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Jackson Cuda HD Fishing Kayak Review

Mark Armstrong
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The Jackson Cuda HD is a sit-on-top fishing kayak built for solo anglers. It has an improved design that can boost stability and enhance tracking performance while giving you plenty of space for your gear and accessories.

  • Length: 12 foot 10 inches
  • Width: 33 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds (without seat)
  • Weight Capacity: 425 pounds

This durable, feature-packed fishing craft comes with a Hi-Lo seat for improved visibility, built-in gear tracks for easy accessory mounting as well as a deck pad and rod holders.

It can be ideal for fishing on flatwater, whether you’re on an ocean bay, a large lake or even a small pond or river.

Before You Buy A Jackson Cuda HD

The Jackson Cuda HD is crafted for serious anglers. It is designed to provide excellent stability that can be great for beginners or larger paddlers. It also has the added performance features that can make it appeal to more experienced kayakers.

This is a 12 foot 10 inch boat that can offer lots of space for gear and places to mount electronics. It also has a high weight capacity so that you shouldn’t have to limit yourself when it comes to choosing what gear to bring.

If you’re looking for a compact craft that’s easy to transport and store, this may not be the right boat for you. Weighing 85 pounds without the seat, it may not be a simple task when it comes to car topping or hauling to the water by yourself, meaning you may need extra equipment such as a trailer or cart.  

Top Features Of The Jackson Cuda HD Fishing Kayak

YakAttack Gear Tracks

One of the great features of the Jackson Cuda HD is the YakAttack gear tracks. These are conveniently installed on the sides of the deck so that you can easily customize the craft by adding your own accessories and gadgets without having to drill into the hull of your boat.

The tracks mean you can slide your electronics or accessories to position them just where you need them.

Standing Platform

This 12 foot 10 inch boat is built for superior stability, with a wide 33 inch hull and a flat deck that can help create a secure standing platform that’s ideal for casting.

The boat has padded standing pads which can make it more comfortable and less slippery to stand on. The deck pads can also help to minimize noise so you don’t scare away the fish, which can really come in handy if you’re prone to dropping anything on deck.

Space For Gear

This kayak has a generous amount of storage space, with a 425 pound weight capacity, so you can take all your favorite fishing gear and have everything you need with you.

Video: Jackson Kayak – Cuda HD Promo

The spacious rear tank well has room for a crate or cooler and there’s bungee rigging to help you keep it secure.

At the bow there’s a large hinged storage hatch which can be great for keeping items safe inside the hull. On the top of the hatch you’ll also find a paddle holder so you can safely stow your paddle while you’re dealing with your fish.

In front of the seat there’s a hinged center console and there are sliding trays by the seat. You’ll also find built-in rod holders, both vertical and horizontal with the latter having rod tip protection.

Adjustable Seat

The Jackson Cuda HD features an Elite Seating System which benefits from having Therm-a-Rest lumbar support as well as the MOLLE Snap seatback pouch which can be ideal for holding some of your smaller gear and tackle, as well as holding a hydration system.

Video: Cuda HD Walk-Through

The seat can be positioned either higher or lower on the deck depending on whether you want a better vantage point for sight fishing or you want a more comfortable position for paddling. It features padded mesh fabric for quick drainage and breathability.

The seat can also be easily removed for transportation and storage.

We think this can be a great boat for some relaxing bass fishing in your local lakes and rivers, just as this user is trying out.

Jackson Cuda HD Alternatives

Jackson Big Rig FD Kayak

The Jackson Big Rig FD might be a good alternative if you’re after more space and even more features. This 13 foot 3 inch yak is 40 inches wide and has a massive capacity of 550 pounds.

It’s built for serious fishing and comes with a rudder, covered storage at the bow and stern, as well as rod holders, a rear tank well and center console.

Jackson Coosa FD Kayak

The Jackson Coosa FD is a similar size to the Cuda, but is a little longer and wider. It also has the added benefit of a pedal drive system to help you move more quickly and easily over the water, both forwards and backwards.

This stable craft features a rudder for improved tracking and control on open water. It also has front and rear hinged hatches and a weight capacity of 425 pounds.

Perception Outlaw 11.5

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 can be a good alternative if you’re looking for a more affordable option. It is a stable boat with a non-slip deck for easier standing and built-in rod holders and gear tracks. It has a 425 pound capacity and there’s a spacious rear cargo deck for gear, as well as a mesh covered storage area at the bow and lots of smaller storage areas for your lures and tools.

Being just 11 foot 6 inches, this could be easier to transport than the Cuda HD. It also weighs a little less at 77 pounds and benefits from having molded bow and stern carry handles.

Full Perception Outlaw 11.5 review

Wrapping Up


  • Lots of fishing features
  • Stable
  • Tracks well
  • Comfortable seat


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

The Jackson Cuda HD is a stable fishing boat that has plenty of space for you and your gear. With its high weight capacity it can be a great choice for larger paddlers and benefits from having a padded standing platform to make casting even easier and more comfortable.

You’re hooked? Perhaps you want to check it out for yourself by clicking here. Let us know what you think in the comments and share this to help others find their new favorite boat.

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