My review of the Jackson Cruise 10 focuses on the kayak’s simple, multi-purpose design. I also note other features such as comfort, tracking and portability that make the Cruise a great option for both recreational paddling and fishing.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, and this review appears on their website. I wrote this article after several months of paddling the Cruise 10. I have fished from many kayak brands and models, and I always do my best to write unbiased, honest reviews.
When I heard the news that the Rebel Lure Company was going to release a new version of its Pop-R model in 2021, my hair stopped greying and I felt ten years younger; when I heard the lure was a throwback to Rebel’s legendary P-70 design of the early 1980’s, I felt like a kid again.
It’s a funny thing, because if I ever fished an original P-70, I don’t remember it, even though its appearance in the late 70’s coincides with the time I started fishing. I didn’t discover the Rebel Pop-R until the late 1980’s when I was entering adulthood. As legend has it, it was around that time that the pros who had kept the lure a secret for over a decade let the horse out of the barn. Specifically, it was anglers like Zell Rowland and Rick Clunn who made the lure famous. As this article notes, however, by the time I was buying the lure, Rowland was modifying its original design. All I knew was that if I fished the Pop-R in the right places, I caught fish.
Jump ahead twenty years to the 2016 KBF National Championship on Kentucky Lake. I had been researching local websites and following local anglers on social media when I noticed that a bass fisherman on Kentucky Lake had been catching bass on topwater – in February. At first glance, I thought it was a joke. But the day before I left town I packed a Rebel P-60 Pop-R in the chartreuse shad finish. One morning I heard a noise while paddling out to Sugar Bay (my son picked the spot for me because he liked the name), and before I knew it I had found an area where the bass were herding bait. I cashed my first big tournament check that week and it was because I had packed that Pop-R and fished it in cold, clear Kentucky Lake.
In sum, I have a long relationship with the Pop-R, and that love has not been unrequited.
The Rebel P-71 returns to the classic P-70 design of my youth and adds some new wrinkles while retaining the features the made the lure excel. When I saw the color line up of the new P-71 Pop-R’s, the “Blue Candy” model reminded me of Sugar Bay. And because I am superstitious about fishing, I decided then it was the model I would tie on first. It hasn’t left my rod since.
So consider this a love letter as much as a review of the new P-71. I’ll discuss how it casts and retrieves, how it is made and how it behaves while it is sitting still on the water and when fish are on it. I’ll also compare it to previous Pop-R models. Most of all, I will speak sincerely. Be warned: I may sound like a teenager who got bit by the love bug. Like I said, the P-71 makes me feel young again, and if you like topwater fishing, it will likely do the same for you.
I recently assembled an instructional guide for beginners who are learning to film their catch using the Tactacam Fish-i camera on their kayaks. Thanks to Basstrail.com for publishing the guide, and to Tactacam and Kayak Bass Fishing for the video resources embedded in the text.
My review of the Jackson Bite FD focuses on the kayak’s inviting and easily modified “Open” design. I also note other excellent features that should be considered (price point, material quality) for what is the best all around fishing kayak on the market.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, and this review appears on their website. I wrote this article after several months of using the rig, and while revisiting it I am pleased with how well the review stands up. I have fished from many kayaks and have used other models at demos, and I always write unbiased, honest reviews. Scroll to the comments section of the site, below the article, and you will see an additional point I made about the fixed skeg, for example.
The continual innovation in kayak fishing gear is amazing. Here is another in a recent line of product reviews. This is the FlipIt ID tag holder, designed by Jim Strunk, and soon to be sold by Ketch Outdoors.