Best 5 Pedal Fishing Kayaks

Pedal kayaks are still enjoying a relatively newfound popularity, and yet more and more manufacturers are beginning to bring out kayaks that feature a pedal drive system. 

Before we go any further, let us first just clear something up. Pedal kayaks are not the “lazy” way out, nor do they take away from the commitment or the skills that are required for a hobby like fishing kayaking. What they do let you do is focus on fishing over paddling. 

Among other advantages, this type of kayak takes the physical exertion out of fishing kayaking by leaving the work to your legs rather than keeping your hands preoccupied with paddling. Instead, they are free to hold your fishing rod so you can focus on getting a catch! 

We go into more detail about some of the other benefits a pedal fishing kayak can provide in our buyer’s guide, and this also explains which factors are the most important to consider when you’re thinking of buying a new kayak.

Plus, we’ve researched and reviewed 5 of the best pedal fishing kayaks currently available to give you a few good ideas to start with.

OUR TOP PICK

Perception Kayaks Perception Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat and Tackle Storage Areas | 12' | Grasshopper

First up, we have the Perception Pescador Pilot fishing kayak which is really the captain of the waters when it comes to kayak fishing.

With plenty of storage space, you can easily fit your cooler, tackle, and gear in either the front or rear open storage to keep everything safe.

The pedal-driven performance is impressive with its efficient and removable Pilot Drive pedal system, although it has a price tag that means you would expect this level of quality. It’s the most expensive option we’ve included in our list but it’s a great option to consider if you can. 

Durability and safety are equally as strong selling points for this kayak as the leak-proof, one-piece construction features built-in buoyancy and several other safety features to keep you calm when you’re out on the water in the case of an emergency. 

Lastly, the reason this pedal fishing kayak takes the crown is because of the superior comfort levels it can offer. Designed for longer trips where comfort is key, the Pescador Pilot is spacious, cool, and adjustable so you can find the most comfortable position for pedaling.

Pros

  • Capacity: Don’t worry about packing lightly as there’s a max weight limit of 475 lbs.  
  • Features: Packed with plenty of fishing-friendly features that make it a good value for money option, such as integrated accessory rails on both gunwales to hold your fish finder and rod holders.
  • Portable: The boat itself only weighs 85 lbs so you’ll be able to carry it on your own. 
  • Comfortable: The fully adjustable seating is manufactured using zonal mesh for improved airflow and cooling.

Cons

  • Storage: The storage space may be generously sized, but there’s no designated dry storage area so your belongings are at a higher risk of getting wet.

EDITORS CHOICE

Perception Crank 10 | Sit on Top Pedal Kayak | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | 10' | Dapper

Yep, that is a second Perception kayak you see. Just like our top pick, this next option is one of the best you’ll find in pedal fishing kayaks, although it’s a slightly more affordable alternative if you’re looking to spend a little less without compromising on quality. 

It’s the perfect choice if you’re planning on taking a trip to your local lake, pond, or calm coastal waters and the pedal drive system allows you to easily maneuver on the water, like traveling forwards and backward, for example, without removing the drive from the kayak. 

The captain of this kayak will find themselves sitting in a comfortable chair that can be folded, adjusted, or removed entirely to suit your preferences and you’ll have enough space to move around in without difficulty.

You should be able to travel with the kayak from one location to another with relative ease as it features rigid carry handles at both the front and the rear which gives you something to hold onto while you transport, mount, or dismount the kayak. 

Pros

  • Removable pedal drive: It’s lightweight and easy to stow when you don’t need it or easy and efficient to use when you do. 
  • Multi-functional: You’ll have just as much fun using it for fishing or play. 
  • Portable: It’s easy to load and unload the kayak onto your vehicle and there are carry handles that allow you to transport it between places.

Cons

  • Missing parts: Some customers report that parts were missing that should have been included with the purchase.
  • No instructions: It can be tricky to set up and set off as there is no instructions manual provided. 

BEST VALUE

BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Blue Camo)

Next up, we have the BKC PK13 which is great for having fun outdoors or for cruising along calm waters to relax.

The highly efficient propeller means you can store your paddle in the paddle keeper for hands-free fishing which will be music to any angler’s ears. 

