There are many opinions when choosing a fishing yak, every kayak you look at will have something that you want to change, customize or suit to your personality. In order to help you in your search after 50+ hours of research and testing, we have chosen the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 as the best available fishing kayak. This yak will stand the test of time and continue to be a great kayak long after next year’s models come out. Our pick has an excellent seat that’s better than most models, increased speed that adds an extra appeal and the best design we have seen.
Ocean Kayak Trident 13
The Trident 13 offers the best overall fishing kayak features with solid design, integrated extra storage, light weight, and extra comfort.
|The Ocean Kayak Trident 13 has been a staple of high-end paddling kayaks for years. It has continually been reviewed as one of the best kayaks out there and continues to impress. In our point of view, the T13’s lighter weight is a real plus; its speed is incredible in comparison to similar sized boats. As an example of its size, you can toss the T13 over your head and lug it 30 or 40 yards from the parking lot to the water, a big convenience if you don’t want to trolly it. The Trident 13 will certainly be a wet ride yet it’s proven as one of the greatest kayaks around as shown by the significant catches made from it by notable anglers. These facts and a price at $1299 (below some of its costlier high-end competition) put it over the top to take our #1 spot as this year’s pick!|
|If you want a fishing kayak that you can in no way shape or form beat for the price but you don’t want to spend over $500 there is an option for you! The Lifetime 10 foot Sport Fisher clocks in at under $550 and were surprised at how many original features this kayak comes with for the price including a spacious hull and storage space. This is a great budget option and is created for the occasional recreational and weekend kayak fisher. It retains most of the features you come to expect from a professional kayak such as added storage and stability for a very affordable price.||
|For Tighter Budgets
Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher
The Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher offers a very good design with fantastic value for the money.
|If you want an alternative that can do well in almost any water conditions including large lakes and beaches, or in small ponds and creeks, the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 is for you. A large bow hatch and a 6″ cam lock hatch give you plenty of access to the inside of the hull. An oversized tank well fits most coolers or your homemade fishing crate, and the transducer compatible scupper perfectly integrates with your fish finder. This boat comes in as a close second for us.||
Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler
The Prowler offers a less costly alternative to the Hobie, though it does not come with pedals its still riddled with value added features.
|If the outback and Prowler are not available or you want a great alternative to both look no further than the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. Wilderness Systems is famous for creating boats with stability and comfort, and they hit the mark with the Tarpon. This boat features impressive storage for multiple rods and still have space left over. It can also be used as a stand on top kayak while maintaining its balance!||Also Great
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
The Tarpon 120 clocks in at 1000 less then a pedal kayak but for this price you lose some of the functionality including the pedals and upgraded seat.
Best Fishing Kayak Report Card 2017
Our Top Picks of 2017 Sorted By Price For Convenience
Top 5 Under 750
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak
The Sea Eagle 370 Is probably among the cheapest fishing kayaks you can get, but don’t let that fool you its robust enough to make any fishing journey a good one.
$349 from SeaEagle
|The Sea Eagle 370SE presents itself as a new age inflatable kayak that is surprisingly well equipped to take you on your fishing trips with no issues. It handles nicely on smooth seas where you may wish to get fishing, to robust streams and lakes, in various circumstances, it may virtually do everything. It includes inflatable chairs which also are removable, and you can adjust them to match your sitting style better. This kayak was created to accommodate as much equipment as possible as well as three people, having a weight restriction of 650 lbs. The canoe itself, nevertheless, weighs just 32 pounds and you can pack it in a storage case for comfort. Because you don’t need to be worried about your fishing equipment being all around the place when you’re in the water, the cargo room increases the flexibility. This design has a self-bailing drain device that might end up being useful on the sea or when in white-water streams. Pace and monitoring are covered from the set of shaped skegs, that’ll ensure that the canoe slides easily over the water. If your looking to stay on the cheap side and like the portability of inflatables you can see our full list of inflatable kayaks here.|
Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher
The Trident 13 offers one of the most affordable 2 person fishing kayaks on the market if you don’t have a second the additional space is greatly appreciated for storage
$500 from Amazon
| The Lifetime Sport Fisher is an extremely stable kayak which makes fishing a breeze…With the Lifetime Sport Fisher, you receive a good sized fishing yak for the right price! It’s a great yak that’s steady and broad enough to make it feasible to operate without falling over if your stand up fishing.
