Kayaks are being made specifically for fishing to help fill the gap between short fishing and big boat fishing. The kayaks today are made for catching a fish without tipping over. Some modern fishing kayaks are made stable enough to stand in.
One thing to think about is that there isn’t a one size fits everyone product. There are a lot of different variable to think about. Price, size, weight, length, features, speed, and quality are some things to think about. Everyone has different things they like to think about. For me, I look heavily on the seat. If I can’t sit in in for a period of time without hurting, I won’t fish long.
This guide is looking at some of our favorite kayaks in a few different categories. I will help you see some of the different features of each. I will explain why we picked them and what that means to you.
Featured Fishing Kayak – Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 and Sea Ghost 130
For the price, the Sea Ghost 110 and Sea Ghost 130 is the best value out there. These Kayaks are made by Vibe Kayaks. These Kayaks have a lot of great features that you will only find on more expensive Kayaks. For the money, I would not look anywhere else.
These Kayaks are both designed specifically for fishing anglers. They are a sit-on-top Kayak that has a lot of stability, speed, features, and quality. These Kayaks are made by the same company as the Skipjack and Yellowfin, but a giant leap in design over both of them.
Both the 110 and 130 have a lot of room and features to help you catch fish. Due to the rudder, you have great tracking in any type of water. The Kayaks have a lot of speed that will get you where you want to go. The 110 is a little shorter, so it does do better on rivers and the 130 is better on open water.
The Sea Ghost line is a great line of Kayaks. Both the 110 and 130 have features that make them the top kayak.
- Foot Controlled Rudder System
A key feature in this Kayak is that it comes standard with a rudder. This is a feature that you will find mostly on more expensive Kayaks. A rudder is a feature that allows you to stay straight without having to use your paddle all the time. This Kayak allows you to control the rudder with a foot controlled system.
- Vibe Hero Seat
Like I said above, a seat is a very important feature in any Kayak. It gives you padding, back support, and a lot of space so that you are comfortable during those days where you are on the water a long time.
- Transducer Port
This is something that made us look really hard at the Sea Ghost line. Each Sea Ghost comes with a transducer port under the main hull of the boat. This allows you to install a fish finder without having to drill any holes if you don’t want to. The transducer can be easily screwed into the bottom of the boat without making any extra modifications. This is something you will not find in other Kayaks in this price range.
The Sea Ghost 110 and Sea Ghost 130 are both light when compared to other Kayaks in this range. The Sea Ghost 110 is 62 pounds and the Sea Ghost 130 is 75 pounds. This allows for car topping if you want to.
- Manufacturer Customer Service
This is something to not take lightly. Vibe is a great company that will stand behind their product. They go beyond what most companies will do for you. If you call them with any issue, they will likely resolve it for you without any issues.
This is something that I could really put as a pro or a con. The cost is close to one grand for either Kayak. A lot of people starting out Kayaking do not want to pay the price, but that is a mistake. If you buy one of those cheap big store Kayaks, you will end up upgrading very quickly after you understand what you really want. A benefit of this Kayak is that this comes with a starter paddle, so that is one item that you won’t have to buy. For the value, this is really not a “con”.
Aside from the performance advantages in this Kayak, the Sea Ghost’s has a leg up on room. There is a lot of room in front and back for your gear. The width of the Kayak allows for enough stability to stand up easily without tipping over.
If you are the type that likes to attach a lot of gear, this Kayak is setup for that. There is already four integrated gear tracks. The front compartment is also a great place to install a fish finder or a rod holder. For those that want a quick place to place your fishing rod, there is two flush mount rod holders directly behind the seats.
If you are looking for a good priced Kayak that has all the features you really need, this is the Kayak for you. Unless you are in the market for a pedal drive, this is the Kayak you should be looking at.
Amazon is a great place to purchase a Sea Ghost due to delivering to your house and you don’t have to pay tax in some states.
Hobie Mirage Outback
Every person that is into Kayaks knows about Hobie. The Hobie line is one of the best lines of Kayaks, but they are also one of the most expensive Kayaks. Even with the price, they are phenomenal Kayaks. They have won so many awards that they have to be in any Top Kayak List.
- Pedal Drive System
This is a standard feature that everyone knows. The Hobie line of Kayaks that have the pedal drive system is outstanding. The advantage is that they have the Mirage Drive System. The Mirage Drive system has fins that go back and forth. This allows for fast speeds with limited weeds getting caught up. The only thing that we don’t like about the system is you do have to switch it in and out of forward and reverse to go either direction. In the propeller type system you just reverse your pedaling. Even with that disadvantage, you can’t overlook that the Mirage Drive is the best system out there.
