Best 10 Pedal Kayaks for Fishing [2020 Update]

Fishing from a pedal kayak is a special experience. The flexibility that having both hands free to cast is fantastic as well as the stealth and easy movement that the pedal mechanism provides. If you are planning on a fishing trip in a kayak when you will want to cast and travel at the same time then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a pedal kayak.

There are some great pedal kayaks available on the market but it can be hard to tell the difference between them just looking at the photos. We have gone through the best 10 kayaks available on the market and provided both our own insights and that of other anglers.

Below is a buyer's guide to help you understand the key features and benefits you should be looking for when you make your decision.. At the end of this article we have also put together a review of the top 10 pedal kayaks available on the market this month. 

There are several good manufacturers of kayaks and pedal drive mechanisms that you can investigate, so we have put together a few key features for you to think about before making a decision.

The specifications that we have looked at include kayak length, weight, carrying capacity, storage, and the number of rod holders. Outfitting your kayak to suit your needs can be a selection criteria in itself depending on what accessories you will need.

If you have any other pieces of wisdom to add that should be considered before purchasing a pedal kayak then please leave a comment below so that everyone can learn from your experience.

Kayak Length

The size of the kayak is often linked to its stability. For a fishing kayak you really want the ability to stand up and cast - this means that you will need a longer than average kayak.

Most of the kayaks we have recommended are 12 feet or longer in length. This gives good stability even in swell.

Ocean kayaks are even longer again. The size of the kayak will help to stabilize your kayak, so consider this when making a selection.

You should also consider how you are going to transport your kayak from your house to the river or lake. If you are going to mount it on your truck roof with some roof racks then consider the size of your vehicle and the length of the kayak.

Also consider where you will store your kayak and whether the longest model's will fit comfortable.

Weight

The weight of the kayak is linked to its total size and its materials of construction. If you intend to carry your kayak by yourself from your truck to the river then this becomes an important consideration. If you also have to carry your cooler, camping gear, fishing equipment, etc. then that extra 20 pounds you can save on the kayak can become extremely important.

Some of the kayaks on our list are well over 100 pounds and can be hard to carry by one person. This may mean you need help to launch it and means that you can never go fishing on your own. If you always have a fishing buddy then this is fine, but if not then it can limit its effectiveness.

Carrying Capacity

The carrying capacity depends on the buoyancy of the kayak design, and it is really important if you want to go on an extended fishing or camping trip. If you need to store all your fishing gear, camping tents, a large cooler, clothes, and food, then you can easily require over 500 lbs (including your own body weight).

Thankfully there are tow-along kayak coolers available which don't add any weight to your kayak if you choose a low carrying capacity model.

Some of the kayak's in this list have a carrying capacity of 325 lbs or less and some go to over 550 lbs. If you expect to be carrying a lot of equipment then make this number 1 on your criteria list.

Storage (Number of Hatches)

The number of hatches really links to your carrying capacity but instead of total weight it highlights how much waterproof storage you have access to. Some of the kayak's only have a single hatch while others have as many as 4.

An alternative to using a hatch is to purchase a dry bag which can then be tied onto the outside of your kayak.

Number of Rod Holders

This list is primarily for fishermen and the number of rod holders is a key factor. You want to have at least as many rod holders as you have rods. This is both for storage while you are traveling and to hold if you want to have multiple hooks in the water.

The position of the rod holders is also important - if you only have two rod holders and they are on either side of the kayak, then you might not be able to use them both at the same time to cast at a structure on the bank.

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(68 Ratings)

 Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Features

Made in USA

Comfortable lawn chair style adjustable and breathable mesh seat

Pedal drive mechanism can be fully recessed into the hull for zero draft

One piece construction with built-in buoyancy

Both rear and front storage spaces for cooler, tackle, or camping gear

Specifications

Length: 12 ft 5 in / 3.78 m 

Width: 33.75 in / 85.73 cm 

Weight: 74 lb / 33.57 kg 

Capacity: 525 lb / 238.14 kg 

Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo 

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 

Hatches Incl: 2 

Optional Hatches: 0 

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

The Perception Pescador makes the top of our list for one key reason - the ratio between weight and carrying capacity. It is very light at 74 lbs, but can carry over 500 lbs. This means that it is ideal for taking to remote locations - you can carry it to the river bank easily, but it can also carry all your tackle, camping, and coolers.

