Blackwater 10.5

by  Dagger

This Product Has Been Discontinued

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Blackwater 10.5 Description

The Blackwater 10.5 is a kayak brought to you by Dagger. Read Blackwater 10.5 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Blackwater 10.5 Reviews

Read reviews for the Blackwater 10.5 by Dagger as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I love my Dagger Blackwater…

Submitted by: Susan-Cole on 6/12/2019

I love my Dagger Blackwater 10.5 but wish it hadn't been discontinued. I bought mine in 2002 and I've taken it on lakes, rivers and the ocean. It handles some rough water and isn't too heavy to lift onto my car. The drop down skeg helps it track straight and it feels good in the water.


Dagger Blackwater 10.5

Submitted by: paddler350641 on 4/12/2017

Purchased two Blackwater kayaks for my wife and I three years ago, I have previous experience kayaking but my wife none.
We have had great fun in these kayaks, they are not too heavy and easily manhandled, if the weathers nice I just stick them on the roof rack and we take off or plan the day before taking a picnic lunch/tea to the nearest river, lake.

I find the Blackwater OK on the sea provided its no more that a force 2 maybe just touching force 3 - certainly no more. I have read one or two reviewers commenting that they have taken them out on whitewater or surf, all I can say is that they must be experienced in moderate plus sea conditions.

With a very large cockpit, entry and exit is easy. Watertight, well sealed hatch with dry storage for a day outing or perhaps two, including additional space behind seat. Good bracing of knees and feet both of which are easy to adjust.

Stable and easy to paddle with reasonable cruising speed. Very manoeuvrable without use of skeg which is easy to drop and lift and in use greatly assists tracking. The seat and backrest have plenty of adjustment and we both find them very comfortable, I have paddled for 3 - 4 hours non stop in complete comfort - like most things needs a bit of time to adjust to ones contours !

Tough, capable boat from a top manufacturer which I would be happy to recommend to a friend. If we ever wish to sell I’m sure they hold their value well.

My wife says she likes the modern colours :)



I remember really wanting one…

Submitted by: kenelkins on 11/2/2016
I remember really wanting one of these a few years back. I was able to paddle one this past weekend. My friend was not sure when he bought it, but was sure it was at least five years ago. I fit easily, 6'1" and 250 lbs. Open water would not be its forte, but it was great for slipping up the small creeks that fed the lake I was in. The cockpit was roomy enough to allow a little fishing and carry a small gear box. Easy to maneuver and carry. I may have to think about a small kayak again.

I was looking for a stable…

Submitted by: larryskora on 7/16/2015
I was looking for a stable boat for fishing and doing some general camping/rec paddling. Price was also a consideration so I was leaning towards some type of poly boat. After reading a mountain of reviews and talking to some experienced paddlers I decided to check out a few boats, including the Dagger Blackwater. I found many similar designs in this price range and was able to "test ride" a couple. I found I liked the Blackwater the best. The cockpit area is really roomy and easy to enter/exit. I am a bigger guy (220 lbs) and I have no issues with the space nor the in-water performance while floating my large behind. The wide flat-ish deck is nice for spreading out fishing tackle and provides a lot of options for lashing camping gear. Dry well space is large and the foot pegs are well constructed. I found the seat to be pretty comfortable and it does adjust slightly to fit.

In the water I found the Blackwater is a very stable boat and tracks pretty well. It's for sure not a high speed glider but considering it's large footprint I was very happy with how it handles. The retrackable skeg is a nice touch. I don't do a lot of big open water paddling so I don't know how the skeg enhances performance in the wind. Overall I would say the Blackwater is a fantastic all purpose rec boat. It handles well when loaded with camping gear and tracks well when you're headed to the next fishing spot.


I bought two of these kayaks…

Submitted by: greiggg on 7/5/2015
I bought two of these kayaks 8 years ago and they have held up great! They are great both on the lake and river. I've had to reseal the storage compartment once on each boat because water was getting in and the skeg broke on one. I never use the skeg anyway. They have taken a beating over the years and have held up great! It is hard to find a quality spray skirt because of the large cockpit size. I've been very satisfied with these boats and hope they serve me well for years to come. I'll definitely buy future boats from Dagger.

This is my first (of two)…

Submitted by: wormond on 7/29/2013
This is my first (of two) kayaks. 44 lbs and able to put on top of my car. Tracks very well with the skeg down, in fact, a whole different boat. My "creek" boat that tracks better than my Vision, which I got for flatwater and extended trips. The Blackwater carries enough gear & food for an overnight or 2 and handles well enough on flatwater, though it isn't a fast or sleek boat, I have absolutely no problems keeping up with people paddling longer kayaks.

