12' 7"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

This Product Has Been Discontinued

Cuda 12 Description

The Cuda 12 is the little sibling to the Cuda 14; it was designed for those anglers who enjoy fishing many different water types – rivers, lakes, ponds, ocean – but can only purchase one kayak. The popular 12ft length makes it easy to store and transport off the water, yet is quick enough and maneuverable for any on water situation. The deck sports all the comforts and angler friendly features that fishermen have come to love about the Jackson brand.

Cuda 12 Reviews


Read and submit reviews for the Cuda 12.

Cuda 12 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Jackson Kayak
Cuda 12 Reviews

Read reviews for the Cuda 12 by Jackson Kayak 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 just received my new cuda…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/5/2018

I just received my new cuda 12 in bluefin color they dont make this color for 2018 but I found a leftover at okc in the color I wanted in this 2017 model they updated the seat the quality in this kayak is top notch cant wait for spring


I'm two years in with the Cuda 12...

Submitted by: paddler370011 on 6/20/2017

3.5 stars.
It should be 5, considering the beautiful build quality, fit and finish and well thought out features.
The reason is simple.
A primary goals was to stand and fish. It hasn't worked out. This is one tippy rig. Especially considering my size - 6'4" 245lbs.
I read the reviews billing the boat as pretty stable and standable. Looking back, those comments all came from Jackson.
This is my first real boat. Importantly, it had to be car-top (via my Thule Hullivator - fantastic thing). Anything heavier would threaten that goal. Just don't want to trailer anything. Limits mobility and over-complicates.
Maybe being this tall excludes me from the stand and fish club. I'm still fighting it.
And I've also turtled the thing twice now. The tippiness is aggravating as hell. And lowering the seat (lower center of gravity) fatally lessens leg room and does very little.


Three years ago I bought a…

Submitted by: Hapahaole on 9/28/2016
Three years ago I bought a Jackson (Cuda 12)and found it to be an extremely functional sit on top fishing kayak. A lot of thought and experience went into the layout and design of this craft. I like fishing the Delaware River between Lambertville and Trenton for smallmouth bass. For 15 years I used my Old Town 138 which is a great overall kayak, but it's no comparison to a well layed out sit on top for fishing.

I have owned several Kayaks…

Submitted by: paddler237106 on 9/11/2016
I have owned several Kayaks of different Mfg. They have all been a sit in. I used them mostly in Tennessee, Missouri NC and SC Rivers. I'm 60 and after a couple hours on the water my lower back and right leg start to stiffen up and have pain. So I thought of trying a sit-on. I looked and researched for my needs and likes. I ended up buying the Cuda 12.

I went out yesterday with my Grandson on the Duck River for a 9 mile trip. It was Great!!!! I was not as comfortable standing as I thought I would be, But I think it was more me and not the boat. The seat was awesome! we went the hole trip and only stopped twice. I still have pain in my lower back But it is not due to the kayak I need to get into shape.

I love this boat. I almost bought the 14 but worried about the size and putting it on top of my truck alone. I would like to have a little more feet room like you get with the 14, But this is still an great Kayak for me. Fishing off of this was the best I have experienced. You can't go wrong with a Jackson. I'm finding the older I get the more I want to buy American. Heck it's even made in Tennessee.


I'm 66 and bought this kayak…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/2/2015
I'm 66 and bought this kayak in June. I've had it out mainly on lakes and rivers, find the kayak stable and somewhat fast for its weight and being a sit in kayak. It has the features that most will useful, I roof top this kayak with a Yakima top carrier with an extension arm to assist in loading it. Will be adding a fish finder this coming spring. I would buy this kayak again.

Use my Cuda quite often and…

Submitted by: rschoenberg on 9/9/2015
Use my Cuda quite often and enjoy the fact I can get it into the back of my Tundra by myself. Don't feel it stable enough for me to stand up and fish; unless I'm shallow and it's warm outside. Sitting in low position is my comfort level. Get a lot of nice comments on rig, but seeing more kayak fisherman these days too. Nice features but the center compartment deformed pretty soon after purchase--still useable so not a big deal. Trolling is a blast and glad it comes with rocket tube and pole holder plus ball for track.

Great kayak.. best seat in…

Submitted by: paddler236381 on 7/21/2015
Great kayak.. best seat in the industry by far, super stable .. I've even taken mine through class 3 rapids, on flat water it can't be beat. Plenty of storage for an overnight trip

Very stable, rigged well for…

Submitted by: sbyers on 7/3/2015
Very stable, rigged well for rod storage and safety, comfortable seating, able to stand to fish, accessible dry hatch, tracks fairly well for its size. Purchased a year ago for inland lake fishing, have paddled in some wind and waves safely and surprisingly capably.

Great kayak ! Set up nicely…

Submitted by: EDSKI52 on 6/24/2015
Great kayak ! Set up nicely for fishing, tracks well, only need to use the rudder when the wind picks up. After just a few minutes of getting used to it, I found standing quite easy. The 12 foot length is a bit easier to load on truck than the Cuda 14 I used to own. I'm 62 and weigh 195 lbs. The seat is the best feature! I can stay out all day in this boat, very comfortable.
Good Job Jackson!

I bought 2 Jacksons a while…

Submitted by: paddler236122 on 1/30/2015
I bought 2 Jacksons a while back and love them, I like the fact that they are stable enough to push pole out of which helps for sight casting reds. They come set up with 2 rocket launcher style rod holders along with a ram mount rod holder, the seat is the best I have experienced and the high low option is good for my wife who has scoliosis and can't be down inside a kayak for too long.

I have used these kayaks from everything to open water in the bay to tight quarters in the creeks, they are fast for the size keeping up with Tarpon 120's and Ocean Prowler 13's.

