Is there something more fun and rewarding than fishing on a kayak? Well, if you thought kayaking was only suited for those able to spend thousands of dollars on a watercraft, think again. This review of the best fishing kayak under 1000 options is meant to help you find an affordable outrigger. Who knows? You might end up discovering a whole new world of possibilities without breaking the bank.
This fishing kayak is designed to provide you with different convenience features needed to conquer the waters. Its exterior is made from a UV-protected polyethylene housing. As such, the kayak is not only light but also durable. On top of that, its polyethylene material is resistant to fading, cracking and also peeling. So, if you’re looking for a kayak that’s easy-to-maintain, this one from Lifetime might be worth considering. Moving on, this sports fisher kayak has a 500lb carrying capacity. It can sit up to 3 guys. Likewise, if you’re shopping for the best fishing kayak for big guys, this one would be an awesome find. In fact, not only is this kayak spacious but also has multiple footrest positions. What’s more? It has got high and dry seating which means you won’t end up sitting on the floor. All the seats are ergonomically designed and come with a well-made backrest. On the flipside, though, the seats are not cushioned meaning that this might not be the best choice for all-day use. Moving on, the Lifetime 10 feet kayak comes with self-bailing scupper holes which are stationed near the cockpit area. These holes ensure that the interior drains properly no matter the weather. And for enhanced transport convenience, this kayak comes with front and rear carrying handles making it extremely easy to transport. Do you always find yourself wondering where to place the oars when using a kayak? The Lifetime Tandem Kayak has already got that issue figured out for you. It comes with a ready-made oar mount which you can use to stash the paddles when not in use. The main challenge with fishing on a kayak is that you might encounter perilous waters. In that case, maintaining stability and remaining safe might prove a major challenge especially if you’re a rookie. But with the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak, you not only get a decent looking kayak but also one that’s very stable. Its bottom surface is generously wide and that essentially gives it a lower center of gravity like on the adult tricycle. You can, therefore, choose to either sit down or stand up while fishing. Whichever the case, you won’t have to worry about tipping over.
High-density polyethylene material for extra strength
Can accommodate up to 500 pounds of weight capacity
Comes with multiple footrests to accommodate different riding styles
Ready-made oar mount stations
Conclusion One thing that stands out about this kayak is that it’s well built. It’s entirely made from heavy-duty polyethylene which is also UV secured. This makes it superb for venturing deep into the wilderness since it’s capable of withstanding suspended logs and jagged rocks. We also like the fact that this angling kayak is steady. You can use it when sitting or standing without worrying that it might tip over. So, you can use it to ride on waves, pass near others boats and so forth without compromising on your safety. Last but not least, it has quite a few add-on accessories among them a jingle plate, rod shaft holders, stun string straps as well as scupper openings.
Fantastic seating and standing space
Ergonomic seats with backrests
Strong body to prevent accidental punctures
Wide hull area for extra stability
Its seats are not cushioned and, therefore, may not be ideal for all-day use
Its wide outline lowers its speed
Lifetime 10 ft Manta Tandem Kayak
Yotube Video Review: Lifetime 10 ft Manta Tandem Kayak
Every kayaker can fish along the shores but it takes an expert to discover what lies in the deeper parts of the lake. In that case, one needs a powerful angling kayak – just like the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100. First off, the Tamarack is made from the high-density UV-protected material. This is durable and resilient to an extent that you can use it even in rough waters with no major issues. Further, its interior comprises a generous sitting area complete with footrest position. The kayak’s bottom is flat and generally stable meaning it is ideal for use even on rough waters. There’s no doubt that this savvy kayak is designed with convenience in mind. For instance, it comes with a single top mount for a single fishing rod. That’s just about what you need to keep your rod safe when you don’t need to use it. We’ve all been there – stranded in the wilderness wondering how to get the boat, canoe or kayak on the water. Well to prevent that from happening, this kayak comes with front and rear t-handles. Those handles are meant to make transport extremely easy. Beneath the kayak are deep hulling tracking channels. These add to stability and also give the entire unit more power. So, if you’re out there wishing for a stable kayak that’s capable of cruising in water with no major issues, this one might be the real deal for you. Fair enough, but what about speed; can this kayak be used for racing? Well, unfortunately, this kayak isn’t fancy. It’s a simple unit that’s meant for angling. We like the fact that it has lots of leg room. However, its seats, though adjustable, lack enough padding. You may need to add an extra cushion so you’re comfortable using this kayak for long hours.
