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Pedal powered propulsion—in pescadorial pursuit—practically peddles itself.
Who doesn’t want to move with swiftness against stronger currents and catch more fish with greater endurance?
With the smorgasbord of options at our disposal, the hardest part is often just choosing the right model to fit your needs.
Are you enjoying the peaceful solitude of fishing alone, or mixing efficiency with camaraderie?
A big salty bay or tight, narrow, freshwater inlets?
Our Best Choice
Perception Pescador Pilot 12
Get this: The 12.5 foot pedal powered Perception Pescador Pilot 12. Nearly 500 pound capacity, on a reliable, inexpensive pedal kayak. Drive unit works and reverse and can be retracted flush to the hull with ease
The Top Pedal Kayaks on the Market Today
The Final Five - Best Fishing Pedal Kayaks
1. Perception Pescador Pilot 12 - Best Pedal Fishing Kayak
At the top of this list exists that sweet confluence of performance and value. The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is a stable and modular powerhouse of a pedal boat, at an unsinkable market point. I’d dare say it’s the best pedal kayak under 2000 on the market today.
Versatility is this veritable gunboat’s forte. With a capacity of 475 pounds, you can gear up for long hauls and bring back big catches.
All along this twelve and a half foot rotomolded hull are integrated accessory rails and four dedicated rod holders.
Combined with large front and rear open stowage compartments, nearly any angler can organize this kayak to their specifications.
That is, to be easily accessible from the lawn chair style adjustable breathable mesh seat. And the longer you plan on staying out, the more that comfort becomes a priority.
The Pescador Pilot pedal drive system can be fully retracted into the hull, providing a nearly flush draft. Meaning you can beat this beauty upstream, and still slip into the shallows.
Single-handed rudder control in conjunction with forward and reverse pedal propulsion offers 360 degree zero-point turning capability; a must for shallow narrows.
All of this—combined with an industry smashing 5-year warranty—makes this beaut the best 12-foot pedal kayak your dollar can buy.
Picture this: You easily load your Perception Pescador Pilot 12 into the bed of your truck, drive to your favorite fishing spot and pop the kayak in the water.
You pedal around the slow-moving waters, getting in quality exercise while breathing in the fresh air and soaking up that sunshine. Your favorite beverage is secured in the cupholder and your hands are free to take pictures and, of course, FISH. You can even stand up to get your perfect cast.
At the end of the day, you load up the kayak and your giant bounty of fresh fish and drive home. You’re not sore thanks to the ergonomic design and spacious legroom. It was a good day.
2. Native Watercraft 2019 Slayer 10 Propel Kayak - Best 10ft Pedal Kayak
Looking for the best pedal fishing kayak for every imaginable tight corner? The
Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Kayak seems like it can go anywhere that’s even remotely damp.
Its wide beam and 10-foot length make it the perfect size for any reedy shallow freshwater. Its fast flat stable hull, large rudder, and Propel system, mean you can traverse any lake, river, stream, or coast to get there.
But don’t let me paint the Slayer 10 into a corner. Because one can’t. That Propel system works forward and in reverse, so no channel cat is safe, no matter the wallow they’ve backed themselves into.
That ability to pedal in reverse comes in awfully handy when engaged in a battle of attrition with a hard fighting Musky or the like. Even just by distributing the workload to more muscle groups.
Stable enough to stand and cast, maneuverable and adaptable enough for any kind of fishing. Stowage and accessory space to match.
Whether you are just out for a morning on still waters, or taking a week or two to run as far upstream and wild as your heart’s content, The Slayer 10 will feel purpose-built for your task.
Pro Tip: Check and tighten your pedals before your first outing.
3. Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Kayak - Best pedal kayak for ocean fishing
Open skies and big waters. If you’re angling for a mighty saltwater catch, your boats prerequisite capabilities are a bit more demanding.
You’ll never be left adrift with the Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Kayak. Designed with a bestselling tri-powered compatible hull, so you decide how you ride; by paddle, by pedal, or by an electric motor. Each additional piece is separate, but that works for anyone trying to build the best pedal drive fishing kayak possible from the waterline up.
