First Impressions of the Bonafide SS127

Yesterday, I finally got to demo the kayak everyone has been raving about which is the new Bonafide SS127. Wendell Cothran from The Sportsman's Corner was kind enough to stop off at a local ramp as he was passing through town from picking up a load of new kayaks and allow me to get some seat time in it. This kayak is the creation of Luther Cifers and his team at Yak Attack and you can tell a lot of thought has went into designing this boat. 

I spent about 20 minutes paddling it and putting some thought into where I would mount various things if I were to get one. I won't go into every detail of this kayak as there are plenty of videos on the Bonafide Youtube channel that do a better job of explaining the features than I could in this post. What I am going to do though is tell you about the pros and cons of this kayak from my first impression. 


Weight: The first thing I noticed when I went to lift the kayak was how light it was. As the trend in fishing kayaks continues to lean more toward bigger and heavier, it is nice to have a lighter weight option available. At only 75 lbs, it is very manageable off the water. 
Stability: The stability of this kayak is off the charts. I have been in many other kayaks that are much wider and heavier that can't match the stability of the SS127. Even sitting in the seat's high position, I felt completely safe at all times. As someone who weighs 170 lbs, I would really have to try hard to roll this kayak. The other thing I immediately noticed was there was no give to one side when I stood up. It is a rock solid fishing platform. 

Seat Height: If you watch my YouTube channel or follow this blog, you know I have been dealing with some sciatic issues the last few months. Sitting in a low position where my hips are significantly lower than my knees is something I continue to struggle with. The elevated seat option that the SS127 offers is a huge benefit for someone like me. It allowed me to sit in a higher position and get more bend in my knees without sacrificing stability. 
Floor Space: This was a concern of mine after looking at the initial pictures that were released. As someone who targets trophy size catfish that can exceed 50lbs, I need some floor space to be able to set a big fish down after landing it. With the seat trimmed as far back as it would go, there was a surprising amount of floor space available. It is more than adequate for my needs. 

Storage Space: As someone who carries a lot of gear, this is another thing that is very important to me. The huge storage hatch up front is big enough to accommodate camera mounts, rods, or anything else that you need to put in there. The rear tank well size was what I was most interested in though. On the water, I need to have a place for a large bait cooler as well as my fishing crate. I was able to fit both in the back of this kayak. 

Transducer Pod: This is another very cool feature of this kayak. The pod allows you to mount your transducer up under the hull so that it is not only protected, but also tucked away so it doesn't create any drag that can slow you down while paddling. It allows you to keep your fish finder, wiring, and battery all together and can also be easily removed. 


Seat: While I love having the option of sitting up in a higher position, I wasn't impressed with the seat base. The front bar has a locking mechanism that secures the seat to the kayak, however, there is no locking mechanism for the rear bar. This created a problem when I would go to lean forward. The front bar of the seat would roll forward with me. As a catfisherman, I will be leaning forward often to reach for my front rods. Without any modification, this seat would be a nuisance for the type of fishing that I do. Fortunately, I believe Wendell came up with a good solution of drilling a small hole and running a pin through it to keep the front bar from rolling forward. This would prevent you from being able to adjust your seat while on the water, but it would fix the problem. Another option would be to rig up something to lock the rear bar in place. 
Junk Drawer: The concept of the junk drawer is awesome. It is a tray that slides under your seat to store items that you want to have quick access to. The thing I didn't like was the gap between the seat and the tray. As you can see from the pic, there is about a 2" space between the end of the seat and the front of the tray when the seat is in the back position. I can see a lot of water and probably some catfish poop making its way into that tray. No issue for a lot of items, but I definitely wouldn't want to keep my phone, camera, or any other items that I wouldn't want to get wet there. There are drainage holes in the tray so any water that gets in can drain though. 

All in all, I was very impressed with this kayak. As you can see from my list, the pros far outweigh the cons. If you are in the market for a new kayak, this is definitely a boat you want to try out. I can't thank Wendell enough for taking time out of his day to allow me the chance to finally demo this kayak. If you have any questions about this kayak or want to try it out yourself, give him a call at The Sportsman's Corner 931-954-5510.

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