10 Best Fishing Kayaks (Sit-on-top, Tandem, Bass and More)
The fishing kayak is a versatile and practical boat that can be used for fishing any type of fish on a lake, river, or even the open sea.
It usually has a flat bottom that makes it very stable on the water. Thus, the fishing kayak is versatile and can also be used as a stand-up kayak for those who prefer fishing while standing up.
But what makes this fishing boat so different is that it can be operated with great ease and even absolute beginners with no experience can start paddling the kayak right away.
Moreover, the fishing kayak is one of the few boats where you absolutely do not need a permit to operate.
If you are looking for a quality model, then we have handpicked some of the best fishing kayaks that money can buy. Without any further ado, let's see how they perform!
- 10 Best Fishing Kayaks - Reviews
- #1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
- #2. Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In Fishing Kayak
- #3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
- #4. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
- #5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
- #6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
- #7. Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #8. BKC UH-RA220 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
- #9. Perception Pescador Pro Fishing Kayak
- #10. Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel Pedal Fishing Kayak
- How to Buy A Fishing Kayak
10 Best Fishing Kayaks - Reviews
1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
2. Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit In Fishing Kayak
3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
4. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
375 - 425 lbs
7. Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak
8. BKC UH-RA220 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
9. Perception Pescador Pro Fishing Kayak
325 - 475 lbs
57 - 85 lbs
10. Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Fishing Kayak
#1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
- Weight: 52 lbs
The Tamarack is a popular solution when it comes to fishing. Indeed, this fishing kayak is used by many people with great success every day. It has an excellent build construction from a high-density polyethylene material which makes it very durable and long-lasting.
Moreover, it offers absolute protection against both saltwater and UV rays from sunlight. The flat bottom of this fishing kayak makes it very stable on the water. Therefore, the user can use this unit as a stand-up kayak if he wants to.
Furthermore, there are no less than 2 storage compartments in order to store your catch or other fishing accessories. There is also a 100% waterproof hatch to prevent water from entering those storage compartments.
All in all, taking the build construction into account as well as the efficiency and features, we elect the Lifetime Tamarack as the best overall fishing kayak in this review. It well deserves it!
#2. Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
- Weight: 41 lbs
As its name suggests, the Sun Dolphin Excursion is an excellent recreational kayak. However, it is versatile enough so as to also retrofits as a fishing kayak.
Despite being 120 in, which is pretty much the industry standard size for fishing, it has been designed in such a way so that it appears smaller and more compact than other similarly sized kayaks.
In so doing, this model offers better maneuverability and efficiency. This Sun Dolphin Excursion kayak can be used almost anywhere, from lakes to rivers and it will offer great performance.
When it comes to fishing, it is equipped with no less than 3-rod holders for better ease-of-use. Additionally, you can easily stand up on this kayak and it will never roll over because it has excellent stability.
The only downside you will experience is its small cockpit that can make you feel a little bit confined.
If this is a non-issue then this kayak is definitely one of the best river fishing kayaks that money can currently buy. It has an affordable price, easy to maneuver and offers exceptional performance, especially when used on rivers and lakes.
#3. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 470 lbs
- Weight: 41.2 lbs
We understand that not everybody can afford an expensive fishing kayak. After all, there are many fishing kayak models that can cost up to $2500 which is very expensive. To help remedy this situation, let us introduce our ultra-affordable fishing kayak solution. Namely, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado.
This is an inflatable fishing kayak that is big enough to comfortably accommodate up to 2 people. Moreover, you get a heavy-duty pump with this purchase so as you can inflate this kayak quickly and easily.
Despite being inflatable, it is made from a thick 18-gauge PVC material that is durable and long-lasting. In addition, the bottom is lined with a 1000D tarpaulin for added protection.
To make it a safer fishing kayak, it is comprised of multiple chambers and not made out of a single unit. What this means is that if one part of the kayak gets punctured, it will not sink and jeopardize the whole structure of the kayak.
Lastly, this model is equipped with a trolling motor fitting at the back which will allow you to quickly and easily connect any standard motor to it.
However, where the Sevylor Coleman Colorado absolutely shines is in the price department. Indeed, this model is very cost-effective and one of the best budget fishing kayaks currently on the market.
#4. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 280 lbs
- Weight: 40.8 lbs
One of the most important factors in a fishing kayak is its weight. This is because most of the time, a fishing kayak is operated by one single person and it needs to be carried to the kayaking location.
This is where models like the Sun Dolphin Journey absolutely shines as it is one of the world's lightest fishing kayaks. At only 40.8 lbs, it can easily be carried by a single person.
Moreover, its compact and small form factor makes it very maneuverable and efficient over water. The build construction is superb and it is durable and long-lasting as well.
Since this is a sit-in kayak, the cockpit is not very big. However, the seat is extremely comfortable and you will have no discomfort even if you paddle for long hours.
The only caveat we note is that there is a small storage compartment that may not be big enough for those who are planning to use it for big game fishing. Despite all this, this model is still the best lightweight fishing kayak for the money.
