There are a lot of manufacturers of fishing and angling kayaks, but one really separates themselves from the competition. Perception Kayak began building fishing boats in the mid 1970′s using fiberglass for their primary means of construction. They released a few models that sold incredibly well, and ended up making quite the name for themselves with anglers across the world. Today, Perception kayaks are being built in three factories located in the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Their research and development team works tirelessly to ensure that they are fitting in the features that anglers are looking for, and they tend to do a very good job at it. We are going to discuss a few of their more popular models that have been selling well for years, and will probably remain that way for a long time to come. The Catch 390, Sierra Angler, and Freedom Angler have made their way into fishermen’s hearts for very good reasons.
The Catch 390 comes in at a healthy 12 and a half feet long, and this provides incredible tracking, as well as stability with the 33.5″ beam. Sit on top kayaks are known for their stability, but the specs on this boat mean that you are going to be hard pressed to flip it. I am an angler that enjoys hanging my feet over the side of the boat, often times on the same side which would cause most kayaks, especially sit insides, to flip over pretty rapidly. Perception included a flat area in the front of the cockpit because of the stability of this boat just for being able to stand up and make casts. This is great for the fly fishermen out there, and those who like to get up to stretch their legs from time to time. They also included a few huge storage hatches, a center bait well, as well as a large recess in the rear where you can store a nice fishing crate. They included a couple rod holders, while they aren’t in the best positions, they do work, and you can store spare rods inside the boat through the rear storage hatch. All in all, this is a spectacular boat with a nice entry price.
At 13 feet long, the Perception Kayaks Freedom Angler is not quite as wide as the Catch 390, but it makes up for the lack of beam, by providing a lot more speed and efficiency in paddling. If you are travelling farther distances to get to your fishing holes, you may want to consider purchasing a more streamlined kayak, such as the Freedom Angler. The boat comes rigged in pretty much the same fashion as the 390, with flush mount rod holders, a few storage hatches, and the tank well reset area. We don’t recommend standing in this boat though, as it could get kind of tippy. They did a really good job outfitting this one from the factory, and added two more rod holders in front of the cockpit to help keep them in front of you while you are paddling.
The Sierra Angler by Perception Kayaks has to be one of the funner kayaks I have used in my time. At only 11 feet long, and 28 inches wide, this boat can stow and go, throwing it into the back of the truck. Because it is a sit inside, you can put your rods down inside of the cockpit and keep them out of the way while you’re travelling, and then put them into the rod holders once you are on the water. Because this is a sit inside, you are going to get a lot more efficiency from your paddle strokes, and having the lower center of gravity means that you get a lot more power on your hooksets. This is a great pond boat, or a boat to use when you just want to get out for a couple of hours without all the rigging hassles. I plan to strap an electric motor to this one real soon.
As you can see, Perception Kayak really has gone to the extra effort to ensure that their kayaks don’t need any further modifications once you make the purchase. While the price is a bit higher than some of the other manufacturers, the quality and the customer support that you receive are bar none above the rest. I know personally that I am a long time Perception Kayaks customer for sure.
More and more people are choosing to use a fishing kayak as their primary means of reaching the water, and they are quickly learning that there are a lot of benefits to using fishing kayaks over stinkpots, or larger gas motor powered boats. There are a lot of advantages to using fishing kayaks over large boats, mainly because of the ability to stealthily move into shallow water to creep up on unsuspecting fish. Above all, kayaks are a very cost efficient way to get onto the water, and you can often find a fishing kayak for sale near you for very cheap.
If you are someone that is going to need to go out and purchase the best new shiny kayak to fulfill your needs then you are probably going to want to consider reading some fishing kayak reviews to ensure that you are getting everything that you need from the boat. Manufacturers tend to do a very good job at providing anglers with what they are looking for, but sometimes they throw a boat together with accessories mounted in random locations. These are almost a waste of money because you are going to buy them brand new, and turn around to sell them when you find out that they are uncomfortable.
For those of you that want to save some money, but still get on the water you are going to be able to find used fishing kayaks that have been scratched and dented, but are still floating. Often times you are going to be able to find someone that, like mentioned in the previous paragraph, have dropped large sums of money to rig out their shiny new kayak, only to find out it isn’t right for them. When they turn around and tell the boat is your best chance at getting a super deal, and getting into the sport for less than a few hundred dollars.
photo credit: rappensuncle
As stated, there are tons of fishing kayak accessories that can help you get more from your fishing trips, coming in the forms of rod holders, paddle leashes, comfortable seats, fishing crates, trailer setups, and even trolling motors mounted to the rear of the boat. While these types of motors don’t give you the speed that you would expect, they still produce 3-4mph and a lot of fun while you are bouncing around fishing, saving your energy.
Just make sure that you have spent the time figuring out exactly how you think you want your boat setup, so if you do end up purchasing brand new you will still get the fishing kayak that you are looking for. If you are attempting to buy used fishing kayaks, you won’t get to be a choosy about which kayak you buy, but they often come pre-rigged with kayak fishing accessories, and are ready to put in the water.