I have owned this kayak for over 12 years now. I got the fishing model that included 2 recessed rod holders & a foot controlled rudder. The shop I purchased it from in CT was awesome & had a great “try before you buy” policy where they would deduct rentals fees from your purchase price. So, I rented/tried 8 different kayaks (both Sit-in & SOT models) over about 4-5 weekends to try them in the Long Island Sound, where I fish primarily. If I could give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to any 1st time kayak buyers, it would be this: make sure to try several different boats/styles... Try renting or go to a paddle day at a small boat shop as these are great ways to do this. Also: do your research... make sure to get the kind of kayak that best suits your needs. My fishing kayak is very different than my friends 35 pound fiberglass boat. His is much lighter & paddles ways faster (which is why he got it- for exercise). I would fall over when I tried to land my first fish in his yak.. Different kayaks for different needs.
Back to my boat...
Pros: * This model is long (over 15’) & pretty wide (~ 30”), so it is very stable, which is great for fighting a big striped bass or bluefish. *Once I land a fish, it is very easy to hop out on a sand bar to release the fish & then hop right back on & re-launch. * If the fish is hurt (or I “mistakenly” catch a dinner platter sized porgy or doormat fluke instead of a striper), there’s plenty of storage space inside the yak (large hatches fore and aft) to store even a 40 pounder (I wish... soon!). * Speaking of storage, the large area behind the seat holds all of my tackle, cooler, extra gear with room to spare. * I secure everything down with the bungees that came with the yak & clip small things onto the deck loops (plenty) with carabiners. I have never flipped this kayak unintentionally (even in 3-4 foot chop in RI), but I expect if I ever do, most of my will stay intact & survive. *The rudder system is great when I’m paddling in choppy water (The Sound can get pretty snotty sometimes, especially in the Fall when the Stripers are running), and the rudder helps me track straight & true. The rudder is also nice to help me tire out and land a bigger fish in open water (I just turn the rudder all the way to 1 side & let her pull me around in circles for a couple minutes - there’s nothing like a nice “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” to get your adrenaline flowing!). * After 12 years, the only things I have replaced are the rear bungees (that finally dry rotted after about 10+ years of hard saltwater use) & 3-4 deck loops that & broke/lost. * The only maintenance I really do is wash it (soap/water) after each saltwater use and go around the whole boat to tighten up screws (usually once a year, pre-season). - Especially the screws on the rudder.
Cons: * The seat my yak came with is pretty thin & isn’t super comfortable. I upgraded to an extra tall/extra padded seat after the first couple years. * The kayak is rotomolded polyethylene (plastic), so it is pretty heavy (about 62 lbs with the seat upgrade. (Although I’ve use this boat pretty hard & the plastic does hold up to hard use very well. It shows some signs of wear, but mostly just scratches on the bottom from me dragging it up unto rocky beaches repeatedly. I doubt a lighter fiberglass boat would have survived all of the punishment that I put my boat through). * I added another aftermarket fishing pole mount in front of me. The newer models might come with one now (?)
For the price, the Prowler Angler by Ocean Kayak gave me the most bang for my buck. If I were to do it all over again, I would definitely go with the same boat. (The only other model I might consider now is a Hobie, to add the flexibility of peddle power to my paddle power. But I was unwilling to pay over 3 X the price back when I got my yak).
Sometimes being blunt and straightforward is helpful so; Ocean Kayak, if you are reading this take note:
1-Put some low profile accessories tracking on the Kayak(FRONT ,SIDE AND BACK).
2-Make an insulated cooler/fish bag for the center console(DEEP AND LONG).
3-Create a low profile improved seat that is a little more comfortable.
In the meantime I'll keep using my wonderful15T and inventing my own improvements.
What do I like about it:
• 29" width combined with over 15' length makes this one fast kayak compared to some of the wider ones that paddle like barges
• great tracking
• Lots of legroom - I'm 6'2" and even with footbraces designed to accommodate rudder, I still had more than enough leg room
• Tons of storage - large front hatch, center rod storage allows access to entire kayak, small cover for fish finer which doubles as great storage for keys, small dry boxes, etc and large tank well
• 550 pounds capacity - at 240 pounds, I do not feel I am riding on the water - lots of freeboard
Cons - with rudder its tail heavy so handles not longer are centered to the load.
I rated a 10 as it fit my needs exactly. Your needs may vary...
I love the rod-pod hull access and the sonar shield/ transponder cut-out, as well as the scotty mount holes in the hatch, and the build in rod holders behind the seat. The downfalls of this kayak are few and simple. It's heavy, windcocks easily without a rudder, the seat could be much more comfortable and they took out the cup holder in the hatch!!!
