Fishing & Hunting Tips

Kayak buying guide (Everything you need to know)

Hey y’all, hope you folks are doing great. Looking for a complete guide to buy a fishing kayak? Well, this article will not disappoint you on that note. Kayaking is so peaceful, but getting a kayak for a beginner can be a Lil bit tricky for. The several types, styles and tons of models make this task even more confusing.

But hey don’t you worry. We got this for you. A little study can help you buy the best fishing kayak for you. We’re not going to make this confusing for you rather than make this super simple to understand. So without farther delay, let’s get started, folks.

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK14 14 foot Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Pedal Drive Kayak Upright Seats included (Grey Camo)

7 Facts To Consider To Purchase The Best Fishing Kayak

Which types do you prefer?

When it comes to fishing kayak, there are two types you can look for. The SOT and SIK, didn’t get that? Well SOT or the sit-on-top kayaks and SIK or the sit-inside kayaks. Both kayaks are great but have certain advantages and disadvantages.

You need to ask yourself-

  • What’s your purpose?
  • Where are you going to kayaking?
  • Do you need better tracking or maneuverability over tracking ability?
  • Do you wanna stand-up on your kayak?

Based on this question, you will get an answer about which type you need! Let’s give you a simple and quick idea. If your main plan is to fishing on a lake or slow-moving river, Sit-on-top kayaks will be the best choice for that. You will get better maneuverability, stability and most importantly you can stand up while fishing.

Sit-inside kayaks are a great choice in wintertime when the water is freezing cold. It will keep you warm by covering your lower portion. However, SIK or sit-inside kayaks are not a great type for fishing because of fewer features and limited fishability.

Check our recent article about Sit in vs sit on top kayak to find out more details.

Understanding the materials

The days of wooden kayaks are long gone. Modern techniques and materials are taking the industry at it’s best. Kayaks are made of wide varieties of materials. It can be Fiberglass, carbon fiber, HDPE or even tarpaulin made.

But for fishing precisely, HDPE or the high-density-polyethylene ( a special kind of molded durable plastic) and inflatable kayaks are used widely. Both options are fine. This HDPE is so durable and tends to last for a long time. Of course, the price is a huge factor here. If you want a premium ultra-durable kayak, sure you need to spin more money.

Storage and carrying is a serious issue for you? Inflatable kayaks are the ultimate solution for you! Carrying is super easy when you have an inflatable kayak. Pack your kayak in your carry-on bag, reach the destination, inflate it and hit the water! It’s that simple.

Now you choose, which one you want. Of course, the hard molded plastics are going to offer better durability than inflatables.

What type of propulsion?

Depending on your budget, you will get 2 types of kayak. Either you can go for a paddle or pedal option. Most basic kayaks are propelled with paddle power, but nowadays you will find pedal-powered kayaks in many premium kayaks.

Cheapest fishing kayaks on the market normally offers a pedal-powered mechanism while the premium and expensive one offers pedal-powered kayak. You will also find motor-powered in some case for effortless kayaking.

Consider the length, width, and weight

You need to see the length, width, and weight while buying a kayak. Check TopReviewGeek’s kayak section where you will find the full specifications and features of a kayak with real-life pros and cons.

Now, why this specification matters, right? Taller kayaks go fast while the shorter kayaks are much slower. Taller kayaks are hard to maneuver and handling needs much expertise. That makes the shorter kayak a perfect choice for beginners.

Shorter kayaks have a wider deck which provides better stability. If you’re a beginner, it’s good to have a wider kayak. You will get much confidence while on the water with a shorter and wider kayak.

Weight directly relates to the carrying capacity, must check out the weight of the kayak and consider if it fits your a requirement. Weight also controls the speed of the kayak which is also a fact to be considered. Of coarse a lightweight kayak will out-perform a much heavier kayak in terms of speed. If you want the ultimate lightweight kayak, get the inflatable kayaks.

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK14 14 foot Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Pedal Drive Kayak Upright Seats included (Grey Camo)

How much storage you need?

