Best Fishing Kayak | 10 Best Fishing Kayaks 2018 (so far)

Best Fishing Kayak Review

Yes, we know; finding the best fishing kayak for you can be an arduous task.

You don’t have time or money to try them all yourself. Do you?

Well, we have good news for you…

We’ll tell you everything you need to know before fishing kayaks right now!

Before we go into details… Let’s Take a quick look at what we recommend:

Mike's Top Choice

(The one we like the best)

BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

Padded seats

1 Year Warranty

Multiple waterproof storage compartments

Perfect Maneuverability


Cheapest Option

(Check current price down below)

Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Lightweight

3 Rod Olders & Paddle holder

Great for Lakes & Rivers

Great Value for Starters


Wanna skip to the full reviews?

10 Best Fishing Kayaks (Full list)

Here are the 10 best fishing kayaks we looked at:

  1. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak
  2. Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
  3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
  4. 2017 Wilderness Radar 115 Fishing Kayak Package
  5. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-220 11-Foot 6-Inch Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
  6. BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak
  7. BKC UH-TK219 12-Foot Tandem Sit on Top Kayak
  8. BKC UH-FK184 9’2″ Sit on Top Single Fishing Kayak
  9. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
  10. Bonafide SS127 Ultimate Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Do you wanna learn more about Fishing Kayaks? Here you can learn:

Or, again, just go to the full reviews:

10 Best Fishing Kayak 2018 (so far)

Keeping the above criteria in consideration, Mike’s Gear Reviews has come up with 10 of the best fishing kayaks that you can buy. Based on various fishing kayak reviews, these models have been proven to be sturdy and dependable.

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

The first one we have here is also the first of two Sun Dolphin brands. This is the Journey model, which is 10ft and lightweight. This is a candidate for the best fishing kayak under 1000.

Here are the pros and cons:

ProsCons
Inexpensive250-lb limit
Lightweight
3 rod holders and paddle holders
With storage

Specs:

  • Great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots
  • Lightweight, easy to carry
  • Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability
  • P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier)
  • Two flush mount and one swivel fishing rod holders

Probably the best fishing kayak for beginners and for those with shorter stature, this inexpensive sit-on-top one-seater kayak is just what you need for a day of leisure fishing. It is spacious and has storage at the rear.

It does have a maximum capacity of only 250 lbs., so it does have its drawback, even for an inexpensive kayak as this. If you are taller than average and heavier than the prescribed limit, this is not the best fishing kayak for you. Nevertheless, it has adjustable foot braces so you can feel comfortable.

Button to buy Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Another Sun Dolphin product, the Excursion model is the sit-in variety. Also at 10 feet, this 40-lbs fishing kayak is easy to carry and compact. Relatively wide at 30 inches, it has solid stability.

Here are the pros and cons:

ProsCons
InexpensiveNot built for speed
Lightweight
3 rod holders and paddle holder
With storage

The specs:

  • Great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots
  • Lightweight, easy to carry
  • Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability
  • Two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder
  • Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High Density Polyethylene

According to various fishing kayak reviews, this is great value for starters. It has three rod holders, one swivel and the other two flush mounts. As with the Journey, this also has a portable accessory carrier for storage. The adjustable foot brace helps in making you comfortable.

For a small kayak at only 10-ft long, it tracks well.

It is also fairly stable.

If you are a newbie in kayak-fishing, this can be a contender for the best fishing kaya for beginners.

Button to buy Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

A sit-on-top kayak, the Tamarack Angler from Lifetime is another 10-ft budget yet quality kayak on this list. This one, however, is a step above with its 5-year warranty.

Here are the pros and cons:

ProsCons
SpaciousUncomfortable seats
With 5-year limited warranty
Tracks well
Stable

Specs:

  • Constructed of UV-protected high-density Polyethylene. Multiple footrest positions for different size riders. Stable flat bottom
  • Adjustable padded seat back and seat pad for comfort. Two flush mounted fishing rod holders. One top mount fishing rod holder
  • Front and rear shock cord straps. Two 6″ storage compartments in rear and center. Two Paddle cradles with shock cords
  • Front and rear t-handles for easy transport. Deep hull tracking channels
  • Stability chine rails. Durable high-density Polyethylene (HDPE) construction

For a short yak, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler, according to fishing kayak reviews, tracks really well.

