While there’s nothing wrong with fishing from a traditional kayak, the ante has been raised in recent years by a growing breed of fishing kayaks.
Some of these like the Predator MK straddle the line between small skiff and kayak and can even have a propeller mounted with little trouble.
No more having to fight the tide or worry about that nasty headwind!
In our Old Town Predator MK review, we’ll break down one of these innovative designs and highlight the propeller system and custom features while also discussing its negatives like the slower paddling speed and heavier weight.
- Propeller system allows for greater top speed
- Lots of custom features as well as multiple rod holders
- The seat has three settings depending on your current activity
- Significantly more expensive than a regular pedal kayak
- Heavy and hard to transport
- Additional maintenance and upkeep with the propeller system
Things to Consider Before Buying
The Predator MK is something of a hybrid. While you can paddle it like a traditional kayak, what makes it a special boat is the ability to mount a propeller on the underside of the hull. Powered by a battery that is safely stored on-board, this gives you a significantly better top speed and allows you to cover a lot more ground than you could with a paddle.
This does mean you can expect to spend a little bit more time with basic maintenance to keep the whole operation working than you would with a simpler boat. You should also be prepared to spend more than you would for other angling kayaks that can’t have an engine mounted.
This doesn’t mean that these simpler boats are necessarily poor investments. There’s plenty of mid-range, reliable fishing kayaks out there like the Sea Ghost 130 from Vibe Kayaks that go for significantly less.
If you consider yourself a more casual paddler or aren’t sure how much use you’ll get out of your boat, you can go this direction without sacrificing much in the way of quality. It’ll just take you longer to get from A to B.
The Predator MK is a “sit-on-top” kayak. These boats have big, open cockpits giving you plenty of room to move and operate. The drawback is they don’t have much in the way of protection from the elements.
If you live in a cold or rainy environment, you can expect to get plenty of splashing water on you, so come prepared with the proper rain gear. The other option is to go with a sit-in kayak. You won’t get the same feature list as these are usually expedition boats, but you’ll be much more insulated from the elements.
Length: 13-feet 2-inches
Weight: 117 pounds
Load Capacity: 600 pounds
With any boat that you’ll be transporting a lot of navigating shallow water, you’ll want a tough material that can handle drops, bangs, and scrapes. The Predator MK is made of a rigid and durable plastic called polyethylene that’s more than up to the challenge.
With minimal maintenance and a few basic precautions, you can expect a polyethylene-clad boat to last a long time.
With a hull length of just over 13-feet, I’d consider the Predator MK to be an average length for a fishing kayak. This coupled with a larger than average width means that when you’re using a paddle, you can expect some narrower and/or longer kayaks to outpace you.
But you’re not getting the Predator MK with the intention of paddling the whole time. When outfitted with the Minn Kota motor, you get the luxury of variable speed on the throttle, allowing you to leave more traditional kayaks as well as pedal kayaks in your wake.
The motor is well built and meant to handle saltwater without corroding. A sonar mounting plate is also built into the motor.
With the motor up and running, the Predator MK turns pretty well for a boat of this size. It may take a little while to get used to steering with the rudder pedals without a paddle in hand, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find you can make tighter turns than you can with a paddle.
For short-area maneuvering or when you’re not in motion, I’d still recommend using a paddle for these more intricate turns as the spinning propeller will make you go forward and cause some frustration.
The Predator MK’s seating system can be adjusted in three ways ensuring you can find the perfect position to stay comfortable.
Each of the seat settings is designed to give you a specific advantage. One for travel, another for extra casting space, and the final for moving around the boat and fishing.
It’s a big, open cockpit that seems to have been made with bigger paddlers in mind, and there’s a lot of room for everyone to move and operate from.
The seat is well padded and the straps are well made, tough, and should last a long time.
Stability & Tracking
This is a boat built with stability in mind. The wide hull should give even novice kayak anglers the confidence to stand and cast. Even fly fishing is possible from this model.
The boat comes with a rudder which is necessary to operate the propeller system. Make sure you have an understanding of how this works before you go too far from shore. Once on the water, the MK can leverage its rudder and decent keel length to handle a range of water conditions and should be able to maintain course even if the weather turns poor.
I won’t go as far as to call the polyethylene hull impenetrable, but if you manage to punch a hole in this boat I’ll be amazed.
Nevertheless, I’d recommend you exercise some caution when landing on rough beaches or carrying it to the shore. Whenever possible, carry your kayak instead of dragging it, and be careful when landing in swells or waves.
