could do anything a pedal drive kayak could do. Having the ability to be hands free, while letting your legs do most of the heavy lifting seemed to be over rated. So, for the last year I kept telling myself that I didn’t need a pedal drive kayak as I paddled across lakes, and rivers in my Jackson Kayak Coosa HD. I was wrong.

Over the last 5 years every kayak company building fishing kayaks felt the need to compete in the pedal drive industry. Every company has come out with their own system along with tweaks in order to make them different. Jackson Kayak outdid themselves by taking the pedal drive game to the next level with their Coosa FD model.

The Flex Drive actually flexes. It is very comfortable knowing that at all times the base of your drive is always attached to your kayak. Not only is it attached, but it also is protected in its raised position, when not being used. This makes it much easier to transport, and maneuver. The pedals  are an easy removable attachment that tighten down quick. The most comfortable part about the flex drive is knowing that you can run up ashore without you having to worry about doing extensive damage to the propeller. When pressure is applied, the flex drive will flip back into its raised position protecting it in most situations.

The flex drive nearly turns on a dime. I noticed two or three small hard pedals would spin me almost 360. This was nice as it cut down the time needed to continually make large big laps trying to get back in my spot. Once I was in my spot I enjoyed being able to back pedal to keep tension on my line. This helps greatly against wind and current. A few slow pedals backwards would go along way. The goal is to be able to fish as much as possible with your hands free. The more you have a line in the water the greater your odds of catching fish.

The seat is now more comfortable, adjustable, and secure. The seat is secured through a locking pin on both sides with multiple options for higher and lower sitting.  You can move closer or further away from your pedals easy, since the seat is set into position through gear tracks. Just tight or loosen a couple wing nuts, then slide your seat into the preferred position.

The last part of the FD is the rudder & and rod tusks. The rudder is also secured by a locking pin which makes taking the ruder on and off when you’re hauling or storing your kayak super easy. The rod tusks are improved, and built in giving you more rod protection. I use this feature a lot. It keeps my rods in quick reach, and removes any worry about going under low hanging tree branches or docks.

I’ve been kayak fishing for going on two years now, chasing mostly large and smallmouth bass. When I got my hands on the Coosa FD I wanted to put it to the test and try something new. I decided to take it to Pacific City, Oregon to catch some rockfish in the saltwater. In all my time in my HD I never once felt I was close to going into the water, but then again I hadn’t ever taken it into the swells. I had my reservations at first as anyone should their first time in the deep blue sea, but I quickly realized how secure I was. The flex drive not only made it easier on my body, but my mind as well. Knowing that I could effortlessly move from spot to spot looking for fish is a refresher. When paddling, a typical trek can take its toll on your body and your fishing time. When I was out there in the FD I felt free, safe, and was having a blast easily catching rockfish just meter aways from Haystack Rock. The FD and I will definitely be back in the salt.

Feeling alive from my trip to the coast I decided to take the FD on one more journey. I took it to my daily stomping grounds just outside Portland on the Willamette River. My boat input is about a mile to two down from my favorite fishing hole. I usually spend an thirty minutes or more paddling to my first fishing hole. This time I hit my spot in fifteen minutes. Theres fish all over the river, but with years of experience under my belt you know where your best honey holes are. Being able to get to those holes quickly is a relief, and gives me more confidence. I am much more locked in when I know my chances of catching big fish are higher. Luckily enough, it only took me a couple hours to get into a really good fish. This was just one more notch sealing the FD’s win over my HD.

Jackson Kayak Coosa FD

I had my presumptions about getting into a peddle drive at first, but now I am sold. I love that the Jackson Kayak Coosa FD has the typical Jackson touch. Performance with all the best features. If you are interested in a peddle drive fishing kayak definitely stop into Alder Creek to give the HD a spin.

By Brian Cornelison Kayak Fishing Product Reviews