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Ascend 133X Tournament Kayak Review

I picked up the Ascend 133X Tournament Kayak in an Ultimate Freshwater Fishing Package that was offered by Bass Pro during their Spring Classic sale. You can still find the Saltwater Ultimate Fishing Package which is similar but has the Saltwater version of the Motorguide Xi3 Trolling Motor; I have the black Freshwater version. It’s the same package I received except with the Bass Pro Lithium battery and the Garmin 7-inch unit. They also offer a Freshwater Fishing Package with no battery, and a smaller basic fish finder for about $1,000 less. It is still a great package but for the sake of this review I will focus on the features of the Ascend 133x Tournament Kayak and also talk about some of the things I liked and didn’t like about the package add-ons with this kayak.


There is a lot to like about the Ascend 133X Tournament Kayak and there are some things that will take a little getting used to. A few of the specifications related to this big kayak include its weight of 125 pounds, its whopping capacity of 550 pounds, the front plate for mounting trolling motors, multiple wiring locations for batteries and other add-ons, dry storage areas in the front and back, through hull access for running wires and more, and ample open interior for carrying a lot of gear in front and in back.

On top of that the kayak is 13 feet long and 36 1/2 inches wide. That is a good width for a fishing kayak most of the time, but with this boat being so long, it does seem narrow until you get in it and get your legs under you so to speak.

The pre-mounted tracks make adding accessories pretty easy. They are a bit forward, I would like to see one more track closer to the seat. However, there are nice tackle storage cubbies on either side as well as a slide out tray under the comfort seat. The seat can also be adjusted up or down if you prefer sitting down in the boat while paddling or up a little higher while fishing. The foot pedals are easily adjusted to make it comfortable to dig in and fish.

The roto-molded hull gives the boat its keel and footprint in the water that makes it stable. One word of caution as this was an adjustment for me having been in a lot of other kayaks: the hull is constructed thinner and less rigid than some kayaks I am more familiar fishing out of. This gives the boat an added flex that I was not accustomed to. This made the boat seem like it was unstable for about the first 5 minutes. What I thought was me struggling to balance in the boat was really me adjusting to the flex in the material. After about 10 minutes, I never wavered or thought about it again. That was one thing I would tell people who may encounter the same sensation.


I’ve been fishing out of it now for a month and have had a ball this spring catching spawning crappie, bluegill, shell crackers and bass that have started moving shallow in recent days. I found paddling the Ascend 133X to be a lot easier than I thought it would be given its 13 feet of length. I stood up to fish a time or two but I struggle with balance issues after a back and hip injury. Therefore I don’t stand for long periods very well. I didn’t find it to be the most fishable boat standing up, but I was able to stand up and fish out of it. It just takes getting used to the flex of the material.

The boat is super fishy with a trolling motor and graph on it. It feels almost like a small boat or canoe with its deep well area. I had a backpack of tackle, several rods, net, rope, and other gear in the well. The two rod holders in the back are nice as well as the large back tank to hold a large crate, batteries and more.  The storage was very nice on this kayak. I could have a lot of gear easily within arms reach without feeling too cluttered.

I was able to hold with the MotorGuide Xi3 remote and anchor lock ability and fish areas slowly and thoroughly that let me pick up a bunch of big crappie this spring out of the yak.

I use Livescope a lot and wished the track was a little closer to my chair and not so far in front of me. I even played with mounting my portable Livescope arm which is on a transom mount trolling motor bracket that I can tighten down to the side of a gunnel. The handles on this kayak made that a little more difficult as that is right where I wanted to mount the Livescope arm. I did get it to work and was clearly able to catch a bunch of fish.


I played around and fished a few different places out of this kayak and for me, I like the trolling motor option. I think this is a great small waters craft. When I got it out in pretty wavy conditions, I felt a little uneasy about the stability. I never had an issue and never tipped it but I was cautious and careful as, again, I didn’t feel as comfortable in big water as I did in smaller, calmer waters.

One consideration is this can be a fully functioning boat in waters with no way to launch a full size boat. The Xi3 trolling motor and a single 12-Volt Tracker Lithium battery could make this boat scoot. With a Garmin 7-inch fish finder and Livescope, I think I could find and catch the fish in any small water I drop this kayak in.

The catch is you need to figure out how to get the kayak in and out of the water. At 125 pounds, it’s on the high end of weight for fishing kayaks and a bit cumbersome for smaller anglers to port around on their own. I used a set of kayak wheels to not only unload the boat from my truck, which saved my back a lot, but it also helped me get the kayak to the water. If you tie a strap to your wheels and one to your kayak, you can roll the kayak to the water, let it go in the water and then pull your wheels free when the kayak floats off. Then pull the wheels in by the strap and pull the kayak back in by the strap. It’s a handy and quick way to get it in the water without hurting your back.


To me, the Motorguide Xi3 and the Ascend 133X Tournament Kayak are a perfect pairing. The motor was more than adequate to move this boat around, fish all day with a single battery and get in and out no problem on smaller lakes or staying in one bay on big lakes like Kentucky Lake. It’s been a dang blast this spring for me. I look forward to fishing a lot more out of this spring and summer. I already have some friends wanting me to leave it at their lake house to make getting it in and out of the water quick and easy. It should be a fun boat for tooling around and chasing shallow fish.

The Ascend 133X Tournament Kayak is roughly $1,099 by itself. The Bass Pro Paddling Package is an extra $150 for a paddle and life jacket and the Freshwater Tournament package is $2,399 for the kayak, paddle, small fish finder, MotorGuide remote controlled Xi3 trolling motor, rod holder, and quick release plate for quick removing and mounting of the trolling motor. The Ultimate Saltwater Fishing package has a much better Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv fish finder as well as a Lithium Battery for $3,964.

The Freshwater Tournament package is a nice price point for all that is included and a ready to go fishing vessel for under $2,500. It’s a good value kayak for folks that can’t afford $3,000 for a kayak and $2,000 of add-on accessories but want to access a lot more water than they can from the bank.