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2022 was a big year for Eco Fishing Shop and the sport of Kayak Fishing. Kayak fishing continues to carve out a bigger chunk of popularity among anglers. With increased popularity comes an increase in demand for content, social media channels and online communities dedicated to helping one-another rig out their kayaks and expand the sport to every corner of the world.
This past year included the launch of our podcast and online community called the Kayak Anglers Resource. Both are aimed at helping the kayak fishing community learn about new products, fishing strategies, all things kayaks, and to share stories, tips, and ask questions to other kayak anglers. Our customers and fans also helped us grow our social channels, including our Instagram account which has seen a big spike in excited fans eager to share their experiences or learn more about our posts.
With an increase in demand and an eagerness to learn as much as you can about kayaks, we also introduced a monthly newsletter and more regular blog content. Let's take a look at the resources built to help you learn more about kayak angling and some of the best kayaks of 2022.
Kayak Anglers Resource
Our launch of an all-encompassing resource of the same name includes a podcast and a public online community. Podcast hosts Johnathan Dominguez and Travis Randall host the podcast from the Eco Fishing Shop store location in Camdenton, Missouri. They routinely have brand reps, Eco Fishing Shop customers, and kayak fishing tournament anglers as guests to talk all things fishing and fishing kayaks.
The Kayak Anglers Resource online community is a public forum focused entirely on member-driven discussions. Only sponsored by Eco Fishing Shop, the online community and its discussions are created by the members and are driven by member-to-member responses. No question is too small and members are eager to share their experiences to help with any issues or questions you may have about a kayak, gear, or fishing in general. The best way to learn is to engage with others who have experience and then to share that knowledge when it is your turn.
Kayak Fishing Popularity on Social Media
Kayak fishing channels are exploding on platforms like Instagram. Thanks to our customers and fans, our channel has grown to help share kayak reviews, product releases and customer highlights. One of our favorite parts of interacting on Instagram is sharing stories and posts from satisfied customers to help their own channels grow as well. When you get your hands on your kayak and share your journey, don't forget to tag us!
Also growing is our YouTube video collection. Wanting to be more than just the place you buy your kayak from, 2023 will see a bigger focus on creating resource videos in addition to our on-the-water product reviews. We know that fishing kayaks are a long-term investment and that they are improved upon for years after purchasing them. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for reviews, how-to's and fishing videos.
Eco Fishing Shop Blog & Resources
Throughout the year, we publish articles, customer highlights, and buyer's guides. With a focus on education, our blogs aim to help customers make more informed decisions and share their stories after they make their purchase. As our sport grows, so does the need for continued resources. Here are some highlights from this year:
Now that we've taken a look at all of the resources available to help you on your Kayak Fishing journey, it is time to take a look at the best kayaks of 2022.
The Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks
Length: 9' 8" | Width: 35" | Weight: 62lbs | Carrying Capacity: 419lbs | Propulsion Type: Fin or Pedal
Whether you're a drifting fisherman, a tournament kayak angler, or an avid recreational paddler; the Vanhunks Pike Fishing Kayak is the ultimate all-around kayak that will suit any water conditions. The Vanhunks Pike's maneuverable 9’8 design offers excellent stability and superior comfort. Combine this with the adaptability of the Tool Pod, and it becomes the perfect fishing companion.
And no matter if you are a novice or experienced paddler, this kayak is a great all-rounder for anglers wanting to get out on the water without breaking the bank. And with its sleek design and compatibility with either Vanhunks’ Fin Drive or Propeller Drive, it's for many accessory and upgrade options.
Starting at $1,695
Length: 10'6" | Width: 34" | Carrying Capacity: 325lbs
Coming in at 10.5 feet, this is the smallest of the Hobie Mirage kayaks. With an easy-to-use steering system and the MirageDrive fins, the 10.5 Mirage Passport makes navigating tight spaces effortless.