The comfortably accessible Flex Pod OS is a fully removable pod for your fish finder, battery, cables, and transducer (or it can accommodate the pedal or motor drive), giving you the option to easily swap out kits, depending on your projected catch and conditions.
Purpose-built S. M. A. R. T. Hull technology combines stability, maneuverability, acceleration, and responsiveness in tracking with a flat platform for standing and casting.
That’s freedom of movement combined with state-of-the-art outfitting.
Not that you’ll want to get much out of the ultra-comfortable Phase 3 AirPro seating. With three adjustable positions, that can be ran the majority of this boats nearly 12-foot length, you can position yourself for optimum fish-murdering comfort.
Fast Fact: Wilderness makes and sells several quality accessories for your kayak. All available on Amazon. They recommend their carbon fiber paddle, a fisher PFD jacket, a storage crate, and most importantly—a cover to protect your precious kayak from the elements while you’re not using it.
4. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T Tandem Kayak 2019 Ivory Dune - Best tandem pedal kayak
For those who prefer to share their solitude with a loved one—friend, partner, student, or offspring, if you let them join you fishing, they’re a loved one—the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T Tandem Kayak is the best pedal drive kayak for two, bar none.
Hobbies dual Mirage Drive 180 pedal system generates ample propulsion for this 17-foot marvel of nautical engineering. Granting the Mirage 17T excellent helm authority. Just what you and your partner need to beat up a harsh current, or past the breakers.
And you’ll do as such comfortably in the fully adjustable Vantage Extra Tall (XT) in-line seats. Each with four-way adjustability, lumbar support, and 180 degrees of swivel. Ideal when teaching the next generation the ropes.
From standing and casting to fatiguing a hard fighting yellowfin.
Or remove one seat for the roomiest long-haul kayak you’ve ever seen. With over 20 feet of modular H-Rail system, rod stowage for an astonishing dozen rods, hatches and pivoting tackle management systems throughout, this unit is ready to rig for any angler’s purposes.
With an unbelievable 900 pound capacity, the only real limit is your skill and imagination.
Fast Fact: Have more than one kiddo that loves fishing with you? You don’t have to leave them out of the quality bonding time out on the water. The tandem kayak can easily carry you with room for two smaller children. Throw a six-pack of sodas in the cooler, it’s turning into a family affair!
5. Riot Mako 10 Sit-on-Top Kayak with Impulse Pedal Drive - Best Budget Pedal Kayak
There is no denying that a pedal propelled kayak costs more than a standard sit-on-top kayak.
Really, when you look at what pedal power does for a sport fisher, it only makes sense, but that doesn’t render the tool inaccessible to all but the wealthy.
The Riot Mako 10 Sit-on-Top Kayak is the best pedal kayak under 1,000 dollars. Even if it's only by a few cents.
But rest easy, just because its introductory price is well below the rest of the market, doesn’t mean you’ll get shortchanged in the utility department.
Quite the opposite actually, as the Riot Mako 10 has a feature unique on this list.
An ergonomic handle formed of rotomolded polyethylene at the bowsprit. Incredibly handy for all sorts of reasons. From putting in and out of the water—obviously—but also for maneuvering through or over shallows.
Otherwise its ample stowage, modular mounting tracks, and flush-mounted rod-holders aplenty. Standard Kayak operating procedure even at the bottom dollar.
Recumbent Bikes that Float Better
Relying on muscle-groups evolved for consistent power generation, pedal kayaks really equate to more time spent fishing, with less restriction.
Perception Pescador Pilot 12
Be it the first boat of a newly minted and passionate angler, or an old salt looking to take it a little further out or upstream, the Perception Pescador Pilot 12, or one of the other specialty pedal kayaks on this list will get you there and bring you back safe, with dinner in tow.
All while doling out the low impact, low stress, maximum benefit exercise that otherwise can’t be found outside a recumbent bicycle.
And I’ve never brought home enough fish to feed anyone when I put one of those in the water.
With your own pedal-powered kayak you’ll improve your protein and omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil intake, boost your cardiovascular strength and performance, and spend more time doing what you love.
So now is the best time to get yours, and elevate both your health and your fishing game to a whole new level.