Best Fishing Kayak for 2020 – Smooth Fishing Experience

If you haven’t tried kayak fishing yet then you are missing out. There is something about paddling in place with your fishing gear that being on a larger boat cannot replicate. Whether you want to fish in ponds, open ocean, or more, a good fishing kayak will open up a new world for your angler lifestyle.

Of course, there are a lot of fishing kayaks out there in different sizes, shapes, and made out of different materials. Each one offers a unique combination of features and there is no one-size-fits-all option.

That’s why we want to remind our readers to thoroughly examine their own needs before buying. There are a ton of options to choose from so you need a clear idea of what you are looking for.

With that said, we have put together this comprehensive list of the top 10 fishing kayaks available now. We put together this list to help you in your decision and each entry has been chosen based on its cost, quality, features, and overall value.

Best Fishing Kayak – Comparison

Picture Product Name Length Capacity Price
Intex Excursion Professional  6′ 400 Pounds Check Latest Price
Sun Dolphin Excursion Sun Dolphin Excursion 10′ 250 Pounds Check Latest Price
BKC RA220 Single BKC RA220 Single 11’6″ 450 Pounds Check Latest Price
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 9′ 300 Pounds Check Latest Price
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 10′ 275 Pounds Check Latest Price
Sevylor Coleman Colorado  10’9″ 600 Pounds Check Latest Price
Intex Challenger K1 9′ 220 Pounds Check Latest Price
Perception Pescador Pilot 12 12′ 475 Pounds Check Latest Price
BKC UH-TK181 Tandem 12’5″ 440 Pounds Check Latest Price
Vibes Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13′ 550 Pounds Check Latest Price

 

10 Best Fishing Kayaks for an Enjoyable Fishing Experience

1. Intex Excursion Professional Inflatable Fishing Kayak

First up on our list is the inflatable fishing Kayak from Intex. The Intex Excursion is a fully inflatable fishing kayak that is designed to be taken on the go for camping trips. The Intex is made from a super tough PVC laminate with a polyester core. This material is lightweight, resistant to abrasion, and double sealed to ensure it is completely waterproof.

The Intex contains high-pressure spring-loaded valves that let it inflate quickly. You can have it ready to go in just under a minute and it deflates almost as easily for storage and transportation. The kayak comes with 2 removable skews meant for deep and shallow water. It also comes with 2 mounted footrests, 2 bucket seats, and 2 fishing rod holders. A removable and adjustable bracket is included for mounting other accessories extra rods and navigational tools.

The Intex comes with a convenient carrying bag for transport. It weighs just under 44 lbs which is a great weight for a portable fishing kayak. Each seat bucket is adjustable so you can change them depending on how long your legs are. On the front is a convenient plastic handle meant for dragging it in and out of the water.

Overall, this 3-piece fishing kayak is a sturdy and reliable choice. It is exceedingly durable and has some great adjustable features which make it versatile. It works in both shallow and deep water and comes with a set of 2 paddles, a nice included treat. The carrying bag could be a bit more comfortable but it’s a nice addition to complete the set. The high-output pump makes setting the kayak up easy and it collapses pretty compactly to carry around. The materials are durable and they won’t wear out anytime soon.

What We Like:

  • Durable PVC laminate construction
  • I-beam floor keeps kayak rigid
  • Spring-loaded valves make inflation and deflation quick
  • 2 removable skews
  • Adjustable bucket seats
  • Mounting bracket for accessories

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Carrying case is not so good
  • Skews can be a bit tough to attach and remove

2. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Fishing Kayak

Coming up next is this budget fishing kayak from Sun Dolphin. The Sun Dolphin Excursion is a good entry-level choice if you are just getting into the world of kayak fishing. It is easy to use, durable and has good stability which makes it ideal for fishing on ponds and lakes. The Sun Dolphin is made from a durable and high-density polyethylene material that has cast handles on the front and back for easy carrying. Bungee cords along the front and back secure the storage are top.

