The 8 Best Fishing Kayaks to Buy in 2018

Kayak fishing is a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend time out on the water without all the headaches that come with owning a powerboat. Fishing kayaks are easier to store, require very little maintenance and can be easily transported. Plus, it’s a lot more affordable than fishing on a motorized vessel. Fishing kayaks range from basic designs to more complex (and pricier) options. These best fishing kayaks are ideal for beginner anglers or experts alike, so read to see which one is right for your needs.

  • 01 of 08

    If you’re new to kayak fishing, the nine-foot Vibe Skipjack is a great way to get started and is a top choice overall for craftsmanship and price. At just 45 pounds, the sit-on-top kayak is one of the lighter options on the market, making it easy for one person to load and unload. It includes four mounted rod holders, paddle holders to prevent loss, plus four carry handles. There are also two, sealed storage compartments with bag inserts, a rear well with bungees for larger items, as well as a comfortable seat and a paddle. Amazon buyers felt that it was extremely durable, and of an excellent quality considering the low price tag.

  • 02 of 08

    If you’d like to give kayak fishing a try but don’t want to invest too much into it, the Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing Kayak is a great way to get started without shelling out on an expensive kayak. The 10-foot, sit-in kayak is made of high-density polyethylene that handles on the front and back that make it easy to carry. Fishing holders are located in the back and swivel fishing holders in front, while bungee cords secure the storage area and water bottle holder. The seat has padding on the back, as well as thigh-padding along the sides. The kayak handles well in the water, but it does not withstand the test of time as well as the more expensive options.

  • 03 of 08

    For a tandem kayak that’s not too long and handles well, the Brooklyn Kayak Company has a 12-foot, sit-on-top kayak that can accommodate two (or three) anglers – at a moderate price to boot. Fishing highlights include four, built-in rod holders and two adjustable holders, dual watertight storage compartments, as well as a rear storage with bungee tie downs. There are also built-in paddle rests, so you won’t have to worry about it floating away while you’re focusing on fishing. Two kayak seats with rear pouches are included and the kayak comes in five different color varieties. Amazon buyers noted that it was extremely stable, but at 70 pounds it’s a tad heavy to carry.

  • 04 of 08

    For a kayak that works well paddling with one person or two, the Old Town Twin Heron Angler is a fantastic choice. The sit-in kayak has a removable front seat, so a single paddler can easily maneuver the 13.5-foot kayak. In fact, several Amazon buyers stated they take the kayak out with their dog in the front, however, it can comfortably accommodate a second person as well. The hull of the kayak is designed with a bow that points downward, so one person can use it with ease. The 60-pound kayak has two rod holders, six mount receivers, and foot braces, however, it does not have as much storage as some of the other choices.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Those who plan on hauling a lot of gear around on their fishing trip should consider the Malibu X Factor Fish and Dive kayak. The versatile, sit-on-top kayak is 14 feet long, weighs 62 pounds, and has deep wells designed for dive tanks – or other storage items such as tackle gear, a cooler and more. There are a whopping six rod holders, adjustable footrests, a drain hole, cup holder and side carry handles. The “X Factor” also has a gator hatch designed to hold kid-sized seats if little ones want to tag along. Be aware that this kayak does not include a padded seat, so you’ll have to purchase that separately.

  • 06 of 08

    If you’re looking for a well-made, sit-in kayak at a reasonable price, the Old Town company’s Vapor 10 Angler Kayak is a safe bet. The inside cockpit is extremely roomy and wide, with a padded seat cushion and adjustable foot braces to stabilize you when paddling. The Vapor comes with an anchor and trolley system, so once you find a good spot where the fish are biting you can stay there, and two rod holders behind the seat. The kayak is extremely stable and comes in brown or grey camouflage. There’s also a drain plug, so you can easily get any water out that splashes in without having to struggle to shake the kayak around.

  • 07 of 08

    If you plan on doing some fishing in the ocean or another area that sees some waves, you may want to consider a sit-on-top kayak. These kayaks are designed to allow the water to run out of the kayak through scupper holes (through holes), so if a wave splashes some water in, you won’t have to bail it out. The Perception Pescador Pro is a solid choice for this and has a removable, stadium-style seat, tackle box storage. Plus, it's specially designed to allow you to attach additional gear. There’s also a molded cup holder and fishing rod holders, a skid plate on the hull for added durability, as well as a center console for storage.

  • 08 of 08

    If you’re searching for a high-performance, well-constructed kayak, Hobie is a trusted name for anglers and adventurers. The Hobie Mirage Revolution Kayak features specially-designed pedals for hands-free propulsion (forward and reverse), so you can glide along with the fishing pole in hand. Storage compartments are located in the front and rear of the kayak, there are two rod holders and the seat is adjustable to two different heights. With the ability to handle tight turns, the kayak can easily slip into smaller areas where the fish are hiding. When not in use, the rudder can be tucked away for easy storage. The kayak measures 11.6 feet and weighs a hefty 81 pounds.

At TripSavvy, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your trip. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.