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New Fishing Kayaks

A gallery of 13 new kayaks in various styles and configurations show unprecedented innovation.

July 26, 2018
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A couple of trends in paddlecraft caught my attention at this year’s ICAST show. One is sheer quantity. It seemed like there were one or more manufacturer of kayaks and/or paddleboards in nearly every aisle, affirming the growing interest in paddlecraft among anglers. Secondly, I saw more “non-traditional” hull designs than in past years. A claim of this being “the year of the cat” could be valid, with several true cat hulls and other cathedral or modified tri-hull designs in evidence. In truth the term “paddlecraft” has become rather archaic, as well, since the majority of these small boats now are “pedalcraft,” powered by legs vs. arms. And many allow for trolling (or even in one case gas-powered outboard) motors. Bottom line: a clear trend for more kayaks in number and styles, and greater versatility.BiYak AnglerLength: 12 feet, 7 inchesHull Weight: 114 poundsPropulsion: Paddle or trolling motorCapacity: 325 poundsColors: Three (aqua blue, marsh green, sport red)Features: Catamaran hull, width adjustable from 30 to 50 inches. Scotty locking flush deck mounts, forward leaning post, trolling-motor bracketMSRP: $2,499

BiYak Angler
This adjustable cat places the BiYak among the most innovative hull designs among paddlecraft at the 2018 ICAST show. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Blue Sky Boatworks 360º Angler

Length: 13 feet, 4 inches Hull Weight: 140 pounds (hull only) Propulsion: Paddle, pedals or outboard engine Capacity: 500 pounds Colors: Three (bone, seafoam, forest camo) Features: Marketed as a compromise between bass boat and kayak, stability of the wide catamaran allows the angler to sit high above the hull. Powered by Jackson Kayaks’ Flex Drive, with a tri-prop propeller protected by a daggerboard, quickly adjustable from deep to shallow navigation. Note: This won the Best in Category at ICAST for Boats and Watercraft. MSRP: $3,499

Blue Sky Boatworks 360º Angler
By any standard, the Blue Sky 360 is a serious fishing machine. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
Blue Sky Boatworks 360º Angler
The 360’s design and innovations helped it win its category at the international tackle trade show. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Bonafide SS127

Length: 12 feet, 7 inches Hull Weight: 85 pounds Propulsion: Paddle Capacity: 475 pounds Colors: Four (cool hand blue, hondo orange, top gun grey, true grid sand) Features: Manufacturer describes hull as a “hybrid cat” design; Dry Pod ($70), seat with Ultra-High-Rise position allowing paddler to sit with knees bent. MSRP: $1,599

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Bonafide SS127
The Bonafide seat, in the high position, allows a paddler to sit with knees bent to relieve lower-back pressure. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
Bonafide SS127
Seen from the rear, Bonafide’s hybrid cat design is evident. Courtesy Bonafide

Brooklyn Kayak UH-PK13

Length: 13 feet Hull Weight: 80 pounds Propulsion: Pedal-driven propeller Capacity: 550 pounds Colors: Six (blue, blue camo, green camo, grey camo, red, yellow) Features: Adjustable seat with aluminum frame, flush-mount rod holders MSRP: $2,399

Brooklyn Kayak UH-PK13
Brooklyn Kayak’s UH-PK13 is particularly designed for long-distance travel. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
Brooklyn Kayak UH-PK13
The UH-PK13’s pedal drive flips up quickly when necessary. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Evoke Sequoia 120

Length: 12 feet, 6 inches Hull Weight: 94 pounds Propulsion: Paddle Capacity: 500 pounds Colors: Blue camo Features: Designed for stability. Comes with two universal mounting plates, a stand-up strap and flush-mount rod holders. MSRP: $999

Evoke Sequoia 120
Rod-tip protectors fastened to the bow help minimize broken gear. Doug Olander/ Sport Fishing
Evoke Sequoia 120
The beamy Sequoia offers gutters all around the boat in which anglers can drop gear to be handy but out of the way. Doug Olander/ Sport Fishing

FeelFree Dorado 11

Length: 12 feet, 5 inches Hull Weight: 100 Propulsion: Paddle, pedal and motor (Overdrive system) Capacity: Unknown Colors: Unknown Features: Cathedral hull design, Overdrive system offers pedals and motor in one unit. MSRP: $3,000 (with pedal drive), $4,400 (with overdrive including motor). Includes navigation and running lights.