It can seat as much as three people but is much more comfortable with two or only one. It includes two backrests to keep you and another cozy while out and about. This fishing yak includes numerous foot-rests for convenience that provide additional comfort not included in many base models.
It’s also light making it easy to carry overhead. It’ll maintain no more than 500 pounds which means you can bring a friend along with you. The Yak comes with multiple rod holders which means you aren’t investing your own time attempting to handle and install your holders. Two double-sided paddles are included by the manufacturer which is a nice bonus.
Old Town 10-Feet Vapor
The Old Town 10 Feet Vapor offers trusted brand name for a fraction of the cost and comes with all the bells and whistles Old Town is know for
$600 from REI
|The Old Town Vapor 10 is an easy to use, light, steady Yak that comes from a great business known to make quality items having excellent popularity. The Old-Town Vapor 10 Kayak is a good buy with customer reviews that are universally high. It is a beginner friendly kayak for individuals who would like to escape into the water. It is comfortable and steady to control and perfect for beginners.
It isn’t likely to be a kayak you use for rapids. However, it isn’t created for that. For what I used it for, it did wonderfully well. The waves were remarkably large because of the size of the river. However, it was able to cover them without a problem. In contrast to the kayaks I was using before this, the kayak was undoubtedly a lot more maneuverable, but without any negatives of similar yaks, I had seen.
Sun Dolphin Excursion SS
The Sun Dolphin Excursion is probably the most affordable kayak out there with a price tag well below its competition and great features.
$300 from Amazon
|The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 appears like a perfect Yak for the cost. This Yak is ideal for you if you’re buying an inexpensive fishing Kayak to simply begin with the sport and need extra storage accommodations and all of the accessories of a higher model like key storage pockets and super-high quality supplies. We’d suggest it to get going but when you would like anything more high level or need a excessive amount of space for that long haul we’d suggest going an additional several hundred bucks up in price-point up.|
Perception Pro 10
The Perception Pro hits above its weight class with being one of the most customized for fishing at its priced range with a big range of extras.
$730 from Backcountry
|Whether you are on the hunt for Big Mouth Bass, following reeds for whites, or trying to find the next big catch, the Pescador Pro 10.0 Kayak can get you there. Simple but complete, the Pescador has an arena designed chair that may be reclined, or it may be left within the vertical position when you are swimming out to your fishing hole. Along with the cosy chair, the Pescador Pro includes flexible base braces and firm and strong tank walls for a lot of equipment holding room. Pescador put in a lot of extra storage along with pole cases and additional space to let you modify the kayak’s rigging.|
Fishing Kayak Brand Rankings
After a lot of research we have put together a list encompassing reviews found all across the web and averaged them across all the reliable fishing products found to find the brands. This list is not a 100% accurate ranking of the brands. Please take this list with a grain of salt and use it more as a rough guide. One brand can have a kayak which is great and better then another even though it has a lower average rating then another brand so please keep this in mind.
|BRAND||Avg Rating %||Fishing K Reviews||Fishing Products||Popular (3+ Reviews)||Notes|
|1. Wilderness Systems||96%||442||11||9||-|
|2. Ocean Kayak||96%||282||10||8||-|
|3. Hobie Cat||93%||103||15||12||-|
|5. Jackson Kayak||96%||60||10||6||-|
|6. Heritage Kayaks||90%||70||4||1||-|
|7. Native Watercraft||89%||78||15||8||-|
|8. Old Town||88%||52||5||3||-|
Choosing Your Fishing Kayak
To learn how to choose a fishing kayak suitable for you, you will have to study the market carefully and find the kayak that applies to your distinct tastes and needs. Firstly let’s go through some of the materials and models of fishing kayaks so you can get familiar with what exactly you will be buying.
