When searching for an appropriate fishing kayak, there are a number of key aspects to consider. This will be an investment that will bring you years of enjoyment, so you don’t want to be hasty when choosing. For most, price is a major factor in determining which kayak to purchase. There are a variety of kayaks available that can cater to each individual price range, so you can find a great kayak at a price that meets your budget. You will also want to consider the size and model that will best suit your purposes. For those seeking to fish with a partner or friend, you will want to find the best tandem-fishing kayak available.
Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak
Our favorite for 2016
Sun Dolphin Aruba sit-in Kayak
A great value option
Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak 2015
The Rolls Royce of Fishing Kayaks
Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
An exceptional tandem kayak - a steal!
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
A very good inflatable kayak - ideal for angling
If budget is an issue, consider buying used. You can find quality used angler kayaks for much cheaper than they would be new. For fishing, you will want a kayak that provides stability, maneuverability, and convenient storage space. You will also need to decide whether you want a sit-inside-kayak (SIK) or a sit-on-top kayak (SOT). Each type will have its own advantages and disadvantages to consider. Another important factor when choosing a kayak is to determine your transporting abilities. The size and weight of the kayak are key factors in choosing one that will be easily accessible to you. Check the weight limit of each kayak before purchasing. The kayak will need to be able to support your weight, the weight of any passengers, as well as the fishing gear needed.
What type of Fishing Kayak are you Looking for?
Below you’ll find reviews of our 5 favorite kayaks for 2020, but we also have specialist guides and reviews available if you’re looking for a specific type of angling kayak or a particular accessory.
Fishing Kayak Reviews
Now that we have determined what to look for in a kayak, we can take a look at a variety of kayaks on the market. This will give you a better understanding of what each kayak has to offer, allowing you to make an informed decision on which kayak best suits your needs.
KL Industries Sun Dolphin Journey SS Kayak: A solid mid-range option, this is a fairly cheap kayak that is great for fishers. It’s a SOT kayak that can seat one person and has a wide, comfortable seating area. Measuring 10-feet-long and weighing only 41-pounds, it is easily transportable, and the padded seats and backrest make for a comfortable ride. It features two built-in fishing pole holders and one swivel rod holder. The open-faced cockpit allows for the passenger to get in and out easily and to move around as needed. It provides ample storage capacity, with both a storage container and a shock-cord system. The adjustable foot braces can accommodate just about anyone. The maximum weight is quite low, at only 250-pounds. Nonetheless, the kayak has superior stability and maneuverability, making it a good choice for fishing or floating down the river.
Old Town 10-Feet Vapor 10 Angler Recreational Kayak: This is a one-person SIK measuring 10-feet in length with a 325-pound maximum weight load. It weighs 44-pounds total and has built-in handles for easy transport. It has a day-well built it, allowing for some storage capacity, and the cockpit measures 19.5-by-48 inches wide, allowing for ample mobility. The cockpit is open, thereby enabling the passenger to move around or climb out easily. This is a moderately priced kayak that is well worth the money. It is known for stability, making it a good choice for fishing, while possessing the agility and maneuverability ideal for cutting through turbulence. Additionally, this customized kayak has a built-in anchor with a trolley system and two mounted holders for fishing rods. The adjustable seat allows for optimum comfort when sitting for long periods of time, and it features a built-in cup holder, enabling the passenger to simply relax and enjoy the waters.
Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak with Paddles and Backrests: A midlevel SOT, this 10-foot kayak is solid option. It’s a tandem kayak, perfect for couple looking to enjoy a bit of bonding on the waters. At 60-pounds, it is a bit on the heavy side, but that is only a testament to its sheer durability. It has a maximum weight of 500-pounds, allowing for ample storage capacity and incredible stability. It contains a rear storage container and shock-cord straps, which allow you to safely secure your items. It is very well balanced, which allows for ample mobility, including the ability to stand while fishing. It is ideal for fishing, featuring four built-in fishing pole holders and the ability to accommodate three passengers at a time. With handles molded into the kayak, transporting it is easy. Due to its SOT design, it moves slowly and is better geared toward fishing and meandering, rather than speed and agility.
