2nd DAG MidWay Review

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2nd DAG MidWay Review

Postby Chalky » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:54 pm

jmac posted a review of the DAG MidWay vs the Disco. This reminded me because I did a review of it when first purchased and I did not get around to posting it. Doh! I have since used it particularly in the surf (its good) where its sea bow performs well. Only trouble I had was being dislodged by the larger sets so I have just bought the DAG Carl System thigh holder ($90) to help lock in my legs during a surf launch. I also bought the DAG gear keeper bucket (water tight sealed) that fits in the rear well perfectly. I have also become more used to the initial tippiness, and am becoming more confident in it. I still would not rate it a beginners kayak, rather intermediate. So here is my review done about 5 months ago below for further opinion in addition to jmacs excellent review:

I thought would give my first impression of my new kayak – the DAG Mid-Way. I have a few SOT kayaks already, including an RTM Tempo, and have kayak fished for about a year and a half, all offshore ocean. Based on a desire to have a kayak suitable just for general paddling, surfing the local beaches and trolling a fishing lure (as in not a dedicated fishing kayak) I was attracted to the DAG Midway. They have been available near Sydney for the last year and a recent sale was sealed after a recent favourable review (by Capn Jimbo in the US) and a new year discount by the retailer. Cost was $1100 for the Angler version including a spare neaprene cover. The Angler version comes with extra two rod holders and a different centre console with a Scotty rod holder. Interestingly, although the retail display showed the front hatch having a neoprene cover and a hard cover placed over it with two fastening straps, my kayak came with a rubber cover only (but I prefer this as it would be less fiddly on the water). Oh well, the neoprene cover can be a spare emergency cover if I lost the rubber one. Perhaps this was an improvement by DAG and it seems since taken up by RTM with their version now being sold in the States. As far as I can tell, my kayak matches the RTM version being sold in the States as per Capn Jimbo’s review.

So first time out I load my bare essential trolling tackle (one rod) onto the kayak in a plastic rod holder extender I already have placed in one of the rear rod holders. Although the rear tank well is round-bottomed, like my Tempo, I find this is OK because I am only loaded my fish keeper bag, lip gripper, gaff, lure box and fish measure ruler there. The centre console houses a water bottle, pliers and small fish holding towel. I place in the front hatch my safety and wet weather gear in two dry bags.

I hop on in calm conditions, no wind and slight swell, and note the kayak feels tippy, much more than my Tempo or Hobie. This kayak is going to be more of a challenge to master. I decided to paddle for a while, slowly getting used to this tippy feeling. After a while I am able to start trolling and soon catch (and release) five small tailor and finally a large squid (now my second squid on a trolled hard body lure). It paddles well, probably a bit faster than the Tempo at this stage of my confidence, and can be turned fairly quickly by paddle (there is no rudder). I find to overcome the tippy feeling whilst stopped and playing a fish it is best to place your legs over each side up to the back of the knee. This is certainly brave at the moment considering the recent shark attacks and other stalking events (including on kayak fishers) in Australia.

I initially had the scupper plugs in, in calm conditions due to the fairly high sides, not much water comes in. Pulled the scuppers out, now this is a wet ride! About ½ to 1 inch of water in the footwell, and sometimes slops up to the seat. Because the seat slopes back a bit, the water tends to pool under your butt too (there are no seat scuppers). I think the front two footwell scuppers should be of bigger diameter to drain water away quicker when I later deliberately put water in the footwell near shore. The rear tankwell scupper is larger and does a good drainage job.

After my 90 minute session I came in, drop off my fishing gear, and paddle the kayak again including some forced swaying. There is a slowing down of the tippiness as it reaches its secondary stability and I become more confident. I am satisfied that with some more paddling sessions I will get used to it. I even noticed when a small wave comes in it is very easy to go with the wave.

So my first impressions of this kayak are it has the features for paddling and light fishing (ie trolling). I just have to get used to the initial tippy feeling. I really like the fact it has a bulkhead for a SOT, I once had my Tempo fill with water due to a lazily applied front hatch cover in rough conditions and had to beach it quickly. The tank well is not ideal to carry a lot of fishing gear, but that’s fine for me, minimal tackle suits me when only slowly trolling. I did not try the centre console Scotty rod holder, but is probably good to hold a rod when re-rigging – in the ocean I only troll with a rear rod holder. The kayak itself is well built, solid, pretty comfortable (although I will try a back band next trip) and for the first time for me did not take on any water at all (will try later in rough conditions). It is not as light as I would like, still it is a bit lighter and shorter than the Tempo for car roof rack loading (it is about 26 kgs ). I have included a photo, including the caught squid.
Cheers,
Chalky.
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Member NSW South Coast Kayak Fisho's
Kayak PB's: Snapper 77cm, Kingfish 1.12m, Tailor 38cm, Black Drummer 51cm, Blonde Mermaids nil.
Kayaks: A few too many
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Chalky
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Re: 2nd DAG MidWay Review

Postby Biggles » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:16 pm

One of the best reviews we have had posted for a while Chalky, thank you very much for sharing it with us. It is worthy of a lock box entry and you will find a copy in there as well, congrats.

Regards

Al
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Re: 2nd DAG MidWay Review

Postby Garney » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:45 pm

That's a mighty big squid there! :md:
Cheers

Matt

Extreme Outlaw- TANGO!

PB from Yak: Flatty 39cm, Couta 65, B Trout 48, Aus Salmon 29, Gummy shark 102.5, Bream 39 to fork.
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Re: 2nd DAG MidWay Review

Postby jmac » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:21 pm

Thanks for the post Chalky. Good to read your thoughts and compare notes and discover how you've set your Midway up for fishing. Also good to hear that you've taken it out through the surf without any major hassles. I'm yet to get there with mine.

John Mac
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