Best Kayaks For Fishing (Reviews & Buyer's Guide)
We all know how comfortable and convenient it is to be able to sit on your well-equipped fishing kayak while enjoying the fun having exhilarating angling experiences. Still, some of us do find it quite annoying to prepare for a kayak fishing trip.
And the biggest reason is probably that you'll have to bring along a giant kayak to your fishing destination, which is often quite challenging if you don't have a truck. Moreover, when you arrive at your destination, it's almost impossible for you to carry these giant kayaks into the water without help.
That being said, to avoid this cumbersome trouble, many fishing enthusiasts are leaning toward inflatable models due to their undeniable convenience in terms of portability and versatility.
In this post, we'll be taking a look at the best inflatable fishing kayaks and tandem fishing kayaks that are currently available on the market. Hence, if you're interested in getting one of these, you should definitely want to take a look at it.
Now, follow me, you'll find the best fishing kayaks for the money in 2023. Get important insights into the products from our reviews and decide for yourself which one is the best suited to you.
- 1. Advanced Elements AE1007-R
- 2. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
- 3. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
- 4. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- 5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T
- 6. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
- 7. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
- 8. Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Sport Kayak
- 9. Sevylor Big Basin 3 Person Kayak
- 10. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Kayak (Editor's Choice)
- 11. Wilderness Systems Radar 115
- 12. Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120
- 13. BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Fishing Kayak
- 14. Perception Pescador Pro 12 (Premium Choice)
- 15. Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Kayak
Best Fishing Kayak Reviews In 2023
Advanced Elements AE1007-R
For those who enjoy fishing and paddling on their kayak, the AdvancedFrame Convertible inflatable kayak is certainly one of the best tandem fishing kayaks out there that would satisfy you. In addition, its inflatable design might interest some of you who are interested in a convenient kayaking experience.
Furthermore, you'll find yourself relatively comfortable while paddling on the kayak with its unique aluminum ribs that help position the frame and enable better tracking. It's large dimension also boasts a lot of useful space for comfortable seats, footrests, and for storing your item boxes.
And unlike most other cheap inflatable kayaks, the product also features durable and reliable three-layered construction. Together with its multiple air chambers, this kayak helps to minimize the possibility of punctures.
|Multi-layer construction for absolute durability||A little heavy to carry alone|
|Spacious design for comfortable experiences|
|Relatively stable compared to other inflatable models|
|Useful aluminum ribs for better functionality|
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
Enjoy your quick and simple fishing fun on the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak thanks to its inflatable design. And unlike most other models where you often have to purchase an additional air pump or paddles, this one offers a complete package so you can easily pick launch it and enjoy kayaking right away.
With this inflatable tandem fishing kayak from Intex, you'll have access to all the tools that you'll need to get started. These include the kayak itself, two aluminum paddles, a high-pressure air pump, all that can be fitted inside a small carry bag, which also comes along with the product. In addition, the kayak also boasts a removable skeg which helps you maintain your direction while paddling.
As for fishing, the kayak is suitable for calm waters and some light catches. This is mostly due to its limited size, which makes it difficult for two people to fit all their gear inside and still find it comfortable. And while you still have the front gear net to keep your stuff, it's recommended that you remove one seat for a comfortable kayak fishing experience for one person.
|Quick and easy to inflate||Not great for tandem fishing|
|A repair kit is included|
Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
With a limited budget, it's hard to find a good fishing kayak, especially when you're aiming for the tandem design. However, you'll definitely be delighted with our great discovery in the Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak.
Featuring a durable and stable construction from high-density polyethylene, the kayak is suitable for fishing in various locations. In addition, the broad profile also boasts a lot of space for comfortable seating and footrests.
However, if you love having lots of mounting and storing options, then this particular fishing kayak won't be able to satisfy you with its limited options. Nonetheless, if you only plan on fishing alone, you'll still find the kayak having enough storage and rod holders to work with.
|Good value for the price||Lack of certain storing and mounting options for tandem fishing|
|Durable and reliable construction|
|Works great in different water conditions|
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
And to get rid of the thoughts that inflatable kayaks are not great for fishing, you can always go for the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, which offers awesome features for both tandem fishing and recreational paddling.
Having said that, you can easily find this product that has all the useful features that aren't available on most of the devices out there. These include two-rod holders on the sides which also act as the pumping valves, two fully-adjustable seats with well-cushioned backrests and even two adjustable footrests for optimal comfort.
The complete package also features two skegs for both shallow and deep waters. Hence, you'll find yourself having better tracking on the kayak. Not to mention that you'll also have access to the included paddles and air pump, which are all you'll need to get started.
|Easy to use and convenient||Could be a little larger to provide more space|
|Created for both fishing and paddling|
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T
If you wish to enjoy a comfortable two-people fishing experience, it's recommended that you take a look at our absolute choice for the best tandem fishing kayaks a࠴he Vive Kayaks Skipjack 120T.