It is also quite stable, but not so much that you can stand up on it for sight cast fishing. It also has a lot of room for your equipment and gears. But as the first two yaks here, it is just 10-ft long. It isn’t the best fishing kayak for taller than average people.

This is better for use during short fishing trips, though. It’s because the seat, although padded, can become uncomfortable for a longer time.

Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with this if you are a newbie kayak-fisher.

Button to buy Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

2017 Wilderness Radar 115 Fishing Kayak Package

2017 Wilderness Radar 115 Fishing Kayak Package

2017 Wilderness Radar 115 Fishing Kayak Package

Would you prefer your kayak to be with paddles or pedals? Or perhaps you would want it to be motorized? If you can’t make up your mind, the Wilderness Systems 2017 Radar 115 is the answer to your problem.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
Pedal, paddle and motor-poweredExpensive
Spacious
Comfortable seat
Tracks well

Specs:

  • Includes: Radar 115 Kayak, Helix PD Pedal Drive, Vamo Roof Rack Pads, Vamo Tie Downs Set
  • Radar features S.M.A.R.T. Hull Technology that combines stability, maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness and tracking
  • Length: 11’8″, Width: 34.5″, Weight: 82lbs, Capacity: 450lbs

The option of three propulsions alone is a big plus for this yak. The Radar 115 is the most expensive on this list, but it’s worth it.

It is shorter than other Wilderness Systems models, still it can carry a hefty 450 lbs. A generous 34.5-inch width also assures that it is stable enough for standing.

If you aren’t using the motor drive, you can use the Flex Pod PD to convert it to a pedal propulsion. It has ample space for your stuff and gears. The price indicates that this isn’t for beginners, but anyone can use this and find it easy to use.

It was released in 2017, although many reviews agree to add it to the best fishing kayak 2018.

Button to buy 2017 Wilderness Radar 115 Fishing Kayak Package

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-220 11-Foot 6-Inch Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-220 11-Foot 6-Inch Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with PaddlesBrooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-220 11-Foot 6-Inch Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-220 11-Foot 6-Inch Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles

The first of the four Brooklyn Kayak Company models featured here, the BKC UH-220 is a paddle-driven sit-on-top kayak that is perfect for your fishing needs. Probably the best fishing kayak under 1000 dollars, the BKC-220 has all you need without the hefty price tag.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
StableHeavy
SpaciousSlow
Waterproof compartments
With paddle
Comfortable seat
Tracks well

Specs:

  • Equipped with 3 rod holders, 2 flush-mount rod holders and 1 adjustable rod holder
  • Standup Stability
  • Waterproof Storage
  • Paddle Parks
  • Cargo Area

It is not the least expensive model in the BKC line or even on this list, but the UH-RA220 sits just right in the pricing department. It’s spacious and stable, and it tracks well. Its waterproof compartments make this a valuable option for the best kayak for fishing.

It does say it can be stood on for sight cast fishing, but it would be difficult to stand on it without assistance. Also, it is a heavy yak that sits low in the water and so it pushes water as you move forward rather than cut it. This makes it slow.

But still, if you meant to spend your day leisurely, this BKC model is a good choice.

Button to buy Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-220 11-Foot 6-Inch Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles

BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

Another one from Brooklyn Kayak Company, which is still a relatively unknown brand, the UH-TK181 is a serious contender for the best fishing kayak 2018. It is almost the perfect tandem kayak under $1000… Almost.

Here are its pros and cons:

ProsCons
Tracks wellHeavy
Good maneuverability
Padded seats
With adjustable fishing rod holders
With 1 year warranty
Multiple waterproof storage compartments

Specs:

  • 2-person tandem sit on top fishing kayak
  • Fishing rod holders: 7 fishing rod holders, 3 are adjustable for convenience and 4 are flush-mounted for stability
  • Multiple storage areas: Features waterproof storage compartments for wallet, keys, etc.
  • Paddle rests: Two secure paddle parks that prevent paddles from falling overboard when not in use
  • Multiple carrying handles: Four comfortable carrying handles for easy overland transport

The UH-TK181 is a sit-on-top tandem kayak, which means it can sit two persons.

