Best Fishing Kayaks 2018 – Fishing Kayak Reviews

Fishing from a kayak can unleash a whole new realm of opportunities for an angler. Their ability to navigate through tighter spots; the more practical storage they provide and their ease of launching when compared to a boat makes them a very alluring option. But with so many great options available, which are the best fishing kayaks to use?

In this article, we are going to list some of the best kayaks for fishing, so you can see the variety available, the different builds and sizes, and also the price ranges for them all. There are two main types of fishing kayaks, and we will have a list for both of them. The first is the best fishing kayaks with pedals, and the other is the best fishing kayaks with paddles. There are pros and cons for both, which I will go into more at the bottom of the article



Fishing Kayaks with Pedals

Model

Image

Different Sizes Available?

Price

Hobie Pro Angler

hobie pro angler kayak

Yes

Native Slayer Propel

native slayer propel kayak

Yes

Hobie Outback

hobie outback fishing kayak

No

Native Watercraft Titan

Native Watercraft Titan kayak

Yes

Perception Pescador Pilot

Perception Pescador Pilot kayak

No

A Closer Look at the Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks

The pedal kayaks chosen here are listed due to their overall build quality, design features and overall performance capabilities. And all of these fishing kayaks have earned the right to be listed as the best, as they have all been massively popular with kayak angler all over the world.

Hobie Pro Angler

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

Length: 12' / 3.66m

Width: 36" / 91cm

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

Length: 13' 8" / 4.17m

Width: 38" / 97cm

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T

Length: 17' / 5.18m

Width: 43.5" / 1.1m


The Hobie Pro Angler is the Rolls Royce of fishing kayaks, powered by the amazing Mirage Drive propulsion system. The unique design of the Mirage Drive allows for powerful and efficient manoeuvring ability, as well as the ability to go forwards or in reverse with the flick of a lever.

There are three different size options available in the Hobie Pro Angler range. The Mirage Pro Angler 12 is the shortest of the three models, at 12’ long. It carries all of the features of the Pro Angler range, and its size makes it that much easier to move from home to water.

The 14’ Mirage Pro Angler 14 offers bundles of room, and is the perfect fishing platform for all kinds of waters, whether you prefer river, lake, estuary or more open water. As with all of the Pro Angler range, the Mirage Pro Angler 14 offers incredible stability, so if you feel like you want to stand up while you fish, you will see just how easy it is in any of these kayaks from Hobie.

The biggest of the three Mirage Pro Angler range is the 17T. This 17’ fishing kayak is a twin seater, and both seats have multiple positioning options, making it a very flexible fishing platform for either one or two people.

fishing kayaks

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T 

Whichever of the three Hobie Pro Angler options is best suited for your needs, you know you are getting an absolute beast of a kayak to fish from. Hobie fishing kayaks are not cheap, but you are paying for the best quality available, so it should be an investment that will greatly enhance your fishing abilities and options.



Native Slayer Propel

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Slayer Propel 10

Length: 10' / 3.05m

Width: 34" / 86cm

Slayer Propel 12 LT

Length: 12' / 3.66m

Width: 31" / 79cm

Slayer Propel 13

Length: 13' 2" / 4.01m

Width: 33" / 86cm

The Native Slayer Propel kayaks have become a very popular choice for anglers, and with their range of sizes they offer a kayak to suit all different types of fishing. The smallest of the three kayaks is the Slayer Propel 10, which offers a 10’ hull that is suitable for tighter spaces. It is easy to lift on and off a vehicle when transporting it to and from the fishing site.

The two larger versions of the Native Slayer Propel kayaks are the Propel 12LT (12’ 2” in length) and Propel 13 (13’ 2” in length). Both of these models allow for fishing in more open water, and are designed well for easy manoeuvrability.

pedal kaysks

Native Slayer Propel 13

Native are well renowned for their good quality fishing kayaks, and the three Slayer Propel models have proven to be incredibly popular with Kayak fishermen due to their well thought out design and their ability to allow anglers to get to a wide range of fishing spots with ease. From the tightest of inland rivers, to the wide open waters of the sea.

The Propel Pedal Drive System used on all three of the Native Slayer Propel kayaks has reverse capability, which is a huge option to have as an angler to allow you to get in and out of tight spots, and also to better control a fish once you have hooked up. The system is very smooth and quiet, and also easy to add and remove from the fishing kayak when required



Hobie Outback

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Hobie Mirage Outback

Length: 12' 1" / 3.68m

Width: 33" / 84cm

The Hobie Outback is another very popular pedal kayak from the Hobie range. There is only one size of the Outback available, and this kayak has proven to be very versatile in where it can be used. From rivers to open water, the Hobie Outback is suitable for all types of water conditions.

