Fishing is one of the best ways to bond with your family and friends. Not only does it let you go on an exciting adventure, but it also challenges your mental and physical abilities. As an angler, there are those basic items that you have to pack when going on a fishing trip. They include a great fishing backpack, dependable fishing poles, bait, a navigation map, fishing reels and many other items. For a memorable fishing excursion, you will also need a fishing kayak that will help you navigate and reach great fishing spots.
Fishing kayaks have gained popularity over the years and have quickly replaced the traditional wooden canoes as the preferred mode of movement for anglers. Kayaks are cheaper, have better utility features, and more flexible than canoes. Fishing kayaks are specially crafted by experts and feature great accessories that will make your expedition pleasurable, productive, and highly fulfilling. With a fishing kayak, you can sit in peace and enjoy some quiet time out in the calm waters without any noisy motors disturbing your peace.
Whether you are a novice in fishing or an experienced angler, selecting a quality kayak will contribute greatly to the success of your fishing excursion. In this review, we have sifted through numerous products and picked the best fishing kayaks that will not only help you have fun out there but will make sure you bring home some great catches. Let’s have a look.
Top 10 Fishing Kayaks of 2020 Reviewed
1. Intex Excursion Pro KayakBest Professional Fishing Kayak
Transform your fishing experience by investing in this 2-person fishing kayak from Intex that has been rated as a best seller due to its highly functional design. It’s made of 3 ply high impact PVC material that’s resistant to abrasion and harsh outdoor weather elements. For easy inflation and deflation, it’s fitted with spring-loaded high-pressure valves and includes a pump to help you get it up. It also comes with two removable skegs to serve you in the deep and shallow waters.
The Excursion Pro fishing kayak also comes with mounting brackets for most of your fishing accessories such as fish finders, GPS systems, among other things. The two comfortable seats that are adjustable and removable. The seats also feature a padded backrest that will ensure maximum comfort as you explore various fishing spots. The kayak also comes with a seat booster and an adjustable footrest to enhance your fishing experience. Other features include two paddles and a carry bag for added convenience.
- Easy inflation and deflation using a pressure valve
- Padded seat, backrest, and adjustable footrest
- Mounting bracket for fishing items
- Both seats eat up lots of legroom
- Paddles are too short
- Not for intense fishing activities
2. Intex Explorer K2 KayakBest Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Tag a friend along for a day out fishing in the waters using this inflatable 2-person kayak from Intex. This sit-on kayak is made of heavy-duty vinyl that’s resistant to punctures and abrasions to ensure a smooth fishing experience. It has a grab line and grab handles on both ends. It also comes with a removable skeg to provide you with directional stability. Its bright yellow color ensures visibility even in dark spots.
The cockpit has two padded seats with backrests to ensure maximum comfort as you fish. The inflatable I-beam floor provides the necessary rigidity when out in the water. It has an overall length of 10’3’’ (3.12m) which is adequate for navigating the water. It has space for two adults, and the maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds. It also has two separate air chambers and Boston valves for easy inflation and deflation. The kayak comes with two 86 inch paddles and a carry bag to store all your items. There’s also a hi-output pump to help with setting up the kayak.
- Puncture resistant vinyl construction
- Removable skeg for better tracking
- 12 meters long
- Not enough legroom for two people
- Valves at the bottom need modification
- Oars are a bit short
3. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person KayakBest One Person Fishing Kayak
Enjoy some amazing me-time out in the waters with this Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak from Sevylor. It lets you hit the water fast with an easy five-minute set-up procedure that will save you precious fishing time. It also features an innovative backpack system that carries all your fishing essentials and easily converts into a comfortable seat. Its body is made of 21-gauge PVC material while the bottom is a rugged tarpaulin that is designed to withstand abrasions and other harsh elements in the water.
Once inflated, the kayak has an airtight chamber that prevents any leakages. It also has multiple air chambers to ensure that you aren’t stranded in case one gets punctured. Its double lock valves ensure that deflation and inflation are easy and hustle free.
There’s also a comfy backrest that lets you lean back as you wait for your catch. The multi-position footrest allows you to find the most comfortable way to place your legs as you fish. There’s also a drink holder and bungee storage area for added convenience. You will also get a paddle and high-pressure hand pump to help you set up this highly dependable kayak.
- 5 minute set up procedure
- Made of strong PVC and tarpaulin material
- Advanced backpack system that converts to a seat
- Skegs are too small hence poor tracking
- Flimsy paddle
- The bottom could be better
4. Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sport KayakBest For Sport Fishing
The Sea Eagle SE370 doubles up as a sport and fishing kayak. It has adequate room to accommodate three people with a maximum capacity of 650 pounds. The inflatable kayak takes about ten minutes to set up using the provided foot pump. The specially designed hull shape and lightweight structure allow the kayak to maneuver easily on the water. The deluxe kayak seats are super comfy with improved back support.