#5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- Weight: 46 lbs
The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack has a pretty striking color tone that tries to show that it stands out from the rest of the competition. And indeed it does.
Where this model shines is definitely in the storage department. It has 2 sealed hatches that are deep and will allow you to store your catch and other fishing accessories with ease. Furthermore, the hatchet is 100% waterproof which will prevent water from entering the storage compartment.
A fishing kayak will not be much without rod holders. So, this model is equipped with no less than 4 adjustable rod holders so that you can position your fishing lines any way you like.
The sides also contain 2 carry handles for easy transportation. At 46 lbs, it is not the lightest fishing kayak we have reviewed but still very easy to carry by a single person.
Moreover, at only 108-in in length, this boat is by far the most compact and maneuverable model in this fishing kayak review.
#6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 375 lbs to 425 lbs
- Weight: 57 lbs
The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a 2-seater that comes in different colors and different weight capacities. However, all models will be able to accommodate 2 oversized individuals with ease.
Moreover, the cockpit is quite large and offers excellent maneuverability. Since this fishing kayak is on the long side and measures 144 in, it offers excellent tracking.
Further, the bottom of this kayak is flat and thus, it is stable over water. This model can be used as a stand-up fishing kayak, no problem.
In fact, the Ocean Kayak Malibu is regarded by many experts as being one of the most stable fishing kayaks on the market. This is mostly because of the combination of its flat bottom and a long length.
The seats in this model have seat wells and are very comfortable. It will not be a problem for those who paddle for long hours as you and your partner will definitely not feel any discomfort. The backrest is fully adjustable as well.
Last but not least, for even more paddling comfort, there are multiple footrests inside the large cockpit for both the rear paddler and the front paddler.
#7. Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 60 lbs
As its name suggests, the Lifetime Tandem is a high-quality tandem fishing kayak that was engineered for 2 people. However, if need be, this model can comfortably accommodate up to 3 people with relative ease.
This unit is fully equipped and contains 3-rod holders for fishing versatility as well as a convenient storage hatch. The only downside is that the hatch is only 6-in which is not very big.
However, if there is one department where this tandem fishing kayak is unbeatable then it is in terms of weight capacity. Indeed, at 500 lbs, this angler fishing kayak can carry a heavy load without losing performance or efficiency.
Moreover, the build construction in this tandem kayak is superb. It is made from a high-density polyethylene that is extremely durable and will last you a very long time. The design is efficient and paddling is easy.
Best, you can even use this tandem fishing kayak solo and will have no difficulty maneuvering it. We also note the presence of multiple footrests inside the cockpit so that you get a better paddling position.
#8. BKC UH-RA220 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 440 lbs
- Weight: 70 lbs
Comfort and efficiency are 2 words that can easily describe the BKC UH-RA220. Indeed, this model has one of the most comfortable seats that we have seen. It is literally a comfy chair sitting on top of a kayak.
Moreover, this model has been engineered from the ground up so that it is extremely efficient on water. You will have no difficulty paddling with it.
Additionally, the bottom is very flat which will make it extremely stable on the water. You can definitely use this model as a stand-up fishing kayak if you want to.
Another department where this unit shines is in storage. With no less than 3 large storage compartments, you will have no difficulty storing your catch or various fishing accessories.
#9. Perception Pescador Pro Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 325 lbs to 475 lbs
- Weight: 57 lbs to 85 lbs
You may probably have heard from this fishing kayak. Indeed, the Perception Pescador Pro is a very popular fishing solution that is used by both experts and beginners alike.
It comes in various sizes and colors to suit different needs and purposes. The smallest model measures 126 inches in while the biggest is an impressive 144 inches. You also have the option to purchase them in different colors based on your taste.
The cockpit in this fishing kayaking is not very big but it definitely does not limit maneuverability. In fact, the Perception Pescador Pro is rated by many as being the best freshwater fishing kayak mostly because of its excellent maneuverability.
One caveat we note with this is its lack of storage compartments. Another is the steep price of this unit.
However, to justify such an expensive price for, the Perception Pescador Pro offers a one of the best build construction in the industry. It is literally leak-proof and extremely resistant to impacts.
#10. Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel Pedal Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
- Weight: 62 lbs
The Native Watercraft Slayer is the only pedal fishing kayak in this review. It is available in 3 different colors and all of them come equipped with a rotational pedal drive system that is very easy-to-use.
As all pedal kayaks, it is extremely efficient on water and easy to maneuver. You do not need paddles to navigate with this model. The steering control system is found on the left side, in an easy to reach position.
Moreover, the seat is very ergonomic and positioned in such a way that it gives you a good view of everything around you. The only downside with this model is that it is not a fast fishing kayak. However, this is understandable as this model focuses on ergonomics and comfort rather than speed.
All in all, if you can afford the steep price of this model, then it is a good fishing kayak to consider, especially if you want a unit that can also retrofit as a recreational kayak from time to time.
How to Buy A Fishing Kayak
#1. Types of Fishing Kayak
There are several types of fishing can available on the market. Knowing between the different types and their usage will help you decide which design better suits your need and purpose.