Using the excellent Mirage drive, the Outback is a very efficient kayak that tracks extremely well through the water. The wide hull gives you the stability that is accustomed with all Hobie kayaks, so you will be able to enjoy a rock solid platform to fish from, and standing to fish in this kayak is very achievable.

fishing kayak reviews

Hobie Mirage Outback

The twist and stow rudder is fitted to the Hobie Outback. This rudder provides a very responsive action when lowered in the water, and the main benefit if this rudder is that it is easy to retract when needed, by a simple pull of the control handles.

All Hobie kayaks are very customizable, and the Outback is no exception. If you wanted to add accessories such as a fish-finder, you will see that the Outback has a transducer mount that has been built in to the design, and pre-installed cable plugs will allow you to get set up with your fish finding equipment quickly and easily.



Native Watercraft Titan

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Titan Propel 10.5

Length: 10'9" / 3.28m

Width: 37.5" / 95cm

Titan Propel 12

Length: 12' / 3.66m

Width: 39" / 99cm

Titan Propel 13.5

Length: 13'6" / 4.11m

Width: 41.5" / 1.05m

Another range of fishing kayaks from Native is the Native Watercraft Titan range. Consisting of three different size versions' the Titan Propel 10.5, the Titan Propel 12, and lastly the Titan Propel 13.5.

All of the Native Watercraft Titan kayaks are built using Native’s Plastifoam technology, which has been designed to provide increased floatation ability as well as increased stability to a more responsive action on the water.

best fishing kayaks

Native Watercraft Titan Propel 13.5

The many accessories that are built into the Titan range are all included to provide added efficiency for the angler, and this is why they are such a popular option. They have become one of the go-to pedal kayaks for bass fishermen, but are certainly not limited to bass fishing by any means, and the size range ensures that whatever type of fishing you like to do, the Titan range has options that should suit your needs.

The same Propel Pedal Drive System as used on the Slayer Propel range is used here on the Titan kayaks too. That reverse ability is so important for those that really want to optimize their fishing capabilities while out on the water, so the efficient way in which you can switch from forward to reverse motion is a great addition to the Native Watercraft Titan range.



Perception Pescador Pilot

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

Length: 12' 6" / 3.81m

Width: 33.75" / 85.7cm

The Perception Pescador Pilot has one model in its range, the Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0. It has become a very popular pedal kayak for anglers around the world, as it has been very well built and designed, and it also comes at a lower price point than many of the other popular pedal kayaks available.

As there is only one size of the Perception Pescador Pilot kayak available, the hull has been designed for versatility. You can use this fishing kayak in calmer freshwater rivers or lakes, in estuary’s and in open sea water if desired.

best pedal kayaks

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

It is quite a stable kayak (you can easily cast and play your fish from a standing position), and the design also has comfort in mind too, so you can easily spend longer days out on the kayak without succumbing to the aches and pains many other kayaks provide after a few hours out on the water.

Coming in at 12’ 5” in length, the Perception Pescador Pilot offers the stability you want while out on the open water. It also weighs just 85lbs (38kg), so it is fairly easy to move around and get on and off a motor to transport it to your favorite fishing spots.

The sit-on-top design of this pedal kayak provides plenty of space to keep all of the accessories you may need while out fishing. The Pilot Drive pedal system is surprisingly powerful, and will help you reach your fishing spots with efficiency. The drive system also has forward and reverse action, which is so important for an angler.



Best Paddle Kayaks for Fishing

In general, a paddle kayak will be less expensive than most of the pedal kayaks (of course there are exceptions to this rule). So if you don’t want to spend the fairly high price tags attached to most good quality pedal kayaks, then a paddle kayak is a great option to use.

Also, some anglers just don’t want to use a pedal drive, and feel the more traditional paddle option is best suited for their fishing needs. There is no hard and fast rule of when you should use one over the other, it always comes down to cost and personal preference. So if you feel a paddle fishing kayak is a more suitable option for you, here is a rundown of the better options mentioned in the above table.



Model

Image

Different Sizes Available?

Price

Perception Pescador Pro

Yes

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin

Yes

Vibe Skipjack

vibe skipjack fishing kayak

Yes

Wilderness Systems Tarpon

Yes

Sun Dolphin Excursion

paddle kayaks for fishing

Yes



Perception Pescador Pro

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Perception Pescador Pro 10

Length: 10' 6" / 3.23m

Width: 32" / 81cm

Perception Pescador Pro 12

Length: 12' / 3.65m

Width: 32.5" / 83cm

There are two size variations available in the Perception Pescador Pro range, the Perception Pescador Pro 10 and the Perception Pescador Pro 12. The sit-on-top design is extremely comfortable and really optimizes the range of motion for you when fishing out on the water.

