Top 9 Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks Reviewed

Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks

Hello and welcome to our review of the top pedal fishing kayaks currently available on the market. Pedal fishing kayaks have gained popularity among anglers due to their hands-free propulsion system and streamlined design, offering a unique and immersive fishing experience. In comparison to traditional paddle kayaks, pedal kayaks provide enhanced maneuverability and efficiency.

Our team has thoroughly tested and reviewed nine different kayaks over the course of a week, focusing on key features such as stability, speed, size, and maneuverability. We conducted weight tests, speed assessments, and design evaluations to ensure a comprehensive analysis. Our goal was to uncover any potential issues and provide valuable insights for fellow anglers like you.

Our top pick for the best overall pedal fishing kayak is the Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Kayak. This kayak stands out for its wide-bodied design, offering exceptional stability during fishing trips. With a width of 34 inches, anglers can comfortably stand and fish without worrying about tipping over. Additionally, the Malibu Pedal Kayak provides ample storage space with specialized compartments for fishing equipment. The propeller propulsion system ensures effortless cruising through the water. Overall, the Malibu Pedal Kayak is a stable and well-designed self-propulsion kayak that is definitely worth considering.

Throughout this article, we will delve into the features, advantages, and potential drawbacks of various pedal fishing kayaks to assist you in making an informed decision.



Top 9 Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks

  • Length: 12 ft
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Weight: 100 pounds
at Amazon
❤️ Most Reviewed
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Beam: 35 inches
  • Weight: 123 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 10.6 ft
  • Beam: 36 inches
  • Weight: 94 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Beam: 39 inches
  • Weight: 138 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 12.5 ft
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Beam: 35 inches
  • Weight: 87 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 10.6 ft
  • Beam: 33 inches
  • Weight: 65 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 13 ft
  • Beam: 35 inches
  • Weight: 133 pounds
at Amazon
  • Length: 12.9 ft
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Weight: 103 pounds
at Amazon


Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Kayak

Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks

Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Kayak
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Kayak
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Weight: 100 pounds
  • Max Load: 450 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal Kayak is a highly regarded option known for its exceptional stability and comfort. This kayak features a wide and open cockpit that offers ample space for movement and gear storage. The adjustable seat and foot braces ensure a comfortable fit tailored to your preferences.

Designed for both recreational use and fishing, the Malibu Pedal Kayak incorporates several fishing-specific features. It includes two flush-mounted rod holders and two accessory tracks, allowing you to conveniently attach fishing gear outside of the storage compartments. The large tank well with bungee cords provides generous storage space for coolers, tackle boxes, and other necessary equipment, ensuring you have everything you need at hand.

Equipped with a pedal drive propeller propulsion system, the Malibu Kayak offers efficient and effortless maneuverability. Each crank of the pedals powers the propeller, propelling you through the water. To safeguard the propeller during transportation, the kayak is equipped with a fully removable foot pedal system.

With its hydrodynamic design, this kayak glides smoothly through the water, providing a sleek and enjoyable experience. While the Malibu Pedal Kayak may come at a slightly higher price point, it offers an array of features, durability, and exceptional fishing capabilities. Considered the cream of the crop, this kayak delivers on all fronts and is sure to satisfy your fishing needs.

2. Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 Fishing Kayak

Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 Fishing Kayak
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Beam: 35 inches 
  • Weight: 123 pounds
  • Max Load: 450 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

Next on our list is the Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 Fishing Kayak, a premium pedal-powered kayak designed to deliver outstanding performance and comfort for anglers seeking top-notch features.

The Salty PDL 120 is equipped with Old Town’s PDL Drive system, renowned for its smooth and powerful operation. This pedal drive system offers exceptional speed, making it one of the fastest options available. The PDL Drive features an ideal gear ratio that maximizes the efficiency of each pedal stroke. The propeller system beneath the kayak is easily replaceable, and the prop itself incorporates a “kickback” system, reducing the risk of damage.

