- Read our review guidelines
If you’re looking for a kayak that can handle all types of water then the Dagger Katana could be at the top of your list. But is it comfortable for longer trips? And what about speed and maneuverability?
We’ve checked out its key features to see if this crossover kayak has what it takes to be your next go-to yak.
- Length: 10.4: 10 foot 4 inches (9.7: 9 foot 7 inches)
- Width: 10.4: 27.25 inches (9.7: 25.75 inches)
- Depth: 10.4: 15 inches (9.7: 13.5 inches)
- Weight: 10.4: 56 pounds (9.7: 50 pounds)
- Weight Capacity: 10.4: 300 pounds (9.7: 225 pounds)
Why Would I Buy A Katana?
The Dagger Katana is essentially a crossover kayak, meaning it’s designed to work well in a range of conditions and for different activities. If you’re someone who likes a bit of variety in their paddling then this craft could be a good choice.
Crossover yaks are built to handle both flatwater and whitewater, with good primary and secondary stability. While these yaks can handle whitewater, they’re also designed with enough storage for longer paddling trips, so they could be ideal if you plan on touring along a river that might have a combination of fast and slow moving water.
With the more rounded rocker hull shape to accommodate whitewater, beginners or those looking for a fishing vessel may be better with a recreational craft with a flat bottom to allow for improved primary stability and better tracking.
The Katana could be a good choice if you’re just getting started with whitewater paddling, as it can allow you to build up your experience on lower classes of rapids. At the same time, it can be equally suitable for more experienced whitewater paddlers.
What Size Dagger Katana Should I Buy?
The Katana 9.7 is 9 foot 7 inches long and is designed for paddlers who weigh between 100 and 210 pounds, so could be a better choice for smaller paddlers compared to the 10 foot 4 inch hull on the 10.4 model. On the other hand if you’re larger, you may find the 10.4 more comfortable, as it’s aimed at paddlers weighing between 155 to 285 pounds.
With the longer length you’ll also find you’ll have a little extra storage space, so if you plan on taking a lot of gear with you, the 10.4 could work be more convenient.
Dagger Katana: Best Features
The Dagger Katana is a sit-inside yak that promises speed and stability in all types of water. It’s designed as a crossover kayak with ample storage and space for comfort during longer trips and a hull that’s built to handle whitewater.
Paddle In Comfort
The Dagger Katana is designed to offer maximum comfort during both whitewater and flatwater paddling. It features Ergo outfitting, which is designed to offer you a comfortable ride, with adjustable contour hip braces, adjustable contour padded seating with leg lifter and adjustable thigh braces.
It has a larger style cockpit, which can feel more comfortable and less restrictive than some smaller style cockpits. Inside the cockpit there is also a storage pouch, designed for smaller essential items that you need to keep close at hand. The good thing about this is that you can remove it and take it with you to your campsite.
Video: Dagger Katana Overview
Bring Your Gear
One feature that makes this yak stand out from other whitewater yaks is that it has plenty of space for your gear. It’s built for multi-day trips, with enough space for your camping gear and food.
The rear sealed hatch is spacious and ideal for storing a tent, sleeping bag or a couple of dry bags. A bonus with this yak is the removable bulkhead that can allow you even more storage that can be accessed through the cockpit.
At the bow and stern there are bungee cords that will let you attach additional gear for longer trips.
Stay On Track
While the rocker on the hull can help to boost speed and maneuverability when paddling on all types of water, it can impact the yak’s ability to track straight, compared to a flatter bottomed vessel. However, on this one, there’s the added benefit of a retractable skeg.
This skeg can be dropped down while you’re paddling on flatwater and crossing larger bodies of water, helping you stay on track in the right direction. When you hit the whitewater, you can simply retract it back into the hull to avoid it being damaged on rocks.
The rounded rocker hull should improve your ability to turn quickly and navigate through stretches of whitewater.
Katana Kayak Alternatives
If you think a longer vessel might be better for you, the Dagger Axis could be a good alternative. It’s a crossover kayak designed for all types of water and benefits from lots of storage. It also has a spacious cockpit to keep larger paddlers comfortable as well as a retractable skeg for tracking.
Similar in style, the Pyranha Fusion is 10 foot 4 inches long, with a large cockpit and a storage hatch. Designed for both flatwater and whitewater, this yak also has a drop down skeg for use on calmer sections. It also features mounting areas for mounting a camera or rod holder.
Another crossover kayak the Liquidlogic Remix XP is just an inch shorter than the Katana 10.4 and has similar features, including the rocker profile hull for paddling over whitewater. It also benefits from a roomy cockpit, built-in skeg, sealed rear storage hatch and bungee rigging for extra gear.
- Ideal for all types of water
- Good storage
- Ideal for both beginners and experienced paddlers
- Not good for fishing
By now you may have decided that the Dagger Katana is definitely the kayak for you. Its ability to handle a variety of waters can make it an ideal choice if you’re looking for versatility.
It has good storage options, can offer you speed on the flats and can handle rapids, so it could be the right craft if you want one that’s easy to maneuver during your next camping trip.
Why not check out the Dagger Katana for yourself. Click here for the Katana 10.4 and click here for the Katana 9.7. We hope you’ve enjoyed our review. If there’s anything you think we should know, leave us a comment. And don’t forget to share this with your fellow watersports enthusiasts.