2014 Fishing Kayak and Canoe Buyer’s Guide

If you haven’t tried kayak fishing yet, or are looking to upgrade to a kayak better suited for your fishing needs, what are you waiting for? To say that kayaks are one of the hottest trends in fishing is an understatement. Whether you’re a shore-bound fisherman getting into a kayak to reach new waters and distant fish, a recreational kayaker looking to bring his passion for fishing aboard the plastic vessel, or a boat fisherman who recognizes fishing kayaks as an exciting and relatively inexpensive way to get out on the water, there’s something in kayak fishing for just about anyone.

If you’re intimidated by the thought of fishing from a kayak, you should know that kayak fishing is a lot easier, and safer, than it looks. In the past decade, manufacturers have started constructing kayaks specifically for fishermen, and most of these craft are remarkably stable and comfortable. All of them come with at least a couple of rod holders, and some feature tackle hatches, anchor systems, and even livewells. With all of the options out there, there’s a better chance than ever that you can find a kayak that will fit your needs and work for you.

What’s Right for You?

The bottom line in choosing the best fishing kayak for your needs is that there is no one-size-fits all. Before you make a decision on purchasing a kayak for fishing, the most important thing you can do is to take stock of where and how you plan to do most of your paddling and fishing. Identify your needs – will you be fishing in freshwater ponds, saltwater harbors, or do you plan to venture out into the open ocean? Will this kayak be strictly a fishing vessel, or do you plan to share with your family? Then, select a handful of kayaks that appear to match your desired criteria, and at that point, try them all! Always demo a kayak before you buy it.

Before you can evaluate the fishing kayaks at your local paddlesport shop or marina, you’ll need to understand some of the important characteristics of kayaks. Most fishing kayaks can be used for a variety of activities, but understand that no one kayak excels at every activity. Choosing a kayak, like choosing a boat or a car, means mulling over a long list of specifications and deciding what features are “must-haves” and which ones are compromises. Once you understand your options, you can start down the path of choosing the right kayak for your intended purposes. These are some of the basics to consider before you buy your first, or next, fishing kayak.

SIT INSIDE KAYAKS

2014 Jackson Kayak Kilroy

Jackson Kayak KILROY

A fully decked-out fishing kayak designed for anglers who prefer the dry ride of a sit-inside kayak. Includes the gear mounts, staging systems and seating you’d expect in a Jackson Kayak.

Length: 12′ 4″
Width: 31″
Weight: 69 lbs.
Capacity: 375 lbs.
Price: $1249

Jackson Kayak Co. • Sparta, TN • jacksonkayak.com

2014 Pelican Premium 100X Angler Kayak

Pelican Premium INTREPID 100X Angler

Designed with first-timers in mind, the Intrepid’s multichine hull puts a premium on stability and tracking, yet offers impressive acceleration and speed for its size.

Length: 10′
Width: 29″
Weight: 39 lbs.
Capacity: 300 lbs.
Price: $479.99

Pelican International Inc. • Laval, QC, Canada • pelicansport.com

SIT ON TOP KAYAKS

2014 Eddyline Caribbean 12 Kayak

Eddyline CARIBBEAN 12

Extraordinarily stable yet highly efficient, the Eddyline hull design and smooth Carbonlite material makes travel over distance much easier. Mounting tracks and an abundance of mounting surfaces provide a variety of options for customizing the boat for fishing.

Length: 12′
Width: 30″
Weight: 45 lbs.
Capacity: 300 lbs.
Price: $1379

Eddyline Kayaks • Burlington, WA • eddyline.com

2014 Hobie Kayaks Mirage Outback

Hobie Kayaks MIRAGE OUTBACK

The beamy Hobie Mirage Outback offers anglers stability while casting, re-rigging or landing the big one. The pedal-powered MirageDrive keeps hands free for fishing while maneuvering between hotspots.

