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Andrew Shelby

Jackson Big Rig FD vs Blue Sky Angler 🎣

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I’m torn between these two vessels. I fish mainly ponds and small lakes. Largest body of water would be the Ross Barnett Resevoir. Stand up fishing is a must. I would like maneuverability. Speed isn’t a big criteria although I would like to go at least 4mph doing my part. Both of these vessels are considered “new” with little write ups by “us” other than websites promoting them. Any insights welcome! Help me decide. Test riding these is almost impossible, don’t know anywhere to go around Jackson Ms. 

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Also now considering a Hobie PA 14 in Camo! Really liking this thing the more I view it. Any input on this rig seeing how it’s been out a while? 

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All are beautiful boats.  Way too much for me, though.  

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Andrew, I owned a Jackson Big Rig (sold it a while back), just the standard model from a few years ago. It was exceptionally stable as kayaks go, along the lines of a Hobie PA 14 . . . but lighter and paddle, of course, versus pedal power for mine. Here in the D/FW area, Kevin Dismuke makes modified trolling motors that mount to the power pole attachment at the rear. Gosh, the Big Rigs are so well equipped right from the factory. Just grab a few Plano boxes (a place exists for them), a few rods (rod holder options from factory) and off you go. And, I loved the chain anchor drop off the stern. Such a super vessel at well less than 1/2 the price of a PA 14.

 

And, I currently own a Bluesky 360 Angler. It is beyond stable, feels sort of like walking around on a bass boat deck. Seat is high, storage . . . everywhere. Even though it weighs more, in line with a PA 14, it has the lightest tongue weight of any kayak I have pulled down to the ramp. A woman or a fairly young kid could pull it down to the water with no issues. And, the cart is built in. Too, it fits right inside by Toyota Tacoma bed just fine. No need for a trailer. To this, I add a bed extender. It is almost a boat, it really is.

 

So, at least for the 360, it is definitely no speed demon. Neither is the Big Rig, for that matter. I'd say 3 MPH is about its max speed; but, again, you have all sorts of potential power options including one soon to come out from the factory that fits into the pedal drive area. With the pedal drives, if you want speed, the PA 14 would be the way to go. With a PA 14, you will definitely need some sort of cart to get on and off the water.

 

Hmm? 3 great choices. We may end up moving to the Texas Coast . . . not at all certain what I might need but a possible change coming yet again!

 

Pic on the back of my truck, loads like a dream; pic of the first bass I caught off of it.

 

Brad

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Thanks,  @Brad Reid.  All good info.  I wouldn't have imagined moving that boat without a trailer. 

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15 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

Thanks,  @Brad Reid.  All good info.  I wouldn't have imagined moving that boat without a trailer. 

It's the dangest thing, too, Choporoz, regarding its "tongue weight." I would have guessed that it would feel considerably heavier. In reality, since it has two carry handles, it feels like carrying along two 30 lbs. suitcases, something like that. Being able to stand between the two bow ends makes it very balanced. There is a promotional video showing about a 10 year old boy wheeling one down to the water with ease.

 

For sure on the trailering. While that is great if it is an option someone wants to use, knowing that the 360 just slides on and off a modest sized truck bed is a big positive. The vessel, itself, is no longer than a Big Rig or a PA 14. Though I believe it is listed at 48" in beam, that is back by the seat and the two pontoons "taper" in a bit going forward so it slides in between the wheel wells in my truck bed.

 

Brad

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I'm a huge fan of the Blue Sky Boatworks 360 Angler.  I think it's a Hobie Killer!  I came across it looking for something to address my need to sit upright and kayak fish.  The crowdfunding campaign for this was a killer.  I've learned a lot after joining a Facebook forum and reading what other owners are doing with their boats.  Lots of talk about modifications and feedback.  

 

I think the 360 will be my next purchase when the next generation comes out.  I think this current model wasn't expected to do as well as it has.  They've released the tri-cat (2 seater) model since.  

 

Also If you're concerned about weight or width, the pontoons do separate from the deck if needed. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/blueskyboatworks/ 

 

btw, Fishing University (tv show) did an episode on Jackson Kayaks division of Blue Sky Boatworks and highlighted the 360.  I'm not a fan of the show because its' pretty much 30 minutes of pushing a corporate sponsored item, but this is one that I watched.

 

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Well, the Hobie PA *** are both fantastic vessels and they'd be in top contention for me as choices if I were going BTB at times, fishing far out in the ocean. 

 

But, for other needs, they are more than a bit on the heavy side. That, and seeing one "in person," they aren't nearly attractive as, say, the muscular Old Town Predator PDL or a Big Rig. These are good looking kayaks!

 

I know, I know, it is more about fishability than outward appearances . . . but tens of thousands of Harley motorcycles have been sold just based of looks and a certain sound.

 

Back to the BSB 360 Angler, can you imagine having a tilt up horizontal rack for paddles/push poles and rods, two really large compartments built into the hulls for storage, a true bass seat, a giant rudder, built in cart feature, tackle pouches that hang off the seat arm, rod holders, and more. All standard equipment.

 

For propulsion, there'll be multiple spots to rig one up, even small outboards, then the E-Drive is supposedly days away from release, too. It will motor the 360 around at 3.5 MPH is what I have heard. Not so fast but ready to plug in. I see myself getting one of these.

 

Brad

 

 

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