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The Best Fishing Kayaks of 2016: Avoid the Boat Money Pit

Tags: kayak fishing

Kayak Fishing is a hobby that is ever-increasing in popularity, with more and more on-shore anglers looking to switch things up and add some more excitement. With all types of kayaks out there, we have compiled a list of the best fishing kayaks for your needs.

It’s important to remember that no matter what fishing kayak you end up committing to, there will always be an adjustment period. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider the best fishing kayaks on the market. Keep in mind, they might need minor adjustments and add-ons to fully suit your needs so you can always check out our reviews of the best kayak fishing supplies, but the most important part is finding a kayak with longevity that will accommodate your adventures!

Best Fishing Kayaks

Fishing Kayaks for Beginners

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak

Ocean Kayak Prowler - Best Fishing Kayaks

One of the most common ocean kayaks is the Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak. It was designed with the angler’s needs in mind, with plenty of storage, two-rod holders, and a sleek and classic yellow look. This kayak is equipped to handle the rough and choppy waters, as well as the stillness of the bay. The oversize tank in the back will handle enough of your kayak fishing gear to last you a whole day, making sure that your kayak fishing adventure is adequately comfortable.

Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive Package

Malibu Sierra Series - Best Fishing Kayaks

The best fishing kayak for beginners goes to another Malibu great; the Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive Package is the perfect sit inside kayak with two rear flush rod holders, leg and arm rests, you can kick back and relax your fishing day away. Given its size, Malibu has packed quite a punch when it comes to storage in this little guy. Never fear about having to cut back on your kayak fishing supplies, because for this particular type of kayak, it offers more than enough room for coolers, tackle, bait, and more in the rear and in the front of the cockpit. As always, the lifetime warranty that is attached to this kayak is another great reason to pursue it as your starter vessel to a lifetime of kayak fishing.

Lifetime Muskie Angler Kayak

Lifetime Muskie Angler Kayak - Best Fishing Kayaks

This is one of the best fishing kayaks for beginners, though I recommend renting a few varieties so you can see what you are most comfortable with, the Muskie Angler Kayak is a low-cost kayak that will enable your fishing habit in the best way possible. This sit on top kayak is the perfect size for one, with plenty of room for gear.

The Best Recreational Fishing Kayaks

Whether you are a novice learner looking for your first kayak, or an experienced one looking to commit to a nicer ride or get a friend interested in the sport, our fishing kayak reviews are the best place to come for river kayaks, ocean kayaks, tandem fishing kayaks, and more!

Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak

Lifetime Fisher Kayak - Best Fishing Kayaks

With its unique design, the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak allows single users to sit, stand, or sit side saddle while fishing without the craft tipping over. There are four fishing pole holders to optimize the fishing experience for the kayak fisherman (or woman!). Weighing only sixty pounds, this kayak suits the individual fisherman or a duo quite comfortably. With soft adjustable back seats, this is by far one of the best fishing kayaks available to the multitasking fisher, or at least for those who have a harder time sitting still for hours at a time. This kayak is extremely suitable for taller individual users who want the ability to stretch out.

  • 10 Foot Length
  • Could be used tandem
  • Dry storage area (material: blow-molded polyethylene)
  • 500 Pound Maximum Load
  • Warranty 1 year limited

Cobra Marauder Ultimate Fishing Machine Kayak

Cobra Marauder Ultimate Fishing Machine - Best Fishing Kayaks

This particular fishing kayak easily takes the cake for the most awesome name for a kayak, but also slides in easily on our fishing kayak reviews list. Just over 14 feet long, this ride offers plenty of bonus features for kayak fishers, including a bait cutting board, tackle box, and four-rod holders. Besides these bonus features, the silent body allows for smooth maneuverability and provides an excellent means for accomplishing the ultimate task: catching the fish!

  • 14 Foot Length
  • Built-in fishing tool holder
  • Lifetime Warranty

Old Town Vapor 10 Angler Kayak

Old Town Vapor 10 - Best Fishing Kayaks

This lightweight ergonomic fishing kayak is by far one of the best types of the kayak there is for single riders looking for an easy day on the water. Being only 44 pounds makes it easy for users to lift, launch, and get started on their day. With the included anchor, kayak fishing becomes a breeze. An adjustable comfort seat and thigh pads just add to the experience of this great sit-in kayak fit for any angler looking for a medium priced yet fully functional yak. As an added bonus, this particular model comes with its own anchor kit and deck bungee, which cuts out additional costs for accessorizing.

  • 10 Foot Length
  • 28.5-inch width, 44-pound weight 325-pound maximum load
  • Adjustable foot braces, thigh pads, adjustable comfort flex seat
  • Anchor included

Old Town Dirigo 106 Angler Kayak

Old Town Dirigo Angler Kayak - Best Fishing Kayaks

Serious anglers will be able to reach the more difficult spots out in the waters with this stable and small kayak. Thigh pads, adjustable foot braces, and flush-mounted rod holders are only a few great features of this best fishing kayak. With its roomier cockpit, the Old Town Dirigo Angler recreational fishing kayak will create a comfortable adventure even for the taller fisherman.

  • 10 Foot 6-inch length
  • Lightweight OT cushioned seat
  • 44 Pound Weight
  • 300 Pound Maximum Load

KL Industries Sun Dolphin Journey SS Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey - Best Fishing Kayaks

The Sun Dolphin Journey SS Kayak comes with an extra waterproof backpack/tow-behind storage that is sure to keep any electronics or your fishing license 100% dry. For its length, the 51 pounds is on the lighter side of the scale, and the narrower width provides great maneuverability in the water.  Two flush rod holders and an adjustable one in the front makes for three great opportunities to cast a line from this kayak.  The padded seatback and adjustable foot braces provide extra comfort and lumbar support. When it comes to kayaks for beginners, this could possibly be one of the best ones to start your fishing adventures with.

