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Best Fishing Kayak

A kayak is the perfect mode of transportation for when you want to go fishing on a lake, pond, river, or even ocean. They’re more stable than canoes, often times faster, and you have plenty of room for any attachments you may want to add. While theoretically you could hop in any recreational kayak and go fishing, you probably wouldn’t have the most enjoyable experience. That’s where specially designed fishing kayaks come in.

These kayaks have all the bells and whistles that you need to fish efficiently and comfortably in a kayak. They’re generally sturdier than a regular kayak, have more storage, and have specific attachments such as rod holders and anchors to make sure you can hold everything. But there’s a lot to consider when purchasing a fishing kayak. How are you to sift through what seems like an endless amount of factors?!

With the help of us! We compiled a list of the best fishing kayaks, as well as a handy buying guide so you know exactly what to look out for when purchasing a fishing kayak that’ll be perfect for you. So go on, read to find out what the Best Fishing Kayak of 2017 is!

Best Fishing Kayaks 2018 – Compared

Let’s take a look at the key components of all the best fishing kayaks before we get into each product review.

KayakWeightLengthStyle
Sun Dolphin Journey44 pounds10 feetSit on top
Lifetime Muskie Angler50 pounds10 feetSit on top
Useful UH-TK18168 pounds12.5 feetSit on top
Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak65 pounds10 feetSit on top
Sevylor Coleman Colorado41 pounds10 feetInflatable
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor49 pounds10 feetSit on top/covered
Ocean Kayak Prowler56 pounds13 feetSit on top
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack86 pounds10 feetSit on top
Malibu Kayaks X-Factor62 pounds14 feet 4 inchesSit on top
Old TownTwin Heron Angler65 pounds13.5 feetSit on top

Perfect – now let’s take a look at the Top 10 Fishing Kayaks of 2018 and find out which one is the Best Fishing Kayak 2017 at the end of the article!

1

Sun Dolphin Journey - Great for the Price

Alright, first up we have the Sun Dolphin Journey coming in at a very difficult to beat price just under $400. Just a side note before we really get into these reviews – there might be a lot of terms that are used that are very specific to the fishing kayak industry. Or there might be features mentioned that are unfamiliar to someone who’s never purchased a fishing kayak before. But have no fear! For that specific reason we have put together a buyer’s guide that talks about all of these features and terms, so if you’ve never purchased a fishing kayak before we highly recommend you read that first. Of course, we’ll try and explain along the way but it might be best to start with the buyer’s guide. Okay! Onward we go.

The first thing to note about the Sun Dolphin Journey is that it is indeed a sit on top kayak, which is the most common type of fishing kayaks. And as you can tell from the photo, it’s exactly what it sounds like – you just sit on top of the kayak! The main advantage for these types of kayak is that you have plenty of room for your gear but the main disadvantage is that they’re not very dry. It’s made out of single layer polyethylene so the whole kayak is all one material and it is very durable to any adverse weather conditions or anything else you may bump into. It’s also 10 feet long which is definitely an acceptable length for a fishing kayak, you may just not get the speed you would get from a longer kayak.

Okay so what’s the deal with this kayak? What makes it a ‘fishing kayak’ and why should I buy it over a regular kayak? Well we are glad you asked! Firstly, it comes with two flush mount rod holders and an additional swivel rod holder! Usually with fishing kayaks, at least one (generally two) flush mount rod holders are expected, so the swivel rod holder is a nice bonus. Another great thing about the Sun Dolphin Journey is that it has a very large seating area! It features a cup holder in the middle as well as adjustable foot braces to fit people of just about any height. This fishing kayak will support weight up to 250 pounds.

As far as storage, you have a portable accessory carrier that sits behind you. This is great because it allows you to store any goods that you would like to keep dry i.e., cell phone, wallet, and of course any snacks you might have. You’ll want to look out for this in other kayaks because not every one will have “dry storage”, meaning it’s covered and is meant for your valuables. It also features paddle holders on either side of the kayak, making it convenient for you to attach it to whatever side you need if you need to stop and get your rod out in a hurry.

