Tested July 2012
Full disclosure: We put Ocean Kayak’s newest fishing kayak to the test out West, where the water’s more boisterous than any found on a Florida salt flat. It was only fitting. The Trident Ultra 4.3’s playful nature craves big water. At 14 feet, it’s a shorter, slinkier option than its 2011 predecessor, the arrow-straight Trident Ultra 4.7. Designed down under by OK’s New Zealand subsidiary, every fitting is molded-in for maximum sea-worthiness. There’s no reason to drill holes to mount most accessories; they screw right in. The Ultra’s cockpit center hatch cover shelters delicate and pricey fishfinders safely below deck when it’s time to face the whitewater. Then—cool trick—it flips over, springing the sonar instantly into action. It also includes a purpose-built mounting spot for your sonar’s underwater eyeball, a full quartet of flush-mount rod holders, dedicated tool and gaff storage, along with a “Click Seal” bow hatch—one of the best on the market. Bonus: Although the deck isn’t exactly acres wide, there’s still enough room for calm-water casters to stand. In the seat, our testers called the new Ultra supremely well thought out, and suited for fishing just about anywhere.
Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3
($1,599; $1,899 with rudder in roto-molded polyethylene, oceankayak.com)
L: 14’1”; W: 29.1”; 59 lbs., 350-lb. capacity