Comfort is a priority with the Salty PDL 120, as it features an adjustable seat with a breathable mesh backrest and lumbar support. The foot pedals are adjustable as well, allowing you to fine-tune the pedal drive to suit your preferences.

In addition to its fishing-oriented features, the Salty PDL 120 offers ample storage throughout the entire kayak. It includes a convenient Click Seal hatch that provides easy access to a water-resistant storage compartment. The kayak is equipped with comfortable carry handles for easy transport and can be conveniently loaded onto a roof rack or trailer. The rocker design on the bottom of the kayak enhances stability, ensuring better performance even in rougher waters.

If you’re looking for a 12-foot kayak that combines excellent stability, impressive speed, and exceptional fishing capabilities, the Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 Fishing Kayak is the ideal choice for you.

3. Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Fishing Kayak

Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Fishing Kayak
  • Length: 10.6 ft
  • Beam: 36 inches
  • Weight: 94 pounds
  • Max Load: 450 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

Coming in at number 3, we have the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Fishing Kayak, which has already gained a loyal following among anglers. This compact yet high-performance kayak offers a comfortable fishing experience in a smaller package. It features a pedal-driven PDL Drive system that propels the kayak through the water with the help of a propeller.

While the PDL 106 may not have the length and stability of a 12-foot kayak, its wide beam provides ample buoyancy and stability. Weighing in at just 94 pounds, it is relatively easy to transport and launch compared to other kayaks in its class. Despite its compact size, the kayak boasts an impressive maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds, allowing you to comfortably bring along your gear. The wide beam of the kayak contributes to its exceptional stability, which is a significant advantage for anglers.

The Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Fishing Kayak features a fantastic seat with an adjustable backrest, prioritizing comfort during your fishing trips. The kayak offers various storage options for tackle, including large front and back hatches, as well as a central storage area. Additionally, the kayak is equipped with multiple gear tracks, allowing you to customize and attach accessories such as rod holders and fish finders. Compared to the Malibu Kayak, the PDL 106 offers more space for accessories and legroom.

While the PDL 106 excels in many aspects, it is worth noting that its shorter length does result in reduced storage space, stability, and speed compared to longer kayaks. However, the compact size of the PDL 106 is advantageous in certain environments where maneuverability is key. If you prioritize maneuverability in your kayak and are seeking a remarkable fishing experience, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 is an excellent choice.

4. Native Watercraft Titan Propel 12 Pedal Fishing Kayak

Native Watercraft Titan Propel 12 Pedal Fishing Kayak
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Beam: 39 inches
  • Weight: 138 pounds
  • Max Load: 500 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

At number 4, we have the Native Watercraft Titan Propel 12 Pedal Fishing Kayak, a stable and versatile fishing kayak that offers a unique combination of stability and performance. The wide width of this kayak ensures excellent stability, making it an ideal choice for anglers who value a secure fishing platform.

The Titan Propel 12 features a spacious and flat deck that allows for easy standing and casting. It is equipped with a comfortable and adjustable seat that can be raised or lowered to accommodate your preferences. When it comes to tackle storage, this kayak offers ample options. It includes horizontal rod storage, a large front hatch, a rear hatch, and a center console that can also function as a cooler. The storage capacity of the Titan Propel 12 surpasses that of the Malibu, providing even more space for your gear.

This fishing kayak utilizes a pedal-propeller drive system that offers smooth and efficient operation, delivering ample power to the propeller located beneath the kayak. A notable feature of the Titan Propel 12 is its hidden rudder system, which is protected from potential damage caused by structures. Additionally, the kayak is equipped with a breakaway lock that helps minimize damage if the propeller hits a rock or other obstacles.

While the Titan Propel 12 offers exceptional stability and performance, it does have a couple of drawbacks to consider. The kayak’s fully rigged weight of 138 pounds can make it challenging to transport with all your gear. Moreover, despite the increased weight, the additional storage space compared to the Malibu is not as optimized, lacking compartments such as cup holders. Personally, I prefer the maneuverability and lighter weight of the Malibu, especially for solo trips. However, anglers who prioritize stability and don’t mind the extra weight will find the Titan Propel 12 to be an excellent alternative to the Malibu.

