Kayak Fishing Supplies Top Picks for Paddling Fishing Kayaks
The popularity of kayak fishing has continued to grow over the last ten plus years. It has come to the point that kayak manufacturers are designing very specific fishing kayaks with a host of features. You can find something to fit your needs be it short and stable or a long and fast kayak. We at Kayak Fishing Supplies have been outfitting people with the proper kayak to fit their individual needs for over 21 years. We have seen lots of features that work and some that don’t. We will take a look at some of our top picks for paddling fishing kayaks in the 12 to 14 foot range. We, like many kayak manufacturers, have found this to be the most universal length that fits the majority of anglers. For our purposes, we will be taking into consideration all factors; features, stability, speed, tracking, weight, and price. These choices will be in no particular order as each individual may have different needs and rank them differently.
The Kraken 13.5 is an excellent fishing kayak and is suited for a wide variety of fishing situations. Coming it at 13’3” and 70pounds, this is a great length to handle all types of water for the average sized paddler while being light enough to car top. A fast and good tracking hull design that will get you to the fishing grounds fairly quickly. Plenty of stability for those that would like to stand and fish. Large center hatch to stow fishing poles and lots of gear and if it’s your thing, will handle most spear guns with ease. It also has plenty of on deck storage with a large tankwell, flush mount rod holders and gear tracks. The kayak is comfortable with the new ERGO seat and the cushioned standing pads. The Kraken will work well on all types of water and excel in the surf. This is a well rounded kayak coming in at $1399 for the standard model and is available in 6 colors. You can also order a custom color for an additional fee.
The Trident 13 top deck has been redesigned for 2017 and continues to use the proven Trident hull. Listed at 13’6” and 79 pounds, after moving these around they are more in the 70 pound range, the Trident will definitely handle all types of water and especially the surf zone. This kayak is very fast and has excellent tracking. The Trident is very stable and did allow me to move around the kayak with ease, sit side straddle, and stand up. The top deck now has a Click and Seal front hatch, fishfinder mounting location, 2 transducer mounting locations, quick stow paddle holder w/ rop tip supports, and gear tracks. Ocean Kayak has also changed the “Mod Pod”making it a little narrower to accommodate paddlers with larger water shoes or boots. The Mod Pod also has a split hinged lid that can be turned around depending on your preferences including 2 trays that can be used as storage or taken out for larger items to fit inside the hull. Fishing poles will have no problem being stowed inside through the Mod Pod. New to the Trident is the ACS2 seating system that allows a large amount of adjustment and all day comfort. The Trident 13 is no stranger to the market and will be a welcomed addition to the Trident series. Ocean Kayak is making the Trident in 4 colors, is rudder ready, and has a great price point of $1299.
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130X
The Tarpon 130X is a go anywhere and catch anything kayak. This is a speedy and stable kayak right at 13’ and weighing 72 pounds. It has the feel of the original Tarpon with some added stability. Features are plenty with the 130X. Large front hatch, Flex Pod OS, secondary transducer mounting location, Orbix hatch, gear tracks, and a larger tank well right out of the Thresher line. Has the ability to drop in the Helix MD Motor Drive unit in the Flex Pod location. Paddle or motor, you will get where you need to go in good time. Wilderness has added the new and very comfortable AirPro Lite seat on a sliding track system. This seat is very comfortable and allows you to trim for the conditions and/or gear for that particular day. Very versatile kayak to handle many different bodies of water. The Tarpon 130X is newer to the market and at $1469 with all of its’ features and excellent build quality, deserves a look.
The Stealth 12 and Stealth 14 are great fishing kayaks. The 14 is 14’4” and weighs 65 pounds while the 12 comes in at 12’4” and weighs 60 pounds. We are listing both of these Stealth models as they are very similar kayaks and are on the high/low end of our picks. Both are 33” wide and offer similar tracking. Biggest difference is that 2 feet of length. We almost always recommend the 14 for larger paddlers, over 6’3”ish and 250 pounds. These kayaks have great stability and offer the best weight capacity on the market. Both of these models are a little slower but make up for that with other features like a bait tank, large bow storage compartment, large tank well, and a Lowrance Ready Transducer location. The Stealths’ will accept a wide variety of seats, giving you lots of options based on your needs. The Stealth has more than enough stability to stand up and fish/paddle. Malibu Kayaks has been making the Stealth series of kayaks for a number of years and has been one of the better sellers for us for a variety of reasons. Kayak Fishing Supplies has a great relationship with Malibu Kayaks and is the largest dealer in the US. Because of this we can offer 15 colors and a quick delivery time. Priced at $999 and $1299 respectively for the Stealth 12 and 14, you owe it to yourself to check these kayaks out.
If you are in the market for a new kayak in the 12 to 14 foot range, check out the above models, on kayakfishingsupplies.com, as one of these will be sure to fit most of your needs.