Fishing kayaks – Buying guide, Reviews, and Comparison
If you want to find the best fishing kayak, but you hardly have any time at your disposal to go through the reviews and tips prepared by our team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you ought to know. Having analyzed the feedback coming from both amateur and professional anglers, we’ve reached the conclusion that the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 is the one you should bear in mind. This sit-on-top alternative has been designed specifically for fishing, so it is stable and perfectly capable of handling both rough and calm waters alike. The unit comes with everything you may require to get started, so you’ll get two rod holders, two cup holders, two paddle keeps, as well as a 6-inch hatch complete with a storage bucket. Furthermore, the consumer reports garnered by this model are favorable, so it appears to be worth every penny. Should the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 no longer be available, you could consider the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10, especially if you’re looking for a sit-in option.
7 Best Fishing Kayaks (Reviews) in 2021
Some of the more popular models are listed here to make it a little easier for you to make your final decision on one. We’ve organized them into categories based on their design so that you can make a decision quickly and easily.
Best sit-on-top kayaks
As a result of their reasonable stability and the fact that they are not difficult to get into and out of, sit-on-tops are generally considered to be user-friendly. If you have trouble dealing with feelings of confinement, you should think about using this design as a model. They can provide you with a certain amount of flexibility in terms of the moves you can make.
It’s inevitable that items will get wet while fishing from a sit-on-top at some point, but that’s the only negative to this method. You may, however, find such an option to be sufficient if you are a nervous paddler or do not mind the odd splash.
1. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
Since it has been made out of durable materials and seems to raise up to par when it comes to construction quality and performance, the Prowler 13 should probably be given some thought to. The only downside that we were able to discover in relation to this product is that it does cost a pretty penny. As such, you’ll have to make an investment.
The model boasts a stable and quiet design that allows anglers to focus on their tasks without being bothered by various mishaps pertaining to their kayak. The oversized rear tank that this model comes equipped with can easily accept anything from tackle boxes to scuba tanks and coolers or crates.
What’s more, the Prowler 13 comes with a series of additions you’re likely to grow fond of once you start going out on the water with this boat. For instance, it comes with two cup holders, two paddle keeps, as well as two rod holders.
While some of the fishermen and women who’ve reviewed the product say that they would have liked it if the pole holders had been closer to their bodies, we didn’t really come across too many complaints detailing this issue.
The versatility ensured by the design of this product cannot be denied as its construction enables anglers to fish both in calm and rough waters.
The model boasts a large front hatch that allows owners to access the items they have stored inside the kayak. The deck storage is also capable of accommodating up to two rods.
It’s also worth noting that the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 comes with everything you might need in order to feel at ease while on the water. As such, you’re likely to appreciate the two rod holders, two cup holders, as well as the two paddle keeps that this unit has been outfitted with.
The kayak is entirely compatible with transducers so you can utilize it with various compact fish finders.
While the boat is rated at a maximum capacity of up to 450 pounds, you need to consider the water you’ll be getting and the weight of the gear that you will inevitably have to bring along.
2. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler One-Person Sit-On-Top
This single-person kayak is ideal for fishing outings when you want to be alone and have a nice time without anyone else in the boat. The device is one of the few on the market that was expressly developed for fishing, and it performs admirably in both calm and turbulent waters. The performance hull is fast, steady, and, above all, quiet, ensuring that you do not scare away the fish as you navigate through the water.
It has a big front hatch that allows for easy access to the boat’s primary components and accessories. Several fishing rods and your catch of the day, as well as all of your other fishing equipment and even personal goods, can be stored in the spacious storage compartment.
To ensure that you have the finest fishing experience possible, the kayak is equipped with a comfy seat as well as two rod holders, two cup holders, two paddle keepers, and a skid plate. Furthermore, the rear large tank has been specifically created to fulfill the needs of all modern anglers, and as such, it is fitted with tackle boxes, coolers, crates, and bait wells. Moreover,
There are two cameo color printing available for the product, which allows it to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding surroundings and not draw notice when out in the wild.
3. Perception Kayak Pescador Moss Camo Angling Kayak
If you’re looking for a high-quality Pescador to use on your next fishing expedition, we believe that this product should be at the top of your list of consideration. Because of the bright green style, it is not the best choice if you want to preserve a low-profile and camouflaged appearance when you are out hunting. Nonconventional anglers, on the other hand, will sigh with delight as they make a statement with this kayak thanks to its daring design!
This is a single-person kayak, which means the most weight it can carry is approximately 350 pounds, which will be more than enough to keep you safe while also accommodating your prey, fishing equipment, and personal things.
In order to ensure maximum safety, the product is constructed of durable materials and may be used on both swift waters and lakes. According to your preferences and specifications, it comes with two flush-mounted rod holders as well as an anchor/trolley kit for various forms of fishing.
That it is 12-feet long and has lots of storage space for everything you would need on a fishing trip and more is something we appreciate about this particular kayak. Even though the kayak has a long length, it’s extremely lightweight and yet quite strong, so it’s a reliable companion in any weather situations and on a wide range of bodies of water.
4. Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak
For those of you who are on a restricted budget but still want to enjoy high-quality products, this kayak should be an excellent choice for you. Regardless of the style of fishing you enjoy, it is available for purchase at a very reasonable price and will last you for a very long time. The equipment weights approximately 60 pounds, making it a lightweight, yet durable mode of transportation for fishing on lakes or rivers.
Unlike many single-user kayaks, this one can comfortably carry up to three adults while still providing ample storage space for your fishing equipment and personal things. Considering that this kayak is capable of supporting up to 500 pounds, you can be confident that it will accommodate all you need to bring on your next fishing excursion.
To ensure greater durability and strength, the product is constructed of blow-molded high-density polyethylene, and it is backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty to ensure that the high-quality materials used in its production are not compromised.
The hull design will be resistant to cracking, scratching, peeling, and fading, as well as damaging UV radiation, making it a great choice for outdoor activities. Aside from that, this kayak is fitted with three fishing pole holders, a 6-inch storage hatch, two double-sized paddles, and paddle clip attachments.
Top sit-inside kayaks
If you’d prefer a warmer environment, you should think about having a sit-inside session instead of outside. If you enjoy to fish in cool waters yet would prefer to stay dry throughout your vacation, this model is a great alternative for you! Of course, the disadvantage of sit-insides is that they restrict the user’s movements, so you’ll have to get used to the sensation.
Sit-insides are typically capable of providing more than enough secondary stability, and this is due to the fact that they are typically smaller in comparison to sit-on-top alternatives. The fact of the issue is that they do, on the other hand, provide less storage space unless they are equipped with a net in which you can store your food and other necessities. If you’re looking for a fishing kayak for big guys, the size of the model should be taken into consideration.
5. Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak
If you’re a beginner and hardly have the finances to make any lavish expenses and get a top-notch kayak that can cost more than five hundred dollars, you need to check out the features of the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 as soon as possible. The model comes with everything you might need, and the neat thing about it is that it is even comfortable to use.
As it has been made out of a UV-stabilized high-density polyethylene, the model proves to be a sturdy and durable alternative. However, it’s worth emphasizing that you won’t have any trouble carrying the unit from one spot to the next or from your car to the pond or river as it is particularly lightweight.
Something that you won’t be getting with this model is a rod holder, so you’ll have to purchase it separately and make some sort of invention in order to add it to your kayak. There is enough room available for you to store your fishing equipment conveniently, so this detail does not have to be one of your concerns.
From what we have gathered, this model is rather highly spoken of as many of those who have purchased it praise the value it is capable of offering.
This boat is one of the most budget-friendly kayaks we’ve come across. It won’t ruin your budget for life, but it’s made out of durable materials and can, therefore, serve you for as long as possible.
Thanks to its innovative design, you’ll have plenty of room to store your gear in this kayak.
Both a water bottle holder and the carrying handles are provided in the package, thus eliminating the need to purchase them separately.
The padded seat that this unit has been outfitted with offers a more than decent support for the user’s back, so there won’t be anything hindering the angler’s fishing experience.
Some of the owners say that it might be a bit too small for their physical attributes, so be sure to check the dimensions before deciding to order the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10.
Several buyers argue that some kayaks are cheaper.
The decision to use an inflatable model rather than a rigid model might be influenced by various factors. The first thing that comes to mind is something relating to your financial situation. If you compare the prices of inflatable boats to those of traditional boats made of composite materials, wood, or plastics, inflatable boats are significantly more affordable. It is not necessary to use a roof rack in order to transport the unit to the fishing location.
Such devices are simple to store at home or at any other location where you have enough space. The market today offers a choice of single and tandem inflatables, so you should consider if you would benefit from purchasing one that can be shared by a group of people or whether you would want to purchase one that is just for you.
6. Sevylor Inflatable Kayak Colorado
If you’re in the market for a new 2-person kayak and hardly know which one you should pick, the Coleman Colorado might make a good choice. On the one hand, it’s inflatable, which means that you can conveniently assemble and disassemble it according to your momentary needs. On the other hand, it’s equipped with everything you might require.
The model boasts a sturdy construction that adds to its durability and versatility as you will be able to utilize it in rough and calm waters alike. Some of the people who were kind enough to provide feedback in respect to this model say that they’ve taken their dogs along and their nails did no damage to the surface of the boat.
The rod holders that this unit comes equipped with can also be set depending on your preferences. The paddle holders are reassuring and can help you feel at ease as you won’t ever lose one in the water.
The only slightly cringeworthy detail about this model is its price. We’ve noticed that some models are significantly more budget-friendly, but the fact of the matter is that, if you’re willing to pay for quality, you need to get a lot of money out of your wallet.
With its 18-gauge PVC construction, it’s safe to say that the Sevylor Coleman Colorado is one of the most rugged inflatable kayaks available for sale nowadays. It can withstand the abuse of water, rocks, and anything that might attempt to puncture it to no avail.
