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Best Fishing Kayaks

Last Updated: January 24, 2020
Nancy Reagan
Product Review by Nancy Reagan

All experienced fishermen/women know that we lean heavily on two things when we are fishing: our equipment and our instincts. You can’t buy better instincts, as they can only be acquired and honed through countless hours on the water or dozens of catches that increase your experience and knowledge.

However, there is always room for improvement from an equipment standpoint.

If you fish from a kayak, you know that this is especially true since you need to be fast, agile, and efficient.

In a perfect world we would all have the perfect equipment and unlimited money to spend on it, this is simply not the case with many that decide to take up kayak fishing.

We also know that you will most likely have a budget when it comes to fishing gear, unless of course you fish professionally for a substantial income.

Even if you don’t have a ton of money to drop on a fishing kayak, you can still find hidden gems that do what you need them to do on a budget. So in this round-up review, we have provided you with what we think are the best fishing kayaks.

Our Reviews

1

Vibe Kayak Sea Ghost 110

The Sea Ghost 110 kayak is another model from the manufacturer Vibe. The Sea Ghost 110 is known to offer a unique mix of speed, agility, and stability because of its size, measuring in at 11 feet long.

Though it’s a large canoe, it can easily navigate smaller and more tight spaces of water. This would be a very suitable canoe to use if you were looking for something to take you out on a river or pond.

The hull of this kayak is advanced and designed to cut cleanly through the water and provide additional balance. It also has a rudder system which increases the amount of control that you have while steering.

It’s clear that this kayak isn’t just for fishing enthusiasts, you can have fun with this equipment regardless of your interests. The rudder system is designed to conserve your energy so that you can spend more time casting and fishing and less time exerting energy on rowing and steering.

The seat of this kayak is designed for comfort more than some others, so you shouldn’t have a problem spending long days on the water and maintaining a level of comfort. This kayak is great for the fishing enthusiast that loves to spend long days out in their vessel.

Pros

  • Excellent stability
  • There are two flush-mount rod holders on the kayak, so you can have multiple lines cast at once
  • Four integrated gear tracks to allow you to customize your rigging
  • Toe-controlled rudder system
  • The center console provides extra storage
  • The specially-designed seat is optimized for maximum comfort

Cons

  • Heavy compared to others
  • Not the best for portability
2

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK219 12-Foot Kayak

The UH-TK219 12-Foot Kayak is one of the largest kayaks we’ve featured on our list, it has a 3 person capacity and comes in at just under $1000.

Due to its large capacity, the UH-TK219 12-Foot Kayak is more than suitable for either a large group or for a day spending time with family and friends out on the water. The versatility factor of this kayak adds to its value and opens up a lot of possibilities.

Typically with kayaks of this size, you may find you have trouble gracefully navigating through the water. However, we’re happy to report that for its size, this kayak is pretty agile. It’s not “lightweight” per se, but it is surprisingly flexible for such a large kayak.

This kayak measures 12 feet 2 inches and has a maximum weight capacity of 440 pounds, which is perfect for any small family or fishing group.

Due to the size of this kayak and the way that it’s constructed, it can remain stable even in choppy waters or during windy days. That means that you can take your fishing voyage to larger bodies of water such as a large lake, or even on the ocean.

One of the peripheral benefits to the size of this kayak is the fact that there’s ample room for additional storage.

The kayak also features multiple fishing rod mounts for you or your fellow fishermen. These extra mounts can be used to troll for fish while you cast with your central pole.

Some additional extras that are included with the UH-TK219 12-Foot Kayak, are two paddles and two seat inserts.

Pros

  • Larger size with multiple rod holders
  • Excellent storage
  • Waterproof storage areas
  • 4 integrated handles for easy portability
  • Rigid body

Cons

  • Seating can be uncomfortable for some
3

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100

Another fantastic kayak by Vibe is the Yellowfin 100, which measures a foot longer than the Skipjack coming in at 10 feet.

In addition to the added length, this kayak comes in a little bit heftier than the previous Vibe model. Which is no bad thing, and some fishermen might prefer this, as it may help to increase stability.

Like the Skipjack kayak, the Yellowfin 100 comes with excellent storage options and four-rod holders, but unlike the Skipjack, it also comes with the added bonus of four handles for easy portability, and adjustable footrests.

Another added bonus of the Yellowfin 100 is the color options, it has significantly more than the previous model.

All this versatility means that it could be the perfect solution for the fisherman who wants a kayak that can pretty much do it all. The added comfort options address all the concerns from the previous model from Vibe while being around the same functionality and price.

Pros

  • Only weighs 57 pounds
  • Four rod holders included
  • Adjustable footrests
  • The “Hero Seat” offers a good level of comfort
  • Multiple storage options
  • This kayak features a handy tackle tray so that you can easily access and store your tackle
  • Four integrated handles for easy transportation and carrying

Cons

  • Not for use by multiple occupants
  • Signs of wear and tear may show faster than some other models
4

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

The SkipJack 90 kayak from the company Vibe, is ideal for those who both enjoy the sport of kayaking and the sport of fishing. It’s well-known for a smooth and comfortable ride.