Old Town 10-Feet 6-Inch Dirigo 106 Angler Recreational: This is a great mid-level kayak. It measures in at 10 feet, weighing only 44-pounds. It’s a single-person SIK with a spacious cockpit measuring 18.5-by-38 inches. It features a number of built-in fishing amenities, including an anchor and trolley system, fishing pole holders, a deck bungee, and a cup holder. It’s well cushioned, with a supportive backrest and thigh pads to provide maximum comfort. It can hold a maximum load of up to 300-pounds, making it an accessible option for most people. It has the advantages of being both incredibly stable, making it ideal for fishing, and relatively agile, making it a good option for river riding. It is very easy to maneuver, allowing for swift mobility to combat rough waters. Additionally, it features an open-faced cockpit, which enable the passenger to move around easily while fishing.
Perception Sport Pescador 12 Kayak: This is a SOT kayak, which provides ample leg mobility while fishing. It fits one person and has a maximum carrying capacity of 350-pounds. It’s a bit on the long side, measuring in at 12 feet. It’s broad shoulders and tracking keel create excellent stability, allowing for sitting or standing while fishing. It handles well and can be rapidly maneuvered around rocks or through turbulent waters. It has three storage hatched throughout, allowing you to easily and safely store items while kayaking. It’s reasonably priced, which is always a good thing. Weighing in at 60-pounds, it can be cumbersome and awkward to transport, which should certainly be a consideration before purchasing. The foot brace system allows you to lock your feet in easily. Available in fluorescent green, red, or orange, it possesses maximum visibility and will stand out easily to other boaters on the water. It has no built-in fishing amenities, however, resulting in a kayak better geared toward casual usage, rather than for the avid fisher.
Sit-on-Top versus Sit-inside Fishing Kayaks – Which Is the Best Kayak for Fishing?
The most difficult part about finding an appropriate kayak for fishing is determining whether an SIK or SOT kayak is best for you. A sit-in kayak is the more common model, containing a hollowed out center that allows the person to sit directly inside of the boat. This is a more efficient model, particularly when paddling, as it allows the paddler to press their knees against the interior of the boat, giving them more strength and control when paddling. SIKs are typically faster and allow for quicker and more agile movements. However, for the purposes of fishing, neither of these are essential qualities. The disadvantage of this kayak model is the limited mobility of your lower body when fishing.
Fishing will require that both hands be focused on the pole and reeling in fish. As such, you won’t have free hands to paddle if needed. In a SIK, should the kayak start to rock, you will likely be tipped. One advantage of the SOTs is that, should the water become turbulent, you can easily jump off of the kayak if needed. A sit-on kayak will allow you to have greater mobility, which is important when fishing. The best sit-on-top fishing kayak will be one that offers the greatest stability. Stability is essential for when you are reeling in fish. You will also want to consider the pricing of the kayak because there are both expensive and cheap sit-on-top kayaks available. If you tend to fish frequently with family members or friends, consider investing in a two-person sit-on-top kayak.
How to Choose the Right Fishing Kayak For You
A kayak is an investment that will last a lifetime, so you want to take ample time to carefully consider all of your needs. It’s important to read the reviews on each product so you can learn about all of the top-rated fishing kayaks available. Here are a few of the primary factors to consider when choosing the best fishing kayak for the money.
Price: The price is perhaps the biggest concern for most. Kayaks can range from the cheap to the significantly more expensive. The key is finding the best cheap fishing kayak available, so that you can make the most of your money.
Type: Consider what you intend to use the kayak for the most. If fishing is your primary intent, then an SOT will be the most stable fishing kayak. If you hope to tackle rivers and waves as well, then consider investing in a SIK.
Size: You will need to find a size that is easily transportable by vehicle, one that you can comfortably carry, and one with a maximum carrying capacity that fits your needs. Also, determine whether a one-person or tandem kayak would better suit your lifestyle.
Warranty: The best-rated kayaks are sure to come with a great warranty as well. When a company has faith in their own product, they are more inclined to provide an excellent warranty. Be weary of investing a large sum of money into a kayak with a limited warranty.
Choosing the Best Kayak For Sea (or Ocean) Fishing
Modern sea kayaks have been a popular form of recreation ever since Frank Goodman built the first Nordkapp in 1975 and since then, the market has exploded with manufacturers producing many popular models of modern sea kayaks. However, sea kayaks designed for long range touring are seldom well suited for ocean fishing. Consequently, due to the expanding popularity of this new aspect of the sport, kayak manufacturers such as Ocean Kayak and Wilderness Systems have responded by producing a plethora of fishing specific kayaks that are well suited for fishing each of the three different types of ocean environments.
