Skip to main content

New Breed of Fishing Kayaks Packed with Features

We take a look at the latest self-propelled fishing crafts unveiled at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Fishing kayaks have come a long way in recent years, as has the sport of kayak fishing.

My first fishing kayak quite a few years back was a pretty straightforward sit-in design that had two rod holders and a storage slot for a milk crate toward the stern.

While that kayak served me well, today’s dedicated fishing ’yaks are so feature-packed and accessory-compatible that they are offering kayak anglers never-before-seen levels of usability and versatility.

A number of new kayaks were shown off to the public and media at ICAST 2019 this year in Orlando. Below are some of those new ’yaks and a little bit of info about each new model.


Feelfree US 3 Waters Kayaks Big Fish 108

ICASTKayaks
Feelfree US 3 Waters Kayaks Big Fish 108 (Photo by Drew Warden)

This new kayak is the latest in the company’s Big Fish series, and it is built around the new Pro Fish Pedal Drive propulsion system. That’s paired with Feelfree’s intuitive 8-Ball steering system and an oversized Beaver Tail rudder. The Big Fish 108 also features a Cathedral-type hull design for solid stability and great maneuverability, even with its fairly wide design. The kayak is a little bit longer than 10 feet in length and has a weight capacity of 400 pounds. $1,799 3WatersKayaks.com


Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 with 360 Drive Technology

ICASTKayaks
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 with 360 Drive Technology (Photo by Drew Warden)

Hobie’s latest is chock-full of features for the kayak angler, not the least of which is the MirageDrive 360 propulsion system with Kick-Up Fins. This system allows the angler an unprecedented array of movements — literally in any direction. Forward. Backward. Sideways. And every degree in between. Hobie’s website has some really cool videos illustrating the impressive maneuverability of these ’yaks. The Kick-Up Fins, meanwhile, automatically retract upon impact, which allows anglers to go shallower than they have been able to go with previous pedal-driven systems. Add in Hobie’s Vantage Seat for comfort and a host of other built-in angler-friendly features, and this is truly a versatile fishing machine for the serious kayak angler. $4,799 Hobie.com

Jackson Kayak Kilroy HD

ICASTKayaks
Jackson Kayak Kilroy HD (Photo by Drew Warden)

Although many of today’s purpose-built fishing kayaks are of the sit-on-top variety, sit-in ’yaks still definitely have a place. Jackson Kayak’s new Kilroy HD offers an incredibly versatile sit-in option with a number of great features. The new hull has been reshaped from the previous Kilroy model for additional storage and stability, and the kayak includes Bow2Stern gear-and-seat track systems. The layout has also been reworked to offer a diverse functionality that extends beyond fishing. The modular setup allows for customization based on intended use, so hunters can add in duck decoy bins or a kennel cot; or a casting brace or a second seat can even be added. $1,295 JacksonKayak.com

Old Town Topwater 120 PDL

ICASTKayaks
Old Town Topwater 120 PDL(Photo by Drew Warden)

The newest member of Old Town’s Topwater line, the 12-foot 120 PDL offers a hands-free, pedal-drive kayak along with a lot of great fishing features. The PDL pedal-driven system itself comes with a 5-year warranty, and a rudder is included with the ’yak. The DoubleU hull offers solid stability and a 500-pound weight capacity, meaning it can be loaded up with fishing tackle and gear. The 120 PDL’s universal transducer mounting systems allows for any fishfinder to be placed without excess hassle. Add in a comfortable and breathable ElementAir seat and rod storage options, and it’s a potent angling tool for kayakers. $2,150 OldTownCanoe.com

Jackson Kayak YuPIK

ICASTKayaks
Jackson Kayak YuPIK (Photo by Drew Warden)

Another highly versatile option from Jackson Kayak, this sit-on-top watercraft has full Bow2Stern track systems, which include gunnel tracks and seat tracks, and storage pockets placed along the length of the kayak. The YuPIK also incorporates a moving standing pad system, the company’s StrapDown gear track for 360-degree storage security and a new, fully trimmable seat pan. This kayak is very customizable to fit the task at hand, whether it’s fishing, hunting or just paddling along with family or friends. $1,295 JacksonKayak.com


