I have paddled both the Tempo and the Abaco extensively and love aspects of both for my fishing. I have often hoped that RTM would conjure up a kayak that paddles like a Tempo but has some of the useful features of the Abaco, such as the centre hatch. A thought not exclusive to myself and called for by other Tempo owners and fellow kayak anglers alike. It looks like RTM have listened with the creation of the Rytmo.
I was first aware that RTM were releasing a new fishing kayak when they included a small image of the Rytmo ("right-mo" or "rit-mo" depending on how you pronounce it) in their 2016 catalogue earlier in the year. The photo was of poor resolution but enough to see that this kayak had the potential to be very interesting. A quick message to one of the guys at RTM in France and soon enough i had the CAD designs of the new kayak and was sworn to radio silence until they officially released it. The designs looked incredible!
The Rytmo looked to be the love-child from a romantic hook-up between the Tempo and Abaco. The hull looked to be near identical to that of the Tempo, one of the fastest plastic fishing kayaks currently available on the market and the deck had several features taken from the Abaco and included a few new ones too.
I needed this kayak! Prototype hulls were created in May, full production started mid-June and mine arrived into the UK at the start of July. I was very excited to see this kayak in the flesh and i was not disappointed. Here she is fresh out of the bag, a RTM Rytmo Angler in Grey Storm....
A stunning looking kayak! Lets take a closer look.....
The vital statistics, shown alongside the Tempo specification for comparison
The Rytmo is approx. 2 inches longer than the Tempo, 2 inches wider than the Tempo, the same height as the Tempo and a tad heavier at around 5kg more. The hulls look very similar on the underside.... this means that the Rytmo is going to paddle well!
The deck is where these two kayaks begin to significantly differ. The Tempo having a very basic deck layout with minimal features where as the Rytmo Angler comes as standard with various useful features.....
Time to take a closer look at the features present on the Rytmo...
The Rytmo boasts all sorts of features, some taken directly from the Abaco, others are new additions on the Rytmo. This really is a Tempo on steroids! Features include:
Lets start at the Bow and take a closer look.....
A drain plug is sensibly located right at the nose. Further back is a soft touch rubber webbing handle. RTM Fishing decals also feature.
The large bow hatch has a dual density cover which is easy to put on and take off. The harder centre section could be used to bolt accessories onto, such as a compass. The hatch is also leashed to the deck lines, which is a nice touch.
As standard, the Rytmo Angler comes with a hatch liner/gear bucket. Great if your wanting to keep your gear separated from the main hull - i won't be using mine and it will stay at home to save weight.
Take out the hatch liner and you open up plenty of storage space. A C-Tug trolley fits in with ease, with the wheels and pads sitting back from the hatch opening and the frame down the centre. This leaves loads more room for more gear storage.
Looking inside the hull we find foam blocks running most of the length of the kayak. These are to conform with Div. 245 French Regulations which state that a kayak hull must be unsinkable should the hull become compromised and flooded. The centre foam block has a handy notch cut into it which a 12v 7aH battery fits well inside, and could be trimmed to take a larger battery. With the addition of some bungee cord this would work well as a battery holder, similar to what i made for the Tempo and Abaco.
Back to the footwell and seating area we find stacks of useful features. This area measures approx. 110cm / 43in from the back of the seat well to the foot pedal in its furthest forward position. Im 6ft 2in and need the pedals on the last notch, i reckon a person around 6ft 4in would still be able to paddle this kayak comfortably, any more and the legs may become too bent for a comfortable paddling position. The seat well is approx. 20in / 50cm wide and is a good few inches wider than the seat in the Tempo, so will take a larger paddler more comfortably.
Adjustable Vario foot pedals combined with small foot notches make comfortable foot rests. My Rytmo is fitted with the optional rudder system, hence the braided cord running from the foot pedal and running into the hull at the end of the slide track. The rudder is controlled by tilting the pedals by applying pressure on the toe section of the pedal. A small jam cleat is fitted to the slide track for the rudder uphaul/deloy system. The footwell also has two scupper holes at the bow end.
Aluminium slide tracks, 50cm in length, are found either side of the footwell. The slide tracks allow easy attachment of accessories such as rod holders. The tracks have a 20mm slot width and are compatible with many of the popular track accessories from RAM, Railblaza and Scotty. This will be covered in more detail in a separate blog post. The Rytmo comes supplied with an adjustable rod holder, with fittings to attach it to the slide tracks.
Now we get to something interesting.... centre hatches! This is a very welcome feature for me as a centre hatch makes a great place to store essential items of tackle, reducing the need to reach around and locate items in a rear crate.
