Best Fishing Kayak Reviews and Ultimate Buying Guide
There are so many options and different designs out there it can also be a really confusing one. The common question is “what is best fishing kayak?” Therefore, I’ve created this all-inclusive, definitive guide, do some research on the types of features that are available and write down this fishing kayak review that help you to answer all the questions you have and make buying your first fishing kayak a smooth and fun process. When you read my reviews, the task of finding a fishing kayak will be much easier since you have the benefit of one expert recommendations.
MY PICK: TOP 4 BEST FISHING KAYAKS 2017
TOP 4 BEST FISHING KAYAK REVIEWS
1. Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
I have taken this inflatable fishing kayak out a few times already and it has exceeded my expectations. Aside from being easy to inflate and deflate, it is made with high quality materials, and is stable when out on the water.
- Since it is easy to inflate and deflate, you can be on the water and on the way home in a matter of minutes.
- It provides good value for money since it has a high level of craftsmanship comparable to kayaks used by professionals, but at an affordable price.
- Superior Material of construction with 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use
- Double-threaded Boston Valve that lets you quickly and easy inflate and deflate it.
- 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover provide durable protection from punctures
- Berkley® Quick Set Rod Holders are adjustable for enhanced hands-free fishingIncludes carry bag and pressure gauge
- Sevylor® trolling motor fittings expand your fishing capabilities
- NMMA® certified to carry people and things up to 470 lbs.
- Adjustable seats move to fit you
- Airtight® System is guaranteed not to leak
- Paddle holders secure your paddles out of the way
- Mesh storage pockets keep gear and snacks close at hand
- D-Rings are an easy way to attach other equipment
- Multiple air chambers for reliability, allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
- Carry handles make it easy to carry in and out of the water
- Easy and quick setup and pack-up
- The Coleman Colorado is a good choice for fishermen who need a fishing kayak that can accommodate up to two people. While it is priced higher than the comparable Sun Dolphin Journey, it makes up for it with convenience features such as easy inflation/deflation, as well as increased durability and safety. In addition, it does not have comfort features such as the padded backrests and multiple footrests of the Lifetime.
- What it does provide, compared to the other kayaks reviewed, is good value for money. You get a great range of features that will greatly enhance your fishing experience. For example, mesh storage pockets easily allow you to keep snacks and fishing gear readily accessible, while D-rings let you attach other equipment that you need to the boat. Thus, it is a good choice for those looking for an affordable fishing kayak that still has a lot of great features.
- Some people have complained that the rod holders stick out the sides of the boat and get in the way as they paddle. Otherwise, however, this is a minor complaint and even those who mentioned it still gave the Coleman Colorado five-star reviews.
This product has earned mainly five-star and four-star ratings from Amazon customers, which means that it has a very high satisfaction rating. My experience with the Coleman Colorado is that, while it is not perfect, it is very good and I would recommend it to other readers who are looking for a fishing kayak. It is lightweight but feels very durable and seats two people comfortably. And since it is made with durable materials, I can probably use it for years before I have to replace it, although it still remains to be seen. Otherwise, I am happy with it.
2. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
This is an effective fishing kayak for those who need a three-seater and have some experience as a fisherman. It allows you to fish standing up as well as sitting down.
- In contrast with the typical two-seater kayak, you can go fishing with up to two other people.
- You will be more successful fishing since you can either sit down or stand up, providing you with greater flexibility.
- Comes with fishing pole holders, storage compartment and carry handles.
- It is ideal for that perfect fishing trip
- Tunnel hull design. This design makes the kayak very stable so that you can fish even while standing up on the boat.
- Wide-bodied. The Lifetime can seat up to 3 people and can accommodate up to 500 pounds.
- Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Construction.
- Fishing Pole Holders
- Comfortable Ergonomic Seating
- Multiple Footrest Positions for Different Size Riders
- Scupper Holes Drain Cockpit Area
- Molded Front and Rear Carry Handles
- 10′ Compact Length for Easy Transport and Storage
- “High and Dry” Seating Keeps Riders off the Floor of the Kayak
- Ditty Trays and Shock Cord Straps to Secure Loose Items
- Rear Storage Hatch
- Front and Rear Molded Paddle Cradle, Paddle Clips on Both Sides
- UV-Protected – Will Not Fade, Crack, or Peel
- Accessory Mount for Optional Rudder or Electric Power Motor
- The Lifetime is a good choice compared with the other kayaks reviewed if you have a family. You can bring your two kids along on your fishing trip or your wife and one child. It is also good for larger-sized fishermen since it has a big weight capacity. Its stability is a feature that the other kayaks don’t have, allowing you to have more flexibility in your fishing technique. If it is too difficult to land a fish while seated, you can stand up and pull it in.
- There are other features that make it a good value in its price range. It has two padded backrests as well as adjustable footrests that can accommodate users of different sizes. Thus, it is a good choice for people who want a kayak that can seat more than the usual or serious fishermen who want one that lets them change positions while fishing.
- The Lifetime is wider than other kayaks, meaning that it might be more difficult to carry around using the side carry handle. Otherwise, it still has mostly positive fishing kayak reviews from those who bought it.
