Best Fishing Kayaks

Are you planning to go fishing in your nearby lake? Then you probably have thought of what is the best kayak that you can bring with you on your trip to make sure that you have a safe voyage. Kayaks are your best option if you want to go fishing in calm waters because they are lightweight and portable. However, while differences between kayaks that are available in the market seem subtle, they make a huge difference when you are already using them.

It is important to note that your kayak could be what separates between the risks and the safety of going out fishing in deep lake waters. Thus, the yaks you use must be durable and well balanced. That being said, there is no single best kayak in the market. It is because a kayak might be perfect for one fisher and bad for others. 

Hence, you must assess what you need your kayaks for and what your priorities are when choosing one for yourself. I have been researching the internet for the best kayaks that are available right now in the market, and I have five standouts that I am confident with. If you stick around, I will discuss the best things about each of the kayaks in the list relative to how they are intended to be used. So, get your fishing rods ready and start sailing on.

ImageNameLatest Price
product image 1. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Amazon
product image 2. Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak Amazon
product image 3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak Amazon
product image 4. Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Amazon
product image 5. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak Amazon
product image 6. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak Amazon
product image 7. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Lightweight Fishing Kayak with Paddle and Seat and 2 Flush Rod Holders and Built-in Storage Amazon
product image 8. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat and Transducer Port and Rod Holders and Storage and Rudder System Included Amazon
product image 9. BKC RA220 11.6' Single Fishing Kayak W/Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, Paddle, and Rudder Included Solo Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak Amazon

1. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

Product Details

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is one of a kind inflatable kayak made with super-tough laminate material with a polyester core for high strength and durability, ensuring high impact and abrasion resistance. Its high-pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability, with high-pressure spring-loaded valves for easy inflation and fast deflation, and the 3-Ply super sturdy construction employs a high molecular PVC that is unaffected by gasoline, oil, and saltwater. The package includes specially designed removable skews for optimal maneuverability through deep and shallow water, two (2) floor-mounted footrests, two (2) integrated recessed fishing rod holders, two (2) adjustable bucket seats. Removable and adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc. This kayak can carry a maximum load of 400 lbs.

Pros

  • Inflatable and made of thick rubberized material
  • Can be upgraded with accessories
  • Easy deflation


Cons

  • Paddles are completely unusable
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

Our Take

As earlier mentioned, different types of kayaks are available in the market, and there's at least one for each preference. So if you are one who prioritizes the portability and the durability of your yak, one that brings it everywhere you go, this one is definitely for you.

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is inflatable. The inflatability of the kayak does not only ensure maximum buoyancy, but it also means that you can bring it anywhere you go. For someone who wants always to be ready to fish, anytime, anywhere, an inflatable kayak is the best one for you.

But the Excursion Pro Kayak is not like any other inflatables. The material the Excursion is made of is a much heavier rubberized textile, not just plastic like other inflatable yaks. This way, I can be assured that it will not be easily torn when it comes in contact with sharp objects in the water.

Aside from the life vest that it comes with, the package includes EVERYTHING you need to enjoy your day on the water. This is an excellent starting kit for someone looking to get into the hobby, and will easily allow owners to upgrade as they go. The thing about this kayak is that you can always add more accessories to it to make your trip to the lake a much more enjoyable one.

The only problem I have with this kayak is that the paddles are unusable, especially if you have a full arm span. However, this problem could easily be corrected by mounting new rod holders to your specifications.

More importantly, this kayak can easily be deflated. It only took about 20 minutes to tear down, and that included a freshwater rinse. It's easy to pack down and has no problem going back in the bag.

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2. Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak

Product Details

The Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak is made of rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene, making it a durable and lightweight fishing kayak. This sit-on-top fishing kayak features adjustable footrests, a comfort-cast dual-position seating system allowing you to adjust the seat to a high or low seating position. It also has anti-slip decking, a stand assist strap, bow, and stern quick-lock waterproof hatches, large front and rear gear wells with bungees to store your fishing gear.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Sturdy fishing platform and catamaran design hull
  • Seat is well made


Cons

  • Highest position of the seat doesn't keep its position
Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak

Our Take

Now, if you're the type of fisher who wants to be mobile in your kayak as you fish, then this one is arguably the perfect one for you. Made by Sun Dolphin, one of the best kayak manufacturers in the industry right now, the Boss SS kayak is designed for fishers and anglers. Amidst its affordable price tag, this kayak is loaded with features you usually see on expensive, high-end yaks.

That being said, there is no doubt that this kayak is an excellent value for your money. For me, the best feature of this product is its catamaran hull design with a flat, stable platform that allows you to walk comfortably on the deck. This means that you can walk while the yak is floating, making it easier for you to find the best spot for fishing without the fear of it capsizing. The kayak's large, open cockpit offers adjustable foot braces and padded seat for comfort, and plenty of rod holders for secure storage of fishing rods.

