Reviewed by: Tom Carmine
, from Newport News, VA
I purchased my Dagger Delta, which was marketed under another name, deeply discounted at a clearance sale. I was looking for a 12” recreational class kayak. Had it not been for this sale, I might have purchased a Perception Acadia, America, or Carolina, but I have been quite happy with the Dagger model.
This is a great first kayak because it is versatile. With the large hatch on the storage compartment, I can take a small cooler or camping equipment for an over night trip. The 48” cockpit gives a canoe like openness that you can share with a small child or pet. Also you can easily stash the paddle, fishing rod or cooler on the floor in the front and access it while you paddle. I usually use a spray skirt to cut down on drips in the large cockpit.
The seat is molded plastic, but it is removable. The back is slightly adjustable, and I find it very comfortable. My seat does not have a can holder built in. The foot-pegs are easy to adjust, and there is floatation in the bow.
The boat is very stable and tracks well. It’s not a sleek touring class kayak, but it’s not slow either. It’s just a good all around kayak. The 12’ length is manageable by myself. The hull seems well finished with no rough edges around the cockpit. My bulkhead was seeping slightly into the rear compartment. Dagger advised me to touch up the seal with a $6.00 tube of Lexel. They did not offer to send it to me free.
I’m using it on lakes, in tidal marshes and coastal rivers on the East Coast. It’s handled well in one foot choppy river waves, but with it’s shorter length it will twist in the troughs. The low bow seems to plough through the waves, but the spread out quickly over the deck. I would be comfortable using it on the class II rapids that I ran last year in a 15’ canoe.
Would I trade it even for one of the Perceptions or any other one I have demonstrated? No. The more I use it, the more I like it. I like the Carolina because it’s a touring class boat with a little sleeker hull, but only if I decide to stay out in open water. I like the Delta much better when I traveling through tidal marshes and creeks, and I like that spacious cockpit.
Responsed to phone call within 48 hours. They did not offer warranty coverage on bulkhead leak.
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