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Just like its big brother, the Kraken 13.5 is the brainchild of Jackson Kayak’s Tony Lee and ace ‘yak angler Jim Sammons, which makes its incredibly astute and practical design not much of a surprise.
When it comes down to it, the differences between the Kraken 15 and the Kraken 13.5 are outweighed by the kayaks’ similarities—which is good news for any fan of the 15. The Kraken 13.5 exhibits only the slightest structural tweaks to accommodate its marginally shorter, marginally broader dimensions. It’s not going to track quite as impressively as the Kraken 15, but that’s the price you pay for greater agility. The sharp-cut bow still means you’re going to be able to slice cleanly through rolling surf with ease. Whether you’re prowling for salmon on one of the Great Lakes or chasing down stripers along some subtropical beach, the Kraken 13.5 is up for long hours out in heavy swells.
The kayak’s drain plug is front and center at the nose of the bow, which makes it easy to keep tabs on. The front hatch behind it comes bolstered with two layers of watertight protection: the thermoformed cover and a Neoprene seal. That’s ideal for big-water anglers, of course: The double-layered hatch can still do its job effectively when you’re launching into rough surf or hitting heavy chop. And the hatch cover’s molded curve sheds water beautifully, preserving the bow’s surf-piercing facility.
The 26-inch hinged center hatch is, truly, the heart of the Kraken 13.5, a protected hull recess for storing all manner of equipment. Stow tackle and other gear in the tub insert, or remove it and slip an insulated fish bag inside for transporting your catch on ice. The hatch cover includes dual YakAttack gear tracks for mounting rod holders, fish-finders, and other accessories, and its underside sports a beverage holder.
The center hatch isn’t the only spot on the Kraken 13.5 affixed with YakAttack gear tracks: Another six are found at other convenient spots like the stern tankwell, so the possibilities of outfitting the ‘yak are almost unlimited.
You’ve got lots of flexibility when it comes to mounting rods on the Kraken 13.5. Besides a pair of flush mounts in the stern, you’ve got inserts ready for multiple RAM rod holders and a trio of rod holders on the removable KKrate.
Speaking of the KKrate, it makes the perfect tank for storing live bait while big-water angling. The Kraken 13.5 includes a below-water bait-pump scupper that makes maintaining this bait tank as easy as can be—you can kiss goodbye the days of manually wrangling your bait-tank plumbing. The KKrate can be locked into the stern tankwell’s YakAttack gear tracks so that it’s completely secure in the event of major waves or rollovers.
The Kraken 13.5 allows both sit-down and standup fishing. The Elite Seat 3.0 gives you a wide range of sitting positions while ensuring the utmost in ergonomic comfort throughout. When you’re faced with choppy conditions or a long paddle, use the low-seat position. When you’re scouting for good casting locations or signs of fish, or when you’re actively working something on the line, use the high-seat setting, which also makes standing up all the easier. Trim your kayak by adjusting the Elite Seat forward and backward; the similarly adjustable foot pegs ensure you’ll always be able to settle in comfortably. And speaking of comfort, the Elite Seat includes a lumbar-supporting Therm-a-Rest pad that you’ll really appreciate at the close of a long day of fishing.
The seatback includes a water-resistant SealLine pouch reinforced with a bungee—ideal for storing items you’d like quick and easy access to.
The rear of the kayak includes a stern hatch for additional hull storage. And you can extend the lifespan of your stern keel using the removable skid plate.
Specs & Colors
The Jackson Kayak Kraken 13.5 is 13.3 inches from bow to stern and 30.5 inches across its widest. It’s available in the full range of Jackson colors: Bluefin, GI Jackson, Dorado, Bahama, Forest, and Electric Eel.
Kayak anglers who regularly beeline for wild saltwater or oceanic-scale freshwater need rough-and-tumble boats that can handle gnarly surf while keeping gear safe and secure. The Kraken 13.5 fits the bill: a fleet, nimble, and stable boat with lots of rigging options and lots of storage space.