You’ll go faster than ever with the pedal drive system with the ability to go backward or to stop at any time. If you want, you could also upgrade this to a trolling motor which would make your job even easier! 

One of the things we love about this kayak is how stable it’s able to remain even on choppy waters. It’s durable with a one-piece high-density polyethylene exterior that can withstand harsh weather conditions and transportation without sustaining damage.

As with many of these kayaks, there are several features that make it the ideal choice for angling purposes such as the multiple rod holders and front cover storage which will keep your gear and belongings safe and dry for the duration of your fishing trip. 

Pros

  • Pedal system: The rotational pedal drive means you’ll be faster yet you’ll exert less energy propelling the kayak forward so you can reserve this extra energy for fishing. 
  • Capacity: The maximum weight limit for this kayak is a generous 550 lbs. 
  • Portable: The kayak weighs just 80 lbs so you’ll be able to transport it with ease. 
  • Stable: Enjoy smooth movements and travel across the water with accurate tracking.

Cons

  • Replacement parts: It can be difficult to get a hold of replacement parts if there are any issues with the kayak down the line.

RUNNER UP

Wilderness Systems Radar 115 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Premium Angler Kayak | 11' 6'

Next, we have the Wilderness Systems Radar 115 pedal fishing kayak, another sit-on-top option and the most affordable kayak we’ve included in our bunch of reviews.

Despite this, it offers its bestselling tri-powered paddle, power, and pedal capabilities for your convenience. 

The flat platform provides extra stability and allows you to stand with more freedom of movement and less worry about ending up overboard. It also features S.M.A.R.T. Hull technology which enhances its stability further, as well as improving maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness, and tracking. 

It’s highly comfortable even when you’re taking this kayak out for a longer trip. This is thanks to the AirPro Max Seat which can be adjusted between 3 positions and can be positioned as far forwards or backward on the kayak as you like.

Plus, there are padded footrests that can also be adjusted to suit the length of your legs and to give you enough room to move in.

There are also plenty of features that make this a particularly popular choice for angling including SlideTrax rails which can hold your accessories, numerous storage hatches, a front paddle park, and whatever else you think you’ll need. 

Pros

  • Price: Not only does it offer great value for money, but it’s already affordable to begin with and it’s the cheapest option you’ll find on this list. 
  • Features: There are numerous features and separate accessories that can be bought and used with this kayak, such as the Flex Pod OS which is a removable pod for your fish finder, batteries, cables, or the pedal or motor drive.
  • Hands-free fishing: Utilizing the pedal drive or the SlideTrax rails allows you to focus on the fishing as your hands will be free from the constraints of the paddles. 
  • Agility: Highly maneuverable on the water for easy steering and accurate navigation.

Cons

  • Missing parts: Some customers report that parts were missing that should have been included with the purchase.

RUNNER UP

BKC PK11 Angler 10.5-Foot Sit On Top Solo Fishing Kayak w/Instant Reverse Pedal Drive, Hand Control Rudder, Paddle, and Upright Seat (Red)

Lastly, we looked at another BKC kayak which is the PK11 Angler sit-on-top pedal kayak, perfect for a number of purposes but particularly fishing.

It’s ideal because it is packed with accessories and features that are designed to be as convenient as possible for the user. 

For example, it features 3 built-in fishing rod holders which allow you to either set up multiple lines at the same time or store your other rods neatly and out of the way.

The pedal drive system is fast and efficient as well as requiring minimal effort to propel yourself forward. You can come to a swift halt or put it in reverse by just pedaling backward, or you can even choose to upgrade it to a trolling motor if you should desire.

This is also one of the most stable pedal kayaks we’ve looked at thanks to the specially crafted roto-molded, single-piece, high-density polyethylene material which offers superior quality and performance and can move with agility across the water’s surface. 

Pros

  • Pedal system: The rotational pedal drive means you’ll be faster yet you’ll exert less energy propelling the kayak forward so you can reserve this extra energy for fishing. 
  • Comfortable: It comes with an ergonomic aluminum frame seat and the rotational pedal system is more comfortable to use.
  • Navigation: Hand-operated rudder controls allow you to track whilst you're already underway and can make your steering sharper and more effective.

