Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 Foot Angler Review

Here comes a thousand-dollar sit-on-top fishing kayak review. In the Hughes Brothers’ considered opinion, is worth every cent of that considerable, but more-than-fair price tag. And we are far from the first to find the Sea Ghost a high-performance bargain. Frankly, here in Kansas we have yet to hear a discouraging word about the boat. It’s an important point even though an old friend, Brian Kelly, tested the boat for us on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Brian paddled in the big wide-open and then took it up a favorite stream or two in search of the Sunshine State’s legendary largemouth.

Vibe Kayak SeaGhost 130 Review by Hughesreviews.com
Vibe Kayak SeaGhost 130 Review by Hughesreviews.com

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 foot Angler Rudder

Let’s hear it for the rudder!

Seldom does such a matter-of-fact part of a yak’s design merit such high, such specific praise. Your Sea Ghost will arrive at your door with an already-installed rudder which takes your toes as its guidance system. With your twinkles taking control, you can save serious energy during very long trips, for example, or on windy days, or in the strong currents Brian reported on his first day out in the Ghost. Remember too that a slick rudder such as the Sea Ghost’s is typically an add-on of a couple of hundred bucks.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 foot Angler Stability

Stability, stability, stability.

An especially broad beam allows for a double-haul on a flyline, for a bait cast of longish distance, and for super-safe access to the far hatches. Our buddy Brian has been surfing since he was five. Forty years later, two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan behind him, he remains special-forces strong. Brian tells us that the Sea Ghost answered his every direction, responded with agility and poise to his surf-bound sense of adventure. And that wide, wide hull remains the reason why. Also, he found easy access to the Sea Ghost, his war wounds and warrior’s heft notwithstanding. The framed seat afforded him genuine comfort, he said, his spent knees, his aching back contentedly along for the ride.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 foot Angler Specs

Rivers to surf, let’s ride.

A happy combination of steadiness and speed, the Sea Ghost weighs in at just seventy-four pounds, not bad, not bad at all for a kayak with so many features.

· Dual-position hero seat.
· Four integrated gear tracks for customized rigging.
· Two flush-mount rod holders.
· Fishfinder transducer port with mounting points and protective lid.
· Multiple storage areas: large center console, twenty-inch front oval hatch, rear hatch, and large bungeed rear tank well.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 foot Angler Review and Rating

Vibe seems to have found a workable truce between the great yak trade-offs of the ages. A solid boat, with a beam sufficient to a standing cast, but which paddled like a garbage scow. Or a fine-tracking speedster in which only the most whacked-out daredevil would stand upright. The Sea Ghost comes as close to being a fishing kayak for everyone, in every sort of water, with any sort of fish on one’s mind.

A great product from a great company.

A note of confidence worth mentioning, Vibe will deliver the Sea Ghost 130 with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for defects on all new kayak purchases and one year on parts attached to the kayak. Well beyond the warranty, Vibe — as a company — is a waterborne pleasure, the people there friendly and helpful in the extreme. Vibe’s Facebook page illustrates the company’s quick, efficient, complete handling of the few issues that do arise with perhaps the best fishing kayak you will ever paddle.


CLICK HERE for Amazon Purchase Info: Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak

Viking Profish 440 Kayak Review

Two magic words. Twice.

Tackle pod.

Tackle pod.

The Profish 440 features a removable center console. Let’s take a look and review it up properly, now. In the words of Davis Hughes, “Boy howdy, does it ever!” — Davis the lucky tester of this yak, recently purchased by a buddy in the next county over. The pod comes round as the easiest, most convenient way of moving your fishing gear all about, here and there, in and out of the redoubtable 440. The Hughes Brothers, in these golden years of ours, value ease and convenience as two of life’s greatest virtues. You will too, if over the years you’ve collected even a fraction of the tackle – the lures, the flies, the line, the reels – that is our collective haul. It’d be embarrassing to count the items in our various tackle stashes, but the brothers pack the pod specific to the day’s outing.
Set up the kayak in seconds. Go fish.

The routine is simplicity, its own ready-to-go self. Pre-load the pod, saving room for jerky and cheese and crackers, and leave it immediate and accessible come the dawn’s early light. And off we go. Reverse the deal at long fishing day’s end and . . . voila! . . . the pod comes out of the Profish, leaving your boat primed for cleaning and, more importantly, your favorite gear – electronics included – ready for storage and reloading for tomorrow’s perhaps quite different waters, quite different fishy species waiting for the dramatic presentation of your fly.
Yes, in the matter of electronics.

