Fly fishing is more of an art than a sport. It requires a significant amount of hand-eye coordination and balance. Therefore, when you’re looking for the best fly fishing kayak, you want it to be stable and comfortable, with a large deck.
Here’s a look at some of the best fly fishing kayaks on the market, so you can find the right fit for you.
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6 Best Fly Fishing Kayaks 2020
|Hobie Mirage Outback Camo Kayak 2018||12 feet, 1 inch||33 inches||Pedaling, reverse and forward sit-on-top, 400-pound weight capacity, 4 rod holders||Check Current Price|
|FeelFree Lure 11.5 Kayak||11 feet, 5 inches||36 inches||Electronic Pod, standing bar and platform 2-rod holders||Check Current Price|
|Native Watercraft Slayer Propel||13 feet||33 inches||Pedaling reverse and forward. Three rod holders||Check Current Price|
|WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tarpon 100 Kayak||10 feet||30.5 inches||SlideTrax System Waterproof storage. Large day well||Check Current Price|
|Ocean Kayak Prowler||12 feet 9 inches||34 inches||Very customizable. Ocean-friendly||Check Current Price|
|Perception Kayak Pescador Pro Sit on Top for Fishing||12 feet||32.5 inches||Large stern well. Adjustable.||Check Current Price|
If you love fishing from the shore – providing you find the best fly fishing kayak – you might just find that kayaking revolutionizes your journey. Why? Because you’ll be able to get to all those nooks and crannies on the lake, where the fish are hiding!
Choose the Best Fly Fishing Kayak for You
1. Hobie Mirage Outback Camo Kayak
Hobie is an incredible kayak company that has designed kayaks to be hands-free. That’s right, you don’t have to paddle if you don’t want to.
They’re hands-free, due to pedals on the bottom of the kayak. The Mirage is especially unique because it allows the kayaker to move forward and backward, all by using his or her feet.
This is a sit-on-top kayak, which means there is plenty of room to stand on top of the kayak. Sit-on-top kayaks also provide an extra level of safety, as kayakers can easily escape the kayak should it tip.
Why the Hobie Mirage Is Our #1 Pick for Best Fly Fishing Kayak
So, there’s room to stand on top of this kayak, but is it safe too? Let’s take a look at the beam on this boat. With a length of over 12 feet, the width of 33 inches provides exactly the amount of stability needed to safely stand up.
The seat on this kayak is extremely comfortable and allows maximum breathability, therefore you can stay in the Hobie Mirage all day. Additionally, there are foot pegs which are adjustable too.
Finally, for those who carry lots of equipment, the Mirage is a great choice. It allows for 400 pounds of gear to be stored inside. It also has four rod holders and is designed to afford fly fishermen and women the best experience.
- Can be pedaled forward and backward
- 400-pound weight capacity
- 4 rod holders
- Two waterproof storage compartments
- 1 storage compartment without waterproofing
- Can clean fish in the kayak
- Sail mount option
- Easy to install a fish finder
- Weighs 99 pounds
This kayak may not be as popular as the Hobie Mirage Outback, but it has some very unique features that make it extremely beneficial for fly fishing.
To begin with, the Lure is a little shorter than the Mirage Outback. It measures at just 11 and a half feet.
However, the width of this fly fishing kayak is 3 inches wider, making it 36 inches in width. This makes it perfect for standing on top of the kayak, with plenty of room.
It also comes equipped with a standing bar, which allows kayakers to pull themselves up with ease and stay safely balanced.
Further Review of the FeelFree Lure
Aside from the standing bar, there’s also a standing platform in the bottom of the kayak. This makes it safe to not only fish from a standing position, but to paddle from a standing position as well.
The biggest feature on this kayak is the sonar pod. This pod is a small, waterproof container on the inside the kayak. You can place electronic devices, such as a fish finder, in the pod and then lower the pod into the water.
Finally, this kayak has maximum comfort with a Feelfree Gravity Seat. The seat can be adjusted in four directions. It’s simple to move with just the push or pull of a lever.
