The Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 Fishing Kayak

9.5
9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = GearWeAre.com score (9.5)/10


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Pros
  • Hard chined hull 14’ 6” in length and a beam of only 30”, the Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 is an exceptionally fast fishing kayak that is perfect for those who prefer speed over maneuverability.
  • The hard-chined hull provides a significantly different feel from kayaks with soft chined hulls with less initial stability but greater secondary stability and a quicker response to the helm.
  • The seat is absolutely fantastic and the adjustable foot braces allow it to accommodate different sized paddlers.
  • Standing room molded into the bilge that is only moderately limited by minor protrusions and six pre-installed Groove Tack rails provide a place to mount your fishing electronics.
  • A pair of paddle holders and dry storage space can be created in the bow.
Cons
  • Hull length of 14’ 6”, some anglers will likely find this kayak to be far less maneuverable than they would prefer.
  • Beam of only 30”, some anglers will definitely feel that this kayak is not stable enough to suit them.
  • Weight of 70 lbs. some anglers might find it a bit difficult to load and unload this kayak unassisted.
  • Although an attempt has been made to clear the deck, the bilge still exhibits some protrusions which could trip an angler’s feet when standing in the kayak.
  • It lacks a stand-assist strap to make standing up and sitting back down again easier, there are no molded or pre-mounted rod holders on either gunwale aft of the seat and, last but not least, there is no anchor trolley.

But, at least that is easily remedied if you are inclined to do so.

Design

Design

When I first looked at this kayak, my first impression was that they almost got it right but not quite. Featuring Native Watercraft’s First Class Seating with a HiFlo 3D suspension mesh stretched over a rigid, aluminum, frame that can be adjusted to either a high position for a dry ride or a low position for greater stability along with incredible back support and the ability to recline the seat combined with adjustable foot braces makes for a very comfortable place to relax and enjoy yourself for a day.

However, although the deck of the Slayer 14 is specifically designed to be flat and uncluttered, there are still protrusions that can trip your feet when standing in the kayak to fish and this is why I say that they almost got it right with this one.
Stability

Stability

Plus, there are three more Groove Tracks mounted on each gunwale forward and aft of the seat which enables you to easily add or remove components at your leisure and to lock them down anywhere along the rails that it suits you.

Speaking of which, this kayak also comes with a pair of CamLok Paddle Holders which, unlike most paddle keepers that secure your paddle parallel to the gunwale, instead mount on the Groove Tracks rails so that you can configure them to hold your paddle either perpendicular to the gunwales by placing one on either side or parallel to the gunwale by placing them both on the same side. Then, all you have to do is place your paddle shaft in the middle of “U” shaped holder and either push or pull to insert or remove it; quite ingenious.
Features

Features

Another nice feature is the Slayer Electronics Console which provides a dry storage area for your battery when running a fish finder and thumb screws eliminate the need for tools when accessing the console. Also, the console cover has a Groove Track insert that allows equipment or rod holders to be easily added or exchanged.

Plus, there is a place on either side of the seat to secure a Plano tackle box and there is small hold positioned aft of the seat that contains a bucket and is accessible via a hatch w/cover. Another unique feature found only on Native Watercraft kayaks is the Tag Along Wheel. This feature comes in the form of a hard, plastic, wheel permanently attached to the stern of the kayak so that all you have to do to transport the kayak from the car to the launch and back again is grab the padded bow handle, lift the kayak, and pull.
Tank well and drainage

Tank well and drainage

Plus, it has a tank well in the stern which has molded indents for both a fishing crate and a bucket along with bungee cords to tie them down with. However, unlike most other fishing kayaks, the Slayer 14 has an open well in the bow with scupper holes for drainage but, they also offer an optional hatch cover and Super Seal scupper plugs which enables you to turn it into a dry storage compartment.
Distinctive features

Distinctive features

Last, in my opinion, is what most sets this kayak apart from other fishing kayaks; it is the only fishing kayak that I have seen so far that has hard chines!!! Consequently, those of you who have a distinct preference for hard chined, Greenland style, sea kayaks finally have sit-on-top fishing kayak with the feel of hard chined sit-inside kayak!
Bottom line

Bottom line

Because I am a long time sea kayaker with a distinct preference for long, slim, hard chined, Greenland style kayaks, I would likely choose this kayak over any other sit-on-top fishing kayak presently on the market today simply because it is long and slim and has hard chines.

But, when you also take into consideration the excellent seat, the tackle box storage compartments the flat deck, the Groove Tracks rails, and the electronics console, it is almost a no brainer. In fact, about the only three things preventing this kayak from being perfect is the lack of a completely flat deck, the lack of rod holders aft of the seat, and the lack of an anchor trolley.