best pedal kayaks

11 Best Pedal Kayak for Fishing Reviewed & Tested [2023]

Pedal kayaks are filled with great features ideal for all fishermen, thanks to their manually driven propulsion method. Their intrinsic steadiness distinguishes them from the pack.

Pedaling in a kayak has grown in popularity in recent years. While this does not imply abandoning the paddle on the beach, it has been ideal for fishing. We’ll show you which is the best pedal kayak for fishing in 2023. We believe these pedal kayaks are good for kayaking, a technological advancement that has significantly increased the threshold for the sport.

Top 3 Picks – Expert’s Recommendation

Hobie Mirage Drive PA 1

  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight: 128.5 pounds
  • Capacity: 500 pounds

BKC PK13 Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

  • Length: 13 feet
  • Width: 33.25 inches
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Capacity: 550 pounds

Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot Kayak

  • Length: 12 ft 5 “
  • Width: 33.75 inches
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Capacity: 475 pounds

Buying Guide

Benefits of Pedal Kayaks:

  • Increased capacity: Include it all and the kitchen counter.
  • It’s as simple as that: turn the pedals, adjust the rudder control, and go.
  • It’s simple: Feet are more powerful than arms.
  • Faster: A higher cruising speed allows us to move farther.
  • Stable: The drive is wider and heavier, acting as a keel.
  • Hands-free fishing: It allows you to fish and go at the same moment.

 Cons of Pedal Kayak:

  • It’s difficult to maneuver.
  • Pedal kayaks are expensive as well as they are very heavy.

What is Pedal Kayak and why would people prefer it?

best pedal kayaks

Pedal kayaks are kayaks that have been designed to be paddled rather than paddled. As a result, you’re essentially using the feet and legs rather than using hands and arms. They feature a fin or a propeller below the hulls and feet pedals on the deck so you may power your movement over the water with your feet.

This frees up your hands, allowing you to engage in other pursuits like photography, bird watching, or, most popularly, fishing. Kayaking is also popular among those looking for a nice lower-body workout.

When it comes to fishing, a boat with pedals may make your time outdoors a lot easier. You didn’t have to think about gripping your paddle any longer. You may discover that a yak with pedals has so much more room for your fishing gear, depending on the model of yak you pick.

The Kayaks with pedals are primarily intended for fishing, thus they offer additional amenities that you won’t find on a standard yak. Some will include rod holders and lots of storage room for everything you’ll require for a day on the lake.

You may also be able to modify the seat position or height to fit your pedaling style or activity, allowing you to reach the pedals more effectively and kayak more successfully. 

Pedal kayaks are often broader to provide additional stability in the waters since you won’t use a paddle or your knee to steady yourself, so you’ll need that extra help to keep the kayak from capsizing.

Related Article: Best Small kayaks for fishing in 2023

Kayak Pedal Types

Pedal kayaks are not the same in practice, even though they are all created with the same basic premise. The pushing pedal kayak and the rotating pedal kayak are the two primary types of pedal kayaks.

1. Push Pedal

Push pedals are used to propel you ahead through the water by your feet pressing down on each pedal. Your feet and ankles, rather than your entire legs, provide the power.

Hitting down with each foot propels the kayak through the water, but because each foot press propels you forward, if users stop pushing the pedals, the yak will swiftly slow down.

2. Rotational Pedal

Rotational pedal systems work similarly to bicycles including that people pedal a full revolution on each side to move a propeller beneath the kayak. This design is also popular, and it has its own set of benefits over other pedal kayak systems. A rotating pedal system helps users to ride longer distances since it helps people to have a more comfortable action in both legs and feet.

When using these sorts of pedals, you’ll need additional space in your cockpit to accommodate the extra space required for your legs to move.

Vessels with rotating pedals are frequently simpler to maneuver because the majority of the work is done by your leg muscles. Individuals must be able to go quicker than a pushed pedal craft across the ocean.

How to Choose the Right Pedal Fishing Kayak?

When looking for a nice pedal-powered fishing kayak, there are a few aspects to think about, so let’s have a look at how much they could be in the buyer’s guide below.

1. Size of Kayak

Does it matter how big you are? Yes, it does when it comes to a kayak. It all depends on how much you’re planning to use your kayak. Kayaks with a length of 9-10 feet are best for calm waterways, lakes, and inlets.

Longer kayaks are better for handling rougher waves and/or covering more distances.

I’d guess the perfect spot for such a pedal-powered kayak is around 12 feet. A shorter kayak will be easier to manage, but it will not move that fast or track including a longer vessel.

