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Bonafide SS127 Kayak Review

By: Kayak Guru
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The Bonafide SS127 is a sit-on-top fishing kayak that has been designed and made in the USA for optimum stability and maximum comfort.

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  • Length: 12 foot 7 inches
  • Width: 33.75 inches
  • Depth: 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 94 pounds (fully rigged)
  • Weight Capacity: 475 pounds

This is a kayak that’s built for “ultimate fishability”. This means it can be an ideal option for kayak anglers looking for a durable kayak that can handle a long day on the water.

With excellent stability and a cat-style hull, this fishing kayak is designed for easy stand-up casting from the padded fishing platform.

There’s plenty of space for your fishing gear, including a rear tank well, hinged bow hatch, rod management system, and gear tracks to mount accessories.

This is a pretty sizeable kayak. It is not lightweight or compact, which could mean you need to think a little more about how you’ll transport it and where you’ll store it. If you’re looking for a lightweight, portable kayak, this is not for you.

Who Is The Bonafide SS127 For?

The Bonafide SS127 is a stand-up fishing kayak. It’s aimed at kayak anglers of all skill levels, including tournament level.

It has excellent stability which can make it feel comfortable if you’re a beginner. However, it’s generally not designed as a starter kayak because of its feature-packed deck, size, and price tag.

It’s designed to handle a range of water environments, from surf and choppy water to flatwater. This makes it ideal if you like to fish in a variety of locations. While it can handle all waters, you’ll find it performs best on flatwater and slow-moving rivers.

It has lots of space on deck, allowing plenty of room for standing and ample space for fishing gear or camping equipment. You can also add your own accessories to customize the kayak to suit your needs.

This is not a particularly compact boat, so it might not be the best kayak for fishing in narrow rivers or small ponds. If you’re looking to fish in small rivers you may want to opt for a shorter kayak.

Thanks to its high level of stability and its weight, it’s also not the fastest kayak. But speed is probably not an issue for most kayak anglers.

However, if speed is important to you in a fishing kayak, a pedal kayak might be a better option. Or you could upgrade the SS127 with an aftermarket trolling motor for additional power.

Bonafide SS127: The Main Features You Need To Know About

Exceptional Stability

One of the key features of the Bonafide SS127 is its stable hull. The hull has a hybrid catamaran hull, like a pontoon boat. This means it offers exceptional stability in a range of water conditions, including rough water. It’s also difficult to flip.

Video: Bonafide Kayak SS127: Can It Flip & Is It Fast?

It offers great performance on flatwater, such as backwaters and slow-moving rivers. It can also be good on open water, such as the ocean or large lakes. But you may struggle to turn or track straight in wind or waves.

Because of its heavy weight, it can also be difficult to paddle in wind or choppy water, especially if you’re new to kayaking.

The high level of stability helps you stay on your feet while you’re standing to cast or reeling in a big fish. The deck has traction pads to provide grip as well as minimize noise. The deck padding can also provide traction for your dog’s paws if your four-legged friend enjoys tagging along.

As well as the padded deck, there are also PerchPads on the gunwales so you can stand on the sides safely with improved grip under your feet.

Comfortable Seating System

Comfort is important when you’re spending a long time on the water waiting for your prize catch.

It has a HiRise seat that has breathable mesh padding and lumbar support. The great thing about this seat is that it can be positioned in an ultra-high bass boat position for greater visibility and improved sight fishing. This can also let you sit more comfortably above the deck with your knees bent.

It can also be easily lowered while you’re on the water when it’s time to paddle to a new spot.

The seat frame also folds if you want it out of the way. You can even remove it to use the seat on land to eat lunch.

For added support and stability, you’ll find adjustable foot braces that slide on a durable anodized aluminum track.

> More on kayak seats

Fishing Gear Management

This kayak has plenty of storage space for all your fishing gear. The large rear tank well with Omni Hook tie-down system offers ample space for a fishing crate or cooler. There’s also a stern access plate in the tank well for access to the hull.

The large bow hatch has a Doubleheader hinged lid and can offer excellent covered storage. The Doubleheader hinges mean the hatch can open both from the cockpit side or the bow side for added convenience and easy access whether you’re sitting in the kayak or loading it from the land.