This USA manufactured pedal kayak also comes with 2 waterproof hatches and 4 rod holders. I prefer more than 2 rod holders, because it gives you options for either using your rods or moving them out of the road.

The Pescador also has a comfortable lawn chair style seat that can help to prevent you from getting a sore back. It also has a quality pedal drive mechanism that can be fully recessed to reduce drag.

This model is certainly worth considering and is one of our top recommendations.

Pros

  • Made in USA
  • Comfortable Seat and Back Support
  • Very stable, even with swell
  • Good combination of high carrying capacity and low weight

Cons

  • Poor Customer Service and lack of spare parts

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(3 Ratings)

Wilderness Systems Radar 115

Features

Tri-powered kayak with paddle, power, and pedal capabilities

Stable enough to stand and fish from

Adjustable and comfortable AirPro Max Seat that can travel the majority of the length of the boat

Fully removable pod for your fish finder, battery, cables, and transducer

SlideTrax rails for accessories

Large, padded foot rests

Specifications

Length: 11 ft 8 in / 3.56 m 

Width: 34.5 in / 87.63 cm 

Height: 15 in / 38.1 cm 

Weight: 82 lb / 37.19 kg 

Capacity: 450 lb / 204.12 kg 

Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo 

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 

Hatches Incl: 4 

Optional Hatches: 0 

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

The second recommended pedal kayak is the Wilderness Systems Radar. It is smaller than the Perception options at 11 ft 8 inch, and thus offers less stability. The carrying capacity is reduced to 450 lbs, which is still pretty good.

At 82 pounds in weight, it is still light weight enough to offer good mobility to move it to remote locations. 

This vessel is highly adjustable with a multitude of accessories that can be added to perfectly suit your requirements. Just keep that in mind when you are comparing the price between this and other options.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable seating and back support
  • Easy access centre storage
  • Available up to 14 feet long

Cons

  • May have to purchase some accessories to outfit it to your requirements

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(5 Ratings)

Features

Adjustable Vantage CTW chair

Features a transducer shield to protect your fish finder

Kickup rudder system to allow movement through shallow waters

Lowrance ready capacility for your fish finder

Hobie 2020 Mirage Outback

Specifications

  • Length: 12 ft 9 in / 3.89 m 
  • Width: 34 in / 86.36 cm 
  • Weight: 103 lb / 46.72 kg 
  • Capacity: 425 lb / 192.78 kg 
  • Leg Room To Peg: 45 
  • Leg Room - Total: 48 
  • Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo 
  • Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 
  • Hatches Incl: 2 
  • Optional Hatches: 0 
  • Rod Holders Included: 4 
  • Material: Polyethylene 
  • Made in: USA

Review

I personally regard Hobie as the kings of pedal kayaks. The 2020 Mirage is a great option for beginners and experienced anglers alike.

The Hobie's do weigh more than some of the other options at over 100 pounds, but at almost 13 feet long they offer unrivaled stability. 

Made in the USA, this kayak is of the top quality and comes fish finder ready to start fishing immediately. This also comes with 4 rod holders and 2 hatches - it truly is a fisherman's product.

Keep in mind the larger dimensions when making your selection - does this fit in your garage, in your truck, etc.

Pros

  • Long kayak stable even with swell
  • Hobie make fantastic pedal mechanisms for kayaks

Cons

  • Weighs over 100lb

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(No Ratings)

 Native Watercraft 2019 Titan Propel 10.5

Features

Propeller pedal drive system with rudder

Sliding adjustable seat with under seat storage tray

Anti-slip deck padding

2 horizontal rod storage

2 cup holders, paddle holders, scupper plugs

Micro anchor mounting area

Review

The Native Watercraft pedal kayak has a very interesting mechanism design. Rather than the 'flipper' style of the other kayak's this design converts the pedal mechanical energy into a propeller to drive the vessel.

