Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Review

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Old Town’s Topwater 120 PDL kayak is a hands-free and agile watercraft. The 12-foot pedal kayak is easy to maneuver, showcasing a simple forward and reverse pedal drive. Its easy-docking system makes for a truly hands-free ride so anglers can focus on landing fish.

Did you know that the Topwater series is Old Town’s best-selling line of pedal kayaks? We didn’t either, but we found out that out and aren’t surprised in the slightest. Old Town just builds rock-solid boats and this is undoubtedly Old Town quality.

This newest model is designed for a fishing performance that’s easy and accessible. The kayak is equipped with a universal mounting system where you can mount your favorite fish finder. Additional features include a stable hull with 500-pound capacity, three-rod holders, and ample storage.

Pros: Topwater 120 PDL

The most noteworthy feature of the Topwater 120 PDL is its stability and precision. The steady hull facilitates an effortless, hands-free experience. The forward and reverse pedal drive allows anglers to handle their rods without having to worry about the additional responsibility of maneuvering oars.

It’s stable enough to provide a stand-up platform for fishing. Anglers will also love the intuitive placement of the equipment, including three rod holders and storage spaces for rod and tackle. The Topwater 120 PDL is exceptionally easy to work with while battling a fish. Having the ability to reverse is priceless, as is being able to easily work the rudder. It allows you to move in and out of tight spaces when wrangling a fish.

Although the Topwater 120 PDL performs at its best in flat water, it’s easy to control in different conditions. Whether you’re kayaking in a lake or the ocean, it handles boat wakes or water chop well (it should be noted, however, that Old Town recommends their Predator design for the ocean).

This watercraft is light and easy to transport. The hull is compact and can be stored by simply leaning it up against the wall or laying it across sawhorses.

As with all of Old Town’s boats, the hull and watercraft are covered under warranty for the lifetime of the boat. Additionally, Old Town provides great customer service and experts are available to assist customers in ordering replacement parts or extra accessories to modify their kayak.

Cons: Topwater 120 PDL

Our complaints about the Topwater 120 PDL are minimal. Although intended for both fresh and saltwater use, it does best in flat, freshwater, as the paddle hold down strap can be a problem in the saltwater. If the strap breaks, you’re at risk of losing a paddle to the sea.

Of course, with a pedal kayak, you may not have a paddle at all! However, we do know that some anglers prefer to bring a paddle with them because it enables their ability to steer as steering in a pedal kayak can be difficult.

Rather than having to go back to the dealer to have it repaired, it would be nice to have replacement pieces on hand so you can fix it yourself. We think the Old Town team, who are already known for quality, could include a few replacement parts with the standard shipment of their kayaks.

The seat is acceptable, but some buyers have reported finding a split in the seat material. This split will typically occur after about 6 months of use. There are some reports that this split is more likely to occur if you live in an area with more rain and the pedal kayak isn’t covered when not in use.

However, the seat is interchangeable, and you can swap it out with a different seat that better suits your comfortability. By Old Town’s admission, the Topwater 120 PDL doesn’t come with many after-market accessories. An option to add some extras, like an insulated fish bag or an ice chest would be a welcome addition.

Who Is It Perfect For?

This is an excellent product for anyone who likes spending time on the water. It comfortably seats a person ranging from 4”11’ to 6”5’. If you are taller than 6’5, then this kayak might not be an excellent fit for you.

It performs best on flat water lakes and ponds, so it’s perfect for kayakers looking to take a leisurely pedal kayak experience or serious anglers who are looking to bring in their next catch. It is intended for both salt and freshwater use, so whether you’re in a pond, lake, or on the sea, the Topwater 120 PDL is appropriate for your needs.

While this kayak meets the needs of anyone looking to spend time on the water, the model is designed mainly for anglers looking for an exceptional fishing experience. It provides a stability that allows anglers the balance needed to cast a line. It permits a completely hands-free experience.

At 12 feet long, its length allows for 75 pounds of extra carrying capacity, a larger front hatch, and best of all, a third rod holder. All of these features enable prime fishing performance, making the Topwater 120 PDL Old Town’s best kayak for anglers.

Our Final Verdict

The Old Town Topwater 120 PDL is a quality kayak and comes highly recommended. Its unmatched stability and ease on the water make for an excellent experience on the water. We love the boat’s reverse function, which allows for precise maneuvering, and the craft is nearly impossible to tip.
The ability to stand on the platform when wrangling a fish without the fear of tipping is a priceless feature that any angler will appreciate in their watercraft. Whether you’re trying to land a fish or merely paddle around enjoying the water, the Topwater 120 PDL provides a smooth and enjoyable ride.

See you on the water!

Article Author
Robert Walker has been a Kayak enthusiast for over a decade. He's owned several different Kayak's, but only recently got into Pedal Kayaks in the last few years. This website is Robert's way of sharing his passion for Pedal Kayak's with the world.