Best Kayak Reviews
Best Fishing Kayaks
The best fishing kayak? Sounds like a post-expedition debate in the pub, when the truth we all know is that that the best fishing kayak depends entirely on you. Between the brands, the models, and the budgets, there are pages and pages of coloured vessels on the internet that would take you, my sea faring chums, hours to sift through… And so, we hope to make that simpler by comparing the models based on your exact needs.
Are you a weekender or an avid angler? Do you delve into the ocean or glide through the shallows? Do you have thousands of dollars to invest in a baby who will take pride of place in your garage, or a couple hundred dollars for something you can keep in the trunk? Questions, questions, questions. And fortunately, these questions are fairly easy to answer and with the answers, we can lead you right to your sea worthy soul mate.
While the debatable victor of the best fishing kayak competition of 2016 is the Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak, which has a ridiculous amount of features and accessories… the truth is that in 2016, there are many amazing kayaks on the market, any of which could be the best fishing kayak for you. For example, the guys at KayakerGuide.com recommend a Lifetime Tamarack as the best available for the price, but suggest it should only be used for weekend or recreational kayakers. Finding the balance between cost and quality is one of our main priorities.
So what exactly do you need?
One debate you need to have with yourself is whether you want a Sit-On-Top (SOT) or Sit-In (SIT) kayak. While the general vision conjured by mentioning ‘kayak’ is of a SIT, and there are still more of that kind sold, the truth is that kayak fishing evolved as a sport thanks to SOTs. Southern Californians essentially upgraded their surfboards for sea fishing without buying a boat – and the SOT kayak has been evolving ever since, now including hatches, sat adjustments and more.
While not as recognisable, there are many advantages to SOTs – if you’re going to be using your kayak in shallow waters and need to get in and out, or on and off as the case may be with an SOTs, then it’s by far better than a SIT. However, if you plan on heading out in cold wet weather, then a SIT with a skirt to keep you dry, and at least slightly protected from the elements is by far the more sensible choice. Where you plan on using your kayak, and in what weather, totally determines what the best kayak for you is. The amount of storage you’ll need, the kinds of fish you’re hoping to catch all contribute to whether a SIT or SOT is for you.
Heading to the lake to cook what you catch around a campfire? Go SOT. Heading out in the cold and rain looking for prized gamefish? Defiantly a SIT is for you. The challenge is finding one that suits your budget and style – for example, Best Products raves about the SOT Future Beach, which features some amazing accessories and comfort measures, but also confirms that, while it’s awesome, it’s only really for a weekender.
OK, so you’re obsessed with angling, your house is dedicated to boats, and you have whole rooms full of kayaks and kayaking equipment, as well as a generous budget. The world is your oyster. Have this kayak, or that kayak. Heck, take all the kayaks you can find. However- for mere mortals who can’t magically create the storage space for a voyaging vessel in their house, then an inflatable may be the best fishing kayak for you.
There are so many advantages to inflatable kayaks, that the thought shouldn’t be discarded because they conjure images of pool inflatables. A rubber coating over low stretch fabric thats properly constructed could last for years, and won’t snap and pop while going over rocks. These bad boys can be tough. Not only are they easy to store – they literally deflate, taking up way less space, they’re easy to transport as they can be plopped in the trunk and are usually also significantly cheaper than their hard-shell relatives. If you’re looking to test the waters of kayak fishing, then an inflatable could be the best fishing kayak for you.
Do you want to take the family out?
One of the biggest, and potentially most awkward and cringe-worthy debates you’ll ever have is whether or not to get a tandem or single kayak. OK, buying a tandem is cheaper than two singles of the same quality. And obviously, if you’re taking your kid to the lake, they’re infinitely safer sharing a boat with you. But loved ones, friends, relatives, spouses? You may feel like you’re losing a bit of freedom. While chatting and sharing the experience would be amazing, if one of you is more keen, or athletic than the other, it could also lead to a bunch of arguments and stress if you want to go a way they don’t, or feel that they’re holding you back.
A tandem can be used solo as long as it’s not too long, so you don’t have to rely on a partner. However, you may still feel some unnecessary tension. Whether a tandem is ever going to be the right choice for you depends completely on your relationship with the person that you’ll be tandeming with. If there’s someone you don’t mind being in close confines with for large periods of time and aren’t taking angling too seriously, happy to compromise on things like speed and direction, it could be perfect. But if you want alone time, or the ability to chase down whatever fish you like, exploring previously unchartered territory, maybe go with a single.
Whether a tandem is ever going to be the right choice for you depends completely on your relationship with the person that you’ll be tandeming with. If there’s someone you don’t mind being in close confines with for large periods of time and aren’t taking angling too seriously, happy to compromise on things like speed and direction, it could be perfect. But if you want alone time, or the ability to chase down whatever fish you like, exploring previously unchartered territory, maybe go with a single.
- Do you want to get the best fishing kayak for your money? Make sure you check out this review before you buy anything.
Overall, if you’re even the slightest but interested in taking up kayak fishing as a sport, there is absolutely a kayak out there for you. If you’re a pro with a specific list of requirements, we’ve also got your back. The best fishing kayak isn’t definable in terms of parts or features, but in terms of meeting your very own specific needs. Don’t follow the crowd, find something that works for you. Happy fishing!
Last updated: August 11, 2017