best sit on top fishing kayak reviews
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Best pedal fishing kayak reviews
10 years ago, Hobie Kayaks invented a whole new wheel with the first pedal-powered kayak. Not only was the idea outside the box, but the flexible fins and push pedals (inset) were out of this world. Last summer, Hobie added reverse to its MirageDrive system. Pull a cord attached to the drive and the fins rotate 180 degrees to let you push the boat backward. The new Turbo fins are just as efficient and fast as the originals. Switching into reverse is a snap—it takes only a second to reach down and pull the cord. We tested the Pro Angler 14(PA14), one of Hobie’s biggest and heaviest boats. It’s also well set up to fish hard. This is a battleship, armed with huge gear wells, tackle storage in the deck, and vertical and horizontal rod holders. We fished the boat everywhere, but the wide beam and high sides make the PA14 a natural for open water. We were able to pedal offshore, stand and cast in ocean swells, and lean over the side and land big fish with no chance of tipping over. This boat is so big that it comes with a single-blade canoe paddle for picking through tight spaces. It would be almost impossible to paddle very far without the MirageDrive 180. Like most of Hobie’s MirageDrive boats, the Pro Angler 14 can be rigged with the EVOLVE electric motor or a sail kit.
Old Town has been building canoes and kayaks in Maine for more than one hundred years, but this is its first model with pedals. Old Town took its sport-utility Predator and redesigned the cockpit, seat, and hull to accommodate a bicycle-style pedal system that it calls PDL Drive. Old Town worked with its pro team to configure the seat, pedals, and drive for comfort and efficiency. Tip the pedals up, and the lower unit fits into a recess in the deck so it’s out of the way when you’re launching the boat or fishing in skinny water. With the pedals down, a gear pod fills the recess to create a reinforced deck for standup fishing. Below the waterline, the tri-hull design moves water away from the keel for rock-solid stability while maintaining efficiency to cover long distances. On the ocean, the Predator rolled and sliced through big seas. In the shallows, the PDL Drive quickly retracted, and could be paddled with ease. Since each angler has unique rigging needs, the Predator does not come with rod holders. Instead, the boat is outfitted with 6 removable accessory plates, which makes it easy to install aftermarket rod holders, electronics, and other gadgets without drilling into the hull. We all liked the oversize knobs that control the rudder. The Predator is one of the best all-around pedal boats on the market.
Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0
In many years, wilderness systems’ sister company, Perception Kayaks, offered trimmed-down bargain boats. That changed last year with the release of the blinged-out Perception pescador 12, featuring gear tracks, a great seat, cool colors, along with an angler-friendly layout at a great value. This spring, the company added pedals. The Pescador Pilot is no-nonsense pedal unit combines bicycle pedals with a large propeller for an effective, compact power system. On the water, the boat is rigging and performance proved impressive. Large open bow and stern wells offer tons of storage that keeps gear within easy reach. 2 covered compartments in the bow fit stuff that needs to stay dry and offer a convenient place to mount electronics and run wiring. The Perception pescador Pilot 12 comes with four molded-in rod holders behind the seat. They proved to be a little too shallow for trolling or heavy action, but they made a convenient place to store sticks. A narrow beam along with short waterline make the Pescador easy to pedal or paddle, while its flat deck made standup fishing easy. The Pilot pedal unit is compact and lightweight, but proved troublesome when adjusting tension on the pins that hold the lower unit in place. Of all the test boats, the Pilot was the most inefficient, but the system worked reliably.
Native Watercraft was the first company to come out with a pedal-powered kayak that can go in reverse. In fact, its shaft-driven pedal system (inset) was the inspiration for many of the other boats in this test. The Propel pedal unit fits in five Native kayaks; I tested it in the mid-range Slayer, which is Native’s all-around boat. It proved easy to ply open waters or tuck into coves and creeks. On the water, the lower unit is easy to raise or stow for landing and fishing in shallow water. The boat is unique tunnel hull improves stability while giving the prop plenty of room to push water. The Slayer is outfitted with gear tracks and rod holders, allowing it to go straight from the store to the water. Native was also the first kayak company to introduce an elevated frame seat, which keeps the angler off the deck and makes it easier to stand and fish; it is still one of the most comfortable and best-looking. The boat fishes equally well without the pedal unit, so we could even take it on rocky rivers. My only complaint: The rudder is tucked under the stern and behind the keel, which improves tracking and turning radius, but it takes a lot of abuse. Still, the boat fishes with confidence, combining a low-to-the-water profile to cut through the wind with plenty of capacity to carry a large load.
Best sit on top fishing kayak
Since the beginning of the kayak fishing revolution, inventive anglers in pursuit of remote fishing have slapped trolling motors on their paddle boats. Most of these redneck-engineered systems involved scrap wood, carriage bolts, and lots of silicone sealant. For a more professional approach, Old Town partnered with sister company Minn Kota to match its big-boy Predator kayak with a modified electric trolling motor. The Predator MK is perfect for motoring to distant fishing grounds, then poling or paddling into tight places. It is also great for folks with limited mobility or newbies anyone can be a kayak angler in the MK. The motor pod is easy to prop up on its kickstand when entering shallow water or loading and launching. Old Town didn’t mess around with the power source the Minn Kota is energized by a full-size, 12 volt, group twenty seven marine battery (inset). Carrying the battery to and from the kayak was a chore, but the Predator is big enough to accommodate the weight without affecting performance. Did someone say performance? It proved to be the most powerful boat in the test. At heart, the MK is still a Predator, so it paddles as well as it motors. The Predator MK erases the line between kayak and skiff, offering the power of a small boat and the maneuverability of a fishing kayak.