As far as fun, feature-rich, and affordable watercraft go, Vibe is one of the best kayak companies in the business.
For innovative, practical, and stylish mid-range products, they’ve been designing and manufacturing exciting kayaks out of Kennesaw, Georgia, since 2013.
In fact, it was Vibe that offered the first sub-$1000 fishing kayak, and we have them to thank for making the sport more accessible to all.
They’ve developed a stunning range since those early days, and the Sea Ghost is perhaps the most popular and famous.
In this review, we take a look at the Vibe Sea Ghost 130, to see if this popularity is merited.
And, as ever, to find out if it’s the right fishing kayak for you.
Let’s dive in.
Our Verdict on the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Fishing Kayak
For a mid-range, comfortable, easy-to-use kayak that offers a great balance of performance factors in the water, there probably isn’t a better fishing kayak than the Sea Ghost 130 – especially at this price.
- The Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Fishing Kayak Review
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The Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Kayak – What is It?
The 130 is the longest and most feature-rich model in Vibe’s Sea Ghost range.
Built for a solo paddler, it is 13 feet in length, 33-inches at its widest point, and provides the ideal marriage of recreational paddling and fishing.
It has been designed to offer an impressive balance between speed and stability, and marketed at intermediate kayak anglers who are looking to up their fishing game on nearly all types of water.
Aside from its excellent performance stats, where it really excels is in its storage options, ensuring you can take an absolute mountain of stuff out with you if you so choose.
But perhaps what is most surprising about the Sea Ghost, is that it’s offered at a price that won’t spook you – especially for the features on offer, and if you ever manage to catch it on sale.
What’s it For?
As the name implies, the Sea Ghost is perfectly at home on the sea, in open water, on rivers, lakes, and ponds, as well as shoreline fishing and sleepy inlets, coves, and bays.
And it’s just as comfortable on choppy water as it is on glassy backcountry puddles. In fact, I’ve included it in this review of the best ocean-going fishing kayaks available.
The only place where it falls a little short are in fast-moving currents, so I would avoid taking the Sea Ghost on peppy rivers.
That said, I still think you’d get some mileage out of it on a bit of whitewater – just so long as it’s not too crazy.
And while you can enjoy the Sea Ghost for recreational paddling, it would be doing it a disservice if you weren’t fishing from it on a regular basis.
That’s what it’s been designed for – and who are you to deny its birthright?!
Check out the video below for a visual rundown of all the Sea Ghost 130’s features.
The Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Fishing Kayak Review
You only need to sit in the Sea Ghost 130 once to know that it feels rugged and durable, and built to last a lifetime.
Rotomolded from a single piece of high density polyethylene, it’s as solid as they come, and designed to take a beating.
I’m a big fan of products that look as durable as they feel, and feel as durable as they look – and the Sea Ghost has this in spades.
With the right storage and care, you’ll never need another fishing kayak.
Unless, like me, you have a fishing kayak purchase problem…
With the Sea Ghost 130, I think Vibe has developed one of the most balanced kayaks available when it comes to performance.
It tracks well, offers a fair bit of pace, feels sturdy in the water, and can turn with minimum fuss.
It’s one of those rare kayaks that doesn’t sacrifice one for another, and provides impressive ratings right across the board.
Let’s take a look at each factor in more detail.
The Sea Ghost’s toe-controlled rudder is a wonderful addition that helps keep you on track, and is particularly useful when you’re facing a bit of chop, or paddling into the wind.
But even without the rudder, this boat is a breeze to paddle.
Sea Ghost owners regularly comment on how well it tracks, and coupled with the other stats, ensures this kayak is a great option for people who like to stay out longer and travel further.
With its tapered, pronounced bow, the Sea Ghost is no slouch on the water, and can cut through waves and chop with minimum fuss.
You can easily muster a fair bit of pace in optimum conditions, and with a practiced paddle stroke.
Add in a good tailwind, and I think you could leave a lot of other paddlers in your wake with this kayak, which is pleasantly surprising considering its relative size.
The Sea Ghost is marketed as a kayak where speed meets stability, and at 33-inches wide, it certainly accomplishes that, with a happy medium of the two factors.
Even if you’re a human who happens to be on the larger side of the size spectrum, the Sea Ghost will put you at ease. Big and tall users regularly report finding comfort in the ‘ Ghost’s lovingly stable embrace.
But, the big question on everyone’s lips when it comes to fishing kayak stability is…
…can you stand up in it?
Yes, is the short answer.