2. Rudder and Steering

Rudder and steering are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Being capable to go forward and backward is great, but how could people turn left & right?

This is where a decent rudder and steering mechanism comes in, which is normally handled by one hand mostly around the cockpit area in a pedal kayak. Look for a retractable rudder, since it will make getting into or out of the water much simple, and you won’t scratch or harm it in shallow water. 

Even though there have been pedal drive devices and rudders that permit little or no fishing, I strongly advise you to take one. Users never know when they’ll need to use it, and a paddle adds speed, control, and agility to your boat.

3. Features of Fishing

Don’t overlook the fishing-friendly characteristics that any decent fishing kayak should have – or be able to add; Rod holders, fish detector scupper holes, mounting rails, and additional tracks, as well as other essential features, should not be sacrificed only because the kayak has a pedal motor.

It’s also important to have the option to add lighting and cameras.

4. Cost

A pedal kayak will almost certainly be even more pricey than a simple classic sit-on-top yak due to the additional equipment. In addition to the starting purchase price, you may find that the mechanical elements need further service, such as lubrication to maintain the rudder or propellers in excellent operating condition, which might be an additional expense to consider.

5. Weight

A kayak with pedals is typically much heavier than a regular yak of comparable size since it will frequently include additional features to accommodate the additional machinery necessary.

Because they are typically made for fishing, you may discover that they have additional storage space, which may be heavier.

6. Speed

Speed may be a crucial element in competitive kayak fishing, giving an angler the tiniest advantage over his competitors. Speed may have a significant role in a championship’s viability. Paddling a kayak along a huge lake or reservoir is a lot of effort, as everyone who has ever gone kayak fishing knows, especially if you’re short on time and want to get to a new place fast.

Anglers can now attain higher speeds with less effort than previously thanks to new pedal kayak models. Advanced pedal kayak models now allow the user to attain faster speeds while maintaining better consistent speeds than ever before.

Top 11 Best Pedal Drive Fishing Kayaks Reviews 2023

1. Hobie Mirage Drive PA 12 with 360

  • Length 12 feet
  • Width 36 inches
  • Weight 132.5 pounds
  • Capacity 500 pounds

This Hobie Pro Angler is highly regarded on the open sea, in the backwater, and even on long-distance trips. Dual rudder control, a Livewell-ready cargo room, and below-deck gear storage, with acres of cushioned deck space, are among the most significant features. The seat is highly comfortable with cushioned mesh that dries fast & adjustable lumbar support, the seat is extremely comfortable.

Move through to the water freely with all MirageDrive 360 with Kick-Up fins, going precisely wherever you want to go. Rotate and move in any direction with ease. Hobie’s innovative Kick-Up Fins retract instantly on contact — even shallow regions are now completely accessible. No trouble with logs, kelp, shallows, or rocks.

The PA 12 comes with six-rod holders, an adjustable, raised Vantage ST seat, an extra-wide hull, and EVA cushioning. Long days on the lake are made possible with ultra-comfortable, flexible Vantage ST seating, dual handling, Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield, and extra-wide beam. Install your rod holder and gadgets on the Hobie H-Rail bars, which have 12 sides.

On the other side, this is a large boat with a 500-pound capacity that stands well off the water to take advantage of the wind and current. The Mirage Drive has the advantage of quick zero-draft for shallow water fishing. However, when it comes to moving the enormous boat in thin water, such as weed-choked farming ponds or dirty tidal flats, the ProAngler simply comes with a canoe paddle.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent long-term stability
  • With its pedal mechanism, it is easily pushed and has enough storage
  • Kick-up fins and rudder are transducer-ready
  • Exceptionally comfy

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive
  • It is a little heavier than other fishing kayaks

2. BKC PK13 Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

  • Length: 13 feet
  • Width: 33.25 inches
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds

The PK13 is a rotomolded polyethylene plastic fishing kayak with rotating pedal propulsion and a raised seat by the Brooklyn Kayak Company. Anglers seeking a steady vessel for lakes or the ocean may find this to be an economical alternative. It’s also ideal for first-time kayak fishermen because it includes a paddle

The hull is sturdy, and the rudder is positioned under the hull in a low profile. Its breadth is smaller than that of some smaller angler kayaks, which may aid in tracking and speed on the water. This might not be the ideal choice for tiny rivers or ponds, though, because it is 13 feet long.

It features plenty of storage space, with enough space for a full day’s fishing or even camping supplies. A fishing box may be stored on the spacious stern cargo deck, which is secured with bungees. 

