IRS Best Gear for 2022 - Fishing Kayaks

kayak fishing -

IRS Best Gear for 2022 - Fishing Kayaks

This is installment #1 of the IRS Best Gear for 2022 series.
Visit our SUP feature by clicking here.

The past couple of year have been a rollercoaster ride like nothing we've seen in our 35 years in the paddlesports business. Disruptions in supply chains, factory closures, canceled events and changes to virtual workplaces have challenged the people and companies who make and sell the gear we use. On the other hand, people switching from indoor to outdoor activities has increased demand and presented exciting opportunities.

Kayak fishing has been part of our business for over a decade and continues to be a big factor in the growth of paddling across the globe. We are committed to supporting kayak fishing through advocacy for access and tournaments. While the first pedal-powered boat marked the sport’s transformation from kayakers going fishing to anglers in kayaks, there is a place for fishing kayaks, SUPs, rafts and more in today's market. 

There are basically two types of craft that are the mainstays of the fishing kayak spectrum - pedal and paddle craft. They come in hard shell and inflatable varieties with lots of seating and mounting gear options. Here's some of the best for 2022.

hobie fishing

Hobie Fishing

Hobie Kayaks started it all with the MirageDrive pedal system. Choosing to use oscillating fins instead of a traditional propeller allowed pedalers to go farther and faster. Fans of the MirageDrive say the forward back motion is less strenuous than turning a pedal crank. And the engineers at Hobie say the larger surface area of the flexible fins produces more power with less energy.

Hobie's Pro Angler is well respected on the open ocean, in the backwater, and on long-distance expeditions. It is the Cadillac of Hobie’s fleet, with the most popular features like dual rudder control, livewell-ready cargo area, below-deck tackle storage, and acres of padded deck space. The seat is exceptionally comfortable with padded mesh that dries quickly and adjustable lumbar support.


FeelFree Kayak Fishing

FeelFree fishing kayaks represent a broad spectrum of kayaks and includes the SeaStream family of fishing kayaks. Our pick from the line is the Lure. The highlight of the FeelFree Lure 11.5 includes the unique Gravity Seat. Not only is the Gravity Seat padded and molded like an office chair, it can be raised for a higher vantage point or lowered to make paddling easier, simply by pulling a lever. 

Another cool feature about FeelFree is their line of matching accessories. Considered an all around excellent, stable boat, the FeelFree Lure is designed for longer paddling trips on rivers, lakes and oceans with more capacity and additional deck space. 

Perception Fishing

At only 64 pounds with seat, the Perception Pescador Pro 120 is lighter than almost every boat in its class. The weight savings come from a paired down hull that isn’t light on form or function. The star of the show is Perception’s new stadium-style frame seat. To keep it light, the seat is made of stretchy mesh and aluminum tubing. It goes from high level to low level and back with a scooch of the butt. The simple system is secured with two bungees so the seat is easy to adjust or slip out for standup fishing.

According to's reviewer, "The Perception Pescador Pro 120 is a capable, versatile boat that won’t break the bank." 

NRS Fishing

Designed for the human-powered pursuit of fish, the STAR Challenger Fish inflatable fishing kayak gives anglers a stable platform to sit, stand, cast and Catch the Adventure™. Plus, the Challenger Fish comes rigged and ready to rival the best sit-on-top fishing kayaks. 

The STAR Challenger inflatable fishing kayak delivers the stability and performance of high-end sit-on-top kayaks in an inflatable design that makes storing and transporting your boat a breeze. A comfortable folding seat rides on a stable drop-stitch deck, putting you in the perfect position for paddling, casting and sighting fish. For more about the NRS Challenger click here



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