Jackson Coosa Flex Drive Kayak Review [Video]


After using the Jackson Coosa FD Kayak to fish for a while, I wanted to share what I have liked and disliked about this kayak.

This is a pedal drive kayak and offers many customizable options for each angler’s preferences.

This post dives into the pros and cons I have found while using the Jackson Coosa FD Kayak and how you can set this kayak to best suit your needs.

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Jackson Coosa FD Kayak Specs

The Jackson Coosa FD Kayak from back to front
The Jackson Coosa FD Kayak gives anglers a stable, customizable fishing vessel for any individual’s needs.

The specs for the Jackson Coosa FD Kayak are:

  • Length: 12′ 7″
  • Weight: 105-115 lbs. (105 without the flex drive and raised seat)
  • Propulsion: Pedal Drive (called the flex drive)
  • Max Weight Capacity: 450 lbs.

Jackson Coosa FD Kayak Review Video

This video provides a comprehensive look at the Jackson Coosa FD Kayak and the different ways you can set it up.

Check out my full review here:

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Jackson Coosa FD Review: Pros

I like this kayak for a variety of reasons and it has served me well as a fishing vessel for the past couple of months. My top pros for using this kayak include:

  1. Very Stable – This kayak has great stability and allows me to stand up to fish easily. It also allows me to go from a sitting to standing position and vice versa with no issue.
  2. Flex Drive Function and Design – The flex drive gives me more freedom to use my hands while fishing and spend less time positioning the kayak and paddling. The kayak is also well designed to where you can access the necessary flex drive parts while kayaking to remove any weeds or debris that gets caught in the prop.

    The Jackson Coosa FD Access Hatch to the Flex Drive Prop
    The Flex Drive prop is easily accessible from the hatch in front of the seat.
  3. Customizable Options – Almost everything on the kayak is removable and adjustable, from the rudder to the raised seat. You can set up the kayak in the way you want and easily add additional equipment such as GoPro mounts.
  4. Jackson Kayak Customer Service – Jackson not only provides a quality product, they also offer exceptional customer service. If you have any issues with your kayak, the people at Jackson are eager to help you find a solution.

Jackson Coosa FD Review: Cons

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my Coosa FD, there are a couple drawbacks to this kayak:

  1. Weight – This is a heavy kayak at 105-115 pounds and not easily moved around with one person.
  2. Aluminum Seat – The seat that comes with the kayak is made out of aluminum and is not the strongest material. Friends of mine have had issues with the seat bars bending on them and getting out of shape.
  3. Tackle Box Tray Under Seat – The tackle box tray under the seat can be useful, but it also takes up a lot of space and can actually block you from being able to open the hatch to the pedal drive in some settings. This can be fixed by removing the tray.
  4. Rudder System Tracking – One of the biggest issues I’ve had with my kayak is the rudder system not tracking, meaning that when I take my hands off the rudder control levers the kayak will begin turning.

Note: We’d love to hear your thoughts on your Jackson Coosa FD, so please leave a comment down below to share your experiences with these kayaks.


Although there are some cons to this kayak, the usability and design of the Jackson Coosa FD is top notch and provides a great fishing vessel for anglers.

The customizable options also meets the needs of almost any angler, making this an extremely versatile kayak.

If you’ve used the Jackson Coosa FD Kayak, let us know what you think of it by commenting below.

[Click here to the Salt Strong Ultimate Guide to Buying a Kayak]

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Jeffrey Wilson
11 months ago

Hey Tony great review! One question, if the prop is in the low or middle position and you hit something hard like a log or rock, will it kick up flush like the Hobie fins? Or is it just a clunk and you stop?

1 year ago

with my Coosa Fd the worst problem was the tracking. I went from a Native Slayer 13 which was an excellent fishing machine and tracked straight as an arrow to the Coosa having to fumble with the steering so much on the maiden voyage I turned around and headed back to the landing because I could’t fish. After loading it on my trailer I inspected the rudder and there was this enormous amount of play not only in the rudder but in the steering arms as well. Took a little home engineering to correct with some stainless shimming but its on track now. My thoughst were that surely someone had complained about this enough that it would have made it back the the engineering team at Jackson.

John Martin
1 year ago

Hi, Tony,
I am on the market for a peddle Kayak now . But Bad ruder is by by for me. Do you have your eye on other peddle Kayaks? sell my Big Daddy Expandacraft for $3900. many folks in my Community Kayak and wish me to join them Can that rude be fixed to run straight?

Corey Campeaux
2 years ago

I just purchased a Jackson Cruise FD. I have spent more time getting used to it, than fishing, but I did book a fishing trip with one before I purchased. It is definitely smaller than the Coosa, but I like it. On the fishing trip I took I kept several redfish, one over 30 inches. I’m itching to taking it out my kayak on a proper fishing trip, but my schedule and the weather are not cooperating.

Randy Leppala
2 years ago

I purchased a Coosa FD and have been happy with it EXCEPT for the tracking issue. As a result, I designed and fabricated my own self retracting rudder which is larger to provide more control, but also self retracts if it hits an obstruction. See my YouTube video:

Peter Maki
2 years ago

Hi Tony,
How does the Cousa do with waves and does it turn easily?

John Miller
3 years ago

Tony, I have been looking at pedal kayaks and at one store the salesman told me that jackson pedal drives (any prop drive for that matter) is 3 times as hard to pedal as a Hobie. could this be true and is it a factor I should consider? Tk John

Justin Kronenwetter
3 years ago

Another great review Tony thanks! I’m glad someone in the market place responded to the drive system issues for skinny water and instantly changing directions. I like a lot about that kayak. I’m sure IF i’m patient 🙂 that I will see in later videos how it’s actually used a bit more. I am curious as I only sit down to occasionally re-tie etc. I took the seat OUT of my kayak for a combination of reasons mostly my back/disc issues and paddling hurts too, I use a trolling motor and an Ascend 12 btw. I much prefer to stand when fishing, so it’s a deal breaker about the seat position/height for me, and as technical as that seat looks it really seems flimsy as a folding lawn chair which is a concern. Thanks again !

Doug R. Duke, Jr.
3 years ago

Great review Tony. On my Coosa FD, I use the rod tip protectors for my anchor pin and the bungee keeps it secured by my hip. I agree that these aren’t functional for rod tip protection though. Also, I took the screws out of the tray under the seat. It wouldn’t move freely enough & was too noisy. I still use it under my seat but it’s not connected to the floor of the boat. I will be adding the tie downs to my tracks and I never considered using the floor tracks for cup holders. Great idea!

Dave Otte
3 years ago

Hi Tony, have you overcome the tracking issue, or do you know if Jackson has a plan to fix that in the future? I have a cheap kayak and I overcame that by building my own skeg, but I sure wouldn’t want to have to do something like that on a high end kayak like this one.

Thank you for this honest review. One day I’ll get a nice kayak based on these types of reviews.


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