Best Fishing Kayak Review and Buying Guide

Fishing is a super fun sport, hobby, and means of sustenance. If the weather is right, there is nothing better to do than go on a little fishing expedition. Some people like to go fishing from big boats or just from the shore.

However, did you know that one of the best ways to go fishing is on a kayak? Yes, you can go fishing from a kayak, which allows you to go out on calm waters with minimal gear, paddle around and have some fun, and catch fish for dinner. Yes, do you need a special fishing kayak for this kind of fishing; the problem is that there are literally hundreds of fishing kayaks to choose from.

 They are not all of the same quality and their features can greatly differ, not to mention the price. This is why we are here today, to help you narrow down the best options for you. Let’s get right to it and take a look at some of the top picks which could qualify as the best fishing kayak out there right now.

Best Fishing Kayak Reviews

Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak

When it comes down to it, the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak is one of our favorite fishing kayaks, and one of the reasons for this is due to the innovative foot pedal system. It’s a good kayak for fishing in calm waters and for storing a lot of fishing gear.

Product Highlights

First and foremost, the coolest feature here is the pedal drive system. In other words, instead of using an oar to propel yourself, the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak uses a pedaling system, just like a bicycle. You can propel yourself forward with your feet, leaving your hands free for fishing. At the same time, this kayak comes with a one-handed rudder system, so you can steer with just one hand. It’s a very innovative and modern fishing kayak to keep in mind.

The Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak itself is 12.5 feet long, which is a good length. It makes this thing speedy and maneuverable. This kayak features a low-profile hull, one which is also fairly wide. This comes in handy when fishing because it provides you with a stable platform that is hard to tip over. The hull itself is made out of solid reinforced plastic to ensure ultimate durability. The Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak is not built for rough waters, but it should be able to withstand some punishment.

The Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak weighs 85 pounds, so it is not the easiest to transport or carry around; on the other hand, at least you know it’s made with good materials. A bit of weight also helps in terms of overall stability. This fishing kayak also comes with non-slip foot rests, so you can stand up even when they are wet, to fish standing up, as is often needed when reeling in a big catch. On a side note, this kayak has a weight capacity of nearly 500 pounds.

 The Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak is also quite comfortable to sit in, as it has an adjustable captain’s chair. What is also nice about this kayak is that it comes with plenty of storage space. It has 4 molded rod holders, areas for fish finders, and tons of cargo space, both in the front and rear, for whatever fishing tackle you plan on using. The storage spaces come with bungee cords to keep all of your belongings in place.

​The Good

Let’s put it this way, there really is not much that we do not like about the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak. It is very stable and easy to maneuver, you do not need oars to propel yourself, it has a comfortable seat and comes with plenty of storage area. When it comes to a fishing kayak, you really cannot ask for any more than that.

​The Bad

One of the only bad things about the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak is that it is very expensive. This is not something you would purchase for a one-off fishing trip.

​Pros

  • ​Great stability
  • ​Easy to maneuver
  • ​Tons of storage space
  • Rod holders included
  • Great durability

​Cons

  • ​Very expensive
  • ​Pretty heavy
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

​If you want a good fishing kayak, one that is very affordable, but still gets the job done, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is a good option to keep in mind. It might not be quite as fancy as the previous model we looked at, but it works well enough and costs only a fraction of the price.

Product Highlights

For one, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is made of high-density UV resistant polyethylene that should be able to resist some impacts, and it is resistant to the harmful effects of the sun. This particular kayak is around 10 feet long and 3 feet wide. We like how it is short and fairly wide, as this allows for easy handling and great stability. The bottom of the hull is also flat, which goes a long way in increasing stability, an important feature for a fishing kayak.

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak weighs close to 60 pounds, which is not actually that heavy for a fishing kayak. Sure, it could be lighter, and 60 pounds is not the lightest in terms of transportation, but it is manageable, plus you know that some good materials have been used in the construction. A bit of weight helps with stability too. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak also comes with chine rails to increase stability even more. Tipping this kayak over is nearly impossible. On a side note, it does have front and rear carry handles to make transportation a bit easier.

