Nucanoe Frontier 12 Review

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Thanks for visiting our Nucanoe Frontier 12 Fishing Kayak Review. As you know, you can’t always catch fish from the shore which is why you need the right fishing kayak to take you to where the action is!

But then there is the struggle of choosing the RIGHT kayak.

Not all fishing kayaks are made equally. There are endless variations including the length of the kayak, seats that swivel, number of fishing rod holders and more.

Why Listen To Me?

My name is Christina Bishop. Growing up, I spent most summer days fishing on the lake with my father. I’ve been holding a fishing rod since before I could even walk!

For this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Nucanoe Frontier 12 and weigh in on its features.

Does it offer the stability, storage capacity and maneuverability it claims, or does this fishing kayak fall short?

Read on to find out!

Nucanoe Frontier 12 Features:

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  • Swivel Seat – This is the only kayak we know of that has a 360-degree seat that will spin in every direction. This is very helpful when you are casting or operating an outboard motor
  • Gear vault hatch – The bow has a gear vault hatch with a hatch sack to provide storage for food, drinks and other items you will need during your fishing trips.
  • Wide-open deck – The Frontier 12 has a wide-open deck without a middle console. It is ideal for fishing as it allows you to cast a long line without hitting any obstructions. The open deck gives you plenty of room to stand in case you need to move around when trying to land your catch.
  • Junior Seat – Because the kayak has a wide-open deck, there is room for a junior seat so two people can go tandem in this kayak!
  • Rod Holders – You don’t have to compromise hull space because there are rod holders built-in to this kayak.
  • Battery Box – There is room for a battery so you can add an electric motor, fish finder and more!

Our Thoughts After Using the NuCanoe Frontier 12:

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Testing Out A Fully Equipped Nucanoe Frontier 12 Fishing Kayak
We launched this kayak at Olde Rope Mill Park, Georgia, to really put it to the test!

It’s got a Great Design

Honestly, we love it! The canoe-like, large desk space really keeps things simple and we had plenty of room to move around without a console getting in the way.

The Fusion 360 swivel seat was a game-changer because every other kayak we tested did not have a seat that could rotate 360 degrees. This was very helpful when casting in different directions because we did not have to change the direction of the kayak.

We were pleasantly surprised that this 12-foot kayak could hold two of us with the optional junior seat installed. We were happy to give up the center console features of some of the other kayaks in order to have this option.

We tested the kayak with the optional pedals, and we also dropped in a battery in the battery box along with an electric motor. This was a game-changer because we were able to get to those coves quickly. Once we added this motor, we really didn’t miss being out on a bass boat because we could get around fairly quickly and also fit into the coves easier than a bass boat.

Pedaling is smooth and quiet which lets you sneak up on your catch, and it also frees up your hands to fish while your legs do the pedaling.

We liked having all 3 ways to power the kayak. Most people will do fine with just a paddle and some pedals because if you get tired of paddling, or when you are ready to start casting, you can simply switch over to the pedals. A motor will get you across the water much faster, and of course you will appreciate that if a storm cloud blows up!

Stability and Maneuverability

Thanks to its compact nature, the Frontier 12 was easy to maneuver and control even in those tight coves at the lake. We were able to fish in small and secluded spaces that other larger boats and kayaks couldn’t get to.

This kayak was very stable on the open waters thanks to the canoe-kayak hybrid design! I was able to stand up and cast with confidence, and the wide hull design was a huge benefit over some of the other 12-foot kayaks we tested.

We were able to paddle to where we wanted to go, but we didn’t get there as fast as some of the other kayaks we tested. The downside of having a wider hull is that it does not propel as fast, especially when paddling.

We did not test the kayak choppy saltwater conditions, but with the kayaks wide hull, we don’t think you will have much trouble doing some ocean fishing.

Nucanoe Frontier 12 Detailed Specifications:

Size

The Frontier 12 is a 12-foot kayak with plenty of legroom. It measures 41 inches in width and is 12-17 inches in height. The kayak can sit up to two people comfortably without compromising stability or tipping over.

Weight

It weighs in at 80 lbs making it light enough to carry on a truck bed or on top of a car. The kayak is heavy enough to provide the stability you are looking for when casting or encountering rougher waters.

Capacity

The Frontier 12 has a carrying capacity of 650 lbs. It can carry two average-sized adults without capsizing.

You will also have plenty of capacity to bring home your big catch of the day!

Operation

The Frontier 12 comes with a paddle. It is also capable of being powered by pedaling or with a motor if you purchase the optional pedals or electric motor. The optional motor takes all of the work out of powering the kayak.

Type

The Nucanoe Frontier 12 is a sit-on-top kayak.

Additional Features

360-degree fusion seat: The Frontier 12 has an easy to assemble seat with a recumbent bottom and adjustable seatback. The seat is made from aluminum metal covered with a strong mesh material that is stretched over a sturdy base. It has the ability to rotate 360 degrees to allow you to cast in different directions.

The seat is placed in the cockpit area by utilizing the 70-inch gear tracks. These tracks also allow you to add another chair if you are fishing with a friend.

Flex grip handle: The Frontier 12 has a sturdy flex-grip handle that makes it easier to put your Kayak in the water and also take it out.

Wide-open deck: The Frontier 12 has a wide-open deck without a middle console. It is ideal for fishing as it allows you to cast a long line without hitting any obstructions. The open deck gives you plenty of room to stand in case you need to move around when trying to land your catch.

70-inch freedom tracks: The Frontier 12 has 70-inch freedom tracks for mounting camera equipment, additional chairs, and any other equipment you need to make your fishing trip more enjoyable.

Gear vault hatch: The bow has a gear vault hatch with a hatch sack to provide storage for food, drinks and other items you will need during your fishing trips.

The Nucanoe Frontier 12 has many other features including:

  • Battery box home
  • Side handles and cup holders
  • Junior seat compatibility
  • Internal hull access
  • Horizontal rod holders
  • Rod clips

All of these features are meant to give you maximum comfort during your fishing trip and ensure that your kayak can be customized for almost anything, including a powerful motor!

Pros & Cons

Pros-And-Cons

Pros:

  • Stability – Extremely stable due to its wide standing deck
  • Comfort – It has an adjustable, 360-degree seat with lumbar support
  • Simplicity – You can use the wide-open space however you would like, including the ability to add pedals or a junior seat!
  • Great Choice for Beginners and Experience Kayakers – Whether this is your first kayak, or if you are looking to upgrade, you can’t go wrong with this one because it can be customized for most anything.

Cons:

  • Speed – It won’t move quickly in open waters and river rapids due to wide beam and flat hull
  • Weight – Weighing in at 80lbs NAKED, it may be difficult to transport. It is also a bit slower due to its weight.

Nucanoe Frontier 12 Review & Final Verdict (4.5/5)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

And that was our review of the Nucanoe Frontier 12 Kayak.

Although it is a bit slower and heavier than other kayaks, this is still a solid kayak overall.

With some of the brightest minds going into the design of this hybrid canoe/kayak form factor, you can’t go wrong with this choice as it truly has something for everyone.

Oh, and did I mention that it is made in the USA?

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