Bonafide, a relatively new name, has established its name in the industry by delivering quality and innovative products. Because of the performance and durability of their products, it has become the go-to brand for many anglers, including myself. In this article, we will take an in-depth review of their new vessel, the SS127.
SS127 is a sit-on-top/stand fishing kayak loaded with a plethora of features to make your fishing an absolute delight. It essentially has everything one needs to have in a fishing kayak. Be it comfort, convenience, workability, or storage, it checks all the boxes.
Table of Contents
- Bonafide SS127 Review - Is It Worth All the Hype?
- Construction Material - You Can Rely On
- Hull Design - Epitome Of Versatility
- Seating - As Comfortable As it Gets
- Stability - Currents Would Not Flip It Upside Down
- Maneuverability - Steer It Like Your Powered Steering Car
- Storage Compartments - Enough To Stash Everything Inside
- Gear Mounting - Everything That You Need On A Fishing Kayak
- Value Of Money - Worth Every Single Penny
- Bonafide RS117 Vs Bonafide SS127 - A Sibling Rivalry
- Bonafide SS107 vs Bonafide SS127
- FAQs About Bonafide SS127
Bonafide SS127 Specifications:
No. of Paddles
12 ft 7 in/33.75 in
Bonafide SS127 Review - Is It Worth All the Hype?
Bonafide is marketing this kayak as a “Utility Kayak”. What does that mean? As per Bonafide, it is made to fit a variety of fishing applications. Though there is no perfect kayak for every situation, this is probably the closest you can get, that fits a variety of scenarios.
The reason behind that is the newly designed “Hybrid Catamaran Hull”. Some of the kayaks cut the wind effectively while the others remain stable even on currents. The point is, each kayak has its own unique purpose to serve.
However, in this case, Bonafide gathered all the data from these kayaks and studied it extensively. After long research, they optimized the numbers and implemented them in their 12SS kayak. This is what made this kayak versatile and enabled it to serve a variety of roles. We will discuss more details about design in the dedicated sections but for now, there is a quick overview of highlights of kayaks.
It features a Hybrid Cat Hull design for smooth sailing and easy maneuverability. Besides that, there are quite a few storage compartments with enough capacity to store all of your equipment. The seat of the vessel is extremely comfortable where you can sit almost the entire day without getting tired. Apart from these, some of the highlights in this kayak are:
- Sliding under-seat junk drawer
- DryPod with transducer through-hull scupper
- Multiple rods and paddle management points
- HiRise seating which provides a high bass boat like position
- Boss strap rod management system
- Low profile decking fittings
- Deck traction pads
- Replaceable dual stern skid plates
Construction Material - You Can Rely On
The construction material in this boat is polyethylene which is best for kayaks for several reasons. For starters, it is a strong material and sails smoothly on the water without moving either up or down in the water. In addition, there is a bit of flex in this material which is helpful when it comes to contact with underwater bodies.
However, in order to increase its life, you would have to store it somewhere away from direct sunlight. There is no protective coating on this boat to protect it against UV-rays, so this is the trouble you would have to go through.
Apart from that, there is nothing much to discuss in this area of the boat. The point is, with adequate precautionary measures and proper maintenance, you are looking at years with this boat.
Hull Design - Epitome Of Versatility
As we already mentioned, the design of this kayak is a blend of different kayak designs which makes it versatile. The bow is fairly close to a traditional design but as you move up you will notice a transition. It becomes wider at the center that improves the buoyancy and keeps it stable on the water.
Now since the kayak is getting all the buoyancy it needs from that single part, it does not need to be wide entirely. So, instead of making the front wider as well, Bonafide has shaped it in a streamlined manner. Now, that wider part of the body keeps it stable while the streamlined part cuts through the current to keep it on track.
Consequently, you do not only get a stable boat but the one that keeps on track and is easy to maneuver as well.
Seating - As Comfortable As it Gets
Fishing is a game of patience, whoever loses its first loses the game. Keeping that in mind, Bonafide has designed a seat where you can sit an entire day without losing it. The company has implemented a Hi-Rise seating system that is arguably the best feature of this boat.
In this, you would get an ultra-high back seat that allows you to sit with your knees bent, taking pressure off the lower back. In addition, both seat and back support are well-padded that keeps you comfortable all day long.
Furthermore, if you want to dig and cover some distance, the SeatRack, and the foldable seat allow quick conversion into a lower position.
While sitting on the top, it improves your view and gives you a better vantage point for casting. However, in case you want to cast it accurately you always stand up on the kayak for that. The skid-resistant transaction pads will make sure you don’t fall into the water while doing it.
Stability - Currents Would Not Flip It Upside Down
Stability is the key feature that defines the performance of kayaks but it is even more valued in fishing kayaks. In these kayaks, you have to move a lot on the deck and in case it is not stable it would flip upside down.
Therefore, Bonafide has paid special attention to it in their 127SS. At almost 13 feet, it provides stability that is hard to find in kayaks with streamlined designs. The key lies in the width of the kayak which is wider in the rear and gets narrower at the front.
It keeps the lower area of the boat in constant contact with water which keeps it steady. The front part being streamlined makes it easy to maneuver in water regardless of the conditions.