The Sun Dolphin features a deep and padded seat in the kayak bucket. Thigh padding along the side keeps your legs comfortable and it has enough leg room that your knees and thighs won’t cramp. Along the edge of the kayak are flush mount rod holders and a swivel rod holder, ideal for when you need to leave your line cast for a while. It is specifically designed for lakes and rivers, and the polyethylene is coated to prevent UV damage.

The Sun Dolphin features a deep dry storage compartment for storing goods. It is deep enough to hold your tackle box and other important equipment. Taut bungee cords over the top keep the compartment sealed and water out.

The Sun Dolphin is definitely not the highest quality kayak out there, but it makes a great entry-level option. The wide base gives a good amount of stability and the bucket seat is low enough you can comfortably sit and not worry so much about your positioning. The dry storage container works well and the entire kayak is very light which makes it good for portages.

What We Like:

  • Durable and UV resistant polyethylene material
  • Lightweight and durable, good for portaging
  • Wide base and deep bucket
  • High stability
  • 3-rod holders
  • Affordable
  • Good starter kayak

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not amazing quality
  • Included bungee cords can fray, it’s a good idea to replace those

3. BKC RA220 Single Fishing Kayak

Up in third is the BKC RA220 Single Fishing Kayak. As the name implies, the BKC is designed for one person and is optimally designed for a solo kayak fishing experience. The BKC comes in 7 different color schemes from a low-key gray to a vibrant turquoise-blue. The kaya body is made from a durable polyethylene that has a max seating capacity of up to 450 pounds. That’s enough for a single person and practically all of their gear.

Multiple ports along the bottom drain water that gets inside, so you never have to worry about the bucket getting waterlogged. The foldable seat is made from the same material as the canoe body and can be adjusted for the desired level of tilt. We like how the kayak design keeps your legs exposed on the top, which ultimately gives you more legroom and a more lounging experience.

The BKC also has a secure dry storage compartment in the front. It works well and keeps water out of the central cavity and is large enough for your essentials. The kayak paddles attach to the sides with the bungee paddle rests.

The BKC is right in the middle of the scale when it comes to weight, weighing in at just over 68 pounds. That is a bit on the heavier side for a single fishing kayak but it has an extremely high seating capacity and ample storage space. The base is so stable you can stand up completely straight and not worry about tipping over.

The one thing we do not like about the BKC is it is somewhat bulky. It is tough and durable but takes up a lot of space for a single fishing kayak. The rudder and dry storage are very nice features but expand the overall bulk of the kayak. It is also rather expensive as it is a premium fishing kayak.

That being said, the BKC is a perfectly competent fishing kayak and makes a great purchase for both beginners and more experienced fishermen.

What We Like:

  • Very high seating capacity
  • Front-operated rudder
  • Large storage space for your gear
  • Multiple ports drain water from base
  • Excellent materials and construction

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very expensive
  • Bulky and on the heavier side

Also Read: 10 Best Marine Batteries – Best Boating Experience

4. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Ocean Kayak

Sitting at 4th is the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Ocean Kayak. The Skipjack is a 1-person top seating fishing kayak that is designed for action on the open ocean. The bottom of the kayak has a unique design that disperses the shock from waves to keep the kayak stable. The Skipjack has a 9′ long design and has 6-rod holders along the side, perfect for fishing in any position you want.

Skipjack comes in 3 vibrant color options including blue, green, and red. The entire kayak weighs just under 43 pounds which is pretty light for an ocean kayak. The Skipjack contains 2 storage hatches located in the bow and stern which keep your possessions safe from water.

The Skipjack has an ergonomic backseat that can be adjusted to the desired levels of tilt. The base is sturdy enough that you can basically stand on it without the worry of it tipping over. The Skipjack also has 2 extra holders to place the paddles when not in use. Lastly, a bungee well on the back makes another storage spot for your provisions.

We especially like the elegant and streamlined design of the Skipjack. The angles are smooth and it cuts through the water like butter, leaving minimal splash and wake. The 6 flush rod mount holders are a nice touch and are great for a fisher who wants multiple kinds of catches.

