The 15 Best Fishing Kayaks 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
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. Hobie Mirage Outback - 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. Ocean Kayak Frenzy - 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 on the Market
Prowler BG 2 Angler
Native Ultimate FX Propel 13
Hobie Pro Angler 12
Hobie Mirage Outback
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Eddyline C-135 Yakattack
FeelFree Move Angler
Ocean Kayak Frenzy
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
When talking about a fishing kayak, the Prowler BG 2 is an angler’s dream, and it's all about the capacity. You want a boat that gives you enough space for carrying your equipment with options for added accessories. Plus, you want the best fishing kayak you can get for the money.
Besides having ample storage, your kayak needs a comfortable fishing platform that has plenty of stability. When you’re fishing at night or in rougher waters, stability becomes an important issue. With the Prowler, once afloat it’s stability is impressive.
The wide-platform body makes the Prowler stable while adjustable Glide Track Foot Brace system raises the stability level even more. With these great features, you can wrestle the heavy weights without feeling as if you’re going for a swim.
The most impressive feature of the Prowler BG 2 is the almost unlimited rigging potential for individualized kayak customization. You get so much kayak space that offers so many possibilities you’ll find the perfect rigging solution for any angler.
Six strategically-placed mounting brackets, let you easily customize your kayak to your style and needs. Adjustable foot pads, large rear tank well, and a transducer-compatible scupper rounds out the included accessories.
Top Features of the Prowler BG 2:
- Element Seating System
- Six accessory mounting plates
- Click Seal covered large bow hatch
- Scupper with transducer compatibility
- Mod Pod center hatch cover
- Paddle keepers
- Battery storage bag
2. Native Ultimate FX Propel 13 - Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
The all-in-one Ultimate FX Propel 13 by Native Watercrafts is the best sit-on-top fishing kayak built for all die-hard anglers. When talking about the Propel 13, it’s one of those fishing kayaks that says, “go big or go home.”
So, what makes this little vessel the best sit-on-top fishing kayak?
Native Watercraft has the honor of being the only peddle driven fishing kayak with their Propel systems with reverse ability. Relaxed pedaling covers 4.2 miles per hour, and under hurried conditions, you can push it to 5.2 miles per hour.
With the Propel’s low-profile, you get great performance during windy conditions when using the kayak under power. Being the most versatile pedal-driven fishing kayak, the Propel 13 excels in the pedaling mode.
The light weight, coming in at 62-pounds, without the drive unit, makes it the lightest thirteen-foot pedal drive kayak available. The Propel’s light weight makes lifting effortless for transporting to your favorite spot and a day of hands-free fishing.
With a thirteen-foot length and a 400-pound weight capacity, you have plenty of room for angler and gear. A built-in transducer mount under the hull, and multiple Groove Track rail mounts from bow-to-stern are standard accessories.
This sit-on-top kayak comes loaded with features made for some serious fishing. The open deck makes light work of loading and unloading equipment. And if you have a lot of gear, you are in luck because this kayak has a massive under-seat storage space.
Top Features of the Ultimate FX Propel 13:
- Propel Drive
- Slide adjust seat
- Electronics Console with thumb screws
- Open bow hatch
- Super Seal plugs
- Open bow hatch
3. Hobie Pro Angler 12 - Most High End
A high-end fishing kayak, the Angler 12 has a smaller twelve-foot size but packs a whopping 500-pound weight capacity. If you want something shorter that fits into the back of your truck, then look at the Pro Angler 12.
Loaded with features anglers crave, the Angler 12 offers right or left-handed steering and a MirageDrive® with turbo fins. You get a retractable skeg for course-keeping and an integrated H-rail system for customization.
Every area of the Pro Angler 12 is easily accessible whether you’re floating or standing while fishing. For your time spent fishing, the Angler 12 comes fish-finder ready and a wide and stable platform for standing and sight fishing. For an added fishing bonus, Hobie added space for holding six rods and incorporated a tackle storage system.
Elevated seating integrates with Hobie’s patented Vantage® seat with Boa® lumbar support for comfort and easy movement. This seat is possibly the top selling point of the entire kayak.
This deluxe seat has comfort-mesh for breathability and has height and tilt adjustment on the seat back and base. Just a simple twist of the armrest and the seat is ready for floating.
The Boa® lumbar system and its single-handed dial adjustment give you ultimate lumbar support. If you’re stand fishing, the seat folds up out of the way. Or you can easily remove the Vantage® seat if you want to use it as a shore chair.
