Item reviewed: Malibu Stealth 12
Number of trips used: 6-10 trips
Gear Review Submitted by: Just Fish
How it performed: I purchased the new Malibu Stealth 12 after owning an X-Factor and a Malibu Extreme. My plans were to get a smaller kayak for my river trips since I seem to be fishing the river a lot more than the lake and I already have an 09 Ride that goes to the lake with me.
The Stealth is wide and stable for all big guys and is great for kayak fishing. It is shorter than the X-Factor but built with the same design features. The thing that I like the best is the storage capacity that the Malibu kayaks are known for and the new cockpit design is designed so you are able to stand up and fish if you desire.
Sitting in the seat there is now a glove box on the deck where you can store tools as well as some popular lures. The center hatch that Malibu usually has was replaced by a bait tank that can be aerated for those who fish with live bait. I use it for dry storage, which works well as long as you don’t catch a rock in the river that tilts you sideways and lets water in. It will fill up but there is a threaded plug to drain the water without tipping the kayak. Another great feature are the two threaded scupper plugs under the seat.
As far as paddling goes. It is not a very fast kayak, but I will sacrifice speed for stability any day. There is also a little walking when you try to paddle too fast. It does glide pretty good and is not blown around that bad when the wind is howling like it does here in Texas.
I think the best part has to be the construction of the kayak. The plastic is tough, with the low water conditions right now I have had to do a lot of dragging over some sharp rocks with no gouges, just a few scratches. I ran over a pipe in the water last week without puncturing the bottom. All in all I give it a thumbs up.