I brought one new after 20…

Submitted by: paddler234482 on 4/5/2012
I brought one new after 20 years in a fibre glass locally made canoe, It was firstly like going from a 1988 Ford RS Codsworth then onto a Rolls Royce Silver shadow, Secondly its a whole lot of fun for My young family as they prefer the stability, tracking with the skeg, and just plain old looking good in a new modern canoe... Essex UK has a river I paddle all year called the Blackwater (look it up) for which this craft is ideal for a paddle along the canal & river Chelmer (look it up again!) The river Stour in Suffolk also, as I said this canoe is great for this type of paddling. My seat is great it springs back for easy get in & outs, the weight although heavier than My olde fibre glass one is fairly light and easy for portage points... go but and enjoy... Oh i put a camping stove and frying pan in My dry compartment for duck egg sandwiches sat along the river

The blackwater 10.5 is a very…

Submitted by: paddler234255 on 8/29/2011
The blackwater 10.5 is a very good, versatile boat. I paddle a number of waters; lakes, ponds, swamps, rivers, and some whitewater.

On flat water the blackwater may not be the fastest boat but it tracks well with the skeg down and is very stable. With the skeg up the boat becomes very maneuverable and responsive.

I've taken this kayak on class II, and II+ waters with no incident, but I wouldn't take it down anything more than that. If you plan on doing any class II, do yourself a favor and pickup a skirt. The boat will take on water from waves splashing over. I ran the boat with a skirt, and felt confident and safe on the ww.

The seat is comfortable,is foam padded, and adjustable. The dual density dry storage stayed dry.

All in all the blackwater 10.5 is a boat you won't outgrow quickly, and can be taken on a number of different types of water. Not the fastest, but very stable, tracks well with the skeg down. Being a shorter boat it is easier to maneuver, and is responsive with the skeg up, which is great in mild white water.


I bought this kayak after…

Submitted by: paddler233272 on 7/31/2009
I bought this kayak after many months of reading and researching. I was looking for an all around kayak that would do everything. And I found it in the Blackwater series. It is light and easy to portage by yourself. I use mine for fishing, leisure paddling, as well as river running. I have taken this down local creeks and the Missouri River. It handled everything that was thrown at it. It does paddle heavy in the water, but I believe that with the larger boats like the 12 or 13 you would make this problem go away. The dry storage works well and I am able to fit my tent pack and sleeping bag in it with ease. It is very comfortable to sit in for hours on end and the cockpit is large enough to move around in but not to large that it allows a lot of water to get in. It has great stability in the water and I have rolled it only twice (more but those where on purpose trying to show off) without the spray skirt an eskimo roll is almost impossible. Great boat for the money. Hope this helps

This boat for me was a…

Submitted by: paddler233129 on 5/19/2009
This boat for me was a fantastic buy! does rapids well; not a speed machine but with the skeg down gives a great performance. I've Outrigged it for some serious fishing but it's a fun boat in the surf too!
For the money you can't go wrong!

I have had my Blackwater 10.5…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/15/2009
I have had my Blackwater 10.5 since 2003. I have really enjoyed this boat, and think it was a good purchase. Over the years I have outfitted my boat to make it more functional in regards to fishing. I have added rod holders, anchor trolley, depth finder...etc. I have caught a lot of fish from this boat, and have a lot of miles under my belt as well.

They gave it a perfect name, because it performs best in blackwater. I have explored swamps, blackwater creeks, slow moving rivers, ponds and smaller lakes. The boat tracks very well with the skeg down. The boat doesn't perform very good in windy choppy conditions, but the boat wasn't made for those conditions.

My biggest gripe with the 10.5, is the seat. The seat becomes very uncomfortable after 45 minutes. I made some modifications and now I can fish/paddle for hours in comfort. Keep in mind that I have an older model, I'm sure they've made the seating more comfortable. I have really enjoyed my Blackwater for many years, and plan to enjoy it for many more to come.


This is a very good boat for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/4/2008
This is a very good boat for lazy rivers. I added mine to an Approach, which is far better in faster, trickier water, but horrendous on slower stretches. The Blackwater 10.5 does not turn easily compared to the Approach, but glides far better. I do not take it on open water, as I have a Current Designs Caribou for that.

I can get comfortable with the adjustable seat, and the only downside I can mention is the lack of thigh braces, and the fact that the footpeg adjusters get in the way of adding these. The padding on the cockpit rim is nice, but I don't really want my knees that high, so something inside to rest thighs/knees on would be nice.