Top features of the Hobie Pro Angler 12:
- MirageDrive® with turbo fins
- Vantage® seating system with Boa® lumbar system
- Storage up to six rods
- H-rail mounting system
- Tracing keel
- Lowrance Ready fish finder installation system
4. Hobie Mirage Outback - for Pro Anglers
One of the most innovative manufacturers, Hobie has yet another amazing watercraft for the pro anglers.
The Hobie Mirage Outback takes the lead over the competition with its Mirage Drive technology. This patented technology allows the angler to use the stronger leg power, instead of the arms, to move the kayak.
The Twist and Stow Rudder system has easy engage and disengage with the t-shaped handles located on the kayak side. A knob, placed to the left side, controls the rudder by using a hand, unlike foot control with other kayaks.
While the Mirage Outback works well for recreational use, it excels as a fishing kayak. With a maximum 400-pound weight capacity, the Outback lets you take a load of fishing gear along.
Three hatches and two dry hatches keep valuables dry and safe. When bigger items, like backpacks, need to go along, store them in the rear with bungee tie downs.
The star of this kayak, the Mirage Drive system, propels the Outback both forwards and backward. Dual fins provide damage protection when pedaling in shallow waterways making the Outback ideal for lakes and streams.
For your fishing comfort, Hobie added a Vantage CT seat. This fully adjustable seat lets you take advantage of long fishing trips without the usual back pain. The comfort conscious seat has four points of adjustment including the back, bottom, lumbar support, and vantage seating.
To round out the Outback’s fishing features is the Lowrance Fish Finder ready system. Installation is easy with pre-drilled holes and plugs for mounting the fish finder.
Top features of the Hobie Mirage Outback:
- Tow and Stow Rudder system
- Lowrance Ready fish finder installation system
- MirageDrive® with turbo fins
- Vantage® seating system with Boa® lumbar system
- Hands-free fishing platform
- Mold-in rod holders
- Dry storage hatch
- Molded foot braces
5. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 - Best on Budget & Under $300
Coming in on the lower end of the pricing scale is the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10. This little angling gem and its low price make the perfect yak for beginners and the occasional paddlers.
The Aruba 10 is ideal for the budget minded that don’t need a lot of features or space for gear. While this may sound limiting, it’s important to remember; this kayak has a design for beginner kayakers and casual riders.
While not a power fishing vessel, the Aruba 10 does come equipped with some nice standard features. Weighing only forty pounds, the Aruba 10 has towing handles on the bow and stern for easy one-person transport.
The compact Aruba 10 has a brilliant design with fair-sized cockpit, adjustable foot pads and backrest, and small covered storage. The high-density polyethylene hull optimizes tracking and turns which is an unusual feature in small, lightweight kayaks.
A large open cockpit allows easy boarding, and the adjustable padded seat and protective thigh pads keep you comfortable. Sun Dolphin added to the comfort level by placing the recessed water bottle holder within easy reach while seated.
Rounding out the fishing features is a flush mount rod holder and paddle leashes for keeping oars connected. These small added conveniences add to heighten your level of fishing enjoyment.
Top features of the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10:
- Wide cockpit
- Adjustable foot braces
- Deluxe adjustable seat
- Shock cord deck rigging
- Water bottle holder
- Paddle holder
- Dry storage compartment
- Easy carry handles
- Spray deflector collar
6. Eddyline C-135 Yakattack - for Serious Fisherman
The C-135 YakAttack is a unique, award-winning kayak designed specifically for the serious fisherman.
Thermoformed construction gives the C-135 a 69-pound weight, lighter than that of the polyethylene construction. Even with its light weight, the C-135 can handle up to 450 pounds of weight.
This kayak is ideal for someone needing a lightweight, high-performance water vessel. The C-135 makes a great alternative to the heavier rigs currently available. You can pick this kayak up and go quickly.
The most sought-after feature of the C-135 that anglers look for is the Cloud 10 frame seating system. If you’re tired of the shorter fishing trips because of uncomfortable seating, Eddyline delivers with the Cloud four position seat.
With the Cloud 10 seat, you get high forward, high back, low, and reclined seating positions. Plus, the Cloud 10 folds back and out of your way to maximize fishing room. If you prefer, you can remove the seat altogether.
In addition to comfort, Eddyline added lots of space and customizable options for carrying your fishing gear. You get YakAttack’s top loading GearTrack for a variety of accessory additions like trolling motors and stake out poles.
