A New Breed of Waterfowl Predator
Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 4:53pm
Old Town’s Predator Series is one of the most highly regarded fishing-style kayaks on the market. Their stability coupled with comfort and well-engineered ergonomics make the Predator the envy of any kayak angler who doesn’t already have one.
But fishing isn’t the only application for the Old Town Predator family. The Predator MX paddle-driven kayak has already won over legions of waterfowlers.
Old Town didn’t stop there. The entire outdoors industry took note when the Predator PDL won “Best New Boat” in the New Product Showcase at last July’s 2016 ICAST show in Orlando, Florida. The innovative PDL drive system is the first pedal-driven kayak conveyance system to include reverse.
According to northern Indiana/southwest Michigan hunting and fishing guide Jay Anglin, Old Town’s camo version of the versatility of the Predator PDL is going to revolutionize kayak hunting on marshes, ponds, lakes and rivers.
“I can personally attest to the capability of the Predator PDL, as I had the opportunity to try one out during the September goose and teal hunting season in Indiana. I don’t want to say I was skeptical, but I am used to using large watercraft with big motors and plenty of cargo space. So, a kayak was a considerable downsize from the norm,” says Anglin.
“I slid the kayak into the water of a nearby, shallow marsh and started to load decoys, my gun and gear. My 80 lb. retriever was eager to ride along in the oversized tank well area behind the seat, which was perfectly suited for him. I strapped a small bag of decoys and my gun in a floating case to the bow. There was even room for my camera case and a small hunting gear bag in the sealed compartment in front of the seat. At that point I was sort of dumbfounded by the amount of gear I had piled on and into the Predator PDL.”
Besides ample space for everything a waterfowler requires—including decoys and dog—Anglin was pleased to find the Predator PDL a worthy vessel even for NFL linebacker-sized hunters. Measuring 13’ 2” with a 36” beam and specially-designed hull, the Predator PDL offers the ultimate in stability, with a capacity of 500 lbs. Leg length to the PDL drive is adjustable up to 48” to accommodate hunters of all sizes.
“Even though I was well under capacity I still weigh 250 pounds and had visions of sinking as I sat down. I was absolutely amazed at how well the Predator handled the combined load. Being early September, the marsh was well vegetated, so I locked the PDL drive in the upright position and used my paddle to head towards the open marsh.
“Despite all the gear and the life jacket I was wearing, I was perfectly comfortable sitting in my waders while paddling. I deployed the PDL drive once I reached the open marsh and was able to cross a bay and get to a point that always seems to draw migrant teal. The PDL drive was considerably quicker than the paddle and I made it across in no time. Plus, the pedal drive was dead quiet. In a matter of minutes, the spread was set and my old black lab Deuce sat patiently and comfortably on the back of the kayak.
“My plan was to stand in waist-deep water, hiding in the cattails while Deuce sat on a muskrat hut but I quickly realized that he was going to be much better off staying in the Predator PDL. I shoved it into the cattails and waded out to look back and make sure it was well concealed. Frankly, it was nearly impossible to see – notwithstanding the big, black dog, of course.”
Anglin adds that climbing in and out of the Predator PDL was fairly easy, and the slip-resistant Exo-Ride deck allowed firm footing.
We ended up with a few geese and Deuce was able to launch from the Predator to make perfect retrieves. All my stuff stayed dry, and even after adding three Canada geese to the payload, the big Predator PDL kayak handled it all with zero issues. Yes, I was impressed. Maybe even amazed.”
Anglin believes the Predator PDL is going to be a great option for hunters who’ve had a hard time finding the right combination for crossing open water to get to shallow marshy spots on public hunting areas where motors are restricted. “It’s a matter of size and capability – while the Predator PDL will tuck into super shallow water spots easily, it can still move in open water quickly and carry a surprising payload. It’s also very quiet so you can sneak in easily without spooking birds.
Anglin’s advice to waterfowlers? Put the Old Town Predator PDL on your shortlist, and give it a try as soon as possible.