The seat also deserves a special mention. It is very well made and comfortable. It's a full stadium seat with high/low position and high quality vented mesh covering, similar to that used on a Hobbie. The seat can even be flipped back to create a vast, flat fishing deck.

I believe this would be an excellent yak for the fishing enthusiast as there is plenty of room for gear and with the 500lb weight capacity that should get the job done. The only problem that I had with this kayak is that its seat doesn't hold up in the highest position. However, the lowest position works perfectly for me.

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3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Product Details

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is
constructed with UV-protected, high-density Polyethylene. It comes with multiple footrest positions that are designed to accommodate different sizes of riders. It prides its stable flat bottom that allows fishers and anglers to walk across the yak with stability and without the fear of falling off. The yak comes with Kayak comes with a padded seat back, front and rear shock cords, two 6" storage hatches in the rear and center, two flush-mounted fishing pole holders, a top mount rod holder, a paddle cradle with shock cords, an adult black paddle (1066285), and front and rear T-handles.

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Stable and easy to get in
  • Lightweight


Cons

  • Holes in the bottom allow a little water to get in
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Our Take

As a consensus, this Kayak is especially perfect for beginners and novices. Its simplicity ushers newbies to be good at controlling their yaks without the fear of eventually capsizing due to mishandling. That is exceptionally commendable, especially that it comes from a brand that is known for its quality.

But don't get fooled by the fact that it's for beginners. The kayak itself handles very well. A heavy rider will have no issue riding this yak as it is designed to ensure stability. You will be able to move about the kayak quickly. It holds straight in the water and won't turn in circles. In my experience, moderate movements of the body won't be enough to destabilize this kayak. Hence it's perfect for someone who moves a lot.

This one is exceptionally stable, tracks straight, lightweight, fast enough for your needs. It can also hold all your tackle and gear. The waves on the lake will not be an issue at all on a windy day. On the river, it does not feel too fragile to scrape over rocks and gravel. This is when you know that you have a quality kayak.

If you're going to ask me for the cons of this yak, I would probably say that I don't like that there are holes in it, which allows some water to get in. However, the amount of water that gets in is negligible, and this fact alone is not enough to say that it is a bad one. Instead, I'll go ahead and say that it is a perfect one.

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4. Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Product Details

The Pescador Pilot 12 kayak prides itself on its superior stability. It has a cutting edge, lightweight, removable Pilot Drive pedal system, and one-handed rudder control with a 360-degree turning radius that makes this yak one of the best ones to operate. On top of that, it is fitted with an ergonomic mesh captain’s chair that is not only comfortable but is also sturdy and well-made. It also has a large front and rears open storage for more relaxed, tackle, and other gear and additional storage spaces under the seat. It is also very stylish and comes in six different colors and patterns: Sonic Camo, Dapper, Grasshopper, Moss Green, Red Tiger, and Sunset.

Pros

  • Has a lot of storage capacity
  • Comes in different unique colors and designs
  • Very comfortable tilting seating


Cons

  • It is the most expensive one in this list
Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Our Take

Storage is one of the most critical factors that make a kayak the best. And for that, the Pescador Pilot 12 from Perception is one of the best and most large ones that I can find in the market. For this kayak, storage is a priority.

The kayak itself has a built-in large front and rear open storage where you can keep your cooler, tackles, and gears. It also has additional room under the seating, and it even comes with a convenient drink holder keeps your favorite beverage from spilling. This is perfect not only for fishers who require enormous storage capacity for their equipment but also for those who want to go kayaking for fun and to enjoy lakes and rivers.

And of course, a right kayak also has to be sturdy and comfortable. And with that, this one does not disappoint. The roomy and removable captain’s chair features zonal mesh to promote cooling airflow where you need it most, and the on-the-fly seatback adjustment tilts back for relaxed pedaling. The entire seat slides forward and backward to put you in the most comfortable pedaling position. This level of comfort is rare in kayaks, and I believe that this one goes right into the bag.

Finally, what interests me in this kayak is that it comes in six different unique designs. My personal favorite is the one in Sunrise. Not only that, it is durable and comfortable, but it is also edgy and stylish that completes the entire package. This definitely deserves the hall of fame.

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5. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Product Details

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Sit-In Fishing Kayak offers a high quality and durable product that is perfect for all anglers across different skill levels. This kayak features a lightweight, easy to carry design with built-in material that offers unlimited durability. The kayak's large, open cockpit offers adjustable foot braces and padded seat for comfort, and plenty of rod holders for easy storage of fishing rods. Furthermore, there is dry storage that is perfectly sealed and has a shock cord deck rigging, adjustable foot bracer, a water bottle holder, and protective thigh pads. This kayak is made with rugged UV-stabilized High-Density Polyethylene and features two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder.

