We have put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide of the top eight best pedal kayaks currently available on the market. This list should help you spend less time deliberating and more time out on the water fishing.
Top 8 Best Pedal Kayaks of 2018
- Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13
- Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13
- Hobie Pro Angler 12
- Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak
- Hobie Mirage Revolution 11
- Hobie Sport Pedal Kayak
- Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
- Hobie Mirage i11S Kayak
1. Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 is our top pick for a pedal kayak. It is one of the only pedal kayaks that can stop at the drop of a hat or maintain casting distance. Unlike most kayaks, the Slayer Propel has enough stability to allow you to stand up and cast.
This unit is 13 feet in length and designed for minimum depths of 12-18″. With the Slayer Propel, you can travel up to 4.2 mph. However when the winds pick up, higher speeds of up to 5.2 mph can be reached. Rest assured that this boat is very durable, and performs well even in stormy weather.
While there are a few other pedal kayaks that come close to the Slayer Propel, what really sets it apart from the rest is that it is large enough to accommodate bigger anglers or those who just prefer the extra space, while still having plenty of room for fishing equipment.
- The Slayer Propel comes with two flush mount rod holders and a forward facing holder that can be used as a cup holder if needed.
- This kayak has a 5″ storage hatch that is waterproof.
- This kayak can hold up to 400 lbs. of weight.
- The stern rudder is durable and impact resistant.
2. Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13
The Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel kayak makes it mark as being the lightest pedal kayak available, coming in at just a mere 50 lbs. Although it is lightweight, don’t let it food you. It ranks high in performance and has many notable features.
The Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel kayak has a built-in transducer mount found underneath the hull that comes with several rail mounts. It also features two vertical rod holders and tight line anchor trolleys that are on both sides of the kayak.
Although the price is a little on the high side, this kayak is recommended for experienced anglers looking for a durable kayak that will meet all of their fishing needs.
- The Ultimate FX is 13 1/2 feet long.
- The Ultimate comes with a built-in battery box that you can hook up to your phone or whatever other USB port compatible electronics you may have on hand.
- Under the seat you will find extra space and a hard shell bow hatch, complete with a bungee cord for securing your fishing gear to the deck.
- This kayak can also hold up to 400 lbs. of weight.
- You can save space by using the built-in thwart box as a cooler.
3. Hobie Pro Angler 12
The Hobie Pro Angler is very convenient because it is only 12 ft. long and can fit in the back of almost any pickup truck, so you can save yourself some money without having to buy an expensive trailer to tote it.
The Hobie Pro has a maximum weight of 500 lbs., so you can hold a lot more equipment than the rest of the competition. This kayak features four horizontal rods and two molded-in rod holders, which means this kayak can hold up to 6 rods all at once! This is the perfect kayak for someone who considers themselves the ultimate angler.
- The Pro Angler weighs 120 pounds when it is fully rigged. Even when it is just the kayak itself, it still weighs a good 100 pounds.
- With the Pro Angler, you get full range of motion with a comfortable elevated seat that comes with Boa System lumbar support.
- The hull is made out of polyethylene material.
- You can customize your rigging with the H-rail.
- Your valuables can be stored in the waterproof 8” twist and seal hatch that is included with the kayak.
- The kayak comes with a sail mount and anchor trolley system if you do not feel like pedaling.
- The kayak comes with replaceable mounting boards and has dual steering.
- The Pro Angler comes with a lot of storage space.
- This kayak is equipped with a skeg instead of a rudder.
- It comes with a large rectangular hatch with pivoting tackle management system.
- It comes with a 8-gallon Livewell for you to store the fish that you catch in
4. Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak
The Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak is ready for you to take out on the water and fish. It is 12 feet in length and features push pedals that power two fins, which in turn, make you swiftly guide through the water almost effortlessly. Notably, it also uses the original drive technology from one of the first pedal kayaks on the market.
The Mirage Oasis is fairly lightweight, coming in at 105 pounds. Another key feature is that it can fit in the back of most pickup trucks. This kayak also comes with an adjustable seat that also comes with lumbar support. The seat can be set at different heights and can collapse in order for you to stand on the deck and cast with your pole.
There’s plenty of space for all your fishing gear, with this kayak being able to hold up to 500 pounds in weight effortlessly. There is a spacious cargo area behind the seat, as well as a twist and seal hatch with a tackle management system. Plus, there are 6 designated rod holders, so you can plan to be out on the water a full day. Another benefit is having a handy storage hatch at the front that doubles as a work area and can be used to store fish or ice.