Fishing with the Viking Kayaks Profish 440 Kayak

Fish finders find a fine home in the Viking pod, cables running from the yak into the back of the pod. And suddenly, your battery, your sounder sit smack dab together, safe in the same unit.

Viking, a proud and innovative manufacturer from New Zealand.

Upgraded, with Viking’s newest technology, the Profish 440 arrives with even harder materials of construction despite a lighter weight than its predecessor, the Profish 400. The Hughes Brothers are talking serious, serious fishing here, with the configuration of the boat designed for a market consisting, exclusively, of folks who would rather fish than, say, eat.

Viking Kayaks Profish 440 Kayak Specs:

The good things about this boat accumulate in a hurry, so please forgive the bullet points.

These then the features.
· Brass inserts for fitting accessories
· Large front and rear wells
· Tackle station with clear cover and bait board
· Softbait storage well
· Two fresh bait storage wells
· Eight – count ‘em – eight rod holders
· Adjustable footrest
· Free fisherman seat, identified as “deluxe” by the Viking pros
· Free composite, two-piece adjustable paddle
· Stern-mounted Railblaza Starport

This last bit of New-Zealandese bears a bit of explanation: Davis used, in turn, this easily adaptable “Starport” for the installation of a safety flag and then as, typically, our brother stayed way past sunset on the water, a telepole navigation light.

If you live to fish, the Profish 440 is your boat.

We’re relying here on brother Davis’ long weekend on the river and on the enthusiastic reports of the yak’s too, too satisfied owner. Their superlatives, their visceral excitement at the performance of the boat have led us to give this boat our highest collective endorsement.

What more might a competitive – if totally relaxed – fisherman want? The 440 combines speed, a gliding and lubricated sort of propulsion, with stealth, that most elusive of kayak qualities. No hull slap. None. Just silent approach to a hiding lunker.

Expect stability too.

Viking Kayaks Profish 440 KayakReview and Rating

The third virtuous S. To speed and stealth, add stability. The 440 will forgive an awkward cast. It will not punish a little misstep. This boat will remain firm and friendly, ready to stay with you, as with Davis Hughes, through the longest of happy days on a strong-currented stream, a serene lake near you.

And soon. Very, very soon.

For an extra fifty bucks, you may choose a custom color.

Davis anticipates crimson-and-cream, the school colors of the rural high school that managed to survive all six of us brothers. Cindy Hughes remained content to be both captain of the volleyball team and valedictorian.

Sort of like the Profish 440 from venerable old Viking.

CLICK HERE for Amazon Purchase info: Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Motorized Fissot Fishing Kayak Review

We can call it a review, of sorts. Friends, the Hughes Brothers come from a long line of English speakers. And so, please . . . please believe us when we stand before you to tell of what seems to be a fine boat, a serviceable and good kayak buried under glib tonnages of broken English. We speak, of course, of the Fissot fishing kayak.

Advantages are kayaks designing and making process.

Fissot Fishing Kayak Review by hughesreviews.com
Fissot Fishing Kayak Review by hughesreviews.com

From the boat’s own web page, we bring you the following.

“Fissot, an excellent kayaks and canoes vendor ,have the experience of making kayaks over 18 years. Our advantages are kayaks designing and making process. Some of engineer are from EU, they know what is good kayak should be. Processing is the results, we focus on every details, that is why we can be trusted.”

And no, we did not intentionally misplace the comma in the first line of this blurb. At www.fissot.com, you will read . . . “kayaks and canoes vendor ,have” – that silly comma wayward and awkward in its decision to appear any damned where it wants in a Fissot sentence.

Fissot Fishing Kayak – The Engineering?

Some of engineer are from EU.

Then, old buds, there come some lines you just can’t argue with, one’s impartiality as an objective judge of kayaks – as we Hughes Brothers hold ourselves out to be – going right out the window. As we learn, “FISSOT IS A NAME OF LIGHTWEIGHT KAYAKS”.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir, we believe you, Dear Fissot, ma’am or sir.

One more paragraph, and we’re done.