The great thing about this, apart from the other things that we will mention below, is that both seats are padded and comfortable. You can fish for hours without feeling your body hurt from sitting.

According to fishing kayak reviews, it also has good maneuverability and great tracking. It has adjustable fishing rod holders and multiple waterproof storage compartments, which make this the best fishing kayak with those alone.

There’s one thing to keep in mind, though. It is heavy, so it could be a little slow.

Another thing to know is that it has a 1-year warranty. So that’s a good deal already.

Button to buy BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-TK219 12-Foot Tandem Sit on Top Kayak

BKC UH-TK219 12-Foot Tandem Sit on Top Kayak

BKC UH-TK219 12-Foot Tandem Sit on Top Kayak

Another one from Brooklyn Kayak Company, the UH-TK219 is a tandem and sit-on-top kayak that has everything you need from a fishing yak.

The pros and cons:

ProsCons
With 5 fishing rod holdersNo back support on seats
With waterproof compartments
Stable
Tracks well
Easy to maneuver

Specs:

  • The 3-person kayak weighs about 70 pounds and can hold up to 440 pounds
  • Includes 2×2 piece lightweight aluminum paddle and 2 deluxe kayak seats
  • Wide 34″ beam provides super stable ride
  • 2 cargo hatch areas, carrying handles on all sides, 2 bungee paddle parks, rear cargo storage area with bungee tie down system

The UH-TK219 is a tandem kayak, as its name says, but it can fit up to three people should you have two friends who want to fish with you. It also has two aluminum paddles included for two people. With a width of 34 inches, this fishing kayak is fairly stable.

It also tracks well and maneuvers easily.

It arguably can be called the best kayak for fishing, especially if you want to use it with two more friends.

Button to buy BKC UH-TK219 12-Foot Tandem Sit on Top Kayak

BKC UH-FK184 9’2″ Sit on Top Single Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-FK184 9’2" Sit on Top Single Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-FK184 9’2″ Sit on Top Single Fishing Kayak

One of the two shortest yaks on this list at only 9.2 inches, the BKC UH-FK184 does fit fishing rods, don’t worry. In fact, it has five rod holders that can fit all at the same time.

Here are the pros and cons:

ProsCons
With 5 rod holdersOnly 250lb capacity
Waterproof storage
Lightweight
Ample leg room

Specs:

  • 5 rod holders
  • Waterproof storage
  • Paddle Parks
  • Cargo area
  • 4 carrying handles

One of the cheapest entries here, the Brooklyn Kayak Company’s UH-FK184 is a tiny powerhouse that does the job. It could be the best fishing kayak for beginners with its accessories and all that. But what makes it really good is its stability. Despite being short, its width of about 2 ft. is remarkable. You can stand on it and fish, as long as it’s a calm water condition.

As it is just about 45lbs, it is easy to carry and store with its four carrying handles. Its comfortable seat and wide leg room allow you to fish for hours without cramping your position.

Because it is really good, this small yak is often included in the best fishing kayak 2018 lists of different reviews.

Button to buy BKC UH-FK184 9’2" Sit on Top Single Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

From Vibe Company, one of the newer kayaks manufacturers, the Skipjack 90 is the other shortest yak we included here. At just 9 ft., it can easily be stored in tight spaces. It is also lightweight at 46 lbs., making it one of the most portable kayaks around.

Here are the pros and cons:

ProsCons
Easy to maneuverOnly 300 lbs. capacity
Tracks wellSlow
Compact and lightweight
Multiple storages

Specs:

  • Key Features: 1-person sit on top fishing kayak – 9ft 46lbs fishing kayak with a deluxe kayak seat
  • Mount for Accessories: 4 capped flush mount rod holders and mounting point for Scotty, RAM and Vibe mount accessories
  • No More Overboard Paddles: Two paddle parks to help secure paddles when not in use
  • Multiple Storage Options: Two sealed hatches with bag inserts and large bungeed rear tank well
  • Extra Features: Four easy grip carry handles for transport and portability

The Skipjack 90 is a perfect yak for beginners and even younger fishing enthusiasts just because of its mere size. This paddle kayak is easy to maneuver and tracks well. It is highly stable if it’s on calm water conditions. However, it’s a different matter when it’s on slightly turbulent conditions. It has a slightly higher weight capacity at 300 lbs., but it’s still on the short side.

