last week I got a call from a new Client John who wanted to specifically try out the Old Town predator XL. I unfortunately no matter the requests I get for them I can't afford them so the Predator 13 is the next best platform when comparing kayaks. His dilema was to buy a Hobie Pro angler 14 or stick with a easier to manage Predator XL. I told him with my knowledge I could steer him in the right direction even if its not the Predator. He even told me the trip was more about the kayak then catching fish, but as a guide I can't not let my clients catch fish thats my job.
So John lands in Orlando at (MCO) at 11:30 and was in his rental headed to titusville by 11:50. I met John at 1pm at Capt Hooks Bait and Tackle in Titusville, Fl. We picked up a few supplies and headed out to the mildy windy waters. Weather was blowing about 10 mph from the south south east. With the way our lagoons are any southerly or northerly winds make it challenging to find calm waters. I decided to show John how bad ass the Predator is at paddling into a head wind and choppy water and how the bow stays on top of the water keep the nose up and you dry where as the Hobie has a Bow down design and likes to burry itself in waves causeing waves over the bow, water leaks into the hull, and possible floodage and flipping, however with the Predator bow you just skim across the top of the chop and he loved it, we covered two miles in about a hour in a 10mph head wind. He was impressed. So time to get him on some fish, the bite was slow all though we saw plenty of tails, they just didn't want to bite but John did manage this little Slot double Spotted Red from the new Predator again showing its ability to stay slimey.
I'm pretty certain I convinced John the Predator was a Better choice over the Pro Angler, all though he pointed out he still like the PA seat, and the peddle drive, he can now see how a Paddle Kayak can be just as affective if utilized correctly. I hope he chooses the Predator he'll probably go with a XL although we discussed me building a trolling motor on the back where it belongs, if he does go with a predator 13.
Some people think kayak guiding is all about catching fish, but a good amount of clients are just demoing gear before purchasing and they hire a guide to get the best experience posssible with that gear. He had already had a charter with a guide with a Pro Angler 14, and he and I shared a lot of the same flawed features. I'm pretty sure I did my job of convincing him of which yak to purchase just wish I had a XL for clients to try out. Maybe one day.