Another benefit ensured by the design of the Coleman Colorado consists of the fact that it has been equipped with quick set rod holders that can be adjusted in accordance with your personal preferences.
Given the way that this inflatable has been built, you won’t encounter any difficulties if you ever want to mount a Sevylor trolling motor and start using it differently.
The holders for the paddles are secure and will offer you the reassurance you might require.
It’s not the most inflatable boat ever to have seen the light of day.
Some buyers report that the rod holders can get in your way when you are paddling.
For comparison, canoes are lightweight, convenient, and efficient compared to their kayak equivalents. They can be made of wood or plastic, among other materials. Despite the fact that they cannot be folded or packed as readily as inflatable kayaks, you will be able to tote them around with relative ease because they are not particularly heavy.
Some types are intended for usage by a single person only, while others may accommodate two persons. It’s quite rare that a boat of this size can fit more than two people of average height and build. Depending on the quality of the building, a model of this nature can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to nearly one thousand dollars or more.
7. Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe
If you’re a bit of a nostalgic and would rather appreciate fishing from a canoe, be sure to give a chance to the Discovery 119 as it seems to be made with the needs of the modern user in mind. Something that has to be underlined in respect to this option is that its design might be a bit misleading.
Even though it looks like it has been made out of wood, it’s actually constructed out of durable three-layer roto-molded polyethylene. Otherwise said, it will offer you great fishing experiences for as much time as possible. Now that we have established that the ruggedness ensured by the Discovery 119 is up to par, perhaps you might want to know that the model is intended for solo use.
Because it is rather small and lightweight compared to other choices in the same line, it’s not as stable. You need to be sitting at all times in order to prevent the canoe from tipping over.
Since it’s not primarily designed for angling, you will have to imagine some sort of system in order to get your rod holders to stay in place. So, in a sense, you may have to be a DIY-er for this option to make sense for you.
The polyethylene construction boasted by this option enables owners to benefit from excellent convenience as the canoe isn’t too heavy and as such, it can be carried with ease.
The quality of the design and build render this model durable and sturdy, which basically means that you’ll be able to use it for many seasons to come.
Some of the people who have bought this canoe say that it is more resilient than you might have thought it to be at first glance. It can handle weights of up to 300 pounds and more given that it has been utilized by owners weighing 270 lbs or more.
The Discovery 119 is a breeze to mount on a vehicle, so you can take it anywhere you want.
It would be a good idea to avoid standing while in this canoe as it is quite tippy.
It’s designed for solo use, so you can’t bring a friend along.
Top kayak accessories
Accessories for kayaks are available from a variety of internet merchants, many of which specialize in kayaking. In the event that you’re unfamiliar with them, we’ll put your mind at ease by stating that some models allow you to personalize them to the greatest extent conceivable. Example: If you’re concerned about your comfort and would like to feel more at ease when angling, you can upgrade the seat that comes standard with the device.
Also available is the option of adding a seat cushion to your kayak fishing expedition to boost the level of comfort that you will experience during the entire trip. If you’re looking for accessories, there’s no end to the possibilities, as you may choose everything that’s ever crossed your mind as long as it’s compatible with the kayak type you possess. You can also swap out the paddles if you want.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the method by which you will transport your kayak to the fishing spot in question. For it to be mounted on your vehicle, you will most likely need to acquire a rack carrier or a roof rack. Check out the variety of kayak flotation devices that are currently available to make your overall trip safer. Some are personal flotation devices, while others are simply bags that may be used to ensure that your boat remains buoyant at all times.
Leader Accessories Boat Seat
While it might not be the most affordable choice out there, the Leader Accessories unit makes a good model to keep in mind. Often times, the seats that most kayaks and boats come equipped with do little to nothing in terms of providing you the comfort you need during the endless hours you might spend on the water.
Nobody wants to quit a fishing trip beforehand, but that can happen if you don’t have the proper equipment at hand. This deluxe seat can ensure that you are able to spend as much time as you need and be patient with getting the big catch of your dreams.
The unit has been outfitted with two straps in the rear and two in the front, all of which can give you the freedom to customize the fit of the seat on the structure with which the kayak has been primarily equipped with. You’ll be amazed at the amount of support that this model can give your back and your rear.
Even though most of the consumers whose opinions we have analyzed speak highly of the features of this seat, there have been owners who have reported that they’ve run into all sorts of issues with adjusting the position of the seat.
Based on the feedback received by this option, it appears that it is one of the most comfortable choices in this line.
The fact that the unit has been outfitted with two straps in the rear and two in the front allows you to adjust its position and fit as best as possible, so as to customize it to the seat structure your kayak might come installed with.
The neat thing about this model is that it can offer plenty of support for both your back and your rear, which obviously adds to the overall comfort level experienced by the user.
Installation is a breeze, at least judging by the reviews that the seat has garnered in this sense.