Handy storage compartments at the rear and the center
Strong paddle mounting feature
T-handles provided for enhanced transport
ConclusionThis kayak is not suitable for people who want to fish for long periods of time. That is because of its unpadded seats. The manufacturer should have added some cushions to the seats to make the kayak suitable for long hours of use. That said, this unit is well-designed for fishing in rough waters. It’s quite stable and its body is made from durable material. As far as user experience is concerned, this machine comes with a couple of nice additions such as t-handles, cord straps, and rod mounts. So, no doubt, this would be a perfect find for entry-level anglers as well. In a nutshell, this is a great sit-on-top kayak for the money. It’s designed for one-person use. It’s remarkably stable and reliable. We’d recommend it for novice anglers though since it lacks all the bells and whistles most professionals look for.
Well-built exterior with high-density polyethylene
Multiple footrest positions
6-inch storage compartments
Above average stability
Not suitable for big-bodied users
Below par responsiveness in water
Lifetime Tamarack 100 10' Angler Kayak Review
Yotube Video Review: Lifetime Tamarack 100 10' Angler Kayak Review
There’s no doubt that kayaking is one of the most rewarding outdoor activities for folks who love adventure. It seems that there’s something about this activity that makes it incredibly rewarding. But in order to enjoy kayaking, you need to bank on a well-made unit. The BKC UH-TK181 from Brooklyn Kayak Company is truly a cut above the rest. One thing you’re likely to notice the minute you interact with this kayak is its unique color. Indeed, the BKC comes with a rare camo design which makes it one of the discrete choices available. The idea behind camo is that it helps the kayak blend in with the environment. So, even if you’re hunting some feisty fish, this unique color will make sure they don’t notice you as you approach them. Indeed, some people argue that brightly colored kayaks tend to scare away the fish. Therefore, if you want to boost your chances of making a catch, this might be a good kayak to settle for. What we’d particularly need to note is that this kayak comes with excellent tracking. That also means it’s pretty easy to maneuver. So, whether you’re facing calm waters or rough seas, this kayak is a safe choice. For that reason, we’d highlight it as the best fishing kayak for ocean. On top of that, this kayak comes with a carefully balanced hull. This is pretty much all you need to experience stability even when the storms get wild. That said, the BKC comes with a limited carrying capacity of 450 pounds. It can, therefore, carry a maximum of 2 adults at a time. That would still leave you with some extra capacity to carry your catch as well as other fishing equipment such as the fish finders, boots, and flashlights. Indeed, this kayak comes with a generous cargo carrying space. Part of this generous space is a huge rear compartment with a bungee tie down system. This system has all it takes to enjoy added comfort and safety.
Conclusion At 68 pound of weight, this fishing kayak isn’t lightweight. But since it’s meant for two adults, then the weight can be easier to manage. The heavy-duty body and extra accessories are to blame for this excess weight. The good news, however, is that there are 4 carrying handles in place. From the look of things, this kayak is designed for long fishing expeditions. Its seats are pretty comfortable and ergonomic. And above all, the whole unit is built with your safety in mind. Its paddles are made from aluminum which besides being tough are also pretty lightweight.
7 convenient rod holders
Waterproof storage hatches
Twin paddle rests
Has a secure cargo area
Equipped with multiple carrying handles
Only 250-lb carrying capacity
May get slightly wet when paddled over waves and rapids
It’s a good idea to invest in polarized glasses so you can improve your sight fishing techniques.
The best fishing kayak under 500 is one that offers you a generous sitting space and yet is light enough to be carried around. So, does this 10-feet kayak from Sun Dolphin make the grade? Well, starting from its front, this kayak has handles (at both ends) which provide a great grip for carrying it. Another unique aspect of its front is that it has a scupper hole. Wait what are those holes for? Well, scupper holes come in handy at draining any water that might find its way to the interior of the kayak. All you’d need to do is unscrew its cap and the water will automatically drain out. Thanks to that design, you can confidently use the Sun Dolphin Excursion to fish deep in the ocean. That’s because even if some water finds its way inside the sitting area, you’ll still be able to get rid of it. The main selling point of this kayak is that it has a spacious cockpit. It also comes with fully padded seats. Those two features come in handy in helping you enjoy all-day fishing. Unlike other kayaks that limit the sitting space, this one gives you all the freedom you need to sit comfortably. On top of that, this kayak comes with flexible bottle holders, adjustable foot braces, and protective thigh pads. Wondering where to keep your paddle so you can focus on fishing? This kayak comes with a well-thought-out paddle holder. So, you simply need to fit your paddle in one of those and focus on doing what you love doing most – fishing. We’d particularly single out the Sun Dolphin Excursion kayak as a perfect choice for fishing in rivers and lakes. Its body is made from a UV-stabilized Fortiflex material which is durable and tamper-proof. If extra storage is what you’re after, the Sun Dolphin will, no doubt, wow you with its creative storage compartments. For instance, it comes with a convenient storage section under the seat. You only need to unscrew its cover to create an easy-to-access storage area. This would be a remarkable place to stash your anchor.
