The Unbelievable Pelican Pedal Kayak: A Hidden Gem

When it comes to pedal kayaks, I’ve always been a bit skeptical. Having experienced some of the higher-end models like the Hobie Mirage Outback and the Old Town Sportsman 120, I expected the Pelican pedal kayak to be a disappointment. To my surprise, however, it performed remarkably well for its price.

In this review of the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II, I’ll share what impressed me about this pedal kayak and what I found lacking. Spoiler alert: I believe this kayak is unbeatable for its price, and I’d confidently use it for years to come.

Things to Consider before Buying a Pelican Pedal Kayak

If you’re unsure about investing in your first pedal kayak, let me assure you that there’s no comparison to the amount of fun you can have on the water. Even compared to high-end paddle kayaks, the joy and excitement of using a pedal kayak is unparalleled.

There are a few things, however, that you should keep in mind. Firstly, pedal kayaks tend to be heavier than paddle kayaks, so you’ll need to be strong or invest in a kayak cart or landing gear to transport it comfortably. Additionally, pedal kayaks are generally more expensive than traditional kayaks. While high-end models like the Hobie Mirage Outback can cost upwards of $4,000, the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II is available at a much more affordable price range of $1,200-$1,500.

Pelican Pedal Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 126 in
  • Width: 34 in
  • Weight: 67 lb
  • Load Capacity: 350 lb

Pelican Pedal Kayak Design

Material

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II is made of durable high molecular weight polyethylene, a common material used in most pedal kayaks. This material ensures that the kayak is virtually indestructible, capable of withstanding collisions, rocks, tree branches, and almost anything you throw at it. While it may not be as fast as a fiberglass kayak, the pedal kayak’s durability far outweighs the need for speed.

Speed

I was pleasantly surprised by the speed performance of the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II. Despite its compact size (10 ft 6 in), I was able to reach a top speed of 5 mph when needed. This kayak’s light weight of only 67 lb, significantly lighter than other models, contributes to its impressive speed capabilities.

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Maneuverability

One area where the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II falls short is maneuverability. While it can turn easily on a flat lake within about 25 feet, it struggles to navigate against strong currents. In those situations, I found myself relying on a paddle to make quick turns. Considering its light and short build, I expected better maneuverability from this kayak.

Comfort

The seat of the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II exceeded my expectations in terms of comfort. Despite being significantly cheaper than other models like the Old Town Sportsman 120 and the Hobie Outback, the seat provided adequate support and allowed me to kayak for hours without experiencing any pain or discomfort. The seat can’t be adjusted forward and backward like on other pedal kayaks, but the pedals can be adjusted to suit your comfort level.

The seat is held in place by a strap, making it easy to set up and remove. Additionally, the kayak offers a good amount of space, ensuring that you don’t feel cramped during your fishing adventures.

Stability and Tracking

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II falls short in terms of stability, particularly when it comes to standing and casting. Unlike other high-end models like the Hobie Mirage Outback, this kayak is not suitable for standing and casting. It feels unstable when attempting to stand, and I quickly found myself sitting back down. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate its stability at around 4 or 5.

In terms of tracking, however, I have no complaints. As long as you use the rudder, the kayak tracks well and allows for smooth navigation.

Pedal Drive

I initially had reservations about the pedal drive on the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II, expecting it to be subpar for its price. However, after adjusting the pedals to my liking, I found them to work much better. Pelican has made significant improvements to the pedal drive in this model compared to the previous version. It operates smoothly, and I haven’t encountered any issues with its durability.

It’s worth noting that the pedal drive does not have a reverse pedaling function. Additionally, it’s important to be cautious when using the drive in shallow water to avoid any potential damage.

Durability

While the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II does have some durability issues, the remarkable customer service provided by Pelican compensates for these shortcomings. Although I had to replace a few bolts on the seat, Pelican promptly sent me the replacement parts at no cost. Several friends who experienced issues with their kayaks also received excellent customer service from Pelican, including free replacement parts and even an extra pedal drive.

