Listed below are the most important key factors you need to consider, in order to make sure that you pick the right fishing kayak, which is not only reliable, but also fits your needs.
We created the list to support you in your buying decision and prevent you from purchasing a kayak that cannot meet your expectations and is not up to standards.
Different materials are used to make kayaks. The material used will vary depending on the cost, design and intended use of the fishing kayak.
Expensive high-end kayaks are often made out of fiberglass or Kevlar carbon. An ordinary kayak for river or open water fishing is likely to be made from 3-layer or single layer polyethylene. These two materials are often preferred for their strength and affordability.
You can get a peddling, paddling or motorized kayak. Paddling kayaks require the use of a paddle or two to steer the kayak. Their main advantage is silence. You can slip into a fishing zone very silently without disturbing the fish. A peddling or pedal kayak is fitted with pedals which are operated using your legs. This provides much more speed and control compared to paddles. It also allows you to focus on fishing since your hands are free.
Motorized kayaks tend to more or less have the same speed as pedal kayaks with a disadvantage of noise. With such a kayak, you risk scaring the fish away. So, which propulsion fits your needs most?
What size of kayak do I get; wide and short or long and narrow? Remember one rule when comparing among different kayak lengths. The longer and narrower the kayak is, the faster and less stable it becomes. This means that a short and wide kayak is slower but more stable, making it ideal for beginners and for use on rivers.
On the other hand, long and narrow gets you speed but you have to be a master at controlling such a kayak. A long and narrow kayak is ideal for open water fishing.
How much gear are you planning on carrying with you? If you are doing a lot of fishing, consider getting a kayak with a big enough space to hold your catch. A large storage area is also handy when you are carrying lots of gear with you. Remember that the bigger the storage the more expensive the kayak will be. So if you are sure you can do with less storage, you can save some money.
If you will be focusing mostly on river fishing, find the appropriate kayak that will be easy to maneuver around the rapids. The same goes for open water fishing; find a kayak that can tackle waves and move quickly across open water.
If you are planning on more specific types of fishing, such as trawling or spearfishing, you may need a specialized kayak with the features and tools you need. For instance, an angler kayak comes with specialized rod holders.
How much does a fishing kayak cost? This is the top concern for fishing enthusiasts planning on buying a kayak. Luckily, there are numerous types of kayaks to fit different budgets. If you have the money to spend, consider splurging on a good $1,000 plus fishing kayak. Kayaks in this price range will often feature high-end materials such as Kevlar carbon. Some feature a glass-like Polycobonate material that allows you to see everything happening underneath you. It is here that you will also find motorized kayaks.
Mid-range ($400-$900) kayaks often provided the greatest value for money. Here you can find all sorts of fishing kayaks in different shapes and sizes. If you are looking for something cheap, you can get some small and inflatable fishing kayaks for just over $100 and sometimes even less.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Sit-On-Top recreational kayak is one of the best multipurpose kayaks on the market as it can be paddled solo or tandem and can be used to go fishing. Its length measures 12' 0" (WIDTH 34") and the weight capacity is 375 lbs, which should be sufficient for two adults with average weight.
With this sit-on-top kayak you can choose between 3 different seating positions in bow, stern and middle (if going solo). 2 of these molded-in seat wells are Comfort Plus seats.
The Malibu kayak features overlapping foot wells, bow and stern molded-in carry handles as well as gear straps and a skid plate. High quality seat backs are included in the package, too.
Due to its great stability, this kayak does not only do well on lakes with large boat waves, it handles the ocean just fine. Furthermore it is ease to paddle and self-draining.
Probably one of the biggest advantages is the free Amazon Prime freight shipping! Usually shipping costs add another $150 to your order.
Unfortunately, there are no storage compartments to store your fishing accessories in. Instead you can use the straps to tie everything you need onto the kayak. Above that, paddles are not part of the scope of delivery.
If you're looking for a compact tandem, this is it! The Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Sit-On-Top recreational kayak is significantly lighter than most other tandem kayaks. It is a premium product for sure and outdoes most of the other tandems out there. It is also called "The Swiss Army Knife of Kayaks" as you can use it for almost any purpose.
The Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is manufactured by Sevylor, best known for its expertise in designing great (inflatable) fishing kayaks. And first things first, what we really like about this kayak is the fact that it comes at an affordable price and above that is often on discount.
The kayak is made of 18-gauge air-tight PVC material most suitable for fishing on a lake, solo or tandem style, with a maximum weight capacity of 470 lbs.
Due to the fact that it is an inflatable, it is lightweight and therefore easy to transport, which is perfect, if you are planning to visit many different places. For that, a carry bag is part of the scope of delivery.
Additional accessories are adjustable Berkley rod holders for fishing enthusiasts, mesh storage pockets and a pressure gauge.
Multiple air chambers add extra safety and will keep you from sinking in case that one of the chambers is punctured, which is unlikely due to the kayaks tarpaulin bottom and nylon cover.