This product comes with a suitable length of 12.2 feet and a decent weight of 72 pounds. This allows enough space for two people to comfortably sit on and fish. It's also not too bulky to make carrying a major challenge since you can still mount it on top of your car and travel with ease. Moreover, the product is able to withstand a maximum weight of 500 pounds, which allows it to support at least two users.
As for the interior, the tandem fishing kayak features two fully-equipped seats with many available features for anglers. Here, you'll find yourself comfortably sitting on the well-padded seats. Each of you also has access to a waterproof hatch and bungee tie-down storage options at the front and rear of the kayak. Plus, there are also a cup holder and four mounting points for each user to freely customize their personal experiences.
|Solid and well-constructed||A little heavy to lift up|
|Impressive weight support|
|Fully-featured for two users|
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
To enjoy simple and easy kayaking fishing experiences, this inflatable product from Advanced Elements is always the most efficient choice. That being said, you can simply keep this small and lightweight kayaks at the back of your car, then travel to any location as you wish. And upon arriving, just open it on the floor and start pumping air into it. Within just a few minutes, you'll have your kayak ready to use.
Moreover, with the innovative three-layer construction in the AdvancedFrame kayak, users will also find themselves completely protected from punctures, which is always the main concern for inflatable products.
On top of that, the foldable aluminum ribs will ensure that the kayak stays in shape and maintain a good direction while you're fishing, even on rough waters.
And last but not least, the product also features a tandem design, so you can always bring along your companion to double the fun. Just keep in mind that with the tandem setups, the feet resting features will be slightly reduced.
|Easy to use||Seat quality could be better|
|Durable and reliable construction|
|Impressive comfort and convenience|
|Fits easily in the useful carry bag|
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
For personal use, you can hardly find another inflatable kayak that offers the same level of comfort and convenience as the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak.
Here, the product features the sit-inside design but still manages to provide a decent sitting area for you to freely move around. In addition, the well-padded backrest with adjustable straps will ensure absolute comfort.
Moreover, unlike other inflatable kayaks which often lacking in terms of storing features. The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak offers a convenient cargo net where you can store your fishing gear and paddles while keeping your hands free.
And last but not least, you'll also have access to plenty of useful accessories including a high-pressure pump, a repair kit, and a carrying bag, which are all you need to start.
|Easy to carry and use||Lack of room for leg rests|
|Complete accessories package|
|Convenient and comfortable|
|A useful cargo net for storing|
Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Sport Kayak
nterested in having a good recreational or fishing trip with friends? Then you might want to consider this inflatable sport kayak from Sea Eagle for both its functionality and portability.
The entire folded package will only measure at 31 x 19 x 8 inches and can easily fit the kayak inside your trunk for a quick trip to the lake. And when being inflated, It boasts a decent size of 144 x 32 x 10 inches. Together with an impressive maximum weight of 650 pounds, you and your friends would find it relatively comfortable while traveling on it.
However, despite being more than capable of having three people on it, the kayak only features two seats. In addition, there are no additional straps to mount another seat, even if you have one to spare. This can be really discouraging if you really want to travel and fish with three members.
|Convenient and comfortable||Doesn't feature a third seat|
|Useful skegs to keep it straight|
|Impressive weight support|
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
And speaking of which, if you really want to enjoy a comfortable 3-person kayaking experience, then the Sevylor Big Basin is the way to go. That being said, the product offers an impressive size of 147 x 37 inches when being inflated, which boasts a lot of space for comfortable seats and footrests.
Unlike the Sea Eagle 370 Pro, this one comes with three separate seats with adjustable straps for you to freely adjust. This allows three people to comfortably sit inside the kayak and enjoy recreational paddling with ease. However, you should also consider the weight limit, which is only 490 pounds on this one.
In addition, for fishing only, it's recommended that you go with two people and remove one of the seats to make space for your tools.
|High-quality PVC construction for lake use||No pump or paddle is included|
|Multiple air chambers and tarpaulin bottom to prevent complete punctures|
|Premium Boston valve for quick inflation|
Driftsun Voyager 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
And if you don't want to waste your money on getting an additional paddle or pump, then this complete package of the tandem inflatable kayak from Driftsun is certainly a good pick. Having said that, you can quickly get in the water with the included air pump and paddles.
Moreover, like with the Sevylor Big Basin, this kayak also comes with a durable PVC Tarpaulin bottom that can prevent punctures. And the well-coated nylon fabric on the top prevents most damage from intense paddling sessions.