If you’re searching for the ultimate stability in a fishing kayak, the Native Watercraft Titan Propel 12 is the perfect choice. It offers unmatched stability and performance that will cater to the needs of both beginners and seasoned anglers. The Titan Propel 12 has exceeded our expectations and is sure to impress you as well.

5. Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Perception Pescador Pilot 12
  • Length: 12.5 ft
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Max Load: 475 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

Moving on to the Perception Pescador Pilot 12, this kayak offers an impressive array of storage and fishing features. Equipped with a pedal propeller drive system, it allows you to propel yourself through the water by spinning a propeller with each pedal revolution. The sleek design, combined with the extended length of the kayak, enables it to navigate rough waters while maintaining speed.

With a high weight capacity and ample length, the Pescador Pilot 12 is well-suited for overnight fishing trips. Its storage capabilities are a standout feature, providing numerous options for storing your gear throughout the kayak. Whether you utilize the compartments or take advantage of the rod holders, you’ll find plenty of space to accommodate your equipment.

However, it’s important to note that the kayak’s width may be a drawback for some anglers. A wider platform is typically preferred for enhanced comfort and stability. Nevertheless, if you have a smaller stature, this aspect may not pose any significant issues.

The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 excels in meeting the needs of anglers. It offers a well-rounded package that includes storage capacity, speed, comfort, and a lightweight design. If you’re seeking a kayak that has been thoughtfully designed to cater to every aspect desired by fishermen, the Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is an excellent choice.

6. Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak

Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Beam: 35 inches
  • Weight: 87 pounds
  • Max Load: 350 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

Coming in at number 6, we have the Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak. This sit-on-top fishing kayak is specifically designed with beginner anglers in mind. It features a pedal drive system with a detachable propeller that allows for efficient propulsion through the water.

The Perception Crank 10 offers all the essential features found in its larger counterpart, the Pescador Pilot 12, but in a smaller package. Despite its compact size, it doesn’t skimp on functionality. You’ll find bungee strings, compartments, water-tight storage, and electronic accessory mounts, providing ample space for your fishing gear. The molded handles are built to withstand rugged use, ensuring a longer lifespan for your kayak.

One of the standout aspects of this kayak is its affordability. Compared to other ten-foot kayaks on our list, the Perception Crank 10 offers excellent value for the price. It serves as an ideal entry point for those looking to venture into pedal kayak fishing. With essential accessories and a superior pedal drive system, it provides a great combination for beginners.

If you’re seeking an affordable option to kickstart your pedal kayak fishing journey without compromising on features, the Perception Crank 10 Pedal Kayak is an excellent choice.

7. Pelican Getaway 110 HyDryve II Kayak

Pelican Getaway 110 HyDryve II Kayak
  • Length: 10.6 ft
  • Beam: 33 inches
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Max Load: 300 pounds
  • Drive Type: Fin Drive

Moving on to the Pelican Getaway 110 HyDryve II Kayak, this lightweight kayak lives up to its name by providing a sense of escape on the water. Weighing a mere 59 pounds, this kayak is incredibly easy to transport. Its HyDrive Fin propulsion system allows for smooth gliding across the lake, making it well-suited for recreational use. While primarily designed for recreational purposes, the storage capacity and mounting options also make it a viable option for fishing, although the smaller size translates to less storage space.

One standout feature of the Pelican Getaway 110 is its HyDrive Fin propulsion system, which sets it apart from other kayaks. This system excels in navigating weedy areas, effortlessly cutting through grass without entangling the propulsion system. This makes it an excellent choice for ponds and lakes where weed obstacles are common.

