Pedal Kayaks Buyers Guide Blog

Published March 7th, 2018 by Bernardo

Survey of 1.  What’s the number 1 mistake people make when buying their first pedal kayak for fishing?  They don’t try it before they buy it.  What!? Say that again??  Most people don’t try out their first pedal kayak for fishing before they buy it. 

A kayak should fit you like a well-tailored suit or gown. It should be comfortable, ergonomically sound, and easy to maneuver. With today’s variety of brands, models, pedal drives and accessories, a properly outfitted fishing kayak can be customized just for you.  The result will mean less fatigue, better distance, more time on the water, and a productive day catching fish.  No where is this more evident than by members of the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournaments who battle moderate seas, long hours, trophy worthy fish, and they make it look easy.

The first step in the process is to find a reputable kayak retailer who will let you try-it-before you buy it.  Generally this will be at a kayak specialty store with water access rather than at a big box retailer. Next, ask them for the name of the person who is their Kayak Fishing Specialist.  If they don’t have one, ask for a kayak outfitter. Schedule a day and time to meet him or her at the store.  If this seems odd, trust me on this.  It can easily take two hours for a knowledgeable outfitter recommending specific models and accessories by assessing your needs.  Allowing him or her this time to clear their schedule to spend with you will make all the difference in the world.  

First, they’ll get to know your fishing preferences, where your fish, what you fish for, and what you’d like to fish for.  Next, they’ll size you up for the right pedal fishing kayak to fish from.  Kayaks come in all shapes, sizes and weights.  One will be right for you. Hobie, the category leader, invented the pedal drive with its Mirage Drive. Native, Perception and Old Town all have their version of a pedal drive fishing kayak. Again, one will be right for you.

Once a kayak model has been selected, your kayak specialist will make some adjustments to fit the kayak to you and they will put it in the water for you to try out. Pedal position, seat type and seat height play a significant part of your comfort level. You might even try a few kayaks for comparison – akin to first test driving a car before you buy one.  Some kayak retailers host scheduled demo days. Demo days are an excellent time to try a variety of kayaks in a condensed period of time.

The final step in this process will be for the kayak specialist to outfit the kayak to your specific fishing requirements and budget. Some fishing kayaks these days resemble small fishing boats. They feature depth finders, fish finders, GPS units, motorized anchor poles, rod holders, rod pockets, Bluetooth entertainment systems, baitwells, livewells, fish boxes, wet & dry storage, 12-volt outlets and so much more. The icing on the cake? Mounted video cameras to record the memories of your record-breaking catch. All easily controlled from the comfort and safety of your seat.

Nothing is more exhilarating than going mano-a-mano with a record-breaking fish. Many fishing boat owners have added a pedal kayak to their fleet acknowledging the ease of launching it and speed in which they get out to the proving grounds, compared to rigging and launching their boat. It’s relatively quick and easy. So is having a pedal fishing kayak customized for you, now that you know how to go about it. Just remember these 6 little words… “Try-it-before-you-buy-it.”


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