There is nothing that I've thrown at this boat that it hasn't handled very competently. With the scupper plugs installed the foot wells stay dry. This boat is used in Nantucket sound fishing for fluke, stripers, and blues. I've never felt endanger of going for a swim with a large fish on. I love the rod well. But, I don't use mine for rods. Use a dry bag full of ice for my fish. It works great. I've also installed a fish locator. It works great with the shoot through the hull transducer placement.
I bought my Prowler 15T with factory installed rudder from L.L. Bean in 2010. It has never exhibited any of the negative issues described in some of the reviews. I'm 100% happy with this kayak, and would recommend it to anyone. It won't disappoint you.
This kayak does take a lot of effort to get moving from a standstill but tracks well and takes little effort to keep it up to speed. I have owned mine for about four years now and it has held up well.
Gotta admit: it is truly rock solid in construction, and after taking it out off shore in the Long Island Sound yesterday from CT with a good strong SW wind, I once again have to say that the boat is super stable and plows smoothly through the waves just like my 18 ft expedition kayak.
Never once did I feel uncomfortable with good sized fishing boat wakes or the 2-3' seas I encountered, as this boat can take (from previous experience) anything mother nature sends her way. But there is a trade off: It's not as fast as my WS Tarpon 160i, or as comfortable seating wise - but I also would have definitely flipped the WS 160i yesterday in a sea which resembled more of a 2-3' deep egg carton.
If you love rough water, this is the boat for you. It also carries a lot of weight too - and extra plus - and the hatches are water tight - at least on mine... Now, I can't vouch for the new ones, as they are a hell of a lot cheaper than what I paid for mine, so maybe try and see if there's an original used model that's for sale...
I rigged my vessel for HEAVY SALT WATER CONDITIONS i fish for fluke bass weakfish bluefish pretty much everything you can fish for in NJ .I had my best gear in the SEA KING going after some fluke in the RIVER MILD BOAT WAKE ON A WEEKDAY! So now im paddling getting soaked waters busting all over the thing and i figured ehh these wave are pretty big ok i understand and no faster then i get to my fishing grounds im flipped over fast as anything by a wave no higher then my "SEA KING" all my gear gone paddle snapped and a 8in filet knife in my leg up to the handle so after i was save by the coast guard and stitched up my yak was in the paper loaded for 500$!!!! i lost at least 900$ but i didn't care you cant enjoy an unsafe yak this summer is coming fast and i learned my lesson i got to step up to a wider OK maybe around 34 inches wide WARNING DONT GET CAUGHT UP IN PUMP YOU WILL END UP DUNKED!!
Cons: Slow start. Can't stand up in it. So I'll find sponsons... big deal. Acceptable surf landing. Standard seat -flat.
Tips: Golf balls make great scupper hole plugs. Scupper holes make great rod holders. Buddy wheels fit through bow storage cover along with all rods and reels. Great for gulf fishing! I have been in all conditions and it handles great. The taller and lankier/ light-weighted/smaller tailored person should think twice before purchasing unless using stabilizers.. then ok.
Whether going for a lazy paddle on a secluded pond or braking thru confused seas the P 15 delivers a comfortable & safe ride while speed and maneuverability are there at all times. If you are not into fishing you might still like to consider the P 15 as a true touring sit on top kayak. Feel when paddling is that such a big long craft doesn't move very fast until you lay your eyes on the shoreline: then & only then you notice that she's as fast as many sit in kayaks; you are truly leaving all behind.
Reasonable weight for an almost 16 footer with a 28 inches width, quite dry for the average paddler (mind me: I am 235# & like to think I am average), easy to reach all around, humongous carrying capacity & lastly, one of the best rudder systems on the market. I am not very fond of rudders yet have to admit that once the rudder is down you can feel its massive, solid performance aiding to an already thru tracking vessel that requires a lot of nasty wind before the rudder becomes necessary.
I have posted several reviews on OK products, mostly good ones, well deserved by a company that focuses on safety & performance. Only thing left to add is that the tendency of OK of failing in QC seems to have improved significantly.
If you are looking for a true touring, safe sit on top kayak whether you like fishing, sightseeing or just shooting the breeze go large: get a Prowler Trident 15, there is nothing like it nowadays.
The kayak seems to have been designed as a fishing machine that also paddles well. The Rod Pod I find to be great. Some people find it too wide but I have no problems with it. It's just wide enough to be functional but not so wide to be cumbersome to me. I've fit 6 rods inside before. I really like it for stowing my spinning and casting tackle while I'm fly fishing. It saved my bacon one time when I went hull up after I botched a surf landing.
