It’s a bit painful to admit, but summer is really over. It was cold this morning (only in Texas would 67° be considered cold) and while that may have some thinking it’s time to retire their kayaks for the season, this is not at all the case! When looking for a Sit on Top kayak, you just need to be a bit more strategic and find one with a high seat and maximum stability so you won’t have to worry as much about getting wet or the potential for flipping. I asked one of our kayak fishing experts for his top picks and here’s what we came up with:
The Feelfree Lure 13.5 Kayak is the widest kayak with a built in seat we offer. With its 36 inch width you’ll find maximum stability. There is a larger deck and wide open standing platform so you won’t feel restricted when you’re standing up to cast. The Feelfree Lure 13.5 provides versatility and easy customization with features like the removable multi-level, multi-position extra wide Gravity seat. The patent-pending Gravity seat design allows you to sit flush on the deck of the kayak when you’re in need of more stability or an increase in paddling efficiency when going longer distances. If speed and long distance open water runs are a high priority, this kayak does go a bit slower because of its weight, however once you get your momentum going, you’ll find it glides very well so you won’t have any issues keping your pace while cruising. Overall, you’ll receive ultimate stability, comfort, and versatility on the Feelfree Lure 13.5.
The Hobie Mirage Outback caters towards every angler’s need for stability, speed, comfort, and maneuverability. One of the coolest options of this kayak in regards to comfort and stability is Hobie’s Vantage CT Seating. It offers four way adjustability for maximum comfort including the ability to recline and adjustable lumbar support. It’s worth mentioning that at 99 pounds, this is the heaviest of the kayaks on this list and can be a bit cumbersome to car top. If you have a trailer, it’s much easier to take with you. The weight could also be challenging if you find yourself in an area requiring a lot of portaging. There are plenty of useful features built in like molded-in rod holders and trays, handy storage compartments, Lowrance-Ready capability and a gear bucket feature that fits in the round hatch. There are even two molded in drink holders on the Hobie Mirage Outback inviting you recline that Vantage CT seat so you can sit back and enjoy a beer as you reflect on your glorious day of fishing.
Wilderness Systems Ride 135 Max was designed to meet paddlers’ desire for advancements in performance and comfort. When engineering this remarkable kayak, Wilderness Systems prioritized capacity and stability. The hull features a much wider, flatter standing platform than previous models. This kayak is great for day-long excursions with the Phase 3 AirPro MAX high/low seating system. Its patent-pending design provides more breathability and many options for adjustment allowing paddlers to position their seat in a high, low, or recline position without any clipping or loosening of straps which is extremely convenient when you’re on the water. Some paddlers find that while the self-bailing scuppers drain quickly, they can be noisy. This doesn’t impact the performance at all, just something to note if your’e the type to be bothered by some sloshing or spitting sounds when you’re paddling quickly. Personally, I’d say it’s not much of an issue and a mild annoyance at most. Overall the pontoon style hull and wider, flatter standing platform make this a great stable kayak as the streamlined design minimizes your risk of flipping. When you’re standing up to cast further or increase visibility you’ll so you’ll feel very secure on this kayak.
When creating the Old Town Predator 13 Kayak, Old Town Pro Staff Anglers were a huge part of the manufacturing process. The end result is an extremely well thought out design maximizing “fishability”. Innovations that came from this process include the Exo-Ridge deck and unique Tri-Hull design. These factors contribute towards an extremely stable ride and meeting angler’s needs for configurability and easy customization. The unique seat on the Old Town Predator 13 really caters towards functionality without compromising your comfort. It converts into three positions each with specific purpose in mind. The Travel position offers a lower center of gravity proving you with more stability as you paddle. The Attack position allows you to elevate the seat for fishing. When you’re poling, sighting, and casting you can completely flip the seat out of the way and into Stand Up position. It’s important to note this kayak was designed for use in areas like lakes, bays, and coastal waters where resistance to rolling in high waves or wakes is a high priority so you’ll feel very secure taking it out on larger bodies of water.
The Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 is especially great for fly fishers because there are minimal snag points. Its wide open, clean deck layout provides anglers with plenty of space for standing, rigging, and stripping line. You can easily stand up to sight cast and the foot pads along the deck increase traction while reducing noise which is a great thoughtful detail. At 75 pounds this is also the lightest of all the kayaks on this list. If you’re looking for height in your seat, the Slayer definitely has it – the High/Low First Class Seat elevates the paddler 6 inches which makes the transition from sitting to standing much less “clunky”. Another nice bonus is the additional storage you get when the seat is raised to the high position. With this extra height, however, you might want to consider upping your paddle length 10 centimeters.
I wanted to give a special shout out to Diablo Paddlesports too. These Sit on Top kayaks are worth mentioning, even though you’d have to purchase the Larry Chair kayak seat separately, they are really great for stability because they are a SUP and kayak hybrid. The Diablo boats are extremely wide (we’re talking 36 inches for their “narrowest” model) so you can stand up to paddle, scout, or fish but their innovative design also allows the option to sit down and paddle like any other traditional sit on top kayak. They also offer all the typical kayak fixings like dry storage, wet storage, and paddle and drink holders, so you’ll feel right at home.
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