Length: 12′ 1″
Width: 33″
Weight: 75 lbs.
Capacity: 400 lbs.
Price: $1999

Hobie Cat Company • Oceanside, CA • hobiefishing.com

2014 Feelfree Moken Kayak

Feelfree MOKEN

Brimming with features that fishermen crave, the Moken 12.5 is stable enough for standing and fast enough to handle larger lakes and coastal waters, while the Moken 14 is an offshore fishing machine. Both feature Feelfree’s “Wheel in the Keel” that makes rolling to the launch a snap.

Moken 12.5
Length: 12′ 8″
Width: 32″
Weight: 72 lbs.
Capacity: 419 lbs.
Price: $1199

Moken 14
Length: 14′ 8″
Width: 30″
Weight: 79 lbs.
Capacity: 432 lbs.
Price: $1299

Feelfree US • Swannanoa, NC • feelfreeus.com

2014 Hobie Kayaks Mirage Revolution Fishing Kayak

Hobie Kayaks MIRAGE REVOLUTION 11 & 13

The lightweight hull of the Mirage Revolution makes this kayak perfect for far-off hotspots, full days on the water, and making quick moves to schools of fish. Ample storage space and the hands-free MirageDrive make this kayak a popular choice for anglers.

Revolution 11
Length: 11′ 6″
Width: 29″
Weight: 57 lbs.
Capacity: 275 lbs.
Price: $1849

Revolution 13
Length: 13′ 5″
Width: 28.5″
Weight: 69.5 lbs.
Capacity: 350 lbs.
Price: $1999

Hobie Cat Company • Oceanside, CA • hobiefishing.com

2014 Feelfree Kayaks Lure 11.5

Feelfree LURE 11.5

A feature-packed fishing machine designed for stand-up fishing with standing platform and variable-height seat. Also features Feelfree’s “Wheel in the Keel.”

Length: 11′ 6″
Width: 36″
Weight: 69 lbs.
Capacity: 375 lbs.
Price: $1099

Feelfree US • Swannanoa, NC • feelfreeus.com

2014 Hobie Kayaks Mirage Pro Fishing Kayak

Hobie Kayaks MIRAGE PRO ANGLER 12 & 14

With stand-up stability and ample storage, the Mirage Pro Angler was designed for serious kayak fishermen. The easily adjustable Vantage seat makes sitting in the Pro Angler a joy, whether casting or pedaling.

Pro Angler 12
Length: 12′
Width: 36″
Weight: 98 lbs.
Capacity: 500 lbs.
Price: $2899

Pro Angler 14
Length: 13′ 8″
Width: 38″
Weight: 110 lbs.
Capacity: 600 lbs.
Price: $2999

Hobie Cat Company • Oceanside, CA • hobiefishing.com

2014 Jackson Kayaks Cuda Fishing Kayak

Jackson Kayak CUDA

Designed for big lakes, rivers and oceans, the Jackson Kayak Cuda is built to cover distance in a hurry. A center hatch and rod tip protector allows anglers to pack along extra rods to cover a wide range of fishing situations.

CUDA 12
Length: 12′ 6″
Width: 31″
Weight: 78 lbs.
Capacity: 350 lbs.
Price: $1299

CUDA 14
Length: 14′ 3″
Width: 30.5″
Weight: 80 lbs.
Capacity: 400 lbs.
Price: $1399

Jackson Kayak Co. • Sparta, TN • jacksonkayak.com

Jackson Kayaks Big Rig

Jackson Kayak BIG RIG

Incorporating all the features of Jackson Kayak’s other fishing kayaks into a bigger package, the Big Rig can handle fishing in just about any water here in the Northeast. A wide beam allows for super-stable stand-up fishing, and a leaning post helps anglers transition from sitting to standing without rocking the boat.

Length: 13′ 2″
Width: 37″
Weight: 92 lbs.
Capacity: 450 lbs.
Price: $1499

Jackson Kayak Co. • Sparta, TN • jacksonkayak.com

2014 Ocean Kayak Tetra Angler

Ocean Kayak TETRA ANGLER 10 & 12

For a smaller kayak, the Tetra Angler has big storage with two flush-mount rod hold- ers and a Mod Pod II center hatch that allows easy access to the rods from the seated position. The Comfort Hybrid Seat Back provides excellent back support.