Cons

  • Capacity: You’ll need to be slightly more selective with what you pack as there is a maximum weight limit of 420 lbs, making this one of the lowest capacity kayaks we’ve included. 

Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks Buying Guide

After seeing 5 of the best options that are available when it comes to buying a new pedal fishing kayak, you may still have some questions regarding what things you should consider, and what factors you should prioritize to choose the perfect pedal kayak to suit your needs.

To help answer anything that we haven’t already made clear, here are some of the key things to look out for when you’re thinking about buying a new pedal fishing kayak. 

Types of Pedal Drive

First, let’s take a look at the different types of pedal drive kayaks you can purchase. 

The two different types of pedal fishing kayaks are a push-pedal drive and a rotational pedal drive. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages so it will ultimately come down to your own personal preference, but here are the differences laid out for you to decide: 

Push Pedal Drives 

A kayak with a push pedal drive is operated by your feet in a way that’s very similar to how you would work a hand pump, just… using your feet. This will propel you forward with more momentum but it’s not particularly comfortable for you as you’re pedaling. 

The repetitive strenuous movement can actually be harmful and can have consequences that your legs will not thank you for. The common effects felt after a trip in one of these kayaks can include cramping or aching in your legs, back pain, and muscle damage. 

Rotational Pedals

Similar to propeller pedal kayaks, rotational pedal kayaks do exactly what their name says on the tin. Using your feet and rotational movements that mimic the mechanism of a bike pedal causes the kayak to be propelled forward but they require less effort than push pedals. 

This generally makes them the better choice out of the two as they’re easier to operate and the reduced stress on the user’s legs means you’ll expend less energy while you’re traveling across the water. It’s also better for fishing purposes for the same reasons.

Size

One of the most important things to think about when you’re in the market for a new pedal fishing kayak is its shape and size. If you’re a frequent solo kayaker or for those who prefer angling alone, you might struggle to transport a kayak that’s too large to carry on your own.

You also need to think about the kayak’s shape as this can determine how well it will be able to travel certain distances or how easily you can maneuver across different bodies of water.

Sea kayaks, for example, are better for long-distance travel because they’re longer and narrower, whereas recreational kayaks offer more stability because of their bulky bodies.

Finally, consider how much onboard storage space you’ll have in which to keep all your gear and belongings. If you’re someone who likes to bring everything but your kitchen sink with you on a fishing kayak trip, factor this in and choose an option with ample storage space. 

Weight

The second thing to think about is the maximum weight capacity limit that your kayak will be able to carry because if you want to avoid any risk of sinking or capsizing your kayak, it’s important that you always adhere to the maximum weight limit recommended for it. 

While it can vary between brands and models, the typical pedal fishing kayak can weigh anything from 25 lbs up to upwards of 100 lbs. Like with size, it’s important to consider if you’ll be kayaking alone and if so, how you will transport and carry a kayak if it weighs more. 

Durability

When you consider the potentially harsh elements and weather conditions that your kayak will come into contact with on a regular basis, it’s clear that durability is another incredibly important factor that should be taken into account when you’re buying a pedal fishing kayak.

Most kayaks are made with a tough shell exterior that helps to protect them when they’re on the water, but a lot of a kayak’s durability will depend on how well you take care of it. Proper maintenance is key when it comes to keeping your kayak in optimal condition. 

Some of the other commonly used materials for kayaks include fiberglass, carbon, and kevlar. These tend to be lighter which is useful, but they’re also expensive and less durable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are pedal kayaks more expensive?

You might have noticed that pedal kayaks are a little more on the pricey side compared to other types of kayaks, and we wouldn’t blame you for wondering why. The explanation is pretty simple, however, as pedal kayaks have more functionality due to advanced systems.

This means that pedal fishing kayaks cost more money to manufacture, and because they’re commonly used for specific intended purposes, like fishing, they’re decked out with useful features and functions that cause the overall cost to be higher. 

What is the best brand of kayaks?

Everyone has their own favorite brand of kayaks but one of the best manufacturers we found during our research is Perception.

Their commitment to producing high-quality, reputable kayaking products is why we couldn’t think of a better brand to choose for our top pick!

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