by • July 21, 2014 • Kayak Reviews, Product ReviewsComments (0)10828

Our first segment in the iCast 2014 Series will focus on the new kayaks coming out.  Some of these kayaks are available now, but everything will be available by the Fall of 2014.  We checked out six (6) of the kayak manufacturers who set up at iCast.  Each manufacturer has brought some new and innovative products for the kayak angler.  From all price points, fishing styles, and some with some innovative features.  We’ll share our opinions and thoughts on each brand that we checked out.

Old Town Kayaks


Old Town Predator XL

Old Town Kayaks definitely had a presence at iCast 2014.  They introduced the new Predator XL and won the Best Boat and Best of Show awards.  The Predator XL will join the Predator 13 and the Predator MX in the Predator family, and this kayak features some amazing new concepts.  The Predator XL features 3 different removable consoles to fit any kayak angler’s needs or desires.  The 3 different consoles are: Minn-Kota Console, Utility Console, and the Exo-Ridge Console, and each features a unique use for the kayak angler.  The Minn-Kota Console offers complete hands-free navigation and trolling with a 45lb thrust Minn-Kota trolling motor.  The Utility Console is designed to give the angler plenty of room and options for mounting and storing electronics.  The Exo-Ridge Console gives the angler a wide open and clean deck for standing, casting, and poling.  The Predator XL also boasts 600lbs of capacity, and like its predecessors, the Predator XL also features the Element Seating System.  The Predator XL will also have the 6 removable mounting plates, performance crafted tri-hull, rod tip holders, rod retaining bungees, large bow hatch with click seal cover, molded paddle rests, dual tackle holders, and side mount paddle storage.  Old Town has also updated the slip resistant exo-ridge deck by lowering the height of the ridges, providing the angler with more comfort. To add even more excitement, Old Town has also released some new colors: Black Cherry and Lime Camo.


  • Length: 13′
  • Width: 36″
  • Weight: 92lbs (without consoles)
  • Seat Width: 21″
  • Seat Height: 15″
  • Leg Length: 48″
  • Bow Hatch: 16.5″ x 10.5″
  • Max Capacity: 600lbs.


  • Minn-Kota XL: $2699
  • Utility Console XL: $1699
  • Exo-Ridge console can be purchased for an additional $99


Wilderness Systems


Wilderness Systems Thresher 155 cockpit view

Wilderness Systems new Thresher series of kayaks was conceived with the offshore angler in mind.  The sleek lines of the kayak tell you right away that you’ll cut through the breakers with ease, and fishing offshore in swells would be relatively easy as well. The lines of the kayak are smooth and sleek, and the features are set up as an angler’s dream.  The top of the kayak has a ton of features to make life much more easier.  The front bow hatch offers plenty of storage, and is designed to let the waves roll right off it.  A couple of really unique features that we found appealing are the FlexPod OS (over sized), and the center hatch.  The FlexPod OS has ample room and space to mount your electronics and battery, while the center hatch is perfect for use when storing your rods on entry & re-entry.  The center hatch also has a removable compartment able to store a couple of tackle trays, fishing pliers, lures, etc.  There are numerous slide tracks on the kayak for attaching rod holders, camera mounts, etc. The footpegs are oversized, and when using a rudder, the angler can operate it with toe or heel action. The tankwell is large, and could easily accommodate a crate, cooler, or fish bag with ease.  The Thresher is available in 2 models: Thresher 155 and the Thresher 140.  The Thresher 140 will be available in September, and the Thresher 155 will be available in October.  These kayaks emanate serious kayak fishing!

Thresher 140 

  • Length: 14’3″
  • Width: 28.75″
  • Capacity: 400lbs
  • Weight: 75lbs
  • MSRP: $1405

Thresher 155

  • Length: 15’6″
  • Width: 30″
  • Capacity: 450lbs
  • Weight: 80lbs
  • MSRP: $1505



AirPro MAX seat from Wilderness Systems Kayaks. Photo Credit: Bobby Clark

Wilderness Systems also debuted a new hi/low seat, the AirPro MAX seat, which gives anglers using the Ride series of kayaks a whole new level of options.  The addition of the AirPro MAX gives anglers in the Ride series a new outlook from their kayak, and offers the utmost in comfort.  We can say this with conviction!  We sat in this amazing seat, and quite frankly it is the most comfortable seat that we’ve ever sat in. This seat is designed to give the kayak angler all day comfort and support when on those long kayak fishing trips.  The seat easily locks onto the kayak, offers a hi position, low position, and even a reclined position.  What separates the AirPro MAX seat from its competitors is how easily the angler can transition from one level to the next.  It is also wide enough on the rails to easily add slide tracks for attaching your pliers or fish grips, etc. The Ride series of kayaks will all come stock with the new AirPro MAX seat starting after August 1, 2014.  These kayaks will have new designations as well: Ride 115 MAX, Ride 155X MAX, & Ride 135MAX.  Anglers with 2012 or older model Ride kayaks can also use the new AirPro MAX seat on their existing kayaks.

