Bonafide Kayaks P127
Bonafide set out to craft a kayak that broke the mold when it comes to performance and stability—a combination that the company likes to refer to as “fishability.” Bonafide SS127 is described as a “high-seated” kayak, but you might never know it based on the superb stability this one has. For anyone seeking a great fishing kayak that won’t break the bank, the SS127 is tough to beat.
Size, Weight, Capacity
The Bonafide P127 has the same dimensions as the SS127 with a 12’7” (383 cm) length and a 34” (86 cm) width. It’s big enough to offer good stability, but can still be quite agile. The Bonafide P127 comes in at a moderate weight tipping the scales at 120 lbs (54 kg) when fully-rigged with the pedal system. It weighs 100 lbs (45 kg) without the Propel Pedal Drive, which is still heavier than most anglers prefer and might be difficult to cartop for some.
The Bonafide P127’s maximum capacity is 475 lbs (215 kg), which is ideal for big and tall anglers, or those who want to carry a hefty load of gear. This kayak is made to comfortably accommodate trolling motors, fish finders and any other gear anglers typically want to have with them. The Bonafide P127’s capacity makes it possible for average-sized anglers to have ample room for all their equipment with capacity to spare, which is also good to maintain better performance.
Bonafide P127 Features
The Bonafide P127 is the brand’s most feature-rich fishing kayak to date. Everything about the Bonafide P127 translates into the company’s claim that it is the “ultimate kayak fishing triple threat” as it offers the options to Pedal, Power or Paddle. Let’s examine these features from bow to stern.
On the bow and stern, there are Fat Grip retractable handles. One of the exciting new features that the Bonafide P127 offers is a power pole mount on the bow. This mount features four inserts that can accomodate a power pole or trolling motor in a ready-to-go fashion that requires no drilling or alignment on your part.
The Bonafide P127 is also equipped with the brand’s famous bow hatch that features Doubleheader hinges. This means you can easily unlatch the hatch and open it from the front and back, or you can completely remove it if necessary. This hatch has been upgraded with thicker plastic material to improve durability, as well as a drop-in bow storage bin.
The bin can also be removed, which makes it possible to store rods inside the hull. This is very convenient for transportation. Inside the bin, you’ll notice a small platform where you can mount your fish finder battery to keep it from sliding around.
The kayak also comes with two hooded rod tip covers on either side, as well as two Quickdraw rod stagers with latches. One small issue with these rod tip holders and the positioning of the rods is that your rod’s fishing line may rub up against the side of the kayak, which could cause fraying in the line, a concern for any angler.
Propel Pedal Drive
Some users might recognize the Propel Pedal Drive system. It’s the same one used for the Native brand kayaks. This is simply due to the fact that both companies are owned by Big Adventures. The highly-rated Propel Pedal Drive is a nice addition to the Bonafide kayak style and it provides some distinct advantages that lead to hands-free operation of your kayak.
The Bonafide P127’s Propel Pedal Drive is a 701 series, which has a 10:1 gear ratio and is one of the most proven pedal drive systems on the market. It is capable of instant forward and instant reverse, which gives you full control over your movement without having to worry about using your paddle to get out of tight quarters.
You can access the pedal system by removing the middle console cover and turning a latch to lift the pedal system up out of the water, then replace the same cover where the propeller can rest if you want to paddle the kayak over shallow sections of water or avoid rocks or stumps under the surface.
The two-blade propeller gives you plenty of power and most users can reach decent speed levels if you want. It’s also designed with a metal ring covering the propeller, which prevents any fishing line from becoming deeply lodged and wrapped up within the propeller.
The cockpit area isn’t as open as the one on SS127, which won’t be ideal for fly fishing. Bonafide did include the same Deck Traction pads that prevent slipping and sliding, even when wet.
The deck is designed with 8 scupper holes. Each scupper hole comes with a plug that can be removed to easily drain any excess water out. The scupper plugs do come in handy for fishing in cold weather when you want to limit the amount of water that might come through the scuppers when standing.
Hi Rise XL Width Seat
Bonafide is famous for their High-Low seat system on the SS series, but the P127 is equipped with the XL Seat system. The new seat certainly lives up to its namesake as it is more than 3” (7 cm) wider than the High-Low seat on the SS127. This is a major improvement for anglers of larger stature, or those who might simply require a bit more room in their seat. Many kayaks are notorious for having narrow seats, but the Bonafide P127 is wider and more comfortable in many respects.
The seat is equally as comfortable in terms of padding and lower-back support, but there are some concerns raised about its height and positioning in relation to the steering knob that’s located to the left of the seat.
The XL Seat is roughly 3 inches lower than the High-Low seat and doesn’t have as much storage space to hold multiple 3700 size tackle boxes like the SS series. There is a small tab which holds any tackle boxes in place under the seat to prevent them from slipping around or rattling.
You can adjust the seat fore and aft as needed, but there is no ‘low’ position setting. It should also be noted that if you are taller or like to have the seat situated further back, you won’t be able to access any tackle box under the seat from behind the seat.
The steering mechanism is located on the left of the seat. Some anglers have noted that the tip of the steering knob can go under the seat when turned at a 90-degree angle toward the starboard side. This might prevent you from making sharp turns toward this direction.
Sidekick System Mounts
There are two tracks directly behind the seat that are specially designed to hold the Bonafide Sidekick wheel system. This system is a huge convenience for loading and unloading your kayak and flips up and down very easily and can also lock into place when you’re fishing to stay behind your seat and still allow you to access your stern storage area.
These two specific gear tracks are built with molded brass inserts inside the boat which the Sidekick’s bolts attach to. There’s no need for any drilling to install the Sidekick system on the Bonafide P127.
The stern offers plenty of storage for crates, rods and other items. The Bonafide P127 comes with two flush-mounted rod holders on either side. You’ll also find two gear tracks that line both sides of the open stern well. These tracks can be used to attach any items you prefer, but they also feature a paddle holder that stores the paddle outside of the tank well.
This rear tank well is cut to allow you to have a standard milk crate or BlackPak system for optimal storage. It also features a Stern Access Plate that lets you perform any maintenance tasks needed. The P127 uses a spring-loaded rudder that’s controlled by a pull-string on the right side of the cockpit.
The stern is also fitted with a stern mounting bracket area with four inserts that makes it easy to install the trolling motor of your choice without having to drill into the kayak. This stern insert also makes it possible to install a Power Pole quickly and easily.
The Bonafide P127 is exactly what fans of the brand have been asking for since the release of the SS127. There isn’t quite as much storage room under the seat, but the P127 provides about as much as you can expect from a kayak with a premium pedal system.
It’s a very well-designed and functional kayak that is comfortable, versatile and maintains the fishability that Bonafide kayaks are known for. It’s a highly customizable kayak that lets you operate it using pedals, a paddle, or a trolling motor, which is a major advantage for serious anglers.
Specification: Bonafide Kayaks P127