This kayak is suited for fishing in calm waters and not a touring kayak, so if you are planning to do long tours, you better opt for a hard-shell kayak. Unfortunately, and air pump and paddle(s) are not included in the package.
For less than $500 you can do so many great and unforgettable fishing trips with your buddies with the Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Kayak. And except for the paddles, with the package you get all the necessary accessories you need to do just that.
Sevylor is among the leading manufacturers of inflatable kayaks and fishing kayaks. The Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak fulfills many purposes and is designed to fit all the needs of kayak fishing enthusiasts. The 18-gauge PVC used for its construction makes the kayak rugged for lake use. This inflatable kayak from Sevylor is lightweight, easily portable and air tight.
In our opinion this kayak is not only one of the best on the market in the inflatable category, but one of the best products available for under $500, as it really stands out from most other kayaks we inspected in our reviews. Equipped with all kinds of handy accessories such as rod holders and enough storage space, the Coleman Colorado is a great choice for everyone on a tight budget, especially when it's on discount, as it oftentimes is.
nlike many other kayaks, the Coleman Colorado™ comes with multiple chambers, allowing another chamber to stay inflated in case that any other is punctured. This built-in feature guarantess extra safety and might keep the kayak from sinking in case of an emergency.
In addition to that, the kayak is really sturdy and stable. The kayak manufacturers have done a fair job with the 18-gauge PVC construction. Other great features are:
Puncture Protection. Efforts have been made to make this kayak puncture proof. The 1000D-tarpaulin bottom and the 840D-nylon cover provide additional protection from punctures.
Easy Adjustablility. The kayak features Berkley quick set rod holders, which can be adjusted according to the riders’ needs for hands free fishing. The seats are adjustable according to riders’ comfort, too.
Easy Inflation and Deflation. The installed Boston valves have been double threaded for easy inflation and deflation.
Lots of Storage Space. The kayak features suitable storage options with mesh storage pockets to have your gears and accessories on board.
Warranty + Extras. The inflatable kayak comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty as well as D-rings, and the packaging includes a carry bag and a pressure gauge.
he greatest asset of the Coleman Colorado 2-person fishing kayak is its steadiness and stability. Given that the rider is experienced enough, even strong winds and waves won’t be a problem. And due to the high quality material used for its construction, the kayak is durable and will give you a confident feel. Further advantages of this kayak are:
t wouldn’t be too far amiss to say that the Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Kayak is the best fishing kayak under $500 in the inflatable category. The kayak has been equipped with all the necessary characteristics of a great fishing kayak.
It is stable, easy to maneuver and comes with rod holders, and enough storage space for other accessories. It doesn’t sit too low on the water, which is a huge plus as it takes away the fear of getting wet with the splash of your own paddles.
If you want something easy to carry around that also serves well as a recreational kayak, this is the one to go for. Priced at around $425, this kayak has a fantastic value for the money, too.
There are numerous kayaks available on the market, but with each manufacturer claiming their product to be the best, you just can’t go and purchase a kayak based on advertisements. You need to properly analyze the pros, cons and other features by reading particular fishing kayak reviews to make an informed buying decision. Although Coleman Colorado is among the top on the market, there are alternatives if you are willing to add some extra dough. BIC Yakkair Fishing-2Hp Inflatable Kayak and Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak are among the top rated.
BIC Yakkair is also designed for 2-person fishing and comes with standard rod holders, well adjusted seating, enough storage space and the convenience of a lightweight, portable highly performing inflatable kayak. With the looks of a traditional kayak, it is sturdy, and is good value for money when compared to high-end hard shell kayaks. This kayak will cost you around $1300.
Ocean Prowler is a suitable alternative for those looking for a well made kayak specifically designed for fishing. Apart from the fact that it’s not an inflatable, it holds similar features to that of Coleman. It’s available on Amazon for about $805.
Comparing the three, Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak is the most obvious choice for most kayaking enthusiasts, due to its low price. However, keep in mind that all three kayaks are good value for money in their own terms and you will not regret purchasing either of them. Coleman Colorado is cheaper, holds almost similar features, and is easily portable. This lightweight kayak will keep you on the water for years and the low cost will feel like an investment after years of fishing.
The Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak is the perfect kayak for beginners. It is great for lakes and calm rivers, but not suited for the sea, due to a lack of stability when the waves get a little bigger.
Its hull is made from rugged UV-stabilized high-density PE and consists of two pieces that are bonded together towards the top.
The kayak features 2 flush mount rod holders and an additional swivel rod holder as well as seats with a seat cushion, thigh pads and an adjustable back rest.
A dry storage compartment is the perfect place to stow your valuables and the shock cord deck rigging can be used to strap your fishing gear onto the kayak. Additionally, the P.A.C. can be used as a tow behind or extra storage compartment.
The 12-feet kayak has a weight capacity of 395 lbs, weighs about 45 lbs and tracks well with good stability and easy paddling. Moreover it is lightweight and thanks to the retractable handles easy to carry and transport.
The only thing that is worth criticizing is the seat that could be a little more comfortable. One way to solve this problem is to cut some memory foam and use it as extra cushion.
