10 Best Fishing Kayaks With Foot Pedals
To be able to cross the open waters and cut through the wind and waves with ease you want a kayak that will give you the freedom you want and the stability you need.
When it comes to paddling your kayak in rough weather conditions, you need to be on top of your game and in good physical condition.
However, there are kayaks on the market that allow you to use your leg power and pedal through the rough seas without over exerting yourself.
Even in calm waters using a pedal-powered kayak will allow you to enjoy your surrounding and nature.
With pedal powered kayaks, you can keep your hands free to do other things, like hold a fishing rod or binoculars for bird watching and go faster through the water.
Well, you can keep your hands busy and get tired quickly or get one of these best fishing kayaks with foot pedals to give you more benefit during kayak fishing.
Best Kayaks With Foot Pedals (Top 10)
Pedal powered kayaks
Why are pedal powered kayaks important?
Pedal kayaks are great for fishing from as they provide you with the stability and hands-free maneuverability.
Plus you don't have to worry about losing your paddle out in the water.
However, as a safety issue, you should always keep an eye on the surface of the water so you don't run into debris or rocks.
Pros of kayaks with foot pedals
- You are capable of faster speeds than with traditional paddling with the arms.
- Once you are comfortable with the speed and are accustomed to your pedal powered kayak you can cast you line out and going fishing or relax with a drink in your hand as you take in the views.
- Pedal kayaks have far more space for your gear so you are never cramped or enclosed.
- Easier to go in reverse with pedal kayaks than paddles.
Cons of kayaks with foot pedals
- With Pedal kayaks you cannot switch positions or shift around much due to the location of the pedals.
- You are stuck in an "L" position the whole time you are pedaling and can have serious issues quickly due to lack of circulation in the legs and back issues.
- Balancing your kayak properly you need a paddle, not just the pedal drive system.
- The placement of your feet which is higher off the kayak's bottom can cause you to lose balance when pedaling. However, over time as you grow accustomed to your kayak, this balance issue will disappear.
- You require a rudder to steer.
Sure, there are some issues with the pedal powered kayaks, but that shouldn't turn you off.
The best thing you can do is rent one for the day and experience it for yourself before you buy one.
Pedal kayaks utilize the power of your legs and as long as you are comfortable with pedaling the kayak like a bike, you shouldn't have any issues with using them.
Things to consider when buying a fishing kayak with foot pedals
There are few things you should consider when you are buying a pedal powered fishing kayak.
Understand things like:
- The Mechanics of pedal-powered kayaks.
- The Different designs for foot pedal kayaks.
- The different types of pedal power systems.
- Stability and Control.
- Ease of transportation.
The systems of pedal drive kayaks are fixed.
This only means that you can pedal, but as far as steering, it is tricky and nearly impossible without a rudder.
Many pedal power kayaks do come standard with a rudder for steering clear of rocks and debris while ultimately keeping your hands free to do what you will.
Because the pedal kayaks utilize the most powerful muscles in the human body, the legs, the amount of force generated is greater than what can be accomplished with the arms.
However, your back and spine are affected by the forced your legs use and should be taken into consideration when you decide to purchase a pedal kayak system.
Remember that the force you use to push the pedals also affects the lower back as you steady yourself in the seat.
This added pressure can build up and cause you harm if you have poor posture, back issues, spine problems and in worse case scenarios, lack of circulation in the legs and sciatica which is caused by the vertebrae in the spine compressing the sciatic nerve.
Many kayaks that are pedal powered are hard-shell made of polyethylene or fiberglass.
You can be assured that no matter what kayak you chose, it will be reliable and sturdy.
As far as classification go, pedal kayaks are recreational kayaks and best used for fishing, sight-seeing, and other low impact trips.
They are not intended for use as racing kayaks as they take too much effort and stamina to keep up top speeds with pedal kayaks.
Types of pedal powered kayaks
There are two different types of pedal-powered kayaks, and one is push pedals and the other rotational pedals.
The push pedal kayak deals with pushing your foot forward similar to a bicycle but instead of moving tires to gain momentum you are pushing the kayak forward.