Overall this is an extremely sturdy kayak and we love it. And for the price, it makes us love it even more. It’s lightweight and easy to transport, comes with the rod holders you need, has plenty of room on top, great dry storage, and adjustable foot braces. The only couple of things that we do want to note is that if you’re really tall, you might want to opt for the 12 foot version of this kayak to make yourself a little more comfortable. Some taller customers reported (6’ 3” and over) reported being slightly uncomfortable. Also something to keep in mind – it does not come with a paddle. Although we think that’s trivial given its extremely low price already. This is a great entry fishing kayak into the market for a beginner, or a solid one for someone more experienced who is just looking to get the biggest bang for their buck. We highly recommend and this could easily be the best fishing kayak for the money.

PROS
  • Great price
  • Ample dry storage
  • Comes with 3 rod holders
CONS
  • Not the best for taller people
  • Doesn't come with a paddle
2

Lifetime Muskie Angler - Sturdy Kayak Great for Beginners

Something else that may be obvious but we still want to make note of, is the length difference. You’ll want to choose what length your kayak is depending on what you’re looking to get out of it. If you want something sturdy, stable, and don’t need a ton of extra storage – go for a 10 foot kayak. If you’re looking for speed, agility, and want that extra couple of feet for storage, look for a 12 foot or longer kayak. Okay, now that we went over that up next we have the Lifetime Muskie Angler which is a sit on top kayak coming in at 10 feet and just over $500.

This is another sit on top angler kayak with slightly more room to sit than the Sun Dolphin Journey, so if you are slightly taller, we might recommend going for this one. The seat pad is adjustable and instead of having adjustable foot braces, there are just slots for your feet at four different points along the kayak designed to fit people of any height. This is another kayak made of out single layer polyethylene again, making it durable and great for any weather.

A big one – what about the rod holders? It has all that you need! It comes with two flush mount rod holders and also a swivel rod holder. This swivel rod holder is actually off to the side and is mounted on the right side of the kayak, as opposed to in the center. This isn’t necessarily good or bad and is really more of a personal preference and if you’re handy enough, you can probably even move it.

For storage, the Lifetime Muskie Angler comes with two 6” storage compartments in the front and the rear. These aren’t huge, but you don’t really need them to be – big enough for your phone, wallet, and keys should do. This kayak also comes with two paddle cradles with shock cords so you know your paddles will be safe and secure. Speaking of paddles, this kayak actually comes with a paddle! Again, not a huge deal if you already own a kayak and have a few paddles laying around but if this is your first kayak purchase, it’s nice to have a paddle come with it so you’re good to go right out of the box. It also has bungee cords at the front and rear of the kayak so you’re able to secure any bags or boxes full of gear you might bring. Also on the front and rear of the kayak, are t handles which makes this extremely easy to transport.

Overall we really like this Lifetime Muskie Angler. It’s one of the top rated kayaks and is very sturdy. In fact it’s so sturdy, depending on how good you are at balancing, you’re able to stand up in this. We highly recommend this kayak for beginners specifically because of its sturdiness and how easy it is to move on the water. It also accommodates people who are slightly taller so if you’re on the taller side and still want to be able to purchase a 10 foot kayak, we highly recommend this one. Being 10 feet long, it might not be the fastest kayak on the market but it’s good for the price, comes with three rod holders and a paddle, and is extremely easy to transport.

PROS
  • Very sturdy, good for beginners
  • Comes with a paddle
CONS
  • Not very fast
3

Useful UH-TK181 - A Useful Tandem Kayak Indeed

While this kayak is definitely useful, Useful is actually the brand name in this case – but it accurately reflects its products! The cool thing about tandem kayaks is that they are perfectly fitted for two people to use them but that doesn’t mean that there always has to be two people in them! You’re still able to use it as a single person kayak and the good thing is, you have that extra length. So while you may give up some stability, you gain a lot in speed and agility. Alright so how does the Useful UH-TK181 sit on top fishing kayak stack up as our first tandem fishing kayak? Let’s find out!