Also, while most kayak touring enthusiasts prefer sit-inside designs, kayak fishermen display a distinct preference for sit-on-top designs due to their extreme initial stability and ease of reentry in the event of a capsize. Therefore, today’s modern angling kayaks feature open cockpits, comfortable seating arraignments, and plenty of options for mounting fishing electronics, rod holders, rod racks, ect. In addition, they are also designed with holds for dry storage and tank wells in the stern that are specifically designed to hold a fishing crate, live bait well, or cooler. Furthermore, they are available in a wide range of price points from very inexpensive to the extravagantly expensive depending on your taste and budget.
However, the main reason that so many fishermen are tuning to ocean fishing kayaks is that a kayak places the angler much closer to his element and his quarry and thus, it allows them to feel like they are part of their environment.
The Best Kayaks for Fly Fishing
Many fly fishermen are choosing kayaks as their craft of choice for accessing hard-to-reach water, moving to the fish with speed and stealth, and enjoying one of the most exciting experiences in fishing. It might sound difficult at first, but choose the right kayak, get in some practice time, get your gear dialed in, and you will be paddling up to choice spots and making perfect presentations from the best seat on the water in no time.
Kayak fishing is a growing sport, and manufacturers are producing some great, fish-ready boats. The trick is to find one that has the specialized features needed to make fly fishing possible. The boat should have a flat, open deck and a clean design without a lot of protruding features that are going to snag line. You need to be able to deal with loose line in the boat, and that line has to run clear and free when a fish hits. And obviously, the boat needs to be stable enough to stand up in and go through the fairly active motions involved in fly casting.
This article presents a review of 5 boats that come in at a range of prices and with a variety of features and accessories. The 12’ Perception Sport Pescador stands out as the low-price favorite at less than half the cost of the other boats, while the Feelfree Lure 11.5’ Winter Camo is the best of this bunch from a fly fisherman’s point of view.
What Fishing Kayaks Should You Spend Your Money on in 2015?
Choosing the right kayak for your angling style and home waters will take time and research, but it is enjoyable time that will pay off in fishing satisfaction. More importantly, your comfort and safety while fishing hinges on your choice. Are you a serious fisherman ready to strike out into salt water bays or off the coast? Or do you just want to occasionally wet a line while enjoying family time at the lake? Will you encounter cold or warm water? How about gear – do you prepare for anything or are you a minimalist? Will your boat be used for camping or hunting? Will you paddle alone or with a partner or pet? All of these factors and more have to be thought out to get the best value from your kayak investment.
Modern fishing kayaks range from professional level, competition-quality boats like the Hobie Mirage line to light-weight knock about craft like the Sun Dolphin Journey. Advances in the sport and in kayak technology mean that nearly every boat out there has some strong points. However, no matter which kayak you choose, there will always be some areas of trade-off, particularly in regard to performance in specific water conditions. To help you jump start your search for a new fishing kayak, this article offers some basic pointers along with reviews of five popular fishing kayaks in a range of prices. The sooner you get started, the quicker you will be out on the water catching fish!
The Best kayak Fish Finders for 2020
Although many anglers choose a kayak as a means of getting closer to their element and back to the basics and others choose a kayak as an inexpensive means of accessing fishing locations that are off limits to the shorebound, the fact is that all kayak fishermen can benefit from owning an electronic fish finder. In fact, an electronic fish finder can provide the kayak angler with invaluable information about the nature of the bottom underneath his kayak and thus reveal fish habit that might otherwise go unnoticed. Consequently, most fishing specific kayaks have center consoles with spaces specifically intended for mounting a fish finder as well as transducer compatible scupper holes to make the job easy.
Or, if you prefer, many angling kayaks have equipment mounting rails on their gunwales and accompanying mounts are available to adapt the various fish finders to them. However, when choosing a fish finder for your kayak, there are certain factors that should be considered such as the physical size and weight of the unit as well as the screen size and resolution just to name a few. Therefore, in the following article, you will find a complete list of what features to look for in a kayak fish finder as well as our choice of the top three kayak fish finders.