While fishing in the water, you need to carry a lot of gears and equipment such as fishing tackle box, cooler, bait/lures, etc. So storage should not be taken lightly. Check out how much storage the fishing kayak offers.

An open storage option at the front and rear side with bungee cording, couple of waterproof chambers, some pockets are basically what you can expect from any fishing kayak from mid-range to high-end.

Check out the features

With the price goes higher, the feature increases seamlessly. For a 100-400 $ budget, there will be not much more features available. A 500-800 $ is an intermediate level kayak which offers almost all the essential features you need for fishing. Needless to say, kayaks above 1000 $ offers all the features you can get from a kayak! Though there is always an option for modification in good quality kayaks whatever the price is!

Some features you can deserve from the best fishing kayak under 700 $ are mentioned below.

  • Minimum 3-rod holders including 1 top mount rod holder
  • Aluminum paddle
  • Paddle holder
  • Storage option
  • Front and rear bungee straps
  • Enough backspace for small crates
  • Holders
  • Footrest (fixed or adjustable)
  • Medium quality sit (you can upgrade sit for better comfort)

Does it offers a satisfying Fishability

Many people often avoid this fact while it’s a crucial fact to consider. A kayak with a better fishability can give a buttery smooth fishing experience. Fishability means how much it’s ready to do fishing?

Let’s make it real simple for you, just check these features offered or not with the kayak while buying a kayak.

  • Is there enough rod holder options?
  • Is there enough storage option available?
  • Can you fit a GPS fish finder in your kayak?
  • Can you stand-up comfortably in the kayak? (though you can fish while sitting too)
  • Is there any pocket to put your baits, lure and other equipment?

Search for these answers. You will find the best fishing kayak which has the most awesome fishability.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-in Angler Kayak (Gray Swirl, 10-Feet)

Some common terminology of kayak 

Stability: it’s a term which refers to how stable the kayak is, you’ll find the Sit-on-top kayak as the most stable kayak. They are mainly fishing kayaks where you’ll need stability.

Maneuverable: confused with the term maneuverability? The maneuverability of a boat refers to the responsiveness of a kayak. In other words, maneuverability refers to how quickly and efficiently the kayak can turn and responds to turning paddle strokes. You’ll find the short kayaks as more maneuverable while the longer kayaks are less maneuverable.

Speed: how finely the kayak moves forward cutting through the water is referred to as the speed of a kayak. Longer and narrower kayak can spell much speed than a shorter and wider kayak.

Tracking: new paddlers often mix this term with the speed. Tracking means how straight the kayak moves. If the kayak continues moving forward cutting through the water smoothly after stop paddling, then you can regulate the kayak as good tracking ability.

Edging: it’s a technique related with turning, edging a kayak is the ability to rock the kayak from side-to-side, removing one side of the hull from the water. This technique may require some practice.

Edging can be performed easily on a recreational or ocean kayak.

Rocker: Think rocking horse or rocking chair. Rocker refers to how much the bow and stern of the kayak are affected by the waterline. For instance, you can have two kayaks that are the same size but one has rocker and one does not, the kayak with the rocker will have a larger area of the kayak above the waterline. Kayak rocker will allow for quicker turning and more maneuverability.

Chine: The Chine describes the part of the kayak that transitions between the bottom and the side of the kayak. The main type of chines you will hear about are hard and soft chines. Soft chines are more rounded and transition softly. There will be no clearly defined sidewalls or edges. Hard chines have more defined edges and are generally good for “edging” your kayak.

Tank well: it’s simply another term for deck storage.

Portage: it’s the portability or storage capability of a kayak.

For more jargon busters, check out the article on Terms and terminology of kayak That you need to know before the fresh start!


Wrap up

Kayaking is the most satisfying thing you can do on a friendly budget. While it’s relaxing, it’s a medicine to stress too! On a busy life, a few hours of kayaking can heal your mind and body as nothing else does. So if you decided to get a kayak, don’t hesitate. Get it as soon as you can and hit the water, travel top fishing locations with your kayak to make the experience more exciting.

Hope this article helps to get yourself your very first kayak. Happy kayak fishing, folks!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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