Kayak fishing is much more than an up and coming hobby. Specific areas of US wildlife have been purpose dedicated to a sport that has seen an prolific rise in popularity over recent years. The rise in popularity is easily explained by the addictive nature of the sport, the fishing community, dedicated resorts and now even dedicated holidays for kayak fishers. It’s an exciting time to be a kayaker, particularly and kayak angler. It may be because of the lure of the times, that you are looking for a new kayak, or perhaps your first fishing kayak. Fishing kayaks are definitely a niche kayak, if you’re thinking that any old kayak will do, then you are unfortunately mistaken. There are certain kayak characteristics which take priority over others when looking to use them for a single purpose. For example, in a fishing kayak, speed and durability take a back seat where stability and storage space head straight to the top of the list. In short, a prolific sport requires a prolific vessel, which brings us nicely to the review case in point.
Throughout the course of this article, I’ll subjecting the Perception Sport Pescador 12 Angler Kayak to my usual degree of scrutiny. I’ll be assessing it’s pros and cons, as well as how it’s pricing compares to similar products available on the market, to help you make a well balanced and informed purchase. As a sneak preview, the early impressions of this kayak are very promising indeed, but join me after the jump for the full in depth review.
Where to begin, where to begin. Knowing where to start with a kayak purpose built for one specific activity is a little tough. But as I mentioned in the introduction, because this kayak is purpose engineered, it should have prioritized some features over others and it’s here that I’ll begin my dissection. Now for me, when using a fishing kayak I value stability, convenient storage space and comfort very highly. The reasons for these are clear, without stability, you aren’t going to be able to stand up to spot a potential catch; without storage space you’ll be trying to catch your fish without the proper equipment; and without comfort those long fishing trips are going to turn out to be more of a chore than the relaxing pass time that they should be.
Well, the Pescador 12 has all of the above in abundance, so it’s already ticking all of the right boxes for me. With designated paddle parks, rod holders and even an anchor to boot to stop unwanted drifting, there’s plenty of space for your rods and oars to be able to fish without having to intricately balance your gear. As well as rod holders and oar clips, there’s a whole dedicated storage space for bait, tackle and line just behind the cockpit. This storage space is secured with an elastic topping, meaning there’s very little risk of equipment going overboard if you take to the open ocean.
While on the topic of the cockpit, we will go on to talk about comfort and space. The cockpit in itself is very spacious, with ample leg room to sit comfortably for extended periods of time. The cockpit is also concave, to nicely cushion your rear end, but also provide a stable standing pad for when you have to stand up to spot a far off catch. All in all, this kayak has nailed the cockpit.
With all your gear on board, you may be concerned about the carrying capacity. Well where I can’t seem to find a concrete figure, user reports suggest that you can carry your gear, camping equipment as well as your 200lb body with no issues at all, suggesting that for the average outing, you aren’t going to be left wanting.
With so much being done right with this kayak, it’s a real task to find fault with what is clearly excellently thought out design. However, that excellently thought out design is a doubled edged sword, as it comes with a hefty price tag. Currently fetching $599 on Amazon at the time of press, it’s safe to say that this is not a cheap piece of kit. That price tag is going to scare away a fair number of customers, particularly when you have to consider that you still have to pay for all of your fishing gear, as well as licenses and transport costs. It’s becoming clear that kayak fishing is not an inexpensive hobby…
There have also been some quality control issues raised over the durability of the product. With a precision engineered shell, some areas are going to be weaker than others, and one of those areas happens to be the fin. When dragging the kayak, the fin is prone to developing holes, which can affect the overall buoyancy of the kayak. Where this can be avoided by carrying the kayak off the ground, that is easier said than done when you’re on an outing by yourself. This seems an obvious area to strengthen the exterior to me, and it’s something that Perception Sport have definitely overlooked.
I think that the quality of this product really speaks for itself. It seems to have considered every need of the kayak angler, and bundled it together in a slimline, stylish product. However, what the kayak offers in terms of aesthetics, can be partly undone by an underlying lack of durability in certain areas, so careful handling should be observed. At $600, the Pescador 12 will not be for everyone. If you are one of the fortunate few who’s budget encompasses that amount, then go ahead and purchase, as you’ll be lucky to find a kayak as good as this for without a very extensive search. For those that are looking to upgrade, then this kayak is a great half way point between plastic and fiberglass, but for those with a good standard kayak already, this isn’t an essential addition to your fleet.