15 Best Fishing Kayaks in 2018 – Reviews & Comparisons from Pros!
Want to go on a little outdoors adventure on the water? If you answered yes to that question then have I got the product for you. Yes, I'm talking about a fishing kayak.
Kayaks are environmentally friendly, safe, and using them provides great exercise. More than anything, kayaking is a really fun activity!
Choosing which fishing kayak is right for you will depend on the body of water you will be on, how long your trip will be, how much storage you need, how many people you are going with, and other factors.
The best fishing kayak should be durable, the right weight, the proper shape, and ultimately, comfortable.
Today we are comparing the top rated fishing kayaks available on the market.
Table of Contents
- 1 15 Best Fishing Kayaks in 2018
- 1.0.1 1. Prowler BG 2 Angler - Best Fishing Kayak for the Money
- 1.0.2 2. Native Ultimate FX Propel 13 - Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
- 1.0.3 3. Hobie Pro Angler 12 - Most High End
- 1.0.4 4. Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3 - for Pro Anglers
- 1.0.5 5. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 - Best on Budget & Under $300
- 1.0.6 6. Eddyline C-135 Yakattack - for Serious Fisherman
- 1.0.7 7. FeelFree Move Angler - Ideal for Small Paddlers
- 1.0.8 8. eMotion Renegade XT Kayak - Best for Beginner Paddlers
- 1.0.9 9. Advanced Elements Straight Edge Angler Pro
- 1.0.10 10. Lifetime Tamarak 120 Angler Kayak - Best for Long Paddling Adventures
- 1.0.11 11. Old Town Vapor 10 - Most Roomy Fishing Kayak
- 1.0.12 12. Sevylor Quikpak K5 - Most Portable
- 1.0.13 13. Pelican The Catch 120 Kayak - Best for Performance
- 1.0.14 14. Ocean Tetra 12 - Sleek Design & Lightweight Fishing Kayak
- 1.0.15 15. Perception Pescador 12 - Most Comfortable Fishing Kayak
- 1.1 How to Buy the Best Fishing Kayaks
- 1.2 Our Final Review for the Best Fishing Kayaks
Top 15 Fishing Kayaks
Prowler BG 2 Angler
Native Ultimate FX Propel 13
Hobie Pro Angler 12
Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Eddyline C-135 Yakattack
FeelFree Move Angler
eMotion Renegade XT
Advanced Elements Straight Edge Angler Pro
Lifetime Tamarak 120 Angler
Old Town Vapor 10
Sevylor Quikpack K5
Pelican The Catch 120
Ocean Tetra 12
Perception Pescador 12
15 Best Fishing Kayaks in 2018
1. Prowler BG 2 Angler - Best Fishing Kayak for the Money
The Prowler BG 2 is an anglers dream kayak and it's all about capacity.
This kayak is spacious enough to carry all of your equipment.
On this kayak you'll find six strategically-placed mounting brackets so you can customize your kayak easily.
Also, you have adjustable foot pads, a large rear tank well, and a transducer compatible Scupper.
But with the Prowler BG 2 you won't need to give up stability or a dry ride for more capacity and top-of-the-line features, making this kayak one of our top choices on this list.
- Plenty of capacity
- Very sturdy build
- Transducer compatible scupper
- Foot pads have been known to be a bit uncomfortable for some taller people.
- A bit slower than other kayaks.
2. Native Ultimate FX Propel 13 - Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
The Ultimate FX Propel 13 from Native Watercrafts is basically an all-in-one fishing machine, built for the die hard fan of kayak fishing.
When it comes to this kayak, it's "go big or go home".
The open deck makes light work of loading and unloading equipment when you make it to the ramp. And if you have a lot of it, you are in luck because this kayak has a massive under-seat storage space.
Underneath the hull you have a built in transducer mount and up top you have multiple Groove Track rail mounts bow-to-stern.
All in all, this kayak is a fishing beast.
- Groove Track rail mounts work really well
- A lot of under seat storage
- On the pricier side of the spectrum for what you get.