While personally it is not the type of fishing kayak I am looking for, I would still recommend the Lifetime for larger fishermen or those who go fishing with their families. It has a unique design that allows you to stand up or sit down on it without the risk of capsizing the boat, which the other kayaks we reviewed don’t have. Of course, it has a higher price point, but the extra features make it more than worth it. The Lifetime has earned high ratings from Amazon customers with almost five-star and four-star ratings.
3. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
The Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 is the one of the most popular angler kayaks on the market, it combines performance with features. This is a high-end kayak for serious fishermen who want one that provides superior performance as well as plenty of storage space to store fishing gear.
- Since it is designed specifically for fishing, serious fishermen will find features that meet their needs.
- It provides superior performance that combines speed with stability, and can even be used in a variety of water conditions from rough to smooth.
- You not only can store your gear but also cooler, SCUBA tanks and everything you need for an exceptional fishing experience.
- Comfort plus seats back
- 6″ Cam Lock Hatch with storage bucket
- Molded-in seat well
- Click Seal bow hatch
- Oversized tank well with bungee
- Deck bungee
- Side mounted carrying handles
- Skid PlatePaddle keepers
- Two flush mounted rod holders
- Transducer compatible scupper
- Angler graphics
- Unlike the other fishing kayaks we featured in this review, this is specifically designed for fishing and thus, it suitable for the majority of fishermen looking for a kayak on Amazon. One feature that it has that they will appreciate is the oversized rear tank. If you are planning to spend the whole day out on the water, you can fill it with snacks and coolers with cold drinks, as well as your tackle and other gear or anything else you need. There is also a big front hatch where you can securely store your expensive fishing rods below deck.
- Of course, it is the most expensive of the kayaks we looked at since it is a high-end model with superior features. However, if you are looking for one that provides you with high performance and features that can greatly enhance your fishing experience, this is the one you should choose.
- This is a high end fishing kayak that is not designed for the casual fisherman. However, if you are serious about your fishing activities and can invest on a kayak with a higher price, the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler is highly recommended.
Since the Ocean Prowler 13 Angler has a prohibitive price, it should not be surprising that it only has not so many customers who have so far left fishing kayak reviews on Amazon; but more than 80% of them gave it five-star ratings, and the rest, four-stars. Since these reviewers are presumably the most discriminating, this is an indicator that the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler is one of the highest quality fishing kayaks you can find on Amazon. While this fishing kayak is surely not for everybody because of its specialized design and features, as well as high price point, if you are a dedicated fisherman, the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak is the one you should choose.
4. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak
This is the most affordable of the fishing kayaks that we are reviewing, but this does not mean it is not as good as they are. It will still provide you with a satisfactory fishing experience.
- It is sold at a very affordable price but still has a good range of features.
- Since it is easy to use, many people buy this kayak just for going out on the lake for some peace and quiet.
- Lightweight. The Sun Dolphin is very easy for a single person to carry to the docks and transport on their vehicle.
- Lots of storage space. Aside from having a large dry storage compartment, the kayak also has a removable Portable Accessory Carrier for extra storage.
- Compared to the other models we are reviewing, the Sun Dolphin has a small feature set. But this can be a selling point since if you are just learning to fish or use a kayak, this is a very affordable model to buy. You can easily learn how to maneuver it since it is very lightweight, and you can even carry it by yourself if you are going fishing alone; but it has a comparable amount of storage space.
- The Sun Dolphin also does not support as much weight as the other kayaks we reviewed. It can support up to 250 pounds, while the next most expensive kayak, the Coleman Colorado, can hold up to 470 pounds and the Lifetime up to 500 lbs. Overall, it still provides the best value for money, and you can even afford to buy a second kayak or give one as a gift.
- It is essentially a very basic kayak so there is a risk that you can easily outgrow it. Otherwise, the Sun Dolphin is a great choice for those who want a very affordable model.
The Sun Dolphin has earned mostly positive reviews from Amazon customers who bought it, with 70% of them giving it five-star and four-star reviews. For the price, it is a high-quality fishing kayak that is a suitable one to learn how to fish on. Of course, you should not expect it to be outstanding or made with very durable materials, but as a reviewer put it, you can still catch as much fish on it as with more expensive kayaks. If you are on a budget or just want a beginner kayak, this provides you with good value for the price.
Search more kayak on the list of top best fishing kayaks:
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak
Sun Dolphin Excursion SS
Old Town Vapor 10 Angler
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem
Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-On Fishing Kayak
Perception Pescador Moss Camo Angling
Ocean Kayak Caper Angler
Old Town Dirigo 106
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game Angler II
Hobie Mirage Outback
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14
Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Type of Fishing Kayak
Each type has been designed for a specific type of use. Ponders the use you will give your kayak (recreational, cruise, competition, fishing, whitewater, etc.) and choose the model of kayak that suits you – that will be the best for you.
To learn how to choose a kayak fishing ideal for us, we must study well the market, both new and second-hand and choose the right according to our tastes and needs.
Before buying we must all keep in mind the following points about choosing a fishing kayak.
