Alert – Do Not Buy

| July 19, 2010

It’s a first, but in an effort to bring “fair and balanced” (where have I heard that before) to gear reviews and evaluations on Texas Fly Caster, we can’t help but put the “DO NOT BUY” stamp on a couple of items by Native Watercraft.

If you have kept up with gear and goings on here, you know there is a Native Ultimate 12 in the house, and it has proven to be a great ride, and at twelve feet is easy to stand and cast from. That said, Native may make a fair margin on the boat itself, but the margins on accessories are … astronomical. Translation; Native is making a killing.

Native owes their success (it’s all in the American way of capitalism, or what’s left of it) to the nifty little tracks that run along port and starboard of their boats. The tracks allow for clicking in all kinds of bags, straps and hooks.

Here’s the rub; Just because the accessories clip in doesn’t mean they stay clipped in. The first one on the Do Not Buy list is the drink holder. I was warned off buying it from the dealer who sold me the boat (does that tell you something). I never purchased the drink holder – the Adapt-a-Trak Cup Holder that is secured only by clipping in to the track. At least one person I know did not get that advice, and say goodbye to the cup holder. DO NOT BUY. The second was one that looked so nifty on the boat, that I went against my better judgment and purchased a pair for the Native. It’s the Adapt-a-Trak Paddle Holder, and at first glance, you think there’s a double grip on the track that would not leave these clips vulnerable – nope.

The paddle clips also sit on the outside rail clipped in and looking like they are designed with an extra effort to “hold”. When I purchased them from the local Mariner Sails, I said, “these are made to be lost”, and without a pair they are worthless. This item comes in pairs at about 15. usd., and cost maybe a quarter to make. Feel free to do the math. So after losing one the other day, DO NOT BUY. There must be a better way, and there has to be a way to secure the paddle on a Native as they are not designed favorably to wedging a paddle in somewhere and staying clear of flying fly line.

My first instinct is to find a source or way to copy that plastic pattern that clips into the tracks, and go to town making accessories that are affordable, but that would mean less fishing, and more engineering, and most of my engineer readers seem to be on permanent vacation – from engineering.

So, we will simply leave these two accessories as DO NOT BUY until further notice. If you come across gear that does not pass muster, let Texas Fly Caster know, and we will take a look at it.

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Category: Equipment, Kayak, kayaking, Reviews

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Comments (3)

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  1. ken morrow says:

    Yeah, that would suck. Sounds to me like somebody who hasn’t done much kayak fishing or hunting came up with that idea!

    You could just knock off their designs and sell them in bags of 20 for $20. You’d make a mint!

  2. shannon says:

    Yeah, the trak systems are a heck of a gimmick for sure. And, not to be outdone, Wilderness followed suit with their new Commander. Call them money rails. Every positive you mention, I can confirm with top marks. Unfortunately, bonding these kinds of accessories to sides of boat means – they are no longer adjustable and they will break off instead of snapping out of the tracks. For clarity – the tracks run along the outside just below the gunwales.

  3. ken morrow says:

    I don’t own a Native boat of any kind. Probably never will. But I’ve never heard anyone say they bought a Native Ultimate for the tracks in the gunwales. In fact, every reason I’ve ever heard has been: better for standing up, tracks better than other fishing kayaks, or easier to paddle (meaning less drag and/or narrower) than other kayaks.

    With that said, I applaud you for warning people off of the accessories if they don’t work well. Have you considered a bonding agent: super glue, epoxy, etc.?

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