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Gear Review: Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 Fishing Kayak - Next Adventure

Gear Review: Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 Fishing Kayak

Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10

Over the past 5 years of my kayak fishing journey I have watched the kayak industry grow and change. From a time where the number of pedal kayaks were about equal to the number of paddle kayaks. Today the kayaks are looking more and more like their boating counterparts. I have seen more tournament kayaks rigged out with electric motors and as many electronics as possible. This got me asking myself, as a kayak angler, more specifically a bass tournament kayak angler, do I really need all this gear? Can I fish and compete with a simpler setup? That is where the Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 enters the frame.

The Big Upgrade

For the 2023 season I decided to sell my Titan 12 to purchase the Slayer MAX 10 for use in the Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing tournament tour. I wanted to be more minimalistic. Get back to using what I need for fishing, rather than what is flashy and new. I wanted my kayak to be smaller and lighter. To be easier to transport and maneuver down the ramp. I was amazed at just how well the Slayer MAX 10 delivered on all accounts. I’m really impressed with this kayak. With all the features, the turning radius and the transportability, has really made me fall in love with this kayak.

Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 rigged for fishing

Kayak Weight

Probably one of my favorite things about this kayak is the weight. My previous kayak, the Titan 12, unrigged, comes in at 109 lbs. This may or may not seem like a lot, but when you are puling the kayak up the ramp of some drawn down reservoirs in the fall, it can be exhausting. Transportation can be tricky too. The Titan 12 isn’t really a car topping kayak. Realistically the best way to transport the Titan 12 around is in the back of a truck or on a trailer. The Slayer MAX 10 on the other hand, unrigged, weighs in at 75 lbs. It is one of the lightest full featured fishing kayaks on the market. Its lightness makes car topping this kayak a real possibility. Each time I load and unload this kayak, even with help, I was amazed at how little work it took. In my opinion the weight of this kayak can really be advantageous to the angler who is looking for a full featured kayak, but doesn’t have the truck or trailer for transportation.

 

Sacrificial Plates

Like the Slayer MAX 12.5 this the MAX 10 sacrificial plates on both sides of the inside of the kayak. They sit just ahead of the size 3600 tackle box spots. These two plastic squares allow for access into the hull of the kayak without having to drill holes. These are great for rigging up electronics. You can add switch panels, usb slots or through hull wiring mounts to run fish finders or anything you can think of. And if you ever decide to change how your electronics are setup you can replace the plates and be ready for a new setup.

Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 sacrificial plate

Installing a fish finder is a breeze. This used to require drilling holes in your kayak to run wires for both the power and the transducer. With the Slayer MAX 10, like the 12.5 there is a transducer bay that allows you to mount most of the transducers that come with fish finders. The great thing about this is that there is a sacrificial plate that the transducer can be mounted to. There are also pre-molded holes that allows you to run the wires for the transducer.

Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 plate

Maneuverability

When it comes to fishing the ability to control your kayak in any situation is incredibly important. The MAX 10 has one of, if not the tightest, turning radula of any kayak. It turns tighter than almost any other kayak aside from the Hobie Mirage 360. Which has a different system of propulsion. This turning radius in conjunction with the short kayak allows the MAX to turn much easier. Including in windy and high current conditions when the wind or current will attempt to move the kayak around. And for when it is time to make a long run, to get to your starting point, or just to the next area of water to fish, the Springblade can be deployed. This drops the rudder from a horizontal position to a vertical position. This makes the rudder act more like a skag to help the kayak track. In the down position, when moving forward, the rudder can spring back move over obstacles. This way the rudder doesn’t get broken when in forward motion. Even in the down position the kayak still has a great turning radius.
Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 rudder

 

Storage

One thing that the Slayer MAX 10 is not without is storage. But be warned this is a smaller kayak. It is meant to be more of a minimalist's kayak. I have had to adjust what I bring out on the water with me, because there is not room for everything I used to bring on the Titan 12. As mentioned above the two slots on each side of the Hull provide room for a couple of 3600 tackle boxes ready and waiting. Underneath the seat is what I call the “Junk Drawer.” It is where I keep all my little odds and ends I need or use while out on the water. It’s great because these items are all quick and easy to access. There is also room to comfortably fit a 13”x16” Yakattack BlackPack Pro with 6 rod holders attached.

Native Watercraft Slayer MAX 10 storage

 

Summary

As much as I love the Slayer MAX 10 and want to tell you this is the right kayak for you, it may not be exactly what you are looking for. Each angler will prioritize a specific kayak’s pros over other kayak’s pros. And while I can always provide and angler with my experiences to help inform a decision, there is no substitute for spending a little time in the kayak on the water. It will help you get a feel for the kayaks stability. A handle on the locations of the different features. And an over all handle on what really fits best for each angler. That is why, while I love the Slayer Max 10 and think others will too, I always advise that the spend time at the Next Adventure Paddle Sports Center in Scapoose Bay where they can demo almost any kayak Next Adventure sells. So good luck in your quest for a kayak, I hope you find one that fits your fishing style and I hope to see you to on the water.

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