At 44 pounds it’s a lightweight fishing kayak that’s easily portable
Plenty of room for storing fishing gear and the catch
Great tracking and peddling for optimal stability
Features a high-density polyethylene which is also UV-stabilized
Handy swivel rod and flush mount rod holders
Conclusion On a scale of 10, we’d give this kayak a well-deserved 8. At its price, we think it offers a fairly good proportion of features. We’d, however, recommend it for beginner anglers. If you’re really advanced in this game and are looking for something highly advanced, you may need to increase your budget.
Generous storage space
Incredibly comfortable seats complete with thigh pads
Foot braces meant to provide great support
Well-designed console with all the basics including cup holders and a bungee
The next time you’re out there shopping for a kayak, be sure to go for one that’s made with a heavy-duty PVC body. Such a body will give you the confidence you need to get into those off the beaten angling spots without stress. That’s exactly what the Sevylor Coleman Colorado is all about. It comes with a 1000D tarpaulin bottom which is further reinforced with an 840D nylon cover. That’s pretty much all the protection you need so you’re completely safe from the threat of punctures. On top of that, this kayak has multiple air chambers. These are powerfully designed in such a manner that they remain inflated even when punctured. Indeed, the Sevylor qualifies to be called an airtight system which is almost guaranteed not to let any water in or to leak. As a fishing kayak under 400, this kayak comes with a number of unique advantages that can be overlooked by the average angler. For instance, unlike your common kayak, this one comes with rotomolded plastic. This kind of plastic is pretty cheap and enough for use in rivers and other shallow water bodies. On the flipside, though, the rotomolded plastic tends to produce a thunking noise when you place something on it. This might scare away some fish and, therefore, reduce your potential catch. Another great thing with this kayak is that it comes with a number of mounted accessories. For instance, it comes with user-friendly paddle holders which allow you to keep your paddle safely when casting. On top of that, this kayak comes with trolling motor fittings and D Rings. You can use these to attach other equipment on the kayak just so your fishing expeditions are even more rewarding. And for added storage space, this unit comes with extra mesh pockets. These are located on the sides and come in handy in storing accessories that you need to access instantly when fishing. Despite its low price tag, this inflatable kayak is generally well-built. Its body is sun-resistant, salt-water-proof and also puncture-proof. In fact, it boasts the industrial-grade I-bean construction as well as double-ended drop stitch design. In fact, some pundits have likened it to a hulk. And for added comfort when out there fishing this kayak comes with two softback seats. The design of these seats is such that it provides you with a generous room to stretch your legs. And thanks to the fact that it comes with adjustable seats, you can enjoy all the comfort you need for long hours of work.
840D nylon and 1000D tarpaulin protection against punctures
Comes with multiple air chambers for maximum safety even if one chamber gets punctured
Designed with an air-tight system which prevents seepage and leakage
Conclusion If you’re looking for a value-packed inflatable fishing kayak, then you’ve got to savor what this kayak has in store for you. Of course, because it’s inflatable, it may not be as hardy as other PVC kayaks. That said, the unit is light in weight and, therefore, convenient for a single user.
Well-built air safety system
Allowance for connecting a trolling motor included
Ready-made paddle holders for you
Designed to function excellently even for hands-free fishing
Does not come with a pump
Limited sitting space
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Still haven’t found a kayak that dazzles you with its features? Chances are that you’ll appreciate what the Vibe Skipjack 90 has to offer. Although this angling kayak isn’t big, it certainly doesn’t skimp on quality. The Skipjack 90 is available in three colors namely the hunter camo, blue camo and the sea breeze. The 46-pound kayak is designed with these colors to make sure it easily blends with the environment. That’s a big plus especially because bright colors tend to scare away some fish. At 46 pounds of weight and measuring 32-inch wide and 9-inch long, this kayak is compact. In fact, despite its small stature, it offers a generous carrying capacity of 300-pounds. This should be enough for a normal-sized person with lots of gear. The kayak’s tracking ability is quite impressive. In fact, it comes with a razor-like keel which gives you a superior tracking ability. On the flipside, though, you’ll be down on speed owing to the dimensions of this kayak. But of course, if you’re looking for this kind of kayak, speed might not be really a top priority to you. What you need to note is that this kayak is capable of handling different kinds of condition. So, you can use it in bays, lakes, and even coastal oceans. All you need to do is stick to its intended use and with a bit of paddling, you’ll be perfectly happy at every step of the way. Ever found yourself busy fishing for long hours than you had initially planned for? Well, chances are that you experienced a sore back especially if you were on an uncomfortable kayak. The good thing with the Vibe Skipjack 90 is that it comes with an adjustable kayak seat complete with a rear pouch. The seat is so comfortable. In fact, it’s specifically designed to support your back. Therefore, if you tend to struggle with back pain, this might just be the kind of kayak you need to go for.