Although the Perception Pescador Pro fishing kayaks maybe labelled as ‘entry-level’, you will be pleasantly surprised by the high quality design and build that these two models both offer. They have ben finished to a very high standard, and you really are getting a lot of kayak for your money with both of the Perception Pescador Pro options.

Perception Pescador Pro 10

Perception Pescador Pro 10

The hull of the Perception Pescador Pro has been built fairly wide, thus providing more stability when on the water. But it is also fairly deep, so it tracks extremely well through the water, and will allow you to cut through choppier water with ease and efficiency.

The design features of the Perception Pescador Pro fishing kayaks have been well thought out, and things like the adjustable foot brace system will allow you to maintain a comfortable rowing position no matter what size you are.

The new stadium styled seat used on the Perception Pescador Pro kayaks also provides improved comfort with longer fishing trips in mind. It can be adjusted to optimize comfort, and is easy to remove once the fishing trip of over for easier transportation or if you want to clean it.



Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100

Length: 10' / 3.03m

Width: 32" / 81cm

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T

Length: 13' / 3.96m

Width: 35" / 89cm

The incredibly popular Vibe Yellowfin range has two kayaks of different sizes available. The shorter Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 is a single person paddle kayak and the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T is a longer twin person kayak, so if you want to go out fishing with a buddy this is a great option.

As with all Vibe kayaks, you will notice how well made the Yellowfin kayaks are. The high quality finish, and the well thought out design is ideal for kayak anglers to get out on the water and get some serious fishing sessions in. The accessories on the kayak, such as the rod holders and storage containers are well positioned and provide easy access.

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100

Both of the Vibe Yellowfin kayaks provide a stable platform from which to fish from, and the Vibe Hero seat that comes with both models is extremely comfortable, making longer fishing sessions on the kayak achievable.

The light weight of the Yellowfin kayaks make them easy to transport to and from the water, and maintenance / cleaning of the kayaks is extremely easy to do. Very easy to use as well, these kayaks are ideal for first time kayak anglers through to the more experienced.



Vibe Skipjack

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Vibe Skipjack 90

Length: 9' / 2.74m

Width: 32" / 81.2cm

Vibe Skipjack 120T

Length: 12' 2" / 3.71m

Width: 33" / 83.8cm

The two Vibe Skipjack kayaks are the perfect option for the first time kayak users. They are simple in their design, yet still well thought out to make a days’ fishing a lot of fun from them. The Vibe Skipjack 90 is very small at just 9’ in length, so it is extremely portable and will provide a great deal of manoeuvrability out on the water.

Vibe Skipjack 90

The larger Vibe Skipjack 120T is actually a tandem model, so a great option if you want to go out kayak fishing with your buddy or partner. It is still very portable, even at a size of 12’ 2”, and with two people paddling, you will enjoy the speed and tracking at which it can move.

Storage is fairly limited on both of the Vibe Skipjack kayaks, so you will need to plan carefully what you want to take out on the water before you go. But the design ensures that everything you take with you can easily be reached, and the storage compartments will also ensure you can keep valuables such as your phone dry and protected.

If you are just getting into kayak fishing and you want to see what it is all about without having to fork out top-dollar, then the Vibe Skipjack paddle kayaks are a great point of entry and will not disappoint.



Wilderness Systems Tarpon

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100

Length 10' / 3.05m

Width 30.5" / 77cm

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

Length 12' 3" / 3.73m

Width 30" / 76cm

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130X

Length 13' / 3.96m

Width 32" / 81cm

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T

Length 13' 6" / 4.11m

Width 34" / 86cm

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140

Length 14' / 4.27m

Width 28" / 71cm

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160

Length 16' / 4.88m

Width 28" / 71cm

With plenty of different size options available, the Wilderness Systems Tarpon range of paddle fishing kayaks have become a very popular option for kayak anglers. The design quality of these kayaks is excellent, they are built to a very high standard, and all of the features have been extremely well thought out.

With such a wide range of size options available, there really is a Wilderness Systems Tarpon kayak to suit all needs and fishing types. The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T is a tandem model, so if you want to be able to go out with a fishing buddy then this is the perfect model.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T

What you will notice with this range of fishing kayaks is just how good all of the built in accessories are. The storage areas are ample, thus allowing you to take a lot of gear with you on each fishing trip. The Keepers XL foot brace system ensures optimal positioning, and the excellent Phase 3® AirPro sit-on-top-seat will ensure maximum comfort every time you go out on them.

To provide ultimate flexibility, Wilderness Systems has fitted the Tarpon range with their unique SlideTrax™ accessory system. This allows accessories such as rod holders to be fitted with ease, and then positioned in the optimal places for every individual angler. The Wilderness Systems Tarpon kayaks are extremely stable, and they hull design offers stability and smooth and efficient tracking.