- There’s plenty of space to accommodate all of your fishing gear.
- There’s a designated cargo area for extra storage behind the seat.
- The Mirage Oasis also comes with a twist and seal hatch with a tackle management system.
- This kayak features 6 rod holders for the ultimate fishing experience.
- The storage hatch can also be used as a work area for cleaning fish.
- This kayak is made for both fresh and saltwater.
- For your convenience, the dual steering handles allow you to steer from either the port or starboard side.
5. Hobie Mirage Revolution 11
The Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 is another lightweight kayak. Not quite as light as the Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13, but pretty close! The Mirage Revolution weighs in at 64 pounds and is 11 ½ feet long. Fully rigged, this kayak only puts on an additional 17 more pounds. Now, an important aspect to consider is that it can only hold 275 pounds, which is much less than the competition.
This kayak offers a sleek design that definitely gives this boat extra appeal. The pedal drive on this kayak is totally optional. It actually comes with a standard paddle, so if at any time you don’t feel like pedaling upstream, just simply remove the pedal drive and you are good to go.
- There are two rod holders built into this kayak.
- It includes a large covered bow hatch along with two 8” twist and seal hatches and a gear bucket that you can store your live bait in.
- The rear cargo has bungee tie downs for all of your fishing gear that you may need.
- It can easily be transported on the roof of a car or in the back of a pickup truck because it is lightweight and the length is perfect.
6. Hobie Sport Pedal Kayak
The Hobie Sport Pedal Kayak is super compact and also lightweight, making it the perfect little kayak. It is only 9 feet long and weighs 61 pounds. If weight or length is an issue for you, this is the kayak that you want to get.
Although it is one of the smallest kayaks that we will look at today, it can hold up to 225 lbs. You won’t be able to tow your camping gear, but you could always wear a backpack that has all your stuff in it. While it can’t hold as much as the rest, it is a very efficient, dependable, and affordable pedal kayak option.
- It is made out of rotomolded polyethylene.
- It comes with an optional paddle if you decide that you don’t want to pedal.
- It offers both a 6″ and an 8″ twist and seal hatch for storing valuable items.
- It features a rear cargo area with bungee tie downs to safely strap your gear in place.
7. Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
As you can probably guess, the Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 is similar to the Hobie Mirage Revolution 11. What makes this fishing vessel different? First of all, the Mirage Revolution 13 has an extra 2 feet of space. Secondly, the Revolution 13 has a better performance and is very seaworthy.
This lightweight kayak weighs 70 ½ pounds, but can carry an astounding 350 pounds, which makes this one of the best pedal kayaks on the market. This kayak can even be upgraded to add on the sailing kit as well as the electric motor kit so you can really make this kayak move in water. The Revolution 13 comes with rear cargo that has bungee tie downs to keep all your fishing gear in place.
- This kayak comes with an extremely comfortable an adjustable seat.
- The Mirage Revolution 13 features two 8” twist and seal hatches with a gear bucket.
- This kayak is equipped with 2 rod holders.
- Is compact enough to be placed on top of your vehicle.
- The Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 is built for the open waters of the ocean, but isn’t recommended in rivers or streams because it is not meant to maneuver very well or make tight turns.
8. Hobie Mirage i11S Kayak
The Hobie Mirage I11S is not your everyday pedal kayak. This kayak is only 11.3 feet long, yet it can hold a whopping 400 pounds. What makes this kayak different from the rest is that it is an inflatable kayak. This makes it optimal for both storage and transporting, which the other hard shell kayaks can’t come close to matching. This kayak will provide you with a nice workout on the water, without having to put a large, heavy kayak out on the water.
This i11S is stable, durable, and offers a low profile design, letting you sit closer to the water than ever before. It has an adjustable Vantage CTI seat that will help you fish comfortably. The fin that comes with this kayak can help assist you in tracking when you decide to take the kayak out on the water.
- There is not much storage space, so everything will need to be strapped down to the deck.
- Don’t let its appearance throw you off. Although this kayak doesn’t look much more than a glorified paddle board, it is right up there with the rest of the kayaks.
- It is reliable and can be easily stored. It’s just as easy as deflating it and packing it back up again.