Sit-on-top fishing kayak
The sit-on-top fishing kayak is the most popular type of kayak available on the market. It has a large cockpit that allows the user to cast his/her fishing line with great ease. Additionally, water that gets inside the cockpit can easily be drained as most sit-on-top fishing kayaks are equipped with a drain valve system.
Tandem fishing kayak
The tandem fishing kayak is a long kayak that contains 2 seats and intended for 2 paddlers.
It is usually more difficult to maneuver but this type of kayak is unbeatable when it comes to speed. Moreover, the tandem fishing kayak has one of the best trackings of any type of kayaks on the market.
In addition, due to the long length of the tandem fishing kayak, it offers a lot of storage space for storing a large catch. If you are planning to take people with you, then the tandem fishing kayak is your best option.
Bass fishing kayak
The bass fishing kayak is a type of kayak that is tailor-made for fishing bass. It is usually compact, fast-moving, and easy to maneuver even in rough waters.
Its compact form factor allows it to perform accurate maneuvers in tight corners. Moreover, the bass fishing kayak is usually a sit-on-top kayak that has a large cockpit with generous storage compartments for storing your bass.
Fly fishing kayak
The fly fishing kayak can be any type of kayak. However, since fly fishing usually involves fishing in moving water like white water, the fly fishing kayak is usually a sit-on-top kayak so as to allow for better maneuverability when casting or retrieving a fishing line.
Most sit on top kayaks have a large cockpit and a draining valve that will allow you to quickly evacuate water that accumulates inside the cockpit.
Inflatable fishing kayak
As its name suggests, the inflatable fishing kayak is inflatable and usually made out of a heavy-duty PVC material for durability.
It is a very convenient and easy to use kayak that can quickly and easily be inflated when necessary. When not in use, it can be deflated and stored for future use.
Stability is at the heart of the fishing kayak.
Indeed, it needs to be stable so as to allow the user to perform complex maneuvers without losing equilibrium. To achieve this stability, the fishing kayak usually has a flat bottom.
Therefore, most fishing kayaks are more flexible as they can also be used as a stand-up kayak where the user fishes while standing up rather than sitting down.
The length of the fishing kayak is another important consideration. Basically, the length of the fishing kayak will dictate how well it tracks on the water.
In addition, a longer length is more advantages in the sense that it offers a larger surface area so as you have more room to move around while fishing. Additionally, the wider space can also be used to store a larger catch with greater ease.
If you want a durable and long-lasting fishing kayak then you need to take the build construction material into account as well.
The material of choice for the fishing can is definitely a high-density polyethylene.
Polyethylene is very durable and long-lasting and offers good resistance against UV rays from sunlight. It will not degrade the fishing kayak over time and also offers excellent shock absorption during impacts.
If you're carrying sensitive electronic equipment like GPS or smartphone, ensure that your fishing kayak has a dry storage compartment. Usually, this storage compartment has a fabric lining to keep your sensitive accessories dry and safe. Not all fishing kayaks have this.
#1. Are Kayaks Stable?
Yes. Most fishing kayaks are designed in such a way to provide maximum stability when fishing.
This is achieved by equipping the kayak with a flat bottom that ensures that the boat is stable and will not rock from side to side when navigating calm waters.
Moreover, since the fishing kayak has a flat bottom, it can also be used as a stand-up kayak. A stand-up kayak is where the paddler prefers to fish while standing up on the kayak rather than sitting down.
In addition, most angler fishing kayaks have a large cockpit that offers a lot of space and fishing maneuverability.
#2. Where Do You Put The Fish That You Catch?
One of the best things about the fishing kayak is that it offers a large storage compartment. You can put your catch in this storage compartment.
Furthermore, there are many fishing kayak models that have more than one storage compartment for more flexibility in storing a large catch.
#3. Can You Fly Fish From The Kayak?
Fly fishing usually requires complex casting maneuvers.
To perform this casting, you will need space. Thankfully, the fishing kayak has a large cockpit that does not limit you in terms of maneuverability when casting with the fly rod.
In addition, you can also stand up in the fishing kayak to cast your line. It will provide you with greater flexibility especially if you need more space to perform a complex fishing rod maneuver.
#4. Should I Get A Tandem Or Single Kayak?
It will depend on how you normally tend to fish.
If you usually go fishing solo, then a single kayak is your best option. It is compact and easier to maneuver. On the other hand, if you prefer company then it is better to go with a tandem kayak.
Moreover, the tandem kayak is usually longer and wider than the single kayak. Therefore, it has more storage compartments for storing a bigger catch.
As we have seen, there are different types of fishing kayaks that come at different prices. However, what is important to take note is that there is a model for any budget and need out there.
Some fishing kayaks even have 2 seats and can accommodate up to 2 people with ease. Others offer a large cockpit and big storage compartment for storing your various fishing accessories.
Best, due to the versatility of the fishing kayak, you can use it for other activities than fishing. For example, some people may use the fishing kayak for recreational purposes.
Finally, if you have still not found a good model from our fishing kayak review above, then we recommend that you read it one more time.