TANDEM PEDAL KAYAK: INTRO
There are so many new ways to kayak fish, and tandem kayak fishing is one of the new ways that is gain popularity the fastest. If you’d like to learn more about tandem kayak fishing, you should check KFC’s Tandem Fishing Kayak Ultimate Guide. One of the most unique types of tandem kayak is the tandem pedal kayak.
This KFC article contains a thorough write up on this particular type of kayak and discusses whether it might be the right choice for you to take on your next kayak fishing trip! Interested in learning more about pedal kayaks? Check out our Pedal Kayak Ultimate Guide!
Tandem Pedal Kayak: Overview
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This KFC article contains everything you need to know and all of the important details about the tandem pedal kayak. To make sure we’ve organized everything appropriately, we have divided this post into several separate categories. We begin with a short, high level explanation of the basics of the tandem pedal kayak.
Next, we’ve put together a short check list on some tips and tricks on how to properly use your tandem pedal kayak. After that, we’ve listed a number of important features that you’ll want to be sure to find in whatever tandem pedal kayak catches your eye. Then, we link to the product page of one of our favorite kinds of tandem pedal kayak where you can read more about some of the particulars and specifications of our favorite model.
Finally, we’ve included a short write up on our own personal experience with using a tandem pedal kayak and make a recommendation about whether we feel this type of kayak is a good choice for kayak fishing!
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There are two different things going on with this particular type of kayak. First, it is a “tandem” kayak, which means that it is specifically designed to safely carry two kayak fishermen at the same time. Second, it is a “pedal” kayak. A “pedal” kayak is exactly what you might think that it is – a kayak with foot pedals!
Most fishing kayaks on the market today are powered by kayak paddles or even kayak trolling motors. That’s where the tandem pedal kayak is so unique. Rather than be powered by the motion of a paddle stroke or the turning of a trolling motor’s propeller, the tandem pedal kayak is powered by the fisherman’s feet, turning the pedals (much like a bicycle) in order to generate power and turn the propeller.
This is where the whole “tandem” part of the tandem pedal kayak is so important. Instead of having to pedal the kayak by yourself, you and your kayak fishing partner can take turns operating the two independent pedals featured by the tandem pedal kayak. Or, for maximum speed, the two of you can work together to pedal in unison, ensuring that your fishing kayak makes it to where the fish are biting before your competitors do! Oh, and by the way, if you or your partner are a little on the “bigger” side, you might benefit from the increased stability of one of the best kayak stabilizers on the market!
Side Note: With two occupants in the kayak, you’ll need to be extra sure that both of you are wearing proper Fishing Kayak Life Vests and have looked into whether a Minn Kota Talon would be a good kayak anchor to keep the both of you anchored!
How to Use Properly
Owning the nicest tandem pedal kayak on the market isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t know how to properly use it. KFC has put together the short checklist below which will help serve as your guide to get you and your tandem pedal kayak out on the water and on the way to your favorite fishing hole in no time!
- Start by lowering each included pedal drive system into the two voids in the center of the kayak. The pedal drives are designed to fit snuggly into these voids and, after tightening, create a water tight seal with the hull of the kayak.
- Adjust the foot straps on the pedals to fit the size and shape of your foot.
- Attach the tandem pedal kayak’s seats snuggly into the carveouts that have been molded into the hull of the kayak.
- After the seats are safely fitted into their appropriate spots, secure them to the hull of the kayak with the included safety strapping.
- Adjust the seats to be located the proper length away from your legs.
- We like to locate the seats at a position and angle that allows us to pedal the kayak in a similar manner to how we might pedal a seated exercise bike – close enough to the pedal drive system to be comfortable, but far enough away to allow you to generate appropriate power while pedaling.
- Next, safely lower the tandem pedal kayak into the water.
- Place your feet into the pedals, strap them in, and then turn the pedals forward and backward to ensure that you are able to generate enough power and that you have a good handle on creating forward and backward motion.
- Finally, you can steer from this tandem pedal kayak’s rear seat, hand operated, rudder controlled steering device. Very convenient!
- That’s it, you are ready to take your tandem pedal kayak to your favorite fishing hole!
There are numerous features to look for in a high quality and desirable tandem pedal kayak. So many, in fact, that to list each of them in this short guide would not be practical. Instead we have focused on the three features that we feel are the most important. Interested in what they are? Let’s take a look:
- Comfortable Seating. Tandem pedal kayaking, like other kinds of kayaking, is going to require that you spend an extended period of time sitting down in your kayak – not that this is too bad of a problem. After all, the longer you are able to stay seated in your kayak with your line in the water, the more likely you are to catch a bigger number of fish! This is why comfortable seating is so important. Take a look at the image of this tandem pedal kayak’s seats below:
Notice that these seats are framed with a rigid bar, adding support where you need it most, but also include padded and appropriately shaped fabric upon which to sit. This, combined with the adjustable strapping, is a very important feature as it will directly impact your level of comfort on the water. Also, while you can purchase seating on the after market, it is better to move forward with a tandem pedal kayak that includes its own customized seating. This is important because it ensures that the seats fit perfectly into the kayak’s hull. Buying after market seats can result in an unflush fit!