At the back are two flush mount fishing rod holders along with front located roomy hatches and a molded-in drink cup holder. For ease of maneuvering, the C-135 has two RotoGrip paddle holders and traction pads.
Top features of the Eddyline C-135 YakAttack:
- Cloud 10 Frame seating
- Adjustable foot braces
- Power pod hatches with hatch liners
- Two top loading Yak Tracks
- YakAttack rod holder
- Side accessory mounting tracks
- Balanced carbon handles
- Stern tank well bungees
7. FeelFree Move Angler - Ideal for Small Paddlers
When you need a kayak for kids or other small paddlers, the FeelFree Move Angler is the perfect answer. This light and agile vessel helps your small paddler enter the world of kayak fishing.
The FeelFree Move is an ideal kayak for lakes, rivers, and estuaries. With the Move’s easy maneuvering combined with thigh straps, you have a great vessel for riding the surf.
Even with its lightweight and small stature, the Move Angler is feature rich for this sized kayak. Features like recessed fittings, molded-in handles, and FeelFree’s patented Wheel in the Keel come standard on the Move Angler.
The tri-hull design adds great tracking and amazing stability and easily paddles in a straight line. At nine feet long, 29.75 inches wide, and weighing only 42 pounds, the Move is quick maneuvering on the water. With the small, light-weight profile, and Wheel in the Keel, this kayak is easily moved on and off the water.
Top features of the FeelFree Move Angler:
- Fishing rod holders and security leashes
- Bottle holder
- Kingfisher seat
- Wheel in the Keel
- Molded-in handles
- Recessed fittings
- Bow quarter turn hatch
8. Ocean Kayak Frenzy - Best for Beginner Paddlers
The sit-on-top, hard shell Ocean Kayak Frenzy gets consistent best for beginner paddlers ratings. The Frenzy comes in at 9-feet long and 31-inches wide with a light weight of only 43 pounds.
While called a sit-on-top kayak, the tri-form design has a small cockpit, making it a cross between sit-in and sit-on-top. This proprietary design gives the Frenzy excellent stability and tracking.
With a maximum weight capacity of 325-pounds, larger paddlers or anglers carrying heavy gear can enjoy a day of paddling. The frenzy’s low cost makes it a great entry-level kayak. Or for those moving from a standard boat to a sit-on-top, the Frenzy is a good place to start.
The tri-hull design makes the Frenzy an incredibly stable kayak. A distinctive keel runs down the kayak middle, and bulging shoulders sit on each side. Like an outrigger canoe, the Frenzy’s deep center keel keeps it traveling straight, and outer pontoons prevent tipping.
A self-bailing vessel, the Frenzy has four scupper holes in the seat well and molded footrests. Purchasing plugs for the drain holes can help stop water sloshing.
Even though light on features, the Frenzy does have the essentials needed for an enjoyable voyage. You get several holding and storage bins, molded into the kayak. A stern cargo well, shallow bow storage area, and strap down with bungees for securing extra gear. One thing the Frenzy doesn’t lack is storage areas.
Top features of the Ocean Kayak Frenzy:
- Tri-form hull
- Scupper holes
- Replaceable rear skid plate
- Adjustable padded seat
- Multiple footwells
- Aluminium shaft paddle
Not everyone loves an inflatable kayak, but those who do, love them for their ease of portability. Inflatables can never compare to a hard-shell kayak, and it’s tracking and maneuverability. But, with today’s construction materials the inflatables offer a vessel for fishing and even, white water rafting.
The Advanced Elements Straight Edge Angler Pro gives the casual fisherman a good choice for the most compact inflatable kayak. An aluminum reinforced frame in the bow and stern helps with flex in the inflatable hulls. This added feature makes a big improvement in the ability to enter and exit the kayak.
The rigidness of the bow and stern helps keep the kayak on a straight course. You can add the optional skeg fin to help improve the tracking.
Stabilizing bars on the fore and aft and drop stitch flooring improves handling and adds enough stability to stand up. Besides stability, the stabilizing bars add accessory attachment points with the one-inch bar mounts.
To further bridge the gap between rigid and inflatable kayaks, the StraightEdge comes with an AirFrame Pro seat. The mesh paneling of the seat gives the StraightEdge a solid foundation for a comfortable ride during long outings.