One thing I can say is they are great for those who have little experience to those who are seasoned paddlers.
Jackson has won a customer for life, I am very pleased with my purchase.


I've had my Cuda for a year…

Submitted by: paddler235589 on 9/9/2014
I've had my Cuda for a year now I chose it for being fishing friendly and the huge storage space for over night camping. Floats great loaded down with gear. My first trip out I was standing up casting around a log and snagged a nice smallmouth just to show standing and fishing is possible and pretty easy actually.

The seat is phenomenal. The rod tip protector is awesome I take at least two rods set up with different rigs so easy on my Cuda. There's only one thing I could say bad about it is it's a bit heavy at 80lbs but it has to be for all the boat you get. For social floatin I'd get something lighter, but for me fishing and camping on the Cuda I can be out there for a long time with all my necessary gear.

Oh yea there's a strap for stand assist it works great for towing over a log or sand bar or as a leash when wade fishing. I'm always getting compliments on it. Biggest question I can answer is durability as I've only had it a year... time will tell us the answer to that one... seems pretty tough.

One more complaint: I had to order from the shop and waited a month cause the only color the shop had was this nasty lime green. I'm more a camo man...


Being a proud owner of…

Submitted by: gofishtx on 9/8/2014
Being a proud owner of several different Native Watercraft Kayaks, I was surprised by how much I liked the Jackson Cuda 12. It is a stable boat with excellent tracking and speed. I love the center hatch that they added to the center console cover, it makes it much easier to access items in the hatch on the water. The seat is as comfortable as the Native Kayaks and also has the high low seating, so that you can sit lower for greater stability or higher for fishing. All the fishing accessories are included, so no need to purchase rod holders or mounts. This Yak comes ready to fish. I am definitely going to add one of these to my stable.

A stable, nicely apportioned…

Submitted by: Zoobee on 8/17/2014
A stable, nicely apportioned fishing kayak that is perfect for river or lake fishing. Tracks well even in a stiff breeze, ample storage for gear and supplies. Stock bazooka rod holders are great for adapting homemade stabilizers. Well made product.

I had the pleasure to go on a…

Submitted by: rosebear95843 on 7/2/2014
I had the pleasure to go on a docent led nature tour at Lodi Lake with Headwater in early June 2014. This was my second time kayaking, and it was very easy. The padded seat more comfortable than expected and I did not think we were in the water for two hours, time went by so quickly. Very stable when a motor boat went zipping by. I am itching to go back out, again!

I purchased my Cuda 12 about…

Submitted by: ChrisBrammer on 2/28/2014
I purchased my Cuda 12 about a year ago and have been really pleased. This is my first Kayak and at 4 months shy of 70 years of age have no problem standing to fish as it is very stable. I did cut a hole in the center and add a 30 lb thrust trolling motor and recessed a battery box beneath the seat, all which adds to the stability.

I can load the Cuda on top of my Suburban without help, but because of the size and weight you have to get your technique down if you are a senior like myself. The Cuda 12 is well worth the money.


To start out with I'm 6'4 235…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/24/2014
To start out with I'm 6'4 235 and this Cuda 12 fits and carries me well. Before purchasing this boat I demo'd it along with the Native Slayer 12. Both seats were equally comfortable to me, also they were about the same in the stability department. But after that the Cuda 12 stood out in all other areas.

This boat tracks very well, glides nicely and has good speed. It turns and maneuvers good with my 240 cm (Bending Branches Angler Classic) paddle in which I highly recommend. It is very stable in the low seat position and moving it up to the high seat is less stable but could be got used to in little time. I stood up without the assist strap with seat in the low position the first time I tried and I'm no tight rope walker. I can see how standing and fishing would be easy once you got used to doing it.

I love the design of the boat. Tons of storage for rods and gear under the deck and in the dry, with multiple entry points. The tankwell is good sized and can fit a decent sized cooler with plenty of built on bungees to strap stuff down. There are molded out places to hold your rods and a rod tip protector area on the stern. There are places on each side of the seat made just right for the clear plano tackle boxes. The SEAT I will say is amazing and built well for years of use.

Comes with lots of accessories included on the 2014 model: ram rod holder for up front and 2 Ram rocket launcher rod holders for the rear, water bottle, air up lumbar support for the seat (very nice), red flag for use in larger waters where you can be more visible, mesh storage bag that mounts on rear of seat and a GoPro base mount.

I have owned and paddles several kayaks over the years and I have to say this is by far my favorite to date. Great for fishing, camping, lazy floats, you name it. Jackson is a great company that makes a fine product with strict attention to detail. I highly recommend the Jackson Cuda 12!


Being new to SOT fishing…

Submitted by: dickvipp on 7/26/2013
Being new to SOT fishing kayaks, I was led to the Cuda 12 due to its compromises between the maneuverability demands of river fishing and the paddling considerations of lake fishing. I think I accomplished my objectives in that regard.

As to the details of the boat itself, I would have preferred to have skipped some of the Jackson choices of outfitting. Case in point would be the rocket launcher rod holders and the GoPro camera base, as well as a couple of the other features. For that reason I giving the boat an 8 score as opposed to a higher one otherwise.


The Cuda 12 is a great…

Submitted by: paddler235157 on 7/25/2013
The Cuda 12 is a great fishing kayak. It tracks extremely well which makes it great for most bodies of water. The hi low seat is very comfortable for all day trips on the water.The seat is made of a breathable material that helps keep you cool. The stability of the Kayak makes it great for standing and sight fishing. I also really like the added GoPro mounts and the Ram rocket launcher that are included with the kayak. Overall this is a great kayak and I look to many successful fishing trips.