3. Hobie Pro Angler 12 - Most High End
If you are in the market for something a bit on the shorter side that will fit into the back of your truck, have a look at the Hobie Pro Angler 12.
Measuring right at 12 foot in length, the Pro Angler 12 may not have a lot of bells and whistles but it can hold up to a half-dozen rods within its for standard horizontal into molded in rod holders.
The Pro Angler 12 comes with a retractable skeg for course-keeping and integrates a pretty nifty H-rail system for customization.
Seating is also integrated really well into the Pro Angler 12 with the elevated Vantage St seat, which makes it a little easier to move around the kayak.
- Mirage drive
- Very comfortable to sit in
- A little on the heavier side
- Slower than previous models
4. Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3 - for Pro Anglers
The Ocean Kayak Trident 4.3 is a sleek and solid yet decked out fishing kayak.
If you are looking for something that is fast and capable of moving through swells and calm waters alike with relative ease, this is the kayak you want to be sitting in.
Oh and the feature list on this kayak is fairly robust for what it is. You have places for a fishfinder on GPS system or pretty much any other electronic system you want to bring along.
This kayak also has a fairly large live bait and anchor storage, a transducer compatible scupper, an oversized tank well for a storage pod, paddle keepers to protect your paddles when not in use and a snug Click Seal bow hatch.
There are four mounted rod holders, basic paddle keepers, and molded-in cup and bottle holders.
This kayak is quick and nimble but also ultra efficient and packed with more features than you'd probably expect in such a small package.
- Very quick
- Solid build
- Plenty of storage capacity
- Poorly positioned rod holders.
5. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 - Best on Budget & Under $300
On the lower end of the price scale, we have the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10.
This kayak is the ideal choice for anyone who is on a budget, doesn't need too many features and doesn't intend on carrying too much gear.
While all this may sound extremely limiting, it's important to keep in mind that this kayak wasn't meant for anything too tedious, it was more so designed for the beginner or casual rider.
Even so, it still has a fairly large cockpit, adjustable foot pads and backrest, and a storage space.
The lightweight and roomy Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is perfect for beginners or those on a tight budget.
- Very spacious
- Rugged design can withstand some rough treatment.
- Poor stability
- Seat is not padded.
- Takes on a lot of water so needs to been drained often.
6. Eddyline C-135 Yakattack - for Serious Fisherman
The C-135 Yakattack is a unique, award winning kayak designed specifically for the serious fisherman.
It's ideal for someone who needs to get the most out of his kayak but needs something lightweight.
This kayak is meant to be a lightweight alternative to the heavier rigs that are currently on the market. This thing can pick up and go fairly quickly and just with a few strokes, at that.
With the C-135 you also get four different seating positions. These include High Forward, High Back, Low and Reclined and you can even completely fold it out of your way if you need maximum room to move around. It can even be removed from the kayak altogether.
The Eddyline C-135 Yakattack kayak is the perfect blend of performance and efficiency for the serious fisherman who needs versatility and speed alike.
- Very fast
- Various seating positions.
- Tracking can feel a bit off at times.
- Seat is not the best.
7. FeelFree Move Angler - Ideal for Small Paddlers
For any kids or other small paddlers just starting their journey into the wide world of kayak fishing, comes the Move Angler from FeelFree.
Despite its rather small stature, the Move Angler is actually fairly feature-rich, coming with things such as molded in handles, recessed fittings and the patented wheel in the keel.
Very quick and nimble on the water, yet very durable and stable, pretty much any solo kayaker could get this thing moving with little effort.
Even a smaller paddler should have no trouble getting it out of the water when they're done.
- Quick and nimble performance.
- Feature rich.
- Great for beginners.
- Very small.
- Can take in a fair amount of water through the plug assembly in some cases.
8. eMotion Renegade XT Kayak - Best for Beginner Paddlers
The Renegade XT from emotion is what is known as a sit-on-top kayak.
This kayak is designed with the average person or beginner paddler in mind.
It's best used in slow-moving riverways and waterways or other calm lakes and ponds, although it is versatile enough to withstand all kinds of weather conditions.
