Fishing

Best Fishing Kayaks 2018 – Ultimate Guide from Experts

Fishing is perhaps one of the most relaxing outdoor activity. Numerous anglers often swear that fishing by boat is undisputedly the most effective way of soaring more fish. Not all fishing enthusiasts conquer with this as boats have their own pros and cons. Hypothetically, a good number choose to prefer kayaks as the perfect watercraft to spend your day fishing on the water.

Fishing In A Kayak

Kayaks are stealthy, overly stable, requires no maintenance costs yet offers enough space that accommodates all your fishing gear. This is reflected by the fact that fishing kayaks have soared immense popularity over recent years. Similarly, this has led to an increase in brands and models, aiming to match the increasing demand.

It is due to this that finding the best fishing kayaks is becoming a challenging process. It can be a tough hassle considering that you have to look into dozens of factors before settling on the right one. You’ll need to compare the various features and performance of the various models. Nonetheless, the outline below can help you in finding the best kayak.

Top 10 Best Fishing Kayaks

ImageFishing KayakWeightSit TypePrice
Riot Kayaks Escape 12Sit-on-top
ADVANCED ELEMENTS
Lifetime 10 Foot Sport
Sun Dolphin ArubaSit-on-top
Hobie Mirage Outback
Sea Eagle 420x
Ocean Zest Two ExpeditionSit-on-top
Old Town Dirigo 106 Recreational
Sun Dolphin JourneySit-on-top
Old Town 10 Recreational

#1 Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler Sit-On-Top Flatwater Fishing Kayak – Best Sit on Top Kayak at a Price


The Riot Escape fishing kayak is considered the Cadillac of fishing kayaks. This is not only because it is quite expensive but also comes with incomparably the most bells and whistles. It is a stable sit on top kayak with remarkable tracking for its size.

Safe Sit on Top Seat

The kayak has four properly mounted attachment points with independent straps providing utmost comfort. The combo allows anglers to customize their sitting position easily. This makes your ride comfortable even in dangerous water.

Pilot Rudder System

Steering this kayak is simple, brought about by the pilot rudder system constructed of plastic and reinforced with glass. Its rudder system comprises of oval pulleys, a solid yet lightweight blade in an openwork design to promote low windage. The rubberized V-block also dampens any vibration resulting in a smooth ride.

Multiple Rod Holders

The kayak comes with multiple – actually, five-rod holders to meet all your angling needs. Four of the rod holders are stationary while one can vertically adjust and rotate up to 360 degrees. This allows you to perfectly execute your placement as its smooth swivel locking ability enables you to get a maximum grip of your fishing rod.

 

What We Like About This

  • The kayak comes with an easy to handle rudder system
  • Multiple rod holders provide maximum comfort when fishing.
  • It comes with sufficient storage space and an adjustable seat for comfort.
  • The kayak comes with angler-specific features which makes it the best choice above other average fishing kayaks.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Riot Kayaks are perhaps among the popular kayak companies due to the stature of gears they produce. The Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler Sit-On-Top Flatwater Fishing Kayak is designed and comes with amazing features for fishing-minded kayakers. It is a great combination of performance and stability with excellent load capacity that won’t limit your escapades. The adjustable sliding foot braces are there to provide support and comfort to your legs.


#2 ADVANCED ELEMENTS Unisex Adult Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak – Best Beginner Kayak


The Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak is a cheap and perhaps the most cheerful inflatable kayak increasingly becoming a secondary option to many. Unlike other cheap inflatable kayaks that succumb to easy puncture, this model delivers a better option at affordable rates.

Design and Build Quality

This is the most stunning aspect of this kayak. Just like the previous model, it comes with aluminum ribs which enable the kayak to make great strides in its tracking ability. Its aluminum shaping helps in cutting through the water with much ease as well as adds its strength and stability needed.

Puncture Resistant

Something that would strike your mind when it comes to inflatable kayaks is perhaps puncturing. True, this is a common problem. However, this model has some puncture resistance provided by the three layers of build materials. Besides preventing easy puncture, it makes the kayak durable.

Comfort

You need some comfort when out in the waters fishing. Otherwise, you won’t catch enough fish as well as have enough fun. This is why the Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak comes with a high support and adjustable padded seats which provide the needed comfort for lengthy pedaling hours.

Ease of Use and Assembly

Inflatable kayaks often have assembly phases. This model comes preassembled at the factory. You will only need to unfold, inflate fully and attach the seats. The seats are present at the edge and are easy to fit.