Models and Materials
Many different materials go into the design of a fishing kayak, but there are four very common ones, these include the single layer linear polyethylene, three layer polyethylene, fiberglass, and Kevlar-carbon, here we will evaluate their pros and cons:
1. Single Layer Linear polyethylene
Kayaks made of a single piece manufactured, are hard, resistant to abrasion and the weather. It is a very common material used for the creation of kayaks and is highly recommended since they are often more durable than the three – layer polyethylene option.
2. Three-layer Polyethylene As its name indicates it has three layers, the tough, glossy exterior provides a good glide on water. Within Three-layer Polyethylene the material is thicker making the buoyancy of the kayak better, providing thermal insulation “in this case for closed kayaks” and the inside layer is non-slip. In our opinion, the Single Layer Polyethylene kayaks are much more robust, much heavier and perhaps a bit more durable due to their rough finish. Polyethylene is the main material for the construction of the majority of kayaks on the market.
Fiberglass is a very light material, it weighs less than a kayak made from polyethylene and has excellent sliding abilities on the water. Its weaknesses include, fragile against impacts and rods, more expensive pricing than polyethylene. This material is used for the sit in models or cruise models of fishing kayaks.
4. Kevlar carbon
This material is extremely lightweight, lighter than fiberglass and more resistant. Its weaknesses include its high price and how easy it is to break, even though repair is easy. Labeled as the “Ferrari’s” of sea kayaks and ready for competition.
Types of Fishing Kayaks
|SIT On TOP or “Open”||Sit-In Closed||Pedal and Sailing||Inflatable|
|Properties||-Properties are polyethylene, fiberglass||– Polyethylene properties, fiberglass, kevlar carbon, fiberglass||– Polyethylene properties, fiberglass, kevlar carbon, fiberglass||- Rubberized fabric|
|Price||-Affordable price.||- Higher price point than an Open kayak||- Usually a higher price point than all others||- Low to high, usually cheaper then other kayaks|
|Speed||- Slower than sit in kayaks||– Faster than open kayaks||– Fast pedaling||- Slower then the average kayak|
|Weight||- Weight less then sit in kayaks unless you have many accessories||– Generally lighter than the open kayaks.||– Heavy, difficult handling, use of a truck for transport to embark and disembark.||- Usually weigh less than the average kayak|
|Notes||-They are the most popular type of kayak. -Ease of attaching accessories. -Technical expertise not necessary in its management -Safe and stable||– Less space, to attach accessories. – Need prior training: technique of paddling, buoyancy and – – Eskimo roll – Protect better from the cold||– Ease of attaching lots of accessories, as well as those that already come with them thanks to large onboard space – Usually come with a strong kayak seat – Less stress on arms since movement is done by pedaling||– Most are not suitable for fishing in the sea, however not to be too pessimistic there are some brands that were tested and said to be very comfortable and usable for fishing. These can be found in our inflatable kayaks section. Best inflatable kayak page here.|
What Will You Be Using It For?
Your next question requires you to consider exactly where and what you will be using your kayak for.
– What are your goals for this fishing kayak?
– Will you be using it on an open ocean/sea or will you be using it on a placid lake, or will you be using it on rivers and rapids?
– Will the water be warm water, will it be cold water?
– Will you be launching your kayak through the surf?
– Are you going to be okay with storage or will you need enough to camp out?
Think about your endgame, what exactly are you going to need and be honest with yourself – foresee the future. You don’t want to buy a kayak you will be upgrading from a couple of months later. Once you start thinking about your needs and writing them down slowly, you’ll start seeing that particular kayaks pertain more to you and your goals than others.
Getting a Long Fast Kayak Vs a Wide Stable Kayak
Usually, when you’re looking for a kayak, a good rule of thumb is – the longer and thinner a kayak is the faster it will be and vice versa. This has to do with physics and the effect of cutting through the water at a lower surface area. Conversely, The wider kayaks, though they are slower are much more stable which is what you should be looking for as a beginner in a fishing kayak. A lot of kayakers will find out that kayaks that seemed stable and fun to use become more mundane and slow for them after time but this is not due to the kayak itself it’s because of a kayaker’s improved abilities over time. Some people recommend finding a kayak then getting the next best model of what you thought you would need since as the kayaker gets better at stability, balance, and fishing, they’ll want more from their kayak, and the old version may no longer cut it.
