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