Malibu Kayaks Stealth 9 Review
by Andy Allen
The new Malibu Kayaks Stealth 9 completes a line up of pure fishing kayaks. Incorporated into each Stealth is a molded in bait tank system positioned ideally, directly in front of the paddling angler. This not only aids in easier baiting up but also puts weight low to the water line for added stability. Positioned in the center of the kayak distributes the weight more evenly and contributes to better handling and glide than conventional bait tanks in the rear tank well.
The Stealth 9 borrows it specifications from the Mini X. If you were to flip the two over the only difference you would find is the recess for the strainer on the Stealth 9. The deck of the Stealth however, offers several added features. First off, the foot wells are fitted with adjustable foot pegs rather than the molded in heel stops in the Mini X. This allows for a more perfect fit. Brass motor mount inserts are molded in as well as rudder inserts. Adding a rudder will give you more control, making this nine foot three kayak feel a little longer and paddle a little more efficiently.
The front circular hatch is identical to the one offered on the Mini X in the Fish and Dive model and the tank well is identical to the Mini X design. The tank dimensions are the same as the tank on the Stealth 12 and will hold four gallons filled to the top with three gallons at the appropriate operating level. The 500 GPH thru-hull pump works best utilizing either a 6 volt battery or an in-line time switch cycling 50/50 with a 12 volt battery. Flow can be further controlled with the adjustable aerator head intake. A flip of the toggle switch is all it takes to pump water into the tank. The pump and strainer are positioned below the waterline and are self priming.
The side pockets of the casting platform are positioned on either side of the center bait tank. These are great for storing small items like tackle and tools in the nylon inserts. The red inserts are removable to allow access for rigging, wiring and installation, for lighting, fish finder and rudder lines. Standing is very possible on the flat designated area and is only limited by the sea conditions and the anglers own abilities.
The new Stealth 9 is at home in and out of the surf zone. Its length make it very user friendly as it will ride waves in with relative ease. The size of this kayak is its strong point when factoring in storage, transport and ease of getting it out on the water and home again. The Stealth 9 is great for those situations where you don't need "all that kayak". It can be rigged as a minimalist or equipped with additional front rod holders, fish finder and the works. Malibu kayaks always leave the individual numerous options to make their kayak their own. Fun and very "fishy". This is a little kayak with some very big features and nearly limitless possibilities.
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