13th Oct2012

Review: Jackson Coosa

Submitted by forum user elementfiftyfour:

I have been living here in South Eastern Louisiana for about 10 years now and recently have
taken the initiative to exploit the benefits of living in such a prolific fishing location. I had been using
my Mad River Canoe for a while to get out into the marshes and bayous to catch an abundance of fish
but there were some features of a canoe that just make it less than ideal for a great fishing experience
so I began to search for an alternative. With a bit of experience now behind me I knew what I wanted
to keep an eye out for while searching for just the right kayak. Stability, rigging and cost were my most
important aspects and the Jackson Kayak Coosa caught my attention on all three fronts.

First and foremost was the claim of a stable platform for the angler to stand and sight cast. Well,
the stability and maneuverability of the Coosa has proven to be exactly what Jackson has claimed and I
was making use of its amply spacious standing platform within minutes of getting it on the water. That is
a risky leap of faith considering it was mid December and the water temperatures are less than inviting.
Even in fairly windy conditions with a bit of chop I felt only just a little less comfortable but not to the
point that I thought I was going to take a swim.

The second feature that drew me to the Coosa was the High/Low seat. Even though I am doing
a fair amount of my fishing standing up it is always nice to have a comfortable seat to sit back and relax
while your lines are in the water. With the seat in the high position it is about as easy to stand up and
sit as would be in a folding camp chair on solid land. There are a few other kayaks out there that claim
standing stability but going from the sitting to standing position looks a bit risky. In my experience you
are most vulnerable to losing your balance during that transition and having the High Seat makes it all
that much easier.

As well I have already been asked about the stability while sitting in the High Seat position
but if you consider the fact that you are sitting in a more upright and natural position compared to a
traditional kayak seat you can begin to understand how it works to your advantage. I have noticed that
while sitting upright I am able to pivot my hips and shift my balance and center of mass to compensate
for any roll that may occur in less than favorable conditions. This is not necessarily the case when you
are already sitting as low as possible in a traditional kayak seat with your feet straight out in front of
you which allows you to do little more than tip your torso from side to side when trying to correct your

And finally there is the affordability factor that really sold me on the Coosa. With a price tag
of $999 for the Elite model Coosa that comes with the High/Low seat it was hard for me to look much
further at kayaks that were comparable in features but costing $500 to $1000 more.

There are of course other features that I have come to appreciate after actually getting out on
the water and spending some time in the yak. The consideration and thought of many of the features
that Drew Gregory and Jackson put into this kayak became quite obvious when I got to really sit down
and get comfortable with my surroundings. Organization and placement of my tackle, equipment and
necessities for a good fishing trip was a breeze. For instance the low angled rod holders behind the
seat are easy to snatch up without turning around but also keep your rods out of the way while casting.
Nothing is more aggravating than finding a hot spot with a school of feeding trout and then tangling up
not one but two or even three rods while trying to keep in the action. I personally may not be the most
experienced angler around but I would argue that almost anyone would eventually have a mishap while
trying to cast a popping cork rig with a two foot leader on the end so having your extra rods low and out
of the casting plane as much as possible is quite invaluable.

Next is the generous space in the rear tank well which is actually accessible while sitting in the
kayak. I have seen a lot of people building the infamous milk crate to carry all your tackle and extra gear, but since you are able to keep your tackle boxes easily within reach below your seat you are free to carry a nice sized cooler in the back to keep the days catch.

The day/dry storage hatch, while not right in front of the seat, is still within easy access should
you need to pull out the camera or phone to get a glamour shot of that bull red or monster trout you
just spent a half hour fighting. My assumption is that it is placed slightly forward to keep it out of the
standing platform.

The forward facing rod stagers and the paddle stager, while not seemingly an outstanding new
feature, actually do come in quite handy when you are getting about in the Coosa. The added freedom
of being able to stand up and maneuver around the yak more than in a traditional SOT automatically
creates more chances for the angler to accidentally knock an integral piece of equipment overboard. So
having the built in notches that help secure the rods and paddle in place are beneficial added security.

The large bow and stern storage hatches are definitely quite cavernous with plenty of room to
store whatever rain gear, extra clothing or safety equipment you might want to take along with your for
the day. I haven’t had a reason to make use of the locking hatches but anyone should be able to see the
benefit of having them when you need them.

All in all the stability, careful placement of features and the great innovation of the High/Low
Seat make this kayak a great fishing platform for hitting the marshes and bayous here in South Eastern



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