It also boasts of two skegs at the bottom that help with better tracking and increased speed. It also has a drain valve to release any water. The five deluxe inflation and deflation valves ensure that setting up is fast and easy. It also comes with two ABS 4-part paddles with an asymmetrical blade and aluminum shaft. It also comes with a carrying bag for all the items you may need when out fishing.
- Includes foot pump for 10 minutes set up
- Hull shape and lightweight structure
- Five deluxe inflation and deflation valves
- A bit squeezed for three people
- No footrest
- Rides quite low in the water
5. ADVANCED ELEMENTS AirFusion Elite KayakBest High End Fishing Kayak
The Airfusion Elite Kayak is on a league of its own as it brings you awesome performance in a masterly crafted product. Its streamlined setup helps this kayak maneuver in the water and helps you navigate narrow spots smoothly. It’s 28 inches wide which gives you more room with rear storage space for your items. There’s also a latch that gives you access to items under the deck.
The 1-person kayak comes with a comfortable seat with a backrest for better support as you fish. It combines aluminum alloy frame poles and the pressurized air tubes which gives the kayak exemplary performance. Its bright yellow color is elegant and helps with visibility in dark areas. The optional fixed skeg helps with better tracking while out in the water.
- Streamlined setup for better maneuvering
- Rear pull up a storage area
- Strong aluminum frame construction
- Doesn’t come with a paddle
- Not for beginners
6. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Sit On Top Fishing KayakBest Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Vibe Kayaks is a relatively new name in the industry, but the team has quickly gained a following due to their daring and functional products, The Sea Ghost 110 fishing kayak is a one person sit on top kayak measuring 11 feet which gives you great stability and speed. Its sides have two flush-mount rod holders and four gear tracks to customize your rigging.
You can bring along all your necessities without worrying about storage space since this kayak is packed with lots of storage options. You can keep some items in the 20-inch oval hatch or on the large console at the center and even store some of the items in the bungled rear tank. If you plan to spend long days out in the water, you will find the dual position Vibe Hero seat comfortable with a backrest for added support.
- Includes mounts to hold fishing rods
- Lots of storage space
- Watertight console with dual hinges
- Not great in open waters
- Can only sit one person
7. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable KayakBest Two Person Fishing Kayak
Tag someone along and explore the waters with this two-person inflatable kayak from Driftsun Voyager. It includes a high flow dual action pump that lets you inflate and have the kayak out in the water within five minutes. Its 10 feet long which allows it to maneuver easily and 35 inches which provides you with adequate space for you and your companion. When deflated, the kayak easily folds and fits into an included high-quality carry bag for easy storage and transportation.
The bottom is made of heavy duty PVC tarpaulin material that is resistant to scratches, abrasions, and punctures. The double-threaded Boston valves ensure there are no leakages while the coated nylon fabric top doesn’t tear easily. Its pointed nose ensures a smooth entry into narrow areas while the removable keel provides you with superior tracking and speed. It also comes with two EVA padded seats that will provide you with maximum comfort while out there.
- Quick 5 minute set up
- Lightweight, portable and folds for storage
- Great maneuverability
- A bit short for two people
- More storage space required
- Better valves needed to prevent leakages
8. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing KayakBest Fishing Kayak for Prolonged Fishing
Explore the lakes with a loved one and bring home a great catch by using the Sevylor Coleman Colorado kayak that has been built for superior performance. Its 18 gauge PVC construction ensures that the kayak doesn’t rip or tear when out there while the 1000D tarpaulin bottom keeps any punctures and abrasions at bay. The multiple air chambers ensure that you remain afloat even when one of the chambers malfunctions.
It also features the brand’s trolling motor fittings which give you more fishing abilities. The rod holders on the side are adjustable and allow hands-free fishing. It also comes with two comfortable seats with adequate leg room for prolonged fishing. Includes a paddle holder to secure your paddles when out there.
- Multi-chamber air system
- Rod and paddle holders
- High-grade PVC construction
- Seats aren’t very comfortable
- Paddles are short
- Tarpaulin bottom needs modification
9. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC RA220 Single Fishing KayakBest Fishing Kayak for Easy Maneuverability
For an ultimate fishing adventure, invest in the BKC RA 220 that has been built to bring out the great angler in you. It includes a fish finder on the hull to assist you to go where the fish is. As an angler, you will be impressed by the four storage options on this kayak with three airtight ones while the fourth is in an open area. It also features a foot operated rudder to easily steer the kayak.