Several buyers have complained about the fact that the seat isn’t as stable as they might have wanted it to be, even after they’ve adjusted the straps as best as possible.
CoCo 2 Pairs Universal
Nothing beats a pair of roof racks when you want to get up and reach the destination of your kayak fishing trip as quickly as possible. This model can be installed with ease, and so you can safely rely on its stability and design and stop worrying about whether or not your boat will be conveniently accommodated.
The steel design of this alternative makes it the perfect choice for people who aren’t willing to spend their money on a roof rack every year. The protection ensured by this product raises up to par, and so you can envisage your angling success instead of focusing on the way your kayak is transported to your fishing spot.
Something other that needs to be added in regards to this alternative is that it comes with four tie-down straps that you can use with ease in order to fasten the boat onto the roof racks. The on/off hardware that you will require in order to install and uninstall the racks is provided in the package.
All in all, it appears that this model offers enough value for the money. It does, however, come with a limited load capacity, so you won’t be able to utilize it with kayaks that are heavier than 75 lbs.
As one of the most versatile roof racks available out there, this model can be utilized for a variety of sports equipment, whether you plan to stick to transporting your kayak or use it for your surfboard in the summer.
The maximum weight of the kayak that can be used with the CoCo 2 is 75 lbs, so it addresses the needs of those who own a rather lightweight boat.
There are two pairs of racks and four tie-down straps in the package, so you won’t have to spend an extra cent on getting the straps separately.
With the sturdy construction boasted by this model, it’s safe to say that it will serve you for a more than decent amount of time.
It might not be as affordable as other alternatives, and that might be something you may have to consider if you are on a budget.
Whether you’re looking for the best affordable fishing kayak or you’re willing to make an investment, you have come to the right place. We’ve taken the matter into our hands by going through loads and loads of reviews, reliability surveys, and various forums so that we were eventually able to put together a comprehensive buying guide.
So, if you’re in the market for the best bass fishing kayak or one that you can use for various other species, perhaps you should take the time to read on. A little bit of extra research has never hurt prospective buyers, and neither will it hurt you.
Consider the type of kayak fishing you plan to engage in
The first thing you have to do is assess your needs and expectations. Look at the kind of kayak fishing you’re most interested in performing. Are you into freshwater angling or do you prefer saltwater fishing? While some might tend to say that this is a ridiculous question, the fact of the matter is that answering it can impact your entire experience.
Freshwater fishing can be done on still water or moving water. By the same token, saltwater fishing can be divided into inshore and offshore angling. When doing your fishing in still water, you might be able to relax while prospecting the market as the stability of the kayak matters somewhat less than it does in the case of moving water. Speed is the feature you should focus on if you plan to fish lakes and such other locations. Sit-on-top models work well in these situations.
Moving water requires enhanced maneuverability, a high degree of stability, as well as a high degree of rocker. While some choose sit-on-top kayaks, the fact is that under such circumstances, a sit-in alternative is far more sought after.
As for inshore waters kayak fishing, it appears that many anglers prefer sit-on-top choices although they should logically opt for sit-in ones. The latter have a somewhat superior degree of secondary stability, and so they might prefer better in confused seas or rough water. Offshore waters call for long kayaks, be they sit-in or sit-on-top.
Loading capacity and number of seats
Choosing a kayak isn’t all that easy when you begin considering that you also have to bring some food, water, as well as other essentials onboard. So, the loading capacity matters quite a bit. While some boats allow maximum loads of up to 450 pounds, others are far more limited in this sense.
The number of seats also has to be given some thought to. Do you plan to go angling all by yourself or would you rather take a buddy with you? Seating is of extreme importance when you’re out on the water because above all, the kayak needs to offer you excellent stability. If you like going fishing with your family, the natural choice would be to opt for a 3-person kayak as this way, you’ll be able to sit in the middle seat when there aren’t two other people with you.
The bigger the kayak, the more expensive it is likely to be. It wouldn’t hurt if you took the time to read some of the best fishing kayak reviews to make sure that you’re putting your pennies into something worth the while.
While focusing on comfort and the type of model you want to purchase is a good idea, the factor that should always be on your mind is whether you’re buying a safe kayak or not. The wider the boat, the greater the initial stability. On the other hand, since it will be a tad heavier than narrower alternatives, it might move slower in the water, which may or may not bother you depending on the fishing you’re engaging in.
A high degree of initial stability can be ensured by soft-chined kayaks. Secondary stability refers to how the boat can rock when it’s leaned onto its side. Narrow models have higher secondary stability compared to wider ones.
Sit-on-top vs. sit-in models
As their denomination suggests, sit-on-top kayaks lack a cockpit that is enclosed. Such models are usually considered to be unsinkable as they’re made out of polyethylene plastic or other materials that make them float with ease. Compared to their sit-in counterparts, sit-on-top units are a bit wider, and so they offer a greater initial stability but have a lower degree of secondary stability. They also tend to cost a pretty penny compared to sit-in models.