While the past two kayaks have been 10 feet, this one is 12.5 feet, obviously to accommodate having two people on board. It weighs a very solid 68 pounds and can support up to 450 pounds which is about average for a tandem kayak. One of the most important features – the rod holders! There’s two of you so two flush mount and one swivel just won’t cut it. Thankfully Useful takes that into account and manages to pack in four flush mount rod holders and three swivel rod holders (two for the person in the back and one for the person in the front). We personally think that’s pretty impressive. It also comes with two deluxe kayak seats that are very comfortable, even if you’re out there for a few hours. Each of them has waterproof storage on the back to store your dry belongings.

We also love that this fishing kayak comes with two paddles! They don’t just throw in two cheap paddles either to say that it comes with paddles. These are very high quality, adjustable, aluminum paddles that we don’t think you’ll have to replace. It has two paddle rests and also two bungee paddle parks to secure them for when you’re truly stationary. It also features four carrying handles (one on each side of the kayak) for extra versatility when you’re transporting it. This kayak also features a rear cargo storage with a bungee tie down system where you can store a cooler, or anything else you don’t mind getting a little splashed.

This is stable, high-quality, high-speed, and an easily maneuverable kayak that we think is worth the slightly higher ticket price. For how long it is, it’s surprisingly stable even when only one person is using it. It maneuvers very well and is extremely easy to get into the water. As an added bonus it comes in a variety of colors including camo so you can easily sneak up on those little fishies. It comes with high-quality paddles and has plenty of storage as well. Again, we know it is expensive but we think that the quality and the amount of features that Useful is able to pack into this kayak more then makes up for it. Overall, we absolutely love the design and the functionality of this fishing kayak and can confidently say that you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.

PROS
  • Great for two people
  • Has 7 total rod holders
  • Can also be used with one person
CONS
  • On the more expensive end
  • Not as stable as a shorter kayak
4

Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak - Cheap, Stable Tandem Kayak

Just because you’re looking to purchase a tandem kayak, doesn’t mean that you have to buy a longer kayak! While there are definitely added benefits to a longer kayak, some people might not want to give up the stability for when they use it as a solo kayak. That’s great! Then we have just the kayak for you – the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak that comes in at 10 feet and at a price you’ll like much more than the previous one. The big questions is, how much are you giving up for that price? Well let’s take a look.

At a little over $450, it is significantly cheaper than the previous tandem kayak. However, it can actually support more weight – up to 500 pounds! In fact, depending on the size of the people using the kayak, you can even squeeze in a third person, as long as that third person is a small child or a dog. This is blow molded from high-density polyethylene making it very durable and long-lasting. This kayak is definitely able to take a hit or two. And to stand by that claim, the manufacturer offers a five year warranty which is pretty significant for a kayak. At 10 feet, this hull is designed specifically for stability. It’s so stable in fact that you are comfortable able to fish either standing up or side saddle without worrying whatsoever about whether or not this will tip over. There is no adjustable foot strap, but there are multiple footrest positions for both the front and the back to accommodate any sized rider.

Other great things this includes: two double-sided paddles, paddle clips, and two padded backrests. One place where this is lacking is the rod holders. It only has three rod holders which is significantly lower than the previous tandem kayak that we looked at. But hey, if you’re the type of fisher to travel light then no worries! Both the front and the back includes a cup holder and there’s also a six foot storage hatch so you’ll be able to fit just about anything you need.

In addition to the storage hatch, there’s also the front cargo area that has shock cord straps. So anything that you don’t mind getting a little wet can be secured right up front. As we mentioned this kayak is extremely stable and fairly light all things considered, coming in at 65 pounds. It’s much shorter than the previous so you’re more easily able to transport via SUV or mini van – those extra 2.5 feet can really make a difference when trying to squeeze it into a car.

This is a solid tandem kayak – for the price. While you may not get a lot of the extra frills, you do get a tandem kayak for just over $450 that comes with two paddles, is suited for fishing standing up, and has a five year warranty. Another thing we should mention is that the seats aren’t the most comfortable, so if you plan to use this for long periods at a time, we recommend giving them an upgrade. But since it’s so cheap, we don’t think it’s a huge deal to buy a couple nicer seats anyway. Overall, the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak is one of the best kayaks under $500 so we say give it a go!

