If you’re looking for your first fishing kayak, it’s well worth checking out Pelican kayaks. They are stable, affordable, and make all-round great beginner kayaks. With almost five decades of experience in producing kayaks, Pelican is a well-respected brand name in the fishing world.
So, is a Pelican kayak worth it? Well, let’s see! In this article, we’re going to take a close look at the different models out there. In our reviews, we’ll examine what each kayak has to offer and whether it’s the right fit for you.
Read on to find your perfect Pelican kayak so you can get out on the water sooner!
Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak
The Maxim 100X is one of the most popular Pelican models. It measures 10 feet long yet is pretty lightweight at just 39 pounds. If you prefer a sit-in kayak, the Maxim is a good solo model. The ergonomic cushioning on the seat allows you to stay comfortable, even on long fishing trips.
The Pelican Maxim is very durable, thanks to the unique construction with three layers of plastic. It’s also reasonably priced and offers incredible value for money. It also has a high maximum weight capacity of 275 lbs, making it suitable for almost all anglers.
- Durable Ram-X polyethylene construction
- Excellent value for money
- Comfortable seat molds to your shape
- It’s tricky to adjust the footrest when you’re out on the water
Prime 100 Sit-on-top
The Prime is another solo 10 foot kayak from Pelican. What we like best about the Prime is how versatile it is and how much storage space it offers. You can easily pack everything you need for a full day of fishing, with space for your gear, snacks, and essentials. It also has a few handy features like the tie-down paddle points and a bottle holder.
The Prime feels very steady out on the water. It can handle up to 325 lbs of weight, and you’ll feel confident in this sit-in kayak, even if you’re a complete beginner. Although it’s not the lightest kayak at 50 lbs, you can use the retractable handles to transport your kayak easily from car to river. Check out our guide on how to build a DIY Kayak Cart to move your kayak easily.
The Ergoform cushioning on the seat is a huge bonus. You’ll be able to paddle all day without any discomfort. This alone makes it worth spending a bit more for the Prime, along with the additional features.
- Good comfort for long periods of kayaking
- Ample storage space for all your essentials
- High maximum weight capacity
- On the heavy side
- More expensive – not a budget option
Sonic 80X Kayak
The Sonic is another classic kayak that offers excellent stability and durability. If you’re after a cheaper, pared-back kayak, this kayak fits the bill. It’s shorter at just 8 feet but is very lightweight, weighing only 25 lbs. This makes it easy to transport from your car down to the water single-handedly.
As with the other models, it’s UV-resistant and hardwearing with a molded seat and Ergoform backrest. It maneuvers beautifully on the water and has some cool features like the bottle holder and footrests for extra support.
However, the Sonic might feel a bit cramped if you’re tall. You’ll also need to keep in mind the relatively low weight capacity of 225lbs.
- Super lightweight at just 25 ft
- Molded footrests provide extra support and comfort
- UV-resistant durable design
- Lower weight capacity of just 225 lbs
- Fewer features than some of the other products
Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth
The Solo is a specially-designed kayak for the younger members of your family. Kids will love heading out in their own kayak, but you won’t need to worry about their safety. The twin tunnel hull makes this model super simple to maneuver on the lake, and it’s also self-bailing as an extra security measure.
This youth kayak is suitable for one person weighing up to 100lbs. You can choose from three bright colorways that are eye-catching and easily visible. Just be prepared that your kid may not want to come in off the lake any time soon!
- Comes in three attractive, bright colors
- Very stable
- Easy to maneuver
- Safety flag included
- The seat isn’t as comfortable
- A very basic kayak with no extra features
River Gorge 130X Tandem Kayak
Do you prefer to head out on the water with a fishing buddy rather than go solo? Then, the River Gorge 130X is the ideal kayak for you! This model measures 13 foot and can handle up to 500 lbs. You’ll have no trouble carrying it down to the water thanks to the retractable handle design, and it’s simple to launch.
Each seat is padded and has an adjustable backrest for your ultimate comfort. There’s plenty of space in the rear well to stash all your gear and keep it secure with the bungee lacing. You can even keep your paddle safe at hand, thanks to the useful tie-down holders. This kayak is one of the best tandem models and has everything you need for an amazing time out on the river or lake.
- Sturdy kayak designed for two people
- Twin-arch multi-chine hill is built for superior stability
- The tie-down holders will keep your paddle close at hand
- Weighs a hefty 73lbs
Saber Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
The competition’s stiff, but we reckon that the Saber may be the best Pelican kayak ever! So, what’s so good about the Saber? First off, the multi-chine flat bottom hull is designed for the ultimate smooth and stable performance out on the water. You won’t need to worry about your safety in the Saber, even if it’s your first time in a kayak!
It’s also extremely lightweight yet can handle up to 325 lbs in weight. The 10 foot Saber has been designed with the angler in mind. As a result, you have three handy rod holders (one swivel rod holder and two flush mount rod holders). So, your rod is always safe and in quick reach when you need it.
- Cool design
- High maximum capacity (325 lbs)
- Impressive stability
- Multi-chine hull keeps you steady at all times
- 3 rod holders included
- No bottle holder
- Not suited to very windy conditions (may become less stable)
Are Pelican kayaks good?
If you want to know whether Pelican recreational kayaks are good, the answer will depend on what you want to get from your kayak. Do you want to get out on the water sooner rather than later? You may have a tight budget, or you’re after a safe, stable model to get started with paddle fishing? Then, Pelican kayaks are the perfect kayaks for your needs. See also our Best Fishing Paddle Board Reviews here.
After something high-end or specialized? Skip the Pelican kayak and look elsewhere instead. (Just be prepared for the hefty price tag!).
You can also check out our post on the Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000 here for a more selection of fishing kayaks
Which Pelican kayak is best?
It’s a close call, as all the kayaks from Pelican are pretty impressive. However, the Pelican Saber 10 foot model is one of the best kayaks Pelican has ever made, as it’s so easy to use and comes with a fantastic array of features. Check out the full reviews above!
Who makes Pelican kayaks?
Pelican International makes Pelican recreational kayaks in its manufacturing facility in Quebec, Canada.
How much weight can a Pelican Kayak hold?
The kayaks from Pelican can hold between 225-325 lbs, depending on the individual model. That’s why they are the best kayaks Canada has to offer!
The Wrap Up
Pelican is making some of the best entry-level recreational kayaks on the market right now. Its products are durable, safe, and easy to use. Even the complete beginner will feel confident in a Pelican fishing kayak thanks to the flawless stability they offer. Plus, these kayaks won’t set you back too much money – a huge bonus when you’re just starting out.
That’s why we believe that a Pelican kayak is the top fishing kayak for beginners. It should last you a long time and provide for countless fun fishing trips! So get down to your nearest kayak sale or grab one of the kayaks from our reviews above. You won’t regret it!
Tell us which of the Pelican kayaks you want (or already have) in the comments below! Then, head over to Fly Fisher Pro for more fishing articles and gear reviews.