Tag Archives: kayak

Malibu Kayaks X-Factor 14 Fish and Dive Review

UPDATED: Check out the new X-Factor 14 foot model here

You can’t talk about the top rated fishing kayak without mentioning the Stealth-14 by Malibu. One of the industry’s most complete kayaks, the 14 is a must-have for a true angler that demands only the best kayak.

And this model comes with it all, from a variety of color choices to over 550-pounds of storage capacity.

Features That All Angler Boats Need

The Stealth-14 was designed by people that understand the needs and wants of an angler. From the ground up, you’ll find features that make your outing fun and exciting. Before we dive into the fun parts, let’s take a look at this kayak’s measurements at a glance:

  • Length: 14.4”
  • Width: 33”
  • Depth: 12”
  • Hull Weight: 62 pounds
  • Max Capacity: 550 pounds

Then we get down into the huge number of features from the front of the kayak to the back:

1. Bow & Stern Handles

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2. Gator Hatch

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3. Adjustable Footrest

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4. Cup Holder

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5. 2x Front Rod Holders

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6. Standing Platform / Side Hatch

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7. Bait Tank System (more on that soon)

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8. Side Carry Handles & Paddle Holders

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9. Trolling Motor Mount

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10. Fish Finder Transducer Mount

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11. 2x Rear Rod Holders

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12. Rear Rectangular Hatch (bag included)

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13. Rear Bungee Storage

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14. Rudder Inserts

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The Stealth-14 has a standing deck that allows for greater traction when standing on the deck. Up to two people can comfortably sit on the kayak in different positions thanks to the gator hatch, and the live bait tank is an exceptional addition to any kayak.

A 5-gallon live bait tank allows you to keep live bait with you the entire time you’re out on the water.

If you’re an avid angler, you know that live bait means you’ll catch more fish in the process. This is a major addition to any kayak on the market, and it’s just one of many that make this one of the best kayaks on the market today.

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There is a fish finder hookup, which is the real accessory friendliness of this kayak. This will allow you to see any fish that may be below your kayak at any given time so that you can fish more efficiently than ever before.

But if you want to dig deeper into this kayak, it also includes:

  • Cup Holder: Ideal for a beer or cup of coffee.
  • Bait Tank: Store up to 5 gallons of bait right in the center of the kayak.
  • Storage: At the rear of the kayak is a bungee storage compartment. A bag is included, too, which makes it even easier to get started.

These are the only real accessory options aside from upgrading panels. You can use Malibu’s X-Tank accessory to add a cooler on the rear hatch if you like.

Stability / Standing

This kayak is extremely stable while standing. Have a look at the tricks pulled by Nick in this video while on the Malibu Stealth

Comfort and Design

When you’re out on the water for hours, it can get very uncomfortable. Your legs and ankles may ache, and your bottom may hurt due to prolonged sitting. The Stealth-14 does everything possible to make your time out on the water more comfortable.

Adjustable footrests allow you to maintain proper foot position while also adding to the comfort of the kayak.

Sturdy and durable, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on dry land when out on the water. We’ve sat for over 9 hours without any aches or pains along the way. If you want to stretch your legs, the standing deck allows you to have a firm, stable base that you can stand up on at any time during your outing.

The best part is that Malibu truly took their time with the design of this kayak.

When you enter into the Stealth-14, you’re entering one of the most stable kayaks on the market. This model is able to handle any water condition thanks to its enhanced stability. You can go sight casting on flats and then decide to paddle through breaking waves to get in the surf.

Easy to turn, the kayak is wider than most yet easy to paddle.

The larger width is what allows users to stand on the deck and remain stable no matter the water condition.

When it comes to the casting platform, it’s equally as stable and is the most stable on the sit-on-top market today. Novices and experienced users alike will find that this is a kayak worth owning. It’s stable, reliable and affordable. You’ll be able to go fishing, exploring and confidently take over the waters.

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What’s New for 2016?

You’ll find that there isn’t much new with this model from the time it came out years ago. A few of the additional features deal with correcting user complaints more than adding new features to the kayak itself.

There isn’t much more you could ask for when using the Stealth-14.

But the updates deal with the updated hatches. The hatches allow you to hold a lot of gear and supplies, but users often complained about the hatches leaking. New, updated hatches have been introduced that keep these minor leaks to a minimum.

The only time the leaking occurs is when the water is rough, and this can be because of water getting into the kayak itself.