PROS
  • Extremely stable - able to stand up
  • Good price for tandem kayak
CONS
  • Seats aren't very comfortable
  • Only 3 rod holders
5

Sevylor Coleman Colorado - Inflatable but Extremely Durable

Okay, we know a lot of people may be very traditional and think that only polyethylene kayaks are the way to go. But we have decided to actually include an inflatable fishing kayak. An inflatable fishing kayak?! How can that possible be, you ask. There’s no way that an inflatable kayak can even compare to a traditional kayak in speed, durability, stability, or with space. Well to that we say not so fast! We think the Sevylor Coleman Colorado gives a lot of the polyethylene-made kayaks a run for their money. Okay okay, let’s get into the pros and cons of purchasing an inflatable fishing kayak.

The first thing that we love about inflatable kayaks, is that they are considerably cheaper than they polyethylene cousins. Much cheaper. This is a tandem fishing kayak for just over $350, which you would be very hard pressed to find when looking at traditional fishing kayaks. This is 10 feet long but feels much more spacious than that. It is extremely rugged and features 18-gauge PVC construction. The bottom top is 1000D tarpaulin and the rest is 840D nylon providing extremely reliable protection from punctures. Even if for some crazy reason this is punctured on the lake, you do not have to worry. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado features multiple air chambers so even if one is punctured, you’ll still be good to get back to shore. Also the airtight system is guaranteed not to leak.

Rod holders – for a ten foot inflatable tandem kayak, it manages to include just the right amount, two swivel and two flush. It also features special Sevylor trolling motor fittings so should you decide to add a motor later on down the road, you would easily be able to expand your fishing capabilities. You also have paddle holders on either side to make sure your paddles are secured. It also has plenty of mesh pockets throughout the kayak to store anything else you may have brought. It also features plenty of D-Rings so you’re able to easily attach any other equipment you need.

Some other nice perks include adjustable seats! That’s something that you generally don’t see in typical kayaks. This kayak supports up to 470 pounds, which is actually more than some polyethylene kayaks. It of course comes with a carrying bag and a pressure gauge so you know exactly the right amount of air to put into it. That’s another priceless benefit – it fits into a carrying bag! You can literally toss this in the back of your sedan and head to the lake, which we think is amazing. Then from there it’s very easy to set up and take down.

We think this inflatable fishing kayak is great – and not just “great for an inflatable kayak. We think it’s great. Period. It is on par with any polyethylene kayak, if not better in some areas. It’s easy to transport and it’s also very quiet on the water so you’re able to sneak up on good fishing areas more easily. Yes, it’s going to be much slower than even polyethylene kayaks of this length but as long as you’re not looking to enter any races, we think you’ll be okay. We truly can’t recommend this enough and if you’ve never considered an inflatable fishing kayak before, may we suggest that you consider the Sevylor Coleman Colorado as your first one.

PROS
  • Unbeatable price
  • Very convenient to transport
  • Extremely quiet on the water
CONS
  • Much slower than other kayaks
  • No dry storage
6

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor - Great If You Want to Stay Dry

What we love about fishing kayaks is that it’s very hard to find one that universally is going to fit the needs of every single person. For some people storage is important, maybe staying dry is important, speed could be the biggest issue, or perhaps you’re really looking for stability. There will definitely be some fishing kayaks that cover more bases than others, but if one feature is not comprisable for you, then make sure you look out for that feature! We bring this up because this is actually the first non-sit on top fishing kayak on our list (okay, aside from the inflatable kayak too). The one primary benefit from this design: dryness.

This might go without saying but if you’re sitting on top of a kayak, you’re in the splash zone and are bound to get way more wet than if you were nestled in. With the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor you are exactly that – nestled in. Old Town is a very trusted brand name in canoes and kayaks and this one is no exception. It’s 10 feet long and features an extremely stable polyethylene hull. The cockpit is also particularly roomy so if you usually struggle to find a 10 foot kayak that seats you comfortably, we recommend trying this one out. In fact this is so roomy, depending on how tall you are, you could even fit a small child or a dog in front. The cockpit also features a molded cockpit tray, cup holder, and also paddle park.