However, it’s important to note a couple of drawbacks with the Pelican Getaway HDII. Firstly, the beam length is limited, providing only 33 inches of standing space. This may not be the best option for anglers who prefer standing and casting. Additionally, the kayak lacks deep wells for storage, meaning you’ll need to rely on restraints to secure your gear. Nevertheless, for day trips and pond fishing where minimal gear is required and standing is not necessary, this kayak still proves to be a solid choice.

If you’re looking to enhance your fishing experience with the best fin drive system on our list, the Pelican Getaway 110 HyDryve II Kayak is worth considering. Its efficient propulsion system and ability to maneuver through weedy areas make it a great option for anglers seeking a reliable and lightweight kayak.

8. Old Town Predator PDL Fishing Kayak

Old Town Predator PDL Fishing Kayak
  • Length: 13 ft
  • Beam: 35 inches
  • Weight: 133 pounds
  • Max Load: 500 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

Coming in at number 8, we have the Old Town Predator PDL Fishing Kayak, a popular choice among fishermen worldwide. With a length of 13.2 feet and a width of 35 inches, this kayak offers a spacious and stable platform for anglers. It boasts an impressive weight capacity of 500 pounds, making it ideal for larger bodies of water such as the ocean.

The Predator PDL features ample storage options throughout the bow, stern, and midsection of the kayak. With rod holders, under-seat storage, and watertight compartments, you’ll have no shortage of space to securely store your gear. In comparison to the Pelican Getaway, the Predator offers deeper wells that provide enhanced gear locking capability, ensuring your items stay in place even during rough conditions. Whether you need to carry gear, food, drinks, or fishing supplies, this kayak offers plenty of room to accommodate all your needs.

One standout feature of the Old Town Predator PDL is its overall size and hydrodynamic design. The kayak’s larger size, combined with its sleek and streamlined shape, allows for excellent performance in challenging conditions such as waves and surges, which are commonly encountered in ocean environments. Additionally, the new and improved PDL propeller drive system provides efficient propulsion, allowing you to pass other paddlers with ease.

While the Predator PDL excels as a fishing platform and offers exceptional storage, it’s important to consider that its size may not be suitable for everyone. With a length of 13.2 feet, this kayak requires either a kayak dolly or assistance from at least two people for transportation. Additionally, it is worth noting that the Predator PDL is not the lightest kayak on our list.

If you’re in the market for a spacious ocean kayak with a massive fishing platform and impressive storage capabilities, the Old Town Predator PDL Fishing Kayak is a top-notch choice that will meet your needs.

9. Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak

Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak
  • Length: 12.9 ft
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Weight: 103 pounds
  • Max Load: 425 pounds
  • Drive Type: Propeller

Lastly, we have the Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak, a kayak specifically designed with the kayak fisherman in mind. This kayak stands out with its deep well design, providing enhanced stability and protection from water entering the boat. The deep well not only helps keep unwanted elements out but also secures your equipment in place, preventing any movement during your fishing adventures.

The Hobie Mirage Outback features a pedal fin drive system that is user-friendly, offering both forward and reverse propulsion with a simple switch. This fin drive system is particularly advantageous for navigating through weedy areas where propeller-driven boats may struggle. Hobie has made improvements to the fin design, incorporating “kick-up fins” with a wider width to enhance speed and maneuverability. These kick-up fins fold back upon impact, reducing the risk of getting stuck in shallow or obstructed areas.

While the kayak offers many benefits, some users may find the seating arrangement less comfortable due to the presence of only a mesh pad. However, the kayak’s overall sturdiness allows for quick stand-up breaks and stretching, ensuring you can maintain your comfort during long fishing trips.

In summary, the Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak is a well-designed kayak with a deep well structure and a reliable pedal fin drive system. It offers stability, speed, and maneuverability, making it an excellent choice for kayak fishing enthusiasts.

Pedal Fishing Kayak Buying Guide

With so many kayaks on the market, choosing the right kayak for you can be intimidating. During our research, we mastered terminology and features to better explain them in this buying guide. 