Taking into account all of the details we’ve mentioned about sit-on-top alternatives, it’s safe to say that they are designed for calm waters. They might do a poor job handling large waves, high winds, or swift currents.
Sit-in choices are highly recommended for inshore fishing and moving water, in general. They’re smaller than their sit-on-top counterparts and also somewhat narrower, which is why they offer reasonable initial stability but take the cake when it comes to secondary stability.
Also, sit-in options are far more affordable than their sit-on-top counterparts, even if you were to choose a 2-person fishing kayak. Thanks to their enclosed cockpit, they can ensure that you get at least partial protection from rain and other weather conditions that your expedition might suffer from.
How about the construction?
The way that the unit has been constructed and the materials it has been made out of are two other details you ought to bear in mind. The general rule is that polyethylene kayaks are those that are the heaviest, so you may need to consider one of these if you plan to fish along rocky shorelines, for instance. Unfortunately, this design is also a drawback, in a sense, as you’ll need to put in some effort and paddle some more. They’re rather heavy and slow.
The next option would be to consider a wood kayak. This type is significantly lighter compared to a polyethylene alternative, and the neat thing about it is that it can offer you superior speed, something that every angler needs once in a while.
Composite kayaks are a bit less affordable than the other two we’ve mentioned. In terms of weight, they’re somewhere in the middle when compared to wood and polyethylene choices.
Several additions can make your life a whole lot easier. The best fishing kayak on the market will inevitably come with a series of accessories such as carry handles, foot pegs, several storage options, and a variable number of rod holders.
If you’d like to avoid the hassle of deciding on a particular material that the kayak has been made out of, perhaps you should opt for an inflatable one. In some ways, such a choice might not exactly be in complete accordance with the definition of a kayak, but if you’re a versatile angler, you can definitely work with it.
To further improve your experience, you can safely select from the wide array of fishing kayak accessories available for sale nowadays. Whether you decide to change the seat that the boat has been outfitted with in the first place, or you just get some extras such as a life vest and a better paddle, it’s your choice, in the end. Be sure to consider your personal preferences when you’re in the market for such items.
Best kayak brands
As one of the most reputable manufacturers in the paddlesport industry, Sun Dolphin treats customers with the utmost respect. The boats designed by this company are well-made and convenient and can be used with ease. From what we’ve gathered, Sun Dolphin makes anything from pedal boats to canoes and kayaks and even dinghies.
A broad range of accessories is also available on the manufacturer’s official website. Given the warranty policies ensured by the manufacturer and the fact that they’ve had few to no complaints in the past, we feel confident enough to say that getting a kayak from this brand is a good idea.
In spite of the fact that Intex makes a good deal of other products aside from boats and accessories destined for fishing, it has become an all-time favorite brand of anglers over time. If you’re in the market for an inflatable kayak, this company might be one of those you should give some thought to.
The sporting goods made available by Intex are next to infinite as you can choose anything from professional boats to lounges, islands, and a good deal of parts and accessories. In short, Intex is another kayak brand to consider.
Unlike some other brands we’ve analyzed, Sevylor is considerably more versatile as it deals with the manufacture of a broad range of products intended for fishing and generally spending time outdoors. The quality of the accessories and boats designed by the company cannot be denied as in most cases, its products have acquired a good deal of appreciation on the part of those who have bought them.
Feel free to choose from the plethora of flotation aids, life jackets, and inflatable devices that are all available on Sevylor’s website and at various online retailers. Simply put, this company is another great one to add to your list.
Getting your game on has never been easier if you choose a boat from Ocean Kayak. It is true that some of its alternatives might be a tad pricier when compared to those from other brands, but the fact of the matter is that nothing can beat the quality and performance of these kayaks. They’re stable, convenient, and will prove to be a friend in need whenever you require their services the most.
There are several extras you can select, as well. Whether you plan to get a new seat back, hatch kit or just some decent clothing for your next kayak angling expedition, Ocean Kayak’s got you covered.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What’s the best fishing kayak?
It’s rather impossible to give a straight answer to this question, and the reasons are many. As discussed in the buyer’s guide, you have to look at the type of water you’re doing your fishing in, your own physical features, and whether or not you plan to go on a fishing trip with friends or family. This is the reason for which finding the perfect kayak or canoe might be a daunting task.
What’s more, you should address your expectations in terms of your budget. Often times, some of the models that cost more are better constructed than those that are reasonably priced. They can be made out of superior materials, or they might just provide better stability.
Q: Are fishing kayaks good?
It all comes down to what you feel most comfortable with using. In a kayak, you have little to no space to move, so you really have to be into fishing to spend several hours in the same body position. Getting a standard inflatable boat might be a better idea if you don’t like feeling stiff all of the time.
On the other hand, there are anglers who feel more in tune with the water and the natural environment of the species they’re targeting when they’re doing their fishing from a kayak. Sit-in alternatives allow you to rest comfortably and even be at the same level with the water. Of course, a splash here and there is inevitable, so be prepared to get a bit wet.
Q: Are fishing kayaks stable?
