Jackson Coosa FD
Make no mistake: Jackson Coosa FD is not just a Coosa HD with pedals. It is a different hull, an inch longer and wider and also 24 lbs heavier even without the drive and the seat.
Jackson Coosa FD is a pedal-driven fishing kayak based on the popular Coosa HD hull. However, it is not just a Coosa HD with Jackson’s Flex Drive 3D module attached. This kayak is different in several ways and is worth a closer look in comparison with the Coosa HD.
Size and Weight
Jackson Coosa FD (FD stands for Flex Drive) is 12’7″ (376 cm) long and 35″ (89 cm) wide. That’s an inch (2.54 cm) longer and wider than Jackson Coosa HD.
Although the size difference is not that large, the Coosa FD is significantly heavier than the HD model, even without the seat and the drive unit. Jackson Coosa FD weighs 102 lbs (46.3 kg) while Coosa HD is 24 lbs (10.9 kg) lighter at 78 lbs (35.4 kg).
Jackson Coosa FD also offers a slightly larger capacity. It is rated for 450 lbs (204 kg) while Coosa HD can carry up to 425 lbs (192.8 kg).
Jackson’s updated Flex Drive 3D pedal propulsion system packs a few features that set it apart from the competition.
The most significant one is its unique articulating system. The daggerboard-protected propeller has two height settings (for deep and shallow water) and can be raised all the way up so that it’s flush with the hull. Better yet, if you run over an underwater obstacle, the prop will go up automatically, saving it from damage.
When in the uppermost position, the propeller is easily accessible from the sitting position via a small hatch, so you can clean it from weeds, etc.
An important advantage of propeller-based systems is that you get instant forward and backward movement without having to “change gears” like you would on fin-based systems such as the one from Hobie.
Another cool feature is that the pedal unit can be removed from the boat in a matter of seconds for storage or transportation. Once on the water, you pop it back in, secure it with two wing nuts, and you’re good to go. Better yet, you can replace it with Jackson’s new Flex Drive E electric motor system if you want to.
Jackson Coosa FD has all of the features of the Coosa HD model, plus some unique ones.
On the bow, there is a large hinged hatch that opens access to the in-hull storage. It is secured with two quick-lock latches. Inside, there’s a plastic bin for small items so that they don’t get lost inside the boat. On top of the hatch, there is a Hypalon paddle park which is more hook-friendly than traditional bungee cords.
Also on the bow, you get two molded-in rod tip protectors that keep your rods safe from branches and grass.
Moving back, there’s a gear track that keeps the pedal unit in place but can also be used to install custom gear.
The pedal drive unit is positioned in a way that leaves an open standing area in front of the seat. On both sides of the pedal drive, there are two large transducer scuppers that are compatible with newer large transducers. The standing area is padded to improve traction and dampen any noises.
Right in front of the seat, there is a small hatch that gives you access to the prop. You can inspect or clean the propeller right from the sitting position. Pretty cool.
Jackson Coosa FD offers as much as 10 gear tracks. Compare that to 5 gear tracks on Coosa HD and no gear tracks whatsoever on the original Coosa. This gives a ton of options to rig it out with custom gear. The kayak also comes with a YakAttack Omega Rod Holder and an Orion Cooler Tumbler.
To the left of the seat, there’s a rudder control knob. Steering is a no-brainer: you pull it forward to go left and backward to go right.
The seat is super comfortable with high and low positions. The high position is higher than on many paddle-driven kayaks, so it is very easy to stand up and sit back down (important if you have stiff knees). The whole seat platform slides fore and aft on gear tracks, which helps you fine-tune your pedaling position and trim the boat for optimal weight distribution.
On the back of the seat, there’s some Molle webbing. Jackson Coosa FD comes with a waterproof seatback pouch for small items you need at hand, such as your phone, keys, rain jacket, etc.
We saw some complaints online about the aluminum seat frame bending under heavy loads, so that’s something worth taking a closer look at. In any case, Jackson Kayak stands behind their products and will replace any faulty components promptly.
The propeller blades have three pitch settings for more torque or easier pedaling. In the most aggressive setting, the pedal drive pushes the kayak at just under 4 miles per hour. The construction of the drive unit lets you pedal in shallow waters without worrying too much about the propeller.
Some users complained that the Coosa FD does not track too well and you have to keep steering it all the time. The rudder blade is flush with the keel and is probably too small to keep the boat on course. This is something to pay attention to when you take this kayak for a test drive.
All Jackson kayaks bought in 2020 and after come with a 5-year limited warranty for the hull and components made by Jackson. For full Jackson’s warranty terms, see Jackson’s website at https://www.jacksonadventures.com/warranty/
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Specification: Jackson Coosa FD