Best Fishing Kayaks for 2017 Reviewed

If you’re fishing lovers like I am then you definitely know there’s no better rush then landing a big fish or pulling in a huge bass. In my opinion fishing ranks as the best outdoor activity you can do. However, the same can’t be said when looking for the necessary gear for your kayaking adventures.

When I looked for the perfect kayak for my adventures, I was getting a little bit worried due to the immense amount of choices there are to choose from today. Because of this, we had to do our own research in order to find the best models and because of this you now will be saved a lot of time and energy and most importantly effort when you go about buying kayak.

So let’s get down to business. I’m sure you are curious to know what is the top fishing kayak on the market. What I have found from my research is that there’s a lot of different benefits as well as drawbacks for every model, but at the end of the day I had to figure out what worked best in each situation. As you’ll see below we compared everything from the average user rating, to costs, to style, and of course price. So, if you’re ready to find out what the best fishing kayaks on the market are today read on.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced, choosing the perfect fishing kayak is never easy. Fishing kayaks are usually just for one person, but they can be for 2 depending on what kind of kayak you’re in. For example, if you like competitive kayaking then it’s probably better if you stick to models that are made just for competition. However, if you want to spend the afternoon chilling on the lake catching that beautiful bass you’re in the perfect place. The kayaks below are perfect for going out on the lake away from all the craziness that life can bring on and they give you an edge over other people fishing on the lake because of how they are designed. Fish tend to stay away from noisy situations which is why fishing kayaks are perfect. Space they are eloquent in the water there quiet and they allow you to fish and move around with ease.


What type of fishing kayak should I get?

The type of fishing kayak that you buy will largely depend on your goals. Space in an ideal world you’re going to purchase one that fits your needs perfectly. Space is going to be a couple different types and I’ve broken all of them down for you below, so that you are able to determine which model suits you best.

  • Sit in kayak: a sit in kayak is perfect for longer fishing trips, such as spending the entire day bass fishing on the lake. You shouldn’t get one like this if you think you might be standing a decent amount, because these kayaks can become unstable which will make it very hard to keep your balance. Space with these kayaks is going to be limited, however they’re a lot more enjoyable when fishing for extended periods of time. On top of that, you get more storage and they typically stay a lot more dry versus a sit on-top kayak.
  • Sit on top kayak: the sit on top kayak is perfect for anglers who prefer to stand. With these, you’ll get a good amount of mobility, but will be giving up a good amount of space as well. These do better for those of you that might actually live on the lake, or for those of you that might spend a couple hours out fishing compared to the entire day. But, the bonus is obviously that you get to stand which in turn gives you a big advantage if you’re going after larger fish.
  • Tandem kayaks: tandem kayaks are perfect for two-somes. If you think you’re going to head out and fish on the pond with a buddy or girlfriend, this is a great option. A lot of tandem models out there tend to be sit-on-tops, and they give one angler the ability to stand, and the other person sits. It’s possible to have both of you in the kayak standing but that is not ideal because you’ll be more unstable due to the uneven weight distribution.

All the kayaks mentioned above serve their own purpose and at the end of the day it just comes down to personal preference. The key is to make the best decision with all the information available. So, below what were going to do a show you the best fishing kayaks no matter what you’re into along with the best prices you’ll find anywhere on the Internet.


Inflatable vs. molded – which one to choose when fishing?

An inflatable kayak is excellent if you’re looking to save money. Ultimately though you’re the only one who will know whether a molded or inflatable kayak is the right fit for you. From my personal experience I tend to choose molded kayaks over inflatable for my fishing adventures because they are more durable than inflatable kayaks and are better if you go kayaking frequently. On top of that they also add a little bit more versatility versus the inflatable’s. You won’t be nearly as limited when you’re using the plastic frame on the molded kayaks although it could slightly limit your possibilities as far as where you’re able to take it.

The lifetime Fisher sport is a kayak that is a perfect budget friendly model that allows you to go on any river or lake you can dream of. So, if you’re thinking of doing some lake exploration where no electrical boats can go or are allowed then the inflatable kayak is perfect. However, inflatable kayaks limit the kinds of terrain you’re able to undertake because whenever the rocks or stronger currents it becomes much more difficult and a bigger concern when you’re in an inflatable kayak. If you have the budget spending a few extra bucks in investing in a kayak that can handle some abuse is a much better option.

You can’t predict when you might encounter some rocks or even have a miscast with your fishing rod and accidentally hook your side of your kayak. By having a kayak that is durable you’re able to go where you haven’t gone before. If you’re looking for the bare minimum inflatable kayaks can manage, but for anybody going on regular outings, you should save up your money and invest in something better.

Now let’s look at a couple of the top selections for kayaks when fishing.