But it’s not the most stable fishing kayak available – particularly if you are one of those aforementioned larger or heavier individuals.
For that, you might want to check out this review of the best stand-up fishing kayaks on the market, which is a run-down of the most stable fishing platforms money can buy.
Alternatively, you can also check out this review of the best fishing kayaks for larger paddlers.
Again, the Sea Ghost’s toe-rudder system is going to seriously help with maneuverability, and takes much of the effort out of turning with your paddle alone.
Put the two together, and you have an efficient turning circle, and the ability to easily negotiate any obstacles and hazards that might come your way.
Features and Accessories
Vibe are famous for packing a mountain of practical features into each and every one of their kayaks, so you get the best experience possible at each price point.
The Sea Ghost 130 is no exception.
Let’s take a look at what it offers:
- Two flush mounted rod holders.
- Four top-loading gear tracks – two at the front and two at the back.
- Fish finder transducer port (go here for some awesome kayak fish finders).
- Bow paddle park.
- Bungee paddle park at the sides.
- Two tackle tray holders.
- Raised drainage at the front hatch.
- The Vibe Versa Console in the center.
- Toe-controlled rudder system.
- Adjustable foot braces.
- Four Phantom-grip handles.
- Cup holder.
- Scupper holes.
- Drain plug.
Some points to note:
The Vibe Versa Console is an ingenious invention that’s packed with extra little touches that offer a highly practical and useful user experience.
As well as the two, watertight mini-hatches (more on storage features, below), it has a magnetic tackle tray, a cup holder, and an extra gear track for adding a fish finder or kayak GPS right in your field of view.
The front storage hatch also has a clever little feature that is often overlooked – in the fact that it’s slightly raised above the deck, with drainage channels either side.
This is to allow water to break off and drain away when you’re paddling, so it doesn’t congregate on or near the hatch when you need to open it.
And top marks for the top loading gear tracks – which makes adding extra gear and equipment that little bit easier.
All Vibe kayaks come with the Vibe Hero seating system – currently in its second generation design, that offers a dual position for paddling or fishing, as well as a fully adjustable backrest.
Super lightweight and portable, the seat can be easily removed for use elsewhere – such as on a beach or kayak camping adventure.
However, some anglers report that the seat could do with being a little higher, as even at its maximum height some might find it still on the low side.
That said, it is compatible with the Vibe Summit Seat Perch, which will seriously increase your sight lines if you prefer a higher vantage point.
The cockpit is wide, spacious, and uncluttered, and there’s nothing that is going to get in the way of your casts and reels.
The foot braces are easy to adjust, and that toe-controlled rudder lets you pilot the Sea Ghost effortlessly, which only adds to your overall comfort, reducing fatigue, and keeping you out on the water for longer.
They must have some clever design boffins at Vibe, because all their kayaks make the maximum use of available space when it comes to storage.
Starting at the bow of the Sea Ghost 130, there’s a bungee paddle park for you to quickly slide your paddle in the heat of battle.
Just behind, you’ll find a large watertight storage hatch with a durable, thick gasket. Inside there’s a large dry bag that’s ideal for keeping things protected from the water – such as your lunch.
Alternatively, you can remove the bag for full access to the hull below deck, which offers enough space to keep an extra paddle, camping gear, fishing rods, and more.
The Vibe Versa console at mid-ships has two, mini-access hatches with dry bags to keep your valuables safe and secure – and protected from water.
It also offers a magnetic tackle tray to keep things like fishing pliers close to hand, and lifts off completely if you want to add more items to the storage space it sits in.
Not only that, but the back and the front of the pod can be lifted independently of each other, for access into each section and the goodies you’ve stashed underneath.
Either side of the seat, there are handy slots for tackle boxes, which can accommodate 3600 series tackle trays. A bungee tie-down is available to secure each box in place.
There’s also room under your seating position with extra storage potential.
Just behind the seat, you’ll find an eight-inch hatch with cargo bag, which is ideal for larger items that won’t fit into the center console, while still keeping them within easy reach.
The bungee straps are also adjustable, and can easily slide to your preferred position on the gear track, depending on what you’re carrying.
Vibe also makes its own range of coolers, crates, and dry bags that are designed to be perfectly compatible with the Sea Ghost’s storage features.
All-in-all, I think the Sea Ghost 130 has a good shout at being the fishing kayak with the best storage that’s available today.
Given this is the flagship model of the Sea Ghost range, just about everything has been “upped,” and that includes the weight capacity.