“High stability, labour salving and easy to operation are very important characters for a good fishing kayaks. Fissot fishing kayaks, with the folding designing, become more stable and most important, you can keep standing. To save labour, we take 40lbs motor to drive the kayak. Multi-fishing rod support provided also makes you easy to hand it.”

Alright, alright, we lied.

These lovable folks just won’t stop. You smokers out there, consider the following: advice from Fissot about burns in the bottom of your new yak. We promise, promise, promise you that we snarky Hughes bros – Jimmy Hughes, in particular — have lifted this sales copy just real directly, very honestly, quite verbatimly from the Fissot site.

Fissot Fishing Kayak – The maintenance of the carpet

Now the family is decorated in, more and more use of carpet, there are some is the whole picture, there are some just piece of block. How the carpet maintenance of how to do?

1. avoid cigarette butts. Now the carpet has the characteristics of flame retardant. But not every a carpet with flame retardant function.Whether flame retardant or ordinary carpet, once the cigarette fall into it, the minimum will be burnt out a small coke. Therefore, when laying carpet, inside the home should have a small piece of leftover material.When appear this kind of situation, use first cut head cut off the burned part carpet wool, reoccupy cut a small part of the head of the leftover material blanket wool clippings, with glue after finishing the burning in the pit.Wait for after its are fully dry comb.

2. the whole carpet can after some time, please use the professional cleaning company mechanical cleaning.Specific cycle can be based on the fouling degree.

3. if the stains in the carpet.If it seems appropriate USES milk soak moment, reoccupy hair is brushed dip in milk brushs mop can.If it is animal and plant oil stains can dip in with cotton the gas with more expensive purity is wiped.Fruit juice and beer, juice, should dip in with soft cloth first washing powder solution is wiped, reoccupy warm water with a little vinegar added solution to swab.Such as killing ironmould, can be in corrupt place sprinkle fine salt dust and use warm water mixed fluid of soap is brushed except.

Enough. Enough already. Enough.

Fissot Fishing Kayak – The test?

The hard fact is: the Hughes brothers did not test this boat. We have never seen the boat for sale in any of the Kansas towns where we drink. We know of no one who has ever, ever stepped foot in the stained, burned carpet of a Fissot’s bottom. But there are these outriggers, these extensions off the beam, that suggest a stability like nothing else on the water.

If Cindy Hughes can’t safely cast her wooly worm sixty, seventy feet standing full-upright in a Fissot, then we just don’t know what Fissot is talking about.

Please help us penetrate the further features, the genuine benefits of this boat. We Hugheses suspect there might be a truly nice, nice yak buried under the sales bluster that old Rich there in Shanghai never did bother to translate.

Here’s his number. Richard Cell phone:+86 18621754480

Ask him if the Hughes boys are wrong to recommend his yak.


CLICK HERE for Amazon Purchase info: Fissot Newest 1-Person Folding Canoe Fishing Jet Plastic Kayak

The Review of the Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak

It’s about time for a proper review of the Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak. Vibe has packed a big bunch of kayak into the nice-looking nine feet of the Skipjack. At just 46 pounds, the Skipjack comes out of the bed of a pickup, off the roof of a late-model SUV smooth and easy. Just the way Joel Hughes describes his first — and all subsequent — paddles in the Skipjack he bought this past Christmas for his grandson. As one of the older among us, Joel learned his way around a kayak back on the calm waters of an uncalm boyhood. He finds in the Slipjack simplicity itself, simply made perfect. It’s ideal for all sorts of aqua-enthusiasts. this boat finds its first loves in those new to the joys of paddling a sun-splashed lake. Or even a river just teeming with smallmouth bass.

Review of Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak by Hughes Reviews
Review of Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak by Hughes Reviews

Young Kayak Reviewer:

Big boys in a not especially big kayak.

Young Tristan, as adventurous as ever his grandpa was, reports no trouble whatsoever with wind or waves in the chop that constitutes much of his paddling with his buddies. Tristan is a growing boy at 6’3”, 235 pounds. Tris jumped into his new Skipjack, with room to spare. He found much to like, of course, but his experience was crystallized in one strong sentence. “Grandpa, I paddled in a straight line across Barton Lake on my first try.” The relatively short length of the kayak not much detrimental at all to its tracking. Certainly not to its quite phenomenal maneuverability. At his football playing weight, the boy rode a bit low in the water, but he reported no problems with his stroke therefrom. Tristan especially liked the drywall positioned directly in front of the seat. His valuables riding safe and dry therein. While the posted weight limit for the boat is but 350 pounds, we know of multiple, quite safe and enjoyable outings with that limit exceeded a bit. The Skipjack exceeding our family’s expectations in just about every way.

