5 Best New Kayaks and Canoes for 2016
Derrek Sigler 07.25.16
Who hasn’t watched a movie, or read a book, and envisioned floating down some wild waterway in a canoe with a big buck lashed to the bow? Let’s face it, there is definitely a bit of romance to the thought. Kayaks and Canoes have always been an economical way to transport one’s self and explore the world. With recent innovations, the sport of kayak fishing has exploded – check out the amazing video below! – along with hunting and much more.
Kayaks are incredibly popular today and for good reason. They offer an easy-to-use platform that anyone can get into. Kayak fishing has really taken off, too. If you’ve ever tried it, you know why. It adds a level of connection when fishing that you can’t experience from other boats. There’s nothing like having a largemouth bass or northern pike pull you around a lake like you were a harpooner on a whaling skiff back in the 1800s!
So what do anglers want in a fishing kayak? Topping that list is stability. Having the boat ride steadily in the water and not rocking side-to-side when casting or fighting a fish is vitally important. There is a growing number of anglers who stand up in the boat while fishing, too. Another feature to a fishing kayak is versatility. Kayakers have long used storage on the boat for keeping gear needed during the journey. Anglers need that storage, too, and they need it to be accessible. Along with versatility comes the use of electronics, and for that reason many fishing kayaks have been designed to be easier to mount and use fishfinders and other electronics.
There’s two basic types of boats. Sit-on kayaks have you doing just that, you’re completely open and exposed on top of the boat. These kayaks are easy for getting on and off, but because you’re more exposed, you’re probably going to get wet. The other type is the sit-in boat. These are the enclosed boats that your legs go down into. These types of boats offer you more protection from the elements but can be a little harder to get in and out of, especially if you capsize.
5 Great Picks
Cabela’s sells a lot of different kayaks and saw room in the market for a new design. Enter the Cabela’s Advanced Anglers 120 Fishing Kayak, which is featured in the video above. At $999.99, the Advanced Angler kayak was completely designed from the water up as a premier fishing kayak.
It has a tri-hull design that cuts down on drag, making it easier and faster to paddle while remaining an extremely stable platform. In fact, the Cabela’s kayak was designed to accommodate standing anglers, with a specialized platform for casting and a seat that is configurable to use as a leaning bar. There is a removable console box that can serve to work as a storage box, or as a battery box and mounting location for electronics. You can even mount the transducer right to the bottom of the console. If you use the box for storage, it will fit three 3600-size storage boxes. The Advanced Anglers 120 measures 12’2″L x 35″W and weighs 100 pounds. It has a weight capacity of 400 pounds. It also features four gear tracks for mounting accessories such as rod holders, and it comes in a camo pattern, making it an excellent choice for hunters, too.
Liking the idea of kayak fishing, but thinking you don’t want to spend a lot on a boat? There are options for any budget.
The $349.99 Emotion Guster Angler Kayak might just be the answer. The Guster (above) is a different style, being a sit-in kayak. The hull is designed for stability and tracking through the water, making it an easy paddler. Foam blocks keep you afloat when the water just can see fit to stay outside the boat. There’s two built-in rod holders and a molded-in comfortable seat back to keep you catching fish all day. The 10-foot-long Guster weighs in at just 49 pounds, and it has a 275-pound capacity.
Looking for a lower priced sit-on kayak that will get you on the fish? Try the $399.99 Lifetime Muskie Angler 10-ft. Kayak. The Muskie Angler (photo above) is made of durable UV-protected high-density polyethylene plastic. Some cheaper kayaks are made of less-durable plastics that break down under the sun over time. Like other boats costing more, the Muskie has molded in rod holders and a couple of storage compartments that will keep your stuff close and secure. Like other boats, the hull was designed to be stable, allowing various fishing positions for the adventurous kayak angler. It weighs 52 pounds and has a 275-pound capacity.
Two-seat kayaks offer the opportunity to take a fishing buddy along. They blend the ease and styling of a kayak with the multi-person ability of a canoe.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler Sit-on-top Kayak sells for $899.99 and is perfect for fishing with a buddy. In fact, there’s enough room in the Malibu for two adults as well as a small child or a four-legged fishing buddy. Even with the additional seating, there’s still plenty of storage space and a center hatch keeps important stuff secure. The seating is extremely comfortable for all-day fishing fun. Durability is not a problem either with a reinforced skid plate on the bottom for those times when the bottom comes up quickly, or portaging turns out to not be an easy proposition. You can get it in either brown or a cool-looking urban camo pattern. It measures 13’4″L x 34″W and weighs in at only 74 pounds. The Malibu Two XL has a 500-pound weight capacity, too.
Still, there is that romance of the canoe. A canoe is extremely versatile, and there are a lot of good ones available. But what if you could blend a canoe and a kayak?
Enter the $999.99 Old Town Next Canoe. The Next is a single person canoe with a low-profile that shares paddling characteristics of a kayak. It has a tri-layered hull that tracks extremely smooth through the water. You can use either a regular single blade paddle, or a dual blade, like a kayaker. You also get the stability of a canoe, and the amazingly comfortable Element seat for all-day long expeditions. The boat weighs in at 54 pounds and has a 450-pound capacity. At only 13 feet long, the Next is easy to portage, so you can explore new areas that have been calling your name.
This article on Cabela’s kayaks and Cabela’s canoes was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s