The kayak is only 10.5 feet long, so if you are short on storage space in your garage or truck then this may be a suitable option. It may not offer sufficient stability to go into waterways with large swell.

It also comes with a micro anchor mounting area that gives you some extra ability to focus on a particular fishing area without needing to paddle back and forward.

Pros

  • Pedal driven propeller mechanism
  • Shorter 10.5 feet than other options

Cons

  • Almost 100lb in weight

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(No Ratings)

Features

360 degree rotating drive technology with kick-up fins for shallow waters

6 rod holders

Highly adjustable seat with lumbar support

Retractable transducer shield

Rectangular hatch with pivoting tackle management system

 Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 12

Specifications

Length: 12 ft / 3.66 m 

Width: 36 in / 91.44 cm 

Weight: 132.5 lb / 60.1 kg 

Capacity: 500 lb / 226.8 kg 

Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo 

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 

Hatches Incl: 3 

Optional Hatches: 0 

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

The kings of pedal kayak's, Hobie, also offer the Mirage Pro, which is their premier model.

Let's start with the negatives - this weighs 132 pounds. It is heavy. So if you aren't unloading your kayak right next to the boat ramp then you might want to consider a lighter option.

This kayak is built for fishermen - it comes with 6 rod holders, is set up for fish finders with a transducer shield, has a tackle management system, and 360 degree rotating drive mechanism.

It can also carry 500 lbs, so load up your cooler, tackle, and camping gear care-free. This is a very stable, high end kayak.

Pros

  • Very high 500lb carrying capacity if you need to carry coolers and camping equipment
  • Stable 12 foot length
  • 360 degree rotating drive

Cons

  • Very heavy at 132lb. You don't want to have to carry this too far to the river's edge

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(11 Ratings)

Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler Fishing Kayak

Features

Stable, comfortable, easy-to-maneuver, hands-free fishing platform

Forward/reverse pedal drive

Over-sized stern tank well

3 rod holders with rod and tackle storage

Double hull design

Universal fish finder transducer mounting system

Review

The Old Town Topwater fishing kayak is a strange combination of short length but highly stable. Normally this is the opposite way.

It is built for fishing with a fish finder mounting system and tackle storage. It is also stable enough to stand up and fish and has foam decking for that exact purpose.

If you are looking for a smaller kayak that is stable enough for fishing then this is probably as close as you can get. Not for everyone, but certainly meets the needs of certain individuals.

Pros

  • Extremely sturdy design - can stand up to fish if required
  • Double hull design
  • Universal transducer mounting system to easily install your fish finder

Cons

  • Only 10.5 feet long - although this could be an advantage for your purposes

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(3 Ratings)

Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 14 with 360 Drive

Features

360 degree drive with kick-up fins for shallow water

6 rod holders including 2 vertical and 4 horizontal

4 way adjustable Vantage seat with lumbar support

Pivoting tackle management system

Under-seat tackle storage

Retractable transducer shield

Specifications

Length: 13 ft 8 in / 4.17 m 

Width: 38 in / 96.52 cm

Weight: 148.5 lb / 67.36 kg

Capacity: 600 lb / 272.16 kg

Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top

Hatches Incl: 3

Optional Hatches: 0

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

In summary - big!

This kayak is almost 14 feet long and nearly 150 pounds. So if you are low on space or have a small car, then I would immediately walk away.

However, this kayak has one big advantage - a carrying capacity of 600 pounds! If you are doing a multi-day fishing adventure then look no further.

Hobie are the leading manufacturers of pedal drive mechanisms. This is a ready to go fishing vehicle with 6 rod holders, tackle management system, and under-seat tackle storage.

The final negative - the price. 

