Do you love fishing and trying to choose the best fishing kayak for you, your skill level will be a big part in your decision. If you’re a novice, then you should first start out fishing on calm water using a model that’s short and wide with a high degree of initial stability. The model should also be very maneuverable, which will help you to feel safer and more confident your first time out on the water.
If you’re already a skilled kayak angler, then you should choose a slimmer, longer model with less maneuverability and initial stability. This will be in exchange for a higher degree of secondary stability and faster speed.
When it comes to sit in models versus sit on models, there’s really no clear cut answer. Both types offer distinct advantages, so this will basically depend on your preference. However, a sit on model is the most popular type on the market and a large majority of anglers of all skill levels use them. Sit in models are able to handle rough waters better and are generally faster and also provide some degree of protection against rain and wind.
When it comes to kayak stability, most amateurs will choose a kayak that features a high degree of initial stability, while the experienced angler usually prefers a high degree of secondary. Kayaks with a high degree of initial stability usually have a wide beam, while secondary utilizes a narrow beam, wide models are often slower.
Where you want to fish will play a large role in your choice. As an example, protected inshore waters and still waters can be easily fished from any of these kayak types, but moving water is best fished when using a recreational model due to their moderate degree of rocker.
Many models of sit on kayaks comes with accessories that are designed for fishing including bait wells, cooler wells, paddle parks, rod racks and anchor trolleys, making them a popular choice for anglers. Keep in mind that these amenities can be added to any type of kayak with little work. So don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to purchase the more expensive model with all the bells and whistles. And if you do the work of adding these extras yourself, you’ll be in control of the kind of accessories added and where they’ll be installed. This will allow you to customize your kayak in a way that suits your needs.
Comparison of 5 top selling fishing kayaks
|Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak||Accommodates one rider |
Weighs 45 pounds
395 pound weight limit
Six color options
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two Person Kayak||Accommodates two riders |
Weighs 37 pounds
470 pound weight limit
One color option
|Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak||Accommodates three riders|
Weighs 65 pounds
500 pound weight limit
One color option
10 Kayak Fishing Tips and Tricks You Need to Know
Kayak fishing is a fun and cheap way to explore your love for fishing without an expensive outdoor motor or proper boat, not to mention you’ll get a good workout at the same time. You’ll also have easy access to any lake, and can put your kayak in the water in no time. No proper boat landing? No problem, as kayaks can be put in almost everywhere. But what do you need to know to have the best experience out on the water? Here is a list of our top 9 tips and tricks you should know before taking your kayak out.
Plan your fishing adventure
The first and most important point is to plan well for your adventure by collecting all required equipment, clothes, tools and invite your friends.
Always come prepared.
The gear you bring is important, make sure to you have a knife and net ready to go with your rod and tackle. Consider a rod holder to free up a hand when you need it.
Also, think about what you wear just as much as what you bring. If you go in the water, you’re going to want to recover quickly, especially if it’s cold out. Hint: think easy to swim and quick drying.
Know your paddle.
Sure you know how to paddle, but how about one handed while you have a fish on the line? Or while you’re using the net and you’re being blown into harsh terrain? Make sure that you’ve mastered this trick, and can control your kayak when it really matters.
While we’re at it, make sure you’re not just picking up the first cheap paddle of the clearance rack you see. You’ll see better performance with a more expensive paddle, and that can make a huge difference when you’re bringing in your trophy fish, or hit bad weather.
The flip is only a matter of time.
Flipping your kayak can be a pain in the butt, and it can even ruin a trip. You can be an expert at kayaking, but that doesn’t guarantee you aren’t going to flip once in awhile.
Prepare for the worst, and keep your gear safe and your trip on track by planning for the flip before it happens. If you don’t, you might lose your rods, tools, phone (if you have a hard time disconnecting) or even your car keys.
Anchors can be an ally.
Many of our friends in the kayak fishing world have convinced themselves an anchor is too much of a hassle. When the wind picks up, or you’re in the middle of the lake at a good spot, it comes in handy.
If you’re going to use an anchor, there is one trick you’ll want to make sure to remember; just make sure you aren’t dropping the anchor into a strong current. If you do, you could potentially drag your whole kayak under.
Take shelter in an eddie.
Fishing in a strong current can be quite a challenge and a bit unproductive. Fishing in a kayak will give you the ability to park and fish almost anywhere, including eddies.
You shouldn’t even need an anchor if you position yourself right. Just stay put while the current brings the fish to you, and move on once you’ve made your catch.
Sit-in or Sit-on?
It may be easier getting in and out of a sit-on kayak, but you’ll pay for it in the end. Sit-in kayaks offer more stability, shelter from unwelcome conditions, a dryer ride and extra storage.
If you already have a sit-on kayak, and want an easy trick to increase stability, try straddling. Don’t wait until you have a fish either, or you may wind up tipping in the confusion.
Know the terrain.
If you are going to a new lake, make sure you do some research before hand. Also, if it’s remote, try and get some friends to join you on the trip.