Wilderness Systems Kayaks Recon 120

ICASTKayaks
Wilderness Systems Kayaks Recon 120 (Photo by Drew Warden)

Developing a kayak with a pedal-drive propulsion system is a natural progression for makers of traditional, paddle-powered crafts, and that’s exactly what Wilderness Systems Kayaks has done with their launch of the Recon 120 at ICAST 2019. The kayak is the manufacturer’s first with a pedal-driven system. The layout of the Recon 120 is left pretty open with tracks appearing to be found on each side, a front storage compartment and an elevated chair for comfort. The design of the Recon 120 also looks to be kept wide enough for improved stability for those fishing from a standing position. $1,999 WildernessSystems.com

Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5

ICASTKayaks
Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5 (Photo by Drew Warden)

This new offering from Perception Kayaks offers abundant features at a very reasonable price point. Tailor-made with the angler in mind, the Outlaw 11.5 utilizes a wide and stable pontoon-style hull with a walkable deck from stern to bow. A high-perch seat offers comfort on the water; however, it can also be easily removed and stored on the kayak for those preferring to fish standing up. In this same seating area, there is storage space for a fairly large cooler. The Outlaw 11.5 comes ready to accept a motor or Power-Pole, and “double barrel” rod holders on each side of the kayak offer storage or a trolling setup for a total of four rods. Lots of angler-friendly features at an accessible price. $649 PerceptionKayaks.com

Pelican International CATCH PWR 100

ICASTKayaks
Pelican International CATCH PWR 100 (Photo by Drew Warden)

As kayak fishing has evolved over the years, many folks have been modifying their ’yaks with trolling motors to help expand their fishing capabilities. The CATCH PWR 100 takes this further. Designed from the ground up for use with an electric or gas motor, this watercraft is perfect for the kayak angler not looking to paddle or pedal to their next fishing spot. Built for serious fishing pursuits, the kayak has a 500-pound weight capacity, features a built-in transom and comes equipped with fat wheels for easy transport. $1,300 PelicanSport.com


Pelican International CATCH 110 HYDRYVE

ICASTKayaks
Pelican International CATCH 110 HYDRYVE (Photo by Drew Warden)

A little shorter than the company’s CATCH 130 HYDRYVE, the new 10-foot, 6-inch CATCH 110HD includes Pelican’s Ergocast G2 seating system for maximum comfort and a host of other useful angling features. Like the 130, the 110HD has tracks on each side of the ’yak for accessory mounting as well as ample bungies for storage. It also features a patented tunnel hull design, rod holders and Pelican’s RAM-X Premium construction. $1,300 PelicanSport.com

Vibe Kayaks Shearwater 125

ICASTKayaks
Vibe Kayaks Shearwater 125 (Photo by Drew Warden)

The new Shearwater 125 from Vibe Kayaks is jam-packed with features and a very well-thought-out design and layout that offers anglers a ton of versatility. To start with, anglers can choose from three different propulsion methods — traditional paddle, foot drive or Bixpy jet motor (price varies with each option). There are ample rod storage options onboard, with both horizontal and vertical choices (four of each). There’s also a removable sealed fishfinder pod with built-in transducer mount and four different integrated top-loading gear tracks. The kayak’s Vibe Summit seat flips up and down and offers a sitting/standing perch. Add in tackle tray holders and an assortment of other helpful amenities, and it’s easy to see just how much versatility and performance the Shearwater 125 offers — and all at a very tolerable price. $1,300 VibeKayaks.com

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 120

ICASTKayaks
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 120 (Photo by Drew Warden)

This 12-foot sit-on-top kayak offers a lot of great angling features at an affordable price point. The Yellowfin 120 comes equipped with a rudder-ready hull, 10 integrated top-loading gear tracks, rod stagers, rod holders and a number of other useful items. It utilizes Vibe’s Hero seat, which folds down flat and has a lower support bar in the back for comfort. The kayak itself is also quite lightweight at just 64 pounds. Despite this, it supports a fairly hefty weight capacity of 400 pounds. $799 VibeKayaks.com

Other Options

ICASTKayaks
Panther Martin/Sea Eagle SUPCat 10 (Photo by Drew Warden)

While the above represent more clear-cut kayak designs, in recent years there’s also been a lot of interest in stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) and hybrids that feature elements of both types of watercraft. Some prime examples from the show include the Panther Martin/Sea Eagle SUPCat 10, the Kaku Kayak Zulu, the BOTE Lono Aero Kayak and the Pelagic Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard.

