Kayak fishing is probably one of the most exciting life experiences that you could ever have. Imagine yourself floating on the calm water of a lake or racing in the massive sea while trolling for that amazing catch. It’s a perfect chance to experience the beauty of nature to its fullest. That being said, if you’re into fishing activities, there are no reasons for you to overlook kayak fishing.
To start with, you’re going to need a kayak that’s suitable for you. With fishing kayaks being quite diverse, in terms of style, design, features, and more, most people might find it quite a challenge to select the right one for their particular fishing interests. Not to mention that the kayak market has been booming in recent years with many new contenders.
Hence, if you’re having trouble sorting out the viable options from the flooded market, you’ll definitely find our fishing kayak reviews quite informative. Here, you’ll learn how to select the best fishing kayak as well as be introduced to some of the best models that are currently available. Thus, you’ll have a better look at what you should be getting even when you find our suggestions not very appealing, which is not likely to happen.
Best Fishing Kayaks of 2023
To allow our readers to easily navigate between the different options, we’ve categorized all the different kayaks that were reviewed into different classes. The products that you are seeing below are the best of the best that you could find in each category. Thus, it’ll be quite simple to look for products that you are interested in. Now, let’s take a look at our best fishing kayak reviews and find one for you.
Perception Pescador Pro 12 – Best Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
The sit-on-top fishing kayaks are definitely the most versatile type of kayaks that you can buy. The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is certainly a great choice for you.
Featuring the unique mesh style that you often find on common lawn chairs, this fishing kayak allows users to sit on it for extended amounts of time without feeling pain or discomfort. Thus, you can spend most of your energy battling the amazing fish that you’re about to catch.
In addition, with the adjustable seat height, you’re free to raise your seat up for better sight casting, or lower it down to feel more stationed and secured on top of your kayak. Along with that, you can also position your seat on the mountable slots, allowing for maximum comfort.
As for the design, the fishing kayak features a complete one-piece construction, which is quite durable and well-finished. Most importantly, this construction will prevent any leakages. Combined with the scupper holes that prevent shaking, your sit-on-top kayak will be extremely safe on the water.
To assist hardcore kayak fishermen, the Perception Kayak Pescador Pro also features a spacious design at the front and rear. This allows you to store all your essential gear and equipment. And don’t worry about them getting wet since the leak-proof design will completely prevent this.
Last but not least, most professional kayakers would appreciate the thoughtful accessories rails on both the gunwales. Use it to mount up whatever you want from rod holders, cameras, phones, and more.
- Comfortable sitting thanks to the adjustable seat
- Convenient accessories rails for multiple uses
- Stable and secure for better fishing experiences
- Spacious design for comfortable storage
- The lawn chair design isn’t suited for tough fishing activities
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot – Best Sit-in Fishing Kayak
If you are a fan of kayaking and wish to travel to the most excluded fishing spots, then having a sit-inside fishing kayak is definitely a better choice. With a sleek design that gives you a lot of speed and a low center of gravity that enables more secure sitting, you can achieve great speed on your sit-inside kayaks. Thus, allowing you to have better coverage over certain spots of the rivers or lakes.
Speaking of which, the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Kayak is certainly a great choice when it comes to this. It features a lightweight design that not only makes the kayak faster but also enables more comfortable transportation. Together with the relatively shorter design compared to other sit-on-top kayaks, you can easily fit this one inside your truck and carry it to certain locations with ease.
The boat was constructed with high-density polyethylene and features a complete design that’ll enable comfortable fishing experiences. Despite having a conservative construction, the kayak still comes with useful additional features that you’ll certainly find interesting.
That being said, with two surface-mount rod holders, you can carry additional rods as a backup should something happen to your main one. In addition, the kayak features a swivel rod holder at the front, on which you can mount your casted rod while waiting for the fish to bite. You also have access to useful storage to keep your supplies safe and dry.
For the kayak fisherman who is on a budget, this product from Sun Dolphin is definitely the best fishing kayak for the money.
