Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Kayak Review

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Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Sand, 10-Feet)


So, are you looking for a comfortable, budget, and lightweight kayak?

Finding a recreational boat that would fit your budget and paddling style is quite a struggle! It’s even more difficult for beginners. For beginners; if starting off kayaking isn’t just enough, finding a suitable kayak amidst confusion is quite a daunting process!

Then again, there is this misconception that heavy vessels are the quality ones. That is not true at all! Heavy vessels are of no use if they are not solid built, and stable on different types of water. Veteran anglers emphasize heavily on stability feature for any fishing kayak. You should too!

 The problem is, there aren’t many quality kayaks available that could combine stability, solid build, and comfort in one package. For this reason, I’d like to introduce you to a fishing kayak that is most preferred by beginners. And, it will be for yourself too.

The kayak I’m talking about is the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Who is the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS for?

  • The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is designed for any individual looking to enjoy time on the water fishing in those hard to reach and favorite spots.
  • The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is a 10-foot, sit-on-top angler kayak. Therefore, if you are looking for a manageable, sit-on-top kayak, then this product should be on the top of the pile.
  • The fishing kayak is short and lightweight. It can carry up to 250 pounds for you and all your gear. Therefore, the kayak may not be the best option for you if you plan on going on a multi-day excursion.

Background: Why I Bought the Journey 10 SS | Features

Fishing through kayaks is a long-standing favorite pastime for many people in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up with one of those families that took kayak fishing seriously for multiple generations, it wasn’t that random that I wouldn’t develop an interest in it.

Cincinnati is a city to feel inspired and impressed at the urban community. However, its natural beauty and scenes of nature are locked hidden from many. As a boy growing up with such a community, visiting Campbell Lakes Preserve was quite a valuable experience to earn.

As I embarked on my adulthood, it didn’t take much time for my interest in kayak fishing has become a passion. Of course, I started looking at kayaks for a while. Due to my light stature, I wanted a kayak that could be light, compact, and easily manageable.

My budget was limited as well. So, you could say that I was looking for a compact, budget kayak. Not many quality options I had for such a choice on the market. I had to look online like you did. I wanted to buy a kayak with rod holders. Moreover, I was more concerned with stability rather than with speed.

I learned about how hull design contributes to speed, stability, and tracking. Shopping for a kayak, especially from a beginner’s viewpoint, isn’t easy. I learned it first hand. I read hundreds of reviews online on different models.

I was looking for a kayak that could be compact, lightweight, and not bigger than 10”. I already selected a couple of kayaks suitable for my choice. Then, I turned to my friends that have been kayaking for some time, hoping that they would help me filter my options.

After much consideration, consultation, I decided to buy the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS. The prime reason why I purchased this particular kayak is that it was a sit-on and it is 30” at the beam. I felt this length at the beam would give me more stability.

It was a lightweight, compact kayak that proved to stable, and easily manageable after a week on the water.

I discovered many more that I previously imagined impossible on a kayak. To learn what they were, please keep on reading.

Storage & Amenities 

This is a compact kayak, however it offers moderate storage options. The Journey 10 SS is the smallest of all Sun Dolphin models available. Therefore, it’s the most appropriate choice for amateur kayak fishing.

Don’t worry. The storage capacity of the Journey 10 SS should be enough for you to store extra clothes, snacks, drinks, or your rain gear. The dry storage hatch located behind the seat ensures that your gear remains safe.

Besides the storage hatch behind the seat, there is also a storage compartment at the bow. Both the stern and bow storage areas have bungee cord ringing.

I wanted to buy a kayak with rod holders. To my utter surprise, the Journey 10 SS kayak has three rod holders. Of the three rod holders, two are flush mounted and the other one can swivel. Paddle holder on either side is a must for good fishing kayaks.

The Journey 10 SS has even a place to store your paddle on either side of the yak. Paddle storage is what worries the most. When fishing on your kayak, you will have your hands tied up most of the time dealing with your rods.

Therefore, you will have little time managing your paddle. Paddle storage on either side of the yak is a convenient place to store your paddle.

Additionally, there is a cup holder located conveniently in front of the seat, which is oversized. There is another small dry hatch located in the same position for your phone, gadget, keys, etc. The hatch will be useful for storing anything you want to keep dry.

A small molded compartment with bungee cords conveniently located within your arm’s reach.

Design 

There are sit-in kayaks, then there are sit-on kayaks. At first, I fancied sit-in kayaks. However, the more research I did on sit-on kayaks, I found that a sit-on would be more to my preference for a fishing kayak.

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is a sit-on fishing kayak. The design is useful when a sit-in has problematic design restricting your movement regarding entering and exiting. Moreover, you get to enjoy more leg freedom compared to a sit-in.

The Journey 10 SS is 30” at the beam is no doubt very effective for stability. The 30” beam is more effective than the 28” as far as stability is concerned. A 32” beam would be overkill for many reasons. A 32” beam will prove problematic for storing and transporting.

This is a fishing kayak. Therefore, if you are looking for a kayak for trip, then this won’t be suitable for you. Of course, there are non-angler kayaks available that come inexpensive. Many opt for those to cut their cost. However, customizing your kayak for rod holders will end up costing you more.

So, if you’re in for kayak fishing, then you’d better have a angler kayak. And, the Journey 10 SS is quite the remarkable one for such purpose.

Scuppers

Scuppers are drain holes. Initially I was unaware of fishing kayaks having scuppers. Scuppers go through the hull to expel water that your kayak collects from paddling, rain or splashes.

Portability

The Journey 10 SS weighs only 44 pounds and 10 feet long. The weight should tell you that it’s a very portable vessel. Therefore, the Journey 10 SS could be a great choice for you if you usually head out on your own and need a vessel that could be transported easily.

The retractable carrying handles are easy-to-use, thereby making it easier for you to transport without exerting much effort. This is a 10-foot long kayak. The short length will be helpful for you to transport on most pickup trucks with the tailgate down.

Stability 

The one thing I absolutely love about the Journey 10 SS is its stability. The 30” beam and 10-foot length will make sure that you enjoy more stability compared to a longer, narrower yak. Although the yak is designed for lakes and calm waters, you will be able to handle moderate current without overturning.

You know how rough waters in Southwest Ohio can get. This kayak has proved its worth against moderate current very well.

Comfort

The Journey 10 SS is preferred more for its stability and comfort than its comfort. The biggest gripe I have about this kayak is it doesn’t have any padded seat. Therefore, spending long periods of time fishing in that seat is going to be quite annoying and painful.

You may add padding to your seat if you find the seat uncomfortable. The seat back comes padded though. It may be a solace to discomfort. The seating area of the Journey 10 SS is quite roomy enough to shift and get comfortable.

The molded seat of the yak isn’t raised off the floor. For this reason, you will find yourself getting a little more wet that you would on a raised seat.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Solid build
  • Easy to carry
  • Exceptionally stable
  • Fishing features
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Large seating area

Cons

  • No padded seat
  • Not ideal for lengthy trips

FAQs

Q: What is the weight capacity of the yak?

A: the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS can carry up to 250 pounds.

Q: How’s its performance on water?

A: The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS can handle calmer, recreational waters infallibly.

Q: Where can I find scupper plugs?

A: You will find scupper plugs at any tackle store.

Final Verdict

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS kayak is here to prove that beginners’ experience with kayak fishing don’t have to be sore.


 It’s been 4 months since I have been using the Journey 10 SS to roam the lakes of Campbell Lakes Preserve.


And, I am quite happy with its performance. You will be too!