How to Find the Best Kayak for River Fishing
When most people think of fishing from a kayak, they most often picture themselves on a placid and serene lake on a warm, sunny, day. However, avid anglers are aware that the best fishing is not always in the lakes but is, in fact, sometimes better in the creeks and rivers that feed those lakes. However, because these waters are often winding and sometimes shallow at lower elevations, they commonly require a craft with a shallow draft and a stealthy means of approach; neither of which is conducive to motor boaters.
On the other hand, anglers who live at higher elevations can choose to pursue Trout and Smallmouth Bass on their local Class 1 and II rivers (which have mild rapids) and thus, they require a craft that is stable, highly maneuverable, and easy to exit and reenter. However, regardless of which type of river you choose to fish, such waters are the preferred province of kayak fishermen because they are lightweight, highly maneuverable, have shallow draft, and are the ultimate stealth craft. Plus, a kayak enables anglers to fish waters that are either difficult or impossible for other anglers to access. Therefore, in the following article, you will find our choice for the top three river fishing kayaks.
Budget Fishing Kayaks
If you have ever tried kayaking and found it invigorating and fun, you’ll soon discover that kayak fishing is an entirely different story. Kayaking may be the more expensive sport but kayak fishing could rack up more costs as you progress and upgrade to a larger or better-featured kayak, so think about those developments, too.
Incidentally, the one thing which separates a recreational kayak from its cheap fishing kayak cousin is the rod holder and other pieces of rigging. Most kayaks for angling that are currently on the market are angler versions that have rigging designs which make accessories more convenient to have for the majority of paddlers. The rest are stock versions that require you to add your personal rigging.
Remember that while a stock version is the cheapest kayak you may be getting initially, it could prove advantageous for you in that you are free to customize your kayak any way you want and add what you need over time. You can start off with simple rod holders, a PFD (personal flotation device), a paddle leash, a dry bag, a safety whistle, and a milk crate; you can add more to your stash later.
Cost should ideally take the proverbial back seat to other factors that have been discussed but if the kayak you have set your eyes on is impossible to fit in your budget, remember that getting out on the water and catching fish are the most important things at the moment. You may have the spiffiest-looking kayak in the whole Great Lakes but if you can’t catch fish, then it won’t mean anything.
Our Favorite Fishing Kayaks Under 500 Dollars
As you have learned from reading this article, kayaks for fishing are very much affordable these days.
In fact, fishermen are actually turning to kayaks instead of bass boats because the former are cheaper. If you haven’t heard, bass boats sell for huge sums of money.
Aside from being cheaper, angling kayaks can get to creeks and smaller bodies of water that bass boats and larger vessels can’t reach.
And you would be surprised that many veteran anglers are downsizing, so to speak, from boats to kayaks. Many of those who use kayaks are targeting fishes like largemouth bass, redfish, spotted bass, and even striped bass—so you can’t really call them novice anglers.
In choosing a kayak, don’t just buy the cheapest one that you can find online or at a sporting goods store. Keep in mind the other variables like safety features, design, and comfort. You should also look into how you’ll transport the kayak.
There are lots of ways for you to find a kayak that is within your budget, and which suits your needs. You can go online and browse websites like Amazon or EBay. You can go to a sporting goods store if you want to take a closer look at the kayaks you are choosing from.
Ten Foot Kayaks for Fishing
Kayaks that are 10 feet in length may not be the fastest in the waters, and not have enough storage space compared to longer kayaks but these disadvantages should not mean that you should never buy one.
After all, 10 feet long kayaks appeal to novice and even experienced riders because of their inherent advantages. One is that a kayak this short is obviously cheaper compared to longer crafts. If you are hesitant in getting a very expensive kayak then you can easily find a 10 feet yak that is well within your price range.
Another advantage of 10 feet long kayaks is that it can go to areas where larger crafts can’t reach. You can fish in estuaries with a 10 foot kayak. If you think fishing in estuaries won’t yield good catches, then think again. Some of the fishes you will likely catch when in estuaries are bass, flounder, sea trout, and codling.
Although longer kayaks offer more storage space, 10 foot long kayaks should have enough room for a half a day of fishing. And these short kayaks are also stable enough that you will never feel scared when you’re riding one.
The good news is that you can get a kayak that is 10 feet long for a very cheap price. As you can see in the reviews, 10 feet long kayaks have prices ranging from the low to mid-level. You should compare prices first before you eventually buy a kayak for your next fishing trip.