Select Page


What do I need to kayak fish on the ocean?

To fish the ocean the needs of a kayak angler are a combination of safety, performance and convenience.  The perfect ocean kayak will have a hull design that not only performs well in current, wind and swell, but keeps water out of your boat’s hull, has a shape with rocker enough for handling surf and the stability to handle reactionary waves and more when things get choppy.  The perfect kayak for these conditions can also handle the gear you have out there, both when you need it to fight the big fast fish and for when you have to lock everything down as you go in and out of the surf.  Not a lot of kayaks have all the elements you need, but the Jackson Kayak Knarr does!  Most importantly, designing a great boat for all that the ocean hits you with means that this boat will handle anything freshwater can hit you with!

Hull Design
The bulk of the kayak designs on the market are aimed at ‘all water’ performance.  The ocean is not just any water, its got more going on than most rivers and lakes so careful design needs to happen.  The Knarr was crafted by Tony Lee, a long time surfer and designer of some of the top ocean-going kayaks in history.  He spent a great deal of time with the way the hull shape moved in the water, ensuring that the age-old needs of ocean travel are met.  This boat tracks well, turns well in tough conditions, has water passage planned for waves that break over the deck, keeps water out of the hull with special attention to the hatches and cuts through current and wind easily.  The unique drainage system keeps water moving off the deck, reducing the chance of any pooling that may cause heaviness to the day.  It also reduces the chance of seepage into the hull, keeping this boat one of the driest out there.

Paddling through the surf

The Flex Drive Mark IV fits nicely into the hull, and out of your way for an open deck and snag-free experience that most other drives cannot offer.  If you do have to paddle, the Knarr is by far the best paddling pedal kayak hull on the market!  Anything shaped by Tony Lee paddles extremely well as opposed to many boats designs that chose to design for the placement of gear only, not following the core rules for paddling in open waters.  The Flex Drive tucks nicely up into the hull creating zero friction when paddling.

Safety, Stability and Comfort
The ocean can get mighty angry and can stir up rough waters in a blink of an eye via many different elements including wind, rain, current and surf.   Your first challenge for safety is the mode of propulsion.  Most ocean kayaks out there now are pedal drive and most pedal drives have difficulty as you approach the shore.  All of them, but the Jackson Flex Drive, have to be pulled up and out of the hull for launch and re-entry of the shore surf.  On top of that, exposed gears, chains and steering mean that sand and salt play havoc with most other drives.  The Flex Drive Mark IV not only retracts automatically into the hull allowing you to pedal to shore, it is completely sealed with no gearing etc. exposed to the elements.  The need to spend valuable minutes pulling drives out, tying them down and gabbing a paddle to get to shore are over!

Tony Lee designed our hull for secondary stability by adding stabilizing chines to both sides.  This design allows our design team to go narrower in design without giving up the stability out there on the sea.  The resulting hull is wide enough for our new internal gunnel rod storage, narrow enough for niche leading tracking and uber stability.  The new EZ Hi-lo seating system has a slider that not only allows you to adjust your leg length when pedaling but allows for trim of your kayak to achieve perfect balance with your gear.  The ergo seating completes the picture bringing you a great captains chair to work from.

Gear Logistics
The open ocean is not an a-typical fisheries!  Your gear needs to range from bait acquisition, to trolling live bait and lures, to jigging deep and casting into boiler rocks and flats.  In other words, an ocean kayak needs to carry a lot of gear.  The Knarr was designed with Jackson’s new narrow gunnel and a new centralized seating system that allows us to add “yardsale free” rod management and storage as well as multiple zones for upright rod staging and loads of front space to lay multiple rods out for use.  We have also built in a record amount of open deck space for tackle boxes, crates and bait tanks.

Pedal Drive

The Knarr also comes with yards of Jackson’s new TriTrak which allows for 3 directions of gear mounting for rod holders, electronics and more from leading brands like Yakattack and RAM Mounts.  These tracks will allow you to run electronic cabling across your kayak without leaving wiring across your deck and provides unlimited flexibility in gear mounting of all kinds. In addition, the new JK Multibox, included with the Knarr, provides instant access to well organized tackle, tools as well as both hard and soft bait storage at any location around your kayak.

There is no other kayak on the market that was built entirely with the big water challenges of the ocean like the Knarr.  The combination of performance with the extremely unique and surf-designed hull, the safety of the shape, build and components that answer to all the challenges and the flexibility of how it offers gear and tool storage makes the Knarr the perfect answer to the ocean kayak angler.  More importantly, to those who fish freshwater more often than ocean, this boat can handle even the best of big lake swells:  The ocean is a GREAT testing ground for all big water environments!

Choosing the Best Ocean Fishing Kayak