What It Is:

The Salty PDL 120 is a pedal-powered fishing kayak launched by Outdated City within the spring 2020 as a part of its Sportsman line of fishing kayaks. The Sportsman sequence contains 11 boats, every constructed to be powered both by electrical motor, pedal drive, or conventional paddling. The Salty PDL is certainly one of 4 fashions within the sequence rigged as a pedal-powered kayak, and geared towards the concept of the coastal angler. In case your autumn hinges round chasing striped bass migrating from New England to the Mid-Atlantic, or spending the winter stalking redfish throughout shallow mudflats within the southern U.S., the Salty PDL 120 is what Outdated City has in thoughts.

For the Salty, Outdated City didn’t must reinvent the wheel. It took the confirmed and fashionable design template of a sister model, the Malibu PDL from Ocean Kayak, and made some tweaks to set the boat up as a maritime do-it-all fishing rig.

“The Salty turned a part of the road as a result of we wished a craft that will be speedy, comparatively compact, and will deal with some waves,” says Sharon Scott, the senior director of brand name administration and product improvement at Johnson Outdoor’ watercraft division. “The Malibu Pedal’s on the spot hands-free ahead and reverse makes it an awesome platform at a really enticing value level, so we re-imagined it for the angler.”

Salty PDL 120

As Scott notes, the Salty has been outfitted with nearly any characteristic you’ll look forward to finding on a contemporary fishing kayak. It’s a sit-on-top type, open-deck kayak, with an elevated seat to help in casting, imaginative and prescient, and protecting you high-and-dry. Storage wells open within the bow and stern for stowing gear and sort out. A common transducer mount is able to set up a fishfinder. From there: built-in rod holders, plus a number of accent tracks in your GoPro and GPS, or fish-finder display.

At 12 ft lengthy, over 34 inches broad, and weighing 105 kilos assembled (a wieldable 85 kilos with out the pedal system put in), the Salty PDL retails at $1,900.

Why We Like It:

As a paddler, my first impression wanting on the profile of the Salty was, “that is going to be enjoyable.”

The boat has rocker, particularly because it curves up by the substantial, wedged bow. The highest of the nostril sits practically 18 inches from the bottom. What does this imply on the water? The Salty can journey out some swell, and hold water out of the cockpit. The rocker within the bow not solely means you may bust by some waves, but in addition flip downhill and catch just a few rides.

Salty PDL 120
Johnson Outdoor

Whereas narrower than the opposite pedal boats within the Sportsman line, the slender width offers somewhat additional velocity, with out sacrificing a lot stability. Additionally because of the pontoon-style tri-hull, standing casts felt secure, the place waves rolled proper below the boat whereas adrift. I’ve examined the Salty in busy inlets with erratic boat wake, in addition to letting it sit broadside to short-period wind-swell, and by no means felt the necessity to make a reactionary seize at my paddle for bracing strokes.

The open deck of the Salty is specified by a easy and usable trend. The bucketed storage effectively within the stern is roomy, with a 27-inch by 22.5-inch footprint formed to simply seat a cooler the dimensions of a Yeti Tundra 35. The bow storage effectively is smaller however nonetheless has a capability for a good-size drybag. There’s additionally a small dry-storage compartment constructed within the high of the pedal drive that lies between your ft inside the cockpit space—nice for protecting objects dry and simple to entry like a mobile phone, snacks, first assist package, or spare batteries. In case you max that out, there’s additionally a dry hatch positioned below the seat, which additionally offers entry to mechanical elements contained in the hull.

TopWater PDL Old Town Fishing Kayak console
Useful dry storage within the pedal console. Joe Potoczak

There are three built-in rod holders (one forward-facing and two rear-facing), making area for a number of fishing rigs able to fly. The 2 pre-installed accent mounts and paddle lock are good out-of-the-box elements that imply you don’t need to go drilling holes in your new boat to finish your setup. The mesh seat offers an elevated casting place, higher visibility, retains you excessive and dry, and most significantly, is snug. Easy buckles regulate the pitch of the backrest. The seat slides ahead and again with a peg system inside simple attain to maneuver your self to the suitable distance from the pedals.

Salty PDL 120 pdeal Old Town Fishing Kayak motor
Joe Potoczak

The 12-inch span of the rotating propeller on Outdated City’s trademark PDL Drive offered loads of gasoline. In a robust headwind, the Salty simply trolled alongside at round 1.5 to 2 mph, and was capable of speed up right into a dash of round 5 mph when wanted. I discovered the facility of the PDL Drive to supply a assured quantity of horsepower to deal with any wind and tidal currents I confronted. The bicycle-style pedaling system is intuitive. With the flexibility to additionally kick the PDL Drive in reverse, it makes me surprise how I ever fished with a paddle in hand. When getting into a shallow stretch or making a touchdown, the drive can shortly be rotated up from below the hull, and locked in a disengaged place, pictured above. The rudder on the Salty makes for spectacular steering. At round 16 inches in size and bellying out simply over 4 inches, the usable floor space offers a decent turning radius, and may maintain a line in powerful circumstances. The hand-controlled steering for the rudder system is low key, responsive, and conveniently positioned on the left aspect of the boat the place your hand needs to relaxation. A hand knob on the steering dial tightens all the way down to lock the rudder angle, making for an easy and useful autopilot-like perform.



If there’s a place for enchancment on the Salty, it’s in its mechanical elements. The hand management for instance. Contemplating how closely the steering dial talked about is used, the supplies and design appear gentle responsibility. My impression primarily based on the texture of the present supplies and construct, is that if one thing can be first to fail on this boat, it is going to be this hand management.

Salty PDL 120 steering handle on the TopWater PDL Old Town Fishing Kayak
Joe Potoczak

Equally, the pre-installed paddle lock is presently in an odd place. If a paddle is latched, it offers some interference with the reels of a rod in each the forward- and rear-facing rod holders on the left aspect of the boat. If I had been to make a fast seize for my paddle, I might see unintentionally sending a rod within the drink. Barely shifting the place of the paddle latch appears it might simply alleviate this.


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