This Hobie kayak is quipped with the MirageDrive pedal system with Glide Technology and Kick-Up fins. These fins do not have reverse capability. Included on the Hobie Mirage Compass 10.5 are cargo scuppers for the Hobie Cart and live-well, rod holders, steering system and a vertical accessory tube for a sail.
Length: 11'| Width: 34" | Weight: 79 lbs | Carrying Capacity: 407 lbs | Propulsion Type: Fin or Pedal
Vanhunks Mahi Mahi Fishing Kayak is designed to take your experiences to the next level. Anglers wishing to leave kayaking the old fashion way behind can upgrade to the fin or pedal drive system. Thanks to Vanhunks’ drives, motorizing the Mahi Mahi Fishing Kayak is fast and easy and keeps your hands free for better angling.
Superior stability give anglers the choice of standing up while on the Mahi Mahi. Storage space, premium seating, a rudder system, integrated fishing rod holders, and accessory tracks make the Vanhunks Mahi Mahi a great choice for kayak anglers.
Starting at $1,739
Length: 10'6"| Width: 35" | Weight: 110lbs (without pedals) | Carrying Capacity: 397 lbs
Take in the sights and sounds of the water with the 3 Water Big Fish 103 Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak. This stable, multi-purpose fishing kayak features a Trimaran hull design, flush-mounted rod holders, plus an EZ Rider Seat for supreme comfort on long and short paddles.
This kayak is perfect for pedaling around the lake, getting into tight spots, or making the most of ocean fishing. Forward and reverse capability allow this kayak user to cover great distance and get in and out of any jams by simply reversing their pedaling.
Length: 11' | Width: 38" | Weight: 135 (without seat and drive) | Carrying Capacity: 450lbs
With a super-efficient hull design, the Big Fish 108 goes faster, tracks better, and has greater stability than many pedal kayaks on the market today. With a carrying capacity of over 450 lbs., this kayak can handle anglers over 6'6" tall or 350 pounds in weight and still has the capacity to move at speeds fast enough to keep pace with fast-moving water or elusive trophy fish.
Built with anglers in mind, the Big Fish 108 includes rod tip protectors, a reinforced standing platform, Uni-Track accessory rails, flush mounted rod holders, a Beaver Tail rudder, and a transducer mount. The Big Fish 108 is a big, stable kayak built for all sizes of anglers.
Length: 10' 6" | Width: 36" | Weight: 76lbs | Carrying Capacity: 450lbs
Quickly becoming one of the most popular fishing kayaks among enthusiasts, the Old Town Sportsman PDL (pedal) 106 is built for performance. At under 11 feet and less than 80 pounds, the Sportsman PDL 106 is easy to maneuver and load/unload than many larger kayaks.
Smaller and lighter does not always mean less durable or stable. With a DoubleU hull, the Sportsman PDL 106 has a comfortable stand-up platform. The included pedal drive is forward and reverse capable, helping anglers get in and out of their favorite fishing spots with ease. Other features of the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 include rod and tackle management in an oversized tank well, dedicated horizontal rod storage, two 18" accessory tracks, universal transducer mounting system for a fish finder, and superior seating. Whether setting out for a quick fishing trip or hitting the water for an all-day tournament, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 is ready for whatever you can throw at it.
Length: 12' | Width: 34.5" | Weight: 85 lbs | Carrying Capacity: 450 lbs
Kayak anglers who frequent coastal waters will find the Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 a more than capable vessel. The 12-foot, lightweight hull is designed to not only work on car-toppers, but also to be sturdy enough to handle tides, waves, and your surfside launches.
With fishing in the waves in mind, the Sportsman Salty PDL 120 boasts tons of great features. Equipped with a pedal drive for hands-free movement and a lumbar support and adjustable mesh seat, the Salty PDL is ready to keep you comfortable on long trips on calm or rough waters. Multiple flush mounted rod holders, a non-slip EVA stand-up pad, two accessory tracks and a universal transducer mounting system make the Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 a must-have for anglers looking to chase down trophies in open water.