Fin Drive VS Propeller Drive

When it comes to propulsion methods for pedal kayaks, there are two main options to consider: fin drive and propeller drive.

A fin drive, also known as a pedal drive, utilizes fins or flippers attached to a shaft beneath the kayak. As the kayaker pedals, the fins move back and forth, propelling the kayak forward through the water. Depending on the model, the fins can be adjusted to provide reverse propulsion as well.

On the other hand, a propeller drive system employs a propeller attached to a shaft that extends beneath the kayak. The kayaker’s pedaling motion turns the propeller, generating forward motion in the water.

It’s important to consider the drawbacks associated with each propulsion method. Propeller drives can be prone to getting tangled in grass and weeds, which can impede your progress and require frequent stopping to clear the debris. Additionally, propeller drives tend to be heavier (around 15-20 pounds), which may make it more challenging to remove weeds on the go.

When it comes to pedal drives, one drawback is their relatively slower speed compared to propeller drives. This can limit the distance you can cover when fishing. While pedal drives do offer a reverse function, it may not be as efficient or effective as the forward propulsion.

Before making your final decision, it’s essential to carefully consider the pros and cons of both pedal drives and propeller drives, taking into account factors such as speed, maneuverability, and the potential for encountering weeds or obstacles in your fishing environment.


The buoyancy of a pedal kayak is primarily determined by the amount of water it displaces, which is directly related to its size and shape. A kayak that displaces a greater volume of water will have more buoyancy and, therefore, greater stability.

To determine the buoyancy of a kayak, you can consider its maximum load capacity. Subtracting the weight of the kayak itself from the maximum load capacity will give you the remaining weight that the kayak can safely carry.

For example, if a kayak has a maximum load capacity of 450 pounds and the weight of the kayak is 100 pounds when fully rigged, the remaining weight capacity would be 350 pounds. This calculation helps you understand the usable weight capacity of the kayak.

By considering the maximum load capacity and subtracting the weight of the kayak, you can ensure that the kayak you choose has sufficient buoyancy and stability to support your weight and any additional gear or equipment you plan to bring on your fishing trips.


The amount of storage required for each kayak angler can vary based on individual needs and the specific kayaking activities planned. It is important to consider your requirements and choose a kayak that provides sufficient storage space for all your essential gear and supplies.

For day trips or shorter outings, a kayak with one or two small hatches or storage compartments may be adequate to accommodate your needs. However, if you intend to embark on longer journeys or overnight camping trips, it is advisable to select a larger kayak with more storage capacity.

Ensure that the kayak you choose includes at least one watertight storage area to protect your electronics and personal items from water damage.

By assessing your storage requirements and considering the duration and nature of your kayaking adventures, you can make an informed decision and select a kayak that offers the appropriate storage space for your needs.


Like any watercraft, pedal kayaks require regular maintenance to ensure they remain in good working condition. Here are some common maintenance tasks that may be necessary for a pedal kayak:

  1. Cleaning: Regularly clean the kayak to remove dirt, debris, and saltwater residue. Use mild soap and water, and avoid abrasive cleaning agents that could damage the kayak’s surface.
  2. Lubrication: Apply lubrication to the pedal drive system and any moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer. This helps ensure smooth operation and prevents excessive wear and tear.
  3. Proper Storage: Store your pedal kayak in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use. Protect it from extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions to prevent damage.
  4. General Repairs: Attend to any necessary repairs promptly. This may include fixing minor leaks, replacing worn-out components, or addressing any damage to the hull or pedal drive system.

Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines and recommendations specific to your pedal kayak model. By performing regular maintenance and addressing any issues promptly, you can prolong the lifespan of your pedal kayak and ensure it remains in optimal working condition for many enjoyable fishing trips.

What Are Pedal Fishing Kayaks?