For the most part, and for most users, the leaking hatch is a thing of the past and never hampered an outing on the water. Hatches allow you to carry a lot of gear for a weekend on the water, so their benefits greatly outweigh the former leaking issues.

UPDATED

Check out the X-Factor model here. It holds more gear and has more recent updates than the Stealth-14. 

Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak Review


lifetimesgtraightThe Lifetime Tamarack is a “sit-on-top” angler kayak that’s affordably priced, designed for comfort and offers plenty of extra features to make your next fishing trip a memorable one.

The Tamarack is easily the best fishing kayak for beginners. It’s durable, sturdy and won’t cost you a small fortune to own.

Lifetime Tamarack Features

With a 52 pound design, the Tamarack is highly portable, and it’s just the right size for just about any user. With a higher weight capacity, you can easily pack all of your gear on this kayak without it breaking a sweat.

Specifications

  • Length: 120”
  • Height:1”
  • Width: 31”
  • Draft: 5”
  • Weight: 52lbs
  • Hull: HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
  • Max Weight Capacity:
  • Color: Tan

Constructed with UV-resistant HDPE, this kayak features deep hull tracking channels and a stable flat bottom for easy use no matter your skill level. The stability chine rails further add to the stability of this kayak, making it easier to fish in a variety of water conditions. HDPE is impact-resistant, too, so you don’t have to treat your kayak like a piece of fragile glass.

As a “sit-on-top” model, you won’t be able to stand on top of the Tamarack, but the adjustable padded seat and footrest allow you to change positions to prevent discomfort and aches. Both the seat back and the seat pad are adjustable, so you can choose the perfect setting for you.

Here’s a good review of the benefits of sit-on-top kayaks versus sit-inside kayaks.

If you spend the entire afternoon fishing, you’ll appreciate being able to adjust your position from time to time.

Front and rear carry handles also make it easy to transport this kayak to and from the water. While the Tamarack still has some weight to it, it’s lighter than most other kayaks, which makes it easier to mount on your car’s roof – or wherever your mount may be.

You’ll find this model in both tan and red colors, but the tan is more popular.

Lots of Rooms for Accessories

The Tamarack makes it easy to bring all of your accessories with you on the water. Whether you’re planning a full-day trip or just a few hours, all of your gear will be just an arm’s reach away.

As a fishing kayak, the Tamarack has everything you need to make your next trip on the water a successful one. The built-in fishing rod holders allow you to safely carry your poles to your destination, or rest them there while you enjoy your afternoon lunch.

A series of shock cord straps keep your gear in place at the front and rear of the kayak, so it’s always close at hand. The front storage area is a bit smaller than the back, but still provides plenty of room for gear without hindering your view.

The Tamarack also comes with two covered 6” storage compartments in the center of the boat. These compartments are ideal for storing drinks, bait and other small items you may need. If you have a waterproof smartphone bag or case, you can store your phone here, too.

Two paddle cradles are built into the sides of the boat and have shock cords to keep your paddle in place while you fish or relax.

The Tamarack also comes with a paddle, but if you’d like to purchase one separately, you’ll want to choose a large one. This kayak is a bit wider than average and has some weight to it, so you’ll need a sturdy paddle.

lifetimefishingA Comfortable Design

Comfort is important when you’re spending all day in a boat – and especially because this kayak does not have a standing deck. The Tamarack excels in this department by giving you plenty of customizable options.

The back of the seat and the seat pad itself are both adjustable, so you can choose a position that’s right for you. There are multiple footrest positions to choose from, too, so you can change your leg positions when needed. The multiple foot positions also mean that users of all heights – tall or short – can use this kayak comfortably.

While no seat cushion is included, you’ll find that this kayak is still comfortable to sit on. You can also purchase a cushion separately for added comfort if needed.

The Tamarack is a bit wider than your typical kayak, which can make paddling a little challenging for smaller users. At the same time, the larger width makes this model easier to maneuver out on the water.

The tracking channels, flat bottom and stability chine rails work together to create a smooth, stable experience out on the water. Whether you’re new to kayaking or have been doing it for years, you’ll find it easy to steer the Tamarack.

What’s New for 2016?

Not much has changed since this kayak was released.

Some buyers did have issues with shipping several years ago, but that has since been fixed. A few buyers received kayaks that were dented or had other damage. While the damage was likely caused the shipper, Lifetime has taken steps to improve the packing of this kayak.