Much, much to like in the ‘Jack.

The Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak Review

Apart from some complaints with the seat – slipping about in its adjustments a bit, not overly, overly comfortable – we have only compliments for the boat. (As a matter of fact, even Curtis – the most tight-fisted of the Hughes Brothers – argues for a new after-market folding seat to replace the factory unit.) Its small size notwithstanding, this boat does not lack for features. Those features are four flush-mounted rod holders, mounting points for accessory rails, four easy-grip handles for light-hearted transport and all-day portability. Additionally you’ll get two sealed storage hatches with bag inserts, and a large bungeed rear tank well, and two secure paddle parks to prevent loss overboard. A zippered pouch hangs aft of the seat, comfortable and serviceable in its own right, as T. Hughes expects to discover on some extended trips on the Missouri River planned for the late spring.

Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak Specs:

The second-most-cost-effective yak we’ve tested.

The cost too is spot-on, worth every penny of the, oh, four hundred bucks you pay. The brothers must say right out loud, however, that for the money the Sun Dolphin Aruba remains a greater value. That said, the Skipjack achieves its admirable price-point. It does so by delivering everything needful in a safe, stable, easily manageable, lightweight, comfortable sit-on-top kayak.

Neither Joel nor his grandson anticipate thus far any real need for it. The kayak only six months old, but Vibe offers a limited lifetime warranty for defects on all new Skipjacks. Additionally, most charitably, on parts attached to the boat.

Vibe Skipjack 90 Kayak Review and Rating

Right out of the box, your Skipjack will be ready to go fishing. Only one word of advice from your friends the bros: take that first standing cast slow, very very slow. We found the kayak perfectly stable once in position, but that first stand might be a bit wobbly.


Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0 Pedal Fishing Kayak Review

Perception has managed to put something for everyone in its line, and none of its yaks are more democratic, more welcoming to paddlers of all abilities than the Pescador Pilot. At twelve feet fore to aft, the Pilot finds a middle ground between ease of handling in and out of the water and the tight tracking and occasional speed sometimes necessary in a fishing boat.

Review of the Pescador Pilot 12.0 Sonic hughesreviews.com
Review of the Pescador Pilot 12.0 Sonic hughesreviews.com

The Perception Kayak Propeller Review

The Pilot Drive propeller system stands front and center, seeming effortless at times in its propulsion, such is the fluidity of the system’s performance – even in reverse, as your new kayak moves you silently over the structures you most want to fish. Smart and smart some more, Pilot Drive works from an optimized gear ratio, the source of all this smoothness, all this efficiency of movement. The Pilot Drive quickly stows in the hull for launching, landing, and shallow water. One-handed, low-profile rudder control means tight turning radii.

Sister Cindy introduced us to this boat last fall, and its virtues hereto described match up with her needs in a kayak almost exactly.

Perception Kayak comfort

As does the kayak’s comfort. The Pilot earns high marks for good feeling as well, largely because of a fully adjustable (distance to pedals and position of seat back) mesh chair. A little experimentation in both fishing and cruising modes will alert you to the best possible place for your bad self to ride. Zonal mesh makes the removable chair cool and reassuring, as air flows over, under, in and out to keep the sweat glands as inactive as possible.

Cindy has, in her quiet way, become even more of a gear-head than her brothers. The Pilot’s spacious, multi-use, customizable storage and accessory mounts serve her well. She with her no-nonsense insistence on that doodad right there be always and immediately available to her. Open storage fore and aft stows coolers and tackle boxes. A stretch-mesh cover secures the bow storage, and slots seatside make staging of tackle a snap.

Much of the Pilot’s room arises, of course, from its sit-on-top design. Cindy has found that she rides drier on her Pilot than on other sit-on-top models she’s test-pedaled. She also reports, “And it’s stable, very stable, even when I’m standing.” (As when, her brothers have noticed, she continues to increase distances on her 5-weight 9’ Orvis.)