A paddle fishing kayak is a specialized type of kayak specifically designed for fishing in various bodies of water, including lakes, ponds, and the ocean. The key distinction between a pedal kayak and a regular kayak lies in the propulsion drive system that powers the boat. There are two main types of propulsion drives commonly found in pedal fishing kayaks: the propeller drive system and the fin drive system.

The propeller drive system consists of a propeller attached to the lower unit of the kayak, which spins similarly to a boat motor. In contrast, the fin drive system utilizes two vertical paddles that move back and forth with each pedal revolution.

These fishing kayaks are equipped with features that enhance the fishing experience. They often have built-in rod holders, storage compartments for tackle and equipment, and a comfortable seat designed for extended periods of sitting.

Pedal kayaks are typically wider and more stable than traditional kayaks, allowing anglers to stand up and cast their lines with ease. They are also designed to be maneuverable, thanks to the inclusion of a steering system, such as a rudder, which facilitates navigating around obstacles in the water.

In summary, a pedal fishing kayak offers a sturdier and more efficient platform for fishing, thanks to its specialized propulsion system. It provides improved stability, maneuverability, and fishing-focused features to enhance your overall experience on the water.

Why Buy A Pedal Fishing Kayak?

Considering how many different types of kayaks are on the market, why should you invest in a pedal fishing kayak? Below, we’ve reviewed some critical kayak features to help make your decision.

Ease Of Launch

Kayaks have always been favored due to their lightweight design and ease of launch. When launching a big power boat, it’s necessary to have 2-3 people to either catch lines or drive the truck. However, for a kayak, it’s as simple as pushing it halfway into the water, climbing in, and pushing off with your paddle. 


A pedal fishing kayak is a fantastic option for accessing small lakes or ponds where motorized boats are not allowed. These kayaks are equipped with non-motorized propulsion systems, making them compliant with such restrictions. Additionally, their portability is a key advantage.

While some pedal kayaks may weigh over 100 pounds, they can be easily fitted with dolly wheels, which function as training wheels for the kayak. By attaching these wheels, transporting and moving the kayak becomes much more convenient and manageable.

It’s worth noting that there are also several kayaks on our list that weigh under 70 pounds, eliminating the need for dolly wheels altogether. With their lighter weight, these kayaks can be easily carried or rolled without any additional equipment.

Overall, the portability of pedal fishing kayaks, whether through the use of dolly wheels or their inherent lightweight design, allows anglers to easily transport and launch their kayaks, opening up opportunities for exploration and fishing in various water bodies.


As an angler, you are aware that the best fishing spots are often the most inaccessible ones. This is where kayaks truly shine, as they provide unparalleled access to these hidden fishing gems. Kayaks excel in navigating through narrow passages, dense vegetation, and shallow waters, granting you access to prime fishing locations that were previously off-limits.

With their slender and lightweight design, kayaks enable you to reach spots that are inaccessible to motorboats or surf fishermen. You can effortlessly maneuver through tight spaces, weave between trees and brush, and explore tranquil waters that hold abundant fish.

Embrace the advantages that kayaks offer in terms of accessibility and expand your fishing game. Experience the thrill of reaching those untouched fishing spots and consider getting yourself a pedal kayak to enhance your fishing adventures.


When it comes to fishing, maintaining a quiet presence can provide a significant advantage. By minimizing noise, you can avoid spooking the fish and increase your chances of success. Imagine being able to position yourself directly over a school of fish without them even realizing you’re there. With a kayak, this becomes possible.

Kayaks offer the unique advantage of allowing you to move through the water with minimal noise. Unlike boats with loud engines or noisy equipment, kayaks enable you to navigate stealthily and silently. This stealthy approach keeps the fish undisturbed, allowing you to get closer to your target without alerting them to your presence.

By embracing the quietness of a kayak, you can enhance your fishing experience and improve your chances of landing more fish. Enjoy the serenity of gliding across the water, knowing that your silent approach gives you an edge over the fish.


