Fishing Kayak Overview
Average Length: 10 to 17 ft.
Hull Type: Varied
Propulsion Type: Man Power
CHOOSING THE BEST FISHING KAYAK
Ultimately, the best fishing kayak is the one you can purchase right now. You can compare every detail for days on end, but all that will do is keep you reading screens instead of getting out in nature and enjoying yourself. Decide on your budget and figure out what products are out there that are within your reach. Use the suggestions below to narrow it down.
Kayak Length and Width
If you prefer the adrenaline rush of offshore kayak fishing for large game fish, you will want to think about waterline length when determining which will be the best fishing kayak for deeper water and longer distances. Generally, the longer the waterline length, the faster the kayak will go. This means that if you anticipate having to paddle long distances to get to your favorite fishing locations, a 15 or 16-foot fishing kayak will get you there faster than a 10 or 12-foot kayak. In reference to width, a wider kayak offers additional stability, but can also be more cumbersome to maneuver. Check these other 10 Factors to choosing a kayak.
Types of Fishing Kayaks
The main thing that separates a “kayak for fishing” from any other kind of kayak is the rigging. The rigging is really the most important part. When you are learning how to fish from a kayak, experts say that you need to start with very simple equipment. Learn how to choose the best kayak fishing gear to start with, then adding more equipment, as needed, later in your career. Many of the kayaks marketed as fishing kayaks have built-in rigging. This is a good entryway into the sport. There are do-it-yourself models, but they can quickly bog you down in options. If a fishing kayak comes with the rigging already in place, it likely has 90 percent of everything you really need, and that is one less thing to worry about.
Paddle Fishing Kayaks
There is an ongoing debate among anglers over pedal-powered fishing kayaks vs. paddle-powered fishing kayaks. Some prefer the quiet, natural feel of paddling to pedaling like a bicycle. It is more serene, and some people say it is easier.
Pedal Fishing Kayaks
Pedal fishing kayaks are just like riding a bicycle. People who do not have as much upper-body strength may have an easier time pedaling than rowing. However, even if a fishing kayak has a pedal, it is a good idea to keep a paddle handy in case the pedal malfunctions. Therefore, there should be a paddle on board either way.
Sit-in Fishing Kayaks
Many anglers prefer a sit-in style fishing kayak to one you sit on top of. The sit-in offers greater access to equipment. Anglers can reach everything a lot more easily.
Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayaks
The downside of the sit-in version is that it is harder to get in and out of. So, if you plan on doing a lot of wading, where you would have to get in and out a lot, or have difficulty with mobility, then sitting on top might be better for you.
Fishing Kayaks Designed for Stability
When it comes to shapes, unfortunately, kayak designers do not have a one-size-fits-all mentality. There are slight variations that affect overall performance. If you are just learning how to kayak fish, then choose the design that is the easiest for you to use.
Wider fishing kayaks are built to be more stable. If you are a beginner or if you are in rocky waters, consider a wider kayak.
Ones with upswept bows are also designed to overcome waves. This means there is a sharper upturn in the front. That is used to get over the waves coming at the boat.
Regardless of the kayak you choose, safety should always come first when on a fishing kayak or any other type of boat. Even though fishing kayaks are operated using paddle power, it's still a good idea to review the boating regulations in your state.
Kayaking with Kids
Kayaking can be a fun activity for the whole family. If you are planning an outdoor activity this weekend, kayaking and fishing with your kids can be a great option to spend quality time together. Make their first kayak trip a fun and safe experience. Building their confidence for the next trip is your goal. Get more tips on how to start kayaking with your kids. Click on the infographic below for more information.
Infographic courtesy of Mike Alpert
Content sources Kayak review and Necky kayaks