I’ve been fishing my Eddy-Gear kayak for almost a year now and I am Hooked! The stability of the Stingray XL is awesome! A sturdy hull has it feeling not so tippy, so getting up and standing up is no problem, I can even turn around and fish out of the back. I’ve seen videos of a guy standing on the nose and fishing. It carries a heavy load with ease. I usually have a lot of gear with me; custom tackle crate, 8-foot cast net, 5-gallon bait bucket, and depending on the fishing I am doing 3 to 6 rods. All of which fits neatly behind my seat in my storage area. Even when weighed down with all that gear, it still glides nicely through the water, I think almost easier.
In the nose of the Stingray XL is a front hatch that has even more storage — I hide my dry bag and snacks in there. The dry compartment/ storage area between your legs is where I stash my fish finder battery and all my bug spray and my quick-to lures. On my left side, I use my quick strap to latch my paddle down. On my right, I have my stake anchor. I also carry a 10lb mushroom anchor that keeps the nose of my kayak steady while I fight big fish along the mangrove lines. I constructed a mount that attaches my transducer to the bottom of the Stingray XL where there has been a transducer port with 2 lead screw holes molded in. (SUPER HANDY!) I used one of the many provided locations on the center storage lid to mount my Humminbird fish finder. It allows me to see the structure and fish under me making the job somewhat easier. I put a second forward facing swiveling rod holder on the left side of my hull to match the right side, where Eddy-Gear has placed dual pre-set screw holes. It looks pretty cool, kind of like a gunship. I use it to hold a Gopro stick for pictures and videos while fishing.
Stuck right in the middle of all this equipment is my favorite part of the Stingray XL. The new elevated seat that comes with! The higher positioning is a huge advantage for scanning in the water as it really helps with looking for bait or sight casting fish. This elevated seat totally changes the game! It’s my first kayak with a raised seat and I’ll never go back! Better view, way more comfortable, and no sitting in a puddle of water all day. Nothing better than a whole day of fishing with a dry butt! Plus, the back support is an amazing feeling during a long day on the water.
The only thing that saves the day more than the elevated seat is the foot controlled rudder system. Man, I mean Saves. The. Day! Pushing all that gear around by paddle takes some effort but easy turning is a huge, MONSTER help. The rudder system makes positioning the kayak for anchoring more precise. It makes drifting in the wind much more controlled and easier. While anchored, you can ensure your kayaks nose is pointed up current so no spinning or facing the wrong way occurs. The StingrayXL rudder system gives a huge advantage when fighting bigger fish that tend to pull the kayak. Being able to change directions and not having to use your hands to do so is clutch! I’ve experienced what anglers here in Sarasota call the Siesta sleigh ride, which is when you hook up and get pulled around by a tarpon. They literally pull you around in circles! It’s awesome!
I am a huge fan of the Stingray XL from Eddy-Gear kayak line. It’s got all kinds of stuff a kayak fisherman needs! I’ve paddled it offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, looking for grouper and snapper on the nearshore reefs. I have pulled some monster snook over 40 inches out from under the mangrove roots and some redfish almost as big. Sneaking across the flats on a speckled trout hunt is a blast. Standing up and sight casting pot holes, slinging top waters and twitch baits hoping for a gator. My Stingray XL has handled it all like a champ. I’m getting ready for the fall King Fish run, going out and looking for some big smokers, so fingers crossed. I’m completely and overly happy with my Stingray XL and its performance. I would recommend it to fisherman of all levels! It is a solid, sturdy, and stable fishing machine. Give it a shot, it won’t disappoint. Tight lines and enjoy!
Eddy-Gear Team Member