If you want to take your kayaking a small step above “beginner”, you should definitely stick around for our Vibe Yellowfin 100 review. Though Vibe has only been around for the past 5 years, they’ve made quite a name for themselves in the kayaking community. That's one of the reasons why we featured their top-tier fishing kayak in our Fin Bin Best Kayaks Guide.
Most of it has to do with the fact that they make an array of kayaks for all different skill levels so that anyone can share and enjoy the same passion that got them on their journey in the first place. Any brand that is a built on a foundation of passion for the outdoors is one we absolutely love.
When it came to designing the Yellowfin, there was an obvious desire to build something simple yet durable for those who were just getting out on the water. This is not your average plastic kayak that you would pick up from WalMart. If you want to know all about the Yellowfin 100 to see if it’s for you, make sure to stick around throughout our review!
The Yellowfin 100
Features and Benefits
The first thing we want to discuss is the seat on the Vibe Yellowfin 100. It’s insanely comfortable, especially for a sit-in kayak that you typically find with plastic bottoms. It’s a soft plush-style mesh fabric that, not only creates great butt and back support, but also stays nice and dry throughout the day. It breathes very well and is adjustable with the tug of the side straps. Though it may not seem like the most important feature, having a comfortable seat for a 4-5 hour fishing ordeal out on the water means the difference between a good and bad day. At the very front of the seat, it is equipped with small straps that keep the seat secured nice and tightly in case you were worried about accidentally jumping ship.
The design of the kayak is very durable as well. As we mentioned, it’s made from high-density polyethylene, a very popular and sturdy material that many high-end kayaks are manufactured with. We were very surprised that, at its size, the Yellowfin 100 can support up to 375lbs. Most other kayaks we see of this length and width realistically hold up to about 250lbs. This is great if you’re a bigger guy or gal.
The included paddle is a nice accessory, as many kayak manufacturers don’t include paddles. The best part about this specific paddle is that it works extremely well for an array of paddling styles in flat and slower moving waters. The blade is made of a durable polypropylene, attached to even more durable aluminum shaft. It is an all-together lightweight, sturdy, and responsive paddle that is great for beginners and experts alike. It also includes a pair of drip rings and a small, two-piece snap button so that you can set the ferrule angles to 0 to 60 left or right.
The 4 easy-grip handles that they have included on the side act as a nice touch to make transportation more efficient and effective. They’re made from a thick, rubber-like material that is screwed onto the sides of the boat so you don’t have to ever worry about them coming off or fraying like rope handles. Though you may not actually need 4 people to carry this thing down to the beach, as it is only 57lbs, it’s always helpful to have more options in the haul than not.
Right in front of the seat there is a standard-size cup holder, which is great for beers, sodas, or whatever else your thirsty heart desires. The cool thing about it is it is actually depressed deep enough into the hull to ACTUALLY hold your drink if waters get a bit rougher. We only say this because tons of other kayaks we have seen seem to cut corners when it comes to building a legitimate cup holder.
Vibe did a great job with including a pair of foot braces at the front too. Typically inexpensive kayaks come without them and make you modify if you want that extra comfort. They certainly make kayaking a ton more enjoyable, as you feel sturdy in your turns and have more stability if you ultimately decide to fish. They are also easily adjustable, as to accommodate you or the little ones.
The gear mounting capabilities on the Yellowfin 100 are what truly make this a great fishing kayak. For starters, they decided to install 4 capped flush mount fishing rod holders on the side so that you can bring along the whole collection and have multiple spots to store them. It’s very beneficial that they are capped and sealed shut so that when they are not in use, they’re not filling up with water, dirt, or anything else. They are also built much deeper than most other kayaks we find, which is great if you feel a bit sketchy about putting your rods in there and paddling out. We also see tons of people using these rod holders as GoPro holders instead, just in case you’re thinking of making your kayaking experience a cinematic one.
Instead of the molded-in paddle holders that we see on many kayaks these days, they decided to install 2 side bungee paddle parks so that you can bungee your paddles on easily. Honestly not sure why most kayak manufacturers aren’t using this same design. Lastly, if you are an accessory guru and use any camera mounts, sea lights, anchor locks, or anything else made by Vibe, Scotty, or RAM, the Yellowfin comes equipped with a convenient mounting point so that no modification is required.
