Fishing kayak can provide not only an enjoyable pastime but also bring in many meals. The best fishing kayak for your needs will encourage and motivate you to use it regularly, kayak in comfort and give you plenty of storage options.
A fishing kayak should be considered an investment that can bring about great returns if you are fortunate to fish in the right locations! It’s important not to rush out and buy the first one you find on sale – there are a number of considerations each person should take into account when choosing a boat. You need to know what features in a kayak are important to fishing.
Types of Kayaks
You might have noted from the reviews that there were noticeable differences between the different kayaks that have been reviewed. This allows the kayaks to be easily used in different settings and for different uses. Knowing the different types of kayaks not only helps you to understand them better, but also you are able to make a better pick depending on what you fancy.
Fishing kayaks can be a combination of most types of Kayaks. They are fitting with fishing gear and anglers and to make them even more efficient, they have a foot paddling mechanism that makes it easier for you to concentrate on your fishing while at the same time being able to move the kayak.
Sit-on top kayaks
These are perhaps the most common types of kayaks, they differ in the make and number of people that it can carry. However, they are quite simple to paddle. The best thing about them is that they can be used out on the sea, on estuaries, rivers and even in canals. They are quite flexible and offer nimble steering. They are ideal for virtually any user from the experienced to the newbies. All you have to do is make sure that you pick your kind of waters well.
They are more common when you visit resorts. They are built to provide stability on the water and comfort at the same time. They offer a variety of paddling options that caters to the novice right to the experienced kayakers and offer a great relaxing feel. However, they are not the best for sporting activities since they are harder to steer.
While these might not be the best fishing kayaks, they are the ideal pick for those that are looking for speed. They are naturally longer than the touring kayaks and are faster. They also come with a variety of other features to improve their performance, multiple hatches and deck layouts that help to improve on the storage and improve access.
White water kayaks
This is the most exhilarating and exciting part about kayaks. It includes a broad range of paddling options. The kayaks that are available in this category largely depend on the ability of the user. They are built to withstand different sports like extreme creeking, river running and even play-boating. They are generally small and very streamlined not to mention that they are quite easy to steer.
As the name suggests, these are kayaks that require air to work. They are the perfect choice for recreational paddling and are best used on flat and quiet water mostly because of their likelihood of getting punctured. The best thing about them is the fact that they are easy to carry since they can be deflated hence using less storage space. They are also great fishing kayaks as long as you don’t stray into the turbulent waters. They are also great for family excavations because they are very stable and easy to paddle largely because they are lightweight.
The Best Fishing Kayak Brands
TOP 5 FISHING KAYAKS for 2019
Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak
The Escape 12 Angler Kayak is a 41.4 lbs thermoformed fishing beauty, which can easily support 300 lbs of load without breaking a sweat. If you purchase the Escape 12, you will benefit greatly from its comfortable high back seat, the adjustable foot braces, and pilot rudder system.
This kayak also comes with four flush-mount rod holders, a drain plug, scupper holes, a paddle hook, rear deck shock cord storage, a front hatch with cover, and an integrated console. The versatile features of this vessel will ensure that you have a smooth and customized fishing experience every time.
What we liked
- Sit-on-top design that is loved by many anglers
- Rubber handles that make the kayak easy to carry
- Sliding foot braces
- Stand assist straps that make it easy to stand up
- A pilot rudder system and an effective anchoring system
- Five rod holders including an adjustable one
- Ample storage for your fishing gear
- Cup holders
What we didn’t like
- Doesn’t track well
- Has an uneven bottom
- Limited load capacity
- No center storage
Advanced Elements AE1007-R Inflatable Kayak
The AE1007-R is a hybrid day touring kayak that is composed of a folding frame. Its unique design provides you with three seat positions for solo and tandem paddling, while the adjustable padded seats and high back support ensure that you are comfortable for extended periods on the water.
This 10’5” kayak is made from long-lasting components and materials which will resist punctures and scratches while maintaining the structural integrity of the vessel. Additionally, the bow and stern are reinforced by inbuilt aluminum ribs, which makes this kayak track as well as hard-shell ones, while also capable of swift speeds.
It is also quick to inflate and comes in a handy duffel bag so that you can quickly toss it in the back of your truck and head out for a fish-filled weekend.
What we liked
- Designed with three layers of quality material to resist puncture
- Rigid aluminum frame
- Has a low seat position that allows both solo and tandem paddling
- The seats are removable and replaceable
- Has plenty of storage
- Comes pre-assembled so you just need to inflate it and attach the seats
- Very stable even in white water and rapids
- It is suitably-priced to match its top features
What we didn’t like
- It is heavier to carry
- Doesn’t have sun coverage for legs
- Doesn’t have spray skirts
Advanced Elements Strait Edge Inflatable Angler Kayak
Advanced Elements has excelled once again, this time with a 9’8”, 41 lbs crossover angling kayak that will blow your mind. The Strait Edge angling kayak boasts of optimal stability, magnificent haulage, amazing durability and customizable kayaking options.
One definite advantage of this kayak is that it has self-bailing features, ensuring great performance even in bigger waves. And if you prefer open waters, then the aluminum ribs on the bow and stern will make your tracking as easy as ever.
This kayak is also fitted with customizable features such as rod holders and a fish finder, making sure that all those hard-to-catch fish will be within your reach. But the features do not end here; you will also enjoy the benefits of a padded and breathable seat, stainless D-rings, bungee deck lacing, paddle holders, and a spring valve.
