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Name: piscisergosum

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This review is of the Posi-Lok Dual Button Ferrule version of the Manta Ray Carbon. I bought the 240cm version to propel my Jackson Cuda around the many swamps and bayous I fish. I have also used it on a few 22 mile races that I participate for fun. I describe myself as a high angle paddler and try to keep a good "windmill" rhythm when I am cruising. When fishing I often stand and use the paddle as a Push Pole against rocks, trees, oysters, and sand. I am impressed at how well this lightweight paddle has held up. What I like most is that it doesn't flutter like others I have tried. My friends tell me I paddle to hard. Whatever, this works for me. No problems with the Posi-Lok! This could be made better with some slots to grab line cut into the blades. For me, this is the best paddle for the price ($200).

I am 5'11" 240 lbs and I bought this boat mainly for fishing in open water windy situations. Let me say that is has surpassed my expectations. I have become confident to head out into the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River or open reservoirs. If it is windy or I am paddling for speed and distance I sit with the seat in the low position. If I am in the flats looking for fish I can stand easily from the chair's high position. It is possible, but not recommended, to switch positions while floating. I find it very stable and fairly fast, though not a fast as a WS Tarpon 14. I recently went 5 miles with some friends in sea going kayaks and I kept up with them fine. The stow hatches hold plenty of gear for two days of camping or even a 2 piece rod and reel. It was real nice to take the seat out and use it in the camp. The last time I was in the Everglades I broke off a rod tip in the Mangroves. I look forward to using the Rod Tip Holders next time I go.

I have heard some say that water shoots up through the scupper holes but that has not been my experience. Some water comes in but then goes right back out. I can see where a rudder would be great for boat control while drifting but it is really not needed. I recommend a 240cm high angle paddle especially with the seat in the high position. There are two buckles that hold the Center Hatch down. I recommend leaving the farthest one unbuckled on the water because its hard to reach when you need to access its contents.

What could make this boat better would be:
1) "Aim" the rod holders 90 degrees out instead of straight back. This separates the lines for trolling purposes.
2) Put some scupper holes in the rear deck. Not for drainage but so you can mount some wheels under it easily.
3) Make it lighter. At 74 lbs it's a beast to load and port
4) Add a break away stringer mount. So when you wish to keep fish on a stringer a shark, gator, or large grouper wont drag your boat under.
5) Finally add a Slide Trax mounting system. This is one place Jackson Kayak was sleeping.

About Me: I am 5'11" 280 lbs. I consider myself an avid paddler with advanced experience and a beginners budget. I mainly fish, bird watch, and camp out of my Odyssey 15T. I mainly paddle on my knees. I mostly paddle solo from the rear seat facing backwards (this helps balance the boat). I have paddled many small creeks to the Mississippi River, closed mangrove swamps to open reservoirs, and even participated in several 10 mile plus races (usually finishing toward the rear). This is my fourth canoe, second Mohawk. I bought this boat mainly to paddle solo with my kid up front as ballast.

About my Odyssey 15T: This boat is six years old, Royalex, tandem setup. What I love about this boat is it is light and easy to get on and off the water all by myself. When I get home from work I can toss it on the car at a whim and be fishing in 30min. It has very good secondary stability which scares newbies but gives me confidence in sketchy situations. It has never flipped (honestly). It has enough room for me, my fishing gear, and liberal comforts on camping trips with the kid. On rare occasions when the wife does come along I have the tandem option which keeps her happy. This boat is very quiet for birdwatching and wildlife viewing. It excels in sloughs and mangroves hidden from the wind, stalking Redfish or Ivory Bill Woodpeckers. The nylon weave seats are very durable and comfortable facing either direction.

At $900 new this boat was a good buy. This boat is not fast! In flat water I average 2.8 mph. It tracks a little on the poor side so you spend a lot of time correcting course. A J-Stroke just isn't enough, you will have to crossover if you want to go any distance fast. It also has some flex in the hull that absorbs the energy of your stroke rather than pushing your boat forward.

This boat is "tippy" to the inexperienced paddler. A friend of mine got out of her Old Town Discovery 169 and was scared to death at the lack of primary stability in the Odyssey 15T. My biggest complaint is that, after six years, the outer layer of Royalex cracked. I have decided to live with it. It does not track as straight as a 17' speed demon, nor does it have the stability of a fat 14' sportster. If you have a low budget and want one boat that does a good job at everything then this is good choice. I have not regretted my purchase.