One of the bemusing qualities of this is that for a short and light kayak, it moves slowly. According to sites on fishing kayak reviews, it’s because of its large width size that makes it move at a slow pace. Though the width increases its stability, it also makes it slower.

But despite its lack of speed, Vibe’s Skipjack 90 is a beginner’s ideal choice.

Button to buy Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-foot Angler Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Bonafide SS127 Ultimate Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Bonafide SS127 Ultimate Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Bonafide SS127 Ultimate Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Not quite the most expensive item on this list but still high up on the scale is the Bonafide SS127. This “ultimate fishing” kayak is propelled by paddles, which aren’t included in the package. The SS127 truly looks like it’s a sit-on-top because its seat doesn’t only sit on top, it sits very high up on top.

Here are the pros and cons:

ProsCons
475-lb. capacityNo rod holders
Tracks well
Stable
Comfortable seat

Specs:

  • Ultimate fishing kayak
  • HiRise seating system with ultra-high seating position
  • Loaded with angling features including the under the seat junk drawer, DryPod with transducer through-hull scupper, rod tip holders, GearTracs, traction pads, and bow hatch with Doubleheader hinges
  • Hybrid cat hull for excellent stability, but also paddles efficiently and provides exceptional glide and turning power

For something touted as an “ultimate fishing kayak,” the SS127 doesn’t have a rod holder. But that’s probably just its only fault. If you can get past that, it truly is an ultimate fishing kayak. It has a 475-lb. capacity, a generous number as compared to most fishing kayaks.

It’s also not a problem if you fish all day long because its seat, which sits on very high on the kayak, is comfortable. And according to users, it’s not just a stable kayak; it’s probably the most stable kayak that you would ever ride on.

Button to buy Bonafide SS127 Ultimate Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Mike’s Top Choice

Based on the reviews above, Mike’s Gear Reviews has picked out its favorites.

If money is not an object, get the 2017 Wilderness Radar 115. It is versatile and can be propelled by pedal, paddle or motor, depending on what you feel most comfortable in using. Its only fault is its price, which is more than a thousand dollars above the rest of the items on this list.

The best fishing kayak, though, is the Brooklyn Kayak Company’s UH-TK181. It’s a tandem kayak that tracks well and maneuvers easily. Not to mention, it also has 1-year warranty on top of its several pros. The only con that it has is it’s heavy, but it’s meant for two people to carry anyway.

Fishing Kayaks – The basics

Fishing is a relaxing activity, especially if you do it just because.

If you want to while away your time, fishing is the perfect hobby to do. But you would also want to catch some fish while doing it, of course, and you have more chance of doing that if you are on the water rather than on shore. This is why you need the best fishing kayak whenever you want to wade in the water for some fish.

A fishing kayak is just what it sounds like.

It’s a kayak, a small narrow watercraft that is propelled by paddles, that is meant for one or two persons for fishing.

Unlike fishing boats, most fishing kayaks do not need gas. You just need to paddle or pedal, depending on the type of your kayak.

That said, there are fishing kayaks that are motorized.

Boats are wider and can carry more than one people and have space for coolers and other gears that you may have besides your fishing rods.

Parts of a Fishing Kayak

Parts of a Fishing Kayak

There are two types of fishing kayaks.

The first is a sit-in, the other is a sit-on-top.

A sit-on-top kayak is the easier to paddle between the two. It is easier to get in and get on top of it. It has a sealed hull, prompting the paddler to sit on top of a molded seat, hence it’s “sit-on-top.” Some of the best fishing kayaks that are sit-on-top are typically wider. However, the wider it is, the slower it is as well.

