The Jackson Kayaks Kilroy Fishing Kayak Review
The Kilroy fishing kayak has been designed with all the things to expect from Jackson fishing kayaks in mind, such as great storage, superior standing room and specialised seating that offers ultimate comfort for anglers. The Kilroy has a front dashboard that can also be moved to behind the seat and innovative gear tracks that are very easy to adjust.
What to Consider when Buying a Fishing Kayak
Choosing a kayak is something that is personal but there is a criteria for choosing the right kayak. Choosing the right kayak for your needs is dependent on the kayak meeting a set of criteria. Using the list of criteria below you can decide if the kayak you are considering can meet all of your needs and your abilities:
- Skill level
- Sit-on-top vs. Sit-in kayaks
- Type of construction
- Stability vs. Speed
- Intended use
|Type||Sit on top|
|Rigged for fishing||Yes|
- Reasonably fast despite its shorter length
- A 31” beam means that this kayak has a good stability rating
- Adjustable seating
- Adjustable foot braces
- Stand-assist strapping
- Lots of free space when sitting and standing
- Gear tracks to hold electronics
- Good dry storage
- May not be stable enough for new anglers
- May be too heavy to move on your own, if you are not very strong
- No paddle keepers
- No anchor trolley
The Kilroy fishing kayak is one of the most popular kayaks that Jackson has released and fans are going wild over the great seating system and superior use of standing room. If you have your eyes on this model but are not quite sure if it beats similar kayaks in this price bracket our review is here to help.
Read on to find out if the Kilroy kayak is the right choice for you as we discuss the highlights and where there is room for improvement of Jackson’s latest model. It is worth saying that each angler will have his or her own personal tastes and what is good for one will be a problem for the next.
Size and Weight
The Kilroy kayak has an overall capacity of 375 pounds so should be suitable for the average sized angler with the average load of equipment. The designers have been really clever in developing a longer length kayak that comes in at 12 feet and 6 inches but does not lose anything in the way of stability.
The balance between stability and maneuverability is very good although it may be suited to experienced kayakers rather than those just starting out.
Coming in at 69 pounds it is relatively heavy compared to some other fishing kayaks, but those who are not very strong should not struggle to manage the kayak easily. We would say that you may need help moving the kayak any significant distance or when tying to your roof, but generally you should be ok.
Sit On Top Kayaks offer great stability and are easy to paddle for everyone including novices, right through to expert paddlers. In addition, these types of kayak can be used mainly on calm waters, but some models allow for rougher terrains. This type of kayak is different from other types of kayak as it does not have a cockpit and the hull has a self-bailing drain holes.
The hull of sit on top kayaks has a double wall to trap air inside of the hull making them impossible to sink. It is not difficult to get on and off these kayaks, making them perfect for beginners. At around 15ft, sit on top kayaks are very stable although they should only really be used in calm water.
The Jackson Kayaks Kilroy Fishing Kayak features a sit-inside hull design that keeps anglers dry and clean bad weather hits, which is quite often if you are a long-standing angler! Without a doubt, the highlight of this kayak is the fantastic ‘Elite’ seating system that has been creatively designed.
The seating is very durable and is made mostly out of aluminium. You can adjust the seat to suit your fishing needs and can change it back to the standard seating position when paddling. This is one of the comfiest seats that we have ever tried and the great back support means that you can paddle for hours without becoming uncomfortable.
The fact that you can adjust the poor braces is also a massive tick in the box for larger anglers who become frustrated by standard braces and seats.
The cockpit is VERY large compared to standard kayaks and has foot pegs that can be customised to suit your needs. The foot pegs have used padding to increase comfort levels and you should not feel any pressure even after long periods of gliding through the water.
The clever rudders are a good design feature that enables anglers to move them from the cockpit whilst still maintaining power. You can also get into tight spaces with this kayak, despite its size.
The Kilroy is almost the perfect fishing kayak as it offers up many great features and looks great on the water. The long length looks as good as it feels when riding at fast speeds through the water and is a huge appeal to experienced anglers who like the thrill of kayaking.
If you need to travel a long way to fish, this kayak is very fast and will get your there in no time. It is great for getting through breakers and is very good in rough waters. That said, the pace of the kayak can be very daunting for new paddlers and we would only advise that experienced kayakers but this mode.
Due to the speed, we would recommend that experience kayakers buy this model and we do to think that it is wholly suitable for novices. Yes, you will learn to adapt to speed in time, but you need to walk before you can run and your first priority will be adjusting to fishing in a kayak rather than a standard boat, not being the fastest on the river.
The kayak is designed to be flatter than standard kayaks, so to allow for plenty of room to stand up. The flat bottomed kayak is free of obstructions which is a major highlight of this kayak. The only other issue that some people may have with the design is the weight of the kayak. At 67 pounds it is not the heaviest kayak we have tried out, but it is not the lightest either.
Kayaks are not all about aesthetics, the design features need to work for anglers. The clever seat adjustments and foot braces are just some of the small things that make a difference to some people. These features may seem unimportant at first but when you consider that not everyone is the same size, you can see how a few inches of extra room can be beneficial.
The Kilroy comes with both a soft spray skirt and hard deck so that you are able to switch as and when you like. Another feature that we really like is the stand-assist strap, which is something that is annoyingly lacking in some kayaks. This small, but very important, addition will give new kayaks the confidence they need when out paddling.
‘Yak Attack Spectralite’ tracks are made to that work alongside a number of RAM mounts and a GoPro mount that give the angler plenty of options when out and about on the waters. As we have said, the choice of kayak is down to personal taste and we like that the Kilroy offers plenty of options.
It is worth noting that there is not much dry storage space in this kayak, which will be a problem for some, particularly if you use fishing finders, which most anglers do these days.
We are big fans of the layout of this kayak. Anglers will have the ability to fish easily with the rods positioned in two different places, one under each leg and the other on the mountable pod. Again, this may seem a little thing, but us anglers can be very picky when it comes to the layout of our kayaks. The small things can make big differences and anything that helps improve chances of a good catch are very much welcome.
Overall, we love the blend of good movement and stability and even though this kayak may not be as fast as some people would like, we think that it hits reasonably good speeds. It you want a super comfortable kayak with plenty of space to move about then the Kilroy is an excellent choice for you.
Remember that a lack of dry storage space means that fish finders will not be as secure as you may like, although it can be stored in the pre-installed rod rails. If you choose to go for this kayak we wish you well on your many fishing expeditions to come.