- Durable and leak-proof
- Great value for the money
- Stable and comfortable design for enjoyable fishing trips
- Useful accessories and additional features
- Doesn’t have the advantage of speed
Intex Explorer K2 – Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
If you are more into relaxing trips on the lake or river while doing some fishing along the way, then the inflatable fishing kayaks are definitely the perfect choice for you. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, being one of the best kayaks for the money, should definitely be your first priority when it comes to this line of products.
That being said, the advantage of having an inflatable fishing kayak is that you can simply deflate it and fold it up to an extremely reduced size. Put it inside your backpack along with some fishing equipment and get ready for your trip anytime you want.
A really thoughtful design that you don’t often see on these products, the inflatable seat with backrest is also included on the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, making it much more comfortable while you’re fishing or traveling on it. In addition, you will have access to the removable skeg which is perfect for keeping your kayak well-balanced and secured.
While not many users would appreciate it, the bright yellow coloring will make the kayak extremely visible to the eyes. Thus, increasing the chance of being discovered when you’re in dangerous situations.
- Perfect fit for two people
- Easy to use and comfortable
- Useful features for better overall experiences
- Great price for entry-level users
- Not for the hardcore kayak fisherman
Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Kayak – Best Tandem Fishing Kayak
Having another friend with you while you go for a tough kayak fishing challenge is always great. Not only that, you’ll have someone to talk to along the way, but you can also assist each other if something comes up.
That being said, if you’re looking for the best fishing kayak for you and your partner, the Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak should be a solid choice for a variety of fishing activities.
It has a sturdy and durable body which is constructed using the Rotomold technology. This eliminates the chances of having cracks and punctures in your kayak, despite the major impacts. The kayak will be your trusted fishing companion for a very long time.
In addition, with a relatively large size, the Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak put up a lot of space for two users to comfortably sit on without feeling confined. Not to mention, each user will have their own cargo bungees and dry storage to keep the essential fishing tools.
And last but not least, the entire kayak only weighs 60 lbs. Together with the two carry handles, you can easily carry the kayak onto the river without feeling too many strains. allowing for extreme portability.
- Spacious design for two people
- Extremely well-built and durable tandem kayak
- Great for multiple fishing activities from lakes to seas
- Lightweight and easily maneuverable
- High pricing makes the product not available for all users
BKC TK219 12.2′ Kayak – Best Fishing Kayak For The Money
For comfortable kayak fishing experiences with friends, and for a price range below $800, the BKC TK219 12.2′ Tandem Fishing Kayak is certainly one of the best choices available.
To start with, it features useful elastic cords that’ll keep your paddles in place while you focus on the more important fishing activities. And speaking of which, with this product from BKC, users are also offered four flush-mount rod holders so each of you can have two extra rods to carry along.
On top of that, you’re also given two adjustable rod holders for keeping your casted rod steady. You can relax and chat with your fellow fisher friend while waiting for the fish to take the bait.
To prevent your important items like phones, wallets, fish bait, and other things from getting wet or lost in the water while you’re busy fishing, you can safely keep them inside their leak-proof storage hatches. Of course, each user will have one for their own use.
Finally, with decent weight support of more than 400 lbs, the kayak can comfortably carry two fishermen and a whole lot of fishing equipment without any problems.
- Great for fishing with a friend
- Spacious design for easy storage
- Useful features for comfortable fishing experiences
- Good weight support
- Not great for solo fishing
Vibe Kayak Sea Ghost 110 – Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000
The price range under $1000 is definitely the place where you can look for the best fishing kayaks that are fully featured for professional anglers. Having said that, the Vibe Kayak Sea Ghost 110, being a notable product in our reviews, would definitely be enough to satisfy even the most skeptical users.
Users will also find themselves enjoying relatively comfortable fishing sessions thanks to the adjustable seat. With it, you can easily change the height and position of your seat, allowing for more a secure feeling when you’re out looking for the big fish. The adjustable footholds are also great for keeping you well-positioned.
With the perfect size of 11ft and a spacious design, this kayak allows you to have relatively comfortable experiences on it without feeling any confinement. On top of that, you’ll also have access to multiple storage options on the kayak including the front and rear hatches, dry storage, and more.
And speaking of accessories, the product from Vibe comes with 2 flush-mount rod holders that are positioned on the backside of the kayak, allowing you to enjoy fishing to the fullest. The gear tracks on the sides will allow you to mount whatever you want on it.
- Impressive weight support for more than 300 lbs
- Well-constructed and prompted to long-lasting uses
- Thoughtful design with useful and comfortable features
- Works well for all kayaking activities
- Good value for the money
- Quite heavy to carry by yourself
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 – Best Kayak For Solo Fishing
For a price point under $600, there are only a few fishing kayaks that could match this amazing sit-on-top product from Vibe. That being said, this special kayak was designed with the most necessary features for solo fishing in mind.
Featuring a medium length of 9 feet and a relatively lightweight at 42 lbs, you can easily carry the kayak and load it on the back of your truck. Drive to the nearest fishing spot and you can start enjoying this product right away.
To start with, the ergonomic backrest with a cushion is a really nice touch, as it allows you to enjoy your fishing trip to the fullest without feeling annoyed by your sore back. On top of that, the sizeable footholds also allow users to feel most comfortable while fishing from this kayak.
And to assist you during your fishing trips, the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot kayak also features four different rod holders, in which you can keep your extra rods just in case one of the others break. Not only that, but by having varied options, you can pick the best rod for certain angling styles.
Like any other good kayak, this one also features two cargo bungees for you to keep your stuff or slide the paddles in so they won’t fall into the water by accident. In addition, you also get a dry storage area for keeping important items like phones, wallets, and more.
- Good price for what you get
- Ergonomic design for a comfortable fishing experience
- Multiple accessories and additional features
- Great for solo fishing
- Would love to have additional accessory rails
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak – Best Fishing Kayak Under $500
Those who can’t resist the temptations of an inflatable kayak but still want certain levels of durability in their products will certainly find this kayak from Advanced Elements interesting.
That being said, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak features a quite intelligent design, which introduces multi-layer construction. This makes the kayak a lot more durable and has better resistance against punctures.
And on the other hand, you can still deflate the kayak completely and fold it up to the size of a small carrying bag.
With the cushioned and padded seat, users will find themselves enjoying their trip on the kayak to the fullest. And with the aluminum ribs that strengthen the stern of your kayak, you’ll find it relatively easy to maintain your balance and direction on the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who loves convenience and comfort.
- Good value for the price
- Great inflatable kayak with an innovative design
- Comfortable rides on the padded seat
- Not built with fishing in mind
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
Bring your kayak along with you anywhere you go with this brilliant product from Sevylor. The Sevylor Big Basin is probably the most convenient kayak that you could pick up for traveling and simple fishing activities.
That being said, this inflatable 3-person kayak is great for sightseeing with your friends whenever you want. Just take the folded kayak to the nearest lake or river, inflate it within just a few minutes, and you can join your friends in exciting explorations.
The large kayak also features enough space for you to carry your fishing equipment. Hence, it’s also nice to do some fishing while you’re relaxing on this kayak.
For those who are wondering about their safety while traveling on the kayak, unless you’re going fishing out in the ocean, you won’t likely experience any danger on this one. With the tarpaulin bottom, the kayak is protected from punctures in most cases. Not to mention that the multi-chamber design will keep the kayak floating even when you have one or two small holes in it.
- Safe and comfortable
- Great price for what you get
- Easy inflation and deflation with a smart valve
- Supports up to 3 people
- Not a suitable choice for serious fishing activities
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak
For the novice fisher who is looking for their very first kayaking experience, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak could be your best bet if you don’t have much to spend. That being said, the product features all the most basic and important features that you would want to have with you.