What we liked
- Made from a heavy-duty and puncture resistant material
- Superior tracking
- High support adjustable padded seat for maximum comfort
- Has a removable mounting rail so you can add additional rails for a fish finder and rod holders
- Ample storage space to accommodate all your fishing gear and accessories
- Comes pre-assembled so you will not have much assembly work
- It feels very stable
What we didn’t like
- The kayak is a little expensive
- Some customers complained of molding defects around the inflation plugs
- The self-draining plugs are difficult to access when the kayak is inflated
Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak
The Lifetime Sport Fisher is a 60 lbs, 10-foot fishing monster with top-of-the-line design and intricate details. The most impressive feature of this spacious kayak is its balanced seating, as it can accommodate up to 3 individuals, making it suitable for even a family trip.
The high and dry seating is enhanced by the extremely stable tunnel hull design, which allows you to comfortably sit side-saddle as you fish, or even stand up for a better vantage point. The design of this kayak offers two padded backrests, multiple footrest positions, molded carry handles, a molded paddle cradle, and fishing pole holders. It also comes with convenient scupper holes, a 6-inch rear storage hatch, and an optional accessory mount.
If you are looking for a durable recreational kayak which can comfortably fit you, your family, and your gear, then the Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak is definitely for you.
What we liked
- Made from high-density polyethylene to provide strength and durability
- Ample space to accommodate up to 3 people
- It has two ergonomic seats with a comfortable backrest
- Has a watertight compartment to keep your gear safe
- The kayak comes with all the accessories you need to get started
- Very steady to withstand tipping or falling into the water
- Reasonably priced
What we didn’t like
- The seats are not cushioned
- Difficult to maneuver in windy conditions due to its length and lightweight design
- The kayak has olive green color that is similar to water vegetation, making it difficult to be seen
KL Industries Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-In Kayak
When it comes to sit-in kayaks, Sun Dolphin’s Aruba series offers 4 options; including its 8SS, 10, 10SS, and 12SS models. The length of these kayaks vary from 8 feet to 12 feet, with their maximum load capacity ranging from 260 lbs to 395 lbs. Despite the aforementioned differences, these kayaks all share the great features that have made Sun Dolphin so popular among kayak fishermen.
The advantages include a rugged high-density polyethylene hull, an adjustable and padded seat back, molded-in paddle holder, shock cord deck rigging, various storage compartments, a spray collar, recessed drink holder, and convenient carry handles.
These easy to track and paddle Aruba sit-in kayaks are also notable for their stability, which ensures that you can fish without the fear of tipping into the water. Can you ask for more?
What we liked
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Very easy to maneuver
- Tracks well
- Padded and adjustable seat with a high back support
- Adjustable foot braces
- Carrying handles that make it easy to transport
- Convenient gear storage
- Designed with a water bottle holder
- It comes in different color options like red, tangerine, lime green, and ocean blue
What we didn’t like
- Its material is buoyant
- It doesn’t come with other accessories
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST FISHING KAYAKS
SIT IN OR SIT ON TOP?
Fishing kayaks come in different designs to hold the paddler, some of them are ‘open’ where you sit on top of the deck while other kayaks have a hole where the paddler sits in, often with a spray skirt to keep out the water. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Sit on top kayaks offer much greater maneuverability which is important when reeling in fish. However, they can let in a lot of water, while the sit-in varieties keep a lot of water out of the kayak.
Sit on top kayaks offer much easier access to gear and tend to be more stable. But they can expose your gear to the elements, unlike the sit-in. Sit-in kayaks are typically better for more seasoned paddlers who prefer the control, as well as providing more dry storage options.
Pedals or paddles? We’re seeing more peddle-driven models these days as they can be less tiring than paddling. However peddle models will be more expensive. Paddling offers the best control – but having peddles and a paddle gives you flexibility in all surroundings.
Some seats can turn even the most successful day fishing to a day you can’t wait to end, thanks to a sore back and achy behind from an uncomfortable seat. The seat is one of the most important parts of a fishing kayak when it comes to comfort. You need your back to be appropriately supported, especially if you are paddling long distances, so opt for something that is comfortable or you’ll dread heading back out on the water.
Kayak fishing requires plenty of storage options on the kayak to store and keep all your gear and equipment. There is a limit on how much you can take on the water but having decent storage for your most important items is an important factor to consider. You’ll need to make sure you have a dry-hatch somewhere on the kayak so you can store those items you can’t allow to get wet or need protection from the elements.
WEIGHT AND LENGTH
The weight and length of a fishing kayak can play a big role in stability and ease of paddling. Typically, a long, narrow kayak will be fast while a shorter, wide kayak will be slower, but offers more stability. Beginner kayak fishers should opt for something that is smaller and more stable as they get to learn the art. You’ll also want to consider the weight of your kayak – the heavier it is, the harder it will be to lug around to your fishing destination. If it is a heavy kayak, you may need to consider some kind of trolley that can wheel your kayak to and from the car.
Where do you plan to kayak? In the ocean or out on the lakes? In calm waters or in the surf? These will all play a role in the type of fishing kayak you will purchase. Rough conditions on the sea will need something stable but that can also cut through surf and obstacles. Maneuverability is key. Smaller, sit on top kayaks are a better option for still water such as lakes.
CAPACITY & PERSONS
Do you plan on fishing by yourself or taking a buddy, or maybe a family member? You will need to consider if you are happy with a kayak with capacity for just one person, or two.