Viking Kayaks Australia have just released three new models to their fishing kayak range, Viking Profish Reload, Viking Profish 400 and the Profish GT. I was lucky enough to have the Profish GT for a month, which allowed me to really put this fishing kayak through its paces in both salt and freshwater.
My first trip was an afternoon paddle in the freshwater reaches of the Brisbane River. I had a couple of mates join me and we had a drop-off point and took another vehicle about 3km downstream for the return trip to where we launched, to save paddling against the fast flowing water.
I have a Nissan Patrol that sits 3” higher than standard, so most kayaks and canoes aren’t the easiest things to get on top of its racks. The GT weighs 24kg, which is not much lighter than most kayaks I’ve been in, but having a large handle moulded in the centre of the hull spreads the weight easily and I was able to put the kayak on and off the roof rack by myself.
The Profish GT is a single blow-moulded kayak designed for fishing. My first impressions were that this was built and designed by a serious kayak angler. The standard features and ease of use has everything a fisher would need for day on the water.
The GT comes standard with a new concept called the Tackle Pod. This is a smart little storage compartment designed to protect your gear while giving you easy access. It sits right in front of the seating position and is completely removable. The Pod clips in at the front of a recess in the hull and is then locked in by a pin in the rear of the box. The best part about the Pod is that it has an inbuilt transducer compartment that fills the recess in the kayak’s hull that seals and prevents water from entering the top of the kayak. The transducer sits just up inside of the bottom of the hull so running across rocks and logs won’t see it being ripped off or damaged.
The Pod is a great feature for anglers. I was able to pre pack all my gear the night before and load quickly into the kayak when ready to launch. While on the water I usually have a bag behind me for all my tackle and it works fine, but the Pod sitting directly in front of me adds an extra dimension of ease and simplicity.
On the top of the Pod sits a Lowrance Elite 3x – having a sounder on a fishing kayak is a must. It gives you an understanding of what depth you are fishing and if there are any concentrated bait that can turn an average day into a trip of a lifetime. There is a small sealed deep cycle battery that straps inside and has a small recessed area that keeps it away and secure; it’s not the biggest or the most expensive sounder but perfect for the job.
In front of the pod sits 2 Rail Blazer rod holders, these are setup perfectly for trolling as they are in direct sight. They are also very handy to use while re-rigging or landing fish.
Comfort is a major priority for me; I suffer from a sore back so I really appreciate support on the water (I’m getting old…). The Profish GT comes standard with a deluxe fisher’s seat and after fishing for 5 hours my lower back was fine, although my backside was quite sore and numb (but recovered quickly). I would probably look at some upgrade to the base of the seat in the form of an inflatable cushion to make longer trips more comfortable.
Foot rests play a big part in comfort levels as they help to keep you sitting up straight and help considerably when navigating down fast flowing water. The Profish GT has adjustable footrests fitted standard, so whether you are short or tall you will find it comfortable and supportive.
When choosing a kayak, storage options should be taken seriously. It is essential to be able to store your gear in a dry and safe place. The Profish GT has plenty of large dry storage, which is ideal for extended fishing trip. In the front of the hull there is a large hatch that is perfect for storing larger gear, like tents, tarps, clothes, etc. Moving back from the front sits the Tackle Pod and just behind is a small sealed hatch that is ideal for wallet, phone and keys.
The rear of the kayak has another new product known as the Chill Pod that fits neatly into the rear of the hull. The top opening vacuum formed lid gives easy access for left or right-handed people. The low profile shape creates little windage and a screw type bung fitted into the base makes draining easy. The Chill Pod will keep ice and fish cold for hours, as it is insulated, meaning your fish will stay in perfect condition even on hot days. I used this to house my camera box and a couple of frozen bottles of water. It’s great for fish but again a simple handy storage solution within easy reach of the seating position.
At the end of your day’s fishing, simply lift the Chill Pod out of your kayak and into your vehicle – very clean and tidy! Both Pods make setting up and packing up very simple.
The Profish GT is 3.6m long, which is a perfect size for fishing rivers, dams and canal systems, and if you are a keen and strong paddler heading offshore would not be a problem. My take on kayaks is pretty simple, as I am a boat owner, wherever I can’t take my boat a kayak is ideal, and the Profish GT ticks all my boxes in regards to weight length and ease of transportation.
The hull has plenty of bow lift, turned down edges and is quite broad. We headed into a strong northerly wind in the canals and I stayed very dry, even when boats thought it was funny to go past me at about 12 knots in a 6 knot zone!
The Profish tracks very true and is a fairly quick kayak. Even in wind, the yak stayed on track, but a couple of the bass did pull me around and had me back peddling out of the tangled trees!
There were a couple of great fishing-friendly features that I really liked. The paddle straps on the side of the hull is great when landing fish or when launching and retrieving. On the starboard side of the kayak is an anchoring rope system that is a must when fishing flowing water; this is quite a simple rig, it consists of a stainless steel pulley front and rear and a clip to attach your anchor in the middle. I am 100% sure this will help improve your catch rate as you can spend more time working areas of interest while not having to worry about trying to keep the kayak in position with the paddle.
Having rod holders is a pretty important subject for any kayak angler. I use high-end gear so keeping these out of the water is a no brainer. The Profish that I tested not only had the 2 Rail Blazers on the Pod, it was also fitted with 4 flush mounted rod holders, 2 beside the seat and 2 just behind, again all within easy reach from the seat.
The new Profish GT comes in an array of different colours, to check out these new fishing machines simply visit your local Viking dealer by jumping on their website at www.vikingkayaks.com.au or give Jason and the crew a call on 1800 004 240.
The Profish GT is a single person kayak, 3.6m in length and weighs in at about 24kg. The hull at its widest point is 82cm, which makes it very stable at rest and while paddling around. It has a payload of up to 175kg, so loading it up with camping gear and extra gear for extended adventures is not an issue.
The kayak as tested came with a couple of factory upgrade options such as the Chili Pod, Anchor system, Depth sounder and Extra rod holders and there are so many other upgrades in store for you to choose from.
Standard features include:
• Propelz Speed fibreglass paddle
• Deluxe Fisherman Seat
• Removable Tackle Pod
• 1 hatch with bucket
• Footrests, 4 rod holders
• Side carry handles (moulded in)
• Paddle park
• Fish stringer park
• Inserts for accessories
• Large oval hatch fitted on foredeckReads: 3259