Considering the price, the Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak is one of the best ones out there. Rod holders are great, stability is great and it rides with little to no effort.
The compact Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak manufactured by Ocean Kayak measures 9' 0" in length, and weighs only 43 lbs making it a lightweight kayak that is not only easy to lift and transport, but easy to carry to and from the water, too. Bow and stern carry handles and molded side handles are very helpful here.
It has a maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds, which is absolutely sufficient for a single kayak even if you take a lot of fishing accessories with you.
Furthermore it is easy to maneuver, stable and behaves well on calm water and therefore a great kayak even for beginners and children. The tracking is great and you can go fast with little to no effort, if you want to.
Additional features are the molded-in cup holder and a replaceable rear skid plate for added durability.
Is this kayak suited for long fishing trips? Yes, thanks to the adjustable and padded Comfort Plus backrest which supports your back.
One negative aspect about the Frenzy Sit-On-Top is that there is no dry storage available. There are straps at the front and the rear of the kayak for your cargo and dry bags, though.
If you are new to kayaking and looking for a compact kayak with great stability, the Ocean Kayak Frenzy might be just the right choice for you. You can use it to go fishing on rivers, lakes and the ocean when it's calm.
This kayak is clearly suited for beginners. It weighs about 40 lbs only and is therefore easy to carry to and from the water. Maneuverability on the water is great, when used on calm lakes or rivers. Due to the slim shape, you can move between different fishing spots quickly.
The Sun Dolphin Journey SS kayak features 2 flush mount rod holders and an additional swivel rod holder. You also have the choice between 2 different sizes and 3 different colors; so everybody should be able to find his or her favorite constellation.
An open cockpit makes getting in and out of the fishing kayak a piece of cake. Adjustable foot braces fit kayakers of different sizes and improve comfort.
Last but not least, a dry storage compartment comes in handy, if you are looking for a place to put your valuables.
As soon as the water becomes a little rough, the Sun Dolphin SS kayak lacks stability and tracking declines, too. Additionally, the kayak's weight capacity is 250 lbs max, which means that if you are really tall and heavy, you might want to look for a different yak.
The Sun Dolphin Journey SS is a solid kayak. There is a 10' and a 12' version available that are both lightweight and easy to maneuver. Keep in mind though, the purpose of this kayak is fishing, not touring.
Sun Dolphin is one of the successful manufacturers that has been producing the best fishing kayaks for several years. The Journey SS kayak lives up to the Sun Dolphin reputation and features attractive design, and the quality does not disappoint either. Weighing just over 40 pounds, this kayak maintains good maneuverability and is great for beginners. It is available in three different sizes and three different colors on Amazon.
ts lightweight nature makes the Sun Dolphin Journey SS Fishing Kayak easy to handle and maneuver on the water and additionally it can be single handedly carried to and from the water, which is both perfect for small people. More of the best features are:
Rod Holders Included. The kayak features two flush mount rod holders and a swivel rod holder, so you don’t have to worry about storing your fishing gears.
Open Cockpit. The seating area looks great, and since the cockpit is open, entry and exit is probably the easiest. Sidenote: Kayaks with open cockpits are a huge plus for your legs, too.
Adjustable Food Braces. The foot braces of the Sun Dolphin Kayak are adjustable. Therefore they will be able to accommodate paddlers of any size. This feature also adds up to the comfort of this kayak.
Extra Storage Space. The kayak features a dry storage compartment and shock cord deck rigging. Both come in handy while fishing.
he Sun Dolphin Journey is a good product. Its price-performance ratio might not be the best, but is still acceptable compared to other kayaks. With its lightweight design and easy maneuverability, it is great for beginners. It’s a fishing kayak and not a tourer, so, do not try to overstrain it and you will be able to have great experiences on your kayaking trips.
The 10 and 12-foot versions are available in drab green, olive green and sand color with the prices varying accordingly. The 10-foot kayak is available at around $406 and the 12-foot one costs about $575.
Two noteworthy competitor kayaks of the Sun Dolphin Journey are Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak and Old Town Canoes and Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak. Both kayaks are superb in their own rights, so make sure to take a look at some of their reviews (coming soon) to make an informed buying decision.
The Old Town 10 Angler is similar to Sun Dolphin’s Journey in almost every way. But, despite the similar features, Sun Dolphin slightly edges out in terms of quality. It is more stable and spacious. The Old Town kayak is great and priced quite cheap, but we would definitely go for Sun Dolphin.
The Ocean Prowler is a great fishing kayak, as it’s slightly longer than the Sun Dolphin and a bit more stable. Other than that both kayaks are quite similar in terms of built-in features. For better stability there is always the option of the 12-foot kayak version from Sun Dolphin. Ocean Kayak Prowler costs almost twice as much and has similar features, so it’s not worth spending that kind of money.
Our verdict goes to the KL Industries Sun Dolphin Journey SS Fishing Kayak. It looks pretty good and has all the necessary features for you to go fishing. The major benefit is its light weight and easy portability. This kayak might not be able to compete with the very top of the fishing kayaks, though.
