Ascend FS128T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak - Camo
I think the kayak is great. If you are looking for a great fishing kayak, this is it. It is a good price for what it offers. The storage is amazing. If you like the kayak, do not read the rest of my review. I am pointing out a lot of things but they are small and I am picky. First of all is the hatches leak which I sure you already know by now. Just put a little silicon in there and your fine. Second, it does not have any side handles on it. This makes it difficult for loading and unloading. It also makes it hard to turnover in the water if you capsize. I bought some kayak handles and bolted them on. Third, the very front and very back hatches (the circular ones) are very stiff. They are hard to turn and even harder to pull up. I bought another pair of kayak handles and bolted them onto the hatches. It works great! Fourth, the paddle holder puts the paddle right on top of the rod holders. I had to move my rods around a lot when I was putting the paddle on. Fifth, is not as big but the stand up strap is a little too short. I kept having to lean a ways down to get it. It was very difficult with a PFD on but if you just tie a little bit of rope to it, you will be fine. Last, the chord that holds the seat down is too stretchy. I love the seat but every time I would lean back when setting the hook, I would fall back with the seat. Most of the problems I have said are tiny and fixable but like I said, I'm picky and I want you to know what you are buying. Overall I think it is a great kayak and it is great for fishing. I would recommend it to anyone. The problems are fixable with about and extra 30-50 bucks but I believe it is worth it!
March 30, 2014
The C-130 of kayaks!
This thing is super stable. I was able to stand up in it with no problem. With practice, I can see no issue with standing in calm waters and navigating the yak.
My unit does not have problem with the hatches leaking that seems to be common amongst other units. Yes it had a bit of water in the hull at the end of the ride, but it was less than a cup of water. This was after taking on a ton of water as I was testing the boat. I will monitor and re-seal the hatches if necessary.
As for the hatches, the only problem I have with the two round 8" and the small round one next to seat is that they are too hard to open. Sand had gotten into the threads on the small hatch and it took quite a bit of effort to open once we were loaded up and ready to go. Handles will be installed on top of the hatches before the next trip to ease opening them. Also the 'dry pouch' in the small hatch still gets pretty damp. I store my keys, wallet, and knife in this hatch. Others have complained it is not completely dry and they have encountered problems. I look at it this way, you are going out in a boat in water, no matter how dry the storage hatch is, it doesn't hurt to add a little extra protection. Everything that goes in my boat that I don't want to get wet goes in a waterproof bag. Zip-loc's are inexpensive and work just fine.
I noticed some hull flex as I stood up on the kayak. I will remedy this with some marine-grade foam support under the deck. While the unit has a couple of blocks already installed, there is plenty of open room for more, and I will still have a ton of storage left.
Rod holder that came with the unit has not even been installed. It is positioned in a poor choice of location and it would be in the way of the paddles. I will use the mount for a cellphone/gps unit holder.
Another modification that will happen soon is the addition of side handles. This thing needs more than the bow and stern handles, big oversight on the designers.
The seat is quite comfortable and I actually found the unit easier to maneuver in the high seating position. I thought that it would upset my center of gravity too much, but as stated, the unit is super stable and did not seem to have any problems. One note about the seat, there are four screws that connect the seat to the base. I would advise loc-tite on the threads. When I got home, I noticed that three of the screws had worked themselves loose from the seat. Luckily they were jammed against the frame and I did not lose any of them.
For the money I am quite pleased with the unit. When I started to look at Kayaks, I was quite specific on how I would utilize the unit. I wanted something that could carry my gear whether I was fishing, hunting, or camping. I wanted a high seating position, and smooth ride on lakes and rivers. I wanted the C-130 of kayaks. She is heavy, big, and not terribly fast, but it gets the job done and will take anything you throw at it.
May 27, 2014
Does the Job
My first real fishing kayak so my experience is limited.
Kayak moves a lot better than I expected. I kept up with my wife on her smaller kayak with little effort.Tracking is a little weird as it seems that my position on the seat will determine which way the kayak will want to track. Kayak is heavy but buying scupper dolly makes moving it around very doable. Tons of room for anything from tackle boxes to cooler chests. Seat has no lumbar support and I am changing it out with a flip down bass seat so I can sit longer. Have not tried this yet, but it's nice that the swivel seat mount is compatible with other seats. Rod holders in front are hard to reach and side holder must be facing rearward when paddling in order to avoid hitting it with a paddle. Would like to have seen bow of kayak built higher for rougher water, but if your afraid of getting a little wet buy a canoe.
June 12, 2013
We ordered three of these online after seeing them in person. I will be using them for my fishing charter business in the Tampa Bay area. They arrived yesterday at the store. Took them out today to test them out and they handled well in the water. I noticed people mentioned that it doesn't handle well in currents or rough waters but I didn't have a problem. They said it handles like a log but lets face it...it is a log. It's 13 feet and 33 inches wide...add in your body weight and gear and yea it isnt going to be the fastest or the easiest to maneuver, but thats not what I was looking for. I was looking for something dependable, sturdy and equipped to catch fish efficiently. This kayak delivers that. I also have a native slayer that is 12 foot long and 30 inches wide and handles the same in currents as the FS128T. Not to mention my slayer was double the price, didnt come with any rod holders or dry storage box nor can I stand up in it without it becoming very unsteady. I am 6 foot and 270 lbs and was able to stand up in the ascend no problem and had no worries of tipping over.
If you are on the fence about buying this kayak dont be. Its a great kayak that is very competitive with other more expensive bands and for the price you cant go wrong. Honestly I wish I would have bought this sooner.
September 27, 2014