Which Style Of Fishing Kayak Is Right For You?

Fishing Kayak

October 29th, 2017   |   Updated on November 1st, 2017

If you’ve developed an interest in this relaxing activity but are having a hard time choosing a fishing kayak activity, then this article will definitely help you. I will help you with some simple tools to help you navigate through the numerous choices that are available for you in the market until you choose one that suits your needs.

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Even for the avid kayak fishers, this article will be useful in pointing out what improvements you may need for your kayak. There are a number of things to consider when choosing the right kayak. These include:

  • Sit in kayaks or sit on top kayaks
  • Where will you be fishing?
  • The level of comfort you desire

Sit in Kayaks or Sit on Top Kayaks

The difference between these two is easily observable. The sit on top kayak has a raised seating area that is above the hull of the kayak while the sit-in kayak has an enclosed seating area for the fisher that’s called the cockpit. Each has different features that I’ve covered below to help you choose which one suits your needs best.

Sit on top kayaks

  • They are generally the more popular of the two and with good reason.
  • Versatile fishing positions

The beauty of a sit on top fishing kayak is that it allows you several fishing positions. You’ll be sure to catch that fish when you can change your position to deal with the heat of the battle that ensues immediately that fish catches the line.

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Plus, fishing is a long day expedition type of activity. You need to be comfortable so that you can enjoy the experience, being able to change positions makes sure that you don’t get tired.

It will give you a wider range of view over the fish. This is particularly useful when you want to fish while standing and cast a net.

It’s easy to get off and get in and it allows you to wade a bit in the water when you want to move around.

  • Stability and Safety

The hull of the sit on top kayak is constructed in such a way that will make sure that it does not sink.
When you do topple over, it is much easier and safer to get back on the kayak and be on your way. It has self-draining holes that make sure that water does not remain in your kayak.

It has very good stability when floating on its keel. This is very good for the less experienced anglers. It will definitely reduce your anxiety when you don’t feel like you’re going to topple over within the first few seconds of being on the kayak. Plus, it will take you slow, which is perfect for creeping on unsuspecting fish and beginners might appreciate taking things slow.

Sit in kayaks

This type of kayak is normally preferred by experienced individuals. Here are a few reasons why even beginners should consider sit-in kayaks.

  • Stability

The first few seconds on a sit-in kayak will scare you a little (if you are a non-swimmer) because they are not stable when they are resting on their keel.

The sort of stability that you find with sit-in kayaks is different from the one you experience with sit on top kayaks.
Sit in kayaks are much more stable when they lean on their sides. This feature combined with their curved hulls and lower center of gravity makes it so much easier to counter rough waters.

The only problem with them is that they easily fill up with water and topple over if you do not have the skirt on.

  • Protection from the elements

For those in cold weather conditions, this kayak will keep you warm and protect you from the frigid wind. It’s also a whole less of a wet ride with this kayak.

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Where will you be fishing? (and hull design)

One of the most variable features of fishing kayaks is the hull design. Hull design is varied with the places that you plan to fish. So you need to understand how so that you can get the most effective fishing kayak. Whether you are out on the bay, in the local river, a fish pond, lake or the rough water seas, you need a fishing kayak that will suit your needs.

Wide expansive flat waters

Within wide expansive waters, your kayak needs to be able to move over great distances, withstand the stiff wind that you will be exposed to and stay on course.

The kind of kayak that you will need is a long kayak. 14 feet is a good starting point. It will increase your speed as you move along long distances. A narrow kayak will also increase your speed because of the reduction of the water surface that is getting wet. You want to reduce the friction between your kayak and the water to hasten movement.

You will also need a kayak with a low degree of rocker. This refers to the curve of your hull. Your kayak will track very well in the stiff winds when it has a low degree of rocker.

You may also want to consider a kayak which has rudders. It will help the kayak to stay on course.

Moving water

Within moving waters, your style of fishing is considerably different. You need a kayak that will can counter rapids, move through narrow spaces and withstand the currents so that you can be able to reach those hard to reach spots where the fish hide.

Your kayak will need to be much shorter. Maneuverability is key and shorter kayaks are much easier to turn. You also need a kayak with a high degree of rocker. It increases maneuverability considerably.

While the above features increase maneuverability, they also lower stability. A wider hull will ensure that your kayak will remain stable in the troubled waters that you cruise through.

Level of Comfort

You are about to spend several hundred dollars on a fishing kayak so yes, the level of comfort is important. Plus, if you want to really experience the relaxation that comes with kayak fishing, you need to be comfortable. You need something that will make you keep coming back.

The Seats

You need a seat that will give your lower back and even your upper back the comfort that it needs. You’ll be staying out in the water for long hours so this is important.

Also, you need seats that are made of a material that will dry fast.

Lastly, find a seat that suits your body. If you’re a big guy you don’t want a seat that’s too tiny to be comfortable. Find a kayak that caters to your size.


A kayak that has rod holders, cooler holders and buckets for your bait is much more comfortable than one that does not have the capacity to hold all this.

Ease of Transport

You need a kayak that will be easy for you to fix at the top of your car and drive to the nearest water body without any hitches. You don’t want something that will eat up good fishing time trying to set up.

Final Words

I hope all these tips will help you find a fishing kayak that is just right for you. More experienced people normally rig their kayaks to suit them just right. With time, you can actually do this yourself. But for now, I would advise you to focus on getting one that will be as close as possible to what you need then grab your gear and get fishing!