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Although durability remains a concern, Pelican’s exceptional customer service ensures that any problems are quickly resolved. This factor, coupled with the affordable price, makes the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II a compelling choice.

Portability

One of the standout features of the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II is its incredible portability. It is by far the lightest and most portable pedal kayak I’ve encountered, weighing only 67 lb. This lightweight design allows virtually anyone to carry the kayak to and from the water without the need for additional gear.

While the kayak has handles on the stern and bow, it’s worth noting that it only has a handle on one side. Depending on how you position it, this may present a slight inconvenience when removing the kayak from a truck bed.

Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II Features and Accessories

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II comes at an affordable price point that does not include additional accessories like a paddle. However, some deals may include a Pelican carbon fiber paddle, offering added value.

One area where the kayak could be improved is the paddle holder. Currently, it only features a bungee cord on the side, which is less ideal compared to a dedicated paddle holder found in other models.

Fishing Ease with the Pelican Catch 110 HD2

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II excels in terms of fishability, especially considering its price range. It features two accessory rails on each side for mounting fishing gear and accessories. Additionally, it offers three flush-mounted rod holders, two facing backward and one facing forward, ensuring easy access to your fishing rods.

While the rear tankwell might not be the largest, it provides enough space to accommodate a milk crate, two extra rod holders, a bottle of water, and a backpack. The front tankwell is relatively small but still provides sufficient storage for a cooler, secured by bungee cords.

The seat offers convenient storage options, including a pouch behind it for a tackle box or baits, a pocket for lumbar cushion support, and a front pocket for additional gear. Although there is no cup holder, bungee cords on each side in front of the seat can be used to secure a cup, bottle, or even a tackle box.

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II also performs well in terms of staying dry. Its longer rudder control makes handling easier compared to the previous version of the kayak.

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Is the Pelican Catch 110 HDII for You?

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II is a fantastic option for those seeking an affordable pedal kayak that offers exceptional value for its price. With great customer service and the ability to provide enjoyable fishing experiences without breaking your back, this kayak is truly hard to beat.

However, if money is not a limiting factor, high-end models like the Hobie Mirage Outback offer superior features and performance. It ultimately depends on your budget and priorities. If investing in an expensive pedal kayak is not feasible, the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II is an excellent alternative that will exceed your expectations.

Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II Alternatives

Pelican Catch 130 Hydryve II

The Pelican Catch 130 Hydryve II is the longer sibling of the Catch 110 HD2, offering increased stability, speed, and storage capacity. Apart from these improvements, the two kayaks share similar features, including the seat, pedal drive, and rudder. Unless you’re exceptionally tall and require the extra length, the Catch 110 HD2 is sufficient for most users.

Old Town Sportsman 106 PDL

The Old Town Sportsman 106 PDL is comparable in length to the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II but comes at roughly twice the price. With improved seat comfort, enhanced speed, and excellent maneuverability, the Sportsman 106 PDL offers superior performance. However, customer service experiences may differ, and the ability to stand and cast sets it apart from the more affordable Pelican model.

Hobie Mirage Outback

No pedal kayak review would be complete without mentioning the Hobie Mirage Outback, renowned as the gold standard in pedal kayaks. The Outback boasts exceptional speed, maneuverability, and comfort. However, it comes with a hefty price tag that may deter some buyers. If budget is not a constraint, the Hobie Mirage Outback is the ultimate choice. Otherwise, the Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II offers impressive performance without breaking the bank.

Wrapping Up

The Pelican Catch 110 Hydryve II proves to be a hidden gem in the world of pedal kayaks. If you’re new to pedal kayaking or seeking an affordable option, this kayak will exceed your expectations. Its exceptional value, coupled with Pelican’s exceptional customer service, makes it a compelling choice for any angler. Just keep in mind that due to its popularity, the Catch 110 Hydryve II tends to sell out quickly. So, don’t hesitate too long before making your purchase, especially as summer approaches.