You’ll find a center console for electronics, which can be removed if necessary. This gives you dry storage space for a battery with room to install your fish finder (sold separately) on the top. The dry box has a through-hull transducer scupper.

Another great feature of this kayak is the rod and tackle management system, including horizontal rod holders. The Junk Drawer slides out from under the seat to give you easy access to smaller items that you need most frequently. This can be ideal for storing tools and tackle trays.

You’ll also find paddle storage options, including in the side carry handle.

Customizable

Another excellent feature of this durable fishing kayak is the YakAttack aluminum gear tracks. This can let you install additional accessories such as camera mounts, rod holders, or GPS devices without having to drill into the hull.

It’s also possible to add aftermarket accessories such as a rudder system or an electric trolling motor. There are mounting points at both the bow and stern.

The SS127 is also Power-Pole Micro Anchor-ready so you can attach an anchor system (sold separately). This can be an ideal feature if you fish in currents, for example to help you hold your kayak’s position in shallow rivers.

We’ve found lots of other kayak anglers saying positive things about the Bonafide SS127. Like this guy, who had a successful day of bass fishing on his maiden voyage.

Bonafide SS127 Alternatives

Old Town Sportsman BigWater 132

The Old Town Sportsman BigWater 132 is a little larger than the SS127 but around the same price.

It’s designed for oceans, large lakes, and bays. Like the SS127, it has a stable hull that’s built for easy standing up. It has deck padding for traction and a stand-assist strap to help you find your footing.

This is packed with fishing features, including a fully-adjustable seat, excellent storage space, including splash-proof storage for your phone and rod holders.

At 13-foot 2-inches long, this is a large kayak, which can be great for open water but it may not be the best choice for small rivers. It’s also pretty heavy (92-pounds with the seat).

Pros

  • Great storage
  • Ideal for ocean fishing
  • Adjustable seating system

Cons

  • Heavy

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

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The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 can be a good alternative if you’re looking for a kayak that can get you to your honey hole with a little less effort. This is a narrower fishing kayak that can offer improved speed as well as stability.

However, this kayak is not built for standing.

The Phase 3 AirPro seat is fully adjustable for added comfort. The seat is not elevated, which could be preferable if you like your seat in a lower and more comfortable paddling position.

It has excellent storage, including a dry hatch at the bow and a mesh-covered rear tank well. It also has gear tracks for adding accessories.

Pros

  • Efficient hull design
  • Accessory tracks
  • Fully adjustable seating system

Cons

  • No standing platform

> Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 review

Perception Outlaw 11.5

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The Perception Outlaw 11.5 can be an excellent kayak if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the SS127. It can also be ideal for beginners or if you’re after a low-profile kayak for fly fishing.

This is a more compact kayak, which can be easier to maneuver in smaller bodies of water and more convenient to transport and store.

Like the SS127, it’s built for stand-up fishing, with incredible stability and a padded deck. It has an elevated mesh seat, plenty of room for gear, including bow and stern tank wells, plus double barrel rod holders.

However, it doesn’t have any dry storage.

Pros

  • Very stable
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • No dry storage

> Perception Outlaw 11.5 review

Bonafide SS127 FAQs

Does The SS127 Come With A Paddle?

No, the Bonafide SS127 does not include a paddle. But you can purchase a paddle separately to make sure you get one that’s a suitable size for you and your style of paddling.

Can You Stand And Fish From This Kayak?

Yes, this is a very stable kayak that is specifically designed for standing up, allowing for easier and more comfortable casting and reeling in.

Can You Add A Trolling Motor Or Rudder?

Yes, you can add an aftermarket rudder kit or trolling motor to the SS127. You may need to purchase additional mounts before you install either a rudder or trolling motor.

Conclusion: Is The SS127 Any Good?

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Pros

  • Super stable
  • Padded standing deck
  • Comfortable seat
  • Excellent storage space

Cons

  • Heavy

The Bonafide SS127 can be an excellent kayak if you’re looking for the ultimate fishing kayak for backwaters and lakes. It has incredible stability with its cat-style hull, letting you stand up easily for more comfortable fishing.

It also has excellent storage options, with both open and covered storage space to keep fishing equipment easy to access from the comfortable seat.

If this sounds like a boat you can get on board with, check it out here. Let us know what you think of it and remember to share this review with your fellow anglers.

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