As for storage, there is quite a bit for the size. For starters, as with most kayaks we see on the market these days, the Yellowfin 100 comes with a molded-in rear tankwell topped with a large adjustable bungee. This is great for backpacks, shoes, or small tackle boxes. On the front of the hull and right in front of the seat, there are 2 29” water-sealed hatches with dry bags. These are perfect for things you want to keep dry such as cellphones, wallets, etc. Lastly, Vibe decided to include 2 tackle tray holders that are built to fit the PLANO 3600 tackle tray. This makes accessing your bait incredibly easy, especially when a snapper comes out of nowhere and you need to act fast.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of water is the Vibe Yellowfin best suited for?
We would recommend using the Vibe Yellowfin in “creek” waters such as lakes, shallow ponds, rivers, or waters that are calmer. Though the kayak is surprisingly stable for its size, it was definitely not built to take out in choppier waters, as the keel is not the most stable in the world. That being said, if you are somebody who is in to trout fishing, river bass fishing, or anything of the like, the Yellowfin 100 is very suitable and fits the niche perfectly. It is also incredibly maneuverable, so you won’t have a difficult time trying to get in-between smaller crevices.
Why are smaller kayaks like the Yellowfin 100 better for rivers or lakes?
For starters, they are far more mobile than touring kayaks or other much longer kayak styles. Those longer kayaks are far better if you need to stay in a straight or are trying to paddle long distance. Secondly, it is nice that the Yellowfin 100 doesn’t weigh very much. You can easily throw it over your shoulder with all your other gear and carry it a hundred yards down to the riverbed. Not only that, but loading and unloading off of your vehicle is a piece of cake compared to other kayaks.
What is the capacity of the onboard Vibe Hero seat?
While the seat is not rated for a certain capacity from the manufacturer, we believe it is pretty strong, as the kayak itself supports up to 350lbs. To get a good idea of who it could fit, the seat is about 22” wide, 19” deep, and 19.5” high.
Does the Yellowfin 100 come equipped with a motor or pedal system?
Unfortunately not. The only way that you could install a motor or a rudder would be to drill holes in the back for a motor or under for a pedal system and try and mount them on. While it’s possible, we would not recommend doing it, as it voids the warranty.
What are the benefits of sit-on-top kayaks vs sit-in kayaks?
The Yellowfin 100 is what most people refer to as a sit-on-top kayak or SOT kayak. Some might actually refer to it as a recreational kayak or fishing kayak, though that just complicates things. There are many reasons why we would recommend getting a SOT kayak rather than a Sit-in kayak.
- They are very difficult to sink. Tons of people have the fear of accidentally tipping their kayaks over, having them fill with water, sinking to the bottom, and becoming stranded out the middle of a large lake. Fortunately, since most of the design is not flushed, they don’t fill with water. This means that you can easily flip it back over and hop on without worry. If any water ends up filling inside the cockpit, it drains out automatically through the scupper holes.
- Ease of storage and gear access. Trying to fish in a sit-in kayak can be a bit of nightmare, as you’re essentially sitting in a hole trying to reach out and over for any gear that you want to get a hold of. With a SOT kayak, you’re already sitting up top with everything that you have, typically just within arm’s reach.
- Sit-in kayaks can be very uncomfortable if you’re a bigger person. If you’re tall or on the heavier side, scraping your knees on the inner walls, scavenging for foot room, and onboard claustrophobia, are just some of the negative things you may experience in a sit-in kayak. You’ll find that using a SOT kayak will make your ride much more enjoyable and stable.
Final Thoughts – Should You Buy?
If you’re looking for a solid SOT kayak with a simple design for shorter lake or river trips, the Vibe Yellowfin 100 is an excellent choice. For the size and price, there are tons of built-in features to love, such as the insane amount of storage space, the comfortable Vibe Hero seat, the stability for fishing, and much more.
It is a well-crafted small vessel that is perfect for intermediate or advanced kayakers that are looking for something easier to maneuver. From quality to customizability in colors and accessories, Vibe has done well with this bad boy.
Vibe Yellowfin 100