What We Like About This

  • The kayak comes with a cutting-edge design with a rigid bow and high-end components.
  • The kayak’s front and back ribs are composed of aluminum shapings that slice through water increasing its tracking performance.
  • It is delivered pre-assembled thus ease of use. You’ll only need to inflate and fix the seats.
  • Has adjustable padded seats which provide sufficient comfort for several hours of pedaling.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Unisex Adult Advanced Frame Convertible Kayak is perhaps the best inflatable kayak that combines a solid build, safety and high quality at a lower price. It’s delight on water, compact when deflated at the back of your car and perfect for fishing.


#3 Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak – Best for Space, Comfort, and Convenience


The Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak is perhaps among the best fishing kayaks present currently. It is designed with a tunnel hill that provides ample space for casting when sitting or standing. Whether fishing solo or with your family, this kayak accommodates your needs. Space, comfort, and convenience perfectly describe this kayak.

Great Seating Space

As mentioned before, the kayak can accommodate both solo and family fishing. So to say, it can comfortably accommodate three people, translating to up to 500lbs of weight. This provides ample space for your and other company or family, and all gear to hit the waters.

Quality Construction

The Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak is made of lightweight and high density and durable polyethylene. It is also UV-protected exteriorly to ensure that it won’t fade, peel or crack despite a blinding sun.

Stability

A kayak that supports up to three people ought to be stable. That said, this kayak is stable enough to allow standing without worrying of toppling over. You can comfortably carry along your seven-year-old for fishing.

Additional Accessories

The kayak seeks to provide utmost comfort and convenience by incorporating various fishing-friendly accessories. Some additional features include four fishing pole holders, rear storage hatch, shock cord straps and much more.

 

What We Like About This

  • The kayak is wide enough to provide the much-needed stability for three people.
  • It is made from high-quality components to provide an enjoyable and comfortable fishing experience.
  • Despite being low priced, it doesn’t compromise on durability, stability, space, and versatility.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

When you see a product backed by 5-year warranty, something is intriguing about it. This is what Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak brings to you. Great durability, stability, affordable rates, comfort and many other angler oriented features.


#4 Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak – Best for Lake and River Trips


The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak is the perfect way of enjoying outdoors. Enjoy a day of tranquility coupled with good exercise at the next lake or river with this kayak. It slowly glides in water, with great comfort yet easy to control.

Features of Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

Design

The kayak is crafted with a tough polyethylene hull to provide great puncture resistance. Other features making this kayak’s design outstanding include the deluxe adjustable seat with adjustable foot braces and back support for comfort.

Convenience

This is a one-person kayak with great convenience. To begin, the cockpit is large enough to provide ample breathing space for your ride. There are attached handles for easy transport. Also, it has a paddle holder to secure your paddle when not in use. Additional front and rear bungees provides additional storage.

Comfort

Since the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak has only space for one person, it maximizes the comfort of the angler. This is through various features including padded seats, adjustable foot braces which suit paddlers height, protective thigh pads which keep the body steady in the kayak and a bottle holder within an arm’s reach. With this, you’ll feel great comfort as you carry on your activities.

 

What We Like About This

  • The kayak is 10 – inches long and 30 – inches wide to provide maximum stability when on water.
  • It has a large and open cockpit which makes it easier to get in and out without feeling too restricted.
  • The kayak has front and rear bungees to add storage spaces.
  • It has thigh pads for great protection as well as help your body remain steady and comfortable.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

There is no better way than beginning your outdoor adventure with the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak. The kayak comes with a myriad of features that will make your fishing escapade worthy.


#5 Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak Olive – Best for Massive Fishing in Salty Water


Again, Hobie has unleashed a grand product to the competitive market. This time being the mirage outback kayak olive, one of its kind. Besides being spacious, durable, and affordable, you can paddle it backward! Its color spices up the look.

Capacious

The kayak is designed to hold a maximum load of 350lbs. With such a capacity, you can fish a tremendous amount of fish before it is overloaded. Even with all that, you still have enough room for yourself to paddle comfortably.

Durable

The mirage outback kayak is rust-resistant. This is a big deal because you get to paddle in salty water for a long time before you have to repaint it or incur maintenance costs. It is a robust kayak that bears scratches from underwater rocks and branches.

Sufficient storage compartment

This kayak is designed to store fish perfectly. A storage pocket is availed, equipped with durable mesh to keep your fish from water that can make it go bad. You will also put the fish in the bow hatch if they are many.

