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Topic: Thoughts on a Bonafide SS127?  (Read 2399 times)

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  • Plankton
  • *
  • Location: Eugene, OR
  • Date Registered: Jul 2017
  • Posts: 5
I've been looking at these Bonafide SS127 yaks, and was wondering if you guys had any thoughts?
From what I'm hearing, they are incredibly stable and also seem to paddle fairly well. Which I'd love for the ocean.
Most of my kayak fishing has been in saltwater in areas like Neah Bay,  and Chetco Point.  I don't see them mentioned in the NW at all, and I'm wondering if there is a reason I'm not thinking of or something I'm  not considering.

My plan would be to put a trolling motor on it eventually. Id love to troll for salmon around
Florence and Winchester Bay. Definitely not taking a trolling motor off shore until I'm very comfortable with the kayak.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this!

Matt M

  • Sturgeon
  • *******
  • Location: Tigard
  • Date Registered: Mar 2016
  • Posts: 1237
I've paddled the SS127 as a demo and really loved the kayak for its stability and overall good paddling. I found the seat to be comfortable in my opinion and overall a nice kayak. The kayak seems to be designed with the bass angler in mind which is what drew me to it, however I know lots of folks use them down in the gulf for fishing and seem to be really happy with them. I would definitely recommend demo'ing one if you can as they're wider than most "typical" ocean type kayaks, however you may find it to be more comfortable than others. They're a fairly small and new company still which is likely why there's not a huge amount of talk of them in the PNW.

Old Town Sportsman 120 PDL


  • Plankton
  • *
  • Location: Eugene, OR
  • Date Registered: Jul 2017
  • Posts: 5
Great info, thank you Matt!


  • Salmon
  • ******
  • Location: Tigard, OR
  • Date Registered: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 844
I always read stable as, "it does a good job of staying parallel to the surface of the water". On flat water, that is great. On water that is rolling - like the ocean - I don't want my kayak staying parallel to the surface, I want it to roll (in relation to the water's surface) a bit so I can keep my torso vertical. My "tippy" 29" wide Revo is quite comfortable on swells, and I really don't pay much attention to them until they start getting big. In fact, I think it is more comfortable to take swells broadside than straight on because it doesn't pitch up and down so much.

15x tournament loser
2011 Hobie Oasis (yellow)
2014 Hobie Revo  (red)
2017 Aquaglide Blackfoot HB Angler XL


  • Sturgeon
  • *******
  • Location: Tualatin, OR
  • Date Registered: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 3814
I have never paddled a Bonafide but I am with Shermanator on this one. As someone that fishes the ocean a lot, secondary stability is what I want. The beautiful thing about kayaks with great secondary stability is that their primary stability is easily increased because they are narrow enough to easily drop your legs over the side when not moving around. They are also easier to transit the surf zone in. 
After a day of paddling a "tippy" kayak you will not even think it is tippy anymore.  And in rough weather you will wish you had that "tippy" kayak.  I have fished in some stupid ocean conditions in the "much loved for its stability Hobie Outback" and in my Revo in probably worse conditions.  The "tippier" (not my description just what I have heard others describe them as over the years) Revo was more stable especially when getting hit by waves from the side.  There is a reason (actually many reasons) - other than speed - that sea kayaks are long and narrow. https://paddling.com/learn/primary-secondary-stability/ 

If I were going out into the ocean with a paddle kayak, I would want a kayak that could handle surf with ease and can scoot along under paddle power for when your motor quits  - if it does. Therefore, I would get the Ocean Kayak Trident 13. You will also save a couple hundred dollars that you can use to rig it.  Another good choice is a Wilderness Systems Tarpon.  You would be much happier when trolling for salmon while paddling in either of those kayaks. In fact, you will quickly learn you don't need a motor when you have an efficient kayak.  If there was a way to put a Hobie mirage drive in an Ocean Kayak Trident 13, there would never have to be another fishing kayak designed ever. It would be the greatest, most sexy high performance, and surf-able fishing kayak ever (IMHO). Sadly it will never happen. >:(

The Bonafide is a bass boat and is probably great for that type of fishing.  It is in the description:

 "One of the most notable features is the seat. Designed to sit higher than most kayaks, it gives anglers a better vantage point which is very useful for sight fishing. "

 It would probably be great for fly fishing high mountain lakes, too.  However, it is not a kayak designed for the PNW oceans and beaches which is probably why you do not see much discussion regarding them.  Personally, I would not do a surf launch or go out in ocean in some of the conditions I routinely fish in now with a kayak that has me sitting that high and is that wide.  I like fishing not swimming.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 10:10:16 AM by craig »