What We Like:

  • Colorful unique design
  • Built to reduce rocking from waves
  • Double storage capacity in stern and bow
  • Comfy and adjustable seat
  • Great stability
  • 2 paddle holders
  • 6 flush rod holders

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Light enough that heavy winds affect stability
  • Might be hard for people over 6’1” to use

5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Coming in at the halfway point of our lineup is the Lifetime Angler 100 Fishing Kayak. The best features of the Angler are its low weight and compactness. It is a truly portable single-person kayak that is perfect for river fishing and portaging. The Angler is made from a durable high-density polyethylene that is treated to resist UV damage. The entire kayak has a max seating capacity of 400 lbs so you can easily fit yourself and all your gear.

The padded back seat is fully adjustable and can be folded down when not in use. Multiple footrest options give flexibility in your seating position and there are two bungee-cord storage components on the stern and the hull of the kayak. T-handles at the stern and the hull allow for easy launching and returning to shore.

The Angler also has 2 flush-mounted rod holders, one on each side. Multiple rod holders are good for anglers who want to run multiple lines at once. There are also two 6” deep storage containers located in the rear and the front between the legs. The Angler comes with a paddle and a side-mounted paddle holder for when it is not in use.

Overall, the Angler is a solid choice and will serve you well for a long time.

What We Like:

  • Study and UV resistant polyethylene
  • Max seating capacity of 400 lbs
  • Lift and portable
  • 2 flush rod mounts
  • Fully adjustable padded seat

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Relatively low stability, no standing
  • No color options

6. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Kayak

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is one of the most heavy-duty 2-person fishing kayaks we have ever seen. The Coleman Colorado is made out of an extremely tough 18-gauge PVC material that is certified for performance and longevity. The bottom of the kayak incorporates an 8400 nylon cover that prevents snagging and resist punctures.

The Sevylor Coleman is designed for rough waters that might have a lot of obstacles in it. In fact, it almost performs like a white water raft and is extremely stable and resistant to being tossed around by the rushing water. The body is constructed of multiple separate air chambers. So even if one is punctured the others remain inflated and buoyant.

As the name implies, the Coleman Colorado is designed for up to 2 people, meaning it has a very high seating capacity. It has 4 fishing rod holders along the side and a special fitting for a trolling motor. You can store the paddles in the holders when not in use.

The best feature of the Coleman Colorado is durability and inflatable nature. When deflated you can fold it up and carry it but when inflated is tough enough to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.

What We Like:

  • The extremely durable PVC construction
  • Puncture-proof nylon floor
  • Multiple independent air chambers
  • 4 adjustable rod holders
  • Easy to transport and store

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No storage compartments
  • PVC cam smell weird is water is left to sit

7. Intex Challenger K1 Fishing Kayak

Our next entry on our list is the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. The Intex is a perfect choice of a solo kayak and features a one-person cockpit maximized for comfort on those long fishing trips. The body of the kayak is made from Intex’s trademark Dura-Beam tech which consists of thousands of tiny polyester fibers that reinforce the rugged vinyl material. The Intex has an extremely cushioned seat that can be adjusted depending on leg length.

On the front of the Intex is a mesh cargo bungee net for storing possessions. This inflatable kayak comes with a high output pump that makes inflating and setting it up easy. It comes with a flat 84-inch aluminum paddle that is durable and has convenient rubberized handles along the length. 2 separate air chambers ensure it retains balance when on the water.

The Intex has a lighter seating capacity than some other kayaks at only 220 lbs. This is made up for by its portability and lightweight. It weighs under 30 lbs so you will have no problem taking it on camping trips and the like.

The Intex does not have any fishing rod holders so you’ll have to keep it in your hands. That’s a point off for us but it still ends up being a solid choice of fishing kayak.