There is no dry storage per se but there is a deep storage container in back of the cockpit that can easily fit a cooler or something else to keep your belongings dry. Of course that won’t help if you tip over, but let’s just assume you won’t. This kayak comes with two flush rod holders and unfortunately doesn’t have a swivel rod holder. Again, not the end of the world if you don’t use one, but a lot of people do so we have to hold it against Old Town.

One thing this does have that a lot of other fishing kayaks don’t is an anchor trolly system! You are able to bring an anchor system out of sorts out with you on other kayaks but it’s extremely convenient that this has one built in. So you can actually drop anchor out in a lake and relax knowing you’ll securely stay with a certain radius. This kayak also tracks particularly well and is great for ponds.

If you like to stay on the drier side while kayaking, or perhaps you like to take photos while out on the water and want to keep your equipment dry, this is the fishing kayak for you. You will stay much drier and will feel much more stable. We actually highly recommend this kayak specifically for beginners because it is so stable. It’s not the fastest kayak on the market and it is lacking with a swivel rod holder, but it’s light, easy to transport, stable, has a roomy cockpit, and most importantly will keep you dry. At around $500, you get a trusted brand name in the kayak industry and a trusted kayak to boot. Overall this is a solid kayak that is at a great price and includes really only minor flaws that ultimately come down to personal preference.

PROS
  • Will keep you dry
  • Comes with anchor trolly system
  • Great for beginners - very sturdy
CONS
  • No swivel rod holder
7

Ocean Kayak Prowler - Versatile, Fast, and Sturdy

We talked a little bit about the differences between a longer kayak and a shorter one – the main difference being that shorter kayaks tend to be much more stable, with some even allowing you to stand up and fish! Longer ones are of course not as stable but much faster and provide you with much more agility. While most of the kayaks we’ve recommended have generally been shorter, more stable fishing kayaks, we wanted to throw in one truly speedy and agile kayak and that is the Ocean Kayak Prowler. And a prowler it is! The question is – do you really need such an agile kayak while you’re fishing? Let’s find out.

This is definitely one of the longest kayak on our list at 13 feet long and definitely one of the more expensive ones coming in at around $900. This is a polyethylene sit on top kayak and features a very sleek, nicely designed high-performance hull. This is able to go much much faster than your typical 10 foot kayak while still remaining stable for its size. It can easily cut through choppy waters but also remains quiet in calm waters, allowing you to easily get to your favorite fishing spot unnoticed.

This kayak does come with two flush mounted rod holders but unfortunately no swivel holders although on this kayak, they can be easily installed. There’s a 6” hatch with storage bucket in the front of the kayak, two cup holders, and of course two paddle keeps to keep your paddles secure as you’re cruising through those choppy waters. There’s also an oversized tank in the rear that’s very nicely designed and can easily fit in any coolers, crates, tackle boxes, bait wells, or even a SCUBA tank if you’re headed out to the ocean.

Unless you’re very well-balanced or adventurous, it’s not recommended that you stand up in the Ocean Kayak Prowler. While this is one of the top rated kayaks, it’s still difficult to balance on such a long kayak. A couple of other down sides with this fishing kayak – it doesn’t come with paddles unfortunately. You would think that for the price they would be included but unfortunately you’ll have to purchase them separately. The seat is also not the most comfortable seat to spend a long amount of time in but they do actually have fairly affordable ones available to replace it with.

