I’m wearing a wetsuit under my tuxedo. When no one is looking, I sneak away from the Ambassador’s reception ball, climb down a 50-foot cliff and scurry across the rocky beach. From behind a boulder, I pull out a large duffel bag. Inside is an inflatable kayak, electric motor, GPS/sonar and lithium battery. A few minutes later, I’m silently motoring the boat towards a huge motor yacht where Pussy Galore waits.
Wake up! I’m not a special agent on a secret mission; I’m a fisherman with Advanced Elements' latest StraightEdge Angler Pro inflatable kayak.
For years, Advanced Elements has been making serious inflatables that are capable of touring to the ends of the earth or secret spy missions. Their bright yellow Angler carried the tradition to fishing kayaks. Now, they’ve introduced an updated version in a new color.
The StraightEdge Angler Pro (in low-visibility sage and grey) takes inflatable design to the secret agent stage. First, to solve the problem of flex in inflatable hulls, they added a frame to the bow and stern that improves entry and exit. Then stabilizing bars on the fore and aft deck increase rigidity and provide an easy point to connect accessories via one-inch bar mounts. A separate drop- stitch floor further improves handling and provides a solid platform to stand and fish.
To further erase the void between inflatable and rigid kayaks, the StraightEdge Angler Pro is outfitted with a frame seat that provides a solid foundation for powerful paddling and all-day comfort.
Somehow they fit all of these features on a sub-11-foot boat. The rigid bow and stern keep the boat on course, while the short waterline allows it to spin like a top. Like all inflatables, the Angler Pro sits high on the water, but low- profile gunwales cheat the wind. An available skeg fin further improves tracking.
Our test boat came equipped with a Current Drives’ ElectraFin motor. The propeller unit fits into a standard finbox and runs off a lithium-ion battery housed in a drycase. Forward, reverse and speed are controlled by wireless remote. Change direction by dipping the paddle blade in the water. This is the simplest, lightest and most compact system we’ve tested. It’s powerful enough to push the boat faster than I could paddle. I wasn’t able to exhaust the battery and the specs say the prop will run up to 20 miles on low speed.
The motor is perfect for pushing the inflatable to distant fishing grounds. On the scene, the motorworks and prop actually improve stability and tracking, even if it does cut draft to two feet deep. To fish the skinny stuff, just disconnect the lower unit and throw it in the back of the boat until it’s time to motor home.
The StraightEdge Angler Pro is one of the most innovative packables that we’ve tested. Adding a motor to this inflatable makes it a serious fishing kayak that isn’t limited by the poor performance that sometimes haunts blow-up boats. It’s a perfect boat for anglers with limited storage and transportation options. Or secret agents.
Weight: 45 lbs
Capacity: 400 lbs
Price: Base model: $999
With ElectraFin: $2,624