Pros

  • Made with strong and durable material
  • Floats seamlessly
  • The seat is very comfortable


Cons

  • May not be suitable for kayaking in rough waters
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Our Take

If you are looking for an affordable kayak, especially if you are just starting with the activity, this one is perfect for you. It is great for lakes and rivers and is designed to be lightweight and easy to carry. I have taken it out, and the water bounces at the seam, and you can hear it, the sound raises the alarm to a leak, but no water seems to get in. But I will be honest that other kayaks have better quality, but of course, they cost three times more than this one. That is why I think the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Sit-In Fishing Kayak is a great value for money.

The kayak is made from strong heavy plastic, similar to the plastic my wheelbarrow is made from that has lasted many years of not so gentle treatment. With reasonable care, I expect this kayak will last me many years. Although it seems sturdy and well built, it is also light enough to be entirely manageable. I am a moderately strong older woman, and it is possible for me to lift this and to use the conveniently located thigh pad as a cushion. I can put this on my shoulder and carry it down to the water along a 50' footpath.

The seat is so comfortable I would use it in my living room if it wasn't attached to the kayak. The large open cockpit makes the boat easy to get into and out of. It is very stable. I could probably tip the rim of the cockpit under the water if I leaned way over, and I did almost tip the boat once when I was distracted and tried to get out of the boat in water that was 2 feet deep, without considering how the boat was balanced first, but it was easy to correct my error before any water sloped over the rim of the cockpit.

All in all, this a very good alternative kayak if you are not planning for a fishing trip in rough waters. With its price tag, this one is indeed a steal!

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6. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Product Details

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is made with NMMA certified 18-gauge PVC that is designed for rugged lake use. It is fitted with a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and an 840D nylon cover that provides durable protection from punctures. It is also designed with multiple air chambers, which allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured, providing more durability and security when used in deep waters. The Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders let you adjust your pole angle for the ultimate hands-free fishing experience. With your hands-free, it's easier to take care of your gear, which stores nicely in the mesh pockets or attached to D-rings.

Pros

  • Can fit two grown men
  • Durable
  • Has multiple air chambers
  • Reasonable price


Cons

  • Can get a little water leakage if the kayak is not injected with enough air
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Our Take

Take home your catch limit with a buddy after a day in the Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak. With 18-gauge PVC, a thick tarpaulin bottom, and a tough nylon cover, this kayak is durable enough to get you to your favorite out-of-the-way fishing hole. Just in case, though, the multiple air chambers will help you get back to shore. This is particularly impressive as this feature will make sure that your kayak will stay afloat even when it gets punctured, ensuring your safety, especially when paddling in deep waters. That being said, this kayak is perfect for young anglers and beginners.

The adjustable seats will keep you paddling the whole trip comfortably. But if you want to move more easily, you can always add the Sevylor trolling motor and store your paddles in the convenient holders. For me personally, this feature is very important as I can get tired pretty easily.

One important reminder, though, is that if you don't put enough air into it, you will get a little water leakage in your kayak. I feel it helps me catch more fish when I'm on it then when I'm on the shore. It can fit 2 grown men comfortably.

In conclusion, this kayak is one for the books. It is really well-made, has a good price tag, and with many features that let you maximize the enjoyment in your fishing trips.

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7. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Lightweight Fishing Kayak with Paddle and Seat and 2 Flush Rod Holders and Built-in Storage

Product Details

The Skipjack 90 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit on Top Fishing Kayak by Vibe Kayaks is a one-person sit on top fishing kaya that is 9 feet long and weighs 42 lbs. The Skipjack 90 is the compact, portable, all adventure recreation and fishing kayak that makes every piece of water your playground – and its small size means it fits in the back of most SUVs or is easily car-topped. It is engineered for stability and tracks smoothly across all sorts of waters and conditions. Single-piece, leak-proof, durable construction of this product with built-in buoyancy adds safety and peace-of-mind when you're out in dangerous and deep waters.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Good customer service
  • Lower price than other kayaks in the market


Cons

  • Can be very heavy for some
  • The seat buckles need constant readjustments
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Lightweight Fishing Kayak with Paddle and Seat and 2 Flush Rod Holders and Built-in Storage

Our Take

There are different things to be excited about the Skipjack 90 kayak. First of all, it is a sit on top type of kayak and is designed with a sleek hull - meaning that it can float on the water and move fast and nimble. It is also very comfortable because it has a backrest and cushion, both are well-made too!