Materials of kayaks for fishing
Rotomolded linear polyethylene: they are very tough but also relatively heavy
Three Layer Sandwich Polyethylene Plastic: that allows to produce a triple structure (PE, blowing agent, PE) that guarantees an important weight reduction and a relevant stiffness increase. In my opinion the rotomolded polyethylene kayak are much more robust than tri-layers, heavier and perhaps less slippage due to its rough finish.
Other materials used for manufacture of a kayak are:
Fiberglass: In favor, very light material, weighs less than a polyethylene kayak, weakness against impacts and scratches, more expensive than polyethylene. This material is usually used for sit-in kayak models.
Carbon Kevlar: They are extremely light, lighter than fiber and more resilient. Against its high price and it’s easy to break even repair easily. It is used for sit-in kayaks
Fishing Kayak Models
These are some models of fishing kayaks to consider
Sit-on-top fishing kayaks:
- Most popular kayaks
- Polyethylene properties
- Affordable price
- Easy to attach many accessories
- Insurance and mostly stable
Sit-inside fishing kayaks
- Higher price than sit-on-top kayak
- The biggest jump in weight (and price) won’t be seen until you look at fiberglass, Kevlar or carbon fiber kayaks.
- Less space for attaching accessories.
- Need prior training: paddling technique, buoyancy and Eskimo roll (an Eskimo roll is when a person in a kayak corrects a kayak that is upside down by reaching out to grab the water by keeping it in the air)
- Protect from the cold to maintain a sheltered part of our body.
- They are faster
- Generally lighter than sit-on-top kayak
Fishing kayak with pedals
- Polyethylene material
- Very high price with new ones, looking for second hand you can find good deals.
- Put it easy multitude of accessories, thanks to its space on board.
- Very heavy, difficult to handle, necessary to use transport trolley for embarking and disembarking.
Inflatable fishing kayaks
Do not consider them suitable for sea fishing, unless, that we fish near the coast in very sheltered areas of wind and waves. These kayaks are suitable for calm waters, ponds, marshes, reservoirs … etc.
- Easy storage and handling because of its volume and weight.
- They are very slow and very stable.
More things to keep in mind on how to choose a fishing kayak.
- The length of the kayak
A kayak with good length in principle be a quick kayak, although with some people, a long kayak finds it somewhat uncomfortable when moved or rotated in short spaces.
- The sleeve
The sleeve is the width of the kayak. As a general rule, the more stable sleeve will be. Both the length and the sleeve should be taken into account when storing and transporting the kayak on the roof of the car.
- Stability versus speed
We will play with these two variables. The stability of the kayak is given by two factors: the sleeve kayak and type of hull. A V-shaped hull will be more unstable than a U-shaped hull. The speed will be determined by the length of the kayak, a narrow sleeve and a outline hull.
- Weight and maximum load
Your weight is important when handling it, like knowing its maximum load and not exceed it. A transport carriage for heavier kayaks provide us with the task to reach the shore.
Generally kayaks are more wide usually the most comfortable, but, for example, improper placement of accessories can hinder the fishing action, so I stress test kayak before buying.
- Accessories include in your kayak fishing
There is a wide variety of kayaks on sale a few more prepared for fishing than others in the market. We will assess all the details, such as the pre-installations rudder, rail installation guide for more accessories, mount a transducer and location of the probe, installed lockers, seats … etc. So you have to take into account first-hand kayaks, accessories ranging included with sale.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fishing kayak?
Kayaks are boats that are designed with seats that have blades-on-paddler in order to allow them to paddle across the water. They are ideal boats for fishing since they are quiet and make little disturbance when moving, meaning that they will not scare and disturb fish. The history of kayaks is more than 4000 years old, but the fishing kayaks of today have advanced technologies that greatly help fishermen to become more effective. Many of them are even stable enough that you can stand up while fishing without the risk of capsizing the kayak.
Why is it important to buy a fishing kayak?
If you are serious about your fishing activities, a fishing kayak can greatly help you become more effective. In addition to their designs that are specific for fishing, these kayaks also come with advanced technologies. Many of them even have computers to help you. At the same time, however, fishing kayaks still require you to have a certain level of skill. Thus, fishing becomes a challenging sport instead of one in which you simply rely on all the technology in the boat to help you succeed.
Why is Amazon the best place to buy fishing kayaks?
You can find the widest range of fishing kayaks on the Amazon site, at whatever price you can afford. In addition, you can compare similar fishing kayaks based on basic features and price, so that you can find the one that suits you the best. Likewise, fishing kayaks on Amazon are even more affordable since many of them are marked down from their regular prices, and the competition between sellers helps to drive down the price even more.
Overall, I think the best fishing kayak is the Coleman Colorado, since it provides you with the best combination of features and affordable price. In addition, it is made with rugged and tough materials, thus ensuring that it will hold up to repeated use and withstand wear and tear, so that you can use it for years to come. It is ideal for both beginner and advanced fishermen since it is easy to use, with convenience features like the Boston Valve that allows it to be easily inflated and deflated.
Read More Kayak Review and Comparison
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