Handy paddle parks which ensure that you secure the paddles when not in use
The kayak has multiple storage options including 3 sealed hatches
For enhanced portability, this kayak has 5 easy-grip carrying handles
ConclusionThis kayak is not only compact but superbly stable as well. In fact, you can even use it to stand and pull your latest fly fishing stunts. What’s more? The width of this kayak is so generous that it also contains some bag inserts and sealed hatches as well.
Plenty of cargo room
Great performance and fantastic maneuverability
Can be used in different water conditions
Not as fast as you’d expected
Limited carrying capacity of 300 lbs
For your own safety, always check the local weather patterns and news before going to fish.
The Pescador Pro is outfitted with features meant to enhance performance irrespective of your angling style. The kayak is fast, stable and powerful. In addition, it provides you with a generous storage space. The sit-on-top kayak boasts an adjustable (also removable) camp chair. This is a well-built seat that gives you all the comfort you need to enjoy every minute of your fishing expedition. As such, this kayak is recommended for those extra-long fishing sessions. In fact, it comes with a generous 12 feet length. This extra length provides you with lots of cargo space and adds onto speed and stability as well. So, if you’re looking for a 12ft fishing kayak that enables you to pounce on fish in quiet waters, this might be the right choice for you. What about safety? One thing in the mind of any fish angler in this world is safety. Without safety, it would be impossible and perilous to go to the high seas. But luckily, with kayaks like this one here, you can approach the waters with extra confidence. The system boasts built-in leak-proof technology. This is backed up by built-in buoyancy and assured on-water security. In fact, the kayak comes with a permanent US Coast Guard compliance identification number. The next most important feature to consider when shopping for a kayak is the comfort. And the good news to this end is that this one comes with back-friendly seats. The seats are fully-equipped with superior cushioning. In fact, some experts have referred to this kayak as one offering the best-in-class ergonomic support. Its cockpit is pretty large although we’d like to note that we found this cockpit to be quite basic. It, however, is quite generous and has all the features you need to enjoy your fishing trip. And thanks to the kayaks generous specs, you also end up with more than enough space to stretch your legs. That also makes this kayak easy on your legs as well. The true measure of a good kayak is how well its body is built. Talking about that, we’re glad to note that the Pescador Pro comes with a high-quality UV-resistant body. This is made from a proprietary high-density polyethylene. Above all, like all other kayaks from the Pescador family, this one is protected by a 5-year warranty. That said, we think this kayak might struggle with open/ocean water. It seems optimized for slow-moving rivers as well as calm coastal waters.
Easy-to-replace skid plates to eliminate the fear of damage in case of a drag
Convenient drink holders to prevent your favorite beverage from spilling
Comes with a fish finder console and transducer mounting
Front, rear and side carry handles for enhanced portability
Conclusion 12ft fishing kayaks never get better than this. The Pescador Pro is strong, stable and reliable. We also like the fact that it’s light in weight and, therefore, easy to transport and store. And if you’re looking for a comfortable seat, you can’t help but fall in love with whatever this advanced has to offer.
Great and comfortable seat
Handy rod and cup holders included
Lots of storage options
A centralized console for easy rigging of electronics
Only 2 built-in rod holders are provided
Limited dry storage area
Perception Kayaks | Introducing the Pescador Pro!
Yotube Video Review: Perception Kayaks | Introducing the Pescador Pro!
So, here’s the deal – if you and your buddy are heading out for a fishing journey, you’ll need to invest in 2-person kayak. In that regard, you’d find the UH-TK219 to be such a good piece of equipment. Picture this, it comes with a generous cargo area for 2, paddle rests and 6-rod holders. In fact, you can easily upgrade this kayak into a 3-person unit since it has the capacity of up to 440lbs. That said, the initial order comes with 2 aluminum paddles. So, if you happen to need more paddles, you’d perhaps need to order from the manufacturer. But the paddles are in our opinion quite powerful. This is probably because they’re made from aluminum. As you know aluminum is strong but lightweight at the same time. To give you all the stability you need to be confident, this kayak has a 34-inch wide beam. This one provides you with a super stable ride which is all you need to enjoy superb traction. What about when you’re paddling and then spot a potentially good catch and have to act fast? Well, you wouldn’t need to dump your paddle because this kayak has 2 spacious paddle rests. Thanks to these rests, you can easily stow the paddles and focus on getting bringing more fish home instead. Oh! And one thing we forgot to mention is that this kayak comes with waterproof storage. All you need to do is make good use of its watertight hatches one which is located at the front and another one at the back. Think about your watches, wallets and mobiles and these safety hatches will prove to be of great use – any day.