The big front hatch is perfect for storing wet stuff. 3 flat-mounted rod holders are also included, as well as room to add your extras.

The hand-operated rudder was incorporated by the manufacturer to offer you complete control over the craft’s direction without exerting too much effort. 

This sit-on-top kayak can contain enough things to last you till the conclusion of your kayaking journey, with a weight capacity of 550 pounds.

Reasons to Buy

  • It also includes a paddle in case you want to get an arm workout while kayaking
  • Pedal kayak on a budget
  • A large capacity
  • It is ideal for fishing in open water
  • Large paddlers will like it

Reasons to Avoid

  • This kayak isn’t ideal for tiny bodies of water
  •  It’s also a great option for long-distance trips

3. Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot Kayak

  • Length: 12 ft 5 “
  • Width: 33.75 “
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 475 pounds

This fishing kayak from Pescador Pilot is Twelve and a half feet in length and 33 and 34 inches broad, making it a little thinner than other pedal kayaks. All your fishing equipment will fit easily in this 475-pound hauler.

The kayak has a low-profile rudder handle that is simple to grab and doesn’t take up too much deck space, making it easier to steer.

This sit-on-top has a rotating pedal to power the propeller driving system below the hull, allowing you to glide through the water quickly and with little effort.

This kayak is meant to be efficient to travel, weighs 85 pounds, and features comfortable grip carrying handles, however, you may need to use a trolley to bring it to the water.

This Pilot Drive propeller system featured inside the Perception Pescador pedals kayak attracts outdoor enthusiasts. It’s what allows kayakers to take photos, sip water, and truly experience nature without having to use their hands.

The deck has plenty of room for all of your gear, including four molded-in rod holders. There are also bungee cords, tackle storage pods, and a mesh bow cover, as well as two locations for installing electronics like a fish finder, transducer mount, or GPS.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and water-resistant.
  • Rudder operated by hand.
  • Rod holders are built-in.
  • Additional storage space is available under the seats.

Reasons to Avoid

  • The rudder might be a pain to use
  • It’s a little on the heavier side.

4. Old Town Sportsman 120

  • Length: 12 foot
  • Width: 33.5″
  • Weight: 116 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

This Old Town Sportsman is constructed for fishing comfort and stability, featuring a DoubleU deck for improved stability in a variety of water conditions. 


The luxury seating, which is developed for UV resistance and durability featuring a 3d model and airy Textilene fabric for all-day comfort, is an excellent feature of this plastic fishing kayak.

 The seat may also be adjusted in height. The PDL drive, which has a five-year guarantee and rotating pedal with such a propeller under a hull, comes with a five-year warranty.

With a sealed bow door, a rod and equipment management system with horizontal rod storage, and an expanded stern tank well for a cooler or crate, there’s enough storage room on deck.

It also has non-slip EVA deck cushioning for a more secure standing position.

Reasons to Buy

  • For fishing, a stable pedal kayak is essential
  • Constructed to last
  • There is plenty of storage space
  • The adjustable sitting system is comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Quite hefty

5. Perception Crank 10

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 35 inches
  • Weight: 87 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds

If you’re searching for a small, easy-to-use pedal kayak, look no further. It’s easy to move on both or off the water because it’s only 10 feet long. In comparison to certain other pedal kayaks, it’s also rather light, making it easy to carry and carry

The Perception Kayaks Crank 10, is sometimes a better option. It works well on a wide range of water surfaces, including lakes, ponds, and coastal waterways. This boat has many features, including a removable breathable mesh seat as well as a newer pedal drive.

With no need to replace the drive before returning, this kayak can easily pedal back and forth across calm waters.

It includes a foldable adjustable Captain’s Chair with breathable mesh cloth for comfort that can also be removed. To protect your fishing gear, there are front and back storage compartments with bungee cords.

The big rear tank well may accommodate the kayak crate, a waterproof bag, or coolers without any additional conditions on the decks of this kayak. This implies that you really can go cruising all day.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact
  • Storage and transportation are simple
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to use and move

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are no fishing rod holders
  • For big paddlers, this is not the best option

6. Ocean Kayak Malibu

  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width: 34″
  • Weight: 100 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds

 From top to bottom, this Malibu Pedal is made to make kayaking simple and carefree. The PDL drive attaches in a matter of seconds with no maintenance required

If you’re searching for a brilliantly colored boat with the same high-quality features as an Old Town kayak, this recreational watercraft from Ocean Kayak is a great choice.