What We Like:

  • Inflatable and extremely light/portable
  • Comes with 84-inch paddle
  • Durable vinyl material
  • Weighs under 30 lbs
  • Colorful design

What We Didn’t like:

  • Low overall seating capacity
  • No fishing rod holders

Also Read: Best Bass Fishing Rod – Reviews & Comparison

8. Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Pedal Kayak

OK, so we will start off by pointing out the negatives. The Perception Pescador is expensive. Like over a month’s worth of rent expensive. So we will say that you shouldn’t buy this kayak unless you have the dollars to spare.

However, the Perception Pescador 12 is an absolutely top-quality fishing kayak built with professional performance in mind. It has some of the best construction and features in a fishing kayak we have ever seen. It has a single piece leak-proof design that is made from an extremely durable PVC material that is resistant to UV damage.

The real draw of the Pescador is the pedal system. A pedal system attached to the bottom and the inside of the cockpit let you get around with the power of your feet. The pedal system is also removable if you want to give your arms a workout too.

There are 6 color options available ranging from a royal blue to deep moss green. It has large front and rear open storage ports for all your fishing gear and has 4 separate rod holders. The cockpit seat is fully adjustable and features a taut mesh fabric that gives great support, comfort, and breathability.

What We Like:

  • Extremely high-quality construction
  • Removable pedal system
  • Large seating area and large storage containers
  • Comfortable and adjustable seat
  • 6 vibrant color options
  • 4 rod holders and accessory rigs

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy and hard to transport

9. BKC UH-TK181 Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak

The penultimate entry in our list is the BKC Tandem 2-person Fishing kayak. This kayak, as the name implies, is designed for 2 people and made so they can paddle together. The kayak body is made out of a tough and UV-resistant polyethylene material. The BKC is not the lightest kayak in the world and weighs over 60 pounds. That means you will probably need a second person to carry it comfortably.

The BKC measures 12 feet long and has 3 adjustable rod holders mounted along the side. In front of each seat are paddle holders that help synchronize motions when paddling in tandem. Also in front of both seats are 7” storage containers and a corded storage port on the back. There is not a lot of storage on this kayak so you’ll have to pack sparingly.

You don’t only have to use paddles either. The BKC has a fixture on the back that lets you attach a trolling motor so you can give your arms a break when it calls for it. We will warn that it’s not the best kayak to stand up in, especially when you have 2 people in it.

What We Like:

  • Extra-long design built for two people
  • Durable UV-resistant material
  • Lots of rod holders
  • Fixture for trolling motor
  • Comes with 2 aluminum paddles

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Not good for standing
  • Not a lot of storage

10. Vibes Kayaks Sea Ghost 130

Last on our list is the Sea Ghost 130 from Vibes Kayaks. The Sea Ghost model has recently undergone a change and added some new features like more line holders and more gear tracks. The Sea Ghost is made from a tough polyethylene material that has a seating capacity of up to 500 pounds. The entire deck space of the Sea Ghost is customizable so you can add whatever accessories you want. The integrated rubber system makes it easy to move.

One thing we really like about the Sea Ghost is its large storage capacity. That’s not just dry storage either but the multiple rod holders and mounting options. The higher weight capacity means it can be used by any fisher and it has a fast-access paddle park.

Overall, the Sea Ghost is a high-quality kayak that manages to be a reasonable price, relatively speaking. It is a good option for more experienced anglers who want a customizable deck space and center console.

What We Like:

  • Customizable design
  • Adjustable and comfortable seat
  • Multiple rod holders
  • Lots of storage space
  • Integrated rubber system
  • Front launching handles

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some quality control issues
  • Rubber footholds are a bit too flexible

Conclusions:

Switching things up from a fishing canoe to a fishing kayak is a great way to freshen up the fishing experience. A fishing kayak will give a bit more mobility and flexibility and puts a unique spin on the process. If you are looking for a fishing kayak then make sure you do your research and choose wisely.

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Derek S. Webb
 

Derek Webb is a family man, outdoor enthusiast, and Editor-In-Chief at Outdoor On! He is a regular columnist in big media publication - writing from fishing to camping to various outdoor stuff.