Innovative design

It is massive yet very stable when paddled. In case winds become a bit strong, the twist and stow sail mount helps you sail through it. It is also a unique feature that you will actually paddle backward if you choose to when on this kayak.

 

What We Like About This

  • The kayak has a maximum capacity of 350lbs, with the provision of storage pockets. This is huge room for massive fishing
  • The cost of maintenance is low. This is attributed to its rust- resistance nature and strong material withstanding scratches.
  • You can paddle backward while at it. You also remain stabilized even when the winds become a little extreme.
  • The kayak is very affordable, with excellent performance

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

For an interesting and productive fishing experience, you definitely require a kayak with enough space, storage compartments, and undoubted stability. The Hobie mirage outback kayak olive provides all this and even more. It would be your best choice.


#6 Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package – Best for Fishing with Friends


The sea eagle kayaks have your interests considered when designed. For the Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package, it is quite exhilarating that you get to sail with a colleague or two. Fair enough, your equipment is well kept, and you are comfortable all the way.

Durable

The kayak is made from durable polyester fabric with overlapped seams. The paddles are very powerful, and the technology used in assuring its stability is detailed. You rest assured you will be buying the kayak at a cost matching its tenure.

Voluminous

The interior of this kayak can hold up to 855lbs capacity. This includes the weight of three adults and their fishing paraphernalia. You will worry less about where to put your numerous fish it you are two because the capacity left is the weight of the weight of an adult.

Lightweight and Portable

The kayak weighs 54lbs, besides being an inflated one. In fact, it shall take you only 9 minutes to inflate it to the brim. It also has its own kayak carrier bag and two kayaks stow bags. This is all at your transportation convenience.

Stable and Comfortable

It has two back seats that are comfortable for you and your colleague. If you sail for a long time, your backs are least likely to complain of discomfort. The stability of this kayak goes unbeaten, thanks to the unrivaled design Sea Eagles have.

 

What we like about this

  • Its maximum holding capacity is 855lbs. The kayak can accommodate 2-3 adults and have sufficient space for fish and fishing gear.
  • It is guaranteed that the kayak is durable. It is worth the price, making it among the best kayaks for known.
  • It is very comfortable and stable. You can fish for long hours without getting an uncomfortable and bumpy sail.
  • It inflates in less than 10 minutes.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Fishing is enjoyable when done in the company of a friend or two. It gets more meaningful when your safety on board is assured, and the carrying capacity is enough. That is the reason Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayaks with Pro Package exist.


#7 Ocean Kayak 16-Feet x 4.5-Inch Zest Two Expedition Tandem Sit-On-Top Touring Kayak – Best for Fun Fishing for Two


Ocean Kayak has an admired reputation for producing nothing but the best for the market. The zest two-expedition tandem touring kayak is among the products upholding the reputable name. This kayak is a grand pick for two wanting to go on a fishing excursion in the summer.

Comfortable

The grand ocean kayak has enough space for two so that you will not be squeezed with your partner amidst large water mass. The seats in the kayak are of very comfortable, you can feel at home.

Spacious

The fact that this kayak accommodates two adults makes it outstanding amongst most. As if that is not enough, you can bring along a baby or that pet you would not leave behind. Its maximum capacity is 600lbs.

Fast and stable

That streamlined shape it has guaranteed some impressive speed. It is very stable even when used in salty water. It can withstand the milt rowing waves very easily, unlike most.

Have safety precautions

Foot braises to protect you from shaking a skid guarding you against rushing water are availed for you. You would not hot beverage spilling on you, which is why cup holders are provided for you in this kayak. This is such a safe kayak.

 

What We Like About This

  • The kayak is paddled in salty water efficiently.
  • It can carry two adults and small luggage. While at it, your comfort is uncompromised, neither is your safety.
  • Cup-holders and foot braces are present to enhance the fun in your weekend outing. You end up being comfortable around a mass of water.
  • The kayak is relatively cheap. The features and level of performance beat its cost of purchase and maintenance.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Fishing with a partner is so much fun. With the ocean kayak zest tandem sit-on-top touring kayak, there is ample space for the two of you and much left for your fishing equipment. It is also fast and has safety precautions taken into consideration. Enjoy a summertime fishing adventure of a lifetime on it.