A decent sized rectangular hatch is up first and has a hard polycarbonate lid that hinges at the bow end. A small webbing clip keeps the hatch lid tight against its seal when closed. The excess webbing from this strap is kept tight against the hatch via a little retaining clip - this stops the strap hanging loose and rattling against a car roof in transport (there is nothing worse!) - a superb little addition! The centre hatch lid is going to make a great surface to mount a fish finder and other accessories.
A soft rubber seal runs around the edge of the hatch, which is sealed from the rest of the hull. I like sealed hatches as you can be confident that if you forget to clip the lid shut and somehow tip the kayak, your not going to flood the hull. The storage area inside the hatch measures 18.5" x 4.5" or 47cm x 12cm.
You may have noticed a small piece of bungee inside the hatch.... its designed to hold a 12v 7aH battery for your electronics! A nice little touch, however i will be putting my fish finder battery inside the hull to allow more space for tackle storage in the centre hatch.
The hatch lid hinge seems sturdy and durable. There is also a small flat space just forward of the hinge that could be used to fit accessories such as a RAM ball with a round base, Railblaza Starport or a Scanstrut deck seal. I'll be putting a Ram ball here for my rod rest to attach to.
Just behind the centre hatch we find an 8in round hatch with a decent Kayak Sport rubber lid. This hatch is really easy to put on and take off unlike some rubber hatches! The lid is also leashed to a D-Ring. Storage pockets with rubber mesh fronts are also located either side of the footwell either side of the round hatch. I found these really useful on the Abaco for storing spare weights, lures and as a place to keep your scissors and other tools. These pockets also double up as side carry handles on the Rytmo. I'd have liked to have seen solid side handles on the outside of the kayak but its not a major issue.
Inside the round hatch we find a nylon hatch liner that has a drawstring top. This is removable and once removed gives access to the main hull. I reckon this hatch will make a good platform to rest a chopping board on.
Directly behind the seat we find 2 rear facing flush mount rod holder, with rubber covers. These are great for trolling a lure or for storing the rods whilst paddling. Rytmo graphics can also be found beside the seat.
Time to move back to the rear tank well....
At the start of the tank well we find a tackle box that comes as standard, held in place by an elastic retaining clip. A small brass threaded insert is also located on either side of the tank well, these are used to install stabilisers/outriggers if required. Two scupper holes sit at the low point of the tank well.
The bow end of the tank well has a rectangular shaped section measuring 18in x 11in or 46cm x 30cm. This is a much welcomed feature that will allow for a small rectangular storage crate to be used in the tank well. I've managed to find a 20L storage crate that fits perfectly, and this will be adapted to carry my gear in an organised way. The rest of the tank well is rounded, and the rear of the tank well is shaped to take two wheels that can be fitted to a small hole in the keel. I may use this space to store a towline.
Removing the tackle box that comes with the kayak reveals two slots on the front of the tank well with black clamps. These are designed to hold poles up to 20mm diameter and would make a useful place to hold a camera pole, light pole, flag or even a slim landing net handle and tools such as a T-bar disgorger.
Back to the Stern and we find another soft touch handle. Underneath the handle is a small flat round section with 4 threaded brass inserts. It looks like it should take a RAM ball with a round base but alas it does not! Its actually for a Torqueedo motor mount ball. The rudder fits to the kayak via a moulded-in gudgeon hole.
The rudder has an in-built spring system that allows the blade to kick back should it strike a solid object, thus preventing damage of the rudder system. The rudder blade sits at approx. 60 degrees up when hauled and at 90 degrees straight down when deployed.
Paddle keepers are located either side of the seating/footwell area and use fairly long lengths of 6mm bungee which seems to hold the paddle much better against the hull than the short section of bungee that was found on the Tempo and Abaco. The bungee clips onto retainers fitted to the slide tracks.
Braid-on-braid deck lines are fitted to both sides of the kayak and held in place using flush mounted fittings
The underside of the kayak features a transducer scupper - this is a fairly shallow recess within a small groove along the hull. A Raymarine Dragonfly CPT-DVS transducer fits in this space perfectly (i will be doing an installation blog soon), as does the newer Lowrance 83/200 kHz (Medium/High CHIRP) transducer and the smaller Lowrance 83/200 kHz broadband skimmer transducer. Two threaded brass inserts can be used to install a transducer with a bit of retro-fitting.
The Rytmo comes with a few accessories, some already mentioned. You get a tackle lure box, 4 automatic scupper plugs (one way valves to let water out but not in), an adjustable rod holder and slide track fittings.
That about covers all the features on the Rytmo, many are useful to me, others are unlikely to be used. Nevertheless this is a very well outfitted and thought-out kayak with features that will appeal to the many UK kayak anglers. Now lets take a look at the hull design.