The 10-feet long Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak weighs 65 lbs and is capable of holding up to 500 lbs in weight, which means that 2 people can sit in the ergonomic seats equipped with soft backrests and fish at the same time.
The kayak's high density PE chassis is not only UV-rays protected, but shaped in a way to keep it more steady with superb tracking.
To improve your fishing experience, the kayak comes with 4 fishing pole holders, ditty trays and shock-cord straps to secure loose items. Scupper holes drain the cockpit area and a rear storage hatch provides space to store your catch.
Sitting in a kayak all day can become quite uncomfortable. Luckily, the Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak allows you to change the placing of your feet due to the various footrest positions. Above that, the kayak's stable hull allows you to stand up or sit sidesaddle for improved comfort.
2-piece sport paddles are part of the scope of delivery, as well.
One fact that we don't like is that there were costumers complaining about receiving damaged kayaks. Moreover, this kayak is meant for fishing. Therefore, it moves rather slowly in the water. Last but not least, water might run into the storage.
This kayak is a great choice for anyone who is planning to go on long fishing trips and does not care about touring at high speeds. It provides everything you need to go fishing on your own or with a buddy of yours and have lots of fun!
A fishing kayak is an outstanding product for fishing enthusiasts who don’t like large boats. From one manufacturer to another, kayaks vary in design, size, and weight capacity.
In our first review we take a look at the Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak. It is 10 feet long and weighs 65 pounds and is capable of holding up to 500 pounds. The kayak's high density polyethylene chassis and smartly shaped hull used for its construction keeps it steady and the tracking is great. It is available in olive-green on Amazon. Whether or not it is the best fishing kayak for sale out there on the market, we will find out...
n all our reviews, the first thing we do is to check out product features. In this case, the 10 feet long kayak comes with high-and-dry ergonomic seats with soft backrests and a molded side-facing center seat, providing the option to go solo or with someone while fishing.
In addition to that the kayak is able to withstand 500 pounds in weight and is therefore suitable for carrying 2 tall and heavy people at the same time. Some of the kayak's other best features are:
High Stability. This fishing kayak features a high-density polyethylene chassis, which is UV-rays protected and also helps keeping the kayak stable, even when you are leaving calm waters.
Smart Shape. The smartly shaped hull adds extra steadiness and tracking to the Lifetime Sport kayak for a great fishing experience.
Fishing Friendly Features. Being a fishing kayak, it comes with fishing friendly features such as pole holders, a 6-inch rear storage hatch, ditty trays and shock-cord straps to secure loose items onto the kayak, and scupper holes to drain the cockpit area.
For Tall and Small. The kayak comes with footrest positions designed to fit riders of different sizes. Consequently with this kayak you can change the placing of your feet to vary and find your best sitting position to stay comfortable for hours while fishing.
n order to be able to compare different kayak models to one another, in our reviews we always take a look at some of the most important advantages each model has to offer. Here are the most important advantages of the Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak:
his hard skin kayak is multi-purposed and will be keeping you off shore for a while. It has been designed for fishing and fun, so do not expect touring-like features.
Overall, we would recommend this kayak as a good buy. It is durable and years of fun awaits the buyer. You can purchase it on Amazon for about $550. Keeping in mind the long list of features, this kayak offers a lot of value to the buyer. Also, 2-piece sport paddles are included in the packaging.
We've compared 2 other kayaks, namely the Emotion Renegade XT Fishing Kayak and KL Industries' Sun Dolphin Journey SS Kayak, to the Lifetime Sport fisher in order to find out, which kayak performs best. Feel free to read the fishing kayak reviews of these products, and you will see that the features they offer are quite similar to one another. Please do not just take our word for what the best kayak is.
All three kayaks are amazing in their own rights, fall under the same price tag, and the number of features available are also quite similar.
Emotion Renegade has been constructed with UV protected high-density polyethylene plastic and is an extremely durable kayak. The smart hull offers great stability and tracking. Also, the kayak offers enough space for gear storage and is available in forest green on Amazon at the price of approximately $420.
The Sun Dolphin is a very similar kayak, as well, but holds a better looking design when compared to the Renegade. It is equipped with dry storage compartment, portable accessory carrier, and the foot braces are adjustable. It will cost you around $406. For a full review of the fishing kayak, click here.
Weighing in the pros and cons of all three kayaks, Lifetime Sport 10 ft. Single or Tandem Fishing Kayak is the hands down winner. It will cost you about $100 more compared to the other two kayaks. For the added price, you get improved tracking, better hull, and better stability. You will not regret purchasing this kayak.
In terms of dimensions the Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In fishing kayak is similar to the previous Sun Dolphin SS Sit-On-Top. 12-feet length, 40 lbs of weight and 2 carrying handles make the kayak easy to carry to and from the water.
The kayak's seat is adjustable for more comfort. Additionally, the kayak features adjustable foot braces and thigh pads.