This fishing kayak has a spacious rear tank well with cargo net lacing and some below deck storage to hold all your cargo.
Also, molded-in paddle ledges, two rod holders, a self bailing scupper, and side carry. Finally, front and rear handles, to make transporting the kayak easy.
- Great for beginners.
- Spacious storage capacity.
- Extremely versatile.
- Scupper could be better
- Difficult rod positioning in the holders
Not everyone loves an inflatable kayak, but for those who do, there is the Straight Edge Angler Pro from Advanced Elements.
This kayak features an aluminum reinforced frame that defines the bow and stern.
The drop stitch flooring provides you with enough stability to stand up, or even reel in those big catches.
Meanwhile, the airframe pro seat with mesh paneling provides comfort that you would not believe until you sit in it.
If customization and carrying lots of accessories is your thing, then we haven't even gotten to the good part yet.
The additional features on this kayak include things like ample gear storage space, bungee lacing, stainless steel D rings for your drift anchor, paddle holders, and even a removable deep fin fur.
Inflatable kayaks can be awesome as long as they're built properly, and the straight edge Angler Pro is definitely on top of that list.
- Reinforced aluminum frame
- Airframe pro seat
- Great stability
- Inflatable... Inflatables kayaks are not for everyone. Outside of that, this thing is great.
10. Lifetime Tamarak 120 Angler Kayak - Best for Long Paddling Adventures
The Tamarack 120 Angler Kayak from Lifetime is lightweight, durable, and is styled well with an appealing sit-on-top design.
Also, you'll enjoy the comfortable padded seat and multiple foot pads for various sized riders.
There's plenty of storage space to accommodate all of your gear, with two 6-inch storage compartments in the rear and center.
For your fishing rods, there are two flush mounted fishing pole holders, and one top mount rotating rod holder. And, of course you have a paddle keeper to protect your paddle and to secure it when not in use.
Overall, this is a fairly solid sit on top style kayak and definitely gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
- Tons of space
- Multiple foot pads to accommodate all sizes and styles
- Is a bit on the heavier side
- Not very comfortable to sit in all day
11. Old Town Vapor 10 - Most Roomy Fishing Kayak
Besides just looking really cool, The Vapor 10 from Old Town is a kayak that brings you back to the basics.
The Vapor 10 is extremely roomy. It has a large cockpit with a comfortable seat, a cup holder, and plenty of leg room.
Also, perfectly positioned thigh pads and the Glide track foot brace system.
With the Vapor 10 you're guaranteed to get a smooth, stable ride if you don't mind sacrificing some of the fancy or bells and whistles. This kayak is perfect for anglers, sportsmen, or really any other paddler.
- Smooth, stable ride
- Very large cockpit
- Very basic design
- Cockpit could be padded better
12. Sevylor Quikpak K5 - Most Portable
The Seyvlor Quikpak K5 is basically a kayak in a backpack.
This is a one-person kayak that's designed to be quick and easy to set up, and have you in the water in a matter of minutes.
The core of everything is held together by a solid PVC frame construction, as the bottom is made from a rugged tarpaulin.
The tarpaulin is actually very tough so you shouldn't run into too many issues. If you do happen to slide across sharp rocks or otherwise get a puncture, the multiple air chambers integrated in this kayak allow you to stay inflated (even if one is punctured).
Storage is limited on this kayak, but you do have some, which is covered by bungees. D-rings are also present so that you can attach your other equipment.
- Innovative kayak in a backpack design
- Solid PVC frame construction
- Inflatable kayaks may not be for everyone
- Limited storage
13. Pelican The Catch 120 Kayak - Best for Performance
The Catch 120 is probably Pelican's highest performing kayak on the market to date.
This is a rather wide, flat platform kayak which is great for stability while you are casting outlines, or reeling in a big catch.
The overall design is of a sit-on-top.
The dual-position seat is a really nice touch and adds an extra layer of functionality that you don't typically get in lesser brands.
Designed for anglers who want to spend the day out on the water, The Catch 120 is certainly "a catch" at a good price.
