2022 was a fantastic year to be a kayak angler on Cape Cod. From the seat of a fishing kayak, stripers, scup, sea bass, smallmouth and more kept my lines tight from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve. Even so, I can’t help but think how much simpler life would have been without loading a heavy, 12-foot kayak on and off the roof of my car each time the albies were blitzing (which was a lot).
On more than one occasion, I risked injuring myself, damaging my vehicle, or damaging my vessel while loading and unloading it. Fishing kayaks are designed to take us where other boats often can’t, but the process of lugging it to and from the water can be a long and arduous one. In an effort to skip the awkward contortions and huffing and puffing, I began to consider the near-limitless bounds of a 45-pound inflatable boat that can seamlessly compress into a suitcase-sized bag. That’s when I discovered the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler.
Packability, Durability and Stability
As if transporting my kayak wasn’t challenging enough already, my landlady scowled at the boat’s temporary home, leaning against the side of my apartment. “It’s an eye sore to the neighbors and it’s killing the grass” she said. “All personal items need to be properly stored inside, please.”
Unsure of how or where I would stow a 12-foot kayak in a two-bedroom apartment, I investigated alternatives and found the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler. This inflatable fishing kayak is designed for anglers who frequent the road less traveled— whether paddling a remote mountain lake or stealthily hovering over sandy flats with the one-time attachable Bixpy Motor.
For someone who is new to operating a small motor on their vessel, I was delighted to find the Bixpy Motor is surprisingly user friendly. It weighs just over 10 pounds (including the battery), operates with a wireless wristband remote control, and attaches seamlessly to the skeg base. The lightweight motor is also corrosion resistant, so I have no qualms using it in saltwater. With 33 pounds of thrust and 12 forward speed settings, the Bixpy Motor can be used as a paddle-assist in heavy current or strong headwinds, and I can even troll at different depths while traveling between fishing spots.
Four individual chambers inflate the Sea Eagle 385fta via foot pump in seven minutes, while built-in rod, tool and tackle holders eliminate time spent rigging up attachments. That means gear and tackle can be loaded and unloaded efficiently, and when I’ve caught my limit, all that’s left to do is rinse, dry, fold and stow it until the next outing. To be on and off the water in ten minutes with minimal maintenance is a true luxury, and there’s no heavy lifting required.
Measuring twelve feet, six inches when inflated, the Sea Eagle 385fta is just as long and stable as my current fishing kayak, and only a fraction of the weight. It measures 3 feet wide once inflated, and despite being foldable, the boat is made of 1000-denier reinforced polyester with a special coating making it resistant to abrasions, tears, and rips, so I wouldn’t be sacrificing durability. Not to mention, because the Sea Eagle 385fta is so compact, a clunky, 12-foot boat would no longer be a storage concern or an eyesore to my neighbors.
Because of the boat’s rigid, inflatable keel, tapered bow and large removable skeg, the lightweight hull tracks well in choppy, shallow water, making it a suitable vessel in up to Class II whitewater rapids. The tough, 2000 Denier reinforced sections of the boat provide additional security and protection against jagged and rocky riverbeds, so personally, I’d be plenty comfortable taking the Sea Eagle 385fta closer to boulder fields in pursuit of stripers.
The greatest quandaries of kayak fishing are in storage, transportation, durability and practicality, and the Sea Eagle 385fta tackles each of those dilemmas to make kayak fishing accessible to anyone within reasonable distance of fishable water. Click here to check out the package options must suitable to your style of fishing.
- 635-pound weight capacity accommodates for multiple occupants or extra gear
- Built-in fish ruler eliminates fumbling for a ruler or tape measure to promote quick and seamless fish handling
- Hand-operated trolling motor compatible
- 18 D-rings to secure seats and gear
- Removable skeg
- Non-slip tough as crocodile hide EVA foam padding floor to prevent slips and punctures from hooks
- Nylon carry bag and repair kit included