Aside from this, no features have been changed or updated in 2016. The design and overall quality of construction of this kayak really don’t warrant any updates.

The Lifetime Tamarack is a solid, durable, comfortable and affordable fishing kayak that users of all experience and skill levels will enjoy. With plenty of storage space, adjustable seat and foot positions, and a generous size, this kayak is great for afternoon or even weekend fishing trips.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-Foot Sit-on Top Kayak Review

Sun Dolphin’s Bali SS 12-foot kayak allows you to paddle through lakes and rivers with precision handling, a lightweight design and a massive storage capacity that can hold all of your gear for a weekend on the water.

A large seating area allows for the utmost in comfort while the protective thigh pads provide you with ample protection from rough waters.

When it comes to stabilization, the Bali SS provides high-end stability that will keep you safe in the water. Add in an easy cockpit entry, and you’ll be able to enjoy kayaking like never before. Let’s take a look at the features that this model has to offer.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-Foot Features

The Bali SS comes at a low cost but doesn’t skimp on the features. The specifications alone are impressive, take a look for yourself:

  • Length: 12’
  • Weight: 48 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 395 pounds

And the width is 29.5” and the height is 13.5”. Made in the United States, there are three color choices available when choosing the Bali:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Red

Pretty impressive, right? This is just the start; this model also offers:

  • UV stabilized high density polyethylene
  • Portable accessory carrier
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Open cockpit
  • Large seating area
  • Protective thigh pads
  • Paddle holder
  • Shock cord rigging
  • Storage compartment
  • Retractable carry handles

Single users will be able to fit perfectly in this kayak. While you won’t be able to bring company along like with other kayaks, you’ll find that the cockpit entry is as easy as it comes compared to the competition.

You’ll be seated low enough to avoid water splashing on your thighs, and there are protective thigh pads for added comfort.

The foot braces are adjustable, too so that you can choose a position and size perfect for your feet. What this does is allow you to maintain greater stability and control when paddling. A 12’ length is also a good compromise between the 10’ and 14’ models because it can accommodate nearly 400 pounds (user weight plus storage weight).

Cutting through the water will be effortless – even when the river is a little rough.

While it’s called “sit-on top,” you’re sitting deeper in the hull more like a traditional kayak than a sit-on top model. Keep this in mind when choosing this model as the name is a little misleading.

Accessories for the Sun Dolphin Bali

When it comes to kayaking, you may want some accessories to optimize your time out on the lake. Sun Dolphin does state that this model has accessories, but the only accessory that the company lists is the must-have kayak paddle that’s needed to paddle through the water.

There isn’t a holder for a fish finder, so this model is meant more for sport than it is fishing – although you can definitely fish in this kayak, but you won’t have a place to mount a fish finder.

If you do have other accessories, you’ll be able to keep everything stored in the Bali 12’s massive storage. The front storage area used bungees to keep your gear secured while a small storage compartment with a twist cap is present to store all of your valuables when fishing. This is where you’ll want to place your wallet, watch or other valuables.

The stern has a larger storage compartment.

Fishing rod holders (2) are included for the expert angular.

Coffee drinkers will love the conveniently placed water bottle holder that keeps drinks in arm’s reach at all times.

If you want to deck out your kayak, here are a few accessory items we recommend:

  • Padded seat
  • Bungee cord kit
  • Cooler
  • Waterproof backpack

Comfort and Design

Sitting in a kayak all day doesn’t need to lead to aches and pains. The Bali 12 makes kayaking as comfortable as possible. The cockpit is sunken in so that you feel extra secure, and the foot braces can be adjusted to better accommodate tall and short users.

If you’re especially tall and have issues finding a kayak that can accommodate your leg size, this is a good choice.

And the padded backrest is adjustable, too, to allow for even more comfort.

Young and old kayakers will find that the Bali is able to offer comfort all day long, and there are even retractable handles that will allow you to easily haul this kayak from your truck to the water and back.

There isn’t a cushion for your button, so this may be an accessory that you want to buy at some point if you plan to be out on the water from sunrise to sunset.

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Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak Review

Standing or seated, the Mirage Pro will keep you stable and in position for the moment you feel the fish bite. The kit includes a H-Rail for rod mounts and all of your electronic devices. The platform is 14-feet long and uses the MirageDrive – Glide Technology which  is efficient, keeps your hands free and is extremely quiet so it doesn’t scare the fish away. Continue reading Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak Review