You can find plenty of canoes that are more expensive and a few with more fishing oriented-features. But none of them can match the versatility and affordability of the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw Square Stern Canoe. Among all the canoes we reviewed, this is the best one.
The top priority in a fishing canoe is stability. Unless you want to spend money on stabilizers, you have to purchase a boat that is going to handle the load of reeling in a large fish. Longer canoes with flat bottoms are generally more stable than all other shapes and sizes. Additionally, a fishing canoe needs to be maneuverable. Canoes are a big advantage when it comes to fishing. A maneuverable one will get to all of the hard to reach places that a larger boat can’t. Finally, you want to consider space for equipment and fishing-specific features. You should always rank canoes based on stability over fishing features. You can get the best fishing canoe accessories out there, but they will be useless on an unstable boat.
Let’s take a look at how the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw meets these criteria.
1. Stability and Construction: The Mackinaw is constructed of polyethylene that is thermoformed to the shape of the hull. It is an abrasion-resistant and exceptionally durable material that stands up to the toughest abuse. The bottom of the Mackinaw is flat. This is exactly what you need in a fishing canoe. The flat bottom provides excellent stability on calm water. Straight sides help promote stability as well. At a total length of just over 15.5 feet, the Mackinaw is long enough to remain stable, but short enough to effectively transport.
2. Maneuverability: Straight sides also help improve paddling ease. You can handle this canoe alone if you want to. A moderate rocker, the degree of bend in the hull of the boat, allows for smooth, efficient true-tracking through the water. The Mackinaw glides right through the water without losing momentum.
3. Storage Space: The total capacity is exceptional. The Mackinaw will hold up to 800lbs of people and equipment. There is also a center bench seat with storage compartments and a 6″ hatch designed to keep water out. Storage trays and cup holders are molded right into the center console.
4. Fishing Accessories: The Mackinaw is readily adaptable for fishing and was designed with anglers in mind. Rod holders are built into the bow and center seats. Plastic molded flush mounts are ready to attach an anchor system or additional rod holders.
5. Comfort: The primary seats are batted and include seat backs for improved comfort. Paddle rests are also included in the bow and stern.
On The Water
The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw rides perfectly on the water. Some modern canoes with plastic construction don’t track well. The Mackinaw is the exception. The seat backs and padded seat bottoms are especially helpful over long trip durations. Removing the canoe from the water for portage is easy and efficient. With only 95lbs of weight, it is about as light as it can get without becoming unstable in the water. Additionally, the shorter 15″ 6′ length makes it easy to transport on a car roof or even an ATV.
It’s easy to see why this is one of the best fishing canoes you can buy. The Mackinaw is stable, comfortable, and full of utility. There are more expensive options out there, but most of the time you pay twice the price to get only modest improvements over what the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw can offer.