Hey guys, today I’m gonna do a video on one of the most requested topics I ever get and that’s selecting a fishing kayak.
All right so probably the most no not probably definitely the most requested topic that I get is what’s the best fishing kayak you would recommend for under $500.
So you know I’m not a big fan of cheap, there’s a difference between cheap and inexpensive. Cheap is not gonna be durable cheap is not gonna last you and you’re gonna end up spending twice as much for cheap.
So if you’re gonna buy a kayak that’s under 215 that 250 to $300 range you’re probably gonna be buying a disposable kayak.
I’m not a big fan of telling people to wait I do want you to get on the water as soon as you possibly can there is that threshold and that threshold is generally that 350 to 500 dollar mark before you’re going to get into a quality kayak.
Perception Pescador – Best Intermediate Fishing Kayak
Perception Pescador this boat actually used to be the tarpon 100 in the wilderness systems line.
The folks at confluence outdoors take their dated wilderness systems boats and they put them in the perception line so starting from the front we’re gonna work away to the back.
I’m just going to go over some of the basic features:
- It’s got a simple grab handle at the front.
- Really easy transition.
- Not a lot of crazy technology but nothing you know.
- Really poorly designed about the whole simple round bottom flat in the middle it’s got these peel off rubber style hatches.
- You’ve got a lanyard inside here to keep it from flying off and you can stow some gear on the inside, keep in mind when you’re stowing gear on the inside of any fishing kayak it’s not waterproof so if you’re gonna stick something inside and make sure you have it in a dry bag.
One of the great things about these kayaks is they’re pretty simple but they’ve got some consideration putting into them from the beginning you’ve got:
- A nice little mounting areas right here for rod holders.
- Nothing fancy with your foot braces these foot braces are just rigid little places for you to put your feet.
- A couple of deck loops for you to mount stuff on they do have a surface area here that allow you to add a track after the fact.
- Simple grab handles easy straightforward.
- It’s got a padded seat to keep you up out of the water it’s got a real simple rigid back with these bungee cords that hold it up it’s pretty stiff.
- It’s got good back support not super high so it works great with the mesh back and the elevated foam seat back.
- Another little gear hatch right here for throwing add a baggy and dry bag access to the inside of the hole
- For installing rod holders and things like that just a pretty straightforward approach it’s got a square pack back.
So if you’re looking for that best kayak under $500 and you’re under 300 pounds to get you into the world of kayak fishing inexpensively the perception Pescador is a great start.
One of the things that I’ll point out that these entry-level boats don’t have is they don’t have protection on your keel.
So this is the basic vote in the boat that I would recommend in that sub $500 range the perception Pescador team.
Perception Pescador Pro – Best Intermediate Fishing Kayak.
Let’s take a look at the perception Pescador Pro where you’re stepping up into that intermediate class and see what you get when you step up a couple of hundred bucks.
Alright, guys so now we’re gonna move into the next level of fishing kayak what I like to class the intermediate fishing kayak so the one that I’m gonna recommend for you is the perception Pescador Pro.
- So same basic handle in the front one of the things you’re going to get with a little bit more advanced or intermediate kayak is some thoughtfulness in design meaning they put some things in it to make it easier for you to throw a gear bag in here.
- This kayak has a mesh gear retention strap at the front. It’s got a little single scupper in here so that you’ve got easy access you can also use this as a transducer scupper for your depth finder.
- Because it’s got a cool little integrated electronics pod right here you can put your battery in there and mount your depth finder run your cord right here and install a depth finder.
- Got a couple of cut-outs for laying your rod in got a more adjustable foot pedal one where you can slide the pedals fore and aft it’s just a little bit more thoughtfulness in design again carrying it on back.
- One of the things you’re going to get with an intermediate kayak is you’re going to get a larger seat what that larger seat is going to do is also going to accommodate larger paddlers.
Now obviously I’ve been blessed in my career and I paddle the best stuff out there but this boat right here is definitely one of those entry-level boats that’s going to give you everything you need but maybe not everything you want to. Keep that in mind but at the price point of a little over $700 it pretty much comes with everything you need.
- The seat is easy to remove so that allows you to do things like repaired if you have any issues it allows you to access the cockpit.
- If you need to make any kind of mounting or rigging adjustments it does come with tracks integrated into the boat, the mold is where the track is installed.
- It’s going to allow you to install roll rod holders without doing any drilling, it’s going to allow you to put depth finders on their transducer arms things like that so it just gives you right out of the box a lot more versatility.
- The back this kayak has got a couple of flush mount rod holders made right into it they keep it pretty simple you don’t have to drill holes in the boat, these things basically are just you stick a rod in there it keeps them straight up behind you.
- A little bit bigger tank well a little bit more complex bungee system a couple more fittings put in there little quick releases so you can just throw your gear bag in there bring that bungee over the top strap it and lock it.
- Now one thing about the Pescador Pro is it’s going to be a wider hull design it’s going to be a little more stable and it’s an entry level standing fishing platform.
- One of the least expensive boats on the market I should say that you can actually stand and fish.
- The perception Pescador Pro is the least expensive boat on the market that is equipped with that sacrificial keel. What that’s going to do is it’s going to allow you to really beat that boat up. Then before you drag through the hole you send replace that sacrificial keel for 10 to 15 bucks in your back in business. So that’s definitely something to keep in mind when you start talking about purchasing a fishing kayak.