Just like a bicycle pedals when you stop, it takes more effort to start again.
The push pedals don't allow for much space and some will feel cramped with the repeated motions of a pedal kayak.
When you are out on long trips, you may find that your ankles and calves hurt due to the repetition of pedaling the same way over extended periods of time.
A rotational pedal kayak is more like walking and requires the use of the whole leg.
It is far less stressful than push pedals but requires more space as the whole leg is moving instead of just the calves and ankles.
With the rotational pedal kayaks, if you stop pedaling you will lose some momentum but it doesn't require as much force or energy to start up again after a short rest.
Stability and control
It is difficult to keep your balance with pedal kayaks.
However, when you do get out on the water and are going at a comfortable pace, you won't need your hands to keep the kayak stable.
As for controlling your kayak, you will find that you don't have as much control over your kayak as you would when using a paddle, but to remedy this issue, you should use the rudder to help guide you where you want to go.
While this does mean that one hand will be steering, you can always use the other for holding onto your rod or drink while you are out on the open water.
When it comes to tipping the kayak, pedal power kayaks are made wider to accommodate for the pedals at your feet.
With wider kayaks, there is less chance of you finding yourself or your gear in the water.
Yet, you should realize that the wider the kayak the slower it will be and the more force you will have to crank out with your legs to get up to speed.
Ease of transportation
When you decide to purchase a pedal kayak you need to take into consideration that there are other parts to the kayak.
You will have to have enough space on the car rack to accommodate for flaps of the pedals that propel the kayak in the water as well as the rudder in the back of the kayak that can become damaged if you unload the kayak improperly.
Due to the extra weight from the pedaling system, the rudder and the width of the kayak, it would be nearly impossible to load the kayak on the top of your vehicle and should also take into account that extra weight when you are transporting the kayak.
Many people who own pedal powered kayaks have invested in a trailer in order to get the kayak safely to their favorite watering hole.
You will also notice that pedal powered kayaks are heavier than traditional kayaks and it would be wise to invest in a trolley or cart to transport it to the water and back to your vehicle.
Reviews of The 10 Best Fishing Kayaks with Pedals
Unlike paddle kayaking which offers tons of different manufacturers, pedal kayaking is only manufactured by two main companies, Native and Hobie.
While Hobie takes the lead as far as different kayaks available, Native was the first company to come up with the idea of pedal power kayaking and continues to create kayaks that are ahead of the game in many ways using different pedal systems.
1. Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 Fishing Kayak
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 is a fishing machine.
No other pedal powered kayak can stop on a dime, or maintain casting distance as this kayak does.
The Native Slayer can cover 4.2 miles per hour and up to 5.2 miles per hour when the winds pick up.
This kayak performs well under pressure from climate changes such as the wind and stormy weather.
The Slayer Propel drive unit is designed for 12-18" minimum depth depending on how much gear you have loaded into the kayak.
You can go both forward and reverse and comes standard with a left-handed rudder control.
The Slayer Propel comes with 5" dry storage hatch and padded carry handle. Unlike other kayaks, you can stand up in this kayak so you can cast out a further line than just sitting.
The kayak offers two flush mount rod holder and a right-handed forward facing rod holder that can be substituted as a cup holder. The stern rudder is impact resistant and the hull is modified for stability and tracking.
When it comes to how much weight you can load into this kayak, it can withstand up to 400 pounds and is 13-feet in length.
What sets Native Slayer Propel 13 apart from the rest of the pedal powered kayaks is that this sit-on-top kayak can carry even the bigger anglers with ample amount of space and easy to customize to suit all your water sports needs.
Features I like
- Great casting distance and amazing speed.
- Both forward and reverse motion.
- Flush mount rod holders and resistant rudder.
- Great loading capacity, perfect for big anglers as well.
2. Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13
The Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel kayak is the lightest pedal kayak on the market coming in at 50 pounds.
It comes with the pedal drive that comes with a built-in battery box for all your electronic needs.
The Ultimate FX also has a built-in transducer mount underneath the hull with multiple rail mounts for personal customization.
