Ric Burnley
New Malibu Stealth goes outside the box for go-anywhere fishing kayak with smart features.

Malibu Kayak’s Introduce New and Updated Line and the West Coast favorite is back with the flagship Stealth 14

Since the beginning of kayak fishing, Malibu Kayaks have been a favorite for anglers looking for a high quality boat at home on the open water or the backwater. For 2017, they’ve updated six kayaks in their line and introduced a new flagship boat—the Stealth 14. We got a sneak peak of the boat at Outdoor Retailer 2016.

The new boat is 14-feet, five-inches long and weighs in at 85 pounds. Like the rest of the fleet, the Stealth 14 is built with the same quality materials and attention to bullet-proof detail expected from Malibu. But this model premiers new features that are sure to be favorites for anglers. Starting in the bow, they’ve designed a cavernous Gator Hatch that takes up the whole bow and even includes a molded-in reverse seat to carry a kid or dog. The hatch is secured with bungees and can be removed to expose a removable insert. Take out the insert and you get access to the hull large enough to store rods or camping gear.

Moving back, they’ve installed an old favorite: the add-on X-Wing accessory bar. This molded tackle and electronics station attaches to the either gunnel via gear tracks. The X-Wing can be plumbed with wires for electronics and set-up with display units like a dashboard.

In the center of the deck, they’ve included three hatches. Two small wing hatches on either side of a huge circular live-bait well. The hatch lid is locked with a four way mechanism that assure all sides of the hatch are sealed. There is a six-inch, clear-plastic hatch in the center of the large hatch for easy access to bait or gear inside the well. The well can be plumbed with a pump and overflow to carry bait or left dry to store gear.

The crowning accomplishment is Malibu’s new seat. The Stealth frame seat is light and low profile so it won’t interfere with paddling or fishing. The mesh back can be reclined or folded forward. The seat can be set in high or low position by lifting and lock in the legs into molded clips. I like that the seat is easy to fold the seat up out of the way. Folded up, the underside of the seat has an extendable leaning post that will accommodate rod holders for easy stand-up fishing.

Behind the seat, they’ve built in a large square hatch that accommodates the new X-Tank. This is a removable crate that can be used for gear storage, plumbed for a live-bait well or used as a cooler. There is even rumor that a motor option is coming down the road.

Kicking the tires on the new Stealth 14, I’m glad to see Malibu making a big splash in kayak fishing, again.


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