Get There Fast

Belly boats had their dayand still do on small stillwaters across the West. Drift boats are king on big rivers, but only if you have a friend who can do his share of the rowing, and adequate boat launches to get in and out. If you want a solo fishing craft that moves swiftly on the ocean or large stillwaters, navigates even steep, churning rivers with ease, and doesn't require a trailer or an improved boat launch, a kayak makes more sense than the U.S. Mint. Here are our four favorite boats.

1 Diablo Adios $1,500

You can't accessorize your Diablo Adios with a stand-up bar. That's probably because you don't need one. The wide, narrow hull design of Diablo kayaks make them a hybrid between a kayak and a stand-up paddle board. Not only is it easy to stand, but easy to lean to one side or another (and land a fish) without tipping the boat. Our favorite "accessory" for this boat is the Larry chair which gives you 10" of extra elevation for spotting fish and easier paddling, and still lets you lounge all day on your butt. The traction pad in front of the chair gives you no-slip grip, and a pull-up strap attached to the bow makes it easy to stand up and sit down. Standard with the Adios are adjustable foot pegs, wet storage areas front and back with tie-downs in the stern and bungees on the bow, molded drink holders, and a 13"x24" cockpit-accessible front dry storage. Smooth, flat surfaces allow for suction-mounted rod-holders and electronics.


Length: 12'5"

Width: 36"

Weight: 56 lbs

Capacity: 450 lbs

2 Hobie Pro Angler $2,500

When our testers first saw the Hobie Mirage Drive, they were skeptical of the two pedal-powered "flippers" but when testing these boats at Chapin Beach against lighter traditional kayaks, the Hobie Pro Anglers got to the diving birds first every time, and after a 7-mile-round-trip tour of North Dennis, Sandy Neck, and deeper water offshore, made it back to the beer cooler early as well. The Mirage Drive not only moves you efficiently from place to place, it leaves your arms free (and less fatigued) to fish. The downside is that you need at least two feet of water to operate the drive. Our testers dragged the boats at low tide while other kayaks were still afloat. The Pro Angler has storage for six rods plus bow and stern dry lockers, and a between-the-knees tackle locker. Scupper holes can be used to add an H-Bar ($190)a stand-up bar for easier casting and sight-fishingor a wheelbarrow attachment for portage.


Length: 13'8"

Width: 38"

Weight: 88 lbs

Capacity: 600 lbs

3 Outcast Commander $1,000

At 35 pounds, the OSG Commander is the best kayak for hard-to-access rivers, and for long road trips into unknown territory. You can take this kayak on the plane as checked luggage, and even with a pump stay way under the weight allowance. While shaped like a kayak, the commander comes with an oar systemnot paddlesso you can pick your way slowly through serious whitewater. The open bottom means you can stand up, stop, and fish at midriver gravel bars, seams behind islands, and long sweeping inside bends. You can also use fins to fish while you float. It's a great boat for West Coast steelhead and Rocky Mountain trout streamsparticularly ones without traditional boat ramps. It's also suitable for small stillwaters, but don't expect to cover a lot of water. The Commander has adjustable foot rests, and cargo straps to secure your gear behind the mesh-back seat.


Length: 10'

Width: 46"

Weight: 35 lbs

Capacity: 500 lbs

4 Freedom Hawk Pathfinder $1,400

Trapper Rudd is insane. That's the conclusion "normal" people would come to when they see him dragging his Freedom Hawk kayak through mangroves and mosquito-infested creeks in God-forsaken locations from roadless Mexico to Africa. I prefer to think of him as a genius. His E=MC2 is taking his fully equipped kayak to places nobody else goes. He paddles there under his own power, pops out the two stability outriggers, and then stands up where he can spot bonefish and other flats species. He catches fish as if he were the patron of a $4,000 per week lodge, when actually he's a DIY maverick with the credo "have kayak will travel." Search youtube.com using his name and you'll see his Freedom Hawk kayak in action. The new Pathfinder is a larger, pimped-out version of the original Freedom 12. It has a standard lean bar, two watertight compartments, self-bailing scupper holes, and adjustable foot braces.


Length: 14'2"

Width: 31"

Weight: 79 lbs

Capacity: 450 lbs

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa's Todd Barker reveals the features of the new Costa Ferg sunglasses, a best-of-category winner at ICAST 2020.

Bull Trout Bastion

Bull Trout Bastion

Hilary Hutcheson fishing for bull trout in the Elk River of B.C.

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Yeti Roadie

Yeti Roadie

Ross Purnell talks with Fly Fisherman contributor Hilary Hutcheson about the new Yeti Roadie.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

How to deliver meat & potatoes to hungry trout Beginners

Tools for Streamer Fishing

George Daniel - February 10, 2020

How to deliver meat & potatoes to hungry trout

These tips can save you heartache when fishing is hot. Beginners

How to Remove Wind Knots and Snarls from Leaders and Tippet

Jay Nichols - June 09, 2020

These tips can save you heartache when fishing is hot.

Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. Beginners

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

The Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket is a stormproof wear-all-day fishing jacket. Accessories

Simms G4 Pro Jacket

Ross Purnell - May 12, 2020

The Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket is a stormproof wear-all-day fishing jacket.

Available for both Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Accessories

Nick Mayer Art Tough Phone Cases

Ross Purnell - September 08, 2020

Available for both Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

There are ten rings per package. Accessories

Scientific Anglers Tippet Rings

Matt Mccannel - June 02, 2020

There are ten rings per package.

Security on this rack is top-notch and convenient. Accessories

Yakima Doublehaul

Dennis Pastucha - June 30, 2020

Security on this rack is top-notch and convenient.

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now