The Ultimate FX from Native comes with an adjustable thwart box that can be used as a cooler so you can leave your bulky cooler at home.
It also comes with two vertical rod holder and tight line anchor trolleys on both sides of the kayak. The Ultimate also has a right-handed forward facing rod holder and padded deck so you can stand up.
There is extra storage space under the seat and a hard shell bow hatch with a bungee to secure your gear to the deck of the kayak.
The Ultimate is 13.6-feet in length and can hold up to 400 pounds. The depth is 12.5" on this sit-on-top kayak.
With the Ultimate FX, it doesn't matter if you are out for the fish or for the scenery, you will enjoy cruising around the lake with this kayak.
Although the seat is adjustable, you will need extra padding for long outings to make sure you are comfortable throughout.
The price is a bit steep, but for the serious angler who is looking for a reliable and steady kayak for all their fishing needs, the Ultimate is the way to go.
Features I like
- Lightest pedal kayak on the market.
- Built-in battery box for electronic needs.
- Adjustable thwart holders for cooling.
- Enough storage and comfortable.
- Adjustable seat.
3. Hobie Pro Angler 12
The Hobie Pro Angler is a 12-foot long kayak that can fit in the back of almost any pick-up truck so you can leave the trailer at home.
The hull is constructed of polyethylene and can hold up to 500 pounds.
With this kayak, if fishing is your thing, you can hold up to 6 rods as the kayak comes standard with four horizontal and two molded-in rod holders.
The seat is elevated giving you a full range of motion with this sit-on-top kayak.
The Hobie allows for you to customize your rigging with the H-Rail, so you can add on the mesh pockets or anything else you like to keep your gear close at hand.
The Pro Angler comes with replaceable mounting boards and dual steering. You don't need to worry about your valuables as the Pro Angler features an 8" twist and seal hatch.
If you would prefer to let the wind carry you this kayak comes with a sail mount and anchor trolley system.
There is no shortage of storage space with the Pro Angler. It comes with a large front hatch with a removable liner, large rectangular hatch with pivoting tackle management system and 8-gallon Livewell-Ready cargo area for your bait or fish you reel in.
You can easily add your lures to the 2 Plano Tackle boxes or store some gear under your comfortable seat that comes with Boa System lumbar support.
Fully rigged this kayak is a beast weighing 120 pounds. Stand alone with no rigging and you will still find it difficult to carry alone as it weighs 98 pounds. The Pro Angler uses a skeg instead of a rudder, but it still is manageable as far as steering goes.
Features I like
- Easy to carry and take to different places.
- Strong and durable construction.
- Elevated seat that provides full range of motion.
- No shortage of space.
- Good for windy conditions.
4. Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak
The Hobie Mirage Oasis is just that, a simple design and elegance tandem kayak with foot pedals that will take you to your far off destinations.
The Oasis can hold up to 550 pounds and is 14.6-feet in length.
You don't need to be a fisherman to utilize the space that comes with this kayak.
The Oasis offers four hatches as well as on deck storage area.
The Mirage Oasis from Hobie comes standard with two mesh-covered stowage pockets, three 8" twist and seal hatches for all your camping gear.
Steering isn't an issue with the twist and stow rudder or the two paddles that can be snapped and locked on the deck.
If you would like to catch the wind, the Mirage comes with a sail mount, and if fishing is your thing, there are two molded-in rod holders that can also be used for storing your drinks.
Just sit back and relax in the comfortable seats and see where the river or lake takes you with this 14.6-foot kayak.
The Mirage is stable as it is fast and pedals like a bicycle so you don't have to worry about added stress to the ankles or calves. This kayak doesn't limit the motion of your legs giving you the power you need to go where you want to go.
Being that this is a tandem kayak, the 93 pounds isn't bad, and however, for someone using this as a fishing vessel, you might need a little help.
You won't be able to strap the Oasis to the roof of your vehicle but may fit in larger trucks. Just be careful when transporting and make sure you have dismantled the pedaling system before transporting and loading it into your car.