Hull Design and Construction
RTM kayaks are manufactured from high quality high-density polyethylene (HDPE), used by many of the worlds top kayak manufacturers for its durability. The finish is nothing short of superb. I get to see a lot of different kayaks from all sorts of manufacturers and the Rytmo is up there with the best in terms of construction and finish. The majority of the hull has a smooth finish with the exception of a few textured panels. All fittings are attached using moulded-in threaded brass inserts, so no chance of the fittings leaking. All components used are of a high quality.
As previously mentioned, the main hull of the Rytmo closely follows that of the Tempo with the deck taking features from the Abaco. The sharp bow and stern will see the Rytmo push well through messy conditions, just like the Tempo, although this will be tested soon when i get on the water. The hull has a moderate amount of rocker too.
The underside of the hull is very similar to that of the Tempo but differs in having two shallow grooves running either side of the main keel bulge. The hull also has a fairly well defined V keel running the entire length which should make this kayak track in a straight line very well.
The bow and stern slope sharply giving the Rytmo a waterline of almost its total length, this should be a fairly fast kayak to paddle, its unlikely to out paddle a Tempo but i can't see it being far off at all.
The sides are well-rounded similar to the Tempo, which will provide plenty of secondary stability - this will help the kayak sit stable in really messy water conditions.
The hull looks fantastic and not too far off the Tempo so paddling performance should be great. Time will tell once i paddle it in a range of conditions.
The Rytmo is compatible with both standard kayak seats with 4 points of attachment, as well as the luxury RTM Premium 'Deck-Chair' style seat.
A standard seat simply clips onto the D-rings fore and aft of the seating area, as shown below with a RTM Luxe seat. This is the seat i use in the Tempo and find it very comfortable for my paddling style, so will be using this as the main seat in the Rytmo.
I have been wanting to have a go in a deck-chair style seat for a while so got one for the Rytmo. The RTM Premium seat is constructed from an Aluminium frame and a mesh covering with padding beneath. It is surprisingly lightweight and weighs approx. 1kg. The seat slots into two notches at the back of the seat well and two front legs sit in two depressions within the hull. The contact between the two front legs and the kayak looks like it could be a weak point but when sat in the seat the majority of the weight is over the rear slots which appear sturdy. A small retaining leash fits to the D-ring by the round hatch to keep the seat secure to the hull. The angle of the seat can easily be altered using webbing buckles at the side of the seat. The seat elevates you off the deck so should provide a drier ride, and the space under the seat can be used for storage.
Its very comfortable, actually its super comfortable!! It certainly raises your centre of gravity on the kayak though, which feels strange to me having always used standard seats. I'm sure it wont take long to get used to. I probably wont be taking this seat when paddling on the open sea but i can see its uses for comfort when fishing at anchor in calm conditions in estuaries and rivers when you often have to sit and wait long periods for bites, and where comfort would be very welcome!
Wow! This kayak really hits the spot between a fishing kayak that will paddle well and a kayak that is loaded with features to make fishing more comfortable. The design team at RTM have really done their research with the Rytmo and it seems all but perfect for me for UK saltwater kayak fishing and I'm sure it will appeal to many others. There are many features and most of them i can see being very useful for most of my kayak fishing sessions. Its looks like it will paddle well too, with the hull design closely following that of the Tempo, with a few small tweaks. Its never going to out paddle a Tempo but i bet it wont be far off! Time will soon tell once i get it on the water.
The deck layout seems to be well thought-out. The centre hatch is a very welcome sight, as is the rectangular section in the tank well for a crate. The option to fit a rudder is great and will appeal to some. I've never owned a kayak with a rudder so it will be interesting to see how it affects paddling performance. Build quality and construction is top notch too.
So far i'm very impressed. I'm now looking forward to rigging it for fishing and getting it on the water for its first paddle. There will be follow up blog posts with photos and videos soon!
The RTM Rytmo Angler is currently available in two colour options - Grey Storm and Cappuccino.
How much and where to buy?
The RTM Rytmo Angler is priced at £999.00 without rudder and £1099.00 including the optional rudder. This prices it nicely at or below similarly spec'd top end fishing kayaks such as the Ocean Kayak Trident 13, Trident 15, Ultra 4.3, Ultra 4.7, Viking Profish Reload, Jackson Kraken, Cuda, Wilderness Systems Thresher..... and others.
The RTM Rytmo Angler is available to buy through Cornwall Canoes, an authorised RTM stockist. You can check out the Rytmo on their website by clicking here. The first stock of the Rytmo Angler arrives into the UK in Early August!
If so, then comment below....
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