Best Fishing Kayak

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There are a lot of reasons that a fisherman or woman might want to begin using a kayak. It could be because they want to reach parts of the lake or river that are hard to get to. Or maybe they want to do some fishing out on the water itself. No matter the reason for their decision to begin using this avenue, the one thing that you have to have is a good kayak.

How do you choose the right kayak for your fishing needs? There are a lot of aspects to consider, and with so many choices, it might be a little daunting. So to help you, we have compiled this buyer’s guide for the best fishing kayaks on the market today. Keep reading for more!

Comparison Chart

41kr7rhaVsL. SL500
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Pelican Saber 100X Angler Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
31TSsNvPm3L. SL500
Perception Kayaks Flash 9.5
31oYSpGrV4L. SL160
Perception Crank 10

Fishing Kayak Reviews

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

41kr7rhaVsL. SL500

Our first fishing kayak is from Intex and designed to help make transportation of the kayak super simple. Its inflatable design and high-quality design make it a great choice for those fishermen and women that are working with limited space.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features and highlights you can expect with this model:

  • Dimensions – 151” x 13” x 18”
  • Weight capacity – 400 lbs.
  • Polyester core
  • Laminated PVC exterior
  • Weight – 39 lbs.
  • People – 2
  • Air chambers – 3
  • I-beam floor
  • Integrated drain plug
  • x2 fishing rod holders
  • x2 removable skews
  • adjustable mounting bracket
  • Include – x2 oars, hi-output pump, carry bag & pressure gauge

The Good

There is a lot that we really liked about this kayak. Starting from the high-quality materials used in its construction, which means it will take a lot for us to destroy the vessel, to the comfortability of the design, it is a well-crafted kayak, especially for fishing.

The best thing, though, that gives it a good leg up on other fishing kayaks, is its weight capacity and storage capabilities. It is also easy to transport and comes with accessories that will save you some extra expenditures.

The Bad

We really do love this choice, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t think there are some things that could be improved. For those that are looking to fish in choppy water, you may want to keep looking as it does not handle this type of water well. Though we love the fact it comes with oars, the aluminum oars that it does come with are a little underwhelming in the quality area.

Pros

  • Designed for comfort with ergonomic backrests and adjustable footrests
  • Kayak is constructed with premium-grade vinyl and a laminated core for more durability
  • Constricted to be stable for up to 400lbs worth of weight
  • Transportation of the kayak is easy due to its lightweight design
  • Comes with several accessories to help elevate its usability and value

Cons

  • There are some who found the kayak not a good fit for choppy water
  • Oars that come with it are not of the highest quality

Pelican Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

If you’re looking for a wider kayak that offers elevated stability and is a sit-on-top style, then our next option is a great choice. The Pelican Basscreek 100X Angler is crafted to stand up to just about anything.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features and highlights you can expect with this model:

  • Dimensions – 120” x 30.5” x 16”
  • Weight – 50 lbs.
  • x2 retractable carrying handles
  • Sit-on-top design
  • Multi-Chine flat bottom hull
  • Weight capacity – 325 lbs.
  • 4″ day hatch w/ storage bag
  • Storage platform w/ bungee cords
  • Paddle tie-down
  • Adjustable footrests
  • x6 accessory eyelets
  • padded seat cushion
  • adjustable backrest cushion
  • Included – swivel rod holder and x2 flush mount rod holders

The Good

So if you are looking for not only a kayak that can work for fishing but other outdoor activities, then you may want to go with this option. The design of the kayak is versatile and crafted with a large storage capacity that is good for your fishing gear along with camping gear.

On top of that, the kayak is durable, which means you won’t have to worry about anything going wrong. Crafted with lightweight material, the kayak can really soar across the water, getting you to the good fishing spots quickly. Also, it is wider, which gives better stability and is easy to transport.

The Bad

Now even with all of that, there are a few things that we feel need to be addressed before you make your final decision. The hooks that are meant to store the oars have a tendency of rubbing the user when in the middle of rowing. Also, the area that is meant for storage is not 100% watertight, so you will need to be careful with what and how you store things in it.

Pros

  • Kayak is built to be durable and with materials that have a good buoyancy
  • The interior of the kayak is designed with a large space for storage
  • The lightweight design helps with increased speed
  • Kayak is easily carried from place to place because it doesn’t weigh that much
  • Crafted with a wide body which enhances the stability

Cons

  • Some have complained about the hooks rubbing when paddling
  • The large storage area is not completely watertight

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Easy transportation and plenty of room for your day’s catch is what our next kayak offers its users. The 2-person Colorado from Sevylor Coleman is an excellent choice for those that like to fish in multiple types of waters.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features and highlights you can expect with this model:

  • Dimensions – 10’9″ x 3’3″
  • Weight – 41 lbs.
  • Weight capacity – 470 lbs.
  • 1000D Tarpaulin bottom
  • 840D Nylon cover
  • 18 gauge PVC
  • Flat hull design
  • Multiple air chambers
  • 2-person design
  • Adjustable seats
  • Adjustable rod holders
  • Airtight system
  • Trolling Sevylor motor fittings
  • Mesh storage pockets
  • Included – pressure gauge & carrying bag

The Good

Maybe you don’t want to just fish in lakes, which is understandable as you will be able to catch different fish. That means you need a versatile and durable kayak, though, and that is where we think the Colorado is such a good option. It is crafted with high-quality materials that can stand up to lake wear and tear.