Its hull is well balanced and made of durable high density UV-rays protective PE. Tracking and maneuverability are best suited for calm waters, such as lakes and calm rivers.
The package includes: 2 flush mount rod holders + 1 swivel rod holder and shock cord deck rigging. In the storage compartment you can place all the accessories that you need for your trip.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion has a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs, which means that if you are really tall and heavy, this kayak might not be suited for you. In addition to that, if you are planning to spend long hours on the water, do yourself a favor and take extra cushions for the seat, since the ones provided with the kayak are not of the best quality.
Last but not least, customers complained that the carrying handles and foot braces might break easily.
Is this the best fishing kayak out there on the market? No! But it's still good value for the money and best suited for fishing enthusiasts who would like to go on a fishing trip every once in a while. Keep in mind: You won't be too overwhelmed by the quality of this kayak.
The Excursion Sit-In Fishing Kayak is one of KL Industrie's efforts to offer the best kayaks available on the market. It's 12 feet long and weighs around 40 pounds and has been constructed to hold the weight of 250 pounds. The high-density polyethylene used for the kayak's construction makes it sturdy and durable. A deluxe adjustable seat and a large open cockpit for easy entry and exit are just two of the many features which come with the kayak.
hen reviewing kayaks, looking at their individual construction is key in order to separate the good kayaks from the bad kayaks. In this case, the construction is solid thanks to the use of high density UV-rays protective polyethylene.
In addition to that, the hull design of this kayak is well balanced and incredible in terms of tracking and handling. Both factors add up to the kayak's good overall stability, which makes it suitable for fishing novices. Make sure to check out all of the other features:
Rod Holders Included. While preparing for a full day of fishing, with the Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In Fishing Kayak storing your gear will not be a problem due to the two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder.
Additional Storage Opportunities. You do not have to worry about carrying any other accessories either, as this kayak, unlike other kayaks, comes with a storage hatch with shock cord deck rigging. Also, a portable accessory carrier can be used as extra storage, in tow behind or as a backpack.
Adjustable Seat & Open Cockpit. This kayak features a deluxe adjustable seat and a large open cockpit which makes entry and exit remarkably easier.
More Comfort. The most convenient comfort features of this kayak are adjustable foot braces and protective thigh pads.
Easy Handling. For an easier handling in and out of the water, the kayak features two retractable carrying handles.
n order to be able to identify the one kayak that is most suitable for you, you should thoroughly read through the following advantage and disadvantage section regarding the most important pros and cons of the Excursion Sit-In Fishing Kayak.
he Sun Dolphin Excursion is a well built kayak, with balanced hull and praiseworthy stability. Despite speed not being its greatest asset, you will not be disappointed with this kayak as it's tracking is superb. The 12 feet long water vehicle has enough space for all your gear and accessories and it’s easily portable because of its light weight.
All in all this kayak is fantastic value for the money, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a simple kayak with proper quality features.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion isn’t the only product out there and there are other kayaks competing for the title of the best fishing kayak for sale. After studying a number of other kayaks available on the market, we have come down to two noteworthy ones, which we already mentioned before – Old Town Canoes and Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak and Emotion Renegade XT Fishing Kayak. Make sure you properly weigh in the pros and cons by reading reviews on these kayaks, as well (unfortunately we cannot provide you with complete fishing kayak reviews for the two, just yet).
The Old Town 10 Angler kayak is similar to the Sun Dolphin Excursion in almost every way. It has been constructed with high density, UV protected polyethylene plastic. The company claims that its smart hull is stable and built for great tracking. Also, storage space won’t be a problem. The Old Town is another fantastic value for money.
The construction material used on the Emotion Renegade is the same as with the other two kayaks. Tracking and stability is great and it comes with enough storage space for all your gears and accessories. The kayak is roomy and features stable sit-on-top design. It is available at around $420 on Amazon.
All three kayaks are amazing in their own rights. Figuring out the best among the three is a tough decision. However, after properly evaluating all the physical attributes, along with its pros and cons, we feel that the Sun Dolphin Excursion kayak marginally wins over the Old Town and the Emotion Renegade. The Excursion kayak is better looking and measures 12 feet, which means tracking and stability is better. The kayak will sit still, no matter how much you move and the seating is appropriate. It’s definitely a great buy.
More on Fishing Kayaks
Finding the best fishing kayak is all about understanding your needs and matching them up with the best kayak you can find. A kayak for the open water may not work well if you want to go fishing in a river or prowl around in a small freshwater pond. For one fishing enthusiast, storage is an essential while for another speed is better. Then there is the touchy issue of budget. How much are you willing and able to spend on a good kayak?
When you are spending a sizable chunk of your hard earned money, you want to be completely sure of the kind of investment you are making. Take your time to research all options available in the market and find the one that fits your needs. Our comprehensive guide below is a great place to start.
The very first question to ask yourself is this: What do I need my kayak for? Is it for fishing in the seas? Is it for fishing as well as recreation? Is it for professional fishing? Understanding your needs is the most important step in choosing the best Kayak. From there, the next step is to thoroughly research the market for available options at different price points.