While the seats are comfortable, for extended trips you may want ones that offer more padding. The seats support you lower back and don't cause major issues like sciatica, but your rear-end may get a little numb if you are out for hours.
Features I like
- Simple and elegant design.
- Good loading capacity and enough space.
- Good for even windy weather conditions.
- Stable and fast.
- Lower back supporting comfortable seats.
5. Hobie Mirage Revolution 11
If you are looking for a lightweight pedal kayak, then Hobie Mirage Revolution is exactly what you are looking for.
The Revolution is 11.6-feet that only weighs 64 pounds, talk about light!
If you want to rig this kayak for fishing, that's not a problem and only adds 17 more pounds.
The kayak can hold up to 275 pounds, which isn't much compared to the other kayaks on this review, but it is enough for a great day out on the water.
The Revolution comes standard with a paddle, so if you don't want to use the pedals, you don't have to. Simply remove the pedal drive and paddle out to your favorite spot.
Just don't forget to replace the closure.
The kayak does come with two molded-in rod holders to get some fishing in if you want.
Storage space is no issue with the large covered bow hatch and two 8" twist and seal hatches along with a gear bucket that can be used as either a cooler or a place to store your live bait.
There is also a rear cargo area with bungee tie downs for your other supplies. Easily transport the Revolution on top of your vehicle or in the back of your truck, it makes no difference as this is by far one of the lighter pedal-powered kayaks available on the market today.
The Hobie Revolution is a small compact kayak and the weight it can handle is minimal for larger peddlers.
Take this into consideration when loading it with fishing gear as you don't want to bog down the kayak making it harder to pedal out to where the fish are biting.
Features I like
- Rugged, hardcore and durable construction.
- 100% waterproof and guarantees dryness.
- Shoulder strap and storage webbing for quick setup.
- Sturdy PVC material to hold a shape.
- Good storage, can hold up to 20L of gear.
6. Hobie Sport Pedal Kayak
If you are looking for a kayak with a pedal-powered system that doesn't weigh much and is great for a quick trip, the Hobie Sport is for you.
The Sport is only 9-feet making it super compact and easy to transport anywhere.
It is constructed of rotomolded polyethylene and weighs 61 pounds.
This stable little kayak can hold up to 225 pounds and comes standard with a paddle if you decide you don't want to pedal.
The Hobie sport offers a 6" and an 8" twist and seal hatch as well as a rear cargo area with bungee tie downs for some of the gear you want to take with you on your trip.
As with all Hobie's the Sport comes with a paddle so you can give your legs a break and get a full body workout.
If fishing is your thing, the Sport also comes standard with two molded-in Rod holders and a twist and stow rudder as well as a sail mount.
It is also very stable and dependable kayak for its size and the seat is comfortable even for long trips.
The size of this vessel is small, yet being a sit-on-top kayak you don't feel cramped as you take in the scenery. You can't load everything you need for a camping trip, but you can always take a fishing backpack along out on the water and have fun.
Features I like
- Lightweight, compact and easy to transport.
- Stable and extremely durable.
- Perfect for fishing.
- Comfortable seat, even for long trips.
7. Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
What's so special about the Revolution 13 compared to the Revolution 11?
Well, perhaps the extra 2 feet of space is one thing, but the fact that the Revolution 13 performs better in the open ocean is what really makes this standout.
The Revolution 13 weighs 70.5 pounds and can carry up to 350 pounds which makes it one of the best kayaks with foot pedals.
As a standard the Revolution 13 comes with rear cargo with bungee tie downs, two 8" twist and seal hatches with gear bucket and a large covered bow hatch. These give you more than enough storage space for all your camping or fishing gear.
The seat is super comfortable and adjustable so you can lean back and enjoy the adventure ahead of you.
If you don't want to pedal or paddle, you can option for the Hobie evolve electric motor kit or the sailing kit that will take you beyond your wildest dreams.
If a slower pace is what you crave, then pedal out along the shoreline a cast out a line.
The Revolution 13 comes with 2-rod holders and you can add on the Livewell 8-gallon live bait tank.