Sit-in kayaks has an enclosed pace, or cockpit, for the paddler to sit. As you are technically inside the boat, you are warmer than you would have been in a sit-on-top. However, if the kayak flips, then you will also flip with the kayak as you wouldn’t be separated from it easily. Sit-ins usually has a spray skirt to act as a barrier from cold air and water.

Sit In Kayak (Sink) vs Sit On Kayak (SOT)

Sit In Kayak (Sink) vs Sit On Kayak (SOT)

There are also the inflatable kayaks, which are sturdier than you might think at first. They are inexpensive and perfect for compact storing.

Do you need a fishing Kayak?

Kayaks have the unfortunate and unwarranted reputation of being unstable. It’s mostly because of how it looks: narrow but long. But according to users and numerous fishing kayak reviews, kayak-fishing is easy and safe, more than it looks.

It is a lot more effortless to operate alone than you would a boat.

It’s also cheaper to purchase and maintain.

So if you are fond of fishing alone or even with one friend, then a fishing kayak is what you need.

What to look for in a Fishing Kayak

All of the above can be used for fishing activities. However, in choosing the best fishing kayak, you need to look for qualities that make fishing a more convenient activity. So before buying one, consider the following first: if it’s sit-in or sit-on-top, its propulsion, its stability, length and width, tracking, storage, fishing accessories, and where it’s made.

What to look for in a Fishing Kayak

What to look for in a Fishing Kayak

Sit-In or Sit-On-Top

As discussed above, you have two choices: a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak. It can be argued that the best kayak for fishing is a sit-on-top kayak as it allows you better movement and generally has more storage for your gears. That is not to say a sit-in kayak cannot be used for fishing. It can, and some of the best fishing kayaks are even sit-in ones.

However, the majority of fishing kayak reviews agree that the sit-on-top type is the better choice for the activity.

Propulsion

Pedal or paddle?

That’s one of the first things that would be asked of you when you buy a kayak.

If you chose pedal, it would be less tiring than paddle and you can use your hands to hold a fishing rod instead of paddling. However, it is heavier and a lot more expensive than a kayak with paddle propulsion. As for paddle, aside from it’s so much cheaper than pedal, it can also be used in shallow waters. With pedal, you need additional underwater clearance because you might be disturbing underwater sand or the ground with the pedal.

Paddle can get away with shallow waters.

Length and Width

A longer kayak is faster but a shorter one is more controllable. Kayaks that are 11 feet or shorter are best for tight water spaces. As for width, the wider it is, the more stable the kayak is.

Stability

Width isn’t the only factor that affects the kayak’s stability, but it’s a good start.

The best fishing kayaks of today allow users to stand up on them. Maybe you would need to stand in your kayak so you can sight-cast fish. And if that’s how you do it, then you need a stable kayak.

Fishing Kayak Stability

Fishing Kayak Stability

Tracking

When looking for the best fishing kayak, you would often hear the term “tracking.”

Tracking in kayaking term means how straight the kayak moves.

Shorter kayaks track poorly as they are harder to keep in a straight line. This is because they are easy to turn. Longer kayaks, on the other hand, track well because they are harder to turn.

This is why some kayaks have a keel, which is a fin-shaped plastic that sticks down into the water from the hull. A keel can improve tracking and even speed. However, like pedal kayaks, a keel can be impractical if you often use your kayak in shallow waters.

Fishing Accessories

It’s unlikely that even the best kayak for fishing already comes with fishing rods when bought. Fishing accessories here just means that the kayak has different rod holders for your fishing rods. The kayak should be rigged for fishing, that’s what makes it appropriate for the activity.

Storage

Another thing that you should be looking for is storage. Unlike fishing boats, kayaks don’t have a lot of space for your stuff and even for a second person sometimes. But you need a storage space and compartments at least for your fishing necessities, like a cooler and tackle box. Bonus if it’s waterproof.

Country of Manufacture

As many Americans are now conscious of buying locally made products, it would be great to know where what you deem as the best fishing kayak is made as well before you buy it. Also, knowing where it’s made may say a lot about its authenticity and quality.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
BKC UH-TK181 12.5ft Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star