Once I first moved to the West Coast, I used to be upset by the fishing. The close by fly fishing alternatives have been minimal in comparison with what I used to be used to again in Colorado. The bass fishing didn’t appear to be particularly notable, at the least from shore. And ocean fishing from constitution boats was rattling costly.
However my disappointment shortly changed into pleasure after I received my fingers on an Outdated City BigWater 132 PDL fishing kayak and began hitting the salt. From catching halibut within the San Francisco Bay to chasing rockfish and lingcod off the Sonoma Coast, I’ve been placing my BigWater 132 PDL by way of the wringer—and it has exceeded my expectations at each flip. It’s a dependable, versatile, and fully-featured fishing kayak, and I’m satisfied it’s considered one of if not the greatest choices for saltwater kayak fishing in the marketplace immediately. Right here’s why.
Propulsion Technique: Pedal
Weight: 122 Kilos
Size: 13 ft, 2 inches
Width: 36 Inches
Usable Weight Capability: 378 Kilos
Constructed-In Rod Holders: 3
Accent Tracks: 4
Mounting Plates: 2
A Temporary Historical past of Outdated City’s Sportsman Line
Outdated City is synonymous with canoes. The corporate, primarily based in Outdated City, Maine, constructed its first wooden canoe in 1898. Practically 125 years later, the corporate continues to be churning out well-made canoes, together with its wildly standard Discovery 119 mannequin—a maneuverable, solo kayak.
In recent times, Outdated City has branched off past its canoe-centric origins. Within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, the corporate began investing closely in kayak manufacturing—and the transfer paid off. By 2000, kayak gross sales have been outpacing canoe gross sales. The corporate would quickly capitalize on the kayak fishing craze of the 2000s, turning into one of many top-two names within the business, alongside its rival Hobie. In 2013, the corporate launched its Predator Collection—a lineup of sit-on-top kayaks geared particularly towards fishing by together with pedal propulsion, an extra-stable platform for fishing, and storage and equipment tailored for anglers.
In 2020, Outdated City launched its Sportsman Collection, which was an replace and enlargement of its Predator Collection, and in 2022, the corporate up to date the Sportsman Collection. The 2022 BigWater PDL 132 is a revamped model of the Predator PDL, that includes up to date seating and colour choices. Out of their present lineup, it’s the choice greatest geared in direction of ocean anglers prepared to pedal. Apart from the BigWater 132 PDL, the Sportsman Collection has 6 different choices, together with two AutoPilot™ motorized kayaks, which boast a game-changing Spot-Lock Expertise, a number of smaller pedal and paddle kayaks, and one fisherman-friendly canoe.
How I Examined the Outdated City BigWater PDL 132
I obtained my Outdated City BigWater PDL in April and have launched it a number of instances a month since then. I’ve primarily used the kayak for saltwater kayak fishing—which is basically what it’s made for. I’ve fished each inshore and offshore in a wide range of water situations, together with excessive swells and wind.
I’ve additionally focused a wide range of completely different species from the kayak. I’ve drifted for halibut in comparatively shallow water close to seashores. I’ve taken the kayak into deep water situations to fish for rockfish and lingcod. And I’ve put the pedals to make use of whereas trolling for chinook salmon in open water. I’ve gone so far as 10 miles in someday, and I’ve maneuvered the kayak in shut proximity to different kayaks and buildings. A lifelong angler, I paid particular consideration not solely to how the kayak handled completely different water situations however to how its options impacted my fishing. May I actually fish hands-free? Was there sufficient room for all of my deal with and kit? Was the pedal system environment friendly sufficient for trolling? That is what I discovered.
Stability: You want your ocean kayak to be steady—and the BigWater 132 is. As a 13-foot-plus boat, it feels very strong within the water. If you happen to’re dealing with swells head-on, the kayak is sort of untippable. If you happen to let your self get positioned sideways of waves, it’s potential to tip over—however that’s true of any kayak.