It is very comfortable, easily maneuvered, and stable. The kayak handled perfectly, can be used with ease in turning and is also well balanced even in windy, rougher conditions. The only thing to be aware of is that the kayak is cumbersome to move by one's self (attaching to car roof/rack, walking kayak down from parking lot to lake ramp, etc.). But it should be a matter of individual physical strength rather than the fault of the manufacturers.

Of course, like many other kayaks in the market, this one is not perfect. There are times that some of its components need replacement, or it gets broken during shipping. The impressive thing about this brand and the company behind it is their excellent customer service. They respond relatively fast for questions and complaints, and I believe that a quality service is as important as the quality of the product itself.

That being said, this is an awesome kayak, especially if you're just a beginner. For its price, this is definitely a steal! Check it out if you're looking for a new kayak, and I guarantee you that you won't be disappointed.

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8. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat and Transducer Port and Rod Holders and Storage and Rudder System Included

Product Details

The Sea Ghost series from Vibe Kayaks hulls focus on blending speed and stability for a perfect balance. It allows anglers to be able to get to where they are going with less effort and be able to stand when they get there. This kayak has 550 Pounds of Load Capacity and includes a toe-controlled rudder, as well as watertight Dual-Hinged Console with cargo bags and magnetic tackle tray. It also features different compartments and holders like a fishing rod holder, a fish finder and accessories mount, six integrated top-loading accessory gear tracks, a premium seat, and a lot of storage space.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Has ample storage capacity
  • Comfortable seat
  • Well-made and durable


Cons

  • The rear storage compartment is not watertight
  • Scratches easily
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat and Transducer Port and Rod Holders and Storage and Rudder System Included

Our Take

For anglers who are looking for a kayak that has ample storage space and durable construction, this one is definitely a perfect match. The storage capacity is huge, and the handling on the water is agile for a kayak this large. There is plenty of space for camping items, beach chairs, coolers, and fishing gear.

The new upgrades for 2019 are also fantastic. Improved handles fore, aft, and sides. Better hatch seals and hinged console lid. You can't get close to matching the features, build quality, speed, capacity, and stability on any other kayak for under $1800. That is value for money right there.

This boat is very wide and sits high as a canoe in the water. It has a lot of surface area riding on the water and gets pushed around by faster-moving water. It can take a faster-moving current as long as you adjust for sharp turns in the river. The best thing I liked was how it handled large standing waves. Hardly any water came over the top of the bow.

All in all, there is much to be excited about this kayak. For an affordable price tag, the Sea Ghost series from Vibe Kayaks is one of the good contenders for the best low-range kayaks available in the market right now.

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9. BKC RA220 11.6' Single Fishing Kayak W/Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, Paddle, and Rudder Included Solo Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak

Product Details

This Solo Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak from Brooklyn Kayak Company is designed to maximize stability and features a foot pedal-operated rudder for ultimate control in all water conditions, and without paddle steering required. It comes with twin flush-mount rod holders that keep fishing poles out of the way during paddling or keeps lines in the water for trolling or still fishing. It also comes with ample watertight storage space and a large cargo area that allows you to bring along enough supplies for a multiple-day adventure. You can also secure your paddles in a bungee paddle rests whenever you're actively fishing or just taking a break.

Pros

  • Has elevated seating
  • Sturdy built
  • Has ample storage space


Cons

  • Uncomfortable front handle/grip
  • Can be very heavy for some
BKC RA220 11.6' Single Fishing Kayak W/Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, Paddle, and Rudder Included Solo Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak

Our Take

As a beginner, you need a kayak that is not only affordable but is also stable and comfortable. For that, the Solo Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak from Brooklyn Kayak Company is one of the best choices in the market. This kayak has tons of good features that I am very excited about. It is important to point out how awesome the rudder is and how comfortable the seat is. It was really easy to set up, though I was first confused about strapping on the seat, after playing around a bit it only took a couple of minutes to get everything in place. Surprised it came with scupper plugs already installed, so that's a plus. Also, the paddles were included with rubber stoppers on both sides to prevent water from dripping down the bar into the kayak.

It is also really stable out in the water and even when standing. I really liked that it came with the raised seat, compared to other kayaks I have ridden on that cost twice as much. The compartments are quite nice that they come with the removable pouches so you can store other equipment inside the hull. There are two rod holders on both sides behind the sitting area who come with cover flaps, which I thought was a nice addition. And a third rod holder that can be installed in front between the legs for ease.

In conclusion, this kayak definitely needs some love! It has awesome features, and the price is just right. So, if you are in search of a new kayak, you should check this one out!

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Carla Arbuckle
Carla Arbuckle

Carla is a staff writer for Fishing.org and Shooting.org. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and photographer. She can be found most weekends fishing and exploring the wilderness.