As kayak fishing continues to grow we come across more yak anglers with a small fleet of yaks in their garage. This may include a larger yak for offshore fishing, small yak for creek missions and portaging, an inflatable yak, sit inside and maybe even a mix of paddle and pedal craft. So we continue our series investigating a kayak brand and we take a look at some of their popular models. In this issue we check out US brand Malibu Kayaks.
Malibu Kayaks is a leading manufacturer of roto-moulded, linear polyethelene sit-on-top kayaks, offering 11 models suited to everything from beachfront surfing to serious fishing. Known for being dry, comfortable, stable, stylish and affordable, Malibu Kayaks have been engineered for years of enjoyment for the novice to advanced paddler and they have a strong following from anglers of all ages, both in the US and internationally.
The team at Malibu has been involved in water sports for decades and Malibu began with the Pro 2 Tandem, introduced in 1999. This was followed by the Extreme, Pro-Explorer and X-Factor, and as these grew in popularity nationwide, the X-Factor became the main motivator to engineer the Mini-X. Malibu Kayaks Mini-X is highly regarded for its performance and weight capacity, rapidly becoming a favourite in the Australian small kayak market. With the growth in kayak fishing came the birth of the Malibu Stealth Series which were designed to meet the needs of hardcore anglers and in 2010 Malibu branched out in another direction with the release of the highly regarded Sierra 10 sit inside, that included sit-on-top characteristics such as a large rear well.
Malibu Kayaks’ focus on design and innovation, combined with a limited lifetime warranty make Malibu a high quality, reliable kayak option. With over 300 US dealers and multiple international distributors, including BCF in Australia, Malibu Kayaks are sure to be the choice of many kayak anglers for years to come. The team at Malibu Kayaks are excited about the future and keen to inspire kayak anglers and recreational paddlers with their aim to provide paddlers with uncompromising quality, unparalleled customer support and unending innovation. Let’s check out a few of their most popular models.
BLADE readers may be familiar with the Malibu Mini-X from stories by the Grey Nomads, Ron and Jude. In their late 60’s, Ron and Jude chose Mini-X kayaks because of their stability, cockpit space and practical storage.
The Mini-X fits into the small kayak category at 9’3” (approx. 2.8m) and 40lb (approx. 18kg) but boasts a weight capacity of 325lb (approx. 147.5kg), which is pretty impressive for a kayak of its size. It is 33.5” (approx. 85cm) wide and 12” (approx. 30cm) deep creating a stable platform with a roomy cockpit and although it is not the fastest kayak on the water it paddles efficiently and tracks pretty well.
Features of the Mini-X include front, rear and side handles, moulded foot wells, scupper holes, paddle holder, large rear well, large centre hatch and cup holder.
The Mini-X is available in both a ‘Recreational’ and ‘Fishing’ model. The ‘Recreational’ model features 2 flush mount rod holders, while the ‘Fishing’ model features 4 flush mount rod holders and the addition of an 8” round front hatch with removable bucket. The Mini-X is a great option for those fishing creeks, rivers, estuaries and impoundments looking for an easy to handle, stable option with plenty of working space and functional storage.
The Stealth 9 is based on the Mini-X, with a couple of additions that will impress anglers. The dimensions are basically the same, with a reduction in capacity at 275lb (approx. 125kg) and an increase in weight at 49lb (approx. 22kg) due to the additional features.
Features include front, rear and side carry handles, adjustable foot track system, scupper holes, paddle holder, large rear well, 8” round front hatch with removable bucket and cup holder. What stands the Stealth 9 apart from other small kayaks is the centre casting platform and live well, along with the storage hatch either side that opens into a removable storage bag and the hull of the kayak.
The casting platform makes it easier for anglers to stand and fish. This platform then opens as a large hatch to reveal a live well that can be plumbed if required. The two side storage hatches make it quick and easy to access braid scissors, pliers, lip grips, other tools and a couple of small tackle trays, while also keeping them stowed securely and out of the way. When paddling rapids, negotiating vegetation and navigating choppy conditions these hatches also allow you to store multi-piece rods below deck. A great kayak for small to medium paddlers that love their fishing and are paddling creeks, rivers, estuaries and impoundments.
Stepping up to a larger version of the Stealth, you have a kayak with the great features of the Stealth Series, including centre casting platform/live well and side storage hatches, in a footprint that is ideal for larger paddlers, carrying more gear and venturing into rougher conditions.
At 12’4” (approx. 3.7m) long, 33” (approx. 84cm) wide, weighing in at 60lb (approx. 27kg) and with a weight capacity of 450lb (approx. 204kg) the Stealth 12 is stable, fast through the water, efficient to paddle and has loads of storage capacity. It is a suitable kayak for those heading offshore, covering longer distances and camping from their kayak.
Features of the Stealth 12 include front, rear and side carry handles, large low profile front gator hatch, 4 flush mount rod holders, centre casting platform / live well, side storage hatches, cup holder, large rear well with bungee, 4” round hatch and foot tracking rudder system.
Malibu Kayaks’ first venture into the sit inside market has been a successful one, with the release of the popular Sierra 10 kayak. At 10’ (approx. 3m) long, 31” (approx. 79cm) wide and weighing in at 45lb (approx. 20.4kg), the Sierra 10 is easy to handle, stable, tracks well and paddles quite efficiently. It is not designed to be the fastest kayak on the water or travel long distances, but it is an excellent option for anglers fishing rivers, creeks, estuaries and impoundments.
With a weight capacity of 325lb (approx. 147.5kg) and a large rear well that stands it apart from other sit inside kayaks, the Sierra 10 is also becoming a popular option among anglers fishing and camping in the smallwater. Our BLADE Ed has put his Sierra 10 through its paces over several overnight kayak fishing and camping adventures, resulting in nothing but praise for this yak.
Features include front and rear carry handles, front bungee system, large cockpit area, cup holder, adjustable foot pegs, paddle holder, large rear tank well with bungee, 2 flush mount rod holders and the Sierra 10 also comes standard with a comfortable Apex-1 seat fitted.
Anglers have been landing large impoundment barramundi from this kayak, with Mark Hope from World Record Barra Tackle at Yungaburra landing line class world record barra of well over a metre from the Sierra 10. A sit inside kayak is also a good option for those fishing in colder environments that require additional protection from the wind and weather.
X-Wing Sliding Console
The X-Wing has been designed so that you can have your electronics, rod holders and dry storage in an easy-slide unit that conveniently detaches from your kayak for quick and easy storage. Constructed from super linear polyethylene, the X-Wing is extremely sturdy, while weighing only 5lb (approx. 2.3kg) so it doesn’t absorb too much of your kayak’s weight capacity.
Features include an attachment point for compass and switch panel, cup holder / tackle tray, mounting locations for sounder and GPS, dry storage battery compartment, sliding tracks for adjustable distance control and multiple rod base mounting locations.
For more information on Malibu Kayaks and accessories, check out www.bcf.com.au or drop into your local Boating, Camping, Fishing store.