Here are other essential questions and things to consider to pick the right.
An open sea fishing kayak needs to have the best in performance and stability. Factors like size and balance matter a lot. For pond fishing, you can do with a smaller kayak that maneuvers more easily in a limited body of water. If you are going to fish in a river with rapids, the design of the kayak matters greatly in achieving safety and stability.
When shopping, you will find different types of kayak labeled as being for use in specific environments such as open sea, lake or river. If you are not sure where you are going to use the kayak or if you expect your fishing ground to change in the near future, you can buy a kayak designed for use in all kinds of waters.
There is something for every budget from as low as $100 for inflatable kayaks to as high as $5,000 for motorized kayaks.
Some fishing kayaks are designed for use with pros that can steer it perfectly even in stormy waters. Others are ideal for beginners for use in calmer waters. If you are just starting out, you may want to consider low-cost kayaks to give you hands-on training before graduating to more advanced ones.
The answer to this will vary depending on your individual needs. If you are doing some serious fishing, look for a kayak with plenty of storage for your catches and gear. If your fishing is more recreational, smaller storage can do. But you might still need bigger storage if you want to carry a lot of gear with you for activities like diving.
Kayak propulsion is another major issue we will look at in more detail shortly. There are several options when it comes to powering up your kayak; paddling, pedaling and electric motor. Each option has its pros and cons.
We can categorize fishing kayaks based on three factors; materials of construction, method of use and location of use.
There are three types of kayaks when considering location of use. Flat or open water kayaks are designed to be used in ponds, lakes or the open sea. Moving water kayaks are designed for use in rivers, either slow moving or fast with rapids. There are also hybrid kayaks that can be used either on open water or moving water.
One of the main differences between river and ocean or sea kayaks is the hull design. River kayaks tend to have a shorter and rounder hull to enable quick turns and maneuvers in rapidly moving water. Open water kayaks are known for their long and slim profile. This allows easier kayaking for longer distances. However, turning takes more work.
There are additional design differences that allow the kayak to work well in a specific environment. For instance many open kayaks have an enhanced rocker. The front and rear ends of the hull are curved upwards away from the water. This provides added stability in waves.
When buying a kayak for the first time, one of the biggest choices you have to make is between sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks. We have already defined both types above. The sit-on-top varieties are the most popular because of added space and easier maneuverability especially for beginners. Go for a sit-in kayak if you already have some maneuvering experience.
Check out whether there is a fishing or sporting goods store in your area. They will most likely stock several varieties of fishing kayaks that you can choose from. However, you may find that online stores have a much broader variety available and may even cost less than in a local store. The first stop you should make is Amazon.com.
Amazon has the largest listing of fishing kayaks of every type and budget. If you do not find what you are looking for there, there are plenty of other online fishing and sports stores you can check out.
When buying, remember to do your homework first. Know what you should look for and the factors to consider (read our guide above). Also make sure you have a budget prepared. When you begin the actual shopping, try to narrow down your options to at least five that closely fit your needs and budget. Then compare among these to settle on the best choice.
For those who are just new in the field of fishing and watersports, knowing the difference between a canoe and a kayak can be a little bit confusing. Both are types of small and lightweight boats but there are several stark differences between the two.
An easy way to tell whether a boat is a canoe or a kayak is to look at its classifications. Canoes are classified using the letter C while kayaks use the letter K. A C1 is a solo canoe meaning it has a single paddler. A C2 is a tandem canoe, meaning two paddlers. The classification OC1 can also be used to signify an open solo canoe.
On the other hand, K1 is a solo kayak, K2 is a tandem kayak, K4 is a 4-crew kayak and so on.
Typically, a canoe features an open deck where the inside is exposed to the elements. A kayak however, often has a closed deck that is protected from the elements. The user may sit right on top of the deck (sit-on-top kayak) or in a hollow space within the closed deck (sit-in kayak).
A kayak is often compared to a sports car; more expensive, more challenging to handle and fast. A canoe is your ordinary car that serves well for leisure water activities, is easy to handle and is also practical. If you are looking for a boat to take your family out on the lake or do some lazy fishing on a hot afternoon, a canoe is better for you.
If on the other hand, you want a boat for serious fishing in a river or open water, try a kayak. It is also great if you want a sporting boat.
Another notable difference is in the paddle design. A canoe will usually require a single blade canoe for propulsion. But a Kayak is hard to control with a single-blade paddle mainly because the rider is seating very low close to the waterline. A double-blade paddle provides more power, speed and efficiency. It also helps in maneuvering around tough spots such as rapids or waves.
Now comes the big decision: do you buy a kayak or a canoe? For most people the best answer is a kayak. Kayaks, especially the sit-on-top types, are easier to navigate and are good for a beginner. Because of its longer length, a kayak will be faster, allowing you to cover more distance especially in open water.
You may consider a canoe if you are planning on recreational fishing. This means plenty of calm fishing spots, slow propulsion and a friend or a family member to keep you company. A canoe is also advantageous when you need more space to move around (though a sit-on-top canoe has that advantage too) and store your things.