- Great price
- Stable build
- Dual-position seating
- Difficult to transport
14. Ocean Tetra 12 - Sleek Design & Lightweight Fishing Kayak
The Tetra 12 from Ocean is a low profile kayak with clean lines and an extremely Sleek core design.
Made for simple single person day cruising, the Tetra 12 comes equipped with the unique comfort hybrid seat back.
It also comes with a molded-in cup holder, as well as one truly stellar foot brace system for its price range.
For all of your gear there's a rather large tank well with bungee, and of course a paddle keeper. The Click Seal bow hatch (found on the Tetra 12) is an easy to open cam lock hatch that will keep all of your items safe and dry.
It's lightweight frame, along with side mounted carrying handles, makes transporting the Tetra 12 kayak somewhat simple.
The ride in this kayak is extremely smooth. The overall design definitely contributes to how well it cuts through the water. We recommend this kayak to anyone who just wants to get out on the water for a day and enjoy a good paddle.
- Large tank well
- Click Seal bow hatch
- Lightweight frame
- None that we can find
15. Perception Pescador 12 - Most Comfortable Fishing Kayak
If you're in the market for an extremely versatile sit-on-top design kayak, then look no further than the Perception Pescador 12.
This kayak was built from the ground up, with anglers in squarely on the mind.
It comes with a comfort seating system that Perception has been implementing in most of their kayaks for several years now.
For your feet you have the 'Keepers Foot Brace' system, and for all of your gear you have a rather large tank well. The tank comes with bungee and another hatch at the center and stern.
The multi chine hull, broad shoulder, and tracking keel make the Pescador a champion when it comes to maneuverability and stability.
Overall, the Pescador is great for experienced anglers who are looking for something with a bit more capacity as well as speed.
- Multi-chine hull
- Very stable
- Ample storage capacity
- Hatches could seal better
How to Buy the Best Fishing Kayaks
There are many different brands of kayaks on the market to choose from right now, from but not all of them are created equally. That's where this fishing kayaks review comes in, to try and help you find the right kayak for your next outdoor excursion.
When it comes to choosing the right kayak though, it comes down to more than just brand and style -- it really comes down to the following 5 things.
Mother nature can be vicious, and the open riverways, seas and oceans are some of the most vicious. When waters get rough or nasty weather begins to pick up, you don't want to be caught ill prepared.
Most kayaks nowadays are made of a polyethylene material, but you can also find inflatable kayaks that work just as well.
Usually people have their preference when it comes to materials, just make sure that whatever kayak you decide to go with doesn't feel brittle or flimsy to the touch.
When purchasing a kayak, you really do get the materials that you pay for, so be very mindful of this. You don't want to start taking water into your kayak in the middle of a lake because you wanted to save a few bucks.
You don't want to choose a kayak that's too heavy nor too light; it needs to be just right. There are few reasons for this, the first being that if you're a smaller kayaker, then you obviously will want something that you can transport easily, without much strain or hassle.
Second, you don't want it to be too light. If your kayak is too locked, it is certainly going to affect the ride that you have in imperfect weather conditions. And, just because the kayak is stapled does not mean that it cannot flip.
While the space in your kayak or rather the room that you have in the kayak isn't of too terribly great importance, it is if you have a lot of gear to lug around, however.
If you need the extra space try to find one to accommodate this but if you don't have a ton of gear to take with you, then you probably just don't need it and can settle for something like D rings or another customizable rail system.
Probably one of the most important out of the things that you should look for in your next kayak is its shape.
Now, a lot of people either overlooked this or just don't care, but the shape of your kayak actually matters a lot. It needs to be aerodynamic and able to easily cut through the water.
The shape overall also determines what kind of rides you are going to get out of it. So, if the bottom has a lot of imperfections or has any small warped areas, this can greatly affect the ride that you're going to have.
Our Final Review for the Best Fishing Kayaks
We hope that our comparison list of the top fishing kayaks will help you make your decision for your next fishing trip.
If we've left out any of your favorite fishing kayaks, or one that you think deserves a spot on this list, just let us know in the comments!