ICAST First Look: Jackson Kayak Knarr

A full-size, full-feature kayak with tons of features ready for the knarliest adventures

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At almost 14 feet long and 37 inches wide, the new Jackson Kayak Knarr is a big boat designed for big adventure. To enter the full-feature, full-size fishing kayak game, Jackson put all of their experience and innovation into the new king of their fleet.

Jackson Knarr Goes Bigger Than Ever

With high sides, bow and stern and streamlined hull, the Knarr is ready to cover miles of big water. On the topside, the boat boasts acres of tackle storage and room to hold a half dozen rods.

One of the most innovative features is the TriTrax gear track system running down each side of the boat. The new track system allows you to install accessories on top or either side of the track. I can add a fish finder display mount to the top of the gear track, then install the transducer arm to the side of the track. The three-sided gear track offers more options to add rod holders and cup holders, too.

The crowning achievement, which makes the big boat possible, is Jackson’s new Mark IV FlexDrive pedal system. The bicycle-style pedals turn a propeller on a flexible shaft. If you hit an underwater obstruction, the lower unit bends before it breaks. And, with the pull of a lever on the topside, the prop folds into a cavity in the bottom of the boat. Open a small door in the deck to clean grass and fishing line off the propeller. The system is one of the easiest to go from deep to shallow water in seconds.

To steer the boat, Jackson installed rudder controls on each side of the seat. So, if you are fighting a fish with the rod in your right hand, you can turn the boat with your left hand. Or, if you are drinking coffee with your left hand, use your right hand to change direction.

If pedal power isn’t sufficient, the Knarr is designed to take an electric motor with storage for the battery and below deck access to wires and controls.

man paddles the Jackson Knarr at ICAST demo day

Jackson Knarr Seat, Storage and More

Big boats and big adventure mean hours on the water, so Jackson spent hours designing and refining the EZ-HiLo seat. The mesh padded seat is easy to adjust from high fishing position to low pedaling position with one hand.

The Knarr’s ambitions are not limited by a lack of storage space. A huge hatch in the bow, a big hatch in the stern and 475 pounds of capacity allow the boat to be loaded with fishing, hunting and camping gear.

The true test of a big boat comes on the water. The Knarr’s hull design and pedal system combine to make the boat surprisingly fast and nimble. Even at 140 pounds, the FlexDrive pushes the kayak across the water, through waves and current. When I was standing and fishing, I could still propel the big kayak with a paddle.

Any weather or water condition is a breeze for the Knarr thanks to the sporty hull which provides maximum stability and speed under pedal or motor power. When paired with the redesigned Flex Drive Mark IV, the new Knarr enters the big-boat race with a head start.

From the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide:

Jackson Kayak

Knarr FD

Jackson Kayak conquers the water. Introducing the Knarr FD, a kayak 100% dialed in on the challenges presented by oceans and large lakes. Bring on the surf, current, wind, tide, and elements - these are the focus of our design.
  • Features our new Mark IV Flex Drive System
  • Updated/upgraded steering controls
  • JK Multibox can be placed in multiple locations
  • Tall gunnels provide protected storage for rods & gear
  • TriTrak for nearly unlimited rigging solutions


The Jackson Kayak Knarr is the Best Fishing Boat And Board of 2023 as voted by the public in the fourth annual Paddling Magazine Industry Awards. Read more and see a complete list of winners here.


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