Before you even get to the fishing part, make sure you have the right kayak and gear with you. If, like most people, you want to focus on angling, get a specialized angler kayak with all necessary features outfitted.
Setting Up a Kayak for Fishing
In the following YouTube-video by Palm Beach Pete you will get much more detailed information on how to set up your kayak for fishing the first time the kayak touches the water...
There are plenty of fail videos online where people keep falling over as they attempt to get into or out of a kayak. As a beginner, boarding and disembarking a kayak it will feel a bit wobbly and will require some getting used to.
A beach is one of the best places to launch your kayak. Place the kayak perpendicular to the water with one half resting on the sand and the other on the water. This way, you can get in without falling over and easily push away from the shore.
Getting out requires the same positioning. Come in with the boat perpendicular to the beach and paddle until most of it is resting on the sand. Bring out one foot at a time such that you are straddling the boat then stand up when you gain your balance. For some people, especially women, you may need a few more tries than usual to get it right.
If you are at a dock, ask a friend to hold the kayak for you to get in. If you are solo, place the kayak parallel to the dock. Lower your feet first into the kayak and then quickly sit down making sure to keep a tight hold onto the dock. To get out, again pull in parallel to the dock and then hold onto it as you pull yourself slowly out of the kayak.
Before you go out into the open water, it is essential to master deep water re-entry. Practice close to the shore but far enough that water goes over your head. First, put the kayak in an upright position. Use knee straps or the hull to right it.
Hold the far side of the boat with one hand and the closest side with the other and let the boat tip towards you. Lift yourself up and over the boat, using water buoyancy to push you up. Once your belly is lying on the boat, turn and slide into the seat. Lift your feet into the cockpit, grab your paddle (make sure it is leashed) and get going.
Practice several times until you get it right. It is an important safety maneuver that can help you when out in the sea.
Unless you bought a peddle or motorized kayak, you are going to be doing a lot of paddling. It is therefore important to learn the right paddling technique.
First, a primer on the basic parts of a paddle. There are blades, one on each end. The front or power face of the paddle is the concave or spoon while the back is the convex. The very end of the blade is the tip. The main part where you hold with your hands is the shaft and where the shaft meets each of the blades is the throat.
Hold the shaft lightly in your hands. A light but firm grip prevents fatigue and soreness in your wrists. Check that your knuckles line up with the edge of the blade. Space your arms such that if you placed the center of the shaft on your head, the arms are at a right angle, not slanting outwards or inwards. This provides the perfect balance of power and reach.
A Sit-on-top Kayak
Once you have the right hold on the paddle, it is all about adopting the right movement. Make sure you mass is well centered in the kayak and you are facing straight ahead in the direction you want to go. When you rotate your shoulders to launch a forward stroke, you will be using your upper body strength to pull the paddle in rather than your arms. Your foot also pushes against the boat on the same side as the current stroke.
A Tandem Kayak
When you are two in the kayak, coordination and understanding is essential. The stronger paddler should sit at the rear. This allows him or her to make important adjustments and corrections. They can also take over paddling on their own when the front passenger wants a rest.
When paddling, try to stay in rhythm so as to travel faster and avoid clashing your paddles. Turning in a tandem kayak is really easy. The front passenger does a reverse paddle while the back passenger keeps paddling forward. This allows the kayak to quickly rotate.
A Kayak without Getting Wet
It is virtually impossible to avoid getting wet when kayaking. Remember it is a water sport. The biggest problem results from water dripping down the shaft from the blades. You can use rings or rubber stoppers though that does not guarantee some water will not find its way inside the kayak. You can also get a kayak with a skirt to prevent water from spraying into the kayak.
If you buy a paddling kayak, choosing the right paddles is just as important as buying the right kayak. Having the right paddle gives you more control over your maneuvers and can give you more speed. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when buying a kayak paddle.
What size of kayak paddle you need will largely depend on your height. You need to get a paddle that corresponds to your height. This ensures that you are comfortable handling it and can achieve an ideal level of control and speed with ease.
How to Size a Kayak Paddle
If you are short (5 feet and 5 inches or shorter), the right paddle length is around 200cm to 230cm. If you are more mid-range in height (5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet) get a paddle around 210cm to 250cm in length. If you are above 6 feet, you should find your sweet spot between 220cm to 250cm of paddle length.
The best advice on how to size a kayak paddle is to try it yourself if you are buying from a local store. Also consider the size of your kayak. You do not want a paddle that is too long for your narrow kayak or too short for your wide kayak.
If you look at the end part of the paddle that goes into the water, you’ll notice different designs. Some paddles have thicker and shorter blades (high angle) while others have longer and narrower blades (low angle).
The high angle paddles are designed for quick aggressive propulsion over a short distance. They are ideal for a river. Low angle paddles are designed for comfort and ease of paddling over long distances such as in open water.