In terms of comfort, admittedly it is not the most comfortable kayak out there. It does have an adjustable padded backrest, which is not bad in terms of back support, but the seat bottom is a little hard. It could hurt your backside after a while; it’s not terrible, but it. could be better. We appreciate the multi-position footrest, which helps a bit with comfort. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak comes with a decent amount of storage space.

 It comes with two flush rod holders and one top rod holder, plus it comes with 2 x 6 inch storage compartments in the rear and center, as well as shock cords to hold down some gear.

​The Good

​We like the fact that the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is not too expensive. It certainly has a high level of durability and stability, which is appreciated when it comes to fishing kayaks. Moreover, the multi-position footrest is not bad either, and the weight of it is tolerable. The storage compartments are also convenient

​The Bad

​One thing which we do not like about the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is that it could come with more storage space. The storage space it comes with is not bad, but there could be more of it. On that note, the seat could be a bit more comfortable. It’s just not the most comfortable thing to sit on for hours on end.

​Pros

  • ​Very rugged
  • ​UV resistant
  • ​High level of stability
  • Good storage compartments
  • Not too heavy
  • Not too expensive

​Cons

  • ​Could do with some more comfort
  • ​Could use a bit more storage space
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak

​This is a middle-of-the-line kayak in the sense that it is twice as expensive as the precious one we looked at, but still just a fraction of the cost of the first option on the list. It’s a rugged, stable, and very useful kayak when it comes to fishing. It’s one of our favorite options out there no doubt.

Product Highlights

This is a fairly simple fishing kayak, albeit a very nice one. The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak is just 9 feet long, making it the shortest fishing kayak on this list today. Although this does cut down on storage space and leg room, being so short does allow for quick turns and good maneuverability. In terms of the width, it is just under 3 feet wide, which is pretty wide for a fishing kayak. It definitely helps when it comes to stability, as does the mostly flat bottom. This is not a fishing kayak that is going to tip over any time soon.

Moreover, the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak comes in at just over 45 pounds, making it the lightest kayak on this list. We like the lightweight design because it makes it easy to transport and strap to the roof of your car. The 4 easy-grip carry handles help when it comes to transportation. However, 45 pounds is not all that much in terms of weight and stability. Sure, it is still stable, but it is about half as heavy as the first option on our list, so probably a bit less stable too.

Now, this is not to say that the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak is not made of durable materials. It has a fantastic reinforced plastic hull that is highly resistant to impact and UV rays. It’s not a kayak that will fracture or crack any time soon. It also comes with multiple footrest positions, which helps in terms of comfort, although if you are a larger person, due to the short length of this kayak, you might be cramped a bit.

 The seat, at least the backrest, does have a fair amount of padding, but not the best, plus the seat is quite hard. It is not the most comfortable kayak to sit on for hours on end. When it comes to storage space, the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak comes with 2 oar parks, 2 sealed hatches with bag inserts, and a rear storage area with bungee cords. We like the specific storage spaces, but the limited size of this kayak means that there isn’t too much space to spare.

​The Good

One of the good parts about the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak is the fact that it is so stable and easy maneuver. It is short and wide, so maneuverability and stability is pretty good. The lightweight design of it makes this kayak easy to transport, plus it has storage space and a durable hull to boot. It doesn’t even cost all that much.

​The Bad

​One thing that we do not exactly love about the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak is that its short length can cause issues in terms of storage space and leg room. It’s not the best kayak if you are well over 6 feet tall – it just is not that big. Also, the seat is not the most comfortable; it can be a little too hard for some folks.

​Pros

  • ​Very durable
  • ​Super easy to maneuver
  • ​Fairly stable
  • Has decent storage space
  • Multiple foot rest positions

​Cons

  • ​May be a bit too small for some people
  • ​Seat is not the most comfortable
un Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak

If you need a really affordable fishing kayak, we would recommend going with the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak, at least as one of your main considerations. It may not be all that expensive or fancy looking, but it does work well for general kayak fishing purposes, and it does have a few features that are worth noting.

Product Highlights

The Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak comes in at a total of 10 feet long. This is a good length for a fishing kayak, as it is long enough to be fast and agile, but also short enough to be easy to maneuver through the water. On that same note, this kayak is around 2.5 feet wide, which is all right. It is pretty stable, stable enough for calm waters and basic fishing needs. However, you probably should not take it on rough or fast-moving waters, nor do you want to use it to reel in a very large fishing that is giving you the fight of its life.

