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.
Which Model Of Pedal Kayak Is Best?
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 fishing 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.
Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot
The Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot is a wonderful model of pedal kayak thanks to the versatility that it offers. It is ideally suited for both novice and experienced kayakers. It offers a good balance of stability and speed, with its easy to control pedals making gliding through the water child’s play whilst the wider build helps to prevent accidental capsizing. As such, this kayak is ideal for someone who wants an all-round model; it won’t win any races—it’s too wide and stable for that—but it can travel at a good pace and offers an excellent platform from which to go fishing.
- Single handed rudder control
- Ample room for two people
- Additional under-seat storage room
- Large 500 pound capacity
- Too wide for racing and high speed travel
Hobie Mirage Outback Pedal Drive Kayak (Ivory Dune)
The Mirage Outback Pedal Drive Kayak is optimised 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 MirageDrive 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
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK11 Pedal Kayak
Bright red in color, with midnight black seating and features, the UH-PK11 screams excitement and fun as soon as you lay eyes upon it. Despite its narrow width, the kayak offers a generous amount of storage space. This is highly advantageous for longer high-speed kayaking journeys where you may be wanting supplies and snacks en route, which is what this model is optimised for. As well as being incredibly well streamlined, this kayak has an easy to use pedal system which will propel you through the waters at exhilarating speeds with the slightest effort on your part.
- Ergonomic, fully adjustable seating to make long haul journeys more comfortable for you
- Ample amounts of storage space
- Streamlined and narrow for fast propulsion through water
- Full rudder control
- Lightweight at only 60lb
- Great value for money
- Short kayak at only 10’8”
- Narrowness makes it unstable and potentially capsizal
Hobie Sport Pedal Kayak
This lightweight kayak at only 61 pounds is ideal for dual-purpose usage. At only 9’7”, it is admittedly shorter than ideal and this will negatively impact on its performance however it more than makes up for this with the plethora of features which it includes as standard. It has a comfortable m seat which can be adjusted to suit your preferences and the shoe loops on its pedals provide extra security when navigating difficult or rough waterways. Meanwhile the sit-on-top style allows for exceptional movability on your part and makes it suitable as a fishing vessel as well as for speed and thrill seekers.
- Lightweight at just 61lb
- Drain plugs
- Comfortable, adjustable seating
- Rod holders
- Relatively wide for stability
- Shoe loops for safety
- Dry and damp storage spacez
- Dual purpose which means it does not specialise in any area
- Short length of kayak
- Only 225lb capacity
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK13 Pedal Kayak
The UH-PK13’s design means that it sits high above the water, making it perfect for use as a fishing kayak. This is because the additional height provides a greater degree of stability when you are casting your line or attempting to reel in a bite. The kayak also comes equipped with mounted rod holders which lie flush with the body of the kayak. This allows you to prepare equipment or have a bite to eat whilst on the search for a new fishing spot. This makes for incredibly relaxing and enjoyable day fishing.
An additional benefit of the UH-PK13 is that it comes with a fully padded seat for the highest level of kayaking comfort. This seat is adjustable to suit your ideal sitting position, making it much more pleasant to ride than other un-cushioned kayaks.
- Can carry up to 325 pounds
- Padded seat for comfortable kayaking
- Rod holders for multitasking
- Very stable therefore not particularly fast in the water—potentially unsuitable for long distance or fast travelling