Fishing kayaks with pedal drives are growing in popularity and with more and more brands coming out with their own versions, there are lots of options for anglers to choose from. Having a pedal drive system offers many advantages to anglers as it frees up your hands for fishing, is faster and enables you to cover greater distances, and requires less strain on your body.
These pedal drive fishing kayaks from Hobie, Vibe Kayaks, Perception Kayaks, Pelican, NuCanoe, Old Town, Wilderness Systems, Kaku Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Ocean Kayak, Feelfree Kayaks, Jackson Adventures and more offer a wide variety of styles to ensure you have the best on-water experience.
Here are the best fishing kayaks with pedals on the market today:
- Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 with 360 Technology
- Vibe Kayaks Shearwater 125
- Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot 12.0
- Pelican Catch 130 HDII
- NuCanoe Pursuit with H2Pro Drive
- Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132
- Wilderness Systems Radar 135 with Helix PD Pedal Drive
- Kaku Kayaks Zulu
- Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Max 12.5
- Ocean Kayak Malibu Pedal
- Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 with Overdrive
- Riot Kayaks Mako 12
- Jackson Adventures Big Rig FD
- Blue Sky Boatworks 360 Angler
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Kayak Fishing Kayaks for 2021. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Mirage Pro Angler 12 from Hobie with the all-new MirageDrive 360 and Kick-Up Fins, moves through the water without constraints, going exactly where you want to go. The MirageDrive 360 allows you to effortlessly spin and move in every direction, while the Kick-Up Fins—which immediately retract on impact—make even shallow areas navigable, and logs, kelp and rocks of little concern. The PA 12 is packed full of features including six rod holders, the adjustable, elevated Vantage ST seat, an extra-wide hull and EVA padding.
Read Kayak Angler‘s full review of the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal drive system. View all Hobie pedal drive fishing kayaks.
The Shearwater 125 by Vibe Kayaks was designed with speed and stability in mind. It has many options for angling customization including offering the choice of pedal, power, or paddle acceleration in the form of the Vibe X-Drive pedal system, Bixpy Jet motor and Vibe Evolve paddle—or the unique combo of all three. Plus this kayak comes at a price that allows you to build the fishing kayak of your dreams while fitting any budget.
The Pescador Pilot 12 from Perception Kayaks is an affordable sit-on-top kayak packed to the gills with fishing features and complete with the included Pilot Drive pedal drive system. The Pilot Drive is performance-engineered to achieve the perfect balance of simplicity and ingenuity and is ergonomically optimized for all-day, hands-free fishing. The Pilot 12 is also outfitted with a Captain’s Chair, on-the-fly adjustable gear tracks and tension knobs, and four molded-in rod holders.
View all Perception pedal drive fishing kayaks.
The Catch 130 HyDryve II by Pelican brings pedal drive technology within grasp on this 12’6” rudder-controlled fishing kayak. It’s made with Pelican’s proprietary RAM-X Premium, a multi-layer polyethylene with an advanced resin in the top layer imparting a glossy finish and providing significantly more rigidity than standard polyethylene. The Catch 130HDII remains light, stiff, strong, and easy to transport. At only 78 pounds, you won’t need any help to load or unload this kayak.
The Pursuit from NuCanoe is a high-performance and high-potential fishing kayak for competitive kayak anglers. It maximizes speed and stability while providing exceptional tracking and maneuverability. The open deck layout gives anglers full control over the configuration and outfitting and the new H2Pro Drive pedal system means the Pursuit can be powered by paddle, pedal or motor.
View all NuCanoe pedal drive fishing kayaks.
Get to your spot, then stay there without paddling on the Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 pedal kayak from Old Town. With instant forward and reverse propulsion, maneuverability and stability, you’ll enjoy precise boat control while your hands remain free to fish. Their award-winning PDL Drive is one of the most reliable and easy-to-use pedal drives on the market.
The Radar 135 is Wilderness Systems‘ first tri-powered kayak with paddle, power and pedal capabilities. For ultimate hands-free fishing, the Radar features S.M.A.R.T. Hull Technology that combines stability, maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness and tracking throughout the entire design for superior performance in multiple water environments. It’s compatible with Wilderness Systems’ Helix PD Pedal Drive and MD Motor Drive, and is available in two sizes: 11’5″ and 13’5″.