When it comes to weight, the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak comes in at around 44 pounds, which is fairly lightweight. The low weight of this fishing kayak makes it ideal for transportation’s sake. It’s not too heavy, so carrying from the car, and strapping it to the roof of your car, is not a huge deal.

44 pounds is also heavy enough to let us know that this kayak is made with some fairly solid materials. However, the low weight and somewhat narrow build of the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak may affect stability.

Speaking of the materials, the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak is made with high-quality reinforced plastic that is UV resistant. You should have no problems with sun damage or with minor impacts, but just don’t take it on rough waters or anywhere where there are lots of stumps, sticks, and rocks. It’s durable enough, but it’s not exactly a Panzer.

 The Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak has a padded backrest; although it cannot be adjusted for position, it is comfortable enough. Moreover, the seat is just hard plastic, which is not the best if you plan to spend hours and hours fishing. What we do like is that this fishing kayak appears to have plenty of leg room. In terms of storage, the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak comes with a large hear hatch and a medium-sized middle hatch, plus a bit of storage space in the front covered with bungee cords. It’s not the most storage space out of any fishing kayak, but it should do fine for general kayak fishing purposes.

The Good

One of the good parts about the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak is that it is very affordable. Moreover, the lightweight design is great for transportation. This fishing kayak is stable enough, but just don’t take it on rough waters. We like the padded backrest, the ample leg space, and the high-quality storage compartments too.

​The Bad

One of the things which we do not like about the Sun Dolphin Journey Fishing Kayak is the seat bottom. It is just hard plastic and frankly it’s not very comfortable, especially if you plan to spend hours fishing. Moreover, it is a bit narrow, so stability is limited. It’s not terrible in terms of stability, but far from the best.

​Pros

  • ​Good maneuverability
  • ​Lightweight design
  • ​Easy to transport
  • Good back rest
  • Ample leg room
  • High quality storage areas

​Cons

  • ​Seat bottom is just hard plastic
  • ​Could use some more storage space
  • ​Not stable enough for rough or fast moving waters
Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak

This is the final fishing kayak on our list today, but a very good one nonetheless. In terms of pricing, it’s about half as expensive as the first option we looked at, but a few hundred dollars more than any of the other options. We would call it a middle high-end fishing kayak, one that does have some nifty features no doubt.

Product Highlights

The Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is a unique fishing kayak, at least as far as this list is concerned. It comes in at just under 12 feet in length, making it the longest kayak here today. The length of this kayak makes it ideal for agility and fast movement, but it’s not the best in terms of maneuverability. It might be a bit too long to maneuver in tight spaces, but it sure does move fast.

What is cool about the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is that it comes with a foot operated rudder system. Although you cannot propel yourself with the rudder, you can steer, which does help with maneuverability.

In terms of the width, it comes in at just under 3 feet wide. We like this because it helps in terms of stability. Speaking of stability, the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak has a flat bottom and is specially designed to provide you with the required stability for stand-up fishing. It features a 34 inch beam to help stabilize it.

This kayak could actually be the most stable model on our list today. Moreover, the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is about 68 pounds heavy, which is pretty heavy and it is not the best for portability’s sake or for transportation. It does come with easy-carry handles, but you will need 2 people to carry it.

In terms of weight and stability, we like the heaviness of this fishing kayak because it does help when it comes to stability. This kayak is both long and agile, as well as wide, a bit heavy, and very stable. It really is perfect for standing up. Also, due to the fact that it is quite large, it does have ample leg room and is great for taller people, plus the large size doesn’t hurt when it comes to storage either.

Speaking of storage, the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak comes with a very large front hatch, a medium size middle hatch, and a large corded rear section for tons of storage space. When it comes down to it, this kayak has more storage space than any of the other options on our list today. What we also like is the comfortable seat.

 It looks like a miniature camping chair mounted on the top of the kayak; it has a fairly well-padded seat and backrest, plus it is adjustable, thus allowing for a high degree of comfort. On a side note, the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is made of solid plastic; it should not puncture, crack, or suffer from UV-related damage within reason.