Top features of the Advanced Elements StraightEdge Angler Pro:
- Accessory frame system
- Advanced Elements Spring-valve
- Drop-stitch flooring
- Stainless steel d-rings
- Front and rear bungee deck lacing
- AirFrame Pro seat
- Stainless steel d-rings for stringer attachment and drift anchor
- Removable deep fin
- Paddle holders
10. Lifetime Tamarak 120 Angler Kayak - Best for Long Paddling Adventures
When looking for a kayak for long fishing adventures that stays within a modest budget, check out the LifeTime Tamarack.
Made of lightweight, durable UV protected high-density polyethylene; the Tamarack has good styling in a sit-on-top design. While the Tamarack isn’t a fancy kayak, it excels where other kayaks in its class fail.
LifeTime, with their confidence in their products, gave the Tamarack a 5-year limited material warranty. This warranty is very impressive in the field of budget-priced kayaks. But, LifeTime didn’t stop with a great warranty, they added features that you find in higher priced kayaks.
With the Tamarack Angler, you get some fantastic tracking and stability from a well-designed hull. Stability Added Chine rails let even the smaller anglers stand and fish comfortably and safely.
Extra storage space easily accommodates coolers, bags, and other gear. Two 6-inch storage compartments in the rear and bow store smaller gear like tackle and other items or accessories.
For your fishing rods, there are two flush mounted fishing pole holders, and one top mount rotating rod holder. Other features include a paddle with side and front bungees to hold it in place.
When it comes to comfort, you get a seat with padded backrest and multiple foot pads for different sized riders.
Top features of the Lifetime Tamarack 120 Angler Kayak:
- Stability chine rails
- Deep hull tracking channels
- Six-inch front and rear storage hatches
- Top mounted rod holder
- Two flush mount rod holders
- Paddle cradle and bungee
- Padded seat back
- Molded-in footwells
- Bow and stern carry handles
- Five-year limited warranty
11. Old Town Vapor 10 - Most Roomy Fishing Kayak
The Vapor 10 from Old Town is a great looking kayak that brings you back to the basics. If you don’t care about the bells and whistles on fancier kayaks, the Vapor delivers.
The extra-large cockpit makes the Vapor 10 the roomiest fishing kayak on our list. With perfectly positioned thigh pads and a Glide Track foot bracing system, most riders can fish in comfort.
Adding to the comfort level of the Vapor 10 is a Comfort Flex adjustable seat with memory foam. This seat molds itself to your body, giving you maximum comfort on the all-day fishing trip.
The Vapor has good storage capacity with a high sitting stern day well that avoids water ingress. Included in the storage is a molded-in paddle rest, rod holder, cockpit tray, and cup holder.
Constructed of single-layer polyethylene, the Vapor’s lightweight, short length, and carry handles make it easy to transport. But, don’t let the lightweight construction fool you. The Vapor 10 has a thick hull, capable of withstanding just about anything you throw at it.
The hull shape cuts through the water with ease and has excellent tracking. Easy to maneuver, the Vapor sits high above the water while retaining its balance. If capsized, you can easily right this kayak with little effort.
Top features of the Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak:
- Durable single layer polyethylene
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Extra roomy cockpit
- Adjustable Comfort Flex memory foam padded seat
- Thigh and knee pads
- Glide Track Foot Brace system
- Cockpit rim paddle rest
- Stern day well
12. Sevylor Quikpak K5 - Most Portable
Known as a kayak in a backpack, the Sevylor Quikpak K5 is one of the most portable kayaks available. The K5 easily and quickly deflates into its alternative function as a rucksack. Even if you depend on mass transportation, you can carry your kayak on your back and head to the water.
Once you’re on the water, the backpack carrying bag folds up and becomes the seat. It’s not the most comfortable seat, but most inflatables aren’t made for all day fishing trips.
The one-person K5 has a quick and easy setup that gets you on the water in five minutes. Despite its small size, the K5 has the strength of some of its hard-shell brothers.
The 24-gauge PVC lining and rugged 1000D polyester tarpaulin underside make the K5 puncture resistant. Even if you do take a hit from a sharp object, multiple air chambers allow you to keep afloat long enough to get to shore.
There’s limited storage on this kayak, but you do have some, which is covered by bungees. There’s a zippered storage compartment located behind the seat, good for snacks and small gear items. D-rings are also present so that you can attach your other equipment.
