Fishing & Boating News

Old Town® Predator PDL™ Voted Best Boat

Revolutionary pedal-drive fishing kayak offers no-fail forward and reverse, unrivaled boat control and fishability

by: Jim Edlund, Traditions Media, LLC

Photo by courtesy Old Town Canoe
Photo by courtesy Old Town Canoe
(Jul 20, 2016 - Old Town, ME) Although the world’s largest sportfishing tradeshow, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), was flooded with watercraft product entries at the ICAST New Product Showcase, only one boat emerged with top honors.
Enter the Old Town Predator PDL, a paradigm-shifting watercraft that offers the most advanced pedal-driven personal watercraft on Earth—an angling assault vehicle with no-fail forward and reverse for unrivaled hands-free boat control and fishability.
“We are ecstatic, but humbled,  that key sportfishing industry media voted the Predator PDL ‘Best Boat’ at ICAST 2016,” said David Hadden, Brand Director for Johnson Outdoors Watercraft. “We set out to completely redefine the pedal-driven fishing kayak category, which we’ve accomplished. Not only did we display the Predator PDL, we offered test-rides at ICAST On the Water with real, working models currently in production and available at retailers early this fall.”
He continues: “Our goal was to create a Predator that offers no-fail forward and reverse and the best pedal fishing experience on the planet. The level of boat control possible is unparalleled for pinpoint positioning in wind, current, and around structure, the end result of over three years designing and building not only the most durable, dependable, fastest, quietest, and easy-to-use pedal-driven mechanism in the industry, but the perfect hull and boat design complement from the ground up.”
The Old Town PDL Drive is a brilliant piece of engineering founded on proven technologies in the lifecycle market. The result is an easy to carry, operate and stow system that efficiently converts modest pedaling into maximum propulsion. A 10.3:1 gear ratio means that anglers can reach speeds up to 5.5 mph to reach fishing spots fast and efficiently. A proprietary weedless prop design creates the perfect combination of efficiency, speed, and torque. Additionally, Pedal Drive allows smooth forward and reverse and a small turn radius allow for the ultimate in boat control via one-handed rudder control on the boat itself.
“We also knew the system had to dock, deploy and stow quickly and easily, run in shallow water, but also pivot up quickly for navigating underwater obstacles. That was another considerable engineering hurdle,” said Hadden.
What Old Town engineers designed is a compact, lightweight and rugged machine, with 16” of draft for navigating skinny waters, and a unique pivot and docking system that allows users to go from parked to peddling (or vice versa) in seconds. This also means anglers can avoid obstacles almost instantaneously and beach the boat virtually anywhere. A mere 21 lbs., the PDL Drive console is easy to transport; it even floats. Padded pedals allow for bare-footed comfort, and a carry handle makes for easy transport.
Predator PDL specifications
Length: 13’ 2”
Width: 36"
Weight: 117 lbs. (Pedal Drive: 21 lbs.)
Carrying Capacity: 500 lbs
MSRP: $2,799.99
    •    Forward and reverse for exact boat control in wind and current
    •    Smooth, quiet and easy to pedal
    •    Removable pedal drive installs in seconds and tips up instantly for shallow-water docking
    •    Fast and maneuverable, with one-hand-operated rudder steering
    •    Specially-designed hull with generous width for stability and storage
    •    Ease of transport
    •    Low maintenance
    •    Includes accessory mounting plates, Element Seating System and other standard Predator features
Like other Predator models, the Predator PDL is infinitely customizable with rigging accessories from Cannon®, Scotty™, YakAttack®, RAM®, and more. Launched at ICAST earlier this month, the Predator PDL will begin shipping to dealers in September 2016.
This year marks Old Town’s second “Best of Show – Boats” win, the last in 2014 when the Maine, USA-based company introduced the ground-breaking Predator XL Minn Kota, an “Ultimate Fishing Machine” powered by by 45 lbs. of stealth-quiet saltwater-grade power.
JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of award-winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Gear. Johnson Outdoors’ familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® Canoes and Kayaks; Ocean Kayak™ and Necky® Kayaks; Carlisle® Paddles; Extrasport® Personal Flotation Devices; Minn Kota® Motors; Cannon® Downriggers; Humminbird® Marine Electronics; LakeMaster® Electronic Charts; SCUBAPRO® and SUBGEAR® Dive Equipment; Silva® Compasses; Jetboil® Outdoor Cooking Systems; and Eureka!® Camping and Hiking Equipment.
Photo by courtesy Old Town Canoe