Peddle boats explained…
Starting at about $1600 bucks, the peddle boats have fast become a force of their own. Models range from kayak styles to personal watercraft that bear little resemblance to the biggest paddling models. Dynamically different from paddling kayaks, there is no denying the acceptance of specialty fishing kayaks that some days, account for half the kayaks on the water. Begun by the name everyone knows, several companies now offer peddle driven fishing kayaks including sage manufacturers like Perception and Native Kayaks. Freshwater kayak fishing applications are unlimited and peddle-craft are used in all the coastal fisheries. Kayakfishing.com’s recommendation to “try before you buy” carries as much weight as the price tag when it comes to peddlecraft. “Demo days” with regional dealers, loaners from friends and 2 hour kayak rentals of the models you might consider are highly recommended in the selection process for any fishing kayak. If buying new, feel free to contact a guide here for referral to a dealer of good reputation. Buying used? Like scuba, surfing and other outdoor gear, just about every popular fishing kayak model from coast to coast gets used a few times then pops up for sale on Craigslist and regional forums a year or 2 after purchase. Look for pre-owned kayaks that often come with a slew of added accessories like paddle and PFD, dry bags and more, slashing the cost of gearing up or upgrading.
Spike’s Notes: “Asked early in my career to assess 5 or 6 Hobie brand kayaks for fishing, including the original Mirage, I panned them all for fishing and reckoned that we’d never hear from them again. That was my first consulting job to the section and my knowledge of kayaks and paddling was pretty raw back then. All I really cared about was “fishability” and seaworthiness. While all were great kayaks and most long proven, I just felt they weren’t a choice to modify for coastal fishing in comparison to a handful of other models being utilized for fishing around the country. Like Scuppers, Dolphins and Prisms with traditional designs. The Mirage was bitchen but built small and I was waaaaay too fed, at about 235#, to fish it. Or stay onboard without a struggle despite Walenda-like balance. Long story made short, Hobie’s President did call again a year or so later to ask if I’d run down to Oceanside and demo a new peddle kayak intended for fishing. To make a fairer evaluation, I brought a pro-straffer who was 45# lighter with a slighter build. We ran those prototype Outbacks, the widest things we’d ever seen, on a near glassy day. They ran fast, straight and stable with a responsive hand controlled rudder. The benefits of the peddle-drive were clear, this was a trolling machine and the beginning of specialty kayaks for specialty anglers.
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