Top features of the Sevylor Quikpak K5 Kayak:
- Easy carry backpack system
- No leak Airtight® System
- Double Lock™ valves
- Inflation and deflation locking points
- Spray covers
- Bungee storage
- Carry handles
- Hand pump
- Limited one-year
13. Pelican The Catch 120 Kayak - Best for Performance
The Catch 120 is probably Pelican's best performing kayak on the market to date. Pelican’s first sit-on-top kayak, designed for stand-up fishing, has a bunch of features common to its competitor’s stand-up fishing kayaks.
The large, flat, and wide platform kayak offers plenty of room for stand fishing or mounting accessories. The wide build gives this kayak some fantastic stability while casting a line and reeling in the big catch.
Even with a 34-inch wide hull, the Catch 120 is surprisingly fast and not only paddles well but turns quickly.
A quick-lock bow hatch holds the day’s catch or extra fishing rods, and a bungee tank well makes a great cooler. Behind the seat are flush mount rod holders for keeping rods easily accessible.
The high-low, dual-position seat easily adjusts for fishing or paddling, adding extra functionality not normally found in other kayak brands.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Catch 120 is its lightweight thermoformed construction. The Ram-X Premium multi-layer Polyethylene construction makes the kayak light yet tough and scratch resistant. The weightlessness of the 120 transforms into paddling energy conservation and quick turns.
Top features of the Pelican The Catch 120 Kayak:
- ERGOCAST dual position seat
- Adjustable footrests
- Flush mount rod holders
- Bottle holder
- Bungeed tank well
- Stand assist strap
- Two accessory eyelets
- Quick lock hatch
- Two paddle tie-downs
- Drain plug
- Four scupper plugs
- Carry handles
14. Ocean Tetra 12 - Sleek Design & Lightweight Fishing Kayak
Ocean Kayak’s recognizable Modular Fishing Pod shows through with the Tetra 12’s center console. With this modular system, you can easily store and access fishing poles through a variety of mounting options. Besides mounting poles, the Mod Pod lets you mount various fish finders or other electronic devices.
This simple, cruiser comes equipped with a unique comfort hybrid seat back. The seat bottom snaps into place while webbing ends in the captive buckle. No more backache that comes with standard kayak seating for more enjoyable water time.
While comfort is a top priority in any kayak, storage and space is also an important detail to enjoyable kayaking adventures. For storing your gear, there's a large tank well with bungee and a Click Seal bow hatch with easy open cam lock. A molded-in paddle keeper and cup holder round out the storage features of the Tetra 12.
When it comes to performance, the Tetra 12 is low-profile with clean lines and a sleek core design. The streamlined design means no catching wind for good movement through the water.
The twelve-foot length adds more cockpit room without taking away speed for excelling on any flat water. Designed for big water the Tetra 12 cuts through the surf and glides fast.
Transporting the Tetra 12 is easy with its lightweight frame and side mounted carrying handles.
Top features of the Ocean Kayak Tetra 12:
- Modular Fishing Pod II
- Foot brace support system
- Comfort Hybrid seat back
- Bungee tank well
- Bow hatch
- Drain plug
- Side mount carry handles
- Paddle keepers
15. Perception Pescador 12 - Most Comfortable Fishing Kayak
Built from the ground up with the angler in mind, the Pescador has the versatility needed in a fishing kayak.
Starting with the most important feature of any kayak is the comfort for an all-day ride. The Pescador 12 has a Comfortable Seating System cockpit, consisting of a molded-in seat with adjustable padded backrest. The lightweight foam used in the backrest forms the seat pads, providing the comfort Perception is known for.
Along with the Comfort Seating is the Keepers foot brace system, consisting of molded-in foot braces. You can adjust the built-in braces while paddling for maintaining an optimum comfort level throughout the day.
The 12-foot Pescador has an impressive carry load of 350 pounds. The large opening in the CSS cockpit comfortably fits all sized kayakers. And with the large weight load, you can easily store lots of gear.
A rear tank well offers added storage options while bow, center, and stern hatches store all the supplies you need. You’ll never run out of room for carrying your personal belongings.
Perhaps the best part of the Pescador 12 is its outstanding performance abilities. This sit-on-top far outpaces its peers when it comes to design and tracking. What the Pescador offers isn’t normally found in a kayak in this price range.