If you’re looking for speed, or you want the versatility of being able to take your kayak to the ocean to kayak around – go for the Ocean Kayak Prowler. This is definitely the best ocean kayak. You’ll be hard pressed to find something that’s so quiet and easy to navigate in calm waters but then can immediately zip through any choppy waters you might find in the ocean. You’ll have no problem tacking in ponds, lakes, rivers, or oceans. There are also two different camo options that are both very nicely designed. This is a sleek, fast, powerful kayak. It may not have  a lot of bells and whistles but those can always be added later. You’re paying for a versatile, high-performance hull that is stable and in our opinion, well worth the price

PROS
  • Extremely fast
  • Able to use in lakes, rivers, as well as oceans
  • Sleek design
CONS
  • No swivel rod holder
  • Expensive
8

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack - Stable Stable and Stable

We love recommending tandem kayaks just because they’re so versatile! You’re able to go out fishing with a friend or even your dog, but then one the days that you feel like spending the day on the lake all by yourself – you’re able to do that as well. The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack offers no exceptions to that experience. This is an extremely sturdy and reliable tandem kayak that is great for beginners as well as the seasoned kayak fisher. Alright Vibe Kayaks, we love the name, but does the kayak live up?

In short, yes! While this is technically a sit on top kayak, the seats are dropped down a little bit lower than most into the kayak providing you with that little bit of extra protection that you won’t find on standard sit on top kayaks. Also at 86 pounds, this is definitely one of the heavier kayaks on our list. So while that means yes, you will struggle a little bit lugging this around it’s still ultimately only 10 feet long so it will still fit anywhere a 10 foot kayak will. But that extra weight gives you that extra stability so you won’t feel unbalanced at all, which is a great feeling especially if you’re a beginner. You’re actually able to easily stand up and fish on this kayak, it’s that stable.

There’s a decent amount of room in the cockpit and depending on the size of the users, there’s a third seating position to squeeze in a small child or even a pup. But of course if you’re going solo, just hop in the middle and get to it. It features four carrying handles to help you move it around. It only comes with two flush mount rod holders and no swivel – but it has four mounting points for Scotty, RAM, or Railblaza mount rod holders and these are relatively easy to install. It also boasts a pretty deep rear cargo storage area that includes a bungee tide down system.

If you’re looking for your first fishing kayak or if you just want a fishing kayak that you’re going to feel extremely stable in, go with the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack. Its stability is really its main selling feature so this is even good if you’re one who likes to fish standing up once in a while. Another added bonus is that it does comes with two fairly high-quality paddles that we don’t think you’ll feel the need to replace. So it may be missing a swivel rod holder, we think we can forgive Vibe for giving us the stability. Give this kayak a shot.

PROS
  • Good to stand up on
  • Comes with 2 high quality paddles
CONS
  • No swivel rod holder
  • Heavy to transport
9

Malibu Kayaks X-Factor - The Best for Choppy Waters

While you may have thought that the Ocean Kayak Prowler was an extremely long kayak – and it is. We found a kayak that’s even longer, faster, and even more agile. This Malibu Kayaks X-Factor fishing kayak just looks faster than the rest. But don’t let its long, sleek figure fool you – it still has stability like no other, is able to support an insane amount of weight, has a very wide cockpit area, and is extremely tough. Let’s take a look at the specifics.

So the Malibu Kayaks X-Factor first off, looks extremely sleek and comes in about 10 different colors which is a fun aspect that we like. At 14 feet 4 inches, it’s definitely the longest kayak on our list and one of the longest kayak’s on the market. It only weighs about 62 pounds and can support an astonishing 625 pounds! It includes both front and rear child seating areas, but you also have plenty of room for any amount of gear you could possibly fit on. It has an adjustable foot system so the foot rests will be able to fit anybody’s height. The cockpit area is also very wide and the seating is very comfortable.

For being a sit on top kayak that’s so long and meant for choppy water, the Malibu Kayaks X-Factor actually provides a very dry experience. At such a long length, it can cut through the choppiest of waters. It also has an extremely high rocker so you’re able to easily navigate through even the largest of swells. It features side carrying handles so it is long, but at 62 pounds, it’s still very simple to pick up and throw on top of the car. There are also two paddle holders – one on each side. But unfortunately at such a high cost, the Malibu Kayaks X-Factor does not come with any paddles.

For such a long, thin kayak – there’s actually a decent amount of storage. There is of course, a cup holder. But it also has a gator hatch, a center hatch, two dive tank wells, and self draining trays. And the rod holders, how could we have forgotten about the rod holders?! There are actually six flush mounted rod holders, which is the highest amount of flush mounted on any kayak on our list but unfortunately like a couple of the others, this fishing kayak does not have a swivel holder.