For many seasoned anglers, staying active and maintaining good health are important goals. Engaging in outdoor activities allows them to combine their passion for fishing with physical exercise. With self-propulsion kayak systems, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Using a pedal or paddle drive system in your kayak requires constant physical effort. It’s similar to riding a workout bike while being surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every pedal stroke or paddle stroke engages your muscles and contributes to a full-body workout. As you navigate the waters, you’re not only enjoying the tranquility of fishing but also benefiting from the physical activity.

This unique combination of outdoor recreation and exercise provides a holistic experience. It allows you to connect with nature, challenge your body, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, hop on your kayak, embrace the self-propulsion system, and relish the opportunity to stay active while indulging in your angling adventures.


It’s true that motor boats, sailboats, and mega yachts can be expensive and less convenient for many anglers. However, kayaks offer a great and affordable alternative. Whether you’re a dedicated fisherman or someone new to the sport, a kayak provides access to open water, a peaceful and quiet fishing experience, and an affordable means of transportation.

When exploring the market for kayaks, you can expect to find a range of prices. Generally, kayak prices can vary from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the quality and features of the kayak. It’s important to consider your specific needs, budget, and the features that are most important to you when making a purchasing decision.

By opting for a kayak, you not only save money but also gain the freedom to explore various fishing spots and enjoy the serenity of nature. It’s a cost-effective way to have your own vessel and immerse yourself in the joys of fishing.

Pedal VS Paddle Fishing Kayaks

With pedal kayaks taking the market by storm, we thought we should compare both pedal and paddle fishing kayaks. 


In general, pedal kayaks tend to be faster than paddle kayaks. The pedal propulsion system in kayaks allows for a more efficient transfer of power, resulting in higher speeds with less effort compared to traditional paddling.

The design features of pedal kayaks, such as their streamlined shape, lower center of gravity, and optimized hulls, also contribute to their increased speed. These design elements help reduce drag and improve overall performance in the water.

However, it’s important to note that the actual speed of a kayak can vary depending on several factors. The size and weight of the kayak, the skill and strength of the person pedaling or paddling, and the water conditions, including wind and currents, all play a role in determining the kayak’s speed.

Ultimately, pedal kayaks offer a more efficient and streamlined method of propulsion, which generally translates to faster speeds compared to paddle kayaks.

Hands-Free Operation

One of the major advantages of a pedal kayak is the ability to fish hands-free. With a pedal drive system, you can propel the kayak using your legs, leaving your hands free for other tasks such as handling your fishing rod, bait, and catch.

This hands-free operation offers several benefits for anglers. It allows you to easily manipulate your fishing gear, including casting, reeling in, and adjusting your bait or lure without the need to constantly hold onto a paddle. It also enables you to perform other fishing-related tasks, such as baiting your rig, unhooking fish, or taking photos, with greater control, comfort, and convenience.

By having your hands available, you can focus more on the fishing itself and make precise adjustments as needed, enhancing your overall fishing experience. Additionally, the hands-free feature of a pedal kayak adds to the enjoyment and relaxation of being out on the water, as you can fully immerse yourself in the fishing activity without the need for constant paddle handling.

Overall, the hands-free operation provided by a pedal kayak allows anglers to have greater freedom and versatility while fishing, making it a valuable feature for those seeking a more convenient and enjoyable fishing experience.


Stability is indeed a consideration when it comes to pedal kayaks. As the fisherman sits in a chair positioned above the waterline, the kayak can potentially become top-heavy, affecting its stability. However, pedal kayaks have evolved to address this concern, offering options to lower the center of gravity and achieve a better balance.

One way pedal kayaks enhance stability is through the design of the seating system. Pedal kayak chairs are typically mounted on shuttle rails, allowing you to adjust the position of the chair along the kayak’s length. This flexibility enables you to find the optimal balance and stability by adjusting the chair’s placement according to your preferences and the conditions you’re fishing in.

By being able to lower the center of gravity through seat adjustments, you can improve the overall stability of the kayak. This adjustment feature allows you to find the right balance between comfort, visibility, and stability, ensuring a safe and enjoyable fishing experience.

