Perception Kayak Reviews

perception fishing kayak reviews

As you may have noticed by now, there is no shortage of brands when it comes to kayaking, and most brands either go through the trouble or rigging up their models into nice fishing kayaks, or give you the room to do the rigging on your own. Out of all of these brands, the one which I like the least however, are probably Perception Kayaks. Enough time out on the water and you may end up agreeing with me, but let me get into it.

For more than 30 years Perception has produced extremely affordable hardened models, with many designs and styles. Before Perception, kayaks were either constructed using expensive wood, or were inflatable, but these models were all made with plastic, decreasing the cost of entry for many people who wouldn’t have originally been able to afford to kayak. Whether it is for touring, pure fishing, or if you are looking for a tandem, they are likely to have the style which you are looking for. They also come cheap, with most of their models being in the mid range $500-$800 dollar range, they also include three year warranties, so Perception is not afraid to put their brand on the line. They are also stable enough to attract most beginners into the niche.

The most overlooked attribute that seasoned kayakers in general look at however, is the design and style of the plugging system. The best brands and models all include Boston plugs, which is a high quality valve system that helps keep the inside of the kayak dry. Perception kayaks come with NO drain plugging system at all, and they all look like they were mass produced at Wal-Mart. Although they are still extremely durable, so that doesn’t matter, the design is awkward and the cockpits are small and narrow so tall people will have trouble getting in an out.

Reviews of the Top 5 Models

Pescador 12 Sport

The Pescador 12 is an extremely reliable SOT(Sit on Top) kayak, and one of the most versatile models in the industry. It has excellent maneuverability and stability, and allows for some pretty nice tracking with a multichine hull and a tracking keel. Specifically, it is designed for speed and comfort, but provides the necessaries like bungee cords, a tankwell, and a paddle holder in case you want to fish from it. One downside is the weight however. Its marketed as a plus, but at 60 pounds its heavier than similar kayaks on the market.

Swiftwater 13.5 Tandem Sport

While the Pescador is their solo sport models, the Swiftwater is the style of choice if you are looking to go at it with a friend. At over thirteen feet in length, this is more like a boat, and is extremely versatile, featuring nice acceleration and top speed when you are paddling in the water. The cockpit space is very roomy, and provides the area you will need if you want to do some of the activities which require elbow room.

Its also quite comfortable, and comes packed with the necessary rigging that you will need while kayak fishing, such as bow deck rigging, and carrier handles for easier transport. Finally, the material is top notch, made with polyethylene and their standard three year warranty, its a product you can be sure will last you a long time, as long as you like it.

Rambler 9.5 Sport

This is an extremely compact, solo kayak which has been designed to handle ocean waves. You’ll notice that the main difference between this yak, and say the Sundance or Pescador, is that its very stout, and has a U-shaped hull as opposed to V-shaped. Like most ocean stable models, this version is very versatile, able to handle lakes and rivers at the sacrifice of speed and maneuverability, and can handle waves and the current of the ocean.

Despite its lack of size, it still comes with all of the necessary features you will need in a fishing kayak. It includes a tank well, a center console for storing lures and other accessories, plus a recessed storage tray for carrying your non-fishing gear.

Sundance 12.0

This is an extremely comfortable kayak, designed to get you from point A to point B in a hurry. Included features are a dual track system at the bottom of the boat which provides additional stability, an adjustable seat, and a thermo-formed seat pad.

For storage, the Sundance comes with a rear watertight hatch. Personally, the design looks a little awkward. I’ve heard good things about this model, so maybe the looks are deceiving, but the cockpit space is rather tight.

Conduit 13

This shape is more like what you would see in a traditional kayak, probably because it lacks the dual track system of the Sundance. That also makes it a bit cheaper. Features include a zone seat, kneepads, and thigh pads, plus a foot brace system, allowing for incredible comfort. There is an extra hatch located near the front of the kayak, and it comes with deck bungees.

I think if your new, your better off going with the Sundance because of the additional stability, but this kayak has the additional storage space if your intending on setting it up to fish, and is set up more to allow for increased tracking and maneuverability if your an advanced kayaker.

If you liked this guide on Perception Fishing Kayaks and would like to learn more, check out our guide on the best fishing kayaks here