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0 Pedal Fishing Kayak Specs:

– LENGTH: 12′ 5″ / 381 cm

– WIDTH: 33.75″ / 85.73 cm

– BOAT WEIGHT: 85 lbs. / 38 kg

– DECK HEIGHT: 16″ / 41 cm

– MAX CAPACITY: 475 lbs. / 216 kg

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0 Pedal Fishing Kayak Review and Rating

Maximized durability here. Weight optimized. Eminently trackable. Buoyant and then some. Economic in its slice through the water. And stout, stout as can be, thanks to high-density polyethylene, leakproof, one-piece construction and all the exceptional UV, impact, and abrasion-resistance that come along as happy by-products. Perception uses proprietary resins in an innovative rotational molding process that allows the integration of features and the variance of thicknesses throughout for strength and stability where needed, without added weight. Cockpit access is free, open, and easy. All about, here and there in the Pilot come drink holders, recessed resting spots for small items – pliers, lures, flyboxes, whatever – and molded-in rod holders. Perception’s Power-Pole anchoring system is not included, but this popular add-on attaches quickly to a mounting point with hull access.

The Pilot portages well. A handy, easily-replaced skid plate means draggability with no fear of damage to the hull. Soft-touch handles come along to soothe time in transport.

A note for all you pedalers in coastal waters: stainless steel and brass hardware on the boat and the drive are ocean and saltwater-optimized, preventing corrosion for long-lasting good times.

Our sister knows her stuff. Case in point right here with Perception’s Pilot twelve-footer.

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Amazon Purchase Info: 2017 Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0 Pedal Fishing Kayak

Review of the Jackson Kayak Coosa FD (Foot Drive)

The brothers must plead a bit of ignorance in the case of the Jackson Kayak Coosa FD (stands for “foot drive”) fishing kayak. Arriving a bit late in the model year, the Coosa FD caught us a bit flat-footed. And so we did not have a chance to take the Coosa out on any sort of a test run. Therefore, in this necessarily short review, we’re relying on the experience of a cousin, a paddler of the old school, from far northern Minnesota where, at this writing, the temperature stands right at an invigorating -34 degrees. So much for the prospects of a test drive.

Review of the Jackson Kayak Coosa FD hughesreviews.com
Review of the Jackson Kayak Coosa FD hughesreviews.com

What the Hughes extended family can say without a doubt is that, should the FD follow in the classic water-path of Jackson’s Coosa HD hull and deck, this boat is destined for goodness: easy deployment, even easier navigation, massive storage areas, and stability . . . “oh my gosh the stability” (Cousin Stanley’s term), boat-dock sorts of stability for standing and casting.

Jackson Kayak Coosa FD Specs:

– LENGTH: 12’7″

– WIDTH: 35″

– WEIGHT: 102lbs w/out drive

– CAPACITY: 450lbs

Jackson Kayak Coosa FD Review and overall Rating

But now comes Jackson’s soon-to-be-patented “Flex-Drive System” and its consequent hands-free propulsion. The new system means fluid movement forward and reverse, back and forth across a particular bit of subsurface structure where the big old boys live. Easily deployed, with an adjustable pitch, the drive will in 2018 be adaptable to Jackson’s new motorized version. Even keener is the system’s articulation for navigation in deep-then shallow-then deep-then shallower still water, as on its own the prop retracts safely out of the way of rocks and such — making it especially useful on rivers. A daggerboard protects the three-bladed propeller. Together, the system’s components avoid obstacles and, the fishing trip concluded, make the FD’s underside easy to clean.

Jackson has redesigned the FD’s rudder. Rod-based, with no snapping lines, no linkage issues, no kinking. It’s oh so simple, oh so slick.

Cousin Stanley is no small package, but even he found the FD’s seat comfortable across a long day on the water. (Even here, in the seating, Jackson has devised another “system.”) Flexibility is key, allowing the pedaler to locate the best possible position for presenting a popper to a waiting slab-sided bluegill.

YakAttack gear tracks make possible hundreds of points of accessibility for the accessories of the fisherman’s choice.

As we say, the Hughes Brothers have not yet taken an FD down to the water. When we do, Cousin Stanley will be sent back to Duluth, and we’ll offer you a more personalized review. Thank you for your patience.

Eddyline Equinox Kayak Review

We Hughes folk have adventure in our bloodlines – French Foreign Legion, Austrian actresses, the occasional CIA task – and so we offer here a hard push at the outside edges of “beginning kayaker.” With your new Equinox sit-inside kayak will come a perfect balance between the stability and comfort of a recreational kayak and the performance of a sea kayak. Let’s do this Eddyline Equinox Kayak Review, proper like.