The main selling feature of this fishing kayak is its agility. It will get you through any water no matter how choppy, any waves, any swells – you will be all stet. So if you are a bit more active with your fishing, or before/after you’re done fishing you like to just paddle around then you will not find a kayak on the market that’s able to navigate through choppy waters like this one. However, it is a bit pricy. So if you don’t necessarily need the strong navigation skills of the Malibu Kayaks X-Factor and are just looking for something stable and reliable, perhaps look elsewhere.

PROS
  • Can navigate any water
  • Has 6 flush mounted rod holders
  • Supports up to 625 pounds
CONS
  • Very expensive
  • No swivel rod holders
10

Old Town Twin Heron Angler Tandem - Reliable Brand, Reliable Kayak

Alright, rounding off our list is another Old Town kayak. We really like Old Town canoes because they’re a brand that has been around for quite a while and just has the reliability of a company that has put out a lot of one product. This is a tandem kayak but of course has the ability to be used as a solo kayak as well. So let’s get into the specs.

The great part about this Old Town tandem fishing kayak is that not only can it be used as a solo kayak, but you can actually remove the front seat for some extra room in the cockpit for when you actually do use it as a solo kayak. There’s also very easy access to the storage space. There is a glide track adjustable foot brace system that will truly allow people of any height to find what works for them.

This is a fairly long kayak as well, at 13.5 feet but it’s not quite as good on choppy water as some of the other longer kayaks. It’s mainly made for flat water but it’s extremely tactile and tacks very well on lakes and ponds and can move quickly. It includes six Cannon mount receivers, two Cannon rod holders, and also two cup holders. Also it’s worth mentioning that the seats are very comfortable on this kayak.

Overall if you are the type of person who likes to have a reliable brand name that has proved itself in the industry you’re looking to purchase in, then Old Town is the brand for you. More specifically, this kayak is the kayak for you. It comes in two different colors and is sleekly designed, it’s a long kayak so you’re able to move quietly and quickly to get to your favorite fishing spots. If you’re looking for a long kayak that’s good for the ocean or choppy water, then this isn’t it. Its main draw is that it’s fast and quiet on flat water. It’s also very versatile in the fact that you can take out the front seat when you don’t want to use it as a tandem kayak, which doesn’t happen in any of the other kayaks on our list. Yes this kayak is on the pricier end, but it’s a solid, reliable, stable tandem kayak from a trusted brand and you will not be disappointed.

PROS
  • Reliable brand
  • Sleek design
  • Very fast and quiet on flat water
CONS
  • Not good on choppy water
  • On pricier end of the spectrum

Best Fishing Kayak - Buyer's Guide

There are so so many things to consider when purchasing a fishing kayak. We know it can seem daunting purchasing your first one or even if you’re trying to upgrade, jumping back in to the market there are so many things to make sure you remember to consider! That’s where we come in. While we understand that purchasing a fishing kayak is a unique experience and everyone is going to consider different factors more important, there are still a few key things that you’ll want to look out for.

Material

What material is the fishing kayak made out of? On our list there are a couple different options.

1. Single Layer Polyethylene

There’s the traditional single layer polyethylene which a majority of the kayaks are made out of. They are very durable to weather and the whole kayak is all one material, adding to its durability.

2. Three Layer Polyethylene

There’s also the option for three layer polyethylene where only the outer layer is polyethylene, the inner layer is form which makes it slightly less durable but more buoyant in general. These are great because they’re lighter but they aren’t quite as durable and are also more expensive.

Not featured on our list are two other types.

3/4. Fiberglass and Kevlar Carbon.

Fiberglass is a very light material – much much lighter than single layer polyethylene. If you’re concerned about transportation and weight, it’s a much added benefit. However they are very expensive and more sensitive to impact. Kevlar carbon is another step up in the lightness/price. They are even lighter than fiberglass and even more expensive and also easy to break. While they do break, they are much easier to repair.