Weighs 70 pounds and measures 148 x 32 x 12 inches
Conclusion The BKC UH-TK219 is superb for navigating hard-to-reach parts of the river. In fact, you can use it to penetrate through places that other kayaks would struggle through. Most importantly, this is a comfortable 2-seater kayak which can be upgraded to a 3-seater unit. However, the third seat may not be comfortable enough for an adult. The idea behind this is to have a family of three or a group of young buddies enjoy an outdoor fishing escapade. So, the third seat should only be used by a small-bodied user for maximum convenience.
Great for group fishing
Has handy carrying handles for added user-convenience
Comes with superb waterproof storage
Offers great stability on water
Its paddles are lightweight yet powerful
The third seat isn’t large enough and comfortable for a 35-year-old plus adult
A bit expensive
Don’t forget to carry some water-rich food items and proteins on your fishing trip (necessary for survival).
This is a high-tech kayak that’s perfect for all around angling. It particularly excels in stability. So, you can confidently take it to rough water bodies and still feel secure while doing so. Of course, when investing in a fishing kayak with outriggers, it’s important to make sure you go for nothing but the best. You need to consider factors like onboard storage, features, durability, and speed among others. Those features are extremely important as far as hardcore fishing is involved. So, how does the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 fare in that regard? Well, one thing that stands out about this kayak is that it’s built by a company with an outstanding track record. First off, this yak comes with a highly comfortable seat. This seat is quite comfortable and, therefore, makes the Sea Ghost superb for long hours of fishing. Still, with the seat, our reviewers noted that it comes with a quick-dry mesh fabric. This excellent fabric means you don’t have to sit on a damp seat just because of an accidental spill. And for even more comfort, this kayak comes with adjustable straps which provide you with a custom fit. Yet its parts are entirely UV resistant meaning they do a good job of protecting you in the long-term no matter the weather. Even the most comfortable kayaks of all would, however, be useless if its body was poorly designed. What’s the case with the Sea Ghost? Well, we’re glad to report that it boasts a pretty strong body which is made from rotomolded plastic. This is a high-density polyethylene material that’s incredibly hardy. It also comes with a superb skid plate which means you can drag it on shore with no worries about getting its bottom part damaged. And to make sure your yak is always free of water, this 13 feet kayak comes with 8 scupper holes. All these holes are positioned strategically to ensure that any water that finds its way into your yak is removed fast. On the flipside, though, this watercraft is a bit bulky and heavy. That means it’s less friendly to carry around on your own. However, once you’re in the waters, you’re bound to enjoy every moment of having it because it’s a true workhorse.
Comes with 4 integrated gear tracks and 2 flush-mounted rod holders
Handy toe controlled rubber system which helps you save energy during long fishing trips
Has a roomy center console for enhanced control
Dozens of storage options available for superior comfort
Conclusion The Vibe Tribe is a family of great kayaks and that explains why they remain popular among anglers of all levels of experience. Indeed, the Sea Ghost 130 is one of the finest products from them. We like it because it’s roomy, hardy and stable. Its body is made from high-quality parts which make it incredibly reliable in the long-haul.
This is a highly powerful kayak
Generous storage room
Quite heavy and, therefore, tricky for one person to use
Is it possible to find a fishing kayak that does all you need and runs at an affordable price tag at the same time? Well, unfortunately, in most cases, most well-made kayaks often exceed the $1,000 price range. But the BKC UH-FK184 Single Fishing Kayak is different. Not only is it suitable as a 1-person sit-on-top fishing kayak but also as a recreational kayak. It may not have the muscle and speed of the Sea Ghost 130 but it certainly is reliable and safe to use. User-experience is yet another key thing that matters a lot when one is padding their way in deep, unknown waters. Well, in that regard, this yak comes with 5 capped flush mount rod holders. The holders provide you with extra space to mount your accessories. What’s more? This system comes with two well-built paddle parks. These parks help secure your paddles when not in use. So, the moment you get this device you can as well forget about the need for overboard paddles. Likewise, you’ll not need to worry about lost overboard paddles. It’s tricky to bring all manner of accessories when kayaking when you have a limited storage space. Luckily with the BKC UH-FK184, you get multiple storage platforms. For instance, you get 2 sealed hatches complete with bag inserts. These inserts are water-proof and, therefore, perfect for stashing all your delicate devices. What about portability? This kayak weighs a paltry 45 pounds and measures 9 feet meaning you can easily carry it around on your own. This is unlike its sibling the Sea Ghost which weighs more than 70 pounds. And to add onto that, the kayak comes with 4 easy-grip handles which enhance portability and transport. Obviously, this kayak is smaller, narrower and shorter than average. However, it offers great stability. You can even use it as a stand up fishing kayak. You can, therefore, employ it in different kinds of environments including ponds, lakes, rivers, and near-shore ocean waters. The fact that this kayak is stable and strong means it’s excellent for anyone who might want to engage in stand-up casting. So, we think this yak is perfect for solo-use. However, it’s not as rugged as you’d expect and, therefore, we wouldn’t recommend it for use in deep oceans.
