Inflatable kayaks have come a long way over the years and now a premium inflatable kayak can in some cases offer a similar experience compared to a hardshell kayak. The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak 130 is a moderately priced inflatable kayak that offers a premium experience, especially for fishers.
When it comes to kayaks, you often get what you pay for. That’s true for both inflatable and hardshell kayaks. And while a top-notch inflatable kayak may offer a comparable experience to a good hardshell, many cheaper inflatable kayaks will fall short. So where does this fishing kayak fall?
When it comes to the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak, you’ll find cheaper options but when it comes to value, this kayak holds up well. Fishing kayak is in the name, and as you may have guessed, this kayak is designed to provide an optimal experience for people looking to fish.
The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak is also durable and designed to take on tough waters. That said, if you’re looking for an inflatable kayak for whitewater, you may be better served by a kayak designed with that in mind. Also, this kayak is designed for one person use, so if you’re looking to share space with friends and family, this kayak may not be the right choice. Elkton does offer a two-person fishing kayak, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak 150.
Still not sure if this inflatable fishing kayak is the right one for you? Let’s take a deeper look at the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak’s features.
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak 130 Features
- This inflatable kayak features a strong, solid drop stitch floor which is especially useful for fishers. With the solid floor, you can leverage your body and enjoy stable angling and bait casting. Should you end up taking your kayak into rougher waters, the drop stitch floor will also offer some protection.
- The floor also features ports for water drainage in case you hit any rapids or excessive splashing. The self-bailing floor will help you stay afloat should you find yourself in a tough struggle with a fish or while fishing on rough waters.
- The Steelhead kayak is built with 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC, which is exceptionally strong. Even if you should scrap over a log or run into sharp rocks, this inflatable kayak will often simply bounce off and keep going. As an inflatable kayak, you do need to be extra careful around sharp and pointy edges.
- As a fishing kayak, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead also offers various features that fishers specifically find beneficial. For example, the bungee storage system will help you keep all your gear organized and secure. Whether you need to store fishing rods, cameras, fish finders, bait, or whatever else, you’ll find that this kayak is optimized with fishing needs in mind.
What Do Users Say?
Most users find that the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak offers excellent performance for its intended function, namely fishing. The seat is generally well-regarded and supportive, although some may prefer to bring cushions to increase padding. The oar works well and this kayak is generally quite mobile.
The ample room inside the kayak ensures that you can bring along the essential fishing gear. Many inflatable kayaks simply don’t offer enough room to pack a lot of gear, but with this fishing kayak, you’ll be able to bring along everything you need.
The benefits for fishers don’t stop at storage. The sturdy dropstitch floor offers a firm foundation for angling and casting. This kayak is also quite stable, reducing the risk that you’ll tip it over and spill into the water.
When fighting to pull a fish in, you may experience a lot of splashing. Likewise, if you run into any rain, it could quickly threaten to swamp your kayak. However, this inflatable kayak features well-positioned drainage ports.
Setup is generally easy, although some assembly is required. You’ll have to install the seat and then break it down again for storage, for example. This kayak comes with a hand air pump and also the needed oar. A travel bag is also included so you can keep everything in order and safely tucked away.
As for dimensions, the Steelhead 130 measures 130in. (10ft. 10in.) long and is 39.5 inches wide and 13 inches tall. This kayak weighs about 40 pounds, which is heavier than many single person inflatable kayaks. That said, the Steelhead 130 supports weights up to 400 pounds, which is a lot more than many kayaks.
Some customers have reported issues with packing and the quality of the product on arrival. In a few cases, the kayak appeared to have been damaged. This is obviously a hassle, but Elkton offers 30 day returns. That said, the warranty runs for only one year and is rather limited. Should your kayak be damaged, you may find yourself out several hundred dollars.
Speaking of money, this Elkton fishing kayak is far from the cheapest option. Many good-quality kayaks retail for much less. Depending on your needs, you may be served just as well by a cheaper kayak.
Pros and Cons
- Elkton is known for putting together generally good inflatable kayaks.
- The seat is comfortable and supportive, along with the drop-stitch floor.
- While not designed specifically for rapids, this kayak should be able to get through some whitewater.
- Designed specifically with fishing in mind, offering a comfortable fishing experience.
- 30 days no hassle returns.
- A relatively expensive inflatable kayak.
- Only seats one person.
- Kayaks designed specifically for white water or other functions may perform better in certain conditions.
- It’s a bit on the heavy side.
- Only 1-year limited warranty.
Our rating: 4.2 / 5
If you’re looking specifically for a fishing kayak, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak 130 is an excellent choice. Designed with the needs of fishers in mind, it’ll often outperform general purpose kayaks, at least when fishing.
If you’re not looking specifically for a fishing kayak, this model does work well as a multi-use inflatable kayak. That said, you may be able to find more affordable kayaks that function just as well. Keep in mind that this kayak is designed only for one person. Elkton Outdoors does offer a two-person fishing kayak, however.
In summary, this fishing kayak is generally well regarded, offers good craftsmanship, is portable and easy-to-use, and likely to please most fishers. As an inflatable kayak, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak works great for fishing trips.