#8 Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Dirigo 106 Recreational Kayak – Best for Lake Fishing


The old town brand has left a permanent make that screams high quality. The Dirigo kayaks uphold the mark since they serve the purpose very well. The comfort they offer is of high class, with abundant space for storage of equipment.

Innovative design

This kayak is designed to give you seamless fishing experience. This is possible as it is so low, close to the water surface. It is exciting fishing in this way.

Comfortable

The seats in it are cushioned. The moment you sit on them you even forget that you are floating on water. Thigh pads and foot braces are also provided. To spice things up better, a cup holder is fixed at a convenient position for easy use.

Lightweight

The kayak weighs 42lb yet is still very stable. It is straightforward to navigate with, and it maneuvers through fishing spots that are hard to reach. Once you are through with your fishing activity, you will carry your kayak with minimum energy. This is thanks to its lightweight design.

Spacious

There is a generous amount of space in this Old Town Dirigo Series Kayak. Your fishing apparatus will be stored suitably and enough space left for your comfort. A small glove hatch box is included so that you can put your keys, charger, and other small substances.

 

What We Like About This

  • It has an innovative design. This enhances the exquisite experience provided on the kayak. You feel like you are interacting directly with the fish when the kayak is at a lower level close to water.
  • There is abundant space for you and your fishing gadgets. It is even easy organizing the kayak since a box hatch is availed.
  • The kayak is very accommodating and comfortable. The quality of seats itself makes you want just to sit.
  • The stability it has is unbeatable. Despite being lightweight, it can paddle through the waters as if it weighs so much.

 

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

A comfortable kayak improves your zeal to fish. The old town canoes and kayaks Dirigo 106 recreational kayaks is one that gives you a seamless fishing experience. It is spacious and stable. It is the best choice for a lake fishing moment.


#9 Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak – Best For fishing in Rivers and Lakes


Fishing is a fun activity that can turn out to have commercial value too. You will love it better if doing so on a sun dolphin journey 10-foot sit-on-top fishing kayak. This is because the kayak is stable, has enough sitting area and is easy to transport.

Lightweight and Portable

This kayak is easy to carry and store. It will not cost you extra cash to get it to the river due to its weight. Having been made from high-density UV-stabilized polyethylene, it lasts long and weighs less.

Stable

The maximum weight it can accommodate it 250lb. This means that you can row in the lake at ease if you weigh 250lb or less. The kayak also paddles and tracks easily, even in shallow waters.

Accommodates Extra Storage Compartment

The sun dolphin journey 10-foot sit-on-top kayak has a provision for the portable accessory carrier. This enhances comfort since your space remains uncompromised. The carrier also functions as a tow.

Has Enough Sitting Allowance

This particular kayak has a sitting area that is large enough for you to sit in and be comfortable for the long sitting hours. You ought not to worry about your feet space. Its foot braces are adjustable, making it comfortable for both short and tall users.

 

What we like about this

  • A new Sun Dolphin fishing kayak has a paddle and has integrated holders and fishing rods.
  • It can go to the secluded parts of a lake or river for the best catch since it is very stealthy.
  • The kayak is durable since it is made of high-density polyethylene that is UV-stabilized. It is also lightweight and stable.
  • The large sitting area and extra storage compartment allowance make it very comfortable.
  • It is inexpensive

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

You definitely do not want an afternoon ruined due to poor choice of a kayak. The best for fishing at the lake or river is the sun dolphin journey 10-foot sit-on-top fishing kayak. I mean, it can go to places normally secluded, besides it being spacious, stable and affordable.


#10 Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayaks – Best for Fishing in Still Waters


It is rather obvious that a fisher would settle for a comfortable kayak. Well, besides being comfortable, old town canoes & kayaks vapor 10 recreational kayaks are portable and spacious. You are yet to enjoy one worthy fishing experience while on this kayak.

Stealthy

When in slow-moving rivers and still waters like ponds and lakes, you would not want to scare away the fish with noise. The kayak is big but paddles quietly while exhibiting maximum stability.

Easy to carry

The fact that it weighs 49lbs makes it very portable and lightweight. You get to your fishing destination without much hustle, considering it has inbuilt carry handles designed for easy transportation.

Comfortable

This kayak is impressively accommodative. It has a large cockpit with an adjustable padded seat. The rod holders are flush mounted, with the foot brace being adjustable for supreme control. You will row for hours with minimum discomfort possible.

Spacious

You have ample space for your fishing gear and any other huge loads you have, all in one kayak. In fact, the kayak can hold up to 325lbs while still efficient and stable. Easy access to frequently used items is a guarantee because there is a stern day well present too.

