I picked up a Native Slayer 12 in the Blue Lagoon color a few weeks back. I’ve always thought that Native Watercraft makes great fishing kayaks, and was excited to add the Slayer 12 to my fleet. Overall, the kayak has a very nice and open feel to it with a clean cockpit area. The blue really caught my eye, and I couldn’t wait to get it out on the water to test out, and get it slimed. My choice of destination for her maiden voyage would be the Gulf waters off of Florida’s Big Bend area. I wanted to see how the Slayer 12 handled the open waters of the Gulf and flats just off Steinhatchee, FL.
One of the first things I noticed as I paddled out onto the flats was the improved visibility that was provided by having the seat in the hi position. The kayak also felt very stable on the paddle out. I was also pleased with the ease of transitioning the seat from the hi position to the low position and back while out on the water. The seat that I received with the kayak was the First Class seat, and in my opinion offers one of the most comfortable kayak seats on the market. The lower half of the seat offers nice cushion, and the upper half while offering paddling, also offers lumbar support which is important when spending hours on the water. The raised seat also offers a dry ride when paddling and cruising the flats. The seat itself is held into place by three (3) attachment points, and while initially concerned, I was quickly relieved at how stable and snug the seat fit into the slots.
Paddling the kayak is fairly easy and the Slayer 12 tracks very well. I did notice that as the wind picked up, the kayak wanted to turn into the wind when drifting along. I believe adding a rudder to the kayak would compensate for this issue. Overall, the kayak is easy to paddle and allows for smooth paddle strokes. Some of the other features I found positive on the Slayer 12 are the built in track system all over the kayak. The tracks allow for easier rigging of rod holders, safety light, and camera mounts without having to drill into the kayak. The rear tank well area also offers tracks along the gunnels of the track, and also has a bungee system for storing gear. Adding accessories onto the track is a little cumbersome, but with a simple Phillips head screwdriver, the angler can adjust the bungees, allowing for more room to add accessories.
There are also built in tackle storage areas on each side of the seat, which keeps the deck open and free of clutter. There is also room under the seat when in the hi position to store a small tackle bag, furthering the openness of the cockpit. Native has also added cushioned pads in the cockpit of the kayak, offering traction, and padding when standing and poling the kayak. There is also a battery storage area towards the front of the kayak, and room to add a fish finder/depth finder along with another smaller track.
While the Slayer 12 is only 12′ long, it turns pretty easily, which is important in small creeks. At 31″ wide, the kayak offers good stability, and standing is fairly easy in this kayak. Overall, I was very pleased with the kayak, and happy to have it in my stable, and look forward to more time on the water with this kayak.
- Flat Uncluttered Deck for Standing and Stripping Line
- Open Stern Hatch with Scuppers and Molded in Fishing Crate and Bait Bucket Indents
- Behind the Seat Small Hatch with Bucket
- Groove track system
- High/Low First Class Seat
- Electronics Console
- Open Bow Hatch w/ Scuppers and Optional Hatch Cover
- Quiet Stable Hull
- Tag Along Wheel
- Super Seal Plug
- Length: 12′
- Width: 31″
- Capacity: 400lbs
- MSRP: $1299