Fist Malibu Kayak

So I’m thinking about getting my first kayak, and would love to use it for fishing. I will also be doing some touring. Malibu’s name seems to come up constantly. I guess it is a good thing since I’m a big boy at 6’1 and around 280. They also seem to carry a lot of weight, which would be good if we use them for camping.

But here is my problem. I cannot seem to find a dealer in my area who has these for rental, so I cannot try it out to see how I like the different models.

I’m looking at these models:



Pro Explorer

I will be doing some flats fishing out in the Gulf of Mexico, and some flat river fishing/touring. I would like something that is dry seating.

I’ve read and re-read all the reviews posted here and over the net. The X-Factor seems to be the most stable, but slow. The extreme seems to be in the middle. With the pro explorer being faster and less stable. Do I have this correct?

Is there something else I could be missing in my searching? Anyone who has tried the three and can give inputs between their differences.

Try before you buy
I think you are better buying something used or travelling a long way and buying after you try it out. Malibu is a popular brand that it not sold near me either. I’m thinking of traveling to the next state to try one out.

If this is your first boat I start used so you can get out on the water sooner and sell it for near what you paid when you find a boat you like better.

For the touring part.
I’m about your size- 5’ 11" @ 275 lbs.

I’d consider the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160. But, I’m not sure how maneuverable it’ll be in smaller water.

speed difference
The speed difference is not enough to make a difference in a fishing kayak. You’re talking 1/10s of a mile maybe. A bigger difference in speed would be from your paddle choice. You’ll get better speed and efficiency with carbon fiber or fiberglass than a cheap $90 plastic paddle.

I have only seen one Pro Explorer in my 10 years of kayak fishing. The eXtreme and XFactor are very common at tournaments. Not much difference between the two other than the layout. You can put your rods inside an XFactor with the back hatch that is installed at an angle. I loved my eXtreme I had a few years ago. It was great for standing and sight fishing. I could carry enough camping gear for a week in it.

All three boats have lots of float. I like the eXtreme best. For me, it was fastest and most responsive.

Thank you
Thank you everyone for your input. I got to try a Pro Explorer and a Stealth 12 this past weekend. I found the Pro Explorer a little small for my back side. I think I’m going to go ahead and order a Stealth 14 though. I liked the little extras in the 14 rather then the 12.

Now it is just off to find a paddle and seat. The guy there recommended me a Seaire Superior for the seat.

good choice
The Stealth series is nice. I love the standing platform. Go ahead and budget a push pole or stand up paddle so you can stand and do some sight fishing. You’ll definitely want a 230cm paddle with some larger blades as your main paddle.

I think the Sea-Aire seat is prone to sliding around. I have always used the Surf to Summit GTS Elite.