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This is my 24th year paddling…
It's extremely rockered because that's what allows this paddling dream machine to spin and maneuver you through tight creek rapids or over large standing waves (as in take those sideways, dig in and hip snap, then spin off the top and drop).
The Prophet isn't made to go straight - it's made to play the river. Downsides to it? Up-river wind (it can be exhausting). I used to rep for Blue Hole canoe--and the Prophet is the best solo canoe I've ever owned.
I'm 60 years old, and hope to be paddling it when I'm 80.
Have been a Dagger canoe…
I agree with all of the remarks about this boat being slower, and in my younger days, I just did not have the patience nor the right skill set to fully appreciate this boat... strength was my ally back then. But now, that slower ride translates into serious working and confidence to go exactly where one wants with confidence: skirting keeper holes and the like....no problem.
I trust this design and simply allow the boat to perform as intended....chew up streams AND Big Water with ease and confidence, without too much speed or overshooting/working attainments. Have now sold the Caper, and am considering selling the Rival (very fast and crazy fun back in the day btw) cause this is my home stretch boat.
The first stroke I took spun…
I picked one up outfitted with huge NRS bags, Mohawk Saddle (not even broken in) and I think Yakima footpegs for next to nothing. This is my first WW boat as I am a Canoe Fisherman and the amount of rain this spring in the mid-Atlantic has forced me to set the rod down and I happened to get the itch to creek around. I love craigslist. I've done 3 trips in 1 month up to technical class 2 and this boat is insanely fun. For a beginner to real WW with a couple years paddling experience you will see positive results by the minute. Dry and Stable. It is definitely a boat to help you on your path to being a well-rounded Waterman or woman. I'm never selling mine.
I bought my Prophet new about…
The rocker on this boat is just perfect. The Prophet is like a Mad River ME, only shorter. Both of these boats are like solo dories. The Prophet is quite dry and wants to surf and hit eddies.
One word of advice, if you own a saddle that allows you to come up off your knees and sit on a seat...Don't. If you get your center of gravity above the kneeling position, you might find yourself swimming...even on flatwater. Overall the Prophet is one fine boat. Buy one used if you find it.
The Dagger Prophet is not for…
But if you paddle once a week at least, work rivers all for their worth and are about 5'9 and 170 lbs year in for a treat.
I found my hanging in an outfitter shop, it is about 15 yrs old. Took it for its first trip down the dirty bird, flat spins, rock boofs, hole punching A+ in all. Then I took it to the big water channel and the Charlotte whitewater park, driest boat I ever paddled and it would catch gates.
Yes this boat is slow, and weight is around 55lbs. A beginner or moderate whitewater paddler will not like this boat, but if you paddle creeks, big water and work rivers, this is a great boat.
I have to preface this by…
That said, I found a well-worn Prophet at a used gear sale last year and the price was right for me. It's been a love/hate relationship because it's a tough boat for me to practice and learn on. First off, it's heavy - mine has plastic gunwales and even with half the hull worn off the boat is too heavy for me to lift over my head by myself (I can manage to slide it onto my station wagon, though.)
Second, the rocker is extreme! I didn't realize how much rocker the boat had until I saw a picture of myself with the bow and stern sticking out of the water like a banana. It turns on a dime and gives you 9 cents change, but it also makes a sloppy forward stroke into a very weak one.
So in the end, the Prophet's benefit is its turn as well as it's high sides that don't swamp easily. But its rocker makes it tough to paddle hard, especially into an eddy or to attain, and it's heavy!
But problems usually lie with the paddler, not the boat, so who knows?
Words of the Prophet :…
Dagger's cult following can count me as one of its disciples. The devine teachings of it's Prophet in the high art of steep creeking has led me to "rapid" enlightenment. At the time of this writing it's been 10 years since I found the Prophet in the little village of Farmville VA, on the banks of the mighty Appomattox. By my Prophet's guidance and a good J stroke I've never been led astray. Though your path may waver your faith must not.
Most people either love or hate the Prophet, but isn't that the way it always is ? I'm surprised there aren't more reviews on it, but Dagger only made it for a few years. It has some pretty radical lines. I don't remember the specs exactly but it's got a ridiculus amount of rocker. Something like 9" fore and 8" aft. It has a flat bottom that rounds toward the bow and has harder chines in the stern.
It's got a very lively feel and high sides. I've got mine outfitted with a Perception dry storage saddle, knee pads and toe blocks. Rocking your weight foward or back has much different effects. I'm used to boats with a lot of rocker. A good teacher is a strict teacher. The loving discipline of the Prophet will help you to straighten your crooked ways.
I live in the mountainous part of Virginia. When my local river has enough water in it, it's coming out of the mountains at a rip roaring speed. A gradient of over 80 feet per mile for the first couple miles then flattens out to about 50 feet per mile for the next 5 miles. The upper part is continous class 2,3 the lower has more space between the rapids. The Prophet loves this kind of stuff. Tight, twisty, rock studded. In my opinion this type of river is more suited to an open boat than to a kayak (there are other beliefs on that one I'm sure)because of the shallow water in the rapids and for the need to jump out of your boat often with only a few seconds notice to avoid a tree across the river or a barbed wire fence (don't you just love that? ).
I've had the Prophet on some bigger water too, like the James or the New River gorge W.V. It can hang in there but that's just not it's thing. Turning white water to wine must be because it's highly intoxicating.
So what it really comes down to was summed up by that old paddler who once said "different strokes for different folks". Either you like it or you don't; and beware the delusion of bliss. Thats all I have to say.