And while it comes with a tandem design featuring two fully-functioned seats, the product still has an excellent weight at only 27 pounds. Hence, with the included bag, you can easily carry the kayak on your own.
|Great for fishing with a friend||Not for intense activities|
|Complete package with useful tools|
|Durable and reliable build|
|Front and rear net for easy storing|
Best High-end Fishing Kayaks
Wilderness Systems Radar 115
The Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak is a recreational kayak designed for fishing. Its length is 11' 8" and has a wide, stable design that allows for easy casting and movement while fishing. The kayak also features a variety of storage options, including a large tank well in the rear, a built-in tackle storage, and a rod holder. The Radar 115 is made from durable polyethylene and is designed to be easy to transport and launch. It is suitable for both flat water and light surf.
|Stable and wide design||A little bit expensive|
|Ample storage||The kayak is relatively heavy|
|Easy to transport|
|Comfortable and Adjustable|
Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120
The Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 is a sit-on-top fishing kayak featuring Old Town's PDL (Pedal Drive System). It is designed for anglers and has a variety of features including rod holders, a built-in tackle storage, and a comfortable seat. The kayak is 12 feet long and has a weight capacity of 450 pounds, making it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. The PDL system allows for hands-free propulsion, giving the angler more freedom to focus on fishing.
|Pedal Drive System||Expensive and Heavy|
|Comfortable Seat and Built-in Tackle Storage|
|Stable Design and Durable|
|Suitable for Saltwater and Freshwater fishing|
BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Fishing Kayak
The BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Fishing Kayak is a kayak specifically designed for fishing. It features a variety of accessories and attachments to aid in fishing, such as rod holders, fish finders, and livewells. It is 12 feet long and made of high-density polyethylene, making it durable and stable on the water. It also has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds. It's suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
|Durability & Stability||A little bit expensive|
|The kayak comes with a variety of attachments and accessories||Limited space|
|It has a weight capacity of up to 460 pounds|
|Easy to transport and store|
Perception Pescador Pro 12
The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a sit-on-top fishing kayak. It is designed for anglers, with features such as rod holders, a built-in tackle storage, and a comfortable seat. It is 12 feet long and has a weight capacity of up to 425 pounds. It is made from rotomolded polyethylene, making it durable and UV-resistant. It is also equipped with a paddle keeper, foot-controlled rudder system, and a large front hatch for storage. Overall, it is a well-designed kayak for fishing enthusiasts.
|Durable & Stable||It is heavy and difficult to transport.|
|The kayak is equipped with a comfortable and adjustable seat||Lack of dry storage|
|It has ample storage space|
|Foot-controlled rudder system|
Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Kayak
The Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Tandem Kayak is a kayak designed for two people to use at the same time. It has a hard shell, which offers more protection and durability than inflatable kayaks. It is made by Elkton Outdoors, a company that specializes in outdoor gear and equipment. It's great for long trips, fishing or just paddling on a lake with a friend. The hard shell material makes it more durable and resistant to punctures or damage from rocks or other obstacles in the water.
|Durability: The hard shell construction||More expensive than inflatable kayaks|
|The tandem design provides ample space for two people and their gear||Hard shell kayaks require more maintenance than inflatable kayaks|
|Good stability and balance|
|Paddle holders and rod holders|
|Speed: Hard shell kayaks are generally faster than inflatable kayaks|
About Our Best Fishing Kayaks
1. AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
For those who are interested in having a portable fishing kayak, the inflatable design is always considered one of the best choices. And it's particularly true with this inflatable fishing kayak from Advanced Elements, which you can easily fold up, put inside the included bag, and head out to your next fishing destination. And finally, it also comes with aluminum ribs for better stability and tracking.
2. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
If you don't want to waste your money to invest in an air pump, you might find it more convenient to purchase the whole package. And the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, which offers this option, couldn't be a better choice if you wish to have the complete package delivered to you. Having said that, the product features the same inflatable design as the AdvancedFrame, and manages to add its own high-pressure air pump to the whole package. However, you'll find it a lot confined space due to the reduced dimensions.
3. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
To be able to head out to the rough waters, it's suggested that you look for non-inflatable kayaks with a more solid build. And this is exactly what you'll get with the Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak. This 10-foot kayak comes with all the important features that you would want, such as two comfortable seats, convenient storing and mounting options, and so on. Moreover, it's also quite portable compared to other models due to its slightly reduced size.
4. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Most professional fishing enthusiasts won't prefer the inflatable designs because these kayaks often don't come with many useful features for fishing. But that's not the case with the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak if you wish to go out there and do fishing with your friends. With absolute comfort coming from the well-padded seat and adjustable footrests, you can easily find yourself relaxing on the kayak while having your rods mounted next to you.
5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T
Still, some of you might not be entirely comfortable with this short tandem fishing kayak though. And if that's the case, you should go for the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T instead. With a larger dimension, it'll be able to boast more features and functions. And most importantly, you'll find yourself enjoying the more comfortable seats.
6. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
To begin with, we have the AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements, which is considered one of the most durable and safe inflatable kayaks to work with. That being said, the product boasts a three-layer design to prevent sinking even when the outer layers are penetrated. Moreover, it also features built-in aluminum ribs to position the bow and improve tracking.
7. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
For individual use, you can always count on the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak for quick and comfortable rides. And unlike other inflatable kayaks that rarely boast any storing option, with this particular product you'll have access to the front net to store your paddle, rods, and other fishing equipment. Not to mention that the sit-in design will also offer better speed while traveling on the kayak.
8. Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Sport Kayak
Featuring an impressive size and weight capacity, the Sea Eagle 370 Pro is capable of carrying three people on it without having any problem. However, if you plan to go for a fishing trip, then you would have to go with only two people since you'll also need space to keep your equipment box. Moreover, it only comes two available seats so there's no room for a third person.
9. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak
For a comfortable 3-person kayak experience, you should go for the Sevylor Big Basin. The inflatable kayak comes with three comfortable and adjustable seats for each user to sit on. And if you need to make some space for your fishing equipment, just remove one or two seats if you want, which is quite convenient.
10. Driftsun Voyager 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak
For those who prefer tandem fishing experiences, you can always find yourself comfortable with the Driftsun Voyager. With the heavy-duty build, the kayak is suitable for both lake and small river fishing. Not to mention that the two well-padded seats will ensure that you're most comfortable while fishing or paddling on it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
· Convenient and Easy to Use
You can easily notice that the inflatable kayaks are often preferred due to their extreme convenience and portability. Therefore, all you need to do is to put your folded kayak into the trunk of your car and drive to a nearby river or lake.
It only takes as much as ten minutes for you to fully inflate a kayak and even quicker if you use an electric pump. And after that, you just need to carry your lightweight kayak along with your tools to the fishing spot.
· Impressive Weight Capacity
In addition, due to their unique design, these kayaks also come with incredible floating capability. This allows for better weight capacity, therefore, allowing you to have two or even three people on it at the same time.
· Lack of Certain Features for Fishing
However, due to the foldable design, these inflatable kayaks often come with little storing or mounting options. Hence, you'll find them quite inconvenient when it comes to fishing since you'll always have to carry your gearbox with you.
· Not as Stable or Durable as Other Models
In addition, since they're mostly constructed from light and thin materials, these inflatable fishing kayaks are not capable of dealing with tough waters. Hence, you won't have the same level of stability and durability compared to other models.
Things to Consider When Buying A Fishing Kayak
For those of you who are still unsure of their decision on getting the best tandem fishing kayaks on our list, our quick and comprehensive guide on choosing your fishing kayaks will certainly be helpful.
To start with, the thing that most people should pay attention to when purchasing their tandem fishing kayaks is definitely the design. And in this particular aspect, there are two things that you should consider.
First, you should decide whether to go for the sit-on-top or sit-inside designs. The first option, which is also the most common, offers better stability for their larger profiles and more useful features due to the open spaces. This is suitable for those who only focus on fishing with their friends.
On the other hand, if you also care about recreational paddling, then the sit-inside design should be more appropriate since it boasts better speed and more comfortable paddling experience.
Lastly, you'll also find many tandem fishing kayaks featuring the inflatable design, which offers great portability and capacity. However, many of them don't have enough features for comfortable fishing sessions. So, you'll need to consider your priorities carefully before making your decisions.
As for the dimensions of tandem fishing kayaks, yours shouldn't be less than 10 feet or more than 15 feet, with the ideal dimensions ranging between 11-12 feet. As for the width, it mostly depends on your preferences, whether you prefer speed over stability or the other way around.
Nonetheless, for fishing, it's generally recommended that you go for those with a broader profile since they offer more space for adding features and increase stability.
Seats and Additional Features
In addition, having comfortable seats with enough features for two people is also extremely important. Hence, your best tandem fishing kayaks should come with convenient rod holders, storage hatch, a well-padded seat, and the adjustable footrest for each user.
Best Fishing Kayak Brands On The Market
Top-rated Fishing Kayak Brands for Beginners
- Old Town Canoes & Kayaks
- Advanced Elements
- Vibe Kayaks
- Sea Eagle
- Perception Kayaks
- Elkton Outdoors
- Sun Dolphin
- Reel Yaks
- Riot Kayaks
- Wilderness Systems
While all the products on our list fit most of your requirements, if fishing is your main priority, then the Driftsun Voyager should be a better choice.
The product comes with a complete package for an easy start, and a solid construction so you can comfortably fish in most places. In addition, for solo fishing sessions, you can always remove the front seat and have a lot of space to keep your tools.
And that's our opinion regarding the best fishing kayaks. We also highly recommend you buy Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120, BKC PK12 Angler 12-Foot Fishing Kayak, Perception Pescador Pro 12, Wilderness Systems Radar 115, and Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Kayak. Thanks for reading and we'll see you in our future posts.