Eddyline Equinox
Eddyline Equinox

Equinox by Eddyline Specs

The chines are hard and harder still. The V hull is shallow. And so your Equinox tracks superbly and leans with you into turns at once true but a little wide. Its length, an easily managed fourteen feet, ensures hull speeds unto those of the long-time sea kayaker. Good gliding right here. The beam reaches a full two feet and more, all the stability even the most ambitious of beginning paddlers could want. No rudder, no skeg necessary here. Stand by for relaxed photography and fishing.

The cockpit is, oh, not overlarge. The keyhole shape gives you a seat composed of a three-way, padded backrest, a reasonably comfortable padded seat, molded thigh braces matched with Sea Dog (Damn! Not a registered trademark.) foot braces welcoming to the most tender of bare feet. Eddyline tells us that these braces are “ergonomic.” Good. And those thigh braces deliver finely tuned control to the smallest of paddlers.

Bunjis on the front, recessed deck fittings, retractable carry handles, and security loops answer all your practical, no-nonsense questions. As does the Equinox’s weight, light and then some for all its strength and room, but ready to load in the back of a pickup, even atop a Jeep. Eddyline calls its hull material Carbonlite 2000, a name suggestive of manageable strength, resistant to the banging, the dinging of launching, landing, and loading. Notice bulkheads and hatches fore and aft, the hatches dry even under heavy splashing and big enough to hold overnight camping equipment. An Eddyline spray skirt adds to warm-and-dry all around.

Equinox by Eddyline Review and Overall Rating

Also, the Equinox is quite beautiful, with style and color that will draw attention shoreside, envy on the water. We invite you to share the Hughes family’s enthusiasm for this especially well-built dual-purpose boat. It reminds us of that romantic, murderous time in the south of the former Soviet Union when . . .


Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Eddyline Equinox Kayak

The Sit In Sun Dolphin Aruba Review

5 Comments on the Sun Dolphin Aruba 

Ah, The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10. How do kaykers love thee? Let the Hughes lads count the ways.

Top 5 Things about the Sun Dolphin Aruba

First, here be a boat that beginners will enjoy first time out, but still a yak that many advanced paddlers rely on as a versatile, inexpensive second choice.

Sun Dolphin Aruba hughesreviews.com
Sun Dolphin Aruba hughesreviews.com

Secondly, tough as nails, eminently durable. Smith Hughes, being himself, likes its wide body, and the ensuing stability, even as the runway-model bow and only slightly more girthsome gunwales track sure, true, and easy. The technical specs of its body then: UV-stabilized Fortiflex® high-density polyethylene. Smith enjoys registered trademarks, their often made-up nomenclature especially.

Thirdly, it transports on terra firm almost as easily as it does on the river.

Fourthly, its large open cockpit encourages easy paddling from an adjustable, padded seat with protective thigh pads. Beginners can practice their strokes in peace on quiet rivers and smaller lakes.

Fifthly, the water-bottle holder. Voila! The Hughes brothers are always bemused by the general public’s furor over cup and bottle holders in their various modes of transportation, the smaller corporate jets included.

Enough enumeration.

Sit In Sun Dolphin Aruba Review and Overall Rating

That big cockpit – virtue four above – also makes for graceful entry and exit, while the Aruba welcomes rigging for anchoring systems, rod holders, even electronic gear – depth-finders and such. One thought here: this wide, wide kayak may call for a slightly longer paddle. Experiment for an outing or two, until you find the length that best maximizes the strengths of your frame. Same with the seat.

The epicurean Smith recommends an after-market seat cushion. He paddling in at six-feet-plus, two-hundred-pounds plus-plus, Smith spends his hours now on El Dorado Lake in comfort. Ah, sweet late-life comfort.

Now for the money. Shop around, prospective paddlers. Not only for price, but for colors as well. We found that the availability of the Aruba’s factory-based hues can be a come-and-go deal, quickly here and gone. Green seems almost always right there when you want. With the Sun Dolphin Aruba, your bucks will be similarly available.

