Say hi to the Jackson Bite, Dorado colour!
Working at one of Canadas best kayak and roof rack shops all year long makes me pretty happy as it is. Its definitely a bonus to have your hobby in cooperated into your full-time job. Its something I’m thankful for everyday I walk into the shop. Some of the most exciting days in the shop during the colder months are new boat days. The days we see the truck and trailer loaded from the Calgary warehouse or when you see massive transport pulled up to the loading door. Unloading thirty odd kayaks is not the fun part, trust me on that. Unwrapping the new boats for display is. Seeing that fresh out of the factory sheen, the permeating smell of new boat wafting through the shop. New models, colours, features, shapes, pedal drives, the list goes on.
The 2020 FD Drive in all its glory!
This week I had the pleasure of doing exactly that with a brand new 2020 Jackson Bite FD. I was pretty stoked on the bite (paddle version) when in was released last year, so much so I bought one myself. Unwrapping the Bite FD was a good time. The one brought up from the Calgary warehouse, where our Jackson order came in, was the Dorado colour. I am keen on this boat! It looks and feels exactly like my Bite from last year, but now it has the Jackson FD drive.
Here’s the nitty gritty, on the 2020 Jackson Bite FD
Length: 11’6″ or 350.5 CM
Width: 35″ or 90cm
Capacity: 400 lbs or 181.4 KG
Weight: 91 lbs or 40.8 KG w/o seat & drive
Available in Dorado, Forest, and Battleship colours.
Retails for $2639 CAD.
There is little I don’t like about this Bite, the only thing that I feel is lacking is deck pads to reduce noise that can potentially scare fish. But, for an awesome pedal drive, coming in at close to the $2600 hundred dollar mark, that can easily be overlooked.
Bow and Stern Views
What I like is a longer list. Starting with the drive, the main noticeable difference from last year FD drive model is the reverse colour scheme, with a black body and grey crank arms in stead of the opposite. The two new grease ports and drive break in instructions will make sure things run smoothly for years to come. (There will be more to come on the break in on my next blog.) The spider coupling that sits between the upper and lower drive unit has also changed to green and feels more firm and solid to the touch then the black one of previous models. (An extra one comes with the boat.)
The new green spider spider coupling.
The lower unit of the drive has the same bump up feature from previous years and comes stock with a two bladed prop, that allows you to have the drive in the up position or paddle mode and the clean out port closed giving you full walking access to the deck.
The New FD Rudder up close
The boat itself, has the super clean, open design of the previous Bite models but with minor tweaks to accommodate the pedal drive and required rudder and controls. The two bungeed slots in front of the the seat fit the Plano 3600 cases perfectly, white the seat is slightly higher, I’m assuming to be more conducive for pedaling, and has a more comfortable, padded and breathable fabric then previous Bite models. The seat is adjustable forwards and backwards to accommodate all sizes of anglers our there. Like all Jackson FD boat, there’s dual rudder controls on either side of the seat, which is great depending on which side the fish is on. The new rudder is solid moulded plastic and comes in bright orange which will help boats track better then previous FD models, while be super easy to find if misplaced (yes I know this from personal experience.)
There are to recessed rod holders and a huge bungeed tank well for a crate or cooler behind the seat, as well as a nice bungeed storage area in the bow along with some moulded in rod rests. The metal track, located on both the starboard and port side, allow for the mounting and easy access to the numerous accessories on the market today. While the moulded in paddle holders keep your paddle in reach on whatever side you choose.
All in, I think this a fantastic boat. If you’re in the market for a top-notch pedal drive at a friendly price, this boat should be on your list.
Asst. Manager Aquabatics Edmonton