Length: 11'6" | Width: 34" | Weight: 87lbs (hull only) | Carrying Capacity: 425 lbs
Feelfree's Lure 11.5 V2 fishing kayak features a unique two-in-one propulsion system. The Overdrive unit is capable of forward/reverse pedaling OR can be upgraded to the Motordrive system (sold separately) to become a powered drive. Both options keep the anglers hands free to focus on their targets.
Other fishing features of the Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 Overdrive kayak include the Uni-Track system for accessories, flush mounted rod holders, large storage space, a padded standing platform, and comfortable gravity seating.
Length: 13'6" | Width: 34" | Weight: 107lbs (hull only) | Carrying Capacity: 450 lbs
Like the Feelfree Lure 11.5, the Feelfree's Lure 13.5 Overdrive kayak features the Overdrive unit – the only two-in-one system that offers forward and reverse pedaling OR power driven capabilities when paried with the Motordrive (sold seperately).
Long, fast, and stabile, the 13.5 Overdrive is the bigger version of the Lure 11.5 and designed for kayak anglers. Featuring a multi-use console, a "wheel-in-the-keel," a uni-track system, flush mounted rod holders, and a wide hull for standing, the 13.5 Overdrive is a unique, dual-capable entry on our list.
Length: 12' | Width: 36" | Weight: 85 lbs | Carrying Capacity: 500lbs
The Old Town Sportsman 120 PDL takes many of the beloved features of the Topwater 120 PDL and tweaks them slightly. The Sportsman 120 PDL has molded in stern handles vs. offset molded handles, a new seat design, a new premium floor non-slip floor, and an expanded, wider stern tank well.
The Sportsman 120 PDL features the ultra-stable DoubleU hull for stand-up fishing. Two 18-inch accessory tracks for mounting your favorite gear, an oversized tank well and under seat storage, as well as dry storage in the sealed bow hatch means anglers don't have to leave any gear behind on fishing trips. Also equipped with a universal transducer mount system, the forward/revers pedal drive and molded-in rod holders, the Sportsman 120 PDL and Topwater PDL are both great choices for a premiere fishing kayak.
Length: 12' | Width: 34" | Carrying Capacity: 400lbs
Hobie's Mirage Compass features the MirageDrive 180 pedal system. With this drive, users have the ability to flip the fins almost instantly to reverse paddle. Get yourself in and out of tight corners and attack hard to get to spots on the water without worrying about getting stuck.
The Mirage Compass has a newly designed hull to cut through wind, wake, and chops with ease. Also included is an oversized cockpit with enough flat deck for standing, molded in carrying handles, built-in transducer mount (through-hull cable plugs not included), power-pole integration, kick-up fins and rudder, and an adjustable seat.
Length: 12' | Width: 34" | Weight: 71 lbs | Carrying Capacity: 595 lbs | Propulsion Type: Fin or Pedal
Vanhunks' Sauger is their staple tandem kayak and is designed to be stable and extremely maneuverable, while remaining capable of carrying up to 595 pounds of weight. The wide-body design provides great stability for standing or casting, while the shallow arch hull allows you to paddle effortlessly in a variety of different water conditions. The VanHunks Kayak comes with two removable Tool Pods, which include marine-grade stainless steel fittings and a spare parts compartment.
With the addition of either the Vanhunks’ Fin Drive or Propeller Drive. Whether you are fishing solo or with a companion, the Vanhunks Sauger 12ft tandem fishing kayak is an exciting option that is sure to keep any fishing enthusiast happy.
Starting at $2,645
Length: 14'2" | Width: 36" | Weight: 105lbs (without seat & Overdrive) | Carrying Capacity: 500lbs
Located at the rear seat, the Overdrive unit is the only two-in-one system that offers forward and reverse pedaling, as well as power-driven capabilities when paired with the Motordrive (sold separately). The Lure II Tandem features one-handed rudder control and gravity seats for all-day comfort.