There are two types of stability you need to look at when deciding between one model and the next. One of them is initial and the other is secondary. Initial stability is a good pointer as to how the kayak performs when the water is still, and there are virtually no waves or any type of disruption that might cause it to shift or balance in some way or the other.
Secondary stability is what you can experience when you’re fishing in a river and the kayak rocks from side to side. The general rule is that wider kayaks have lower secondary stability while narrower ones can offer you the benefit of a better one.
Q: Why take up kayak fishing?
First off, you need to ask yourself what type of waters you have in the area you live. If there are lakes and such, a sit-on-top kayak might do you good and allow you to catch some serious local fish without you having to spend a fortune on it. Generally, kayak fishing is a recreational activity that can enable you to get in touch with nature.
Of course, some types of fishing are downright impossible with such a boat. You wouldn’t want to go out and do some serious tuna fishing from a kayak. The bigger the fish, the bigger should the boat be.
» Check the information from past years
5 Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayaks (Reviews) in 2020
We do not claim to be experts in fishing but we do know that the best sit on top kayaks for fishing should have the qualities of the top-rated products described below:
1. Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak Tan 120″
The Lifetime Tamarack 90237 is solidly constructed out of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene that makes it suitable as a sit on top kayak for fishing. It features a stable flat bottom so you can come onboard and alight while standing and keeping your balance with both feet planted on the floor of the kayak.
The deep hull tracking channels work to keep the kayak on course to prevent the boat from going off track when it gets subjected to a turning force, such as when there’s a sweep stroke. The stability Chine rails support that as well with their sharp edges that catch the waves and track relatively better while also providing good primary stability via a flatter surface that the choppy waters work against.
This kayak enables different sizes of riders to use it thanks to the multiple footrest positions. The adjustable padded seat back and the seat pad provide comfort while the front and rear shock cord straps enable you to pull the kayak into the shore. The two flush-mounted fishing rod holders secure your fishing rod in position so you wouldn’t need to be holding it continuously while waiting for the fish to come.
The two paddle cradles also come with shock cords for easy mobility. The Front and Rear T-handles allow you to latch the kayak securely to your vehicle for a worry-free transport to your destination.
This sit-on-top kayak features a dependably strong UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene construction that makes it suitable for any fishing conditions that might be demanding.
The stable flat bottom enables easy boarding and deboarding by allowing you to obtain a steady foothold while standing so you can get into a seated position easily and quickly even when the kayak rocks on the water.
The deep hull tracking channels deliver an added stability while providing good tracking. This will make it possible for the kayak to stay on course even when a turning force acts on it, such as a sweep stroke.
This kayak accommodates different size riders thanks to its multiple footrest positions, which contribute to a comfortable ride in a seated position every time.
The stability Chine rails feature sharp edges that catch the waves efficiently and also track relatively better while offering good primary stability with a flatter surface that the choppy waters can push up against.
Although this model features two paddle cradles, it does not ship with paddles so a separate purchase is needed for those components.
2. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 One-Person Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
The Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 is one of the original and remains one of the most popular kayaks geared for fishing. It has the fantastic qualities that set a fishing kayak apart from other recreational models on the market, ranging from the hull design to the nifty storage options that enable it to carry out its application really well.
The hull of this kayak is performance-driven to handle both calm and rough waters while ensuring a stable, fast, and quiet ride. The V-shaped hull allows it to slice through the water neatly so the kayak is more effective at tracking in straight lines. The polyethylene construction of the kayak enables its use in demanding fishing conditions and for recreational activities happening on the water.
The large front hatch provides an easy access to the ingenious bow-to-stern internal storage while accommodating a number of rods for safe and convenient below-deck storage. The seat is made out of foam to provide comfort so you can wait for the fish while seated without your bottom becoming numb from being on a really hard seat for hours.
To provide a spot to hold your fishing rod, this model features two rod holders that help prevent the quick onset of hand and arm fatigue from having to hold your fishing rod for extended periods of time.
This is a popular kayak and one of the original watercraft designed for fishing. It is equipped with a performance hull that is fast and stable yet amazingly quiet so as not to spook the fish away.
The V-shaped hull is designed to go swiftly through rough or calm waters equally well, cutting through the water better so that it delivers an effective tracking in straight paths.
The large front hatch provides easy access to the internal storage from the bow to the stern and also accommodates a variety of rods to provide safe storage below deck while keeping the rod out of the way when it is not in use.
The Comfort Plus seat is made out of foam to cushion your bottom from the hard surface of the kayak material, therefore enabling you to sit comfortably while waiting for the fish.
The 6-inch hatch complete with a storage bucket provides ample room to hold the ice that needs to be used for keeping the catch fresh till you head home.
The placement of the 6-inch hatch with the storage bucket is under the seat so care must be taken when taking out things such as ice from the storage unit.
3. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Journey is made out of UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene that makes it suitable for fishing, as the material can withstand the conditions of being on the water for prolonged periods of time. It has an open cockpit that enables you to get on and off easily, facilitating the process of keeping a stable foothold on the kayak bottom as you do so.