The Kaku Zulu perhaps most closely resembles a traditional kayak, in terms of material and overall look, but it definitely incorporates some SUP design aspects. The other three utilize inflatable materials for easy on-the-go usage. The SUPCat10 comes ready to attach a small motor and features a stable deck from which to stand and cast. Like the SUPCat10, the Lono Aero utilizes a drop stitch construction. It has an adjustable seat, self-draining cockpit, storage for various gear and rods and comes ready to mount a Power-Pole Micro or BOTE’s Sandspear stakeout and push pole for shallow-water fishing.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express Maxima RED Contour and D-Stroyer PileDRIVER arrows.

New for 2021: Excalibur Crossbow, BowTech Bows, TightSpot Quiver, Ripcord Rests, Black Gold Sights

New for 2021: Excalibur Crossbow, BowTech Bows, TightSpot Quiver, Ripcord Rests, Black Gold Sights

New for 2021 are several hunter-defined products, such as the Excalibur TwinStrike Crossbow, BowTech Solution and Solution SS Bows, TightSpot Pivot 2.5 Quiver, Ripcord Cage and Code Red X arrowrests, and Black Gold Pro FX and Pro Hunter HD sights.

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

After a fall of testing new 2021 Mathews products on the road as he filmed new episodes for Bowhunter Magazine's television program, editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, Mathews design engineer, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

ATA 2021 NeDuring this video from the Archery Trade Association's New Product Premiere showcase, Bowhunter's TV Mike Carney visited with Evan Williams, pro staff manager for Hoyt Archery, to learn about the new RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum and Ventum 33 bows.w Product - Hoyt

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and the ability to move their boat in any direction desiredAmazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System Other Fishing

Amazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System

OSG Editorial Staff - November 01, 2020

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control...

11 broadheads new to the expandable-blade market this year — ATA Show.New Expandable Blade Broadheads for 2021 ATA Show

New Expandable Blade Broadheads for 2021

Lynn Burkhead - January 12, 2021

11 broadheads new to the expandable-blade market this year — ATA Show.

Refined, durable and well-appointed to provide shooters and hunters with O/U shotguns loaded for performance at affordable prices.New for 2021: Mossberg Reserve Series Over/Under Shotguns SHOT Show

New for 2021: Mossberg Reserve Series Over/Under Shotguns

Game and Fish Staff - January 19, 2021

Refined, durable and well-appointed to provide shooters and hunters with O/U shotguns loaded...

These affordable designs are big on features, short on cash outlay — ATA Show.New Crossbows Under $600 for 2021 ATA Show

New Crossbows Under $600 for 2021

Lynn Burkhead - January 14, 2021

These affordable designs are big on features, short on cash outlay — ATA Show.

See More Trending Articles

More ICAST

Fully customizable, this new tackle storage system can be configured for nearly any use.New for ICAST: Plano's EDGE Flex Series Other Fishing

New for ICAST: Plano's EDGE Flex Series

Game & Fish Staff - July 06, 2020

Fully customizable, this new tackle storage system can be configured for nearly any use.

New gear for kids and beginners from the annual fishing trade show.New Fishing Gear for Young Anglers — ICAST 2020 ICAST

New Fishing Gear for Young Anglers — ICAST 2020

Game & Fish Staff - July 16, 2020

New gear for kids and beginners from the annual fishing trade show.

These nets make it easy to land and release your catch safely and quickly.Floating Trout Nets from Frabill — New for ICAST Other Fishing

Floating Trout Nets from Frabill — New for ICAST

Game & Fish Staff - July 10, 2020

These nets make it easy to land and release your catch safely and quickly.

Innovation, customization, continue to lead the way in fishing-tackle storage.ICAST 2020: New Tackle-Management Systems ICAST

ICAST 2020: New Tackle-Management Systems

Game & Fish Staff - July 16, 2020

Innovation, customization, continue to lead the way in fishing-tackle storage.

See More ICAST

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now