Available in 4 different colors, it looks great as well. The features and functionality are undeniable with the added bonus of built-in storage space and four-rod holders. As well as the above 1 paddle is also included.

This is a 1-person kayak that is designed to be lightweight and quick. If you are looking for something large and more stable, this probably isn’t the best kayak for you.

That’s not to say that this kayak isn’t stable, it is. However, if stability is at the forefront of your mind, there are larger kayaks out there that are better in terms of stability.

The SkipJack 90 kayak is capable of some pretty impressive versatility. It can be used in rivers, lakes, and even the ocean. It has enough stability to stay upright in the face of moderate waves. You can also stand up and fish in this kayak if you so desire.

In terms of dimensions, the width of the SkipJack 90 kayak is 32 inches, which is pretty typical. The weight capacity is listed at 300 pounds.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Leak proof
  • Lightweight, durable design
  • Excellent versatility
  • Easy to transport
  • Plenty of gear-mounting options

Cons

  • Can be cramped for larger individuals
  • Isn't perfectly suited to the open ocean
5

Saturn Pro-Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak

When it comes to inflatable vs. rigid kayaks, all it really comes down to is personal preference. Each type of kayak has benefits, and suitability will vary between anglers, and this kayak by Saturn is a less-typical option since it is inflatable.

The benefits of an inflatable kayak are somewhat obvious. Inflatable kayaks are easy to store and transport since they are compact when not inflated, whereas rigid kayaks are a little bit more challenging to store and transport since they are heavy and always take up a lot of space.

A lot of fishermen might find that an inflatable kayak is more suitable for their needs, and compatibility wise works quite well as an accessory to an RV or camper. It can fit almost anywhere and is easily deployed with only a little bit of preparation.

With an inflatable kayak, you also have no need for access to a dock, and since most people don’t have a dock, this could be a practical option for the more pedestrian fisherman that needs something comfortable, affordable, and portable to use for their kayak fishing trips.

This 12-foot kayak has a 2-person capacity and can be easily transported by a single person.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Easy portability
  • Easy set-up
  • High-quality, durable material used throughout

Cons

  • Not the best choice for those needing a rigid body

How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayaks

Picking a fishing kayak isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do, so before we get into specifics, there are some general questions that you first need to ask yourself.

The answers to these four questions are going to shape your final decision on what fishing kayak will best suit your needs.

Questions to ask yourself before choosing a kayak:

  • What type of water will you be fishing on?
  • What type of fish are you going to be fishing for?
  • What is the temperature of the water you’ll be fishing on?
  • Do you want a kayak that is fast and agile or slow and stable?

If you can answer these four questions with authority, you are well on your way to selecting an excellent fishing kayak.

It’s essential to keep your answers in mind as you browse through the different products we’ve listed, that way you can be continually comparing the features against both your requirements and the pros and cons of other kayaks.

To be honest, there’s no right answer to – what is the best fishing kayak? Especially when it comes to personal preferences, it’s as simple as looking for any features that you feel you may need, or even things like seating that might make your fishing trip that much more comfortable.

Kayak Type

This is probably the most crucial consideration. You want to make sure that you have the right kayak type for your style of fishing. If you buy a kayak that is intended for use on large bodies of water, but you prefer fishing in small rivers and ponds, then it’s probably not the best choice.

Body Type

The kayak’s body shape is much more important than you might think. It’s going to play a significant role in your comfort, maneuverability, and overall ability to fish as well as you possibly can.

Stability

If tipping is a concern for you, you’re going to want to make sure that your kayak has a high stability rating.

If you prefer to be more agile than stable and want something more lightweight that is easy to maneuver, you can go with a kayak that has less stability. It’s all going to depend on what you feel personally comfortable with in the long run.

Transportability

This is going to play varying levels of importance depending on who you are, how far you travel, and how often you need to move your kayak over long distances.

Kayaks that don’t have good transportability can cause big headaches and be a considerable inconvenience.

The goal is to get you out on the water ASAP, you don’t want to have to be waiting around for things or struggling to move your kayak around. Make sure that this is one of the first features that you look at if you are someone that transports your kayak a lot.

Recap

Out of all the kayaks in our list, we identified one kayak that meets all the criteria that we would look for in a quality fishing kayak.

The winner of our search for the best fishing kayak under $1000 is the Brooklyn Kayak Company’s 12-foot kayak. We reviewed some great kayaks in our search, but the versatility of this kayak has really made it stand out above the others.

You can actively cast, reel in, or troll with multiple lines at once. You can also bring your fellow fishermen or family along with you with the extra seating available.

It has all the necessary storage options and has the potential to be more than just a fishing kayak. It’s a fun boat with excellent stability and agility, and it satisfies every need that you might have as a kayak fisherman.

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