The large seating area ensures comfort so you can rest your bottom while keeping a leverage from both sides to prevent the kayak from tipping. The two flush-mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder enable you to do other tasks with your hands because you wouldn’t have to keep gripping your fishing rod in them all the time, which is very handy while waiting for the fish to strike.
The innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) can function as extra storage, a backpack, or a tow-behind to hold your essential fishing gear securely while you are on the water. The Dry Storage compartment provides ample room to hold items that need to stay dry during your fishing adventures, such as a change of clothes or your hiking boots.
The shock cord deck rigging facilitates the easy pulling of the kayak to shore or to deeper water when needed or to secure the paddle to the top of the kayak during storage. There are adjustable foot braces to enable the use of the kayak by different size riders.
With its weight capacity of 250 pounds, this sit-on-top boat comes with a large seating area that is made for comfort when you have to wait on the water for the fish to bite.
The two flush-mount rod holders and the single swivel rod holder provide an effective means of keeping your fishing rod(s) in place so you wouldn’t need to hold them in your hands all the time.
The open cockpit of the watercraft allows easy on and off so you can effortlessly brace yourself with both legs when you come onboard, therefore preventing any loss of balance.
This boat comes with an innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) that you can use as extra storage, a backpack, or a tow-behind.
The water vehicle also features a Dry Storage compartment to accommodate items that have to be kept dry while fishing, such as a change of clothes or your hiking boots.
According to one buyer, this vehicle has screw holes that are not sealed from the factory so it is best to check that the customer puts seals in to ensure total dryness when riding.
4. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Bali SS is suitable for use in rivers and lakes and makes a great recreational kayak. It is easy to carry and is lightweight, enabling you to enjoy fishing or watersports where the passion takes you. This kayak tracks and paddles effortlessly while guaranteeing optimum stability so you can get in and out of it quickly.
Made with rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene, this model can withstand the demanding conditions of recreational use so you can make the most of every activity on the water. It features an innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC), which can serve as additional storage, a backpack, or a tow-behind to hold essential items during your outdoor water activity.
The large, comfortable seating area has protective thigh pads that give additional comfort and support. You can get into the unit easily thanks to the open cockpit. The adjustable foot braces enable the use of the boat by different sizes of riders. The shock cord deck rigging provides a spot into which to slide the paddle blade for ‘parking’ the paddle as well as to provide a useful area to hold a small tackle box or water bottle.
This recreational boat features a paddle holder to keep the paddle secure during use so you don’t have to support it fully with your hands.
Able to support a total weight of 250 pounds, this recreational kayak offers a length of ten feet to accommodate different size riders for a great day out on the water.
Ideal for use in rivers and lakes, this model is lightweight and easy to carry so you can enjoy fishing in various locations of your choice to get the most of the outdoor activity.
This kayak is designed to track and paddle with ease so you can get to the fishing spot quickly, and it also offers maximum stability so you can get in and out effortlessly.
This product is designed to take on the demanding conditions of fishing thanks to its rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene construction.
The large, comfortable seating area has protective thigh pads to prevent leg fatigue while the adjustable foot braces allow riders of different heights to get on the kayak.
Once you are in the kayak, make sure to keep your balance well as some customers say this model is somewhat tippy.
5. Nixie Sports Fishing Angler Sit on Top Kayak
The Nixie Sports sit-in kayak is a functional, performance-driven watercraft that carries a lightweight design at just 51 pounds so it can easily be transported and carried to your favorite fishing spot while entailing just a bit of effort to paddle. You won’t have to stress out about its weight when you have to travel to your fishing destination.
The comfortable backrests provide ample cushioning to keep you alert without being overly relaxed so you can protect your back from pain or aches when going on extended fishing trips. You can also paddle comfortably with the cushiony backrests that provide leverage from the back to power your muscles sufficiently.
The lockable hatch provides safe and secure storage for your valuables, bungee straps, and cup holders, along with other items that have to be stored and kept dry so you can focus on the fishing activity. You won’t have to leave those essential items in your car.
The hull is designed to ensure maximum stability and efficiency so you can get into and out of the boat with ease. The four flush-mounted fishing rod holders allow you to relax your grip on the fishing rod and rest your hands while waiting for a fish strike. The multiple footrest positions enable the use of the kayak by riders of different sizes. This model comes with a paddle for value for money.
This kayak boasts a lightweight design in its 51-pound frame to enable you to transport it easily to your favorite fishing spot.
The lightweight design of the watercraft enables an easy paddling through the water, since you need not push an overly heavy vehicle against the current.
The comfortable backrests provide good seating that makes extended fishing trips less tiresome and more enjoyable.
The lockable hatch is suitable for storing cup holders, bungee straps, and your valuables during the trip, keeping the items dry and secure so you can focus on your fishing.