This beast of a fishing machine is capable of a whopping 550 lbs worth of maximum payload. That’s more than enough for you, your gear, and maybe even a furry friend to go along for the ride.
And if you’re looking for even more room and weight capacity, you might want to check out this review of the best tandem fishing kayaks on the market.
Still, there’s more than enough here to keep all but the most angling gear-aholic happy.
Weighing in at 72 lbs, the Sea Ghost isn’t the heaviest fishing kayak on the market, but it certainly isn’t the lightest either. There’s a fair bit of heft to this beast, and you’ll need a partner to help carry it.
You can also pick up one of these kayak carts to help with the job, too.
It comes with solid carry handles at the bow and stern, as well as either side of the cockpit, so it feels safe and secure when in transit.
Seriously, do not underestimate how durable and practical Vibe’s handle design will feel.
But if you’re looking for a kayak that wins hands down on the portability stakes, I would highly recommend checking out these inflatable fishing machines, instead.
Ease of Use
Users report that the Sea Ghost tracks and paddles well, and is pretty straightforward to use.
However, the toe-controlled rudder might be a bit of a learning curve for some, and can take a little getting used to.
Aside from that, the hardware and features included are intuitive, and there’s nothing here that is going to be a serious head-scratcher for new paddlers or pros alike.
Now, given the fact that I think Vibe makes some of the finest-looking kayaks on the market, I might be more than a little biased here.
But I’m not the only one!
The company is known for their beautiful, stylish designs, and you only have to take a look at the likes of the Shearwater 125 to see what I mean.
The Sea Ghost 130 isn’t quite so futuristic, and it’s a little more “stumpy” than the sleeker Yellowfin, given that it slightly prefers features over performance.
But it’s still a stunning craft, and available in four attractive colors – Slate Blue, Galaxy, Raven, and Wildfire.
My only issue is that the logos and name appear to be decals rather than laser-cut or embossed. Even with quality materials, I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to bringing water and stickers together.
While the colors of the Sea Ghost 130 might look nice, at least two out of the four options might be a little challenging to see when paddling through inclement weather.
It’s not a deal breaker – but it is something to bear in mind if you’re particularly safety conscious, and might make a difference in an emergency.
Aside from this, the Sea Ghost is a super-stable craft that is going to be difficult to tip, and you should feel confident on most bodies of water.
If you do manage to flip over, the 73 lb 130 model might be tricky to turn right side up. If that’s the case, then you should always be sure to stay with the kayak and await rescue if the situation requires it.
And always make sure you’re wearing an accredited life preserver. And by wearing it, I mean WEARING IT! Not under the seat, not lashed to the bow, and not left back in the garage.
Take a look at this review of the best fishing PFDs on the market, which offer some awesome practical features, as well as potentially life-saving properties.
Alas, the days of sub-$1000 fishing kayaks that boast all these features are long gone, but Vibe still manages to keep this reasonably affordable – especially considering the quality on offer.
The Sea Ghost 130 usually sits around three hundred bucks outside of contention for the best fishing kayaks under $1000 (at the time of writing).
However, if you can grab this baby on sale – then I don’t need to tell you what to do!
Failing that, you might want to look at the smaller Sea Ghost 110, or check out the Yellowfin 120 for a pacier, streamlined option.
And if you’re really looking to push the (very expensive) boat out, take a look at the high-end Hobie Mirage Pro.
Either way, there’s a lot of bang for your buck here – which is part and parcel of Vibe Kayak’s M.O.
For a mid-range, comfortable, easy-to-use kayak that offers a great balance of performance factors in the water, there probably isn’t a better fishing kayak than the Sea Ghost 130.
I genuinely love how Vibe has clearly put a lot of time and effort into designing something that ticks all the boxes for anglers, and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Okay, so it’s not as luxurious or technologically advanced as the Mirage Pro Angler, nor is it as stable as the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106; but what you do have is a harmonic fishing machine that impresses right across the board.
And I think that’s perfectly reflected in the score on the doors – as it comes in at an impressive 4.6 out of 5.
If I had the room for another kayak (and the wife wouldn’t murder me) I’d seriously consider purchasing the Sea Ghost 130.
When it comes to the marriage of practicality and performance, I doubt there’s a better fishing kayak than the Sea Ghost 130.
Of course, I’ll stand corrected if you can think of one – especially at this price.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Has this review convinced you to try the Sea Ghost range? Do you already own one? Is there a comparable kayak you also have your eye on? Let the community know!
Stay safe out there people, tight lines, and happy kayak fishing!