July 20, 2016
Finally, after a long warmup here in Michigan, I was able to get out on the water and check out a newly revamped kayak from Perception, the pioneers of plastic kayaks. With today’s popularity in kayak fishing and sit-on-top kayaks, it seems fitting to take an already popular kayak and update it to be quite an impressive angler kayak for under $1,000. The Pescador Pro 120 by Perception does just that.
The Pescador Pro is a one-piece rotomolded kayak that comes in two sizes: 10 feet and 12 feet. The 10-foot kayak is more for river fishing. The 12-foot one gets you out on inland lakes to fish and yet it can still get on some of the bigger rivers as well.
After several outings in the kayak, I have yet to see water in the hull. The floor did not sag while being walked on and when sat on, I did not feel the deck give way. This rotomolded kayak is very strong. It has two marine-grade rubber and nylon handles screwed to the kayak at each end.
The 12-foot kayak weighs in at only 64 pounds. It was light enough to load up onto my truck’s kayak rack by myself and easy to pull to the lake access. The maximum on-board weight is an impressive 375 pounds, so there is room to spare for gear on the 32.5-inch wide stable platform.
The rear tankwell includes bungee lashing to store your gear. (Photo courtesy of Gary Elliott)
The back has bungee lashing to hold your tackle bag or dry bags during a river trip and the front has a mesh cover to keep items covered from the sun and from falling out. There’s not a ton of storage, but for the size, it is maximized. Hull access is another story. If you are one who likes to have access to the inside of the hull, to run wire or hold rods, then you have one opening in the stern storage area. There is a spot under the front of the seat that seems to have the ability to be turned into an access point by putting your own round hatch in. This would give you some mid-hull access.
One of the impressive items on this kayak is the console area for mounting a fish finder. When you mount on the lid of the console, there is an access hole for your wire to run down to the battery storage area. Then, going out the front to a scupper hole is where you would mount your transducer. This helps keep your fish finder gear hidden and organized. Unlike some of the higher-priced yaks that allow you to take the whole unit with you for security and convenience, you will need to detach your fish finder from this kayak and take everything out and with you.
The Perception Pescador 120 Pro Kayak features a removable stadium-style seat. (Photo courtesy of Gary Elliott)
The mesh stadium style seat is another great feature of this kayak. It was very comfortable and the mesh kept me from sweating on some recent long hot days. The seat is held in place by three bungees and is adjustable from upright to recline, but not forward or back. The bungees worked just fine and at no time did I feel the seat moving around.
A small recessed spot just in front of the seat allows you to store a mid-size plastic storage container. Depending on the container you purchase, you can use it to keep lures, keys or other valuables secure and dry. You can also utilize the console area to keep items secure, but it’s not a watertight area and was designed to keep your fish finder battery in.
The molded side handles are great for carrying and did not fatigue my hands or cut into them. This made it very nice to handle the kayak. In front of you, there is a molded cup holder for keeping your beverage accessible. Then behind you, are two molded rod holders and surprisingly enough, they put nylon pad eyes to attach your leashes for rods (a nice little touch there). They are molded in, therefore they are not the best rod holders. You could upgrade them with third-party accessories though.
On each side of the cockpit are orange YakAttack gear tracks that can be used to mount items. (Photo courtesy of Gary Elliott)
Another item worth mentioning are the 12-inch YakAttack gear tracks. They provide enough track to mount a couple of items on each side. I received the Moss Camo color accented with orange bungees and gear track, which I thought, looked pretty cool. Other colors available are Red Tiger Camo, Sea Spray and Sunset.
How about paddling and tracking? The kayak has a 14.5-inch deck height and it paddled effortlessly on calm days, as well as light windy days. There was one day where the wind was whipping up on the lake, but the kayak was still was manageable even without a rudder, but you still got moved around some. Tracking was very impressive for this kayak. It stayed straight and did not require a lot of compensating. Turning using the paddle was easy and it turned quite well for a 12-foot kayak. Not being a kayak stander I did have a couple people try it out and they were very surprised by the stability of it and one of the guys actually did a little site casting from it. The one thing it could use is a stand up leash to assist you, but again, that can be purchased separately.
Overall, the kayak was more than I had anticipated for the price and I found little things that surprised me while using it, but as I went through it there also were things like better hull access, better rod holders or maybe a hatch for the front, all of that adds cost to the kayak. So, looking at the cost of the kayak compared to some others around the same price I felt it competed with those kayaks and in some ways was in a class of its own. For a kayak under $1,000, prepared to go fishing in, this does the trick without a doubt. And in time gives you some opportunity to do some minimum upgrades yourself.
For more information, please visit www.PerceptionKayaks.com.
Review written by Gary Elliott, facilitator of www.Facebook.com/GarysOutdoorNewsandReviews and @garys_outdoor_news_and_reviews.