The performance-driven hull is engineered to deliver maximum stability and efficiency to slice through the water with ease for a faster ride while the four flush-mounted fishing rod holders keep arm and hand fatigue at bay.
While this product is designed to be as good as the other products in the same class from more popular brands, consumers have yet to learn of what it can do for them in the field of fishing.
Some anglers go for the sit-on-top variety of kayak because of how it enable one to get out and wade, as well as to add accessories easily. If you are not the type who has the luxury of time to try before you buy, these are the attributes that a top-rated product in the best sit-on-top kayak reviews should come with:
When consulting any sit on top kayak buyers guide, take note of the product’s stability
The stability element of such a boat is broken down into two factors: the primary, also known as the initial one, and the secondary stability. The initial stability refers to how stable the watercraft feels when you sit upright on the keel, which is the longitudinal structure going along the centerline at the bottom of the hull of the kayak. The keel is also the point where the rest of the hull is built.
Wide models are equipped with a high level of primary stability while narrow kayaks have the opposite. The initial or primary stability also denotes the initial steadiness of the craft on flat water. In general, kayaks with a soft chine provide a high degree of initial stability while those with hard chines have a low initial stability rating.
The chine refers to the way the bottom of the boat fuses with its sides, which determines whether the boat looks boxy or rounded. This element also denotes the transition between the bottom of the water vehicle and its sides.
A hard chine is characterized by an abrupt, angular transition while a soft chine features a smoother and more rounded one. The chine should not be mistaken with the flare, which is the angle of the sides of a kayak outward from its hull. The flared sides of the boat provide a higher stability but they make the craft more difficult to roll.
While harder chine hulls can track slightly better and have greater primary stability, they are more prone to tipping because of the filler surface they provide against which choppy waters push up during terrible weather situations.
The secondary stability designates the way it behaves when it leans onto its side. Narrow kayaks offer a great level of secondary stability while wide ones have a low secondary stability. Soft chine hulls do better at in this sense and are also generally faster.
The sharp edges of hard chine hulls make it easy to catch waves better and to perform tricks. While soft and hard chines represent the extremes, there are a number of chine hull designs categorized between the two.
Typically, kayaks that are very stable in flat water turn out to be tippy in choppy water, with the reverse being also true.
The best sit on top kayak for beginners has the right size for your needs and offers a comfortable ride along with convenience
When anglers or kayakers talk about the volume of this kind of vehicle, they simply mean the amount of space inside of it, which can be expressed in liters or gallons. However, to make things simpler, manufacturers just specify the maximum weight capacity a kayak can manage, so if the figure says 250 lbs, the watercraft can carry a maximum of 250 pounds, and this includes your fishing equipment. You may want to check this out when making a purchase.
You will rarely find a 2 seat sit on top kayak as most products are designed to carry just one rider. A wide, high, comfortable back seat with foam padding is nice for support during long waits. Some models come with thigh padding for extra comfort and protection.
Rod holders, lockable storage hatches, below-deck storage, and shock-cord rigging are quite useful and convenient.
A good kayak provides effortless use
When looking for the finest sit on top kayak under 300 dollars or the best sit on top kayak under 500 dollars, you must make certain that the kayak’s functionality is maximized while out on the open water.
Compared to shorter alternatives, longer alternatives are easier to paddle, can carry bigger loads with no loss of speed, and are more stable. As a result, when compared to shorter versions, they have a superior capacity to maintain course or demonstrate better tracking, can travel quicker, and glide farther on each stroke.
Shorter variants, on the other hand, are not only less expensive (depending on the construction), but they are also lighter and easier to transport as well. In addition, shorter units revolve more quickly.
A long boat hull’s longer waterline length allows it to cut through water more quickly. Having said that, movement is severely limited in this configuration.
Because of the greater surface area in contact with the water, wide vessels move more slowly than narrow ones. In contrast to narrow kayaks with less surface area in contact with the water, which have a lower degree of initial stability and a higher level of secondary stability, they have a lower level of secondary stability in spite of their high level of initial stability.
Long and narrow hulls allow for faster speeds, but they are also the least stable and agile of the options available to you. Despite the fact that they are the slowest, short and wide hulls are the most stable and offer the most maneuverability.
Rocker is the term used to describe the upturn of the hull of a boat from end to end as seen from the side of the boat. The rocker is measured in degrees. Due to the fact that they have higher ends resting in the water and hence less resistance to the waves, you may expect better pivoting from kayaks with a lot of rocker. They do have a limited ability to hunt down individuals.
In contrast, kayaks with less rocker track significantly better due to their capacity to withstand the twisting forces created by waves, wind, and current, as well as the inefficiency of the kayaker’s paddle strokes. When you use a suitable lean or turning stroke, turning the car will be more difficult as well.
A flat-bottom boat, which has no rocker, tracks the best because the water resistance at the bow and stern is the largest, which prevents the boat from turning easily. A flat-bottom boat has no rocker, hence it tracks the best. A variety of types are available with varying degrees of rocker, and some models may have rocker only in the stern or only in the bow.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.