The Old Town Predator MX is a ‘Mixed Water’ kayak that features a slightly more rounded hull, designed for moving water conditions such as rivers without sacrificing the Predator’s class leading stability and performance.
I chose the Predator MX for my freshwater fishing, although I have ventured onto the salty stuff with it a couple of times. At first I was sceptical about using it on the sea as I’ve always preferred to use a longer sleeker kayak that is more suited to that environment. The day I launched in Poole harbour it was very windy, choppy and generally quite unpleasant. However, I was very impressed how well it handled the conditions and it certainly didn’t disgrace itself.
My usual saltwater rides are an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 which I use for inshore work and an Ultra 4.3 for serious offshore paddling. I will use the kayaks for the purpose for which they were designed, but if you don’t venture far offshore, the MX would be absolutely fine. I just wanted to try it out to see how it handled the conditions.
I fish on large freshwater open lakes and reservoirs in the UK targeting Pike, Perch and Zander. It paddles with ease, tracks really well but also remains manoeuvrable enough to twist and turn around obstacles. The excellent stability, super comfy Element seat coupled with vast amount of deck space make this craft absolutely outstanding for long days afloat.
With so much deck space (due to the fact that there’s no centre hatch) I’m able to permanently lay out my unhooking mat. This is perfect for my catch & release fishing as I can lay the fish on the mat to unhook which reduces the risk of causing any harm to the fish or me! The high gunwales that feature on this kayak also reduce the risk of the fish escaping, this is really handy when measuring a fish during a competition.
The versatile Element seating system gives you that stability while seated, yet can be folded away for standing and casting. The seat has two positions, high or low. I however only use it in the low position.
The Predator MX also features a spacious Exo-Ridge deck providing the perfect standing platform. There are dual tackle holders down the side of the seat which I use to put scissors and a few loose lures. Dual-tip rod holders at the bow, removable accessory mounting plates, and a large bow hatch with the Click Seal cover make this the ultimate fishing kayak.
Handling off the water is fine too. Lifting with the side handles is aided by 50/50 weigh distribution making it easier to lift onto the car. For a fairly wide and very well-made kayak, it’s not too heavy at 37kgs.
The fixtures and fittings are all of the highest quality and the hull construction is nothing short of outstanding. The hull also comes with a lifetime warranty for that added peace of mind. The removable accessory plates make mounting your gear so effortless. They’re all interchangeable so if you change your mind or get new equipment, you can swap them around or just get new ones to replace. No more holes in the hull.
Summary: If you’re after a freshwater kayak with the occasional inshore fishing trip, this kayak would suit you well. I would never recommend it for serious offshore fishing, but for the purpose for which it’s designed; it’s an excellent fishing platform. I regularly fish all day and have spent as long as 12 hours in the saddle. Even after this length of time, I can still walk at the end of the day. Other kayaks I’ve had I would really suffer after that long without stretching my legs.
Ian Pickering 8th April 2016