The Blackwater is fast and…

Submitted by: OurKayaks on 9/5/2008
The Blackwater is fast and tracks very well. Compared to my Approach, though, it turns like a battleship, nor is it as stable. I've learned to make sharper turns by pulling up the skeg before turning. It's great for open flat water & cuts through small waves. I plan on touring with it next summer, after I make the seating more comfortable. It gets uncomfortable after 45 - 50 minutes. I knock it down one point for the seat.

I have been in my 2008 model…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/21/2008
I have been in my 2008 model for about a month now. Coming from a whitewater back ground this thing is dead stable with the skeg down. I have used it in relatively large lakes so far. Wind does not bother it at all. My only complaint is that it is quite slow. The longest that I have been in it is about 3 hours and the seat was very comfortable. I am 6'4" 235 and it fits me like a glove.

I didn't really know what to…

Submitted by: paddler232323 on 9/17/2007
I didn't really know what to expect due to the fact that its been 14yrs since I sat in a yak. Rented a few SOTs to get me interested in it again. I initially bought the yak to get back into the sport living in S.FL. The gentleman asked me to take it out of his store with skirt and paddle for $700, it wasn't a cheap rec paddle or skirt either!

Initially I had problems tracking it due to improper forward paddle technique... and yah it does sorta plow water a lil bit until I got it on the open water with gear and water/food. The extra weight does seem to help the boat for some reason and have had no complaints. My boat is the 12.0 not the 10.5, so the extra length might be what I have to smile about. Oh and yes, if you purchase one, just buy a paddle pad ($9.99) and it will solve your seat problems... other than that it's ready to go!


I have had this kayak for two…

Submitted by: wormond on 10/18/2006
I have had this kayak for two years and it is my first. I paddle around Presque Isle- in the lagoons, the bay and Lake Erie. I have only used it for short paddles and find it comfortable. It is very stable, tracks well with the skeg down. It is a bit of a "tugboat" though, as it dows plow through the water, as several have noted already. Very stable. I use it partly for the great upper body workout, partly because I enjoy the feel of powering the paddle and moving the kayak through the water, and partly for the peace of being on the water. It is a body-mind-spirit experience for me. I plan to buy a longer Kayak in the near future, and keep the Blackwater. The Erie Outing Club members recommend >14' for longer paddles, although I note that a few have taken longer paddles in the blackwater with success.

I just returned from a two…

Submitted by: Riveryak on 9/25/2006
I just returned from a two river, 4 day, 100 mile trip with my 10.5. I was a little leary at first about taking this boat on an extended excursion, but it proved itself in the end. Even with the weight of four gallons of water and all the essential gear, the boat handled extremely well. With some creative packing, I found ample room in the cockpit, dry storage area, and on top of the deck for all of my gear. At the end of the trip, I ran into some class III rapids with an occasional short burst of class IVs. In 100 miles, I never tipped the boat. It is the most stable kayak I have ever paddled. The bottom took a beating from rocks but the only scars are minor scratches on the plastic and a pretty good gash in the alumimun skeg that will buff out. The skeg remained straight and true the duration of the trip. This boat is the perfect length for any trip that offers water from extremely calm to extremely fast. A very hardy and well designed craft!

Bought my kayak off ebay and…

Submitted by: paddler231426 on 1/2/2006
Bought my kayak off ebay and got a steal on it along with a nice paddle. Anyway, this boat does all I need. Perfect for rivers and small bays/inlets. Tracks well with the skeg down but when it’s up, can be a bit iffy in a current. Overall, I love it!

This is my first kayak, and I…

Submitted by: paddler231132 on 6/13/2005
This is my first kayak, and I absolutely love it!! I tried out several models before purchasing this Dagger, and I am quite satisfied with the Blackwater. Being and beginner, I don't know that much about kayaking, but from what little I have picked up already, this is an awesome boat!! The best way to look at - it is that this is a great multipurpose kayak! I've already used in on some open lakes and in a creek. It works great in both places! The one minor gripe I have is that the seat could be a little better. I can see where hours of use could give you a sore butt, but it's so fun right now that I don't care! I only wish I had purchased one sooner! I can't believe how fun this is!!

Overall a decent buy. I…

Submitted by: paddler231123 on 6/9/2005
Overall a decent buy. I purchased one on a 14-day trial, took it on a three-hour tour and with the skeg down it is very pleasant. However, with the skeg retracted, it drifts off to the left leaving me to work twice as hard to keep it straight. Instead of gliding through the water, it plows and after a while the seat gets uncomfortable. It looks solid, is very easy to transport, and has neat features. Overall I was more "wowed" by another kayak and took this Blackwater back.

