Finding a pedal kayak which is both comfortable enough to ride and stable enough for fishing can be a difficult task, as many have a reputation for being wobbly and easy to capsize; you’re trying to catch the fish, not swim with them! With the increasing popularity in recent years of pedal kayaks, however, a number of brands have begun to focus on improving the designs of their pedal kayaks to make them more reliable and trustworthy whilst also offering a host of other features. Trying to find the right kayak for your needs can be difficult when you have to choose between all of these new pedal kayak innovations, which are why we’ve compiled a list of our favorites to help you find the right pedal kayak for you.
What Is A Pedal Kayak?
A pedal kayak is a recent innovation which merges traditional kayaking with cycling. Pedaling a kayak makes for a smoother kayaking experience and allows you to glide seamlessly through the water at a controllable and stable speed. The pedals also allow you to move faster through the water than traditional paddles allow, making crossing large bodies of water or large distances easy.
Since pedal kayaking allows you to free your hands—which would have to be holding onto your paddle on a traditional kayak or canoe—it is particularly favored among fishermen and other kayakers who intend to do multiple tasks whilst on the water, such as wildlife photography.
The thought of a pedal kayak may seem a little strange, especially for people who have been paddling for a long time and are used to using a paddle to ease their kayak through the water. However, pedal kayaks offer a number of benefits in regards to the experience of kayaking, including the additional comfort it provides for your shoulders and your back and the more natural movement through the water when compared to the somewhat stop-start motion that is seen in traditional paddle-powered kayaks. The pedal system also allows for movement back and forth, which is particularly useful for fishing against a current or for when you’re tackling larger fish.
Pedal kayaks are notably more expensive than a traditional paddle kayak, usually in the range of $1000 right up to $4000. They are also heavier than normal kayaks, so before buying one, you must take the time to work out how you will transport and move a pedal kayak into the Water.
Choosing the right pedal kayak for your needs will depend heavily upon where you’re intending to use your kayak and for what purposes. A wider kayak will be suitable for people wanting stability for fishing; however a narrower vessel is more streamlined and will move through the water easier, allowing for faster travel. A longer kayak will be heavier but will offer better tracking than a shorter one (i.e. under ten foot). The right kayak for you will also have to be able to carry enough weight to support all of your
gear, as well as you and any passengers you may be taking with you. In general, it is recommended that your kayak should have a minimum weight capacity of 250 pounds.
Native Watercraft Slayer Pedal Kayak
At only 10’ in length and weighing a mere 62 pounds, the Native Watercraft Slayer Pedal Kayak is a small but incredible sturdy little model. Its lightweight nature makes it easy to transport and load onto your vehicle, which is often forgotten when making a decision on which kayak is right for you and your storage. Despite its lightweight nature, however, it is a wonderful kayak to handle which responds well and is hence effortless to maneuver through still waters. Within built rod holders, it is also perfect for fans of hands-free fishing and is stable enough for you to enjoy a quick drink whilst waiting for fish to find you. The kayak’s foot paddles are also set up to allow for forward and reverse paddling which comes in particularly useful when trying to fight against a current or navigate towards the perfect fishing spot.
- Top speed of 3.5mph
- Great for fishing
- Comfortable to ride on
- A whopping 500 pounds of storage
- Easy to handle (lightweight)
- Not fast enough for a racing foot paddle kayak
- Short length may make the kayak have poorer tracking abilities
- Wilderness Systems Pedal Fishing Kayak
The Wilderness Systems Pedal Fishing Kayak
The Wilderness Systems Pedal Fishing Kayak is designed for optimal power from a minimal effort on the part of the kayaker. Its 6 to 1 gear ratio ensures a large acceleration and power output with each turn of the pedals. One of the major benefits of this feature is that longer kayaking and fishing trips can be arranged without the risk of feeling excessively fatigued afterwards, and who wouldn’t want to be able to kayak for longer at a time?
Despite its sturdiness, this Wilderness Systems Kayak has also been designed to be highly maneuverable and speedy in the water, meaning that you can control it perfectly no matter what speed you are travelling at.
- Sturdy enough for fishing
- Speedy enough to make quick work of long distances
- Easy to maneuver despite it weighing only 47.5lb
- 325 lb storage
- Flat platform for standing fishing
- Short length means that it may not track as well as some longer kayaks
Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 Pedal Kayak
The Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 Pedal Kayak is sleek and stylish and is a good all-round model due to its small, fast, and lightweight body which still manages to offer impressive sturdiness in the water. As such, it can be used for all types of pedal kayaking activities. The Kayak also comes equipped with all of the storage space that one would expect from a larger model of kayak and uses the Mirage Drive pedal technology to make your kayaking experience as enjoyable as possible. For a touch of customization, the kayak is also available in three colors to tailor to your preferences.
- Molded-in rod holders for fishing
- Spacious storage despite the kayak’s small proportions
- 11ft length will mean that the kayak tracks relatively well compared to shorter models
- Mirage Drive feature
- Dual purpose kayak
- Small sized kayak may not be suitable for all users
Hobie Oasis Tandem Pedal Powered Kayak
Making use of Mirage Drive technology for its pedals, the Hobie Oasis Tandem Pedal Powered Kayak is comfortable to use thanks to its padded seats and exceptionally high quality manufacturing. Made from roto molded polyethylene, it is stronger than other kayaks and is thus more stable as well. This premium pedal kayak is also incredibly generous when it comes to storage availability, making it perfect for carrying large amounts of equipment and supplies.
- Rotomolded polyethylene material
- Maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds
- 14 feet in length
- Enough storage space for overnight fishing excursions
- Very expensive—premium model of kayak so unsurprising that the price tag is higher
Hobie Mirage Outback Pedal Drive Kayak (Ivory Dune)
The Mirage Outback Pedal Drive Kayak is optimized for a quick and speedy ride, with its nimble and streamlined design making it a fun kayak for those who enjoy a little more excitement. The kayak has a drain plug for removing any collected water in the hull and the Mirage Drive feature makes the act of foot paddling easy. Furthermore, the kayak comes with an additional paddle for easy maneuverability in shallow waters.
- Drain plugs
- Paddle for maneuverability
- Large quantities of storage space
- Good length of 12’1”
- Impressive 400lb weight capacity
- Streamlined and fast design
- Too unstable for fishing use