It is the dream of every angler to have a breathtaking experience while angling. Choosing a good kayak comes in handy in giving the best fishing experience.
Notably, there are several factors to consider when choosing a reliable kayak. Firstly, there is the aspect of the kayak type that you intend to purchase. Once you decide on the kind of kayak to choose, you will have to contend with the decision of price and size.
Apart from the size and price, there are many other considerations you will need to make. For example, you will need to know where you will go fishing, the type of water body, and its characteristics. The number of people to paddle the kayak will also give insight into which kayak model you will go for.
It would be best if you put into consideration the features of your ideal vessel. The kayak’s stability, performance, speed, and comfort should help you make the right decision.
Still, since the market has many kayaking vessels that are built explicitly for fishing purposes, choosing a model that meets your needs can be overwhelming. We make this easier for you by reviewing some of the top fishing kayaks in the market today. But before you take your vessel for an exploration, think about what to wear kayaking.
Top 5 Fishing Kayaks
Vibe Sea Ghost 130
Vibe Sea Ghost takes the editor’s choice in this review. The fishing vessel is 33” wide and 13-foot-long, made from a single piece of highly compacted Rotomolded polyethylene. It weighs around 75 pounds, making it easy to transport to various locations.
It has a perfect balance between hull stability and superior tracking. As a result, it can handle water from any unevenly flowing river and surfs. In addition, it features a reliable rudder that saves energy on long paddles, windy days, or strong currents. Ideally, the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 is comfortable for an all-day-long fishing trip.
Key features and benefits
The 33-inch wide hull, the Sea 130, offers incredible stability to all kinds of water you are out on. It does not flip over in rough conditions, on rivers, lakes, or oceans.
The extra-hull of the vibe has enough space to store everything you need for your fishing trip. The rooms have two sealed hatches with bag inserts, a rear tank, a large center console, gear racks, and two tray holders. The hatches are a great place to store your gear. Moreover, the center has more than enough room to store food or other supplies for longer trips.
It also includes an oversized tank well that has plenty of room for all the fish you catch. The tank is located behind for easy placing of fish.
Seas and oceans can be vast, and finding the right fishing spots can be very challenging. Interestingly, this fishing vessel has a unique fish finder to mount GPS technologies to find the best spots. Besides, it has two bungee paddles parks located on the sides for easy access.
The vibe sea 130 comes with a two vibe journey paddle with a polypropylene blade and a durable anodized aluminum shaft. The water cut through the water for a smoother stroke.
The snap button allows you to adjust the two-piece paddle to change the angle of the blade for better control.
Comfortable for an all-day fishing trip with its ultra-comfortable vibe Hero seat. It is a pressure-releasing core, and while paddling takes all the discomfort. The seating is adjustable between high and low—high position for looking over the water and lower for paddling for comfort.
An included foot-controlled rudder stands out as one of the best features of the vibe sea. It is best in choppy water that is difficult to paddle. The foot-controlled rudder is adjustable.
- Comfortable seating
- Great stability
- Plenty of storage
- It can be difficult to transport
- Easy to scratch. The paint comes off easily. They suggest coating the sea Ghost 130 with a vinyl protectant.
It is the smallest brand of the Catch family. However, it has more advanced features than its competitor kayaks, giving the angler a superb experience. It is a sit-on-top kayak with a dual position seating arrangement. The adjustable seats give the kayak comfort when you are fishing.
The Catch 100 is 12′ long and 34” wide. It has a capacity of 330lb. When casting the line, you can do it standing or sitting since it is stable without tripping over.
Features and benefits
The Catch 100 is made from high-density polyethylene, making the body rigid but convenient to maneuver effectively and lasts longer. Anti-slip carpet provides the grip you need on a wet floor. It is installed with a conveniently removable rudder system.
The seating system has adjustable straps positioned under the seat, and you can fasten them according to your need. The seat is also changeable from high to low and moves backward to create more space. The chair can be raised when you want to cast the line. The straps are at the center, making it more stable even when standing up.
The Watch 100 has convenient storage areas. The pocket in the rear creates room for extras lumbar insert. In addition, it has a lockable hatch that is great for keeping your valuables.
The footrests that are no-skid foam can be adjusted according to your size, making you comfortable during the long trip fishing.
It has four flush molded-in rod holders, accessory eyelets, rod tie-downs, and two paddles that give ample room to carry most of your fishing gear. The handle is designed ergonomically, making it easy to use. The Catch 100 has a set of scupper plugs that keep your kayak bone dry. It has a molded-in rest paddle and bottle holder to place your refreshment without spilling on your laps. The rear of the kayak has a tank well with bungee cords to fit your crates and other fishing gear.
- Made from high polyethylene material that makes rigid and stable
- The seating system is comfortable
- The storage compartment is spacious
- It is not efficient on heavy tides
If you are out looking for a classy, performing, and fast kayak, then you should go for The Catch 100. Its improved features make it convenient for all types of water. Moreover, the seating system gives you comfort, making it possible for you to fish for long hours.