The Mirage Drive weighs in at under eight pounds. The two fins pivot in 180 degrees to provide fast propulsion. The fins allow for quick shallow water access and shore landing by pushing one pedal forward to move the fins to the upper position.
The Mirage Drive gives you a lot of speed and ability to move around while giving you hands free for fishing.
- Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield
The Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield is a new feature that has come out at the end of 2018. This new feature is a game changer when it comes to protecting your transducer. In the Hobie Outback, the transducer can be lowered below the boat to allow for side scan radar. On impact the transducer retracts into the hull for protection. This is a simple design that other Kayaks currently do not have. This transducer location also has a pre-installed thru-hull cable slot for quick install of a fish finder.
This is the main drawback of a Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak. The Hobie line of Kayaks are on the high end of the price range. The one thing to note is that most people that purchase a Hobie Kayak do not regret the purchase.
The weight of a Hobie Mirage Outback starts out at 85 pounds. Fully loaded is around 103 pounds. This is due to the high quality heavy duty hull and the pedal drive system. The weight does reduce the overall speed of the Kayak.
If you have the money, the Hobie line of Kayaks are a great way to go. The Mirage drive performance and high quality hull makes for a life long Kayak. Another great feature is that the Kayaks hold their cost value very well. If you ever decide to sell the Kayak, you are able to get a lot of your money back.
New Kid on the Block
Feelfree Dorado 125
The Feelfree Dorado is a new Kayak that was announced to start being delivered in September of 2018. This was shown in ICast 2018 and was a great hit. This Kayak has a electrical system built in as a standard feature. It also sports a Cathedral Hull system that should give it great tracking and speed.
- Pedal Drive System / Motor Option
The Feelfree Dorado 125 comes with a fin driven system called the Overdrive System. This system is in the same range as the Mirage System from Hobie. Feelfree has created a system where the drive comes standard for pedal drive, but also has a added feature to become a motor drive system quickly and easily. The motor option slides into the Overdrive system and can be engaged at any time. There is a computer system that quickly shows you how much power you have and how long you can go at your current speed. The motor option does come at a extra cost which adds to the price tag.
The Overdrive motor does come with a hand held speed control and a screen that will show you how much battery and time you have left at your current speed. The motor gives a good 40 pounds of thrust.
- Transducer Port
The Feelfree Dorado comes standard with a transducer port that has the ability to place your transducer below the boat, but easily retracted by hand at any time. This allows you to leave your transducer in the hull into you are safe to use your fish finder. This is great for when you are in shallow water, rocky bottom, or shoring your Kayak.
- Electrical System
The Feelfree Dorado comes standard with a electrical system already wired. There is a battery compartment directly behind the seat with USB and switches for lights. There is deck lighting and navigation lighting already setup. This allows for use of the motor option without having to install lighting. Battery is not included.
With a cathedral style hull and a width of 38 inches, this is a very stable Kayak. To turn over a Kayak like this, you have to be really trying hard.
Like the Hobie line, this is a high end Kayak. With a starting price of $2999.99 and a optional $1400.00. This puts this Kayak in a different ball park compared to a lot of other Kayaks. While the Overdrive motor is optional, it is a great feature to easily motorize your Kayak.
The standard weight of this system starts out at 100 pounds. This is something that limits a lot of people that can’t carry that much weight around. This will also reduce the overall speed due to the weight.
Like the Hobie, this is a Kayak that has its own niche. If you have the money and like the design, this is a great Kayak.
We have looked at the Vibe Sea Ghost line, Hobie Outback, and the new Feelfree Dorado 125. Depending on what you are looking for, there is a Kayak out there for you. Look at how much money you want to spend and compare that against what features you want. If you are on the fence, wait a little while until you have the money to spend on the better one. You will be happier in the long run.
On a personal note, my wife and I have three Feelfree Dorado 125(s). We have two with the motor drive and one without. We decided on the Dorado(s) for the stability and the motor drive option. The main disadvantages for me is the weight and lack of compartments to the inside of the kayak.
That being said, we would have no problem using a Vibe Sea Ghost. I believe for the money and the features, it is our top Kayak of 2019. The Kayak has a lot of great features and has a company that stands behind its product.
Here are some things to think about when purchasing a Kayak:
- What size cooler, bag, or crate do you want to carry with you?
- Where do you want to mount your fishing rods and tackle?
- Do you have places to put accessories? How many rails come pre-installed?
- Do you have enough room for how many fishing rods you will be using?
- Is your Kayak strong enough to last?
- Does the company stand behind their Kayak? Check out their customer service.
Just remember that a Kayak is an investment that you want to keep in good condition. Buying a cheap Kayak may sound easy, but you may regret it later.