ANGLER 10
Length: 10′ 8″
Width: 29.5″
Weight: 47 lbs.
Capacity: 275 lbs.
Price: $699

ANGLER 12
Length: 12′ 1″
Width: 28″
Weight: 53 lbs.
Capacity: 350 lbs.
Price: $799

Ocean Kayak • Old Town, ME • oceankayak.com

2014 Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Angler

Ocean Kayak TRIDENT 13 ANGLER

With a balance of speed, maneuverability and stability, the Ocean Kayak Trident performs beautifully when breaking through the surf or in rough seas. The transducer- compatible scupper and Sonar Shield compartment make it easy to rig.

Length: 13′ 6″
Width: 29.5″
Weight: 67 lbs.
Capacity: 475 lbs.
Price: $1099

Ocean Kayak • Old Town, ME • oceankayak.com

2014 Ocean Kayak Prowler II Big Game

Ocean Kayak PROWLER II BIG GAME

The Prowler Big Game has been updated for 2014. Ample storage, a stable, dry ride and comfortable Element Seating System makes this kayak appealing to fishermen of all experience levels.

Length: 12′ 9″
Width: 34″
Weight: 70 lbs.
Capacity: 600 lbs.
Price: $1249

Ocean Kayak • Old Town, ME • oceankayak.com

2014 Old Town Predator Fishing Kayak

Old Town PREDATOR 13 & MX

Engineered above and below the waterline to be the perfect fishing platform, the Predator family from Old Town has what it takes to target everything from small-pond largemouths to rough-seas stripers. The Predator comes loaded with features including a slip-resistant deck and the Element Seating System.

PREDATOR 13
Length: 13′ 2″
Width: 33.5″
Weight: 86 lbs.
Capacity: 425 lbs.
Price: $1299

MX
Length: 12′
Width: 34″
Weight: 82 lbs.
Capacity: 400 lbs.
Price: $1199

Old Town Canoe Co. • Old Town, ME • oldtowncanoe.com

2014 Pelican Premium Striker Fishing Kayak

Pelican Premium STRIKE 120 ANGLER

Clean lines and sleek design define the agile and sporty Strike series of kayaks. Maneuverable and stable, these sit-on-top kayaks offer plenty of speed, capacity and storage space.

Length: 13′
Width: 30″
Weight: 69 lbs.
Capacity: 350 lbs.
Price: $599

Pelican International Inc. • Laval, QC, Canada • pelicansport.com

Wavewalk Stand Up Kayak

Wavewalk

The Wavewalk Kayak’s unique twin hull allows for maximum stability and back-pain- free paddling. The Wavewalk works as a solo or tandem kayak, and can be operated via paddle or electric motor.

Length: 11′ 4″
Width: 28.5″
Weight: 60 lbs.
Capacity: 360 lbs.
Price: $1346 – $1842

Wavewalk, Inc. • Sharon, MA • wavewalk.com

Wilderness Rider 115X Fishing Kayak

Wilderness RIDE 115x ANGLER

The Wilderness Ride 115x provides big stability in a small kayak. The Phase 3 Airpro Elevated Seat gives an angler a higher vantage point and a more comfortable position to paddle and fish.

Length: 11′ 6″
Width: 33″
Weight: 80 lbs.
Capacity: 500 lbs.
Price: $1229

Wilderness Systems • Greenville, SC • wildernesssystems.com

FISHING CANOES

2014 Clipper Canoes Mackenzie

Clipper Canoes MacKenzie

The 20-foot MacKenzie paddles like a wilderness-tripping canoe, yet handles loads like a freighter canoe. Well suited for 3 to 4 adults with fishing and camping gear, this canoe could be your ticket to the fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Length: 20′
Width: 40″
Weight: Fiberglass 98lbs/ Kevlar 84lbs/ Ultralight 76lbs
Price: Fiberglass $2173/ Kevlar $2965/ Ultralight $3119

Clipper Canoes • Abbotsford, BC, Canada • clippercanoes.com

2014 Old Town Discovery 158

Old Town Discovery 158

Three-layer construction makes the Discovery a tough and rugged ride, designed to take a beating. It is also designed to be agile, stable and easy to handle.