Weighs 45 pounds meaning it is pretty light for regular carrying
4 carrying handles for enhanced convenience
Rear cargo storage provided for bungees
Conclusion Of course, there are several demerits that you’d need to account for when shopping for any kayak. In most cases, such drawbacks may have nothing to do with the performance of the kayak on the water. That’s the case with the BKC UH-FK184 which is not only tiny but also quite slow. However, we believe that this is an impressive kayak thanks to its innovative design. It particularly excels in stability and maneuverability. In fact, this unit comes with pretty much everything you need to enjoy paddling. Its price tag is also quite attractive.
Generous storage space
Comfortable seating and work area
Great stability for stand up fishing
Great safety features included
Generous space for mounting additional accessories
Some users have claimed that the quality of its seat straps is poor
The yak is tiny and may not be suitable for people with big bodies
Kayaks have seen their popularity explode in the last decade. People love them because of their easy portability and launchability which means they make it possible to access the waters you’d be, otherwise, blocked from. What’s more? The modern-day fishing kayaks are reputed for offering great angling efficiency meaning that no matter your level of experience, you can marshal up the confidence to face a bounty of eager-to-bite fish.
How to Choose – Buyer’s Guide
With the expanding number of fishing kayak brands, it can be difficult to sort through all the options just to find the best one for your needs. So, how do you know which kayak is best you might ask? Well, below are some of the features to look out for as you begin your shopping.
Long Vs Wide
The length and width of a fishing kayak have a big impact on how exactly it will perform once on the water especially when it comes to speed and maneuverability. As a rule, long kayaks measuring more than 12 feet are faster compared to short fishing kayak 10 foot of the same width. This is because they are considered to have a longer waterline. However, they are less maneuverable. As far as wide kayaks are concerned, they are slower than their narrow counterparts. The good news is that they offer better stability and are more maneuverable. Therefore, if you are going to be using your fishing kayak mainly in small ponds, backwaters, and small ponds, you should opt for a wide kayak. But if you’ll be fishing in the ocean, bigger lakes or the rivers, long kayak models are the best options.
Sit On Top Or Sit In?
When it comes to these two types of kayaks, there is just no clear-cut answer as to which one is the best because both have distinct features. However, sit-on-top types are by far the most popular options and for many reasons. First off, it’s because they boast a wide-open cockpit making it easy for anglers to get in and out especially in the event the boat capsizes. In addition, sit-on-top kayaks offer a high-degree of initial stability which comes in handy when fighting large fish. The only downside of this type of kayak model is that you can easily get wet while paddling. Sit-in kayaks, on the other hand, are designed to shelter the angler’s lower body from wind thereby making them much warmer. As such, they are perfect for use on cooler waters as well as for anglers who would like to remain dry while paddling. On top of that, these types of kayaks offer greater control, maneuverability, stability and are generally faster than their sit-on-top counterparts. On the flip side, they restrict freedom of movement and are also hard to enter or exit. In addition, in case you flip over, recovery is quite difficult because the kayak will probably be filled with a lot of water.
Primary Vs Secondary Stability
Primary stability also known as initial stability is basically a measure of a kayak’s tendency to remain stable in flat water with the angler sitting upright. Generally, wide kayaks are considered to have excellent primary stability than their narrow counterparts. This makes them a great fishing kayak for beginners. When it comes to secondary stability of a kayak, it is determined by how stable the kayak is while leaning on its side. Generally, narrower or slim kayaks are reported to have a high degree of secondary stability. This kind of stability comes in handy when fishing on unprotected inshore waters, offshore waters, and rough waters. As such, they are not beginner friendly but rather for advanced paddlers.
There are different kinds of kayaks available out there in the world. Of course, these types vary based on fishing and recreational needs. But just to give you a rough idea of the options available at your disposal, here are some common varieties in store for you.
Fishing kayak with motor
Normally, you can either go for a kayak with a pre-installed motor or go for one without and install the motor at home. One of the main reasons why people love motor-powered kayaks is the simplicity. You just need to throw the kayak in the water and you’re good to go. While paddling allows you to enjoy every minute of your kayaking journey, it sometimes gets tiring. With a motor-powered yak, you get the opportunity to watch the surroundings, prepare your bait and cast with ease.
Fishing kayak with pedals
While motors are great for powering your kayak, they sometimes can disturb the waters and scare away the fish. Pedal-powered yaks are meant to overcome this challenge. Yet, unlike their paddled counterparts, they take the strain from your hands and leave you to focus on baiting, casting and reeling. Another benefit of kayaks with pedals is that they’re energy-efficient owing to the fact that they rely on your pedaling power to move.
