How to Choose a Fishing Kayak 

The development of technology has put on the rails of the production of a variety kayak for fishing. Kayak, as a type of watercraft, confidently takes its niche. And over the past few years, their popularity has not unreasonably gained momentum. The phrase “kayak for fishing” no longer seems like something foreign and inaccessible.

Now large retailers are actively developing this category of goods and are ready to offer kayaks of different models and brands. To find and correctly buy “your” kayak for fishing, hunting in this wide range, it is necessary to delve into the details and subtleties of this fishing vessel.

Characteristics on which you need to start when choosing

fishing kayak images
fishing kayak images

What distinguishes a fishing kayak from other boats? Conscientious manufacturers make their products specifically for fishermen, taking into account all their needs. Between the expressions “kayak for fishing” and “kayak, from which you can fish” you can not always put the sign “equal”.

Boat dimensions

Speed, stability, and maneuverability depend on the size of the boat. In small water areas (rivers, canals, small lakes) a wide and short kayak (3 – 3,7 m) will be the best option. On the big open water keeping the chosen direction on such a kayak becomes problematic. It’s worth giving preference to the vessel with a length of 4m and more. Fishing dictates certain requirements to the stability of the boat, and therefore to its width. The width should ensure comfortable boarding. Here it is necessary to take into account the physique of the rider. A fishing kayak must necessarily be stable in both sitting and standing positions.

  • Type of construction and material.
  • Features of transportation and storage.
  • The size of special compartments for gear and things.
  • The presence and convenience of the fisherman’s chair, footrests.
  • Special places for spinning rods and rod holders.
  • Oar holders.
  • The presence of tuning (straps, fasteners, cup holders).
  • The presence or opportunity to install foot pedal drive.

Serious manufacturers produce fishing kayaks for sale in the most elaborate configuration. But some models imply retrofitting to meet your needs. Such a variant will be cheaper.

Accessories and additional equipment typical of fishing kayaks:

  • Rod holders;
  • A platform for an echo sounder;
  • Accessory mounting system with rails;
  • Mooring bollard;
  • Oar pouch;
  • Universal mounting pads;
  • Consoles for comfortable stand-up fishing;
  • Roller anchor systems;
  • Onboard and under-seat organizers

Important design features of kayak for fishing

inflatable kayak for fishing
inflatable kayak for fishing

The geometry of the bottom, that is, the part that is most in contact with the water. If you look at the kayak from the front, the cone shape of the bottom can be sharp or more rounded. A sharp cone provides good speed but can contribute to the tipping of the boat, which will prevent active fishing. A rounded hull design, on the other hand, is found in most fishing kayaks and is the best option for both active and passive fishing.

The bottom deflection line or rocker of the kayak. If you look at the side of the kayak, the bottom line can be straight. This indicates a fairly flat bottom and therefore a stable design, which is important in fishing rafting. The greater the degree of bottom curvature (big rocker), the more maneuverability, but less speed. The big rocker is characteristic of the outdoor models and is rarely found in fishing kayaks.

The foot platform (footsteps) should be present in all fishing kayaks. It plays an important role as it affects comfort while fishing. The footrest is designed to distribute the rider’s weight along the entire length and width of the boat. Helps transfer the energy of the paddles to the kayak, which contributes to better controllability and greater speed of the kayak

Types of kayaks for fishing

Plastic Kayaks.

kayak fishing for beginners
kayak fishing for beginners

Plastic kayaks feature a one-piece hull and exhibit a variety of shapes and sizes. The most affordable option is the polyethylene kayak, a single-ply construction. Multilayer high-tech plastic models are somewhat more expensive. Between the layers of plastic is a foam material that provides additional rigidity and buoyancy to the vessel.

The pros of plastic fishing kayaks:

  • Excellent sailing qualities;
  • Stability, maneuverability, controllability;
  • Good carrying capacity;
  • Resistant to mechanical damage;
  • easy care;
  • Rich equipment, thinking down to the smallest detail.


  • Weight;
  • Transportation and storage;
  • Price.
  • Due to a large number of advantages, many anglers around the world prefer these designs. A plastic fishing kayak sets a whole other level of fishing.

