On the water.Touching in a 4.4 meters long the 440 is a big girl. Her length is what gives the room to carry so much equipment while maintaining a relatively high hull speed through the water. For the average person this means a speed of 5-6km per hour, and for a good paddler more like 7. This is great when you consider how much gear us kayak fishermen typically carry.
With a width of 770mm she is a girl that has a big bum (and we all love a bit of booty!) What we love about hers is that it’s flat, which means that she’s stable. My customers regularly comment on how safe a sturdy this kayak feels, and that’s purely down to the fact that her flat hull keeps her locked to the water, which reduces the rolling effect that’s common in other kayaks.
Fishing.Without a doubt fishing is what this kayak is designed for. With eight rod holders, a front, rear and tackle well, it’s fair to say that she can carry a fair amount of kit. My personal best is four rods, associated tackle, free diving kit, a limit of scallops and crays plus a few snapper. This was all for one big day of adventure out around Motiti Island…and what a day it was!
Storage capacity is fairly critical for kayak fishermen and I believe that the 440 has got most things covered. In the front is the open gear well. The average person might think that the front compartment is pretty useless in a kayak (because you can’t reach it when on the water) but it really comes into it’s own when you’re doing longer trips that require a lot of gear. This is where I typically stow my free diving gear because it has the space for the long fins. It’s also a really handy place for stashing a kingfish if you’re lucky enough to score one of them.
In the center of the kayak in the 28L tackle well. Pretty standard in most fishing kayaks these days, but add in a tackle pod and it becomes a bit more of a beast. Directly below this is the softbait storage well. This area was designed to hold a fish finder, but anglers found it was more useful for tackle. Personally I like to keep my regularly used items in it - pliers, knife, and a few hunks of bait. In the rear is the fish hold. Like the tackle well, it’s nothing special but add in a fish pod and you’ve got a lot more versatility.
Cruising.Let’s face it…the average kayak fisherman always has to get permission from the war department before they buy a kayak. Their typical condition is “it must be something the whole family can use”. That’s where the 440 comes into her own. Yes she’s big and has all the fishing bling, but the truth is anyone can paddler her. I know this because I use her for all my scenic kayaking tours…. my fleet has done more laps of Mount Maunganui than most runners!
It doesn’t matter if it’s mucking around at the beach or scenic kayaking on the lake, the 440 is a great kayak for any and all types of trips. So why would you use her over a sea kayak? For the same two reasons as we use her for fishing – gear storage and stability. Any adult, of any ability level, will be able to jump straight on and have a lot of fun. That’s the basic reason why I use them for the NZ Kayaker fleet.
Conclusion.As you can see, I have a soft spot for the 440. She’s proven extremely safe and reliable for me as a tour operator, and I have no doubt that there’s still a place for her in the New Zealand market. To put it simply, if you’re after a stable, responsive, and good all round fishing kayak, you can’t go past the Viking Profish 440.
Specs (without rudder).Length: 4.37m
Carrying capacity: 180kg
Stability rating: 10/10
Click here to purchase a Profish 440