Fishing kayak with paddles
Nothing beats paddling when it comes to getting into the water smoothly and discretely. In fact, unlike the motor-powered and pedal-powered kayaks, paddle-powered ones require minimal maintenance. In fact, for some, all you’ll ever need to do is stash the paddles safely on the rod holders (which are usually provided). Another deal breaker with traditional kayaks is that they’re less expensive. In fact, some argue that paddling is the quietest kayaking method of the three.
Fishing kayak inflatable
More and more people are choosing to purchase inflatable kayaks over rigid kayaks. Why so? Because, these yaks are generally cheaper, lighter, and foldable. Can you beat that? All you need to do is deflate and roll them up when you want to store them. Then once you get near your fishing destination of choice, all you’d need to do is inflate them (with a pump which is sometimes provided for free with the purchase).
Accessories for Your Fishing Kayak
It’s important to use a fully-fitted kayak so you can enjoy every moment at sea. In that regard, here are 4 must-have kayak accessories.
The role of these holders is to free up your hands so you can paddle, de-hook the fish or grab something to drink. The good news is that some of the kayaks included in our review come with ready-made and fully-installed rod holders. Otherwise, if yours doesn’t have them, you may want to consider buying and having them drilled in place.
Fishing kayak outriggers
Stability is a huge factor to ponder on whenever you’re using a kayak. With kayak outriggers, you get the opportunity to add more stability to your yak. However, you need to keep in mind the fact that the best outriggers are ones designed in a manner that they do not compromise on maneuverability. So, you basically want to go for an outrigger that’s adaptable to most kayaks and particularly one that provides additional stability without compromising on your safety.
Fishing kayak paddle
Paddling is an easy and cheap way to explore the waters. Most paddle-powered kayaks come with a pair of paddles normally made from aluminum. However, in case you need more, you can always order for some from any accessories dealer. The prices range from as low as $45 to as much as $500.
Inflatable kayak pump
If you settle for an inflatable kayak, it goes without saying that you’ll need a pump for it. Different kinds of pumps exist including electric pumps, single action hand pumps, and even foot pumps. There’s also the double action hand pump which is known for its unique barrel-type cylindrical shape. The most popular pump type, however, is the electrical one which allows you to inflate the yak with minimal strain.
To tandem or not to tandem? That’s one of the questions likely to worry you when getting into kayaking. As it turns out, though, the answer to this question boils down to your personal preferences. For instance, if your idea of a fun day out there fishing involves bringing a few friends or family members then getting a tandem kayak would be a nice idea. However, if think of kayaking as a way to spend some quiet time alone, then a 1-person unit would be ideal.
1-person fishing kayak
As its name suggests, this kind of fishing kayak is designed for use by a single user. It, therefore, comes with one seat. Some come fully designed as stand up fishing kayak models to enable you to stand up when casting. A common feature of these kayaks is that they’re incredibly stable even when used near rapids. The weight capacity is rather low – 250-300 lbs.
2-person fishing kayak
What fun is it to go fishing without taking anyone to witness your prowess? That’s why 2-person fishing kayaks are revered by many. They provide just enough space for you to bring an extra person on board. In some instances, some 2-person kayaks have an extra, tiny seat that can be used by a child. Therefore, if you’re planning to engage in group fishing, this is the kind of kayak you should consider getting.
There are a variety of materials used in the construction of fishing kayaks. However, the most common types include polyethylene, rotomolded plastic, and composite. Here is a brief overview of each of the materials:
PE is one of the most popular materials used in making kayaks. This is because kayaks constructed from this type of material are extremely affordable. In addition, the material is said to be abrasion resistant, readily available in the market and quite flexible. As such, in case you bump into a hard rock on the shore, it will resist impact very well. However, polyethylene kayaks are quite prone to UV degradation when exposed to the sun for an extended period of time.
Compared to polyethylene material, rotomolded plastic is the least pricey. Kayaks made from this type of material are rust resistance and resists all kinds of chemicals. On top of that, they are remarkably sturdy which makes them perfect for rocky waterways. However, similar to PE kayaks, they also get damaged easily by UV rays although you can apply a protective coating to the hull and deck. As if that’s not enough, rotomolded kayaks are quite heavy which is why they cost less.
Composite fishing kayaks include those constructed from carbon fiber, laminates of fiberglass, aramid fabric or a blending of these materials and other synthetic fabrics. As such, these kayaks are incredibly stiff and lightweight which renders them more responsive and fast on the water. Unfortunately, due to their stiffness, they are very fragile when exposed to major impacts although repairs are pretty easy. In addition to that, Composite kayaks are in the higher price range than their PE and rotomolded plastic counterparts.
