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PEDAL KAYAK: INTRO
There are so many ways to experience the joys of kayak fishing. Whether you’ve traditionally powered your kayak with paddles, by kayak trolling motor or by some other means, we’d like to introduce you to yet another type of method – kayak fishing with a pedal kayak!
This Pedal Kayak Ultimate Guide will introduce you to the basics of implementing a pedal kayak into your kayak fishing experiences and will serve as a useful guide containing some helpful hints, tips and tricks, and even an account of our own experience using a pedal kayak to kayak fish!
PEDAL KAYAK ULTIMATE GUIDE
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KFC’s Pedal Kayak Ultimate Guide contains all of the important details required to get you properly educated about the pedal kayak and the benefits that it provides you – the kayak fishing enthusiast. We’ve organized this post into a number of separate categories to make sure we keep all of our content easy to follow and to make sure we don’t miss any important details! We begin with a brief run-through of the pedal kayak basics before moving to a checklist about how to properly use your pedal kayak for kayak fishing.
After that, we’ve created a list of several of the features that you’ll want to find in a pedal kayak that you intend to use for kayak fishing and we explain why each is important (including pictures of the particular features). Next, we have added a link to our favorite pedal kayak on the market today and you can visit the product page to learn more about the particular kayak and decide whether its right for you. Finally, we’ve added a short story detailing our own experience with a pedal kayak and make a suggestion about whether we think pedal kayaking and kayak fishing are a good fit for one another!
Pedal Kayak: The Basics
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It is not difficult to understand why a pedal kayak is different than any other type of kayak on the market. The difference, of course, is the presence of the pedal drive system (shown above). These types of fishing kayaks are powered by the use of the fisherman’s feet operating upon the pedals (just like a bicycle) which in turn creates power and turns the propeller (most can be pedaled forward or backward depending on which way you pedal).
The pedal kayak is also going to have a number of other features that are in common with the more “traditional” type of kayak, like seats, water proof storage hatches, fishing rod holders, and deep cargo bays. Be careful, because not every feature that we’ve listed above is found in every fishing kayak. In fact, oftentimes kayaks will only have one or two of these features, if any at all!
Pedal kayaking is a great way to ensure smooth and efficient navigation on the water, while allowing the fisherman to keep his or her hands on the rod, fishing net, or other piece of kayak fishing gear. The presence of the pedal drive system is essentially like creating another set of hands for yourself. It has been our experience that the pedal kayak actually results in greater success on the water. Why? With our hands free, we are able to have more lines in the water and, more importantly, are more able to quickly respond to a tug on our line and we’re able to reel in a biting fishing before the fish can make off with our bait!
Pedal Kayak: How to Use Properly
Using a pedal kayak while you are kayak fishing is fairly easy. You’ll find that if you have even the least bit of experience in a standard kayak and if you know how to pedal a bicycle, that you’ll have an easy time learning how to use a pedal kayak. That being said, we created the list below to detail some hints that we found helpful when assembling and then using our pedal kayak. Take a look:
- Make sure that you’ve installed the pedal drive system into the proper slot and have tightened to ensure a tight connection. You don’t want any water seeping through!
- You’ll want to adjust the distance of your seat from the pedals to make sure that your legs are far enough away from the pedals to create the right amount of power, but are near enough that you don’t have to stretch too far to make a good rotation of the pedals. Remember, the rotation is where the power comes from!
- Be sure to strap your gear down into the front and rear storage bays – we suggest keeping your tackle box in the front and any extra gear (like your camping gear) in the back.
- Never wear improper shoes while using the pedals. Your shoes should have soft soles, good ankle support, and a tacky bottom. Keep your feet where they belong, safely upon the pedals!
- Never travel out onto the water until you have an understanding of how to pedal forward and backward. You’ll also want to confirm that you can do so while steering the pedal kayak with the rear mounted rudder (assuming your pedal kayak has such a rudder – the model below does).
- Look for a model of pedal kayak that comes with a gear mounted track that allows for you to attach after market products without having to drill holes into the kayak’s hull!
We could write for hours about all of the different features that we’d suggest you look for when evaluating which pedal kayak is right for you. Instead of detailing each and every one, we have decided to focus on the top three features of a pedal kayak and have included images of examples of each such feature. Remember, if you have any questions about what else you should consider when making your pedal kayak evaluation, please comment near the bottom of this page – we’d love to help you out!
Comfort. As with any other type of kayak fishing, the longer you are able to stay on the water, the more success you are going to have in terms of number of fish caught. What is the number one feature that adds to or detracts from the comfort of the kayak fisherman? The seat!