- Sonar pod
- 36 inch beam
- Standing platform
- Standing bar
- Adjustable seat
- Rod Holders
- 2 Storage Hatches
- More difficult tracking
The Slayer Propel by Native Watercraft boasts the ability to be completely customized. For many fishermen and women, this is the major draw.
The length of this kayak is 13 feet and the width is 33 inches. This is a fairly stable kayak and should allow those with good balance to stand easily.
Keep in mind that the width is the same as the Hobie, but the length is a bit longer. This means it’s a little less stable than the Hobie Mirage Outback.
However, as this is another sit-on-top kayak, it should be decently easy to stand up.
The Slayer Propel 13 is very similar to the Hobie Mirage Outback in more ways than one. It has a pedal system which moves forward and in reverse. It also has a rudder, with controls in the right hand. There are also three fishing rod holders on this kayak.
This kayak has a weight capacity of 500 pounds. This should be enough even for larger kayakers, and all of your equipment. Feel confident bringing whatever gear you need with you in your boat as you spend all day fly fishing on your local lake.
- Pedal System
- Three fishing rod holders
- Beam of 33 inches
- Length of 13 feet
- 500 pound capacity
- Less stable
The Tarpon 100 is a kayak designed by Wilderness Systems. It is another sit-on-top kayak, boasting lots of storage and even waterproof options.
As far as stability goes, this kayak only measures 10 feet in length and 30 ½ inches in width. This provides quite a bit of stability for kayakers. Additionally, because there is no pedal system in this kayak, it’s easy to stand up.
The Tarpon 100 has lots of comfort features as well. The seat is not molded into the kayak or even resting on the base. Instead, it’s a full seat which provides comfort for the kayaker. A mesh covering prevents any sort of stickiness from hot weather.
Additionally, the seat is a Phase 3 AirPro, which is the most comfortable seat Wilderness Systems creates. So, if you’re looking for comfort, this might be one of the best fly fishing kayaks for you.
This kayak has a SlideTrax system which allows you to choose which accessories you want, including extra rod holders.
There is a lot of storage on this kayak, with two waterproof hatches, one in the bow and one in the center of the seating area. You’ll also find a very large day well, which allows for storage in the rear.
One drawback on this kayak is the weight capacity. At only 325 pounds, if you’re a larger kayaker, this may not provide enough support for you, your gear, and your catches. Be cautious with how much you bring with you.
- Sit-on-top kayak
- 10 feet long
- 30 ½ inches wide
- Very stable
- Mesh covered Phase 3 AirPro seat
- Two waterproof compartments
- Rear day well storage
- No pedal system
- 325-pound weight capacity
This kayak is another sit-on-top, but it’s designed for the ocean. Catching large fish should be no issue in this yak.
With a length of nearly 13 feet and a beam of 34 inches, this kayak is stable as can be in the water. The Prowler Big Game II is perfectly prepared to balance in difficult waters and handle ocean currents.
That being said, comfort is not as significant in this boat as others on this list. The seat is molded in, which means that it sits fairly low in the kayak. This can be a negative for some kayakers, as it may not provide maximum comfort.
There are, however, adjustable footrests and the seat is adjustable as well. This provides a few extra areas of comfort.
Additionally, this kayak has multiple options for customization. There is a rather large molded in holder, which is perfect for your drink, a sonar, or other small gear you may need close by.
The Prowler provides the optimum experience for any fly fishermen, in part to its incredible storage area. There is a small waterproof storage compartment in the bow. In the stern, you’ll find a decently sized day well.
The Prowler Big Game II is the gem of Ocean’s eye. It is also a kayak which has a massive weight capacity of 600 pounds! For those after exceptional storage, this could be the best fly fishing kayak for you.
- 13 feet long
- Beam is 34 inches
- Very stable
- Adjustable footrests
- Adjustable seat
- Good storage
- Seat sits low
- Stern day well is smaller
The Perception Pescador Pro series are sit-on-top kayaks with extra features for fishermen. These kayaks can track well in a variety of conditions, so you’ll enjoy lakes, rivers or calm coastal waters.