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FeelFree Dorado 11
The cushioned seat and running lights promise to make the Dorado a sweet ride. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
FeelFree Dorado 11
Overdrive system offers pedals and motor in one unit. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Hobie Guardian

Hobie’s intro at ICAST was not, this year, a kayak. Rather it’s an innovation kayak-that Hobie angling enthusiasts will embrace: A transducer shield that protects the units from damage. A spring-loaded plate retracts into a pocket in the kayak’s hull to prevent damage. This also means that anglers can use sidescan sonar; previously transducers mounted inside the hull, in Hobie’s pocket made to hold transducers, couldn’t offer sidescan which requires transducers to “see” around, below the hull. The feature will be standard on 2019 Hobie ProAngler models.

Hobie Guardian
Hobie Guardian Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
Hobie Guardian
Hobie Guardian Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Kaku Voodoo

Length: 13 feet Hull Weight: 80 pounds Propulsion: Paddle Capacity: 450 pounds Colors: Four colors Features: The manufacturer describes the Voodoo as “the ultimate sight-casting paddle craft” — “part kayak, part paddle board, with some micro skiff qualities.” Comes with sturdy aluminum Voodoo Chair/standing platform and five Micro Power Pole mounts. MSRP: $1,199 (online retailers)

Kaku Voodoo
The Voodoo’s seat back is designed to serve as a leaning post for a sight-casting angler. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Native Watercraft Slayer XC

Length: 12 feet, 2 inches Hull Weight: 87 pounds Propulsion: Paddle Capacity: 450 pounds Colors: Four (hidden oak, copperhead, lizard lick, blue lagoon) Features: Designed for use in variety of conditions, its broad, flat hull excelling for shallow water and stability. Hi/Lo sliding seat system, skeg control, removable electronics pod. MSRP: $1,499 (online retailers)

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Native Watercraft Slayer XC
The Slayer’s layout is simple and clean but offers plenty of storage. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

NuCanoe Flint

Length: 11 feet, 3 inches Hull Weight: 63 pounds Propulsion: Paddle or pedal Capacity: 400 Pounds Colors: Four (nuclear green, gulf storm, hazard, army camo) Features: Modest cost for a high-quality kayak. Smaller length makes it fast and responsive. Custom height Pinnacle seat, two horizontal rod holders and four flush-mount vertical holders. Optional new NuCanoe Flint Pivot Drive Pedal System turns propeller at stern via a drive shaft. MSRP: $999 (without pedals)

NuCanoe Flint
“Hazard” is NuCanoe’s term for this color. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
NuCanoe Flint
The Flint Pivot Drive Pedal System turns a prop at the kayak’s stern. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Old Town Topwater 106 and PDL

Length: 10 feet, 6 inches Hull Weight: 75 to 100 pounds (with pedal drive) Propulsion: Paddle or pedal Capacity: 440 to 500 pounds Colors: Four (firstlight, boreal, photic, olive) Features: Emphasis here is on kayaks’ compact size and nimble performance with great stability. Patented DoubleU hull, universal transducer mounting system, Old Town’s ElementAir adjustable seat, flush-mount rod holders. MSRP: $900 to $2,000 (with PDL pedal drive)

Old Town Topwater 106 and PDL
The PDL Topwater is light, nimble and stable; what’s not to like? Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
Old Town Topwater 106 and PDL
Old Town’s PDL drive, with on-demand reverse, claims to include the best warranty in the industry. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Pelican Catch 130

Length: 12 feet, 6 inches Hull Weight: 85 pounds Propulsion: Paddle or pedal Capacity: 425 pounds Colors: Unknown Features: Four flush-mount rod holders, gear tracks, mesh seat, HyDrive pedal system. MSRP: $1,499

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Pelican Catch 130
Pelican’s newest model, fully equipped. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Riot Mako 12

Length: 12 feet, 4 inches Hull Weight: 56 pounds (hull only) Propulsion: Paddle or pedal Capacity: 470 pounds Colors: Eight (lime, orange, red, white/blue, yellow, yellow/orange, forest green, camo) Features: Impulse pedal drive, rudder, bulkheads, molded seat MSRP: $1,399 with pedal drive

Riot Mako 12
The sleek Mako 12 hull comes in at a mere 56 pounds, bare bones. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Vibe Maverick 120

Length: 12 feet Hull Weight: 72 pounds Propulsion: Paddle Capacity: 475 pounds Colors: Four (blue camo, orange camo, hunter camo, jam berry) Features: Stable and lightweight, the Maverick 120 has a no-flex open deck. It offers five gear tracks, multiple paddle parks and front/rear bungee tie-downs. MSRP: $988

Vibe Maverick 120
The Maverick 120 is available in three camo colors; the blue camo is shown here. Doug Olander / Sport Fishing
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