Sun Dolphin Excursion

Model

Dimensions

Current Price

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10

Length: 10’ / 3.05m

Width: 30" / 76cm

Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10

Length: 10’ / 3.05m

Width: 30" / 76cm

Sun Dolphin Excursion 12

Length: 12’ / 3.66m

Width: 29.5" / 75cm

The Sun Dolphin Excursion range of fishing kayak are another great entry level option for those wanting to try out kayak fishing for the first time. They are also a good option for those that prefer a sit-in design, rather than a sit-on-top design that many fishing kayaks come in.

The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 is ideal for freshwater rivers and lakes. It is small and light, so very easy to carry and also to paddle when you are in the water. The sit-in design has a large cockpit, so it gives you plenty of room to move your legs around.

The Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10 is slightly different in design than the Excursion 10, although both are the same size. The SS 10 has more storage space, and also has an electrics console where you can keep any electronic devices safe and dry while you are out on the water.

Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10

The larger Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 is still a great fishing kayak for lakes and rivers, although can also be used for estuary’s and more secluded coastal areas. Considering the extra size of the Excursion 12, it is not much heavier than both of the smaller models, weighing a very manageable 47lbs (21kg).



Pedals or Paddle, the pros and cons for both

So, you are sure you want to start kayak fishing, and you’re excited about how this can provide new fishing opportunities for you, but you just can’t decide what type of kayak is right for you, pedal or paddle. So to try and help you come to a decision, I am going to give you the pros and cons for both.



Pedal kayaks – hands free fishing, but comes at a price!

Pedal kayaks provide a much more efficient way to get out on the water and start fishing on places that you may not have considered with a paddle kayak. You can usually move through the water faster on a pedal kayak than a paddle version for anglers.

One of the main benefits of pedal kayaks is the fact that you will have both hands free, so your fishing becomes much easier when you can have rod in one hand and net in another when landing a fish. Some of the better pedal kayaks also have a reverse option, which is perfect for when you hook up into a fish and you want to get it away from any structure that may be around.

Pedal kayaks use a drive system, and this is what tends to add on the extra cost. They can be quite heavy as well, so make the kayak harder to move to and from the water. The drive systems also need regular maintenance, and they also mean that more clearance under the kayak is required to accommodate the pedals (although with the Hobie Mirage drive system you can raise the fins up so they are horizontal, so it doesn’t need that much more clearance than a paddle kayak would).

Pro's:

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    Hands free fishing (the benefit of having two hands free to fish from a kayak at all times can’t be stated enough!)
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    Tend to be more stable than most paddle kayaks
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    Reverse feature can get you out of tight spots quickly
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    Pedal drive systems are more powerful than traditional paddle
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    Able to hold your position in windy conditions or a strong current more easily
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    More comfortable for fishing

Con's

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    Cost. This is the big one, as pedal kayaks tend to be a lot more expensive than paddle
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    Drive systems require maintenance
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    Kayaks are heavier due to the drive system


Paddle kayaks – great entry level option, but you wish you had two sets of arms at times

One of the main benefits of choosing a paddle kayak over a pedal is the price. Even the higher end top of the range paddle kayaks tend to be cheaper than their pedal cousins. And if you are just beginning and want to be able to get out on the water in a kayak without spending much money, there are many budget options available that will allow you to do just this.

Using a paddle can give you the ability to manoeuvre in and out of tight spaces quite easily, so if you are fishing in smaller rivers or creeks, and need to get under or around logs and branches, then a smaller kayak and paddle power can help you do this. But if you are out on the open water, and you want to get to a fishing spot quite a distance away, you are going to be well behind your pal in their pedal kayak!

The lack of any drive system does enable you to glide in much shallower water than you can with a pedal kayak. Some anglers also feel that the lack of any drive system also means a much more natural and quieter blending with the surroundings, thus not spooking any nearby fish.

The biggest downside to a paddle kayak is the fact that you need to keep try and keep yourself in position using the paddle, while trying to fish at the same time. It can be very tricky at times! You can get small anchors for kayaks, and this is always an option, but not all conditions are suitable for using an anchor.

Pro's:

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    Cost! Much cheaper than pedal kayaks
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    Kayaks are lighter due to no drive system
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    Smaller paddle kayaks are quite nimble in tighter spaces
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    Smaller draft means they can glide across shallower water
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    Lack of drive system means less maintenance

Con's:

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    Hands required to paddle and hold the fishing rod
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    Most are not as stable as pedal kayaks
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    Slower in a straight line than pedal kayaks


Fishingmyway Admin
 

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