The Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 Fishing Kayak Review – Is it Good?
The Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 fishing kayak is one of the fastest and user-friendly sit-on-top kayaks available.
The length of the kayak makes it great for those who prefer speed over the ability to maneuver and will appeal to sporty types.
You can personalize your kayak by adjusting the foot braces, which is a very handy feature of this kayak, especially for larger anglers.
What to Consider when Buying a Fishing Kayak
Making a choice to buy a kayak means you are making a choice to spend quite a bit of money. Of course, no one minds spending the money for something that is worth spending for.
To make sure that you choose a kayak that is going to be perfect for you it is important that you take a look at some of the main considerations that anyone should be thinking about that is thinking about buying a kayak.
- Skill level
- Sit-on-top vs. Sit-in kayaks
- Type of construction
- Stability vs. Speed
- Intended use
The Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 Fishing Kayak Review
The Slayer 14.5 features a clean, uncluttered deck perfect for fly fisherman with a multitude of customization options for recreational paddlers and anglers. It features many great additions to previous Native models and is very popular amongst anglers all around the world.
|Type||Sit on top|
|Rigged for fishing||Yes|
- This kayak is extremely fast and will appeal to sporty types and anglers who like to travel long distances.
- Great secondary stability due to the hard chined hull.
- Quick helm response.
- Adjustable seat.
- Adjustable foot braces, making this a good choice for tall/large anglers.
- A good amount of standing room, with little intrusions due to a clever layout.
- Groove Tack rails.
- Paddle holders pre-installed.
- Difficult to maneuver due to the 14’ 6” length.
- A small 30” beam means that this kayak is not the most stable and will not suit novices.
- May need assistance when moving the kayak due to its 70-pound weight.
- There are some compartments and design features that get in the way when stood up or moving about the kayak.
- No stand-assist strap.
- No anchor trolley.
Size and Weight
The Slayer kayak has an overall capacity of 450 pounds and is great for anglers who are tall or who are carrying more weight. The designers have been really clever in developing a longer length kayak that comes in at 14 feet and 6 inches but does not lose anything in the way of stability.
The balance between stability and maneuverability is spot on in our opinion.
Coming in at 70 pounds it is relatively heavy compared to some other fishing kayaks, but those who are not very strong should not struggle to manage the kayak easily.
We would say, that you may need help moving the kayak any significant distance or when tying to your roof, but generally, you should be okay.
Sit On Top Kayaks offer great stability and are easy to paddle for everyone including novices, right through to expert paddlers. In addition, these types of kayak can be used mainly on calm waters, but some models allow for rougher terrains.
This type of kayak is different from other types of kayak as it does not have a cockpit and the hull has self-bailing drain holes.
The hull of sit on top kayaks has a double wall to trap air inside of the hull making them impossible to sink. It is not difficult to get on and off these kayaks, making them perfect for beginners. At around 15ft, sit on top kayaks are very stable although they should only really be used in calm water.
The Native Watercraft is almost the perfect fishing kayak as it offers up many great features and looks great on the water. The long length looks as good as it feels when riding at fast speeds through the water and is a huge appeal to experienced anglers who like the thrill of kayaking.
If you need to travel a long way to fish, this kayak is very fast and will get you there in no time. It is great for getting through breakers and is very good in rough waters.
That said, the pace of the kayak can be very daunting for new paddlers and we would only advise that experienced kayakers buy this model.
Due to the speed, we would recommend that experience kayakers buy this model and we do not think that this model is well suited for novices.
Yes, you will learn to adapt to speed in time, but you need to walk before you can run and your first priority will be adjusting to fishing in a kayak rather than a standard boat, not being the fastest on the river.
Without doubt, the highlight of this kayak is the fantastic HiFlo 3D seating system that has been creatively designed. The seating is very durable and is made mostly out of aluminum. You can adjust the seat to suit your fishing needs and can change it back to the standard seating position when paddling.
This is one of the comfiest seats that we have ever tried and the great back support means that you can paddle for hours without becoming uncomfortable. The fact that you can adjust the poor braces is also a massive tick in the box for larger anglers who become frustrated by standard braces and seats.
The kayak is designed to be flatter than standard kayaks, so to allow for plenty of room to stand up. The flat bottomed kayak is relatively free, but there are a few protrusions that can be a little annoying. This is one of the very few downsides of this kayak and it is such a shame that they did not get it to spot on.
The only other issue that some people may have with the design is the weight of the kayak. At 70 pounds it is not the heaviest kayak we have tried out, but it is not the lightest either. If you are strong you should be able to manage it on your own, but you may need some help when moving long distances or on top of your car.
How a kayak looks will only take it so far, it has to have the features that an angler wants/needs to really make it a stand out option.
Sometimes you may look at a kayak and not really see how the small details can all come together to make a really great kayak. A good example is adjustable features that do not jump right out at you but become critical when you are on the water.
We are big fans of the layout of this kayak. Anglers will have the ability to fish easily with the rods positioned in two different places, one under each leg ad the other on the mountable pod. Again, this may seem a little thing, but us anglers can be very picky when it comes to the layout of our kayaks.
The small things can make big differences and anything that helps improve the chances of a good catch are very much welcome. These rod features still allow for room to store your kayak fish finder, bait box, cool box, etc.
One feature that we really like on this kayak is the electronic console that allows for dry storage and battery storage, if you are using fish finders. The console boasts a Groove Tack that has been pre-installed that you can either keep in or take out, depending on your taste. There are also tracks installed on each of the gunwales, again they can be removed if you desire.
The cockpit s reasonably large compared to standard kayaks and has foot pegs that can be customized to suit your needs. The foot pegs have to use padding to increase comfort levels and you should not feel any pressure even after long periods of gliding through the water.
The clever rudders are a good design feature that enables anglers to move them from the cockpit whilst still maintaining power. You can also get into tight spaces with this kayak, despite its size.
If all of this isn’t enough, the Native Watercraft kayak features a superb tag along with wheel that is attached to the stern. It is made from plastic and makes it easy to move your kayak from one place to the next. Additional features include a good tank well in the stern to store cool boxes, bait, and buckets (there is also a bungee tie for buckets).
Overall, the Native Watercraft Slayer is better than some of the other brands of kayaks on the market in the same price bracket and there are only a few niggling issues that we have with it, in terms, of the standing area and the weight.
The smaller issues, such as no anchor box, are easily glossed over and forgotten about. The hard-chined, slimline kayak has great appeal to use, as we like to paddle fast and are not too worried about the lack of stability.
This, alongside the superior seating design, means that this kayak will definitely not disappoint.