​The Good

The good part about the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is that it is quite large. It has ample storage space, great leg room, and it is quite agile too. It’s fairly long, so you can really move in it, plus it has several features which help with stability. It’s also a comfortable kayak thanks to the great seat which it comes with.

​The Bad

​One of the only bad parts about the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is that it is fairly expensive. Moreover, the weight does make it a bit hard to carry and get on the roof of your car.

​Pros

  • ​Agile
  • ​Lots of leg room
  • ​Tons of storage space
  • Wide with a special beam for stability
  • Solid hull for durability
  • Foot rudder system for easy steering
  • High level of comfort

​Cons

  • ​A bit heavy and hard to transport
  • ​Slightly on the expensive side of things

Fishing Kayak Buyer’s Guide

Before you go out and buy a fishing kayak, there are some considerations you will want to keep in mind. So, let’s go over the most important considerations.

Weight

First of all, the weight of the fishing kayak in question is important; the heavier the fishing kayak is, the more stable it is going to be. Simply put, if it is heavy, it will be much harder to tip over, which is a good thing for this kind of kayak. On the other hand, a heavy kayak is one that is hard to carry and get on and off the roof of your car. It is a bit of a tradeoff.

Length

The length of the fishing kayak is another important factor to pay attention to. The shorter the kayak is, the easier it is to transport. Also, a short kayak tends to be easy to maneuver due to the limited length. On the other hand, a short kayak is usually not too quick in terms of movement, but when it comes to fishing, you really don’t need a long kayak. The length will affect how much leg room you have.

Overall Stability

Your fishing kayak should have a fairly flat underside, it should be fairly wide, and be decently heavy too. An additional beam or two for stability is good as well. The point is that you do need a stable platform, especially if you plan on standing up while fishing.

Leg Room

You want to have decent leg room. There is nothing worse than being cramped in a fishing kayak. Make sure to get one that is long enough to fit your size with ease. This will also make it much easier to paddle and maneuver.

Storage

Another important consideration is how much storage space there is. Generally speaking, for fishing kayaks, you want there to be one or two moderately sized hatches that can be closed and sealed. Having a front and/or rear storage area that is covered by bungee cords is good. Either way, you need to have enough room to store rods, tackle, and other fishing gear.

The Hull

Now, fishing kayaks are not built to handle too much punishment or rough water. They are really only meant for calm waters. With that being said, getting a fishing kayak with a solid plastic hull that can take some bumps is pretty important. Having a material that is resistant to UV damage does not hurt either.

Propulsion

Generally speaking, most fishing kayaks still require the use of an oar or paddle for movement. However, more expensive options might come with a pedaling option, kind of like a bicycle, which removes the need for an oar. This is a pretty cool addition if you have the money to spend. At the same time, some fishing kayaks come with rudders that can be used for easy steering.

Seating and Comfort

Having a comfortable seat is important as well. Something that is padded and adjustable will undoubtedly make your fishing expedition more enjoyable.

Fishing Rod Holders

Simply put, some rod holders will come in handy if you want to fish more than one pole at a time, or if you want to move forward while dragging a lure behind you.

FAQ

What is a fishing kayak?

A fishing kayak is a special kind of kayak designed for fisherman. They are designed for stability, often so you can stand up and fish. They also come with storage space and rod holders for your fishing gear.

What is a good length for a fishing kayak?

When it comes to fishing kayaks, anything between 8 and 12 feet should be fine. You need it to be a certain length for leg room and storage, but you don’t want it to be too long because it will make it harder to transport and maneuver.

Can you stand up on fishing kayaks?

This depends on the fishing kayak in question. Some are meant to be sat down on while fishing. Others come with increased stability and special non-slip standing pads, thus making it safe and easy to stand up on the kayak while fishing.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the number one pick here has to go to the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak. Yes, it is very expensive, maybe too expensive for most general purposes. However, it is very stable, it has a solid build, lots of storage space, and best of all, you can propel yourself using your feet. It’s pretty comfortable too.

If you would like something a bit more cost effective, the Brooklyn Kayak Company Fishing Kayak is another superb option to go with. If you want something even cheaper for occasional use and don’t want to spend too much, but still want something that works well, the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Fishing Kayak is another option that impressed us.