- Quality Pedal Drive System. A tandem pedal kayak’s pedals are where the rubber meets the road, figuratively of course. It is of critical importance that your kayak’s pedal drive system is built of quality components. After all, these components are subject to a great deal of strain as you and your fishing partner feverishly pedal your tandem kayak to your desired location on the water! The image below shows a nice close up of a typical pedal drive system.
As you can see, the manufacturer of this particular tandem pedal kayak has built a handle into its pedal drive system, assisting the kayak fisherman with the raising and lowering of the system into and out of the void that has been specifically located within the hull for installation of the system. Also, notice that the pedals are designed as “enclosed” rather than “flat” pedals. This allows you to place your feet into the pedal, allowing you to deliver extra power to the propeller without risk of your feel slipping off!
- Ergonomic Design. This category is somewhat all encompassing. Sharing a fishing kayak with a friend, a/k/a tandem kayak fishing, can be great! But, if you buy a low quality tandem kayak, be prepared to have disagreements and complaints from the start. First, you’ll want your tandem pedal kayak to have a weighted load capacity of at least 600 pounds. Why so high? Well, the weight of two fully grown fishermen, each of the fisherman’s respective gear, and any incidental water than splashes up into the kayak, can quickly add up! Better to be safe than sorry!
Also, make sure that your tandem pedal kayak has a rear controlled rudder type steering system. This type of steering makes life much easier, as only one fisherman is tasked with controlling the direction of the kayak, and you are freed from trying to steer with your kayak paddles while simultaneously padding the kayak drive system forward! Finally, with two fishermen on board, any extra space is going to be highly coveted. Many of the high quality tandem pedal kayaks on the market have a cargo bay (two if you are lucky!) into which extra gear (like a tackle box or camping bag) can be stowed away. Cargo bays are a great feature!
Buy the Best Tandem Pedal Kayak
While there are a handful of high quality tandem pedal kayaks on the market today, the particular model that we have showcased above has proven to be great addition to our collection of kayak fishing gear!
This particular tandem pedal kayak contains each of the important features from above, and a bunch more too! Its extra strength twin pedal drives and propellers are of sufficient quality to hold up to season after season of use in kayak fishing. It comes with adjustable seats that fit perfectly into their molded locations within the hull of the tandem kayak and which are supported by a high strength, but low weight, aluminum frame.
The hand held rudder device is perfect for steering the kayak in the direction of the fish and the kayak boasts of a weighted load capacity of 660 pounds! Finally the cargo holds and other handy storage locations are great for affording both you and your kayak fishing companion plenty of room to bring along all of your favorite kayak fishing gear!
We have had a blast using our tandem pedal kayak in our kayak fishing adventures. This has been a great way to add some variety to our kayak fishing trips. Not only do we get to kayak fish, but the pedal drive system allows us to get in a good old fashioned workout while out on the water! Nothing like killing two birds with one stone!
Our favorite part of this particular model is its stability. We’ve heard nightmares from other KFC readers about their own experience with less than quality tandem kayaks. Many readers complain that their tandem kayaks have overturned on them. The tandem pedal kayak featured above will not put you at risk for such an event. Its 660 pound weighted load capacity and wide set frame are perfect for keeping us safe and stable on the water! For even extra stability, I’ve installed a kayak outrigger for kayak fishing. This extra stability is great reassurance for my partner and I!
Have you and your partner ever wanted to compete in a kayak fishing tournament? Check out all the details about these type of tournaments, here!
TANDEM PEDAL KAYAK: CONCLUSION
We hope this article has helped you learn more about the tandem pedal kayak and why we think it could be a great addition to your other fishing kayaks. If you’ve made it to here and find that you still have questions about whether a tandem pedal kayak is right for you, please comment near the bottom of this page! We love interacting with the KFC readers and are certain that we can assist you in the decision making process relative to whether to move forward with a tandem pedal kayak or some other type of style! Discover some more ways to work out with a partner!
Do you own or have you ever used a tandem pedal kayak? How was your experience? How did it perform? Any particular features you find to be the most important? What overall score would you give it? Remember, if you have any questions, we’d love to discuss them with you! We read and reply to all comments!