Some paddle blades may also feature additional design characteristics. Examples include feathered and non-feathered paddles, wing paddles, touring paddles asymmetric paddles and square ended paddles. Different designs are crafted to achieve different purposes when paddling.
The right kayak paddle should be light enough without compromising its strength and durability. Materials such as aluminum, fiberglass and carbon fiber are great materials for this balance between lightweight and strength. Plastic is cheap but it can be a bit heavy and wears out quickly. Wood is also common though weight is a major drawback.
So the best Kayak paddle is one that is proportional to your height, feels light and strong in your hands and has the right design to suit your fishing needs. So whatever brand or model you go for, remember to keep these three factors in mind.
Sometimes, when fishing, you want your boat to stay still. Wind can cause havoc just as you are about to make your big catch. An anchor prevents the wind or currents from moving your kayak. A 1.5 or 3 pound folding anchor is commonly used. It need to be connected to a sufficiently long line so that it can dig into the bottom and keep you in one position. Make sure you drop the anchor from the bow or stern, not the side.
Some other forms of anchors include stake out poles that dig into the bottom and keep the boat in position and drift chutes that act as mini parachutes to slow down a kayak.
Whatever type of anchor you buy, make sure you know how to use it properly for safety purposes and to prevent damage to your kayak.
What you wear will depend on the weather, the season and safety.
Wear shoes that will still function well even after getting wet. Sandals are preferred by many people especially when it is warm. When the weather is colder, neoprene booties are ideal. If you plan on fishing near a rocky shore, wear hard sole boots. If your sit-in canoe space is small, soft soled boots may be the only ones that fit inside.
There are manufacturers who produce shoes specifically for kayaking and kayak fishing. It can’t hurt to check out a few.
When it is hot, you need to stay cool as well as protect your skin from the sun. Wear a hat and sun glasses. A long-sleeved shirt will cover your arms while a light pair of pants or shorts will keep your legs cool. Remember to stay well hydrated.
As the weather gets progressively cooler towards spring and fall, start layering up to keep the cold out and prevent hypothermia. Look for synthetic fabric such as neoprene and fleece. You can also wear wool through you should avoid getting it wet as it dries slowly. Avoid cotton; it will take heat away from you when it gets wet.
When the weather gets really cold, consider a dry suit. It is especially effective in cold water since it keeps water from getting in contact with your skin. If you cannot get a dry suit, consider layering up a bit more to stay warm. A pair of gloves would also come in handy.
You may think you are a pro but a life jacket is a must. Even in calm water, things can suddenly go wrong and you find yourself in water. Additionally, weather can change rapidly, transforming a calm ocean into rough waves. Keep your life jacket on every time you are on the water.
Travelling with your kayak is not so hard if you have the right tools and know how to secure it safely to your car.
With a Roof Rack
Without a Roof Rack
On a Pickup Truck
If where you are going is too far to walk but too close to drive, a kayak cart is perfect. For example, you can use it to transport the kayak to and from the beach. Your cart will come with instructions on how to use it, so start with those. But generally, you just need to place the kayak on top and then strap it down as directed.
First wash the kayak with water and remove the seat and any other attached accessories. If you are going to store it on the ground, flip it on its side and let it lean against the wall at an angle. You can also lean it vertically against the wall with the cockpit facing outwards and the stern touching the ground. Another common technique is to hang it from the ceiling, though this requires significantly more work and skill.
Here you have several options. You can buy a mounting system and attach it to your wall. You can also come up with a rope system where you hang your kayak from ropes secured to the wall. Alternatively buy a bracket system and place your kayak on the wall-mounted brackets.
When you hang a kayak on a wall, make sure the cockpit is always facing outwards. Any ropes or straps should be tied around the cockpit, the strongest part of the kayak.
Is a kayak considered a boat?
Do you have to register a fishing kayak?
How much does a fishing kayak weigh?
d) How to launch a fishing kayak?
How to make a fishing kayak more stable?
Can one person use a two person (tandem) kayak?
What are kayaks made of?
Weight limit for a (tandem) fishing kayak?
Is kayaking good exercise?
How many calories are burned kayak fishing/kayaking?
Apart from our many reviews and the buying guide, we would also like to provide you with more great and interesting kayak fishing content, which is why we include this "More Content" section at the bottom of our reviews page. Make sure to take a look and tell us which content you like best!
The Canoe & Kayak Magazine is very popular among most water sports enthusiasts with approximately 100.000 facebook likes. Jeff Moag is the editor in chief. The magazine is available in print at $24.95 for a 2-year subscription (10 issues) and available in digital format for Apple, Android, Kindle, Nook and Zinio users and provides outstanding content for greenhorns and pros.
One of the most impressive section is the "Travel" section with regular reports of recent kayaking experiences. Furthermore you should make sure to check out the photo & video section with amazing content - click here to check out one of my favorites!
Another source of great kayaking content which I do not want to keep from you is the YouTube channel "Zoffinger" by a guy called Marty who creates some of the best videos about kayak fishing. Marty uploads new videos onto his channel every other day. Here is his introduction video: