Best Fishing Kayak Reviews 2017 – Top 10 Picks

best fishing kayaks featuredIf you’re an avid fisherman, you probably know that you can fish from the shore, from a motorboat, or from a kayak. Fishing from a kayak has many benefits over fishing from a motorboat, which will be explained in further detail below. If you’re looking to enhance your fishing experience by purchasing a new fishing kayak, make sure not to skip over the list of considerations when buying one. We have searched the internet and came up with reviews for the best fishing kayaks on the market. Here it is: everything you need to know before buying.

 

Top 10 Best Fishing Kayaks Comparison Table

Product Name

Body Material

Size

Weight Capacity

Our Rating

Price

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Fishing KayakSun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Fishing KayakPolyethylene

10 ft.

250 lbs

4

$$$

Lifetime 10 Sport Fisher Tandem KayakLifetime 10 Sport Fisher Tandem KayakHard Shell

10 ft.

500 lbs

4.5

$$$$$

513x8Y3KqML._SL1000_Lifetime Tamarack 120 KayakPolyethylene

10 ft.

275 lbs

5

$$$

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13Ocean Kayak Prowler 13Polyethylene

13 ft.

475 lbs

5

$$$$$

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10Polyethylene

10 ft.

325 lbs

4

$$$$

Intex Explorer K2 KayakIntex Explorer K2 KayakRubber

10 ft.

350 lbs

4.5

$

Useful UH-TK181 Fishing KayakUseful UH-TK181 Fishing KayakPolyethylene

10 ft.

340 lbs.

5

$$$$$

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing KayakSun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing KayakPolyethylene

10 ft.

250 lbs.

4

$$$$

Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish KayakSevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish KayakPolyethylene

10.5 ft.

360 lbs.

4

$

Lifetime Manta 10 Tandem KayakLifetime Manta 10 Tandem KayakHard Shell

10 ft.

500 lbs

4

$$$$

Benefits

Peace and Quiet

With a kayak, you don’t have to deal with the noise coming from the motor. Not only is it more relaxing for the angler, the lack of noise won’t scare away the fish.

More Access

Kayaks are small and easy to maneuver, so you can get in and out of small places easily. With a motorboat, you have less access to little nooks and crannies.

Economical

With a kayak, you don’t need fuel to run it. There is virtually no maintenance, besides cleaning it every once in a while. You won’t need to save up in case of big repairs, storage fees, registration, and insurance which are common added stresses on your wallet if you own a fishing motorboat. Motorboats are also harmful to the environment.

Convenience

Kayaks are much easier to store and transport than a motorboat. Hard-shelled kayaks can be roped on top of your vehicle with your other gear, and inflatable ones can easily fit into a hand bag inside your trunk.

Considerations

Type of Kayak

  • Sit-on-top kayaks do not have an enclosed cockpit. They are designed with drain holes in the bilge so that water that enters the cockpit may escape. Sit-on-top kayaks are built with a double-hull, so there is an air space between the inner and outer hulls making the craft unsinkable. These kayaks are popular, but they have poor secondary stability and usually don’t have a skeg or rudder to help maintain course. Sit-on-top kayaks are great for calm waters on calm days.
  • Recreational kayaks have enclosed cockpits and soft-chined hulls. They have a single-hull construction that usually does not feature bulkheads or holds. These kayaks are also good for calm waters. They have better secondary stability than sit-on-top kayaks.
  • Day-touring kayaks look longer and slimmer. They have efficient hull designs that allow the angler to gain greater speed with less paddling effort. However, these kayaks have less initial stability. Day-touring kayaks are made to travel long distances and can manage rough water. Although they have smaller cockpits, they usually offer bulkheads, holds, and watertight hatches for better floatation in case you capsize, as well as dry storage space for all your gear. Day-touring kayaks usually have a retractable skeg or rudder to help in tracking.

Initial vs Secondary Stability

  • Initial stability is a measure of how stable a kayak is when it is sitting upright. Generally speaking, wide kayaks and soft-chined kayaks have more initial stability than narrow kayaks and hard-chined kayaks.
  • Secondary stability is the measure of how stable a kayak feels when it is leaned onto its side. Generally speaking, narrow kayaks and hard-chined kayaks have better secondary stability than their wide and soft-chined counterparts.

Length vs Width

Long hulls are faster than short hulls that have the same width because a longer waterline length translates into speed. However, long kayak hulls are harder to maneuver than short kayak hulls.

Type of Construction

  • Polyethylene kayaks are the heaviest type of construction. However, they make up for the weight by being tough and great for rocky shorelines and around oyster beds. They have less efficient hull designs, are slower, and require more paddling effort.
  • Wood kayaks are much lighter than polyethylene ones and have stiffer hulls, which make them fast and take less effort to paddle.

Top 10 Fishing Kayak Reviews

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Fishing KayakThe Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is 10’ in length and weighs 44 pounds. It is made of a rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene and features a P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) which can be used as extra storage, two flush mount and one swivel fishing road holders, a large seating area with protective thigh pads, adjustable foot braces, storage and shock cord deck rigging, retractable carrying handles, and a paddle holder.

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is very light, so it is easy to load. This kayak also has great storage despite its small size. However, the boat does not include plugs for the scupper holes to avoid getting wet. The Journey 10 does not track very well, and the paddle is not very effective.

Lifetime 10 Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak

Lifetime 10 Sport Fisher Tandem KayakThe Lifetime 10 Sport Fisher Tandem is 10’ in length and weighs 60 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds and is made of molded polymer and aircraft grade aluminum. This model can sit up to 3 people and includes fishing pole holders, comfortable ergonomic seating, a hull design that provides great stability and tracking, multiple footrest positions, scupper holes to drain the cockpit area, molded front and rear carry handles, elevated seating to keep riders off the floor, ditty trays, shock cord straps, a rear storage hatch, front and rear molded paddle cradles, paddle clips on both sides, padded backrests, and an accessory mount for an optional rudder or electric power motor.

The Lifetime 10 Sport Fisher Tandem is a reliable and sturdy kayak. It is very stable so you can stand in it without balancing issues. The seats are very comfortable, and the kayak has good storage space to keep this dry while you’re out on the water. However, the accompanying rudder creates minor tracking issues. Water also has a tendency into the pole holders, which brings water into the boat.

Lifetime Tamarack 120” Kayak

513x8Y3KqML._SL1000_The Lifetime Tamarack is 120” in length and weighs 50 pounds. It is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and features multiple footrest positions, an adjustable padded seat back, a stable flat bottom, an easy carry handle, front and rear shock cord straps, a 6” rear storage compartment, two paddle cradles with shock cords, front and rear T-handles, deep hull tracking channels, and stability chine rails.

The Lifetime Tamarack is well built and is not too heavy. This model is very maneuverable and stable as a rock. The padded seat makes your fishing adventures comfortable. However, the storage hatches both open into the hull of the boat which is not very practical. Also, the side carrying handles tend to come off easily.

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13The Ocean Kayak Prowler is 13’4” in length and weighs 56 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds and is made of polyethylene. This kayak includes a Comfort Plus seat back, a molded-in seat well, a Seal bow hatch, a 6 Cam Lock hatch with storage bucket, an oversized tank well with bungee, a deck bungee, side mounted carrying handles, a skid plate, a molded-in cup holder, two flush mounted rod holders, a transducer compatible scupper, and angler graphics.

The Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 is quite fast for its size It has a great deck layout, tracks well, is very comfortable and stable, and has a lot of features which makes this kayak very functional. However, most riders find the molded foot wells frustrating, and the side handles tend to break when loading.

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10The Old Town Vapor is 10’ in length and weighs 47 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds and is made of single layer polyethylene. This kayak has an adjustable Comfort Flex seat, a Glide Track foot brace system, a stern day well, a molded-in cockpit tray with cup holder, a molded-in rest, built in carry handles, thigh pads, a drain plug, and a skid plate.

The Old Town Vapor 10 is a well-built kayak that has enough space to comfortably enter and exit. There is room for all your fishing gear. It’s very stable, tracks well, and is easy to get around fallen trees. This kayak also has sufficient speed for most users. However, the rigging for the anchor does not run the length of the kayak, and the seat could use a little more padding. Also, the cup holder is too far away to be practical. This model is not recommended for waterways with excessive current.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 KayakThe Intex Explorer K2 is 123” in length and weighs 36 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds and is made of vinyl. This kayak has sporty graphics on yellow for high visibility, ability to seat up to 2 people, an inflatable I-beam floor for comfort and rigidity, a removable skeg to provide directional stability, two adjustable and inflatable seats with backrests, Boston valves on each side fro quick inflating and deflating, a grab line and grab handle at each end, a US Coast Guard ID, a repair patch kit, two 86” aluminum oars, and an Intex high-output pump.

The Intex Explorer K2 is very lightweight because it is made from a vinyl material. This kayak is easy to transport as it easily fits into a bag when deflated. The Velcro-attached seats are easy to remove to make space for your fishing gear. This model is also easy to maneuver with its lightweight aluminum oars and skeg. However, the hand grips are also made of vinyl, which are prone to twisting if you hold them too tightly. The paddles are also a bit hard to operate, and the skeg is detachable so be careful not to misplace it.

Useful UH-TK181 Fishing Kayak

Useful UH-TK181 Fishing KayakThe Useful UH-TK181 is 12.5’ in length, and it weighs 64 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 340 pounds and is made of polyethylene. This tandem kayak features comfortable balanced seating for solo or group fun, two 2-piece lightweight aluminum paddles, two deluxe kayak seats with rear storage pouches, a rear cargo storage area with bungee tie down system, 4 carrying handles, 2 bungee parks, 2 rests, 4 flush mounts, and 3 adjustable rod holders.

The Useful UH-TK181 is very stable, and tracks and maneuvers well. However, the covers on the inset rod holders are annoying, and the angle of the rod holders behind the front position may cause interference with your paddling.

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing KayakThe Sun Dolphin Excursion is 10’ in length and weighs 41 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds and is made of rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex high density polyethylene. This model includes two flush mount rod holders, one swivel rod holder, a large open cockpit, an adjustable and padded seat, a storage compartment, shock cord deck rigging, adjustable foot braces, a water bottle holder, protective thigh pads, and a paddle holder.

The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 has excellent stability, making it a great kayak for beginners. With accessories for fishing and storage facilities, you can take this kayak out easily for fishing and recreational use. The cockpit is also very roomy. However, because this model is wide and stable, it does not go very fast.

Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak

Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish KayakThe Sevylor Tahiti is almost 125” in length and its shipping weight is 22.85 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 360 pounds and is made of polyethylene. This model features a 21-gauge PVC construction that is rugged enough for lake use, multiple air chambers allowing other chambers to stay inflated if one is punctured, an Airtight System that is guaranteed against leaks, Double Lock (TM) valves for easy inflation and deflation, adjustable seats that move to fit you, back rests, and spray covers to block splashes and help to keep you dry.

The Sevylor Tahiti is well-built from sturdy materials. This kayak inflates and deflates easily and the adjustable seats are comfortable. Maneuvering in this inflatable kayak is easy and glides nicely. However, you might want to purchase a skeg for this kayak if you want added reliability and better tracking. You might also want to purchase better quality paddles. This model is not meant for large swells or high winds.

Lifetime Manta 10 Tandem Kayak

Lifetime Manta 10 Tandem KayakThe Lifetime Manta is 10’ in length and weighs 60 pounds. It has a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds and is made of a high density polyethylene (HDPE). This kayak features seating for up to 3 people, a hull design that provides excellent stability and great tracking, multiple footrest positions for riders of different sizes, scupper holes to drain the cockpit area, molded front and rear carry handles, elevated seating to keep riders off the floor, ditty trays, shock cord straps, two soft backrests, and double-sided paddles.

The Lifetime Manta 10 is flexible and extraordinarily stable. It’s also fairly lightweight for its size, so not all riders need to paddling for the kayak to have forward momentum. This model has plenty of storage, and its bright yellow color provides easy visibility. However, the paddles are not of great quality.

Summary

Fishing on a new kayak is a better way to fish than on a motorboat because it’s quiet, gives you more access, is economical, and is very convenient. When purchasing a fishing kayak, you should take into consideration type of kayak, initial vs secondary stability, length vs width, and type of construction. With this knowledge and reviews for the top 10 you should be able to make an informed decision and choose the best fishing kayak for you.

Also read: A Look at the Top 10 Commuter Bikes

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