So I’ve had my Jackson Big Rig a little while now, figured I’d review it. For what it’s worth I am no expert and a relatively newbie to kayaks. I’ve owned 2 other sit on top yaks, an Ocean, and a Field and Stream. My Ocean was stolen a month after I bought it and I replaced it with an F&S Eagle Talon.
I spent a little less than a year fishing on the Talon. While it did the job and I caught many fish, I learned what I wanted and did not want in a kayak….also how much I loved kayaking.
I am an avid Hunter and fisherman so hunting and fishing are my main uses.
I decided to upgrade and shopped around from Gulfport to Lake Charles, wound up going to a demo at Pack n Paddle and let me say these Guys are top notch! Anyway I tested a Jackson Cuda 14, Big Rig, Ws Ride 135, Feel Free Lure, Native Slayer and for fun a Hobie Pa (had no intention on spending the $$ on a PA) While all good boats I choose the Big Rig.
So far I have been on a couple bow hunts paddling down some back country bayous in Concordia Parish, and a couple fresh water fishing trips, so here is what I have to say about the Big .
I am 6 ft 3 and 235 so I need a boat where I wasn’t pushing capacity with my big self and gear. The weight capacity listed for the Big Rig is 450, I personally say that is an understatement or maybe Jackson has different rating standards….. I don’t know but I noticed at the demo that no water was coming through rear scuppers like the rest, as a matter of fact I had 3/4 to 1 inch in the holes to spare. I have loaded it down with a climbing tree stand, compound bow, ice chest, and other miscellaneous hunting gear and still floated and paddled just fine for the 3 mile paddle. I am confident that it would do just fine hauling a deer, even if I had to stash the everything but me my bow and the deer and return later. The day I got it I took it to the lake at LSU and had my daughter in it with me (she is full grown) and noticed that the difference in handling was minimal.
The seat is awesome. <—– period. Very simple high low adjustments. No in between reclining to scare the piss out of you when you think it’s up. Yes I’m talking from experience, almost took a cold swim from a WS because I didn’t realize there was 3 positions on it, would have been funny.
Stability is VERY important to me as my last 2 were less stable, and at 37 inches wide the big rig is very stable. I am not the most graceful person so it’s never been easy to stand up on a kayak. I could on some but it was slow and deliberate, but on the BR it’s no problem, matter of fact it’s as easy as getting up from the couch! I don’t even use the assist strap/bar much. I had a motor boat pass me (at faster than idle) While I was standing and paddling my way out,fully expecting the wake to cause me to fall, to my surprise at light grasp of the bar kept me standing but I figured I shouldn’t press my luck and sat down the rest of the way. While I know it can be done, I don’t think it would be easy to flip unless it was intentionally done.
It takes a couple strokes to get it going but tracks quite well, and stays going with easy strokes. It’s as fast as any yak I’ve been in as far as i can tell (minus the Cuda 14) just takes a little bit to get going, but all I’ve been in are sit on tops….yeah its not as fast as a Hobie or a Native propel but take out your pedals and I’ll race you, besides speed was not the reason I bought it.
Now for the small down side, this dude is not the lightest. I built a cart and tote it in the back of my truck so it’s not that bad for me ( plus I’m a big ol boy). I can see how car topping and dragging it through sand, dirt, etc may be a chore. I think it weighs 98 with seat so you probably won’t be doing much portaging with it.
I love the open cockpit, and the color. I got it in GI Jackson cammo. The hull storage is huge. Comes with 2 Bazooka rod holders, 1 track mount rod holder, 2 Plano waterproof tackle boxes, water bottle and a nifty Jackson Kayak sticker.
I have added an anchor trolley. I also built a 360 light/flag pole that mounts to my ice chest. Have a DIY stake out pole (golf ball retriever 12 bucks at walmart) made removable head lights that mount to stand up bar. Will soon be installing a Lowrance Elite 5 and a Cell Block. I use a 260mm BB paddle.
All in all I absolutely love this kayak. It has done well for me as a hunting/fishing/recreational vessel. I have yet to take it in the marsh or btb, just rivers lakes and bayous. I will be going in the marsh as soon as I can. When the weather warms I will be heading to Navarre/Pensacola and give it a shot btb with some family/friends that way.
It was a little more pricey than what I wanted to pay but has been well worth it! If you are in the market for a new Kayak and have been eyeballing a Big Rig, go for it. You will not regret it.
Submitted by forum member brotherbdc