Fishing kayaks are a great way to go about the sport of fishing, without having to spend as much money as you would on a boat. If you think a pedal fishing kayak is the way to go, check them out on Amazon for some of the best prices on the market.
A Buyer’s Guide of the Best Pedal Kayaks
Kayaking has evolved over the years, making many different types of kayaking activities possible as long as you have the right kind of kayak in your possession.
Although kayaks have been used for fishing for a while now, the sport has gained popularity as of late due to its broad appeal of being environmentally-friendly, its ease of accessibility, its low cost in comparison to using a motor boat, and for its paddling health benefits. Another great advantage of utilizing a kayak for fishing is being able to quietly and stealthily approach fish that spook easily.
Before setting out on your next kayak fishing adventure, you need to make sure you have the right gear. First and foremost, you need to make sure your kayak is compatible for fishing. While it is not required to use a pedal kayak, it is highly recommended for its additional fishing advantages over paddling.
The Difference Paddle and Pedal Kayaks
A pedal kayak offers anglers a larger degree of freedom and maneuverability, all due to its unique pedaling capabilities. The hands-free movement allows you to put down the paddle to focus wholly on your lines and fishing.
The way in which a pedal kayak works is that they have fins or a propeller underneath the hull that move the boat forward. The foot pedals on the deck are for you to pedal along and give the power to propel the boat.
Pros of Pedaling
- You can cut across a large body of water fast with a pedal system in place.
- You can maintain control of your position much easier with a pedal system.
- The hands-free setup allows you to use both hands to easily cast or reel in your catch.
- The pedal system makes it easy to reverse just by pedaling backwards.
- The pedal system allows you increased maneuverability in the current.
- Often times, a pedaling kayak comes equipped with specific features for fishing, such as tackle storage and work areas.
- Pedaling gives you a great lower body workout, and it is less tiring, allowing you to get the most out of your fishing experience.
Cons of Pedaling
- Additional underwater clearance is needed for the pedal system in order for it to not get caught up on something or damaged.
- Pedal kayaks tend to be more expensive than paddle kayaks. Expect to pay roughly $1,000 more for a pedal system than with a paddle kayak.
- Pedal kayaks will require additional maintenance than a traditional kayak would because of the mechanics of the pedal system. You will have to lubricate the gears every so often to keep it in good working condition. If you plan on kayaking in salt water, you will have to take extra measures to ensure that the mechanical equipment is galvanized to protect against corrosion and rust.
Pros of Paddling
- Getting into the water and launching off with a traditional kayak is a much simpler process than with a pedal boat.
- Paddle kayaks are much less expensive than a pedal kayak. A traditional paddle kayak can cost you less than $500, while pedal kayaks start at $2,000. For some, the significant difference in cost is a deal breaker.
- Although, some people will beg to differ, paddling with a kayak generally tends to be less disruptive. Dipping your paddle into the water is less quiet than the propellers of the pedal system.
Cons of Paddling
- One of the major drawbacks of using a paddle kayak is that it is difficult to handle both your paddle and your fishing gear at the same time, especially in windy conditions and strong currents.
- There is minimal control of your kayak while fishing because your arms are occupied with the rod and reel.
- Your arms are likely to tire faster than your legs will over the exact same distance.
The bottom line is paddling or pedaling are both great ways to go fishing, but pedaling is much more efficient all around.
What Types of Pedal Kayaks are There?
Using a pedal kayak for fishing is the preference among most kayaking anglers, but it doesn’t just end there. There are two different types of pedal systems out on the market that you can buy: push pedals and rotational pedals. You will want to ensure that you know what the differences are between the two.
Push pedals work by using your feet to pedal in an up and down motion to propel you through the water. This method primarily utilizes the muscles of your feet and ankles, instead of your legs. Each time you push down with your foot is what makes the kayak move. As soon as you stop pedaling, the kayak will begin to stop.
Rotational pedals work a little differently than push pedals by using a combination of your legs, feet and ankles to push in a rotational motion, similar to how you would pedal on a bicycle. This type of pedal system calls for a larger cockpit area to accommodate the larger pedaling motion of your legs.
Because you are using more of your leg muscles with rotational pedals than you would with the push pedals, you will be able to move across the water much faster. The rotational pedals are also easier to move since you are using stronger muscles. Another advantage of the rotational pedals is that you will be able to pedal longer than with a push pedal. Because of the rotation, you will find that you have more momentum, so when you stop pedaling, your kayak will glide farther before stopping.