August 07, 2018
I had the opportunity to paddle the Shadow Caster Kayak from Field & Stream. For the $799.99 price point, the kayak had a bit to give a paddler. The 12-foot-3-inch length is great for lakes and the 35-inch wide tri-hull made for a very stable kayak. Tracking was awesome and the kayak was easy to turn. Not once did I feel stability was compromised.
The 35-inch wide tri-hull made for a stable and smooth ride when paddling. (Gary Elliot photo)
The kayak itself out of box is 95 pounds. It’s a tad heavy, but the solid molded handles made it easy to move. The impressive 450-pound capacity makes it available to most with room for gear.
Another impressive feature was the 33 inches of track available to add accessories for fishing or just paddling around the lake. Two nicely placed rod holders located just behind the seat and the open non-slip deck is very nice specially to sight casters and fly fisherman. The 12-by-12-inch stern storage is perfect for a crate and the additional space is very roomy, excellent for even more gear or a cooler.
The non-slip deck allows anglers to stand in the kayak to cast to visible fish. (Gary Elliot photo)
The seat has a patent pending lift link (small rope with a cinch type hold) which worked very well even with my 240-pound butt in it. The lift link allows the seat to sit flush or raise 5 inches off the deck in 1-inch increments. At the 5-inch height, the stand assist strap helps in standing. I know a person who loves to stand, and cast. He tried this out and thought the kayak maneuvered well and felt very stable, almost as well as his “name brand” kayak.
The seat can be raised 5 inches off the deck in 1-inch increments according to your personal preference. (Gary Elliot photo)
When I used the Shadow Caster Kayak, I did find the low back seat back became uncomfortable after a couple hours, but that could have just been me. The double twist latches make for a secure and well-sealed lid on the front hatch. Like most kayaks, the Shadow Caster has two paddle parks with lashing to go over the paddle to secure it in place.
One of two things that I personally missed was the lack of a console for storage. But that is to give more room to the standing anglers. Otherwise, there is a spot for a water bottle and what appears to be a spot to mount a fish/depth finder. Another issue I experienced was that it retained some water. After just two hours on the water, I found about six cups of water in the hull when I got home.
Overall, for a kayak around $800 I felt it has great features, stability and maneuverability. Color choices are a green camo or grey camo and the kayak carries a one-year warranty. The molded handles made it easy to carry and pull down to the water. I personally would have liked a higher back seat and added a small console for some storage.
For more information on the Shadow Caster Kayak, visit FieldandStreamShop.com
Review written by Gary Elliott, facilitator of https://www.facebook.com/GarysOutdoorNewsandReviews and @garys_outdoor_news_and_reviews.