I really thought my career was over before I got a W500 kayak

Massachusetts fly angler in W500
By Robbie Cairl, Massachusetts

The W500 is as comfortable as any seat in my house. My back feels so good while I am kayaking now, I really thought my career was over before I got a W500. I absolutely love it. I mean that so sincerely, but to say I have been out a dozen times usually for over 3 hours and a couple of times for 7 hours says it better. Yesterday was a drift on the Deerfield River with a couple of friends and just to be a wiseacre I stood up through several sets of class 1 rapids with no instability. In fact being higher up I could scout the rapids better. Not that I recommend such foolishness.
I have been meaning to check in but I wanted a snap shot worthy of my appreciation, it’s just that we are all more interested in fishing and paddling than photographing. I must recruit a friend to take a couple of shots next time I go out.
Getting the yak on and off the car gets easier every time and lashing the hulls to the roof rack instead of going all the way over the yak is easy and stable. I went up to Vermont on 91 twice, cruising at 65 with no movement or annoying strap hum.
I love changing positions, standing while paddling and especially fishing from a standing position, again increasing visibility. I understand why you asked that I use it for half an hour before showing it off to friends. A very steep learning curve, I was so comfortable in half an hour and now after what I estimate to be over 50 hours I am a hopeless show off.
I love the looks I get while driving or on the water. Everyone has to ask about it. The park ranger at Wilgus State Park in VT is an avid kayak fisherman and proudly showed me his very expensive kayak/canoe hybrid. He looked mine over and was very curious. As luck would have it we met on the water later that day and he got to see the W in action. The next day he excitedly told me he looked on line and how impressed he was and how ergonomically well designed and on and on. I was very kind and feigned interest. But on the inside I was like, I know friend I know. I bought one!
Oh, problems? I had to transport 90% of the camping equipment when a friend and I went camping on Grout Pond in Vermont last weekend. We only were a half mile from the launch but made it in one trip. With 2 conventional yaks it would have been several trips at best. That would have been a great photo, sorry, all the coolers and tents piled up and you couldn’t even see all the supplies in the hull. But seriously, I am only more excited and pleased than my wildest dreams every time I go out.

4 thoughts on “I really thought my career was over before I got a W500 kayak”

  1. Hi Robbie,

    Thanks for this great review!
    I remember your initial concerns about being able to paddle and fish out of a kayak due to back pain, and I’m glad to see the W solved these problems for you.


  2. baitshop boy says:

    Paddling standing in a w while going down rapids… I wish I could do that!
    Sounds pretty cool.

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