Traveling alone? Try and meet up with some fellow anglers at the lake. Having someone that knows the terrain can help you be more successful on the lake, and it can help keep you safe.
Life on the edge (of the weeds).
The maneuverability of your kayak is one of your biggest assets. When you have the opportunity, you’ll easily be able to line yourself up parallel with weeds. This will allow you to easily cast on the edge of the weeds, and drive those fish crazy.
Even anglers like selfies.
Bringing in your catch may be the best part of kayak fishing, but the next best thing is showing all your friends the size of your fish. If you want to snap a pic of the moment, you’ll need to make sure you got the equipment for it.
You’ll want to bring a camera that is waterproof, or at the very least make sure your camera or phone has a waterproof case. Also, don’t forget you’ll need your hands to hold the fish, so a camera mount that can clip to your kayak is key for good pics.
Following these tips and tricks while you’re on your kayak will allow you to concentrate on what’s important, having a good time fishing.
3 Best Ways to Store and Protect a Kayak
Now that you finally own the kayak that you’ve always wanted, what are you going to do with it when you’re done paddling through rapids and waves for a season? You’re going to need to know how to store a kayak properly if you want to be able to enjoy it for many years. Here are the best practices we know for taking care of your kayak when it’s not in use.
1. Protect Your Kayak from the Sunlight and Moisture
Although kayaks are made for use in the water and preferably in good weather, when it comes time to put it away, sunlight and moisture are your boat’s two worst enemies. Whatever material your craft is made of, direct exposure to sunlight can lead to warping and dry rot, and leaving it wet can be similarly destructive. Wherever you choose to store your kayak (indoors is best), keep it out of direct sunlight, and keep it dry!
How can you best protect your kayak from sunlight and moisture?
- Consider applying a sun-protective coating to the surface of the craft.
- If stored indoors, keep your kayak away from sunlit windows.
- If stored outside, place a protective covering above your kayak.
- Make sure that the covering is waterproof and UV-resistant.
- Angle the cover so that rain and snow will not collect and pool on it, or fall on the kayak.
- Ensure that the cover is big enough to keep the craft in the shade all day.
- Avoid leaving the covering in direct contact with the watercraft, as this could potentially be a way for mold or mildew to grow.
- Remove any soft components such as seats from the kayak and keep them inside, away from rodents and other animals that would love to chew through them and build nests.
- After using your kayak for fishing, wash it with soapy water, then rinse it clean.
- After using your kayak in a salty body of water, it must be rinsed off with fresh water.
- Dry your kayak off with a towel, and make sure its interior is fully drained out.
- Avoid exposing your boat to temperature extremes, especially repeated freezing and thawing.
2. Defend Your Kayak Against Gravity
As a watercraft, your kayak’s natural habitat, so to speak, is where its hull is supported by buoyant forces and water pressure. When stored on the ground or hanging in the air, your boat will be a bit out of its element. If not properly stored, it can be warped or otherwise rendered useless simply through gravity’s constant pull on its own weight. If you keep your hard-material kayak in the right position, this risk can be mitigated. This does not apply as much to inflatable kayaks, which should be fine as long as they are deflated and disassembled while in storage.
How can you best protect your kayak from warping or denting?
- Never store your Kayak upside down, especially not with uneven pressure on the hull. That is the fastest way to cause warping.
- Don’t store a kayak on hard, flat surfaces.
- Don’t store a kayak on its end. This puts a lot of pressure on a single point.
- Never use the boat’s grab loops or carrying handles to support its weight.
- Rest your kayak on its side, which is the strongest part of the hull. This is, without question, the best way to store a kayak.
- Keep your kayak off the ground by supporting it with straps, netting, or racks.
- Make sure that, whichever method you choose to support your boat, it distributes the craft’s weight evenly, not too close to the ends or to the center of the hull.
3. Defend Your Kayak Against Things That go Bump in the Night!
Several important considerations exist here. If you store your kayak outdoors, you need to protect it against would-be thieves. If you keep your kayak indoors, you’ll want to make sure that it won’t be in the way of your feet or your head, and either way that you won’t hurt yourself putting it away for the winter and taking it out again in the springtime.
How can you best protect your kayak from theft and from causing injuries?
- Try to find an outdoor storage space that isn’t visible to the public.
- For outdoor storage, run a strong steel cable through the grab handles or something similar, and secure it to an object like a building or a fence post that can’t be moved.
- For indoor storage, use wall-mounted brackets to support the kayak. If you don’t have space along a wall, suspend the craft from ceiling-mounted straps above another vehicle.
- Make sure that, whatever storage method you choose, it’s easy to access without straining your back by lifting it too far.
If you know how to store a kayak in a cool, dark, and dry place, out of everybody’s way, and on its side, then you should have no problem keeping it in top condition. You’ll be able to use it without problems for many years, whether you run rivers or fish in the ocean or just want to cross a pond. A little damage prevention goes a long way toward keeping your kayak like new!