Fantastic multipurpose kayak.…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/27/2005
Fantastic multipurpose kayak. Great in moderate rivers or on lakes. Like it better than my longer touring kayaks for general use. Would definitely buy another one. Great price too.

WOW, WOW, WOW and WOW. If you…

Submitted by: paddler230821 on 9/29/2004
WOW, WOW, WOW and WOW. If you want a boat that can glide you down a canal, river or just simply to trawl around in the surf. Get out and buy one. An absolutely fantastic purchase.

I tried to like this boat but…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/29/2004
I tried to like this boat but just can't bring myself to get enthusiastic about it. It plows, no glide, wallows in the turns, and generally acts like a low cost entry level kayak, which it is, especially the low cost seat padding and back band. There are much better kayaks that cost the same or less. I traded my Blackwater for a Necky Santa Cruz, which also has a skeg and wow what a difference! The Necky is extremely well outfitted, very comfortable, turns like a leaf on the current, runs rapids up to Class II with great fun, and will make excellent speed on the flats with the skeg down. Cost almost identical to the Blackwater, and in my honest opinion it's twice the boat.

As a beginner, and being…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/25/2003
As a beginner, and being 6'2", I really appreciate the design and stabilty of this, my first, boat. I use it mostly at sea, either messing about in the surf or for coastal trips, and it copes with waves and winds very well. I can't offer a very objective review as my experience of using other kayaks is relatively limited, butI love it and I'd say its a very seaworthy little boat that copes well with the weather and sea conditions here in West Wales, even if that's not what its designed for. Its certainly the best choice for me until I am ready to purchase a full sea kayak.I really like the footrests, and the great seat too. Very pleased overall with all its features.

I've had my 10.5 since June,…

Submitted by: rik_anaka on 9/25/2003
I've had my 10.5 since June, and I love it. It is very responsive and stable. This is a great boat for beginners or people looking for a do-it-all hull. The storage is alright, and would probably do well on an overnight trip (I have not tried it yet). My only complaint about this boat is the skeg cord. Mine was far too long and kept slipping off. A few knots and that was fixed. All in all, a great boat for a resonable price.

I have had my blackwater…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/29/2003
I have had my blackwater since may. I quickly migrated from river to sea, and now use my 10.5 for surfing. It isn't that good at it, but I feel you should try and get as much out of your kayak as possible. So far I have lost all of the foam padding out of it, jammed the skeg up, broken off both foot rests and rails, and scrathed the bejesus out of both topside and underneath. Several modifications have been made, including drilling out both sections for bung-holes. Even though dagger did not have this sort of treatment in mind when they designed it, it does pretty well against my friend's perception whiplash, getting a much longer and stable ride from 12 footers offshore. I would definitely recommend to those currently restricted to rivers to take achance on the open sea. Don't forget the bungs.

Dagger has put a lot of…

Submitted by: paddler230319 on 8/18/2003
Dagger has put a lot of quality in this boat. It is a very responsive kayak and has lots of room. A wonderful seat! The only drawback is that it is very slow. A good boat for a beginner or a fisherman.

I have had my Blackwater…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/18/2003
I have had my Blackwater since May of 2003. The boat tracks well with the skeg down, and is great for fishing on small winding trout streams. Paddling long distances on flat water is quite a workout, as the boat tends to plow through the water, rather than cut through. I have had it on several overnight and 2 night trips. It actuall paddles better with a load than it does without. Nice little boat for what I use it for.

Well lets see, I bought my…

Submitted by: paddler229876 on 8/13/2002
Well lets see, I bought my yak june of this year 02. I bought it for the exercise and to fish out of. It works get to fish out of I can float side ways going down the rivers i have been on casting as I go. And as far as the work out I like the fact that my Blackwater doesn't glide across the water, I really get a great shoulder work out and can get my heart beating as if i were on a treadmill. Since june I've paddled some 50 to 55 miles in my Blackwater and I love it. The only draw backs for me are I had to lengthen the skeg cord for more tracking abilities, and the boat wanders to the right when the skeg is up but I can correct that by twisting my midsection when paddling.

I've had the kayak on the…

Submitted by: paddler229807 on 7/16/2002
I've had the kayak on the water a few times now and I love it. It tracks well with the skeg down and is very maruverable with the skeg up. The blackwater is stable enough for me to jump out of and climb back in with the use of a paddle float. Great all around boat.
Blackwater 10.5