It is also designed with stability and maneuverability that is needed for coastal fishing. We really like the fact it has a large weight capacity so that you never have to worry about not having enough for you and your gear plus your catch. On top of that, it is super stable and can be customized to your needs.

The Bad

That being said, there are a few issues that we have with the kayak. Unlike many of the other fishing kayaks on the market, this model does not come with oars or a pump which means you will have to spend extra money to even get started. Also, if you do not like to do hands-free fishing, then the rod holders’ placement may be a little troublesome for you.

Pros

  • The design and make of the kayak is good for a wide range of environments, including coastal
  • Fitted with a 470 lbs. weight capacity, which makes gives it more usability
  • Crafted with a pace where a trolling motor can be mounted
  • Rugged materials used in construction so they can even be used in lakes
  • The layout of the kayak helps to ensure there is a reduced chance of tipping

Cons

  • Does not come with accessories like oars and a pump
  • Some have found that the placement of the rod holders may be in the way of other activities

Perception Flash 9.5

31TSsNvPm3L. SL500

The first of two kayaks on our list from Perception the Flash 9.5 is a shorter kayak that is perfect for those quick fishing trips around the lake. The design is fitted with many features that will serve to elevate your performance in this situation.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features and highlights you can expect with this model:

  • Dual tracking channels
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • High seat back seating
  • Built-in cupholder
  • Molded-in rod holders
  • 10″ rear storage hatch
  • Molded front and rear handles
  • Paddle park
  • Built-in drain plug
  • Dimensions – 9’6” x 28.5” x 12.5”
  • Weight – 41 lbs.
  • Weight capacity – 325 lbs.

The Good

When you are heading out on the water to catch some fish, some like to spend all day out on the water. But there are also those that like short trips as they are looking to do other outdoor activities during the day. The second type of fishermen or women is the one that will get the most from the Flash 9.5.

It is a shorter kayak with less storage room, but it is lightweight and super maneuverable. The design also helps with stability as it is wider in the center and has dual tracking channels. Overall this is a comfortable and portable option for a quick outing.

The Bad

The storage is both a plus and a minus depending on the type of fishing you like to do. If you are looking for bigger fish and an all-day event, then this kayak is not the one for you. It is built with a shorter frame which takes away the storage space that you would need if this were the case.

We do like the comfortability and ergonomic design of the seating. However, the cushions on the seats do tend to get a little uncomfortable after a while out on the water, which is another reason this kayak is suitable for short trips.

Pros

  • Crafted with molded handles and made with light materials for easier portability
  • Fitted with a bungee cord for paddle storage when needed
  • With a wider center, this kayak is super stable
  • The materials used in construction are light which makes it easier to maneuver
  • Seating in the kayak is designed to be versatile and ergonomically comfortable

Cons

  • Not crafted with a lot of storage space so only good for short trips
  • The cushion on the seat is only comfortable for a little bit

Perception Crank 10

31oYSpGrV4L. SL500

Our last kayak also comes from Perception. The Crank 10 is a pedal-driven kayak that is designed for comfort and maneuverability. This is a great choice for those that need a little more control when they are out on the waters.

Product Highlights

Here are the main features and highlights you can expect with this model:

  • Pedal drive system (dual-directional)
  • Adjustable/removable captain’s chair seating
  • One-handed rudder control
  • x2 molded solo mount recesses
  • One-piece carry handle (front/rear)
  • Molded inside carrying handles
  • Side paddle park
  • Dimensions – 10′ x 35″
  • Weight – 87 lbs.
  • Weight capacity – 350 lbs.
  • Built-in cupholder

The Good

Navigating tight areas heavy with obstacles can be tricky with a long bulky kayak. If you are looking to fish in environments like this, then the Crank 10 might be a good choice for you. It is 10′, which is a shorter kayak and designed with a wider center for improved stability.

It is also a peddle kayak which gives you more control over the speed and power. But for us, the thing we like best about the peddle drive is that it can go both forward and backward without having to be adjusted. Plus, it does both directions real smoothly. The durability is pretty remarkable due to the method used in its creation, which means it is a good value on top of being high performing.

