New gear review

Bonafide’s RS117

With all the buzz around new pedal drive kayaks, Bonafide launched a new paddle kayak that is feature-packed for serious kayak anglers at an entry level price. Bonafide is a sister company of the wildly popular kayak accessory brand, YakAttack. Having made their mark amongst a dedicated following of kayak anglers, Bonafide was a natural progression of YakAttack’s reputation for innovation and high-quality products. The RS117 is the newest addition to their initial model line.

Bonafide’s design team incorporated many high-end kayak features into this low-cost, stable fishing machine. When choosing a paddle kayak, ease of paddling and tracking are a major deciding factor. The RS117 checks off both of those marks. Besides adding unquestionable stability, the RS117’s hybrid Cat Hull design also provides reasonable speed and arrow-straight tracking. This is far from a cheap, big-box plastic boat. It is packed with angler-friendly features found on many high-end ‘yaks. Oversized, integrated handles make carrying and loading a breeze. Front and rear gear wells provide plenty of on-deck storage and a MiniTub hatch provides secure, dry storage for cell phone, keys, wallets and other valuable items. The ample flat deck with non-skid traction pads makes standing easy and comfortable. Gear tracks, paddle parks and two rear flush rod holders make the RS117 a fishing-ready platform.

The rear tankwell accommodates a variety of ice chests, crates or buckets, and has plenty of flat surfaces for easy customization options. A rear plate makes accessing the interior hull easy for securely adding accessories. Mighty Mount tracks on either side of the cockpit and a large, adjustable seat provides for additional storage underneath and all-day comfort. And it has dual skid plates at the rear to protect the hull for those launch sites where dragging is necessary. It comes ready to add your favorite electronics, including a transducer scupper with inserts.

The RS117 is a perfect kayak for anglers looking for comfort, performance and stability — without sacrificing quality or emptying your wallet. Well thought out and laid out, the RS117 is a premium kayak at an entry level price.

MSRP: $999.99

*Pre-production specs-may vary slightly for final production this fall.

Length: 11’7”

Width: 33.5”

Weight: 75 pounds

Capacity: 425 pounds

Deck Height: 11.5”

Colors: Endless Summer Aqua, Hondo Orange, True Grit Sand, Top Gun Gray and Cool Hand Blue

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About Chris Holmes 230 Articles
Chris Holmes has kayak fished in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and many places in between.