The places I fish are too shallow to really have a use for a fish finder but I think the transducer-compatible scupper is a great idea. No more skewed temperature readings or hull interference. Might not be the best idea for very rough water since you loose one scupper but for most applications you should be fine. Not sure about the Sonar Shield and its functionality. I just use it for random crap storage. There are plenty of flat places to mount accessories behind you but if you want to mount rod holders in front of you then you have limited options, most of which involve bending over and reaching far in front of you. Luckily I don't have 8 lines in the water at once when I go fishing so I don't have to worry about that. Two at most the times I go trolling. I'm sure you could rig something functional up if you do fish with a lot of lines at once. The hull doesn't slap like a lot of other OK kayaks so that is very welcome.
As far as how it paddles, not surprisingly it doesn't turn very well. 16' kayaks just won't turn on a dime. It's plenty fast. It takes a bit to get it going but once you have it going it's good at keeping its momentum. Good glide for a SOT fishing kayak. Probably better for decent sized guys and up and stronger paddlers. It is too much kayak for my girlfriend. I'm 6' 200 pounds and have no troubles. Probably not the absolute fastest fishing kayak (the Tarpon 160 is probably a smidge faster since it's a few inches longer and 1" narrower) but plenty fast to get the job done. At times I try to pay attention to how I'm paddling compared to other yaks around me. So far I've decently outpaddled a Prowler 15 (admittedly I'm probably a stronger paddler than that guy) and exert less effort while paddling than a buddy in his Hobie Revolution with turbo fins (I'm frequently waiting on him). Sometimes I outdistance another friend in his Tarpon 140 but other times he keeps up with me. He seems to be able to keep up with me on average but I have an extra gear that helps me in longer paddles to outpace him. The Trident has enough speed and enough glide at its disposal to be very adept at chewing up miles.
It handles rough water very well. The bow sheds water great when powering through the surf. The boat rides over waves as opposed to plowing through them so it paddles in rough water very well. There is plenty of stability, both primary and secondary, to be very comfortable in rough water.
It's not stable enough to be a stand up kayak in open water but on the grass flats for tailing Redfish the grass helps stabilize it enough to be a great stand up grass flats boat. Stable enough to fly cast to tailers. It behaves surprisingly well when poling too. It doesn't tend to get tail happy like my Heritage Redfish 12 does at times in the grass.
Overall, it's a great fishing machine. It's fast, stable, handles rough water very well, and a fairly dry ride. The seat it comes with is decent enough for a stock seat but I recommend upgrading seats. It's probably best for guys about my size and bigger, or people who carry tons of stuff with them. Smaller guys/gals might be best in another kayak.
Overall I give it an 8. Had the seat not been defective I'd give it a 9.
All its 'bells and whistles' are only extras which simply don't interest me much since the important kayak characteristics are flawed. look at OK's scupper pro - a great design after more than 30 years in production. this one i bet won't last nearly that long with out some major design changes. I guess it's also the reason it had only two reviews up to now. most people don't want to make any bad comments on such a hyped yak (or their own) OK please make some necessary changes so we can love this one too.
After reading numerous reviews and articles, I came across a web site that showed the ocean kayak prowler trident 15. i was sold first of all with the advertised stability of this vessel seeing someone standing up and fishing. I was sold also on the rod pod and sonar shield as well as the storage space. I recommend this kayak for all the above reason including the price.
The features you initially recognize are the Rod Pod, Sonar Shield, and sonar-specific scupper hole. I mounted a Humminbird PMax 215 under the Sonar Shield, and am very pleased with with knowing the unit is protected and shielded from glare. It will also lower the chance of having condensation in the screen, which I have encountered on other SOT's. I did still go with my typical through-hull transducer application, as the transducer scupper adapter was not easily obtainable. I show this mounting process on my Youtube site.
The front hatch has a handy single-clip strap system. This is quite convenient, and shows OK put the effort into the design of the hatch. The Rod Pod is also a great feature, and is easily accessible "on the fly". The hatch for the Rod Pod is a slight bit wider for its placement than I would desire, causing my legs to feel a little bit too snug between the hatch and the sides of the cockpit. This is a minor issue, and is the only reason I have not given a "10" rating.
As for the handling of the kayak, my Trident came with the optional rudder package. The yak paddled VERY well in small chop, and with both oncoming and crosswinds. The Comfort Plus seat also made for a comfortable seating area.
I would highly recommend the Trident for anyone who wants a great fishing platform, or simply enjoys paddling a sit-on-top kayak. Ocean Kayak definitely put the effort into the design of this one!