The seat shown above is a good example of the qualities you need to look for in your pedal kayak’s seat. You’ll want it to consist of a material that is comfortable, that is stretchy enough to allow it to adjust to your body, while durable enough to withstand heat, cold, sun and constant splashes of water. We suggest that you look for a model where the seat features a light weight and rigid aluminum frame. Also, you’ll want to make sure that the seat can slide forward and backward (ensuring you and the pedals are the proper distance apart) and can be titled forward and backward (allowing you to recline or sit up straight, depending on your preference).
Pedal Drive System. The pedal drive system is the key component on any pedal kayak. There is one thing that is often overlooked by kayak fisherman, even those with many years of experience, when evaluating this type of kayak. What is it? The pedals themselves and whether they have a material or a strapping system that allows the kayak fisherman to maintain constant contact with the pedals without exerting a great deal of energy.
Whether you move forward with a pedal kayak that has strapping or tacky rubberized pedal grips is a personal preference. The strapping system is great for keeping your feet secure to the pedals, but might also feel a bit constraining. Likewise, the rubberized pedals are great for allowing you freedom of movement, but you do run the risk of slipping off of the pedals if your mind begins to wander and you lose focus (however slight) on keeping your feet in proper contact.
Storage. Kayak fishing involves a bunch of fishing gear. In order to make sure you can bring all of your fishing accessories on board, you’ll need a pedal kayak that has been wisely designed and features various types of storage in suitable areas of the kayak. Otherwise, you are at risk of losing gear overboard or suffering the consequences of water splashing onto and wetting your various pieces of gear.
We like pedal kayaks that have water tight, screw down style, storage hatches. These hatches, in addition to deep bow and stern located storage bays, are perfect for keeping our sensitive materials dry while allowing safe and secure storage of our bulkier items (like buckets and camping gear, shown above). Remember that your pedal kayak, by virtue of its design, isn’t going to technically require that you have paddles. The lack of paddles will free up extra room on your kayak, but don’t let that fool you into buying pedal kayak without adequate “wet” and “dry” storage!
Buy the Best Pedal Kayak
High quality pedal kayaks are going to be quite similar to their non-pedal powered cousins. As always, you’ll want a wide and stable hull, and you’ll want to seek important features like front and rear grips for ease of transportation over dry land or webbed elastic webbing to help keep your kayak fishing gear safe and secure in its bay.
The pedal kayak that we’ve linked to above has been designed specially for kayak fishing. The manufacturers have included a device known as a “track bar” which makes the installation of any after market products very easy! Before you do buy anything on the after market, remember that the hull already includes flush mounted rod holders and a number of other fishing related features.
The kayak also features a one handed rear mounted rudder control allowing for 360 degree movement. This is a great kayak fishing feature as it enables you to turn the kayak with one hand while pedaling along! Your other hand never has to let go from the reel! The rudder is a great compliment to forward and backward pedaling capability of this kayak and allows you to really work your way confidentiality into tight and narrow channels without fear of getting stuck!
If I had known how easy pedal kayaking was, I would have given it a try much sooner. Before I experienced it first hand, I had the misunderstanding that pedal kayaking would be too much exercise and not enough fun. I was wrong. The pedal kayak has been designed such that you get a good amount of turn for each revolution of the pedal drive. In other words, it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of pedaling or effort to get the kayak from one fishing hole to the next.
I also found that the pedal drive system resulted in a much more serene kayak fishing experience and that I was less disruptive to any wildlife on the shoreline. While I am pretty decent with a kayak paddle, even my quietest paddle stroke resulting in a slight splashing sound as the paddle entered and exited the water. Same story with the kayak trolling motor. While the trolling motor is fairly quiet, there is some sound that results from its use. With the pedal kayak, the only noise is the turning of the axle within its housing, a sound which is almost totally inaudible!
PEDAL KAYAK ULTIMATE GUIDE: CONCLUSION
I hope this Pedal Kayak Ultimate Guide has helped you learn more about why we feel that using this kind of kayak while fishing is a great experience. There are a ton of high quality pedal kayaks on the market and the ease of use associated with these models allows for kayak fisherman of any ability to hop onto the kayak and have success fishing in no time!
If you have any questions about what additional features you should consider when evaluating among the various types of pedal kayaks, please comment near the bottom of this page. We love engaging with our readers and we think that our dialogue will help others in the kayak fishing community make their own decisions regarding this exciting and rewarding type of kayak fishing experience! Find out more about other ways to get in shape without hitting the gym!
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Do you own or have you ever used a this kind of kayak? Did you have a good experience? How did it perform? Any other features you find to be important? What overall score would you give it? Remember, if you have any questions, we’d love to discuss them with you! Please share your knowledge with the KFC Community by posting a comment below. I read and reply to all comments, and I love interacting with our readers!