AirPro Max

  • 3 Seat Heights
  • Easily Adjustable on the Fly
  • Injection Molded Rails
  • Aluminum Tube Frame
  • All-weather, Breathable, Open Weave Fabric with 3D Mesh Filler
  • MSRP: $350


Native Watercraft


side view of Native Slayer 10 Propel

Native Watercraft has been able to boast about being the only peddle driven kayak with the ability of reverse with their Propel system.  They’ve now upped their game with the addition to the Slayer Propel family with the Slayer 10 Propel.  The old adage of “big things come in small packages” couldn’t be truer when looking at the Slayer 10 Propel.  At only 10′ in length, the Slayer 10 Propel boasts an amazing 500lb capacity.  Initially looking at this kayak, you automatically see that this would be a fairly nimble kayak for those anglers who fish narrow creeks, etc.  The Slayer 10 Propel has the same capacity as it’s older brother the Slayer 13 Propel, but at over 3′ shorter.  Native achieved this by simply adding an inch to the width of the kayak. The Slayer 10 Propel also boasts tons of storage space, and is easily customized.  Several slide tracks for forward and aft for mounting rod holders, lights, camera mounts, etc. The tankwell is large enough to accommodate a cooler or a crate, and there’s plenty of room under the seat to store a couple of Plano tackle trays. Native has also unveiled a new, more ergonomically designed propel pedal drive.  The kayak can be easily put into the back of a pick-up truck or car top mounted.  The fitted hull weighs a mere 60lbs without the seat and pedal drive, 79lbs fully rigged.

Slayer 10 Propel

  • Length: 10′
  • Width: 34″
  • Depth: 13″
  • Weight: 60lbs -fitted hull, 79lbs – fully rigged
  • Capacity: 500lbs
  • MSRP: $2299


Diablo Paddlesports


Diablo Paddlesports Amigo in the new Lubbock color


Diablo Paddlesports debuted some new colors at this year’s iCast show, most notably the Lubbock color, which is a red, black, and tan combination that is very appealing to the eye.  The Lubbock color design is available on the Amigo yak. The idea behind Diablo’s designs is to be a “hybrid SUP-Yak”, meaning it’s a cross between a kayak and a SUP.  This gives the kayak angler the ability to stand up with ease, but also maneuver the kayak with ease.  Another feature from Diablo is the ability to use either a traditional style kayak seat or the cooler seat, which is a Yak Gear seat attached to a cooler, giving the yak a more SUP feel and experience.  Diablo also debuted some other new features to make kayak fishing much more easier, and we’ll touch on those later with our paddle reviews and fishing accessories reviews.


  • Length: 12’8″
  • Width: 37″
  • Weight: 77lbs
  • Material: Rotomold Rec-Grade Plastic
  • Colors: Olive, Sand, Red, Orange, & Lubbock
  • MSRP: $999


Feelfree Kayaks

Feelfree Lure 13.5 - Front

Feelfree Kayak Lure 13.5


Feelfree Kayaks debuted the latest addition to the Lure family of kayaks with their Lure 13.5.  This will be the older brother to the Lure 11.5 and the Lure 10, and continues the innovative features already established.  The Lure 13.5 offers plenty of stability with its 36″ width, but also comes stock with a large standing area that is padded.  The padded standing platform gives the angler all day comfort when standing. Another unique feature of the Lure 13.5 is the storage area in front of the kayak.  This area boasts an electronics port, but will also have a small cooler bag for keeping drinks or snacks cold.  The top of the hatch is also an inlaid cutting board.  The Lure will also have slide tracks on the front and rear of the kayak to easily mount rod holders, lights, and camera mounts. Feelfree also debuted some accessories with the Lure 13.5, including a stand up bar and a rotomolded cooler, with a padded top.  The padded top of the cooler will come in a variety of colors to match the angler’s kayak color.  The Lure 13.5 and accessories will be available Fall 2014.

Lure 13.5

  • Length: 13’5″
  • Width: 36″
  • Weight: 95lbs
  • Capacity: 500lbs
  • MSRP: $1499


 Calcutta Paddlesports


Calcutta Paddlesports single and tandem kayaks

Calcutta Fishing has been long known for their apparel, clothing, plies, and bags, but have now entered the kayak market with entry level kayaks aimed at the newcomer to the sport.  Available in recreational, tandem, and fishing kayaks, they come with price points that won’t break the wallet.  Calcutta also boasts an impressive selection of kayak fishing accessories designed to make rigging your kayak a breeze.  Their fishing kayaks are available in 2 models: Calcutta Single Fishing Kayak and the Calcutta Tandem Fishing II Kayak.  The Calcutta Single is 10′ long, 32″ wide and has a weight capacity of 275lbs.  It will be available in 6 different colors and will retail for $549.  The Calcutta Tandem kayak is 12′ long, 32″ wide, and has a weight capacity of 500lbs.  It is also available in 6 color choices, and will retail for $749.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to look forward to after this year’s iCast 2014 show.  Which kayak are you most interested in for your style of fishing?


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