Velocity: Man, the Outdated City’s PDL Drive system works nicely. It’s simple to arrange and when you get going, the kayak flies by way of the water. Not like most different pedal kayaks, the Outdated City PDL system pedals in a round movement, like a motorbike. This makes it particularly environment friendly on the water. The lengthy form of the kayak tracks nicely, which suggests you’ll be able to put in some severe distance whereas trolling—and its velocity may be particularly beneficial if you end up preventing the tide or the wind. Personally, I’ve actually loved pedaling the kayak—it provides you a pleasant exercise whereas maintaining your fingers free to fish. The rudder system is straightforward to handle, and you may lock it if you need to set a straight course. The simple-docking system lets you disable and allow the pedal system shortly if you’re launching and docking in shallow water.
Consolation: A number of different anglers have come as much as me to marvel on the Outdated City BigWater 132’s seat—and for good cause. It’s tremendous comfy and gives the proper mix of assist and softness. My butt by no means will get sore, even after an extended 10-plus-hour day on the water. Which means I can maintain my line moist for longer—and deal with the duty at hand.
Storage House: The fishing kayak has ample cupboard space all through. The big stern tank nicely could be very roomy and comes geared up with a particular bag to carry a battery to your fish finder. The seat has an area for a deal with field and a tray of bait proper beneath it. There are two side-storage compartments to maintain different essential items of apparatus inside arm’s attain. The again of the kayak additionally has good cupboard space, which may be simply secured with a bungee twine. There are three built-in rod holders, in addition to a cup holder. What extra might you presumably need?
Customizability: The Outdated City BigWater 132 PDL comes prepared for every angler to make it their very own. The 4 accent tracks allow you to shortly set up—and reposition— any equipment from a visibility flag to an additional rod holder. The kayak comes with a common transducer mount that makes putting in a fish finder—just like the Garmin STRIKER Plus 4cv, which I’ve—fast and simple. There are additionally two replaceable mounting plates, that means you’ll be able to drill and set up different equipment with out worrying about inflicting any everlasting injury to your boat. These options make the kayak one thing every angler can tinker with for years to come back as they fine-tune their setups.
Weight: The assembled weight of the kayak is available in at 122 kilos. With out the pedal console, the boat is simply above 100 kilos. That isn’t gentle. With two folks, I’ve no points loading and unloading the kayak onto my automotive’s kayak roof rack. However after I’m alone, it’s one other story. The additional weight makes it difficult to soundly load the kayak with out assist. More often than not, I’m capable of ask a fellow kayak angler to help me, however that’s not all the time the case. For precisely this cause, considered one of my buddies makes use of an Outdated City Sportsman PDL 120, which shaves off a few kilos and is much less cumbersome. And let’s face it, the times the place you want the additional velocity and stability of the BigWater 132 PDL, in comparison with the marginally smaller 120, are few and much between.
Turning Radius: There aren’t any two methods round it: The kayak makes extensive turns. In open water, this isn’t a problem, besides maybe if you happen to’re making an attempt handy one thing to you considered one of your buddies. Then, the extensive turns are actually only a minor annoyance. For many saltwater fishing functions, the extensive turning radius isn’t a problem, however if you happen to’re hoping to make use of your kayak to navigate buildings in shut quarters, say whereas bass fishing, it could possibly be.
Mesh Material: I could also be splitting hairs right here, however I’m not a fan of the mesh cloth used for the seat—and the cupboard space beneath it. Outdated City says it gives “air flow,” however I feel it’s a magnet for stray hooks. Line administration whereas kayak fishing may be difficult, and if you happen to’re fishing with barbed hooks, it’s not arduous to get your rig embedded within the mesh. Then, your solely recourse is to chop it out.
Remaining Ideas on the Outdated City BigWater PDL 132
All in all, the Outdated City BigWater PDL 132 is among the high choices for saltwater kayak fishing. It’s a sturdy watercraft replete with angler-friendly options, to not point out a literal boatload of cupboard space. If you happen to’re severe about hitting the saltwater, each inshore and offshore, in a kayak, you’d be hard-pressed to discover a higher choice in the marketplace immediately. The BigWater PDL132 is a superb choice for newbie and skilled kayak anglers alike. I can’t anticipate the following probability I get to hit the water in mine.