One of the best things about this yak, is that it’s lightweight and easy to store, despite the extra features.
Storage is an important consideration when you’re looking for the best fly fishing kayak. The Pescador Pro offers accessory mount options, a large stern well and a bungee-secured bow well. There’s also tackle box storage in the front seat.
For ultra-comfortable seating, there’s a stadium-style seat with two positions so you can adjust to fit. Molded cup and rod holders ensure you have room for your equipment and favorite drink. There are also molded carry handles, to make it easy to get the kayak to the water’s edge.
The Perception Pescador is a durable kayak and resistant to UV rays and abrasion. It can hold up to 375 pounds, which is good news if you love to bring a fair amount of equipment.
Compared to the others on this list, it may be shakier when standing up. However, it’s certainly possible on this stable yak.
- Comfortable stadium-style seats
- Rear tank well bungee
- Center console
- Stern 5 deck plate
- 2 molded in rod holders
- Molded in cup holders
- Tackle box storage
- May not be as sturdy on standing, as other kayaks
When purchasing the best kayak for fly fishing, you must ensure the kayak allows you to stand up comfortably.
It is also significant to make sure the kayak has a large enough open deck to provide adequate room to fly fish.
Finally, you must consider the weight capacity on your kayak. If the weight capacity is too low, you, your gear, and your fish may not be able to be safely carried in the yak.
Choosing a kayak with stability is another important choice for fly fishing. To choose a kayak with stability, you should consider the width and length of the kayak.
For many fishing kayaks, the length will be greater than 10 feet. This helps accommodate all of the gear and weight capacity that you need.
Once the length starts reaching 12 feet, the beam simply must measure more than 30 inches. If the beam is more narrow than this, the kayak can lose a significant amount of stability.
To feel confident standing up in the kayak, it’s best to have a beam of 33 inches or more. Other features which allow you to stand in the kayak are standing platforms and standing bars.
Not many kayaks actually come equipped with these platforms or standing bars, so it can be incredibly beneficial to find a kayak which incorporates this into the design.
Comfort is crucial for fishing kayaks, as most fishermen don’t just fish for an hour or two, but for an entire day. When considering comfort, the primary concern is the seat.
Ensure that the seat is mesh covered, allowing for breathability. This prevents the kayaker from getting stuck to the seat.
Another feature to look for on your kayak is an adjustable seat. It helps to have a seat which adjusts in four directions, if at all possible.
This allows the seat to be raised, lowered, and moved front and back. Ultimately, this provides maximum comfort for varying heights of kayakers and those with back issues.
Storage is key for fly fishing, as is weight capacity. The best fly fishing kayak will always have a large day well or other space which can function as a place to keep fish. Day wells are ideal for this, as they can be filled with water and the water can typically still be oxygenated.
Fishing is a sport that involves lots of small pieces. So, aim for waterproof storage either on the yak or as a separate storage system.
Weight capacity is also incredibly important on a fishing kayak. You need to be able to haul all of your gear, which may mean multiple tackle boxes and certainly means multiple poles.
It can also mean you need extra space or weight for any catches that you’ll want to keep and clean or have mounted. All this being said, the best fly fishing kayak should have a weight capacity of about 450 pounds, if you’re really serious about the sport.
The ideal deck for fly fishing is found on a sit-on-top kayak. This is because they have no cockpit to speak of, instead, the kayaker sits right on top of the kayak. This often allows for extra storage and extra room.
Other deck benefits are the ability for you to stand easily. Ideally, the deck on a kayak where standing is an option will have some sort of traction pad available. These traction pads keep kayakers safe by giving them sure footing, even if the kayak top is wet.
The first feature to look for in a kayak meant for fly fishing is the ability to stand up. Make sure the kayak you purchase has a wide beam, and ensure that it’s stable enough for you to move around safely.
Other features you might consider are the size of the deck and the comfort of the seat on the kayak. These features allow for an optimal fly fishing experience in the best fly fishing kayak for you and your loved ones.