The large selection of kayaks produced provides water sports enthusiasts with many selections from which to choose. Finding the best fishing kayak remains a matter of choice based on individual needs. There are a number of factors to consider before making a final purchase.

Body Construction

Kayaks manufactured using polyethylene are durable and vary greatly in price. The blow-molded or roto-molded models are designed for resistance to abrasions, punctures and UV degradation from sunlight exposure. Inflatable kayaks made from polyvinyl chloride or PVC are also designed for endurance while being the least expensive option. Extremely portable and lighter in weight, the kayaks are also abrasion and puncture resistant. They are not affected by acids or chemicals, making them appropriate for saltwater use. PVC kayaks additionally have fire retardant characteristics.

Kayak Styles

Kayaks are available in either sit-on-top or sit-inside configurations. Sit-on-top or SOT vessels are typically wider and heavier in order to compensate for the higher center of gravity created by the passenger. This design allows for the greatest flexibility and mobility of the lower body. However, SOT kayaks generally move through the water more slowly and have a lesser degree of maneuverability. Sit-inside kayaks partially rely on lower body movement for maneuverability. The interior space of the craft provides a waterproof area for storing gear. Whether looking for a single passenger or a tandem kayak like these here, manufacturers make SOT or sit-inside crafts for either option.

Kayak Sizes

Kayak dimensions consist of depth, length and width. Kayaks measure anywhere from eight feet to 19 feet in length. General use or recreational models often span nine to 14 feet (2.7–4.3 meters) long, while vessels used for traveling on the open sea measure 16 to 19 feet (4.9 to 5.8 meters) in length. Shorter kayaks are easier to turn, but do not glide or track on the water as swiftly. Kayak widths vary from 22 inches to 30 inches (56 centimeters to 76 centimeters). Wider kayaks offer more stability but are typically heavier and not as easily maneuvered compared to lighter, thinner models.

Kayak Rigging

A Single or tandem kayak crafted for fishing generally comes equipped with rod holders, deck or tank well storage areas and bungee straps. Some feature anchoring systems, more comfortable seating, molded measurement rulers and provide greater stability if the angler prefers standing. Dashboards allow for GPS or fish finding technology. Many anglers customize rigging to suit individual desires. Fishing kayak customization may include extra bungee attachments, lights, rudders or trolling motors.

Propelling Differences

Traditional kayaks glide across the water via the paddling efforts of the passenger. However, some models come equipped with pedal-power. Pedal placement is similar to a recumbent bicycle. In this instance, the pedal mechanism is attached to one or two propellers situated beneath the kayak. While paddles aid in turning, pedal-powered crafts allow anglers to travel longer distances faster with little or no upper body movement. Pedal designed crafts also provide better maneuverability in headwinds or strong currents.