While your boat may absorb the punishment, the hull will begin to scratch and peel over time which will diminish the boat’s efficiency.
At 117.5 pounds, the Predator MK isn’t the easiest boat to transport. Trying to move it on your own is just asking for a back injury.
If you’ll be transporting and carrying your boat solo a lot, it may be worth investing in a small “kayak cart” to get your boat to and from the water without hurting yourself.
The boat does come with some big plastic handles that are built into the bow and stern. These certainly help with tandem carries, but I prefer the smaller, ergonomic “T-handles” personally.
Features & Accessories
Like most boats in this price range, the Predator MK doesn’t come with a lot of extra goodies to entice the buyer. That’s pretty normal outside of the entry-level boats, so don’t be disappointed there’s not an included paddle or anything like that.
It does come with a paddle holder built into the hull though. This is a great feature that I think all kayaks should include, especially boats with alternative methods of propulsion. I recommend always bringing a paddle along just in case something happens with the propeller system.
Built into the boat’s 8 scupper hulls is a transducer mount. This allows you to seamlessly install a fishfinder into your Predator MK without having to drill any extra holes in the hull.
Six mounting plates and tackle holders have also been installed so you can install your extra fishing gadgets like a GPS or camera with no trouble. They can also be great spaces to store spare tackle that you still want close at hand.
Multiple rod holders round out the feature list. They can be stored either horizontally or vertically, both methods keep them secure and out of your way while you’re in transit from one fishing hole to another.
For storage, the MK features a large bow hatch that should fit most of your gear and keep it dry. Another hatch has been built under the seat, while not always easy to access on the water, it’s great for storing camping gear for those longer trips.
Open-air storage is in the stern with a large tank-well-style storage area where oversized items can be secured with the deck bungees stretched across it.
With all of the angling features, not to mention the propeller compatibility and excellent stability, it comes as no surprise that the Predator MK is one of the more expensive kayaks out there.
You certainly get what you pay for as the boat has excellent stability and all the custom features you could want. The additional ability to install a propeller gives you incredible flexibility and helps make up for the boat’s less impressive paddling speed.
The Predator is more than 13-feet long and features a huge 500-pound load capacity. It’s also capable of handling ocean swells
Unlike the Predator MK, this is a pedal kayak, so you generate your speed much like you would with a bicycle. I’d still recommend bringing a paddle along for safety and short-area maneuvering. This gives you a faster speed than a paddle kayak, though it won’t keep up with a propeller boat.
Mounting brackets, rod holders, and a comfortable seat highlight the boat’s features and the pedal system is quiet, smooth, and efficient, allowing you to move across the water without scaring your prey.
- Big, stable, and capable of handling ocean swells
- Another expensive fishing boat with all the custom features
- Weighs 117 pounds
At almost 14-feet long and weighing 120 pounds, the Angler 14 is another kayak that’s not the easiest to transport., but when it comes to fishing there’s not much it can’t do. It’s another pedal boat so the pros and cons of the PDX above also apply here.
Featuring six rod holders, the Pro Angler 14 also has a specific “live tank” storage area to keep either live bait or your catch.
Incredibly stable, you can stand and cast with confidence in a variety of conditions from the standing deck while a lean bar ensures you keep your balance.
Faster than a traditional kayak, it’s also quieter when you’re pedaling allowing you to sneak up on fish.
Be prepared for more upkeep and maintenance to keep your Mirage Pro Angler 14 in prime working condition.
- Requires more maintenance than traditional kayaks
- One of the more expensive kayaks
- Can handle mild chop and wind
A boat able to handle any situation, the Radar 115 gives you three methods of propulsion: pedal, paddle, and engine.
This redundancy gives me a lot of peace of mind on the water and the confidence that no matter what happens I’ll be able to reach shore safely.
There are two sizes available, both of which are compatible with Wilderness’ Helix MD motor drive system.
Switching between the engine and pedal power is as simple as lifting one up and locking the other in place.
With an average speed of six miles an hour with the engine and a lot of storage space, the Radar 115 combines speed, stability, and a roomy deck to satisfy the most voracious angler.
- Easy to switch between pedal and engine power
- Gear rails for customization
- Motor weighs just 15 pounds
With a swift top speed and an easy-to-learn rudder system, the Predator MK makes for a great fishing platform. It is on the expensive side and the top speed without the propeller is subpar, but these are small nitpicks that won’t bother you much when you’re bringing home dinner.
You can learn more about Old Town and their other products by visiting their website.