It’s important to note that different pedal kayak models may offer varying levels of stability, so it’s recommended to research and test different options to find the kayak that best suits your needs and provides the desired stability for your fishing activities.

With the advancements in pedal kayak design and the ability to adjust the seating position, anglers can enjoy improved stability while still benefiting from the hands-free propulsion system that pedal kayaks offer.


Paddle kayaks do offer greater maneuverability compared to pedal kayaks. When using a paddle kayak, you have direct control over the direction and movement of the kayak by using the paddle to propel and steer. This gives you the ability to make quick turns, navigate tight corners, and maneuver in various water conditions.

On the other hand, pedal kayaks have a more limited range of motion when it comes to steering and maneuvering. The pedal drive system primarily propels the kayak forward or backward, and turning is typically achieved by using the rudder system or by combining pedal and paddle movements. In tight spaces or when precise maneuvering is required, using a paddle alongside the pedal drive can enhance control and allow for more agile movements.

To draw a comparison, it’s similar to the difference between using a push lawn mower and a ride-on mower. The push mower offers greater maneuverability, allowing you to easily navigate around obstacles and reach tight corners. Similarly, a paddle kayak provides more direct control over maneuvering in various conditions.

However, it’s important to note that pedal kayaks also offer advantages such as hands-free propulsion, which allows anglers to focus on fishing without having to continuously paddle. While they may be slightly less maneuverable than paddle kayaks in certain situations, pedal kayaks make up for it with convenience and the ability to cover larger distances with less physical effort.

Ultimately, the choice between a paddle kayak and a pedal kayak depends on individual preferences and the specific requirements of the fishing environment. Some anglers prioritize maneuverability and control and may prefer a paddle kayak, while others value the hands-free propulsion and convenience of a pedal kayak.

Rough Waters Handling

To assess a kayak’s performance in rough water, it is crucial to consider several factors and conduct proper testing. Choosing a kayak suitable for your skill level and the prevailing conditions is key.

Numerous elements influence a kayak’s ability to handle rough water. These factors include the kayak’s size, weight, design features, and the expertise of the paddler or peddler. Some pedal kayaks are specifically engineered to excel in challenging water conditions. These kayaks may incorporate wider hulls for increased stability, rudders for improved steering control, or stabilizers to enhance performance in rough water.

It’s important to note that personal experience and skill play a significant role in navigating rough water. Experienced kayakers with advanced paddling techniques may be more capable of handling rough conditions, regardless of the kayak model.

To ensure safety and optimal performance, it is advisable to test a kayak in the specific water conditions you anticipate encountering. This allows you to evaluate how the kayak responds to waves, currents, wind, and other factors present in rough water scenarios. Additionally, seeking guidance from experienced kayakers or consulting with professionals at kayak shops can provide valuable insights and recommendations on suitable kayak models for rough water conditions.

Ultimately, selecting a kayak that matches your skill level, comfort, and experience, along with considering its design features and testing it in relevant conditions, will help determine its suitability for handling rough water.

Final Verdict

In this comprehensive review, we have examined nine top-rated pedal kayaks, highlighting their distinguishing features and drawbacks. With this information, you should be better equipped to make an informed decision.

If you’re still struggling to choose, our top recommendation is the Malibu Pedal Kayak. It offers exceptional stability, a reliable PDL system, and a well-designed overall package. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, this kayak is versatile enough to handle various fishing scenarios, from day trips to overnight camping adventures in ponds, lakes, and even the ocean. It is widely regarded as the best pedal kayak for fishing, delivering excellent value for your investment.

While relying on the pedal drive for propulsion, it’s always wise to have a paddle as a backup, regardless of the type of water you’ll be fishing in. This ensures you’re prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise during your fishing trip.

Lastly, if you’re in need of fishing gear, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best fishing tackle for your convenience. Feel free to explore and find the equipment that suits your needs.