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Fishing Kayak Review: Ascend 12t

by Assessor


What are anglers looking for in a kayak? Often it’s the ability to get where conventional motorized boats can not, without sacrificing storage space or stability for casting and catching fish. There’s also the appeal of skipping out on the hassle of owning a motor boat, and the chance to turn everyday fishing into a bit of an adventure. With this said, let’s talk performance and Ascend 12t stability.

The Ascend 12t sit-on-top kayak is built on a tunnel hull. Tunnel-hulled kayaks are generally wider than other kayak hulls. Think of a tunnel hull as a pontoon boat or catamaran. There are essentially two rounded surface areas bridged by the center of the kayak. The dual, rounded surface areas provide reliable initial and secondary stability. These tunnel hulls are especially popular with fishing kayakers for the stable platform they provide.

The reason for the tunnel hull is to provide the Ascend 12t’s standing platform area. What do I mean by standing platform in a kayak? It’s when the floor of the cockpit is an open, flat area, rather than being scooped out for a footwell, and the kayak is stable enough to allow the paddler to stand. Standing platforms are a game changer for fishing kayaks, giving a kayak angler the opportunity to sight fish and increase casting ability. It’s a next step up in the fishing capability of a kayak.

The Ascend 12t provides this open standing area. But the 12t dimensions are worth looking at when assessing the stability of the kayak. The Ascend 12t is 12 feet long and 31 inches wide. In comparison to other fishing kayaks with a standing platform, the 12t is on the small side. For this reason, inexperienced paddlers may find the 12t to feel unstable when it comes to standing.

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Market and demographics

The Ascend 12t is a sit-on-top fishing kayak. Sit-on-top kayaks are kayaks where the paddler is not enclosed at all. They sit on the deck of the boat, which has been molded for an exterior seating position. This is in comparison to a sit-inside kayak. A sit-inside kayak is one where the paddler slides into the cockpit of the kayak. They may also wear a sprayskirt to cover the cavity of the cockpit. Sit-on-top kayaks have become popular for fishing kayaks because of their ease of entry, open storage and easier rescue scenarios in the event of a capsize.

The Ascend 12t kayak was designed specifically with the kayak angler in mind. The elevated seat position and tunnel hull make the 12t less about covering water as a paddler, and more about comfort and stability.

This kayak is best suited for slow-moving rivers, lakes and sheltered coastal waterways.

Beyond rod and reel action, kayaks like the Ascend 12t can also be used for hunting. Duck hunting is well within its scope, since its open cockpit design, elevated seat and large tankwells are also benefits to carrying decoys, setting up a shotgun rack or even bringing along your bird dog. The spacious decks make it manageable to ride along in the 12t with dog for duck hunting.

About the Ascend 12t


Material and construction

The Ascend 12t is constructed of high-density polyethylene. Polyethylene is a plastic commonly used in kayak manufacturing. This polymer compound is also regularly used to make other durable plastic goods like milk jugs and shampoo bottles.

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Ascend produces the 12t through a rotomolding process. Small plastic pellets are loaded into a mold. The mold is then placed in a large oven at high temperatures and rotated at speed, pushing the liquified nurdles outward so they spread and take the shape of the mold. While the mold is pulled from the oven it continues to rotate as it cools. When the mold is opened, presto we have a kayak. Rotomolded kayaks are one of the standard production processes in the industry to produce durable and afforable kayaks.

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