The PDL pedal system allows it to glide easily over the water’s surface while also stabilizing it when fishing from a standing posture.

It’s made of all-powerful Polyethylene, which has a strong construction and obedient performance. Thanks to the kayak’s hand-controlled rudder, you have complete control over the boat’s direction.

Although the hull’s design isn’t very sophisticated, it does provide ample legroom as well as a rotating backrest for seating. Along both sides of the gear, there are bungee-cord storage compartments to keep your belongings safe. There are also cushioned handles to make transporting the equipment easier.

Reasons to Buy

  • Check-mark the seat constructed into the gear including a compartment and a hatch underneath it for extra storage space
  • The bungees may be removed to allow you to bring your pet along with you

Reasons to Avoid

  • For certain users, the boat may appear to be a bit too short


7. Feel Free Lure 11.5

  • Length: 11.5 ft
  • width: 34”
  • Weight: 96 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

This Feel Free Lure model could be your best pick if you’re switching from a paddle to a pedal kayak. Its length of 11.5 inches falls in between an exceptionally long kayak and a short-ish watercraft.

The Overdrive pedal system provides a level of speed rarely seen in amateur kayaks, putting it in a desirable position for people who do not want to sacrifice quality for speed.

When moving between fishing and relaxing, a detachable Gravity seat with different position settings comes in useful.

There are also the essential components for a good fishing trip – two fishing rod hooks and a Uni-Track mechanism for fastening your accessories are available for your convenience. When fishing from a standing position, this padded standing system allows people to feel at ease.

Reasons to Buy

  • The watercraft check-mark can be easily transported thanks to the wheels in the keel and the side handles
  • The Gravity seat, which comes standard with the kayak, is said to be among the most adaptable seats available

Reasons to Avoid

  • The hand-operated rudder is of poor quality

8. Vibe Kayaks Shearwater 125

  • Length:12’6”
  • Weight: 109lbs
  • Width: 35”
  • Weight Capacity: 475 lbs

This Vibe Shearwater pedal fishing kayak is an economical option for seas and large lakes. This kayak is a full-featured, stand-up, sit-on-top kayak that’s ready to fish inshore and backwater

 Shearwater boats offer a level deck, sturdy hull, and smart fishing features as contrasted to a Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 or Old Town Topwater 120 PDL.

It’s a long kayak at 12 feet 6 inches, which means it’s a little more difficult to control but a little faster. It has standup decks, four-rod holders, additional tracks, gear storage, and comfy seats, among other fishing amenities.

There’s a hard plastic carrying handle on the bow, similar to what Vibe presently uses on the majority of their models. These handles have been shown to be robust and dependable, so raising the kayak should be a breeze.

Then there’s a front tank well for a soft cover and a paddle park built-in. When you really need to quickly store your paddle but still have it with you, this is a good option.

It’s not the lightest, either, at 116.5 lbs with its X-Drive pedal system.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very adaptable and comfy
  • It can handle all kinds of water, from little streams to the open sea
  • It handles well on the water, is quite stable, and has lots of space

Reasons to Avoid

  • It’s enormous. That isn’t inherently a negative thing, but it should be considered if you want to load it yourself
  • There are no instructions for assembling the rutter

9. Bonafide SS127 Ultimate Fishing Kayak

  • Length: 12’7”
  • Width: 33.75”
  • Weight: 94 pounds with a seat
  • Weight Capacity: 475

This Bonafide SS127 is a stable sit-on-top kayak that allows you to fish comfortably either sitting or standing. Although it is not a pedal kayak, the center console on the boat may allow you to install your own pedal drive propulsion system

This kayak is roomy, with enough space for both you and your belongings. It also has a large weight capacity, allowing you to load up all of your fishing gear for the day on the water.

This HiRise seating system provides a superior view position for sight fishing and is comfortable to sit on whether paddling, peddling, or simply waiting for a bite. When standing, there are extra deck mats for traction, notably on the tops of the gunwales.

The Bonafide SS127 has a hybrid cat hull design that provides it with the solidity of a pontoon boat. This makes it suitable for a variety of seas, as well as aiding tracking and making it easier to navigate.

This boat includes a lot of features that might make your journey simpler because it was designed for fishing. YakAttack GearTracs let you more easily modify your watercraft by adding extra gear.

The kayak includes a movable bow door, a big rear cargo well enough with bungees, under-seat storage, and paddle holders, among other features.