Length: 15′ 8″
Width: 35.5″
Weight: 87 lbs.
Price: $899

Old Town Canoe Co. • Old Town, ME • oldtowncanoe.com

Clipper Canoes Yukon

Clipper Canoes Yukon

The Yukon is a great value in a versatile canoe that is built to last. It glides nicely, tracks well and resists being blown around in the wind.

Length: 16′ 8″
Width: 36″
Weight: 70 lbs.
Price: $1312

Clipper Canoes • Abbotsford, BC, Canada • clippercanoes.com

2014 Wenonah Canoe Fisherman

Wenonah Canoe Fisherman

This short, wide canoe is stable enough to allow big hooksets and lying back and relaxing. The slightly rockered bottom makes the Fisherman maneuverable, while the boat’s shallow draft will get you into places other boats only desire to go.

Length: 14′
Width: 39″
Weight: Royalex 59lbs/ Tuf-Weave Flex Core 49lbs/ Kevlar Flex Core 46lbs/ Kevlar Ultra-Light 36lbs
Price:Royalex $1399/ Tuf-Weave Flex Core $1899/ Kevlar Flex Core $2199/ Kevlar Ultra-Light $2399

Wenonah Canoe • Winona, MN • wenonah.com

2014 Old Town Camper 15 Canoe

Old Town Camper 15

The Camper 15 is a highly responsive boat that’s easy to maneuver and built with added depth for an extra margin of security. This canoe is lightweight and versatile enough to explore backwaters and take a solo daytrip on local streams.

Length: 14′ 10″
Width: 36″
Weight: 57 lbs.
Price: $1599

Old Town Canoe Co. • Old Town, ME • oldtowncanoe.com

Mad River Canoe Adventure 14

Mad River Canoe Adventure 14

The multi-chine shallow arch hull design provides smooth tracking and comforting stability and is constructed with polyethylene for superior durability. The Adventure 14 is packed with features like comfortable, padded molded seats with adjustable backrests, and plenty of space to store drinks, coolers, and cargo.

Length: 14′
Width: 37″
Weight: 75 lbs.
Price: $719

Mad River Canoe • Greenville, SC • madrivercanoe.com

  1. Tim Salmon

    What are you thinking? At Saltwater Kayak fishing tournaments the most popular brand is Hobie with Mirage drive. It looks like these kayaks were picked out by kayak salesmen.

    about 60% or more are Hobie

    The Author of most kayak fishing articles in your magazine (Eric Harrison) fishes from a Hobie Adventure,,,

    Please Put your biases aside and report on all kayaks.

    Reply
    • Eric

      Out of 17+ Kayaks in this article, 3 Were Hobie models. I think they did report on a variety of Kayaks. If you’re going to be dramatic, at least get your facts straight.

      Reply
  2. Paul

    Where’s Native kayaks? You left out the most important kayak of the year! The Slayer Propel.

    Reply
  3. margaret beresford

    Curious about any commentary from kayak association possibly having a problem with those that use peddle kayaks? I belong to a kayak club/association and wondered if my showing up with a sit-on-top peddle kayak would produce a question or two on authenticity? Respond please? Thanks and take care.

    Reply
  4. rob fernandes

    I think you should have included the Cobra brand, Fish+Dive and the Marauder. I have both,and I’ve fished Chatham,and Westport when small boats couldn’t. They both handle the ocean really well.

    Reply
  5. gary flynn

    NuCanoe is another choice that makes sense for in-shore fishing. Lots of room, very stable and not too heavy.

    Reply

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