Kayak bass fishing

Inside Elite Kayaks: Combs’ Old Town Kayak

Keith Combs is best known as a Bassmaster Elite Series pro, but he loves to spend time in his <a href=
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keith Combs is best known as a Bassmaster Elite Series pro, but he loves to spend time in his Old Town Predator PDL kayak when he’s not traveling the country. Here is a look at his kayak and why these little vessels are perfect fishing platforms.
Transporting his kayaks is a breeze with a Yakima kayak trailer. It’s very light but sturdy enough to handle the rigors of the road. And it folds up for storage.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Transporting his kayaks is a breeze with a Yakima kayak trailer. It’s very light but sturdy enough to handle the rigors of the road. And it folds up for storage.
The wheels of this kayak trailer look like souped-up bike tires, but Keith Combs said they are tough and include bearings that don’t limit travel speeds.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The wheels of this kayak trailer look like souped-up bike tires, but Keith Combs said they are tough and include bearings that don’t limit travel speeds.
Prominent lights ensure other drivers know exactly what Combs is doing while on the road. And because they are LEDs they will last for years.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Prominent lights ensure other drivers know exactly what Combs is doing while on the road. And because they are LEDs they will last for years.
Pull a cotter pin and unlock the tongue to begin the process of folding the Yakima trailer so it can be stored flat against a wall.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Pull a cotter pin and unlock the tongue to begin the process of folding the Yakima trailer so it can be stored flat against a wall.
The trailer features shock absorbers on independent suspension that ensure both wheels maintain contact for safe, stable travel. A cotter pin allows the wheels to be folded for storage.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The trailer features shock absorbers on independent suspension that ensure both wheels maintain contact for safe, stable travel. A cotter pin allows the wheels to be folded for storage.
Keith Comb’s Yakima kayak trailer is tough and carries 250 pounds with the stock suspension. Upgrade the suspension and you can boost the carrying capacity to 350 pounds.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keith Comb’s Yakima kayak trailer is tough and carries 250 pounds with the stock suspension. Upgrade the suspension and you can boost the carrying capacity to 350 pounds.
The Element Seating System allows Keith Combs to adjust the seat to ensure he’s positioned perfectly to allow him to work the PDL propulsion system. The seat construction allows all-day fishing in complete comfort.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Element Seating System allows Keith Combs to adjust the seat to ensure he’s positioned perfectly to allow him to work the PDL propulsion system. The seat construction allows all-day fishing in complete comfort.
The heart of the PDL propulsion system is the two-blade prop that pushes an amazing amount of water, allowing Keith Combs to easily position his kayak to effectively work any cover.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The heart of the PDL propulsion system is the two-blade prop that pushes an amazing amount of water, allowing Keith Combs to easily position his kayak to effectively work any cover.
Even though his kayak is pedal-driven, Keith Combs always has a two-piece kayak paddle strapped to the side of his boat.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Even though his kayak is pedal-driven, Keith Combs always has a two-piece kayak paddle strapped to the side of his boat.
The paddle is held out of the way with a secure clip system on the side of the kayak.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The paddle is held out of the way with a secure clip system on the side of the kayak.
A life preserver is a critical piece of gear for any kayak angler. Keith Combs always wears one just in case he falls out of his kayak. It’s important to have life preserver that allows full movement while reaching for tackle, casting and fighting bass.
Photo: Andy Crawford - A life preserver is a critical piece of gear for any kayak angler. Keith Combs always wears one just in case he falls out of his kayak. It’s important to have life preserver that allows full movement while reaching for tackle, casting and fighting bass.
The rudder folds up for storage while traveling.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The rudder folds up for storage while traveling.
One of the beautiful things about a kayak is that it can be dropped into the water anywhere.
Photo: Andy Crawford - One of the beautiful things about a kayak is that it can be dropped into the water anywhere.
Two rod holders behind the seat keep Keith Combs’ primary rods within easy reach. A large, open storage area with bungies keep other rods and tackle securely in place.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Two rod holders behind the seat keep Keith Combs’ primary rods within easy reach. A large, open storage area with bungies keep other rods and tackle securely in place.
Keith Combs uses his paddle for pushing off from the bank and maneuvering when he is too shallow to use the propulsion system.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keith Combs uses his paddle for pushing off from the bank and maneuvering when he is too shallow to use the propulsion system.
Keith Combs keeps his tackle selection simple, since there’s limited storage on the small craft. He uses a single Bass Mafia box to contain all the tackle he’ll use for the day.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keith Combs keeps his tackle selection simple, since there’s limited storage on the small craft. He uses a single Bass Mafia box to contain all the tackle he’ll use for the day.
Keith Combs stores his tacklebox below the seat of his kayak so he can quickly switch lures.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keith Combs stores his tacklebox below the seat of his kayak so he can quickly switch lures.
The rudder of the kayak allows Keith Combs to turn his craft on a dime.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The rudder of the kayak allows Keith Combs to turn his craft on a dime.
The Old Town PDL Drive propulsion system is powered by pedals that turn a prop, providing ample power for even windy days. The propulsion system also locks into the hull, preventing water from welling up in the bottom of the kayak.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Old Town PDL Drive propulsion system is powered by pedals that turn a prop, providing ample power for even windy days. The propulsion system also locks into the hull, preventing water from welling up in the bottom of the kayak.
This handle deploys the rudder from a stowed position.
Photo: Andy Crawford - This handle deploys the rudder from a stowed position.
A switch on the left side of the hull turns the rudder that steers the boat right and left.
Photo: Andy Crawford - A switch on the left side of the hull turns the rudder that steers the boat right and left.
Everything Keith Combs needs, from his tackle to his rods to the paddle, is located within easy reach.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Everything Keith Combs needs, from his tackle to his rods to the paddle, is located within easy reach.
Waterproof storage is located inside the hull for any extra gear.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Waterproof storage is located inside the hull for any extra gear.
Old Town’s PDL Drive system is powerful, pushing the boat at high speeds that leave a wake behind the kayak.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Old Town’s PDL Drive system is powerful, pushing the boat at high speeds that leave a wake behind the kayak.
One of the beauties of fishing out of a kayak is the ability to get in waters larger boats can’t reach.
Photo: Andy Crawford - One of the beauties of fishing out of a kayak is the ability to get in waters larger boats can’t reach.
The stable design of the kayak keeps Keith Combs safe, even when he turns to reach for gear behind the seat.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The stable design of the kayak keeps Keith Combs safe, even when he turns to reach for gear behind the seat.
The Old Town Predator hull is so stable, Combs can stand to fish if he needs a higher vantage point or wants to stretch his legs.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The Old Town Predator hull is so stable, Combs can stand to fish if he needs a higher vantage point or wants to stretch his legs.
The PDL Drive propulsion system keeps his hands free to fish while he positions his kayak to most effectively pick apart his target.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The PDL Drive propulsion system keeps his hands free to fish while he positions his kayak to most effectively pick apart his target.
Keith Combs’ kayak doesn’t even wobble when setting the hook hard on a bass.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Keith Combs’ kayak doesn’t even wobble when setting the hook hard on a bass.
The sturdy construction of the Old Town provides a stable platform for battling and landing hard-fighting bass.
Photo: Andy Crawford - The sturdy construction of the Old Town provides a stable platform for battling and landing hard-fighting bass.
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Kayak anglers might not be able to move around a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch a lot of fish. In fact, Keith Combs said it makes him a better angler because he learns how to fish an area harder and more thoroughly.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Kayak anglers might not be able to move around a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch a lot of fish. In fact, Keith Combs said it makes him a better angler because he learns how to fish an area harder and more thoroughly.