Pros

  • 360 degree rudder design gives increased control
  • 6 rod holders both vertical and horizontal
  • Extremely high 600lb carrying capacity for extened fishing trips

Cons

  • Very expensive at over $4,500

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(41 Ratings)

 Perception Pescador Pro 12

Features

2 level adjustable seat with breathable mesh

Leak-proof one-piece construction with built-in bouyancy

Both front and rear open storage for cooler, tackle, or camping gear

Manufactured in USA

Extremely lightweight

Specifications

Length: 12 ft / 3.66 m 

Width: 32.5 in / 82.55 cm 

Weight: 64 lb / 29.03 kg 

Capacity: 375 lb / 170.1 kg 

Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo 

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 

Hatches Incl: 1 

Optional Hatches: 0 

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

If the Hobie is heavy, then the Pescador Pro is light. At only 64 pounds this is one of the lightest products available on the market. This is at the expense of a lower carrying capacity.

It is still 12 feet long and remarkably stable. It has a one-piece construction that makes it leak proof and effectively maintenance free.

The final positive is the price - at under $1000, this is the perfect entry level fishing pedal kayak for beginners. 

Pros

  • Made in USA
  • Leak proof construction
  • Very affordable compared to the other options at under $1000
  • Very light design

Cons

  • Lower carrying capacity of 375lb
  • Only 1 hatch for storing equipment

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(No Ratings)

Hobie 2020 Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak

Features

Tandem kayak with 2 vantage seats

2 x 180 degree pedal drives with kick up fins for shallow waters

Dual steering controls

Large on-deck cargo storage area

Three enclosed storage compartments

Specifications

Length: 14 ft 6 in / 4.42 m

Width: 33 in / 83.82 cm 

Weight: 127 lb / 57.61 kg 

Capacity: 550 lb / 249.48 kg 

Leg Room To Peg: 45.5 

Leg Room - Total: 47 

Number of Paddlers: 2 - Tandem 

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 

Hatches Incl: 4 

Optional Hatches: 0 

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

A common scenario is a fisherman who wants to take his son or partner out with him. The answer to this frustration is the tandem kayak.

As I've said multiple times - Hobie are the premier manufacturer of pedal drives for kayaks.

This kayak is over 14 feet long, so gives the stability required to carry two people with a carrying capacity of 550 pounds. It also features twin pedal and twin steering controls, so either person can control the direction, regardless of where they are sitting.

It also means that one person can pedal and steer while the other is fishing.

This kayak is also heavy at well over 100 pounds, but with two people to carry it this is not a problem.

Pros

  • Tandem design to take your fishing buddy with you
  • Good carrying capacity at 550lb

Cons

  • Heavy at 127lb to carry
  • Very long at 14 ft 6 in

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(No Ratings)

Features

Comfortable beach seat with mesh storage pocket underneath

Turn-on-a-dime steering with the advanced pedal drive system

Pet friendly bow tank well

3 cup holders and 2 accessory tracks

 Ocean Kayak Malibu PDL Kayak

Specifications

‚ÄčLength: 12 ft / 3.66 m 

Width: 34.5 in / 87.63 cm 

Weight: 100 lb / 45.36 kg 

Capacity: 450 lb / 204.12 kg 

Number of Paddlers: 1 - Single/Solo 

Type of Kayak: Sit on Top 

Hatches Incl: 0 

Optional Hatches: 0 

Material: Polyethylene 

Made in: USA

Review

The final pedal kayak in our list is the Ocean Kayak Malibu. This is an alternate product that gives a different perspective on what is available. 

This kayak is made in the USA and features a decent carrying capacity of 450 pounds. It is 12 feet long which provides good stability and weighs 100 pounds.

A big downside is the lack of hatches, so there is not as much storage capacity is you may need.

This is really a middle of the range option in terms of size and stability, but offers less accessories and ability to modify to meet your needs than some of the more expensive, premium models.

Pros

  • Made in USA
  • Good 450lb carrying capacity

Cons

  • 100lb in weight to carry to the river
  • Not hatches for waterproof storage

That is all that we have to share on pedal kayaks in both our list of reviews and buyer's guide. If you made a selection please let us know why so that we can improve your comparisons going forward.

If you have some wisdom to add that could help other prospective anglers, please met us know as well in the comments below.

Happy fishing!

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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