Top features of the Perception Pescador 12:
- Comfort seating
- 2-level seat adjustment and breathable mesh
- Keepers foot brace system
- One-piece, leak-proof construction
- Molded-in carry handles
- Replaceable skid plate
- Front and rear open storage
- Removable stretch-mesh bow storage
- Accessory gear tracks
- Fish finder console
- Quick-adjust footrests
How to Buy the Best Fishing Kayaks
The popularity of fishing kayaks continues to grow each year. And why not? Fishing kayaks are more stable than a canoe and more portable and less expensive than motor powered boats. Plus, kayaks are the best for smaller water bodies, giving urban area anglers countless water access points.
With the fishing kayak popularity, the industry has exploded with dozens of vessel manufacturers vying for your kayaking dollars. While the competition means better quality and more fishing specific designs for the consumer, it also leads to confusion.
There are many different kayak brands on the market to choose from right now, but not all are the same. Finishing up our review of the best fishing kayaks is information to help you make sense of the confusion.
We want to help you find the right kayak for your next outdoor excursion. When choosing the kayak right for you, it’s more than brand or style.
Your final decision comes down to these four final considerations:
Mother nature can be vicious, and the open riverways, seas, and oceans are some of the most treacherous. When waters get rough or nasty weather begins to pick up, you don't want to be caught ill-prepared.
The type of construction used in a kayak is a top consideration. Most kayaks are made of polyethylene and are the heaviest. Other kayaks, like inflatables, are made of a heavy-duty tarpaulin material. While not as heavy duty as the polyethylene composition, a good inflatable works well for different kayaking situations.
If your planned use includes waterways that are at times, a little more adventurous, then you need a polyethylene hull. These kayaks are tough and the perfect choice for fishing along rocky shorelines or difficult sea areas like oyster beds. If you plan to take your kayak in any areas with sharp underwater objects, the polyethylene composition is best.
A drawback to polyethylene kayaks is they lack the efficiency of other kayak designs and take more paddling effort. With their heavier weight, they are also slower. However, unless your planned use requires speed, then polyethylene is the way to go.
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 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.
With all the advancement in the fishability, stability, and storage, kayaks keep getting heavier. When researching which kayak to buy, add the kayak weight to the considerations. You want a kayak that’s not too heavy, but you don’t want it too light, either.
When plans include fishing secluded and unknown waters, you need a yak that’s easy to transport to the water. But, if you’re going directly from your vehicle to the water, a lightweight kayak isn’t a top priority.
Small paddlers need a vessel light enough they can transport it without too much strain. However, a kayak that’s too light affects your ride in less than perfect weather conditions. If you’re constantly concerned about the kayak flipping, it drastically reduces your paddling enjoyment.
Generally, when you’re looking at buying a kayak, vessel type makes a big difference in the weight. A sit-on-top kayak model is much heavier than a sit-in model, so consider carefully before making your final choice.
It’s all about the space. Or to an angler, it is. To the casual paddler, how much room you have in a kayak isn’t necessarily that important. However, those lugging around a lot of gear, like anglers, it’s a vital consideration.
Most anglers will tell you, they have too much gear, but they take along every bit because it’s all important. This means it’s important you find a kayak that has the room you need for what you consider the necessities.
Some kayaks in our review have integrated storage and live wells. Others have molded in options for external storage. Sit-on-top kayaks usually offer internal hatches, whereas sit-in kayaks utilize the hull’s open space for storage.
When deciding on a kayak, list out everything you might carry while fishing, no matter how insignificant it seems. Next, visualize where you can store everything in the kayak you plan to buy.
If you need the extra space, try to find one to accommodate everything you have. If you don't have a ton of gear to take along, then you probably don't need the extra storage room. Settle for something that accommodates d-rings, bungees, or customizable rail systems.
The shape is perhaps the most important consideration out of all four of those we listed. While many people overlook it or don’t care, the shape makes a bigger difference than what you might think.
Kayak hulls vary in their basic shape, either curving or not. You can see the curve in the bottom or the sides of the kayak, known as rocker and chine respectively. The curves or lack of, affect many factors in kayak performance, mainly stability.
When talking about stability, you have primary and secondary. Primary stability is the steadiness of kayaking on flat water. Secondary refers to the ability to remain stable when tipped on the side. Often a kayak that’s stable in rough waters can feel tippy in calm waters, or vice versa.
Manufacturers work with different factors for finding the perfect balance between primary and secondary stability, dependant upon the intended purpose. When it comes to a fishing kayak, the stability design for coastal fishing is different for lake and stream fishing. This is what makes choosing the fishing kayak shape so important.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, it affects the ride. Plus, the shape, and whether aerodynamic or blocky, affects how easily the kayak cuts through the water.
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!