Type of Kayak

1. Sit on top/Open.

This is the most common type of fishing kayak. They are most commonly polyethylene or fiberglass and are the most affordable kind. They are generally slower than sit-in kayaks but are safe, stable, and great for beginners. They are by far the most popular type of kayak, especially for fishing kayaks. It’s because you’re able to attach a lot of gear to this more easily than any other type of kayak. If you are a beginner and are looking for a basic intro kayak for fishing, we recommend starting off with this kind of kayak.

2. Sit-in/Closed

Exactly what it sounds like – you sit deeper into the kayak and have a little bit more of shelter. The main benefit of this one is that it comes in all different materials and that they’re generally lighter than sit on top kayaks. Of course the main benefit is more protection from the elements so you’ll probably be a bit warmer. The down sides are that there’s less space to attach your accessories and they’re a bit more difficult to balance so they’re not recommended for beginners.

3. Pedal and Sailing

These are the most expensive of all the types of kayaks but instead of actually paddling your way through the water, your pedaling! It may sound like a great benefit as it puts much less stress on your arm but they are expensive, and very heavy so therefore extremely difficult to transport, load/unload etc. The other added benefit is that since you don’t need a place to store your paddles, there’s tons of room for accessories.

4. Inflatable

Lastly there are inflatable fishing kayaks. Now don’t laugh – these inflatable kayaks are extremely rugged and can easily compete with any of the polyethylene kayaks. They’re extremely cheap which is their main draw. In general these aren’t suited for sea kayaking but some of the higher end ones are. The one downside is that they are slower than all other kayaks.

Kayak Length

How long should your kayak be? This is going to depend on what you’re looking to get out of it. Shorter kayaks (10 feet) provide much more stability than longer kayaks (12 feet +). These are generally recommended for beginners. Of course the main draw to longer kayaks is that they’re much faster and can cut through waves much more easily. Longer kayaks also have the added benefit of having much more room for accessories and to attach any additional rod holders.

Rod Holders

How many rod holders does your kayak come with? If you’re the type to want to go out with multiple rods and have a lot of other fishing gear, make sure your kayak comes with some! There are two different types – flush mount rod holders and swivel or adjustable rod holders. The flush mount rod holders are meant to hold any rods you’re not using at the moment while the swivel ones will hold the one you’re actively fishing with to make it a bit easier on your arms.

Paddles

Another thing you want to look out for is if whether or not the kayak comes with paddles. This might not be a huge deal if you already own a kayak and therefore have a few paddles laying around, but if you’re new to kayaking just beware that not every fishing kayak will actually come with a paddle.

Conclusion


There are a lot of different types of fishing kayaks that we reviewed and ultimately which one you choose will depend on your exact goals of your fishing. On our list you can find the best sit on top fishing kayak, the best ocean fishing kayak, the best fishing kayak for the money – but we think there’s one that stands out overall when we take into consideration price, durability, stability, rod holders, and ease of transport.

The fishing kayak that we believe is the Best Fishing Kayak 2017 is…… the Sevylor Coleman Colorado (number five on our list)! I know what you’re thinking – how could we have chosen an inflatable kayak as the best fishing kayak? Well when you look at all the factors, we truly believe it stacks up against the competition and holds its own as an inflatable kayak.

It’s 10 feet long, so we know it’s stable. It’s well made with 1000D tarpaulin on bottom and 840D nylon all around. It comes with a carrying bag and pressure gauge so it’s easy to transport, as well as set up and take down. It’s a tandem kayak so you can go out with two people. Not to mention: the seats are adjustable, it has two flush mount and two swivel rod holders, great storage, multiple air chambers to ensure it’ll always stay afloat, and it’s extremely quiet making it easy to sneak up on fish. And our favorite part – it’s $370.

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado proves that you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to get a high-quality fishing kayak. If you’re new to the sport and don’t want to spend a ton of money to try it out, but still want to know you’re getting the best product out there – we can confidently say you’ll be happy with the Sevylor Coleman Colorado. This is easily the best fishing kayak out there and you will not be disappointed.