Maneuverability - Steer It Like Your Powered Steering Car
The streamlined design of the kayak has made it one of the easily maneuverable kayaks that are available. The narrow tip of the boat cuts the water effectively and adjusts the direction of the course. All it would take is a powerful stroke in the direction you want it to move and it will adjust its path.
The problem with these designs is, the front of the kayaks often keeps them out of the water. However, in this case, there is a storage compartment at the front and its weight keeps it dipped inside water. Therefore, you would be able to steer it with ease that is not possible in the majority of kayaks.
Storage Compartments - Enough To Stash Everything Inside
There is a lot of equipment and accessories you need to carry with you on a fishing expedition. However, to carry it, all your kayaks need to have enough storage capacity and compartments. Fortunately, in this case, you would get plenty of storage compartments and capacity as well.
At the bow, you would find a hatch that is water-proof and can store most of your stuff. However, in case you run out of space in there, nothing to worry about because the other areas have got you covered. On the back of the boat, there is a tank well that is covered with a bungee cord.
In this area, you can attach a plastic tray where you can keep all the stuff you want constant accessibility to. You can also fit in a cooler here. However, you need to tie it tightly with a bungee cord to make sure it does not fall into the water while you are on it.
The compartment that impresses me the most is the one in the deck designed to hold a transducer. It extends down in water through a scupper hole from where the transducer makes contact with water. This is an innovative design and comes in handy especially when you are not catching fish.
You can attach a transducer to it and then track the areas where the fish population is denser. In most cases, you have to attach this device with a rod holder that takes a lot of space. However, thanks to this, you would not have to sacrifice your rod space which will increase the chances of a catch.
Gear Mounting - Everything That You Need On A Fishing Kayak
Bonafide has made a deck layout for what they call “ultimate fishable”. It means that all things are in the right places and work the way they are supposed to. They have paid attention to every detail on this kayak and executed it in a remarkable fashion.
In order to do so, the company had to build a lot of custom compartments each to serve a specific purpose. If you take a detailed look from the bow to the stern you will notice several different attachment points.
The first one at the bow is the “Boss Strap”, designed to hold your paddles and rods that are not being used. Right beneath this strap, there is a landing pad designed specifically to quiet things down. It ensures whenever you put the paddles or rod on it, it does not have that clicky harsh sound. Yeah right! they got it to every detail.
Moving on, the next thing you run into is the YakAttack gear tracks. These are top-loading gear tracks and are four in number. Two of them are about five inches long at the front facing the bulkhead. The remaining two are at the sides of the gunnel that are about 12 inches long.
Value Of Money - Worth Every Single Penny
The price of this kayak can be best termed as mid to high range, so it is not for everybody but is it worth it? Yes, right to every penny you spend on it. Why? First, you would not have to spend extra money to modify the boat as per your requirements. Bonafide has got this thing to every detail in a perfect way.
Secondly, it offers a lot of features that you don’t usually see in kayaks that come in this price range. Double header hinges that allow you to open the compartment from both sides is something I saw for the first time in a kayak.
In addition, the company has used strong and sturdy material to construct this boat. Apart from the durable polyethylene, you would see several other materials on this kayak as well. Aluminum braces, aluminum gear tracks, all of these things do not come cheap.
Therefore, the company had to price it a little higher than its competitors. Now, it is for you to decide between quality or saving a couple of hundred bucks. If you are looking for a somewhat cheaper model that can compete with it to some extent is Vibe’s Sea Ghost 130.
Bonafide RS117 Vs Bonafide SS127 - A Sibling Rivalry
Both of these boats are fishing vessels and have only slight but significant differences in design. For starters, the design of RS177 is a bit narrow which might be a problem when you are sailing over the currents. This design is susceptible to flipping when you take it out in rough weather conditions. Because of the narrower design, it fails to make contact with water and flipped on its side.
Contrary to that, SS127 has a wider design which allows it to sail smoothly even in rough waters. Its wider body maintains constant contact with water and keeps it stable regardless of conditions.
In RS177, there are two-rod holders with each side of the boat having one. The SS127, on the other hand, has none which is kind of a bummer. These holders carry great significance in fishing boats because they hold the rods conveniently.
Bonafide SS107 vs Bonafide SS127
Bonafide SS107 is essentially the smaller version of Bonafide SS127. It comes at a length of 10ft 7 inches as opposed to 12 ft 7 inches of SS127.
Therefore, the only differences you can naturally expect are storage capacity, the actual weight of the kayak, and the price.
Bonafide SS127 has a maximum capacity of 475 pounds as compared to 425 of the SS107.
In addition, SS127 weighs 94 pounds, whereas SS107 weighs 67 pounds.
When we talk about price, Bonafide SS127 comes at around $1600, whereas you can get your hands on SS107 at around $1300.
FAQs About Bonafide SS127
The Bonafide SS127 is the ultimate solution to all of your fishing problems. It is a feature-rich high-end kayak that checks all the right boxes and comes with features to make your experience a delight. The seating is comfortable that keeps you calm regardless of how hard the day is. Furthermore, it is stable in a variety of conditions, so you can take it out regardless of the condition out there.
Although we can be critical of the price somewhat, it has the features and the construction to justify the price. In the end, I would like to say, this kayak does not limit your experience but makes it better and improved. Therefore, if you have some money lying around this is an excellent opportunity to make good use of it.
This is all we had on the Bonafide SS127 review. If you have any queries or would like a boat to be reviewed, do comment and we would love to respond.