Dagger Katana 10.4 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-13-2016   #1
 
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Dagger Katana 10.4

Any thoughts on Dagger's Katana 10.4? Can this crossover handle class 3 as advertised?

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Old 11-13-2016   #2
 
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 421
I just took the Katana 10.4 down the Grand at 38,000 CFS for a 10 day self support trip (just got off yesterday). Yes it can handle Class III, and a lot more. Amazing boat. I've also taken it down lower water more technical rivers like the Salt and Dolores, and it shined there as well. I'll be writing a review here soon on it on the 4CRS Blog (4CRS River Blog - Kayak, Raft, SUP, Canoe, Whitewater | 4Corners Riversports), but in short, it paddles kinda like a Mamba, super stable, responsive, and can haul a TON of gear. I weighed mine in at about 175 with gear and water before launching.
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Old 11-13-2016   #3
 
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Great to know--thanks!
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Old 11-14-2016   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storm11 View Post
I just took the Katana 10.4 down the Grand at 38,000 CFS for a 10 day self support trip (just got off yesterday). Yes it can handle Class III, and a lot more. Amazing boat. I've also taken it down lower water more technical rivers like the Salt and Dolores, and it shined there as well. I'll be writing a review here soon on it on the 4CRS Blog (4CRS River Blog - Kayak, Raft, SUP, Canoe, Whitewater | 4Corners Riversports), but in short, it paddles kinda like a Mamba, super stable, responsive, and can haul a TON of gear. I weighed mine in at about 175 with gear and water before launching.

How much do you weigh? That sounds like an awesome trip btdub.
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Old 11-14-2016   #5
 
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 161
I paddled a Katana 10.4 about 65 days this past winter/spring starting with a 28-day Grand Canyon trip (w/ raft support), then a 9-day solo San Juan River trip, then 4-day Ruby-Horsethief-Westwater solo, then a 6-day Lower Owyhee solo, then some Class III-IV here in the PNW. Here are my thoughts:

Pros:

Most comfortable boat I've ever paddled. I'm only 5'9" 145#, yet I have no problem controlling this boat loaded or empty.

Very stable in big water. Very stable in Class IV, though when you get it on continuous, technical Class IV, it gets interesting having so much bow in front of you! Also, it does not ride up a big, steep wave the same way a true creeker does, even empty, it punches through. But it can handle it.

Tons of room for storage. I always brought a chair, loads of beer, tent, pad, etc., even on a 9-day solo trip. If you have any experience backpacking, it's a cinch to pack this boat for long trips.

Cons:

My biggest gripe is with the oval hatch cover. Mine was dry on the GC, but it began to leak as time went on until it leaked a lot even in nothing Class III wave trains. When I got home, I put some 1/4 silicone weather stripping inside the lip of the hatch cover, then took it on tech. Cl. IV to test it. Yeah, it stayed dry, until I had a split second hole ride and it imploded. Not good. Am thinking of drilling some holes and installing a strap over the top of the hatch cover to keep it from being blown off in a hole. This is BS, though. Boat never should have been sold for WW paddling w/o a bomber hatch cover!!!

Also, it has a 15 inch high deck. I can roll it, but I have to be like Gumby to reach high enough to get my blade up near the surface to initiate a roll. Many, many creekers now have 15 inch decks, so this is nothing unique to the Katana, but it is an issue if you're not a super tall person.

Finally, I see no reason for the smaller Katana to even exist. It's only 80 gallons, and if all you need is 80 gallons, then buy a normal creeker! You'll get better handling in technical Cl. IV and no worries about a blown hatch.

My 2.
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Old 11-14-2016   #6
 
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 161
Oh, also forgot to mention that the skeg makes it super fast on the flats and swirlies. I often paddled solo on the Grand since I could catch up to the rafts in no time after stopping for a side hike.

I liked the skeg so much on the GC, in fact, that I even started to leave it down in the bigger rapids (Hance, Granite, Horn, Lava, etc.). Holds a line unbelievably (of course) but if your bow does get slapped by a huge lateral and spins the boat, it's a lot more work to get turned around in the right direction. (of course) Up or down, you'll be fine, just experiment and see what happens.

Of course, no skeg in shallow, technical rapids. Just big water rapids and flats.
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Old 11-14-2016   #7
 
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 421
I weigh 190 lbs / 6'2.

I'll add a few points:

~ I added the Jackson Hard Hat Hatch Cover / Neo hatch skirt (it fits perfectly on the Katana). Another guy on our GC trip ran the factory hatch and had no issues with major leaking or implosion, but I was glad to have the security of the JK Hard Hat, plus it allowed me to run my groover on top of the boat (which did push me around a bit when I'd bury the stern it rapids or boils). None of the hatches on the trip (Katanas, Karma RGs, Traverse) were 100% dry, but the leakage was negligible.

~ I ran the entire GC with the skeg down. When its fully loaded, the bow wants to wander so the skeg helps keep it in control. I would run it about 1/2 down in more technical rapids on the Salt and Dolores. The skeg is key on this boat IMO. Don't be afraid to run rapids with it down. It also REALLY doesn't like to be upside down when its fully loaded, so its very easy to roll for how heavy it is.
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Old 11-14-2016   #8
 
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Wow. So much good information here. Thank you both!
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Old 11-14-2016   #9
 
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 161
Good info, Storm. I agree about the bow wanting to wander. Happens when it's empty, too, but much easier/faster to correct. I never thought to leave the skeg partially deployed. Mine developed a crack after I smacked a rock on the Owyhee. I will try welding it before I opt for a replacement part.

Good to know the JK hardhat fits over the hatch opening. Just to clarify: you're using both the JK neoprene hatch cover and JK hard hat?
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Old 11-15-2016   #10
 
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 421
Yes, I switched it to the Hard Hat with the Neo Cover underneath. The two cross straps mount by drilling into the boat, but you can just strap them over the factory hatch cover for added security if you don't want to use the hard hat cover on certain trips.
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