With a large open cockpit for you to easily slide yourself inside, you’ll find yourself well-positioned and secured when you first sit inside the kayak. In addition, the adjustable seat with padding will keep your back from feeling pain after an extended fishing session.
The product also comes with a storage hatch that features decent leak-proof storage so you can keep your phone or wallet safe from the water. However, since the product has no rod holder, you’ll find it a bit bothersome for fishing.
Nonetheless, the sturdy construction which is made of high-density polyethylene will give your boat a certain level of protection and keep it floating in all situations. On top of that, the leak-proof design will ensure that your feet won’t get wet from the water.
- Affordable price for budget consumers
- Comes with basic and essential features
- Sturdy and durable
- Doesn’t offer a lot of features
How to Pick The Best Fishing Kayak?
Important Factors To Consider For The Best Kayak For Fishing
Here, we’ll be taking a look at all the important features that you should consider before making your purchase. Depending on your preferences, the choices can be varied.
The first feature that all users should be focused on is the dimension of their kayak, which simply means its length and width. Longer and narrower kayaks tend to produce the best speed while shorter and wider kayaks will enable better stability.
Naturally, as a rule of thumb, the longer your kayak is, the wider it should be. Sometimes, people compensate for this and give their kayak unique designs to optimize certain traits. That being said, you can find extremely narrow and long kayaks quite fast. But they’re also less stable and won’t be a good choice for beginners. On the other hand, if you’re new to kayaking, then a wide and short kayak will be quite easy to work with.
Types of Kayaks
There are three different types of fishing kayaks that you often find on the market. These are the sit-on-top, sit-in, and inflatable kayaks.
These kayaks come with an exposed top allowing for a spacious design and you’ll feel no confinement.
Here, users will have their own seat which is raised above the bottom of the kayak. This makes getting on your kayak relatively easy, even for a beginner, and allows you to have a better view. In addition, a sit-on-top kayak also features a wider design which increases stability and balance. On some kayaks, you can even stand firmly on them.
In addition, a sit-on-top kayak comes with a unique scupper holes design, which lets water drain through them instead of smashing on the body of your kayak. Hence, you will find your kayak has good balance and stability.
Most beginners will find the sit-in kayak quite difficult to get used to due to its unique design. To start with, to be able to comfortably sit in your kayak is also a challenge since it doesn’t come with an open cockpit.
However, if you wish to keep your clothes dry, then it would be a great choice, especially when you’re fishing in cold water. Just make sure that you be careful to not shake and move your kayak too much and let the water inside since these don’t have self-bailing features like the sit-on-top type.
With a long and narrow construction, these kayaks tend to surf quite fast across the water. This is perfect if you wish to cover a wide fishing area.
Along with the two types of fishing kayaks that are mentioned above, we also have the inflatable one. Unlike the two mentioned, the inflatable kayaks differ primarily in construction, which allows for extremely portable experiences.
That being said, you can easily keep your inflatable kayak inside your trunk or even backpack then take it out whenever you feel like kayaking. Just simply put it down and start pumping air inside–you’ll have a kayak ready in a few minutes.
Keep in mind that this type of kayak is usually for sightseeing, not fishing. So if you’re looking for one to fish in, then you should go for high-quality products with great durability and stability. On top of that, you’ll also need to stay in calm and flat water like lakes or small rivers.
Where Are You Going To Fish?
In most cases, if you’re fishing in a fixed position with little coverage to do, then a sit-on-top kayak will be a better choice to enjoy yourself. The spacious design will allow for comfortable sitting and easy maneuverability. And, you’ll have plenty of space to keep your items.
Those who wish to explore or want to fish in multiple locations can find themselves comfy inside a sit-in kayak. With relatively better speed, you’ll find yourself traveling fast on it.
Paddle Or Pedal
Fishing kayak manufacturers have made many great improvements to their products in the past ten years. The pedal design is definitely one of those. This also sparks debates on whether you should go for paddle or pedal when it comes to kayak fishing.