Collapsible Kayaks

Collapsible models have gained enough popularity among kayak anglers. They are easy to store in urban conditions, quick to assemble and disassemble on the shore, affordable

Pedal-powered kayaks for fishing

Kayaks with the presence or possibility of a pedal drive make them ideal for many types of fishing. Moving the kayak back and forth is done with the feet, thus freeing up the user’s hands for the rods. Depending on the design, the pedals drive the propeller or paddles under the bottom of the boat. Such foot control is capable of accelerating the kayak up to 10 km/h. The pedal assembly is easily retracted when transporting the boat. In shallow water, the drive with the propeller can be easily lifted and the blades can be spread apart and pressed against the bottom of the boat.

Kayaks for rivers and lakes

sit in kayak fishing
sit in kayak fishing

If you use a kayak on regular rivers and lakes, don’t opt for long sea kayaks. Take into account the size of your vehicle, the effort it takes to transport and get the craft to the water. Extra centimeters are unnecessary if you do not plan to go to sea. On small water, a long kayak (from 4 m) will play against you. Here smaller sizes will be preferable.

Single-seater kayaks for fishing

Single-seater fishing kayaks can be found in the lines of almost all brands. The growing interest in this type of activity forces manufacturers to follow fashion trends. Today the market is ready to offer fishing kayakers single models for all tastes and wallets: from the simplest Chinese “inflatables” to high-tech plastic kayaks from the world’s leading manufacturers. 

2 person kayak for fishing

It’s not just single-seater models that have won the love of kayak anglers. The two-seater options allow you to bring a like-minded person aboard. The two-seater fishing kayak can be operated by one or both paddlers. Such boats are equipped with two seats and can easily be converted to a solo configuration. Usually have increased size and carrying capacity, more roomy storage. 

Motorized Kayaks for fishing

Today’s kayaks involve more than just paddling or pedaling the vehicle. More and more often there are models which allow mounting a motor into the boat. Place the motor unit in the stern or instead of the pedal drive.

Inflatable kayaks for fishing

In our country, the most common type of fishing boat is still inflatable. Undoubtedly, they have several advantages:

  • Low weight;
  • The convenience of transportation and storage;
  • Price.

Along with these advantages, inflatable structures have serious disadvantages:

  • Large sailing;
  • Poor directional stability;
  • Low speed and controllability;
  • The danger of going out on the big water;
  • Absence of foot stops;
  • Poor equipment.

Related products for the fisherman

Choosing the right kayak for fishing – half the battle. No less important for the angler are related products and accessories.

The paddle. On it depends fatigue of the kayak and speed of movement on the water surface. The price is directly related to material manufacturing. The simplest and cheapest paddles have an aluminum shaft and plastic blades. Such paddles are quite heavy and not always durable. Composite paddle (fiberglass, fiberglass)

Much more expensive, but stronger and lighter. Carbon is the most high-tech material. Provides the oar maximum stiffness at minimum weight. At fishing paddles often have a measuring scale on the mast, which allows you to quickly know the size of the trophy.

pfd for kayak fishing
pfd for kayak fishing

PFD for kayak fishing. It should be as comfortable as possible and not interfere with paddling. Fishing vests usually have a camouflage design and have a lot of pockets.

Clothing and shoes. When choosing to clothe for fishing, you need to consider the time of year and general climatic conditions. Now in a large range of special suits for kayakers from innovative breathable materials. They protect from wind and splashing, without constraining the movements when paddling. Neoprene socks and gloves give a feeling of comfort on cold days.

The echo sounder is an important addition to the kayak, allowing it to better navigate in the water area and find the fish habitats. Most fishing kayaks are designed to use an echo sounder.

Kayak fishing is an effective and exciting way to catch fish. Unlike the usual motorboat, it allows you to feel part of the environment. No motor noise, no exhaust fumes. Total relaxation and immersion in nature. Buy a fishing kayak – it’s an opportunity to go to places inaccessible to a motorboat, to paddle in the reeds and shallow water, to explore the marshlands, and discover new reserved areas. Modern kayaks are multifunctional, high-quality boats focused specifically on fishing. The price of fishing kayaks varies greatly and is directly proportional to the functionality of the boat, its reliability, quality of materials, and workmanship. Kayaks are from the world’s leading brands made of high-tech materials – it’s a different world! You won’t want to go back to the inflatable boat.

Read more about fishing on a sup

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