Both cockpits feature removable sonar and electronic pod, standing platforms, wheel-in-the-keel, a Uni-Track system for accessories and flush mounted rod holders. The Lure II Tandem can also be modified by removing the front seat to accommodate solo trips. The Feelfree Lure II Tandem Fishing Kayak can be configured to suit any setup a solo or tandem kayakers adventure can throw at it.
Starting at $2,899
Length: 13' 2” | Width: 36" | Weight: 96lbs | Carrying Capacity: 500lbs
An updated version of the former Old Town Predator PDL 132, the Sportsman PDL 132 is built on the same design. Also equipped with a forward/reverse pedal drive, an updated seat and newer color options, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 132 took the best elements of the Predator before it and made them better. The Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 Pedal Drive system also includes a patented easy-docking system to make launching and landing pain-free.
Measuring just over 13 feet, Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 is ready to take on open water and still provide the necessary stability when standing. Accessory rails are located both in the front and the back for multiple mounting options. A new adjustable seat design with lumbar support, breathable mesh covering and adjustable leg length on a shuttle track provide all-day anglers the needed comfort for long fishing trips. Built for anglers, the Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 also includes molded-in rod holders, a universal transducer mounting system and tons of storage. If you hunt fish in large bodies of water, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 132 combines stability, space and agility for long days in waves.
Starting at $3,249
Length: 12'7” | Width: 35" | Weight: 107lbs | Carrying Capacity: 450lbs
Jackson's Coosa FD boasts their innovative Flex Drive Mark IV System. Uniquely engineered to retract the propeller when beaching or hitting submerged obstructions, the Jackson Coosa FD is a fishing kayak built for anglers who brave tight spots and rough structures.
With a hull that was designed to perform in lakes, rivers, inshore, and even offshore saltwater, the Coosa FD is for all anglers. Other Coosa FD features include a huge rear tank well, molded-in rod tip protectors, gear tracks, standing platform, powerpole and torqeedo-ready, pass-through electronics for easy wiring, and many more.
Starting at $3,759
Length: 13'9” | Width: 37" | Weight: 140lbs | Carrying Capacity: 475lbs
Jackson's Knarr FD was designed specifically to take on the challenges of large lakes and oceans. With a team of experts on on big water, big game, and big tournament anglers, the Jackson Knarr is built to take on the surf, currents, winds, tides, and any other elements you may encounter.
Featuring the new Flex Drive Mark IV that retracts when beaching or hitting underwater obstructions, the Knarr FD keeps the angler moving with speed and less effort. A fully-loaded with features kayak, the Jackson Knarr has to many to list. Some of the angler-motivated features include flush-mounted rod holders, up-to six rods storage, patented TriTrack for accessories, EZ HiLo seat system, live well plumbing ready, and the JK Multibox featuring Quick Connect. A serious kayak for serious anglers!
Starting at $3,569
Length: 12' | Width: 36" | Carrying Capacity: 500lbs
The Hobie Pro Angler 12 with 360 Drive Technology is made to cut through any water with ease. Move in any direction and in any depth with the patented Kick-Up fins to navigate through shallow waters, kelp or even over rocks and logs.
Avid anglers will find the Pro Angler 12 packed with features they love. Six rod holders, Vantage ST seating with lumbar support, a retractable transducer shield and an extra-wide hull give this fishing kayak everything a dedicated angler could want. Other features on the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 include an anchor trolley system, pivoting tackle system, large hatch with another pivoting tackle management system, and a molded in vertical rod holder.
Starting at $5,599
Length: 13'8" | Width: 38" | Carrying Capacity: 600lbs
Everything elite anglers look for in a fishing kayak was meticulously thought out when building the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 360. Complete control, power, stability, performance, comfort and loaded with features, the Mirage Pro Angler 14 360 has it all.