If you are looking for comfort and performance all in one kayak, ProFish 400 has all that for you. Viking Kayaks make the kayak. It is lightweight, stable, fast, and comfortable to fish with.
The rudder is not mounted but does not compromise on the quality. The molded-in accessories such as anchor line and rod holder make it perfect for fishing.
It’s 13’3” long and 31” and a weight of 57lb. The stylish design, TacklePod, seating position, storage, and adaptableness of the accessory pod are excellent.
Features and Benefits
ProFish 400 is a sit-on-top kayak. The sides of the kayak are scalloped for efficiency and, at the same time, allowing stability. The rear is roomy and accepts the chill pod, and is covered by polycarbonate. It has rod holders in front of the cockpit that allows comfortable fishing. The cockpit is spacious, therefore suitable for paddlers of all sizes, and easy to move around. You can stand on the ProFish 400 and cast without tipping over.
The center storage has a black lid and built-in wooden boards for mounting fishfinder accessories. Under the seat, there is a small storage compartment that stores tackle boxes and other fishing equipment. You do not have to worry about your gadgets such as cameras and phones as the storage is dry. For additional storage, it has two screw hatches to install any extra packing. The kayak has six other rod holders, four at the rear and two front-facing. The tank well is big enough to hold gear or for a storage crate.
The hull is pointed to cut through the water efficiently. ProFish 400 long keel line is perfect for straight-line tracking. The flared bow help to paddle in choppy waters. For easy movement, the kayak has a webbing handle that helps in carrying it in and out of the water. The adjustable footrest that you can fasten to the size of the paddler makes sure the fishing trip is comfortable. Scupper holes that are at the lowest point of the wells keep the deck of the kayak dry.
- Has excellent performance and stability
- Plenty of storage
- The kayak is too long for river fishing
The ProFish 400 kayak works well in all waters from rivers and calm surf. It is fast and stable and comes at a great price. You can grab it for a life-changing experience.
Yellowfin 100 is a 10-foot long kayak with speed and stability. The Storage of the Yellowfin 100 at home when you are not using it is convenient owing to its length. The vibe Hero seat is comfortable when you are fishing all day long. It comes with other features such as top-loading.
Features and benefits
Vibe Yellowfin 100 is 10- foot long and a width of 32″. Besides, it weighs 57 lbs. These features make the kayak easily portable and transport it to the water.
The bow has a rigid plastic handle with some paddling on the side that makes the kayak easy to drag. Inside there is an 8-inch hatch sealed with a quarter-turn technology. There is a waterproof bag in the hatch that keeps your gadgets safe and dry.
A tackle toss tray at the central console-mounted with a cup and tray holders where you take your food and drinks from without spilling them. For the safety of your items, the kayak comes with tackle box slots secured with bungees on both sides of the seats. Under the seats, there’s more storage space to put more of your items.
There are flush-mounted rod holders at the rear of the seats with covers and two paddle holders that are bungee secured.
Yellowfin 100 has a Vibe Hero seat that gives the kayak comfort, and you can sit for long hours without discomfort. The breathable mesh fabric creates an all-weather hub that dries fast, keeping you dry throughout. Comfortable, adjustable straps on the seats support your back to a manageable position that makes you fish all day long. In addition, yellow 100 has four vibes phantom grip handles that give it a super relaxed grip, removing pinch points.
- Storage- it is portable and easy to store due to its short length and less weight.
- Although it is a small kayak, it does not compromise its comfort and stability. In the Yellowfin 100 kayak, you can do more hours of angling due to the convenience of the kayak.
- Storage space. The yak has enough storage space for fishing trips.
- The yellowfin 100 design is appropriate for water bodies such as rivers, creeks and limited fishing space due to its little speed.
- It’s not very spacious for standing paddling.
When you want a small kayak that does not compromise quality, Yellowfin 100 will get you covered. Designed for small water, it will give you value for your money.
Wilderness Tarpon 120
New wilderness Tarpon 120, a brand of wilderness system, can be described with one word, ‘more.’ More comfort, more stability, and more speed. The new wilderness is an embodiment of awesomeness. The seating system, Phase 3 Airpro comfort, is amazing.
The stability can also accommodate stand paddling. The paddler interface and the speed are at a top-notch level. Besides, the improved and some added features on the kayak make it stand out among the boats of the same class.
Features and Benefits
Wilderness Tarpon 120 is a sit- on- top kayak with a length of 12′ 3”, and 31” width. It weighs about 63lbs. The kayak has a rudder that improves stability and steering in choppy water. The unique polyethylene hull flare makes it easy to take on rough water without tipping over. The heavy Roto-molded plastic makes the kayak stable, straight track, and turns easily. The plastic is indestructible and lasts long.
The three-point adjustable Phase 3 Airpro seating system is skillfully positioned, and advanced features are calculatedly added to give the paddler a superb experience. The seating system allows plenty of air to pass through the ergonomic 3D foam and the honeycomb-vented fabric. The back pad is adaptable, and the seat can be elevated for solid lumbar support, and you can raise it when you want to cast the line.
