What To Look For In A Fishing Kayak: A Complete Discussion

Fishing in open water using a boat is already considered an ideal recreational activity for many people. Have you ever tried fishing in a kayak? This is pretty relaxing and enjoyable if you know what to look for in a fishing kayak.

We all know kayaking is a fun sport. To think about riding a kayak for fishing purposes feels exciting, right? Because if you think carefully, a kayak is a much better choice than a big-sized boat. They are easy to use and carry, not to mention the price being in the lower range!

While you can use a regular kayak as a fishing kayak (ex- Intex Explorer K2) by adding some extra features, many manufacturers in the market specifically make fishing kayak (Ex- Pelican fishing kayak) for consumers comfort.

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What Are Fishing Kayaks?

What Are Fishing Kayaks?

So, what is so special about fishing kayaks? You might think this is a new concept, but fishing in a kayak goes way back in time. People used to hunt using kayaks as well. However, fishing in a kayak is still a popular technique considering modern technology.

The process and the tool just got updated with time. Because kayaks are more affordable, portable, lightweight, low maintenance, and easier to catch fish! And like everything else, fishing kayak also has different styles and types to choose from.

The main two categories are sit-on-top and sit-in-top kayaks. Both types provide some significant advantages to the users in terms of fishing. So, you have to figure out which one is suitable for your comfort by analyzing these traits.

Benefits Of A Sit-On-Top Kayak:

Normally, a sit-on-top kayak is the best one if you want a smooth fishing experience. They are versatile and fulfill your requirements pretty well.

  • Easy to get in and get out.
  • Self-bailing system to remove in case water gets in.
  • The higher seat allows a better sight of the water.
  • Comfortable seating arrangement.
  • Extra storage options.
  • Easy customization.

Benefits Of A Sit-In Top Kayak:

On the other hand, sit-in kayaks are not very favorable for fishing purposes, but they do have some advantages.

  • They are easy to move through the water.
  • The price is lower than a sit on top kayak.

What To Look For In A Fishing Kayak

What To Look For In A Fishing Kayak: A Complete Discussion

Kayak Type:

The first important feature of the fishing kayak is the type of boat. Generally, you can use a sit-in-top or sit-on-top kayak for angling. But remember that a sit-on-top kayak is more comfortable, flexible, and spacious compared with a sit-in kayak.

Utility wise a SOT kayak is the best. However, the price of a sit-on kayak is more than a sit-in kayak. If you have the budget to afford one, I would say go for the sit-on kayak.


Your fishing kayak gets heavier with more and more features and storage facilities. If you don’t have transportation means to carry it, better opt out for one that needs less space and labor. Make sure you have the means to move the kayak and handle it properly. 

Comfortable Seat:

Fishing requires hours and hours of seating in your kayak without movement. This isn’t going to be comfy if you have to sit on a rigid seat for that amount of time. Always choose the kayak that offers a cozy and Ergoform seat for a better and relaxed experience.

Stability & Speed:

Balancing your fishing kayak is important because turbulence could spoil your angling experience. To avoid such a situation, a flat bottom or tunnel hull kayak would be better than a V-shaped hull. These types of kayaks will give you the perfect stability you need.

The length and width are also important. Too short boat can easily lose its balance. Analyze which size of the boat will be fitting for you. Besides, the location of fishing is also important as ponds, lakes or ocean would need different speeds and tracking adjustments.

Pedal Drive or Paddle

You can go for a pedal drive or a paddle-only kayak depending on what you like. A pedal drive will allow you to paddle the kayak with legs, leaving your hands to do the fishing freely. The price of pedal tech is a bit higher than the traditional paddling system.

If you want an easier and affordable kayak, go with the traditional paddle system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which kayak is best for fishing?

Answer: Among the different types of kayaks, a sit-on-top one is the best for fishing. Getting in and out of the kayak is easy because of the smart design, making it much safer than a sit-in-top kayak. Also, it has an auto system to empty the excess water from the boat.

Moreover, the storage system is big enough to take up all the things you need.

Is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?

Answer: Normally fishing in a regular kayak is not impossible, you just need some modifications for better efficiency. But if you ask me, yes, it is worth buying a kayak only for fishing. Because a fishing kayak is already equipped with all the important functionalities.

You don’t have to make any alterations. Just take it out of the box and start using it!

What is a good fishing kayak for beginners?

Answer: There are various brands that have been manufacturing quality fishing kayaks for a long time. But not all of them are a good choice if you are a beginner at this. As a beginner, you can use Pelican Maxim 100 k1 kayak for practice purposes.

What makes a fishing kayak?

Answer: A fishing kayak has some different features than a regular kayak. Usually, they are a bit short but have a broad width. The storage compartment is also bigger than a regular one. A comfortable seating arrangement, rod holding system, etc. are also important.

As the fishing kayak stays motionless most of the time, tracking is not important for it. Hence, the construction focuses on being stable rather than speedy during the fishing voyage.

Final Thoughts:

Be it for offshore or inshore, fishing is one of the most common pastimes all over the world. And to merge it with kayaking is bound to be an exciting calorie burner for us! You just need the perfect fishing kayak to kick it off!

Due to several significant reasons, many fishermen are now more inclined to use a fishing kayak instead of a powerboat. A fishing kayak is less expensive, low maintenance, flexible, and many more! A long-term wise investment for sure.

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