A wide standing platform includes noise reducing EVA traction pads to keep anglers concealed from their prey. Sneak up on your fish from any angle using the MirageDrive 360 with Kick-Up Fin Technology. With a weight capacity of 600 lbs, the Pro Angler 14 360 is capable of hauling tons of gear. Multiple large storage hatches with pivoting tackle management systems mean you don't have to make tough choices on what gear to leave behind. Two H-Rail horizontal rod racks, live-well ready rear cargo area, retractable transducer shield, and molded in vertical rod holders set the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 360 as one of best fishing kayaks for experienced anglers.
Starting at $5,799
The Best Powered Fishing Kayaks
Length: 10'6” | Width: 37" | Weight: 121lbs | Carrying Capacity: 525lbs
Simple, intuitive, powerful and built for the serious angler. Old Town's Sportsman 106 powered by Minn Kota is a must-have for anglers looking to up their fishing game or tournament anglers wanting to climb the leaderboards. One of the most popular motorized kayaks on the market, the Old Town Sportsman 106 Minn Kota is easy to operate and gets you on your fish faster.
Every part of the Sportsman 106 Minn Kota was built with fishing at heart. Saltwater ready, the Minn Kota motor has 45 pounds of thrust, forward/reverse capability, foot brace steering and a built-in battery meter. With tournament-ready channels securing your fish measuring board, multiple flush mounted rod holders, four 18" accessory tracks, three through-hull wiring kits and a universal transducer mount, the Old Town Sportsman 106 Minn Kota is a serious kayak for serious anglers.
Length: 12' | Width: 37" | Weight: 119lbs | Carrying Capacity: 558lbs
Building upon the ultra-popular Old Town Sportsman Minn Kota line, the Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Fishing Kayak takes powered kayaks to the next level. The AutoPilot 120 leverages Minn Kota's Spot-Lock technology to get you to your fishing spot faster and holding your position on your favorite hole. With a touch of your thumb, the AutoPilot 120 uses the Bluetooth i-Pilot remote to make driving your kayak as easy as possible.
Hands-free fishing is made possible by combining the motor with a foot brace steering system. Premium adjustable seating using textilene keeps you comfortable, dry, and cool on long days on the water and in the sun. EVA foam deck for stand-up stability, lift assist deploy and stow motor for quick adjustment in shallow water or transport, four 18" accessory rails, three-hull wiring kits and a universal transducer mount are but a few of the features this fishing kayak offers. A culmination of all the Old Town kayaks that came before it, the Sportsman AutoPilot 120 is the result of years of research, adaptation, and a drive to build the best fishing kayak possible.
Starting at $4,349
Length: 13'6" | Width: 37" | Weight: 124lbs | Carrying Capacity: 660lbs
All of the accomplishments of the Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 with a bigger hull designed to handle bigger water and even more stability. Old Town's AutoPilot 136 leverages Minn Kota's Spot-Lock technology, the Bluetooth i-Pilot remote to power yourself to your favorite hole and sit on top of it despite water conditions.
Hands-free fishing is made possible by combining the motor with a foot brace steering system. Premium adjustable seating using textilene keeps you comfortable, dry, and cool on long days on the water and in the sun. EVA foam deck for stand-up stability, lift assist deploy and stow motor for quick adjustment in shallow water or transport, four 18" accessory rails, three-hull wiring kits and a universal transducer mount are but a few of the features this fishing kayak offers. A culmination of all the Old Town kayaks that came before it, the Sportsman AutoPilot 136 is a high weight capacity fishing kayak built for the angler looking for every possible advantage to hunt down their trophies.
When it comes to kayak fishing, there are really only three things that you need to be successful: A kayak that’s easy to maneuver, a kayak that’s easy to control, and a kayak that’s easy to use. In other words, pick a kayak that fits you, your body type, your needs, and your experience level. Once you've picked out a kayak that works for you, the only thing left to do is to head to your favorite fishing spot!
Use all the resources available to you to do your research before you make your purchase. Watch videos, join communities to ask questions, and read product reviews to really hone in on what you think is best for you.
To check out our full range of the best fishing kayaks and accessories we have to offer, most available to you via free and fast shipping, click HERE.