Top Fly Fishing Kayaks for 2017

Product DescriptionOverall Score
Old Town 10ft Vapor 10 angler Recreational kayak

Old Town 10ft Vapor 10 angler Recreational kayak

This kayak made the list due to all of the positive reviews it’s received over the years along with the not too high ...

Best value
SunDolphin Excursion Sit-In

SunDolphin Excursion Sit-In

Very budget friendly, Sun Dolphin kayak is what I like to call, “the best kayak for your money”. Typically you can find ...

Editor choice
Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

One of the most popular angler kayaks on the market, the Prowler 13 combines performance with features. A large bow ...

If you didn’t dabble in fly fishing at all, then there’s a high probability that you’ll be fishing in quiet, smaller rivers and therefore should aim for a kayak which will let you stand so that you’re able to have the free range necessary with your technique which fly fishing necessitates. You’ll typically move more often when flyfishing than if you’re only throwing out the rod overhead that has a floater used at the end of the line, along with if you are using a typical fishing lore.


For me, a great option is the ocean kayak prowler 13 when I’m flyfishing because it has wide flexibility, especially if you’re going out solo and usually don’t bring along anybody else on your fishing adventures. I go into an in-depth review below, however, I wanted to mention it now if you prefer fly fishing. It really is the best choice for the money coming in at under $1000 in total which is tough to beat.


Best River Fishing Kayak:

If you’re heading out on smaller ponds and lakes, there’s no need to read further as the ocean kayak prowler 13 is your best bet. However, if you are getting into more serious waters where you may encounter some turbulence along the way, then this section of the guide is just for you. When heading out into treacherous waters, you need a kayak that can stand up to the rough conditions and will be durable for a long time. While I usually don’t advise anglers Tobias said in kayak for fishing, if you’re heading out into rough waters this is the exception.

Odds are if you’re heading out in the waters that accept motorized boats, you’re going to want something that isn’t going to toss you into the water whenever you hit a little wave. The old town 10ft vapor kayak is perfect for these rougher scenarios. I’ll go into more detail below but one of the best things about the old town 10 is that you can sit in it with a considerably bigger opening when you sit compared to other brands. Becacuse of this, you’re able to bail out of the kayak if the waters get a bit too choppy for your liking.

Now let’s examine the top kayaks in more detail. There are the ten kayaks listed above from the comparison chart which I feel are the best kayaks you can get. The ones shown below are all great kayaks in their own right but for me I finally decided to go with the lifetime 10ft sport fisher. But, I encourage you to read the reviews below and go with the kayak you think will fit your needs best.

Old Town 10ft Vapor 10 angler Recreational kayak

This kayak made the list due to all of the positive reviews it’s received over the years along with the not too high cost. The one disadvantage of this model is that it isn’t a twin kayak, and so that does limit you somewhat. However, it is very stable and it does have a good amount of space in and around the cockpit that is perfect for single fishermen. Also, there’s a lot of storage, it has a seat which is very comfortable, which comes with built-in pads for your thighs along with adjustable braces that help you to balance.

This is very important for when you are learning how to control your kayak if you’re a beginner. There is a molded cup holder and paddle park which is perfect for breaking open a midafternoon beer while out on the river. Also, there’s two rod holders directly in back behind your seat and there is also one small anchor which does the job for the most part. If you like angling alone out on the pond, this is a perfect model to check out.


SunDolphin Excursion Sit-In

Very budget friendly, Sun Dolphin kayak is what I like to call, “the best kayak for your money”. Typically you can find this kayak for less than $500 which is a massive bargain considering it’s made by Sun Dolphin. Similar to the old town 10, you get two rod holders, plus it also comes with a swivel mount as well.

The cockpit has good size, so for you bigger guys this might be a good fit for you, and there is also stored space that comes with a handy latch along with a cover that will protect any contents you have inside. There are adjustable braces for your feet, plus the design allows for easy maneuvering. One thing that it is missing is thigh support when going on longer trips which the old town 10 comes with. As for the seat, there is a good amount of support for the upper back, and to be honest, for price, this kayak is definitely a top pick.


Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

This kayak is great if you like fly fishing. There is a lot of storage, plus it’s an extremely popular kayak because it’s built with the fisherman in mind. The performance hull in this kayak does great in both rough and calm waters. It’s a little bit longer, so that allows it to be more stable, however, it also means it will be harder to steer in choppy waters.

The Ocean Prowler 13 comes with a hatch that is quite large, allowing for ample room when storing things. So, if you’re thinking about doing both regualar fishing along with fly fishsing in the same trip, this would be a smart choice. Similar to the others, there is a cup holder, paddle keeps, and two rod holders. In back of the seat, there is a tank large enough for a cooler which means you’re able to eat a packed lunch as well as toss your catch for the day in back. Overall, the Prowler 13 is a bit steep when it comes to price, but definitely worth the money if your budget allows it. It’s extremely durable, lasting for years on end, and you’ll be able to use it for multiple styles of fishing.