The new Zulu from Kaku Kayaks allows you to paddle it, pedal it or motorize it. It’s designed with stability, speed and versatility in mind, and features an open, roomy deck that is great for standing and fishing. The unique sight casting chair that was introduced on the Voodoo allows you to get an elevated view of the water. The Zulu can carry tons of gear and there are gear tracks allowing for lots of different rigging options. It’s also fully integrated with a Micro Power Pole mount.
The Slayer Propel Max 12.5 from Native Watercraft is designed with adjustable and elevated seating, horizontal rod storage, a rocketed bow to get up and over chop, a transducer that is recessed in the hull, and stern and bow anchoring that is motor-ready. The propel pedal drive allows you to go between forward and reverse hands-free. This boat is great for offshore salt, inshore salt and freshwater environments.
Dive in feet first with the Malibu Pedal from Ocean Kayak. It features an advanced PDL Drive System that makes for a fresh new kayaking experience. It’s fun, zippy, stable and has turn-on-a-dime performance. A kid’s jumpseat makes family outings a breeze, and it even has plenty of room to bring your dog along for a complete family adventure. New for 2020 is the addition of two flush mount rod holders.
The Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 with Overdrive from Feelfree Kayaks features the modern evolution of pedal-powered kayak propulsion, offering effortless speed, ease of use and adaptability. The Overdrive unit is the only two-in-one system that offers forward and reverse pedal- or power-driven capabilities in one single unit when paired with the Motordrive. It features the Feelfree 8Ball Steering system and Gravity seat adjuster for accessibility and comfort. Engineered to last, the system is manufactured using cast aluminum and finished off with heavy-duty components. Paddle, pedal or power, the Overdrive system gives kayak anglers and recreational paddlers the flexibility to Feelfree all day long no matter where they choose to have fun.
Riot Kayaks Mako 12
The Mako 12 from Riot Kayaks comes with the high comfort movable seat, impulse drive and pilot rudder system with hand steering. Features include abundant tracks for additional gear, a reflective safety grab line, four flush mount rod holders, four rubber grab handles, an eight-inch deck hatch and a six-inch access hatch along with a built-in bow handle.
The Big Rig HD/FD from Jackson Adventures is one of their most popular fishing kayaks that now comes with the addition of FlexDrive 3D pedaling power. The FD is compatible with their FlexDrive E motor, giving users a truly hands-free fishing experience, where the rudder controls return to foot control and the battery will take you anywhere you want to go. The Hi-Lo Ergo Seat Frame with MOLLE System includes infinite fore-aft trimming and the unique Big Rig rod troughs are doubled up with two rod tubes on both sides of the bow.
Jackson Kayak’s use of track systems remain throughout, giving you flexibility in setting up for the day of fishing and their hulls are molded for Raymarine and Power-Pole readiness. Storage is upgraded throughout the Big Rig FD with hatches updated to new rotating latches.
The 360 Angler from Blue Sky Boatworks is for those who want a kayak specifically designed for fishing and that doesn’t compromise space, comfort, accessories, storage, stealth or the ability to get to those skinny/shallow waters the big boats can’t. The 360 Angler features the stability of a bass boat with the convenience of a kayak. The Angler has gear tracks for rod mounts, comes with rod holders, has hull storage for rods and tackle boxes, and much more. The Flex Drive system allows for hands-free forward and reverse and consists of a daggerboard-protected two prop propeller which, combined with unique articulation, gives increased performance and helps keep the system clear of obstacles and easy to clean.
How we chose the best pedal drive fishing kayaks
We consider several factors when choosing the best pedal drive fishing kayaks. From ensuring we judge the kayak according to its intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the kayak in each category:
- Purpose. Comparing apples to apples.
- Performance. How well does it do its job?
- Features. Sometimes we’re all about bells and whistles, sometimes not.
- Real-world testing. We put them to the test on the water.
- Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
- Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason.
- Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it.
- Designer and brand interviews. We ask the people who made it why.
Let’s find you the perfect pedal drive kayak for fishing
Use the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide‘s reviews, specs and expert rankings to help you find the right kayak at the right price. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations in The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2021.