Strap the Revolution 13 to the top of your vehicle and get going, the water calls all you have to do is answer.
You might consider a few of the upgrades like the motor or sailing kit to save your energy while on longer trips.
And even though this kayak was built for open waters, pedaling in rivers or streams isn't recommended as it doesn't turn or maneuver very well in closed and tight spots.
Features I like
- Enough storage and space.
- Comfortable and adjustable seat.
- Electric motor or sailing kit.
- Rod holders and bait tank installed.
- Perfect for open waters.
8. Hobie Mirage i11S
The Hobie Mirage I11S is virtually one of a kind kayak with foot pedals.
This 11.3-foot kayak can hold up to 400 pounds. If you are looking for a kayak that will provide you with a quick work-out without the effort of lugging a large kayak out to the water then this is the one you want.
The I11S is very stable and has a low profile design getting you closer to the water than ever before.
The fin that is provided will assist you in tracking should you decide to take a few rods out on the water and has an adjustable Vantage CTi seating system that is comfortable.
The Hobie I11S is an inflatable kayak which provides you with optimal storage and transportation but lacks what hard-shell kayaks can provide.
There is hardly any storage space as everything needs to be strapped down to the deck.
This kayak looks more like a glorified paddle board with a seat and pedals which may turn off some people.
But it is reliable and do-able for a quick workout and easy storage as well as transportation. Just deflate and pack it up.
Features I like
- Inflatable kayak with foot pedals.
- Best for quick workout and short trips in the water.
- Comes with fin for tracking.
- Optimal storage but comfortable.
- Reliable and easy to transport.
9. Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak
The 12.1-foot Outback from Hobie will take you to places you only dreamed about.
The Outback can hold up to 400 pounds for all your camping and fishing gear and weighs 81 pounds.
This hard-shell polyethylene kayak is ready for you and comes standard with a paddle so you can get a full workout with your arms as well.
The seat is high and supports your lower back as you pedal through the open waters. What makes the seat so unique is the inflatable lumbar support.
It comes standard with utility trays, four molded-in rod holders, mesh-covered stowage pocket and two 8" twist and seal hatches for your valuables and other gear as well as a cup holder.
Directing the kayak is not an issue as you can pedal forward and backward with ease and steer with the twist and stow rudder.
If you are looking for a kayak that can maneuver well in all water conditions from the open ocean, lake, and stream, then this is the kayak for you.
Unfortunately, there is no retrofit kit for different makes and models. You will have to buy any add-ons made specifically for your model of kayak. But, that really is not much of a problem.
Features I like
- Hard-shelled and durable construction.
- Lower back supporting seat.
- Utility trays, rod holders and hatches to store fishing gear.
- Forward and backward motion.
- Long lasting and durable.
10. Hobie Mirage I9s Kayak
The Hobie I9S is 9-feet in length and can handle 325 pounds.
This cute little pedal powered kayak was designed for smaller areas like a lake or pond.
This is a perfect kayak for a day trip out to the lake, or for those who just want to have a few hours to themselves alone and relax on the water.
The kayak only weighs 41 pounds. The seat is super comfy and provides lumbar support.
While you can't go out on the ocean with this kayak, you can enjoy a gentle flowing stream as it maneuvers with the left or right-hand rudder system.
Like all Hobie kayaks, this one does come with a paddle that is easily stored on the side of the kayak.
The I9S is constructed of 1000 Denier PVC which means it is an inflatable kayak. But because it inflates, it can deflate which provides you with easy storage and transportation.
Plus, it comes standard with a hand pump so you don't need to worry about purchasing one separately.
Features I like
- Lightweight but enough loading.
- Perfect for day trip in the lake.
- Super comfy and good maneuverbility.
- Inflatable and easy to transport.
If you are looking for a pedal powered kayak, get one that you feel comfortable in that is fitted to your paddling experience. Some will say to shop for a kayak that you can grow into, but if you are a beginner, all kayaks will be similar.
When it comes to pedal vs. paddle, you can always add a paddle to your kayak until you get comfortable with the pedal. Just remember to be safe and have fun.