 

What We Like About This

  • The kayak has a maximum load capacity of 325lbs. The storage space within is bounteous so you would not worry about where to put your gear.
  • It has a large cockpit with an adjustable padded seat and foot braces. There is also a provision for thigh and kneecaps. This is an assurance of comfort.
  • It is easy to transport because it is lightweight of 49lbs, designed with carrying handles.
  • It is affordable.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

The vapor 10 recreational kayak beats most when it comes to fishing in still waters for extended hours. If you are looking for a kayak that is very light yet stable, comfortable and has ample storage space, you got it. All you are most likely to hear are nature sounds because this kayak operates quietly.


Fishing Kayaks Buying Guide – What to Consider

As mentioned before, finding the best fishing kayak can be a daunting task. This is pre-meditated by the surge in kayak models in today’s market, all coming with a myriad of features affecting functionality. This justifies the reason why having a buyer’s guide for this purpose a prudent idea. Outlined below are some of the main things you should look into when searching for the best kayak for your fishing activities.

Kayak type

There are numerous kayak types present currently. Choosing one hugely depends on your goals. You should purchase one that fits your goals and preferences. There are two main clusters of kayaks. They include:

  1. Inflatable kayaks

These kayaks are easy to transport, easy to handle and easy to repair. However, they are more likely to get punctured by fish hooks and knives or sun damage.

  1. Hardbody kayaks

They have the advantage of great resistance to tearing and puncturing which can be caused by fishing hooks and knives. This makes them the best choice for maneuverability. On the downside, they are hard to transport and tough to repair when subjected to large impact damage such as hammering on rocks.

Regardless of being inflatable or hardbody, kayak could be:

  • Sit in kayaks – they are a great choice for long fishing trips, such as spending a day in the crappie lake fishing. Avoid sitting in kayaks if you plan to stand while fishing as it will become unstable and difficult to balance. These kayaks have less space to move around but comfortable for long periods of time.
  • Sit on top kayaks – they are an awesome choice for anglers who like to stand while fishing. They have less storage space compared to sit in kayaks but have more mobility. Those who live by the lake and spend a few hours fishing can find this handy.
  • Tandem kayaks – tandems are the best choice for twosomes. If you plan on fishing in the company of your friend or significant other, consider taking advantage of this kayak. Most tandems are sit-on-tops providing an option for one to stand while the other person sits.
  • Loading capacity – When heading out to fish, you definitely need a kayak that has space for water, food, extra clothes and other miscellaneous stuff you may carry along. Therefore, ensure that the kayak you purchase provides ample or maximum loading capacity to easily carry your fishing gears and accessories. Different kayaks have varying loading capacities ranging from 200 lbs to 1000 lbs.

 

Number of seats

Seating in the kayak is important as it determines how many people will be accommodated. Angler kayaks often accommodate 1 to 3 people. This allows a solo paddler and as the families have a blast on the water. If you prefer some quiet and solitary time, consider getting a 1-person kayak. If you need some company fishing, go for a 3-person kayak.

Water safety

The importance of being safe in water cannot be ignored. This is why it is necessary to choose a kayak that has undisputed stability. Generally, wider kayaks provide great stability but are slower and relatively heavier compared to narrow kayaks.

Extras

There are kayaks which come with additional features to maximize comfort. Therefore, go for a kayak that has features matching the type of fishing you intend to do. Some of the features include kayaks with multiple rod holders, carry handles, various storage options, skeg for tracking, foot pegs, thigh braces, molded bottle holders and perhaps an overall ergonomic design.


Conclusion

Fishing kayaks are a great fishing gear choice for any angler. They are easy to transport, easy to maintain and often come in varying designs for users to choose from a variety. Finding the best fishing kayak, as mentioned, can be quite daunting. However, it is important that you consider the factors mentioned above to get the best kayak.

Remember that your kayak of choice should satisfy your needs and meet your preference. Evaluate this from the specific features of the kayaks, including the ability to assure safety, ease of use, maximum load capacity, number of seats among other primary parameters.

About the author

Nik Paterson

Hello, Welcome to my second home, here in this OutLifeGear blog I spend a lot of my free time writing tips, outdoor guides and product selection guides. I am an outdoor person and know how much it is crucial to be prepared for the outlife adventures. So this is where you will find all my sharings.
>> Happy OutLife

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