Reasons to Buy

  • Stability is excellent
  • Platforms for standing on the deck and on the sides
  • The hull is designed in the form of a pontoon boat

Reasons to Avoid

  • For more casual paddlers, it’s probably too pricey
  • Some people may find the metal bar on the seat frame unpleasant

10. Wilderness Systems Radar Pedal Kayak

  • Length: 11’ 8”
  • Width: 34.5”
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds

This Radar is a single-person fishing yak with a versatile design. It has a Helix PD pedals drive system that is simple to install and uninstall, allowing you to use pedals or paddle power whenever you want

It’s a flexible kayak that can be used in rivers, lakes, and even along the coast where the water is turbulent and harsh. This Helix HD Pedal Drive is extremely smooth, making it simple for users to attain their desired speed in a short period of time.

This ship has S.M.A.R.T hull technology, which provides stability, maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness, and tracking in a variety of water conditions. As a result, it must be able to manage a wide range of water while still being simple to use. It also has a standing platform to make fishing simpler.

Because it can readily be equipped with electronics or sonar equipment, this kayak is an excellent choice for dedicated fishers. Anglers will like the additional storage, the comfy seats, and the padded cockpit space, which is large and stable for standing and fishing. The Radar 115 from Wilderness Systems has a lot of high-end capabilities at a reasonable price.

Reasons to Buy

  • Storage space is plenty
  • Transducer ready with a smooth pedal drive

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are no side handles
  • Several Helix Drive parts aren’t included

11. Jackson Kayak Big Rig FD

  • Length: 13’3”
  • Width: 40”
  • Weight: 145 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds

The Big Rig FD Kayak by Jackson. This is the most stable pedal kayak manufactured for serious fishing. Furthermore, it is a somewhat hefty boat, which may make transportation more challenging. It may be more difficult to store and manage in small bodies of water because its length is almost 13 feet.

This Jackson Big Rig FD is a big pedal fishing kayak that is suitable for a wide range of aquatic habitats, including open water. It has a Flex Drive 3D pedal device that drives a propeller under the hulls that flip up when it hits shallow water or submerged obstacles.

The pedal drive may easily be swapped out with the Flex Drive E motor system (available separately), allowing you to switch to motorized operation if needed. The pedal drive may be moved forward and backward, and the built-in rudder can be used to turn.

There are lots of gear rails for attaching additional accessories, and also front and stern storage hatches, a rear tank well, and built-in rod holders on this wide, capacious kayak. It also has a massive 550-pound capacity, which is fantastic for packing for a lengthy vacation or if you’re a bigger paddler.

The boat is broad and solid, with a Hi-Lo ergonomic seat that adjusts for enhanced comfort whether fishing or riding. You might just be capable of standing up inside for easy casting if you have decent balance.

Since this Jackson Big Rig FD is not a lighter kayak, you may require assistance getting it from point A to point B. If you need to pull it down the beach, it does include a front side carrying handles, and also a changeable skid plate.

Reasons to Buy

  • Kayak with forward and reverse pedal propulsion
  • High-capacity, stable, and interchangeable drive systems are available

Reasons to Avoid

  • The weight is excessive


1. What is the function of a pedal kayak?

A pedal kayak operates using the pressure of the feet to push the kayak’s fins or propeller, which are located immediately beneath the hull. Rather than paddles or oars, the kayaker’s legs perform the work, and fin or propellers are utilized to produce force rather than paddles or oars.

2. Is there a difference in speed between a pedal kayak and a paddle kayak?

In a nutshell, pedal kayaks are roughly twice as fast as traditional kayaks. Compared to a standard paddle, the push and rotating pedals provide far greater force. It can move a kayak through any chop considerably more efficiently since they both impact a propeller or a mirage drive positioned under the kayak. Second, pedal kayaks allow you to travel the same distance with far less effort than a normal kayak.

3. Is it true that pedal kayaks are more stable?

Because pedal kayaks are larger, broader, and thicker than typical kayak designs, they are naturally stable.


Pedal kayaks are great for novices or those who want to put in the least amount of work necessary while participating in this watersport. It’s also ideal for folks who have problems with their upper bodies. With two-pedal styles to choose from, you may try out each before deciding which one you prefer. It’s all a matter of personal choice!

When selecting the Best Pedal Kayaks for Fishing for 2023, bear in mind how you plan to move it to and from the water, trying to make sure it’s not too huge, and also the extra maintenance that the mechanics will necessitate, as these additional expenditures should be factored into your decision.

Kayaking is a fun activity to participate in because of the simple mechanism. It also allows you to include a variety of activities.

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