Care and Maintenance
Taking care of your fishing kayak is essential if you want it to remain in tip-top condition and seaworthy. In fact, proper care and maintenance can help minimize the need for expensive repairs or equipment replacement. The good news is that most kayaks require minimal care and maintenance. That said, below are some general care and maintenance tips you should practice:
Clean and rinse the kayak after each use to get rid of any salt, grime, and pollutants that may lead to corrosion and growing of mold. Make sure to leave it to dry out before storing it away.
Shield it from harmful UV rays by frequently spraying it with a high-quality Ultra-Violet protectant because the sun can weaken the kayak making it prone to cracking.
Inspect the hull for any damages from bow to stern on a regular basis and make sure to the replace the faulty parts promptly.
Get rid of any scratches your kayak might have to help maintain its structural integrity.
Always cover the cockpit to keep critters and rain out when not in use.
Use a kayak cart during transportation because dragging the kayak on the ground can quickly weaken the bottom material and eventually lead to serious damages.
Look for rigging components that might need urgent replacement like bungees, deck cords, bulkheads, straps, and toggle handles.
Storage and Transport
Proper storage of your fishing kayak especially during the off-season will keep it in good shape for many years of use. Ideally, you should store your kayak in a garage, shed, away from UV rays and heat or in a carport. In addition to that, it is advisable to store the kayak upside down, on edge, hanging horizontally or standing. Besides that, you should rinse out the boat thoroughly using freshwater prior to storage. As far as transportation of the kayak is concerned, getting it to and from the water can be a bit tricky unless you’re so fortunate live near the sea. One of the easiest ways to transport a kayak is using a roof rack or just a kayak cart. If transporting it via car, you should ensure the boat is well secured using solid straps to prevent any potential damage and ensure ultimate safety on roads.
Benefits of Kayak Fishing
The secret to conquering the sport of fishing is getting closer to where the fish are. A kayak is by far the most efficient and stealth method to sneak on the fish. Besides that, these watercraft operate quietly which means you can enjoy a calming and relaxing atmosphere out and about. One of the greatest benefits of kayaking is that it allows far greater access to remote parts of water bodies. In fact, some experienced anglers even transport kayaks with a larger boat and use them to navigate through narrow passages that are usually loaded with fish. As you can see, that gives you a huge advantage over all other anglers. What about speed? Believe it or not but kayaks glide faster than most trolling motor boats. And to top it all up, these watercraft are highly economical since they do not consume gas, insurance or oil. And if well used, kayaks can cover large distances even in the wake of waves, high winds or sudden weather changes.
As with any other outdoor activity, there’s always the possibility for unfortunate things happening when kayaking. So, to keep the possibility of danger at a minimum here are a few tips to keep in mind.
No matter what your local weather forecast is, always take your rain gear with you. Never ever leave the anchor behind either.
If you prefer to go fishing alone make sure there’s someone who knows where exactly you are. Best still, invest in a radio which you can use to communicate in emergency situations.
Never exceed the recommended weight capacity of your boat. Keep in mind that that the fishing gear and the catch add significant weight so, it’s best to leave a huge margin of error, always.
Always have a personal floatation device (PFD) with you. Preferably pick one that fits you well so you can wear it even as you paddle.
Every other company can manufacture kayaks but it takes confidence to stand behind the quality of one’s products. For that reason, we recommend going for brands that provide warranty coverage for their products. On average, most companies offer 5-year limited warranty packages. This kind of coverage usually entails material defects in workmanship and materials. That said, the warranty cover may vary when it comes to the damage of particular accessories within the kayak. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the terms of warranty may also change depending on the type of use a kayak is put under. For instance, boats used for rental, resort and outfitter purposes may have a shorter warranty period than ones used for recreational/private activities.
Is ocean kayak fishing dangerous?
Kayak fishing in the ocean is generally safe especially if you have a stable and fully equipped yak. That said, it’s always important to exercise caution. No matter what, always fish in calm weather and light seas. So, be sure to consult your local marine forecast before heading out.
Any suggestions on the best fishing destinations for kayakers in the upper US Midwest?
Some awesome kayak fishing destinations in the upper Midwest include the Mississippi River, Michigan and the Lake of the Woods which is located in Minnesota. That said, you should never limit your options. Look closer and you’re bound to discover quite a few under-explored kayak fishing destinations near you.
Will the friend's kayak work for me?
Occasionally. There’s no one best kayak for everyone. So, the answer to this question depends on factors such as where you’re planning to use the yak. For instance, if you’re planning to yak in ponds and small lakes, you might not need a hardy watercraft. In fact, any fishing kayak for beginners (9, 10, 12 feet) would do the trick. Larger water bodies, however, require extra tracking power. So if you’re planning to explore huge lakes and oceans, 13ft and above yaks are vastly preferred.
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