For your refreshment, as you paddle, you put drinks on a magnetic bottle holder with closure straps that help to avoid spilling on your laps.
The wilderness is Tarpon kayak has a friendly user interface and a quick park paddle holder.
The roomy rear storage can accommodate crates, fishing equipment, food baskets, and coolers. The kayak comes with a rear loading has mesh cover. The front portable dry box is convenient for keeping your valuables such as phones, wallets, and cameras. Sectioned storage tray is perfect for organizing small items like snacks and lures. The wilderness Tarpon 120 has holders for fishing rods. The deck of the kayak has a replaceable skid plate.
- Comfortable seat
- Tracks straight
- Easy to turn
- Heavy the front hatch is leaky
- No rear bungee cords
Wilderness Raptor 120 is a comfortable, strong kayak that can be used on most water surfaces. The kayak has ample space where you put your fishing gear and other valuables. The comfy seats make it possible for you to fish for long hours without discomfort. The wilderness Raptor 120 is one of the easy-to-use kayaks.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Kayak
With all the reviews handled, the next thing is to discuss some of the factors you need to look out for when shopping for a fishing kayak. They include;
The first consideration you will need is the kayak length. You will find a variety of long and short kayaks. And while shorter models are considerably more maneuverable than more extended options, they may not be spacious enough. Still, their maneuverability makes them perfect for river fishing.
On the other hand, more extended models are faster and ideal for those who want to cover longer distances. Striking a balance between speed and maneuverability depends on your fishing environment. For example, you can sacrifice speed for maneuverability if your fishing spot has tight spaces.
Alternatively, choose a medium kayak if you will want to enjoy both characteristics. A medium kayak has a length of between 10 to 12 feet.
If you will need vehicular transportation, then the length is an ideal consideration. Consider models that will easily fit in your vehicle.
The width of a kayak determines the vessel’s stability. Unlike racing kayaks that do not require much stability, your success with kayak fishing is dependent on your stability. For fishing boats, you need to be in a standing position most of the time and fight your catch simultaneously. Can you fight your catch while also fighting the fear of falling in water?
This is why the vessel width is essential. The ability to comfortably stand up on your kayaking vessel gives you the desired elevation to cover a greater area through sight fishing. So, you can easily see your cast.
Ideally, the wider the boat, the more stable it is. You can stand in such models comfortably without the fear of falling in water. When shopping for the best kayak for fishing, avoid models with V-shaped hulls as they are susceptible to tipping. Models with flat-bottom hulls or tunnel hulls are more stable.
Consider choosing fishing vessels with widths of 30 inches or over for stability and convenience. Apart from the width, other factors such as seat position will also affect stability.
Will you be going out alone or with a friend? Some kayaks are very heavy and may require more than one person. Since you will need to occasionally carry your kayak to and from your truck and from your car to the water body and back, consider the weight of the vessel you intend to purchase. Opt for a model that you can comfortably carry if you will be all alone.
A heavy vessel could discourage you from going for your fishing adventures as frequently as you would wish. Indeed, no one wants to invest their hard-earned resources in a product they will not use.
However, in as much as you would want to go as lightweight as possible, choose a vessel that is at least 100 pounds heavier than you.
The hull depth of a fishing vessel may not be a big problem for shorter people. But taller people will undoubtedly consider hull depth in their choice for the best fishing boat since your comfort is essential. Choose a kayak that can accommodate your legs when you sit.
Type of Kayak
Notably, there are two types of fishing kayaks, and you will need to make a choice. You can consider inflatable kayaks or solid models.
We have sit-in and sit on top models. The structural difference lies in their names. For sit-in options, you have your feet slightly deeper in the hull. So, you will basically be sitting in the kayak. On the contrary, the seat in a sit-on-top kayak is slightly elevated, and you will literally be sitting over the kayak.
It is advisable to use sit-in options for the following reasons;
- They have a larger capacity to store your catch and fishing gear.
- Sit on top kayaking vessels are easier to rig and customize if you see the need.
- Getting back into a sit-on-top kayak is easier than attempting your way back into a sit-in model.
- It is easier to hop in and out of a sit-on-top kayak than to do the same in a sit-in model.
- Sit on top models provide anglers with a wider elevation angle.
- Sit on top models are not prone to flooding. They have a self-bailing feature that ensures that the water that gets in goes out again.
- A sit-in kayak puts you below the water surface, and this gives you a fishing disadvantage.
A fishing kayak is a valuable piece of equipment for every enthusiastic angler. It even becomes a piece of essential fishing equipment when you want to access fishing spots off the shore. We took our time to review some of the best fishing kayaks you can find on the market. The reviews are pretty impartial. But before you make your pick, read through the buying guide and pick the vital points. Besides, you will need to equip your vessel with some of the most essential kayak fishing gear and accessories.
Anthony has been an angler for the past 15 years. His experience makes him an invaluable asset to FISHING GEN and writes on fishing expeditions as well as fishing gear.