Primary Vs Secondary Stability
I had a Big Game kayak that felt as if you were going to tip over every time you moved. However, you would need to drop out of it to actually tip it over.
The reason behind this is the hull’s design. It was a small v-shape at the bottom. Also, it got up and spread-out extensively and smoothly just above the water line.
Due to the buoyancy of it, the slim design at the bottom made it feel unstable. Now if you filled it right up to its weight capacity it’d remain lower while in the water and feel much less shaky.
Sit On Top Kayak Or Sit In Kayak?
Most fishing kayaks are geared to the sit on top kayak since they allow you to hold much more accessories and are much easier for bringing in fish and moving around. However there is a drawback, and that is how wet it can get within the kayak, the kayak can often fill up with water. However, with a sit-in kayak, your maneuverability is more limited since you can’t completely reel fish in and bring them within your kayak also the sit in models are a bit less stable in comparison.
An alternative is a more closed sit on top kayak which essentially has some enclosure but is not fully enclosed, so you have the ability to store things within it without the issue of too much water getting in. However, we recommend a sit on top kayak for the purpose of fishing.
Storing Your Kayak and Getting It Around
When you’re ready to purchase a fishing kayak, you’ll have many different options for storing it. Whether you want to put it in your garage or you have a shed out back to hold it, you need to take into consideration its size before you take it home. For transportation, there are a lot of different options available to you.
There are kayak trailers that are specially built only to hold kayaks, and these provide an excellent means of loading your kayak if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a roof rack. For More detailed guide an excellent resource: : www.kayaktrailersale.com
However, if you rather be more economical, a roof rack would hold a kayak well. You would need to find your exact measurements and install it on top of your car.
There are also many options for making homemade kayak trailers with a simple base these can be as cheap as $400.
A kayak bike trailer, this allows you to load your kayak onto a mini bike trailer and drive it around short distances.
Getting Your Kayak To The Launch Point
Getting your kayak to the launch point from a close location can present many gear options as well. The most popular option is a kayak cart which allows you to transport your fishing kayak on a vehicle like a dolly to your location.
Rigging Your Kayak For Fishing
The only difference between a kayak built for fishing and a kayak built for fishing are the rigging capabilities it has. Some fishing kayaks will come with nets at the front for holding items and fish, they will carry areas for your rod holders, for your tackle boxes and much more. Of course, if your a do it yourself person and want to save some money you can rig it yourself with a few power tools, and you can be on your way. For beginners, we recommend getting a kayak made for fishing, after all, custom work could cause holes and issues you would want to avoid.
Some people tend to be obsessed with having as many rod holders as they can get on a kayak and go crazy turning a kayak into something that resembles a hoarder’s attic. Avoid the urge to turn your kayak into a monster! Two or three fishing rod holders are usually plenty, and if you want more, well there’s nothing I can tell you, your addicted!
An average rod holder will have either a 4 inch round base or a two to a four-inch rectangular base.
Many of the kayak models will come with these already mounted but if not make sure you have the tools handy to be up to the task. The location of the mounts is going to be the most important consideration here. You may have a general idea of where your rod holder will go. Don’t start making holes in a great kayak before you’re sure what you want. You can make marks on your kayak with a pen and try to sit in the kayak and pretend you’re casting and putting down the rod; this will help you determine what exactly feels comfortable for you.
You can go crazy trying to organize and sort your gear into the perfect sections, colors, and areas, you can get obsessive compulsive with this. With your kayak, there is a limit to how much you can take with you, and that’s why its best to optimize to the essentials, selecting your perfect lures and favorite accessories to take out. Battle with your inner beast telling you to pack the bait holders with everything you own, use your favorite lures and the ones you have confidence in, and you can concentrate more on the fishing rather than the accessories.
The Seat is something that is overlooked by a lot of people, but after personally going through hundreds of kayak reviews I see a large pattern, the seat. The seat can make or break a kayak and is usually the most complained about accessory on a kayak. Make sure you’re comfortable in your seat and if your stock seat feels more like a second-hand yoga-mat I highly recommend you go out and choose a more expensive and usable one, your butt will thank you after an hour or so.
Wrapping it Up