Its 11 feet long with a 34-inch beam that provides you with unparalleled stability even when you are standing. Its light in weight for easy maneuvering and accommodates a maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds inclusive of gear.
- Includes a fish finder on the hull
- Multiple storage options
- 34-inch beam for added stability
- The seat isn’t adjustable
- A bit heavy
- No pedal propeller system
10. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person KayakBest Three Person Fishing Kayak
Last but not least is yet another kayak from one of the most established brands in the fishing kayak niche. The Sevylor Big Basin kayak is made of heavy duty PVC material with a tarpaulin bottom that’s resistant to abrasion and punctures. The kaya can fit three adults and has multiple air chambers to keep you going even when one chamber gets punctured. It also comes with spray covers that help you keep dry even when there are splashes.The seats are adjustable to allow accommodation of all three people in the kayak.
- Made of heavy duty PVC
- Multiple air chamber
- Adjustable seats
- Inadequate storage space for 3 people
- Not for advanced fishing
- Not durable
How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayaks: The Ultimate Buying Guide
As an angler, you know how much packing right and light is important for your fishing trip. Once you have everything you need for your fishing excursion, you will need a mode of transport to help you navigate the water. While fishing on the shore is safe and less hectic, venturing into the open water is more adventurous and is likely to help you catch a variety of fish. One of the best ways to navigate the water when fishing is using a fishing kayak.
Why Has Kayak Fishing Become So Popular?
While fishing kayaks have been around for centuries, they were only used in isolated parts of the world. However, as more people take up fishing as a favorite outdoor sport, many are opting for kayaks over traditional boats or canoes. Here are a few reasons why;
- Accessibility – The streamlined design of a kayak will help you access areas where a larger boat won’t especially narrow fishing spots. Through this isolation, you are likely to catch more fish, explore the water further, and have a peaceful, fun-filled experience.
- Convenience – A kayak is easier to set up and transport than a boat. Some kayaks can be carried on top of your car or tied at the back. Others are foldable and easily come up through inflation or deflation, which only takes minutes.
- Environmental friendly – Compared to a motorized boat, kayaks are friendlier to the environment since they don’t emit any gasoline or use any motor. They are fully powered by humans, which implies that they don’t leave any negative imprint on the water.
Types of Kayaks
Generally, fishing kayaks are divided into main types; sit-in or sit on top kayaks. Just like the name, sit in kayaks are those where the seat is inside the kayak while for sit on top kayaks, the seat is above. From these two main categories, let’s look at the types of kayaks you are likely to come across;
- Tandem fishing kayaks – These can either be sit in or sit on top and usually have two seats ideal for those that don’t like fishing alone. They feature overlapping foot wells which allow your companion to sit inside the kayak. They are heavier and more stable to accommodate the double weight.
- Bass fishing kayaks – They are specifically designed for bass fishing and can either be a sit-in, sit on top or tandem kayaks. Since they are mostly used in fast-moving water, they have a narrow and lengthy shape. When picking this type of kayak, ensure its small enough to squeeze into narrow spaces but still stable to support fishing while standing.
- Inflatable fishing kayaks – Advancement in technology has ensured that inflatable kayaks are no longer seen as toys but full-fledged water devices. They are made of high quality material usually PVC, which is resistant to punctures and abrasions. They have more fluidity and are quite pocket-friendly.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Fishing Kayak
Let’s look at some important features and things to keep in mind when shopping for a fishing kayak. They include;
- Length – The length of the kayak will dramatically influence its performance where a kayak shorter than 11 feet maneuvers easier while a longer one is much faster. When in a small body of water, a shorter kayak is a better option while bigger water bodies such as rivers and oceans require a longer kayak with more speed.
- Stability – Some years back, you couldn’t fish while standing on a kayak. But the latest models in the market are stable enough to allow standing since their bodies are wider. For experienced anglers, they opt for narrower kayaks, which may not be very stable but are easier to paddle.
- Keel – A keel or skeg is a fin-like feature located at the bottom of the kayak which helps improve speed and tracking. Some skegs are retractable while others are removable. When fishing in open water, go for a kayak with a keel since this will make your paddling more efficient.
Storage space – When out fishing, you can’t avoid having some luggage and items with you. Go for a kayak that can accommodate your items without feeling the weight. Sit on top kayaks usually, have internal hatches to hold your items while sit in kayaks have an open area in the hull that holds your items.
Kayak fishing can be an exciting and fun-filled activity when planned right. You will get to bring home some great fish once you invest in a dependable fishing kayak that will take you out into the open water where you can enjoy some quiet time. We hope that you have gained insight on some of the best fishing kayaks that will let you pit your wit against the water and all its finned inhabitants.