The Bad

Unfortunately, All these features do not lead to a perfect kayak. Rather, there are a few issues that need to be brought to your attention. There are more parts than a lot of other kayaks. The more features, the more upkeep is needed, and the more chances that they malfunction. On top of that, the drive system is not pre-installed, which means there is more time needed for setting up than most of its competitors.

Pros

  • The compact length makes the kayak easier to navigate around a plethora of obstacles
  • For a peddle kayak, this model is fairly easy to transport because it is lighter than many
  • Peddle pod is designed to be able to go forward and backward smoothly
  • Crafted with an ample width which helps keep the kayak balanced
  • Designed with a rotational molding technology for no seams, which helps make the model more durable

Cons

  • The kayak is designed using multiple components, which means more upkeep and chance for equipment failure
  • The drive system is not pre-installed, and that means there is some assembly required

Buyer’s Guide

Now that we have given you a few of the best options for fishing kayaks on the market, we wanted to also help you by discussing what you should be looking for when choosing your kayak. The below features are the ones we used when we were curating our list.

Here are the features we feel play the biggest roles in the performance of a fishing kayak and that should be considered before making a purchasing decision.

Fishing Kayak Types

The first thing you have to decide is what type of kayak you are going to go with. There are four main types:

Sit- On -Top – This type is perhaps the most popular for the ease of getting in and out. They sit higher, which gives you better visibility, and they tend to be more stable.

Sit Inside – These are easier to paddle and are often watertight. Not a popular fishing option. But if you fish in colder waters, this may be a good choice as you will be protected from the water.

Pedal Drive – This type of kayak is good because you use your feet to move the kayak, leaving your hands free for fishing. The added technology of the pedals and rotor will add more to the price tag.

Inflatable – This is a great option for those that are working with limited storage space. Because they deflate, you will be able to easily transport them as well.

Length and Weight

How many people are going to be going fishing in the kayak? Where are you fishing? What type of obstacles might you come upon? All of these questions play a role in choosing the length and weight. You also need to think about your storage space and the ease of portability, which are also affected by the kayak’s length and weight.

Capacity

Next up, you have to think about how much weight the kayak can take. If you are going on a long trip with more than one person in the kayak, then you want to look for one that has a high weight capacity. On the other hand, if you ride solo and take short trips, a kayak with a smaller capacity may work just fine for you.

Stability

Are you planning on standing up in the kayak to fish? What about the speed of the water or obstacles in the water? This is where stability comes into play. You want to look for a kayak that is built with a wider center which will elevate the stability of that model. By finding one that has a wide center, you will decrease the risk of tipping over.

Transportation

Another thing that you have to think about is how you plan to transport the kayak. Do you have enough space to carry the kayak in your car, or do you need it to take up less space? Another aspect to look at is the handles that are available in the design of the kayak.

Safety

When you’re out on the water, you need to make sure that you are always safe. Features that can be added to your kayak that protect you from potential injury are always a plus. This could include guard rails or watertight compartments.

Essential Accessories

The more accessories you can get or can add, the better performance you will get from your kayak.

Fishing Kayak FAQs

Even with all that information, we are sure you still have some questions. So we have pulled together some of the most common questions online and answered them in the hopes we can help you just a little more.

What Makes a Fishing Kayak?

When you are looking for a fishing kayak, you want a shorter option. Typically the length should be between 10′ and 12′. Most choose to go with a sit-on-top or peddle style, which gives you more visibility and usability.

What Type of Kayak is the Best for Fishing?

Most think that the best type of kayak for fishing is the sit-on-top model. The open design makes it easy to get in and out. If you are fishing on the water, then the height of the kayak gives you better visibility.

What are the Best Fishing Kayak Brands?

There is a wide range of brands that offer great fishing kayaks. Here are some of the brands to look out for:

  • 3-waters
  • Advanced
  • Bonafide
  • Eddyline
  • Feelfree
  • Perception
  • Intex
  • Ocean
  • Pelican
  • Old Town

How Much Do Fishing Kayaks Usually Cost?

Depending on the features and style, a fishing kayak can typically cost between $800 – $1200. There are, of course, models that can cost way more than that.

How to Get Started in Kayak Fishing

There are a couple of key things that you need to get started kayak fishing. The first is the right gear. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you need a good kayak. You want to understand the areas you plan to fish in so you can ensure that you can adjust for safety concerns. Another thing you have to understand is that the paddle you choose for your kayak is super important. Once you have the equipment set up, you can get started kayak fishing.

Final Thoughts

Fishing kayaks are a great way to extend your fishing options. But before you get to enjoy the benefits of your new kayak, you have to be able to choose the right one. So, with the help of the guide above, you need to find the kayak that will be useful in the waters you are looking to fish, as well as the type of trip you plan to take. Keeping that all in mind, you will be able to make the right choice.

We hope the options and the knowledge we laid out above can help make your decision-making process a little easier.

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