Dagger Axis 12 – Sharp Handling Kayaking Experience?

Acquiring a reliable kayak is every water lover’s dream. As such, experienced kayakers will always run for functionality rather than brand. And that is where the Dagger Axis 12.0 kayak comes in. Its manufacturer, Confluence Outdoors, has specialized in the production of polyethylene kayak models.

Like most other handy kayaks, the Axis has very little to offer in the way of aesthetics. Yet beyond aesthetics, it carries a punch and is able to handle various weight types quite well. This is what makes it a kayak worth taking a look at, which we will do in this Dagger Axis 12 review.

For other options, check out our Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS review here.

How Strong is the Frame of the Dagger Axis 12?

Dagger Axis 12.0 Kayak

The Dagger Axis 12 is made of rotomolded polyethylene, which makes it very light to carry and easy to maneuver in calm waters. In rough waters, it requires a steady pair of hands. The sit-in kayak measures 12 feet in length and has a width of 27.5 inches, which compliments its length to provide the vessel with more stability. The round hard-shelled hull is sturdily built and interspersed with the cockpit’s coaming, hatches and handle joints.

The kayak’s formulation is meant to provide it with water cutting abilities. It has a prominent front overhang, and the bow area is more raised than the stern area. On flat ground, the Axis 12 might seem more horizontally shaped, but once in the water, the sheer lines become more raised on the bow.

Fully rigged, the kayak weighs only 55 pounds, and this solo vessel can carry up to 350 pounds, which is way above the weight of the average kayaker, plus some essential gear.

The Dagger Axis 12 has a considerably wider cockpit than other kayaks, which allows for ease of entry and relaxed maneuverability. The cockpit area alone makes it a kayak worth considering for new, as well as experienced paddlers.

The inner cockpit area is also quite roomy, with a length of 38 inches, catering for most kayakers with their legs fully outstretched. If you are one who doesn’t experience the joy of getting sprayed with water, the coaming on the Dagger Axis 12 is capable of accommodating spray skirts quite well.

Dagger Axis 12 Kayak Features

In the way of comfort, you will get a ConTour CFS-R Seating System, which will supplement your paddling needs quite well. The system is composed of a foam padded base seat and backrest. The adjustable backrest allows for optimal spinal support and comfortable seating positions.

Additionally, the seat comes with a leg lifter to ensure maximum support to the legs, whether slightly arched or fully stretched. Needless to say, the seating is specially formulated for both recreational and sporting activities.

Dagger Axis 12

While we’re still taking about comfort, the Dagger Axis 12 comes equipped with ConTour knee pads in place to protect your knees from injury during rough water maneuvers. The knee pads can be readjusted to work as thigh pads too. Should you need more, you can also get an additional pair of thigh braces to create more stability during paddling.

Carrying your kayak to and from the water is easy. There are two soft touch handles that are easy to grasp, and they are located on both ends of the boat. With its low weight and the easy to grip handles, you will not feel the Dagger Axis 12 drag as you carry it.

The TruTrak Adjustable Skeg System is on hand to aid in the way of stability and tracking. The retractable skeg can be pulled up whenever one does not wish to use it. To control it, you would use the adjustable slide lock XL foot braces that are provided on the kayak.

Storage Space!

If you fear water leaks, you needn’t worry about any water getting into the Dagger Axis kayak cockpit. Separating the hull and the cockpit from the stern hatch is a stern bulkhead. The stern bulkhead ensures that water does not seep into the cockpit area via the hatch or the molded-in storage area.

The Dagger Axis 12.0 kayak has only one hatch, and that is the stern hatch. It is conveniently located close to the paddler’s seat. This enhances easy retrieval and storage of items placed inside the hatch. Close to the stern deck is a molded-in storage area. The area can hold small items that you might need right away, and it is secured by bungee cords.

The bow section also has another molded-in storage portion. The mesh deck covered storage point is a vantage storage area for things that one might not require immediately. Here you can store supplies and emergency equipment, and it too is secured by bungee stretch cords.

An extra paddle would help, should you lose your primary paddle in rough waters. For that reason, the Dagger Axis 12 has a paddle park where you can place an extra set of paddles. You should always be prepared for the fact that you might lose your grip on the paddle you are using, especially in rapids.


  • Easy to use for all users, from inexperienced to experienced kayakers
  • A spacious cockpit
  • Comes with a skeg that enhances tracking abilities
  • Versatile enough to use on various bodies of water
  • Light enough to carry and transport
  • Comfortable, adjustable foam seating makes it good for long expeditions


  • The Dagger Axis 12 has little to offer in the way of storage space
  • Like most other PVC vessels, it requires lots of storage care
  • Might not be as robust, as its manufacturers claim, due to the material
  • The inability to accommodate motors slackens its speed
  • Lack of fishing rod holders makes it more of a recreational kayak

Dagger Axis Kayak Review Conclusion

At the core, kayaking is about fun, but serious kayakers require more functional kayaks, like the Dagger Mamba Creeker. The Dagger Axis 12.0 is not the most functional vessel one would expect to find on the market. Nonetheless, at its price, it is still a good bargain.

Check out the Dagger Axis 12 kayak on Amazon!

If you are searching for a serious kayaking experience, this is a kayak you might want to pass over. If you are going for a more recreational kayak with a touch of functionality, and maybe using it for family trips, then the Dagger Axis 12 will definitely serve the purpose.

All in all, it is a reliable kayak with minor shortcomings that can be overlooked, especially if you are just starting out.

Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 Kayak – Built For Adrenaline Action?

The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 Kayak is designed and manufactured by a well known brand, Dagger. This kayak and creek boat is designed for big water with a well defined high-volume planing hull.

The Dagger Mamba Creeker model comes in three sizes, the largest among them being the 8.6 kayak. This larger size is offered in two variations: a river-runner model and a creeker model. The outfitting is, in fact, the only difference between the two variants. The creeker features a roto-molded seat, which is specifically designed to be more resistant to collapse.

There is no reason to choose the river-runner model, in case you are planning to paddle on class III whitewater. In fact, for most paddlers, the creeker outfitting is the best option. Only school fleets could be an exception, if they need to easily and quickly adjust the seat position.

Back in 2012, the entire Mamba series had been revamped. Designers updated the edge profile, added volume, and tweaked the rocker profile, making a few changes to each of the three boat variants. In 2013, a new contour outfitting had been added to the Mamba line-up.

Read the rest of our Dagger Mamba Creeker review to find out if it is a reliable whitewater kayak for an adrenaline junkie like you!

Mamba 8.6 kayak seat


Build Details of the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 Kayak…

The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 kayak can accommodate a paddler who weighs up to 200 pounds, and comes with moderate, recessed edges extending from the bow back to the paddler. At the back, the edges smooth out into a softer chine. The very high-volume stern, combined with the soft stern edge, allows this kayak model to make last-minute, quick adjustments in a rapid.

In a hastily initiated turn, the rounded edge prevents water from catching it. The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 stern is kept out of the water due to the boat’s volume, even when the kayaker is paddling from the backseat.

The defined planing hull and hard edge in the front give the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 kayak the ability to drive through big water, from a forward or a center body position, with a sporty feel. The Mamba creeker is also really safe due to the edges up front, and the kayak surfs pretty well. Its good performance is extremely noticeable when you drop into wave trains that have plenty of glassy overhead waves.

In these difficult conditions, the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 can carve across the waves in confident, big arcs. Because of the edges on the boat’s forward two thirds, the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 is superior on a wave.


Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 whitewater kayak

The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6’s frame can be classified as a more linear profile in the stern and a progressive kick-rocker in the bow. The center of the boat carries towards some of the rocker. The bow is kept riding up and over waves by the progressive bow rocker. When dropping off ledges or into a hole, the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 frame design makes it easier to get the bow up.

The longer waterline is created by the linear stern rocker, making this kayak model faster. When more of the stern drops into the water, the longer waterline will help with tracking at different speeds. The rocker profile has the advantage of featuring the slight creep of the rocker line toward the center, allowing the boat to pivot more easily than other models.

Looking at the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 kayak from above, the very wide knee box and relatively fine bow are immediately apparent. The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 boat’s widest point is wider than that of other models and the planing hull, combined with this characteristic. makes it feel a little boxy.

rapid riding

Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 kayak’s frame design provides exceptional primary stability (which means how stable it is just sitting the water). However, this comes at the expense of secondary stability (when the boat is on its side). The kayak doesn’t feel as solid as other models with better secondary stability. However, with only a little counter-lean, the primary stability allows users to take curlers and waves sideways. It’s all in the balance and technique of the paddler.

The Dagger Mamba Creeker’s wide mid-section tapers dramatically to the fine bow, ending in an up-turned point. This frame design works really well, however, for a whitewater boat, the Mamba 8.6 isn’t so fast in flat water due to its width. But the ability to drive the kayak aggressively through whitewater, combined with the extra speed gained from being able to punch through curlers and holes, makes the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 boat fast overall.

Features of the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 Kayak

The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 kayak comes with a rigid hard shell structure and a soft chine. Its cockpit type is the sit-inside variety, with a roto-molded seat, a leg lifter, and the seat track is welded-in. The boat features a round hull shape and comes with Contour Ergo Outfitting and an adjustable backband ratchet.

The adjustable Contour foot brace comes with a foam padding for increased comfort, and the tight braces are adjustable, as well as the hip pads. The kayak also features security grab handles for easier recovery from whitewater ejections or rollovers.

Enough Storage in the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6?


Dagger Mamba Creeker in four colors

The Dagger Mamba 8.6 is the largest model from the Mamba line-up, offering not only more volume, but improved volume distribution as well. The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 boat provides enough volume for maintaining good steering and keeping you above currents, even with the kayak loaded down with full gear and food provisions. It comes with room for multi-day equipment in the back.

Check out the Dagger Mamba 8.6 on Amazon by clicking here!

Dagger Mamba Creeker Review Summary:


  • The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 is an excellent creeker and the boat of choice among race crowds
  • The boat provides lots of rocker and runs pretty fast
  • It comes with room for multi-day equipment in the back
  • This kayak is well constructed
  • The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 is the largest model of the line-up, offering more volume, crisper control, increased speed, and improved volume distribution
  • Added safety features, including a handle near the cockpit, repositioned bow grab handle for easier access, and a molded-in stern foam wall holder for improved structural integrity
  • Allows learning paddlers to get a good idea about ferries, peel outs and good eddy turns
  • Intermediate to advanced kayakers are also at an advantage using the Dagger Mamba 8.6 creeker, due to its ability to paddle very well in almost any whitewater class


  • Some users find the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 to have a bit too much rocker in the bow, engaging late on eddy lines
  • Kayakers who are more used to an aggressive chine may not like it
  • It is a very heavy boat

If you need more kayaks to check out, have a look at the Oru company page.