So if you’re looking for that entry-level boat the perception Pescador 10 and like I said it comes in an upgraded 12 a version for a little longer sleeker faster boat and then the pescador pro 10 which also comes in a 12 a version in the intermediate class
Advance Wilderness Systems Radar
ow let’s take a look at some of the advanced fishing kayaks on the market and what you get for your money.
We’re gonna talk about some of the most advanced fishing kayaks on the market peddling kayaks have become super popular and almost every manufacturer out there now offers a kayak that can be pedaled.
Manufacturers like Hobie started with the mirage drive native was the first kayak with the pedal style kayak to go into reverse and then wilderness systems have recently offered the new Hilux pedal Drive.
The reason that we’re choosing this boat to talk about in the advanced categories it’s one of those boats that do it all!
It’s the wilderness systems radar and this is the 11 foot 11 and a half a version to 115 but again this boat also comes in a 13 and 1/2 foot boat in the radar 135.
So this boat is basically a boat that is designed to paddle to pedal or to power. Alright, so what that means is this boat can be paddled it’s got a good hold design super efficient in the water super stable for standing and it’s got everything you need to get started in an upper-end fishing kayak.
The great thing about this kayak is if you are a peddler and you like to pedal you can add the helix PD pedal module by removing the console that’s in the center. If you want to use a powered version you simply remove the Flex pod and install the helix motor drive.
That allows this boat to be pedaled, it allows it to be paddled or it allows it to be powered.
- So starting at the front, one of the things you’re going to get on a premium fishing kayak is you’re gonna get rigid handles, you’re then gonna have really you know clever paddle parks in places to hide your paddle.
- You’re gonna have really premium hatches that are more easy to operate that have waterproof seals in them and then have Swiper latches that allow you to lock these things in place and be a lot more waterproof and lockable.
- Coming on back you’re going to have improved foot pedals that have a rubberised surface on them you’re gonna have a larger footprint you’re gonna have more adjustability in your foot brace locations and just a little bit more durability.
- The cockpit design in a lot of cases has a cut-out so you can add traction padding something that’s going to allow the boat to be quieter you’re gonna have more hatch access to the inside of the boat like this square hatch in the center of the radar 115.
- Then more importantly in the place that most kayaks and the advanced category jump up in price is the cost and the technology.
- The build-out price of the more advanced seats this seat has got these wiper style adjustments on it we loosen that up and then you can slide the seat forward aft to trim the load of the angler back and forth. Then for you, duck hunters sunbathers book readers and those takers out there it also kicks into what’s called the lean position.
- So that’s a really clever concept you just grab the strap and pop it back up and it’s in the hot position and then working your way back these boats just have a lot more plastic, they have a lot more specific designs for functionality.
- When you work your way to the back you’re gonna have a more rigid handle. You’re gonna have some inserts that will allow you to add a motor mount, a power pole mount. They’re going to come rigged and ready for a rudder.
- These advanced Kayaks are going to have that sacrificial keel that allows you to really beat that boat up. That allows you to put that boat through some serious abuse and then change the keel for a few bucks.
- The great thing about these boats is you don’t have to add much to them. When it comes to rigging you can add track mounted accessories you can add track mounted gear to it. But for most parts of the boat comes with everything you need to hop on the water and go fishing.
One thing to keep in mind as you’re working your way up the property ladder if you will a fishing kayaks is that the more expensive kayak you buy the more it’s going to retain its value.
I definitely don’t recommend skimping on your paddle and I don’t recommend skimping on your PFD that’s something you’re gonna have probably for the life of your kayak fishing career at least in the paddle and your PFD is your first line of defense for saving your life.
Native Watercraft Titan
I’m excited about the evolution of the sport so let me take you everything to show you one more boat that is kind of pushing the limits of the kayak fishing market and that is this native watercraft Titan.
This is an oversized single person boat but it’s in the kayak category because it’s operated by an individual angler. It’s made out of roto molded plastic and it’s got a lot of the same features as a fishing kayak it’s just kind of over-done they’re dreaming big.
- This boat is operated by natives peddle drive the propelled system that system is time-tested. It was the first on the market and that’s the type of pedal drive they were the first true the reverse
- It’s got a lot of well-thought-out features it’s got the tracks in it it’s made of premium plastic. It comes with hatch. This boat has actually got a foam injected into the inside of it to increase rigidity and increase buoyancy.
- It comes with a really nice track padding installed on it. It’s got under seat storage a really high in a first class seat.
- Huge tank well some really well-thought-out offset rod holder stager and things like that.
- Comes power-pole ready in the back with a couple of plates back here a trans amount that they make that goes in the center.
- Because this is a bigger boat and it’s heavy you’re gonna have two handles in the back so you can lift that thing up and get it into your pickup truck on top of your SUV or into our own to the trailer.
So again guys listen if you’re looking to get started and not spend a lot of money look at that Pescador. If you want to start somewhere in the middle check out the Pescador Pro. And if you want an advanced kayak that’s going to do it all and paddle well check out the wilderness systems radar.
Very Important to Try it Before Buying.
But before you do any of this if you have access to a premium paddle shot okay. If you have access to a place to go talk to a staff member that knows what they’re doing if you have the ability to get on the water and try it before you buy it.
If you have a local club in the area where anglers in that club can let you try their boat at little meet-and-greets and get-togethers. Then I definitely make recommend that you try before you buy, if you can’t try before you buy I hope this video serves as a good baseline for where to start and how to make a proper decision when it comes to selecting your first fishing kayak.
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