– Mike Hughes


Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak

Old Town Predator PDL Kayak Review

Want a kayak built around speed, maneuverability, and day-long comfort while fishing or cruising? Don’t we all? With the introduction of the 2017 iteration of the Predator PDL, venerable Old Town has given us a boat that integrates the company’s full century in the construction of able-bodied watercraft with design and engineering available only after three recent years of development. Here are the stability and ease of operation for which Old Town kayaks are rightly known. Here is a thorough review of the Old Town Predator PDL Kayak.

hughesreviews.com review of the Predator PDL Kayak
hughesreviews.com review of the Predator PDL Kayak

The Old Town Predator PDL Kayak Specs

Smith Hughes took the lead in testing the PDL. Smitty found “ease and smoothness of pedaling that, to my mind, sets the standard now.” Smith’s observation rises from the virtues of the PDL drive, quick forward and reverse high on the list. The first drive in the industry with the ability to float. It’s perhaps the most important feature of all for the often klutzy Smith. This kayak converts mild pedaling into maximized thrust. A 10.3:1 gear ratio jets the boat quickly to 5.5 mph. Once over the honey hole, fishermen can easily maintain hands-free positioning in wind and current and over the often shallow structure where the big old boys hide. Old Town’s proprietary prop, weedless of course, delivers all the torque needed for quiet cruising or an afternoon of casting into a breeze. The rudder could not work more smoothly, thanks in part to a control knob positioned for fast, easy steering.

The Old Town Predator PDL Kayak Review and Overall Rating

The Predator will stow or ready most of the gear in your garage. Recessed storage waits conveniently on both sides of the boat. The hatch opens wide and roomy, ready for bags in and then secure locking with a single click. Look for six removable mounting plates, strong and strategically placed for your customized use – rod holders, fish finders, slide tracks, GPS, whatever. The tank well is huge, accessible, and dry, just perfect for storing a cooler or tackle boxes, even a battery for your trolling motor. (Smith, we know, stashed a half-dozen sandwiches and two family-sized bags of chips.)

Leave it to Old Town to patent scupper holes . . . well, not the holes themselves, but the one-way valves which drain away any water sloshed into the boat.

Patents and proprietary technical stuff aside, the Predator has changed our brother. Now the confirmed gym teacher preaches to us the value of combining fitness and fun. Old Town be praised!

Click here for Amazon Purchase info: Old Town Predator PDL Kayak

Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13 Kayak Review

Let’s get started with a fitting review of the Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13 Kayak. Native Watercraft has gone for a lean look and feel in the Ultimate FX Propel 13 Kayak, albeit with comfort of ride and space that belies its weight, at 79 pounds the lightest thirteen-foot pedal-drive on the market, able to be set in the bed of a pickup with no real problem.

Review of the Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13
Review of the Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13

The Propel 13 tracks quietly and efficiently – applause here to the boats sharp bow lines. The tunneled hull is especially solid in turns. An open deck means easy loading and unloading of gear at the ramp and easy accessibility to that gear on the water.

Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel Specs

The Propel Drive System, with forward and reverse of course, means extra force in confronting wind and waves. The Propel Drive has proven itself over several years of use in various boat configurations. It now has the FX 13’s shallower hull. The speed will come easier still even as the boat encounters less resistance in cross currents. The boat accelerates nicely, a few revolutions on the pedals and off you go, at speed. Maintaining the desired, higher speeds presented no problems for any of us.

The builders at Native Watercraft have done ideal work in their melding of the hull and the drive unit. The prop engages fully with the water, and yet it tucks against the hull, minimizing the depth of water which the pedaler may enter safely. The rudder is durable molded rubber, with some nifty control cabling for nice, tight turn radii. No need for aftermarket modification, as has been the case on other Native Watercraft models.

Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel Review and Overall Rating

Hours fishing or cruising on the UFXP13 come comfortably. This is do to a heightened seat position just below the gunwales. This new elevation will naturally make your stroke on the pedals more downward, a welcome change for the more senior of the Hughes set. Seat height notwithstanding, stability is excellent. Brother Mike Hughes has been whining about his back again, but he reports minimal difficulty in rising from the seated position.

Gear storage is thoughtfully located: track-mounted tackle and rod holder astern, under the seat for soft cooler bags, and groove tracks along the gunwales and decks fore and aft for mounting rod holders, stake-out poles, anchor cleats, and display units. The bow deck-cover does a reasonably good job in deflecting bowspray. Yakker and gear stay dry.

We liked this boats for all sorts of reasons, none more though than its immediate enjoyability. Off you go now.


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