Paddling is the traditional way to travel on your kayak. With simple paddles, you can move anywhere you want with ease. However, if you’re into fishing, you’ll find it quite challenging to control the paddle while you’re in the middle of a fight with the fish.
This is where the pedals come to shine. By installing a pedal system on the bottom of the kayak, the manufacturer allows users to have both arms free to do whatever they want. Hence, you’ll find it more comfortable with the pedals.
However, you’ll also need to keep in mind that the pedal design will prevent your kayak from entering shallow waters. So you might want to stay away from those if you don’t want to get stuck.
From our experiences, you should always keep a paddle with you even when you’re using a kayak with pedals. The reason is that paddles will be extremely helpful when making turns and adjusting your direction.
Additional Features You Would Want To Have
Along with these important factors, to allow users to enjoy their fishing trip to the fullest, it’s recommended that you consider these additional features on your kayak:
- Rod holders – These are definitely one of the most demanding features for fishing kayaks. With multiple rod holders, you can comfortably keep your extra rods along with you just in case the main one fails. Plus, for different angling styles, you might want to pick up certain rods with unique features for better results.
- Seat – To allow you to comfortably fish on your kayak, a decent seat with an ergonomic design is required. On top of that, your seat should also be adjustable in both height and position so you might experience the most comfortable fishing experience. Not to mention that a perfect sitting position will also secure the user, allowing for better catches.
- Storage – To keep the important stuff from getting wet, it’s also recommended that your kayak feature enclosed hatches and dry storage to keep your important items. However, if you’re considering a budget product, the leak-proof feature could be overlooked.
- Gear tracks – In some intermediate fishing kayak models, you can find useful gear tracks. These are extremely useful components on the kayak that lets you mount different accessories like phones or cameras with ease. And if you want to, there is also a mountable cup holder that you could try out.
- Standing deck – If your kayak is stable and balanced enough, then having a standing deck on it would be great for sight-casting fish.
- Mountable motor – For comfortable fishing experiences, you might want to make use of an external motor. Just attach it to the tail of your kayak and you can scoot along fast while having your hands free to do some fishing.
Tips For Purchasing The Best Fishing Kayak
Lastly, here you’ll find some of our most important tips for choosing the best fishing kayak.
Set Your Priorities
Remember, all the factors and features that we’ve introduced are only for consideration. Your job is to pick up the best product that comes with the best price. It’s important for you to set your own priorities when it comes to selecting the right kayak.
To start with, you should focus on sorting out the products that come with the essential features you need first, and then move to the additional features if you find them especially helpful to you.
Go For The Best Fishing Kayak Brands
A quick tip for kayak fishing beginners, when selecting your new kayak, is to go for the brands with the best reputations on the market. Don’t worry if the price is not as inexpensive as others since you’re always backed by the return policy if you find them not as good as you thought.
Most of the time, these brands know what their customers need and are prompted to deliver high-quality products that match their boasted features. These are the reasons for their overwhelming popularity.
Remember To Test Before Purchasing
One more thing – if possible, it’s extremely important for you to physically test your kayak before purchasing it. You can only know if a kayak is a good choice or not from touching and examining it, sitting in it to test the comfort, and trying out some of its features.
However, if you can’t find any places near you that sell the product, you can still look for advice from our trusted fishing kayak reviews. Here, we’ll do the testing for you and deliver the most reliable results. Thus, you’ll find it relatively easy when shopping for the best fishing kayak.
The fishing kayak market is currently flooded with multiple brands and their various models. It is definitely not easy for you to pick up the best fishing kayak if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
That being said, we’ve tried to feature all the important information you need regarding fishing kayaks, so hopefully, you’ll find them quite useful in helping you pick up your perfect kayak.
We’ve also included some detailed reviews of the best kayaks for the money. With each of them falling into a certain category, it wouldn’t be hard to find the one that you need. Educate yourself, find out what others have to say about the various models, and be sure to try them out before you buy.
If you have any questions or comments about fishing kayaks, feel free to tell us in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon in future posts.