  • 10 or 12 Foot Length Options
  • 51 Pound Weight
  • 250 Pound Maximum Load

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 - Best Fishing Kayaks

For the already experienced kayak fisherman, the Hobie Mirage Angler Kayak is an investment worth making. A commitment to this sensational ride is going to improve your overall experience and make you wish you could spend all day in the water. With its ergonomic shape and speed, you can spend more time on fishing, and less time on paddling to reach your prime fishing spot. With extra storage areas, you won’t need to limit your tackle and will be able to bring along whatever you’d like to enhance your fishing experience.

  • 12 Foot Length
  • 120 Pound Weight
  • 500 Pound Maximum Load

The Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Twin Heron Angler Kayak

Old Town Twin Heron Kayak - Best Fishing KayaksThis model of Old Town Kayak is one of the best tandem kayaks available to beginner and intermediate kayak fishers. The front seat can be easily removed for the comfort of your furry-four legged fishing companions, as well. The Angler model is extremely stable, making it a perfect way to take your young kayak fishing apprentices along on the adventure. It’s speed and excellent maneuverability in both rivers and lakes makes it easier to relax and enjoy the fundamentals of kayak fishing. For all that you’re getting, the price seals the deal on making this one of our best fishing kayaks.

  • Tandem Kayak
  • Removable Front Seat for Solo Configuration
  • 64 Pound Weight
  • 500 Pound Maximum Load

Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak 12 Foot SOT Tandem - Best Fishing KayaksOne of the most affordable tandem fishing kayaks out of the best kayak for fishing list is this incredible Ocean Kayak from Malibu. This Sit-On-Top Style offers plenty of room for any angler-duo ready to hit the surf and catch some fish. The is the perfect fishing kayak for a couple with a child as it has two comfort seats and a third seat well  built in. It is compact, and a great starter for anyone looking to get a friend or family member into kayak fishing without making them go solo! Considering it is on the compact side for size when it comes to tandem kayaks, it still has great potential as one of the best kayaks for fishing for two!

  • 12 Foot Length
  • Room for up to 2 adults and 1 child
  • 425 Pound Maximum Load

Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak

Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak 2015 - Best Fishing Kayaks

For those looking to invest in a serious tandem fishing kayak than look no further: it’s a tie for the best one between two of Hobie’s best fishing kayaks yet. You can paddle the traditional way, or peddle with this kayaks built-in fins (and if you are into sailing, it has sail mounts, too!). With inflatable lumbar and two adjustable seats, you and your fishing partner are looking at some very comfortable kayak fishing adventures in this top of the line fishing kayak.

Hobie Mirage Outfitter Tandem Kayak

Similar to its year younger cousin, the Outfitter Tandem Kayak is by far one of the best Hobie produced with Mirage Drive capabilities. Like the Oasis 2016 Kayak, the Outfitter offers the peddling option of propulsion, as well as two-piece paddles with built-in storage, four molded-in rod holders, and a wide and stable hull that offers a comforting ride with extra stability. If you’re going to be investing a lot of time and weekends into kayak fishing, it is more than worth investing the extra dollar into getting one of these awesome yaks!

The Best Ocean Fishing Kayaks

Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fish and Dive Package

Malibu X 13 - Best Fishing KayaksThe ocean kayak is also one of the best fishing kayaks around! The Malibu X-Factor Fish and Dive kayak is equipped with four rod holders, two in the front and two in the back, and is ready for you to bring your child out on an adventure as well with multiple child seating possibilities. With a maximum load of 625 pounds, don’t worry about having to leave any of your kayak accessories on shore. With its incredible stability and tracking, you’ll be able to have your ultimate kayak fishing adventure and stay dry! To top it all off, Malibu is so sure that they’ve created the best fishing kayak, that they are backing it with a limited lifetime warranty.

  • 14 Foot 4 Inch Length
  • Comfortable, Dry Seating
  • Front and rear child & pet seating areas
  • 6 Mounted Fishing Rod Holders
  • Trolling Motor Compatible
  • 62 Pound Weight
  • 625 Pound Maximum Capacity

Ocean Kayak Trident Fishing Kayak

Ocean Kayak Trident - Best Fishing Kayaks

A close second in the race for best surf kayak, comes the Trident Ultra 4.7 Angler! With a name that epic, it’s no surprise that Trident has turned out an excellent sea craft worth of any great kayak fishing adventure. This sit-on-top fishing kayak is equipped with four flush mounted rod holders, an extra-long rear well for storage of tackle and other kayak fishing accessories, and is designed to ensure a drier adventure! While this particular yak may not be the best of kayaks for beginners, it is definitely one of the best ways to get into large bays and choppy water for a great kayak fishing experience.

  • Our Top Pick for Intermediate to Advanced Kayak Fishers
  • 13 Foot 6 Inch Length
  • 56 Pound Weight
  • 475 Pound Maximum Capacity

Malibu Kayaks Stealth Fish and Dive Package

Malibu Stealth - Best Fishing Kayaks

Being able to handle everything from shallow and rocky stretches to rapids is what makes the Malibu Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Kayak one of our best river kayaks for anglers looking to explore whatever river their heart desires! The wide cockpit is designed to fit you, and your gear comfortably, and with four rod mounts the fishing options will not be limited. It is not surprising that Malibu turned out another amazing sit-on-top kayak that made our list of fishing kayak reviews that are worth the buy!

  • 12 Foot 4 Inch Length
  • Highly Rated for Stability 2 front and 2 rear rod holders
  • 60 Pound Weight
  • 450 Pound Maximum Capacity

Other Great Fishing Kayak Options

Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak

Coleman Colorado Kayak - Best Fishing Kayaks

Old Town Predator 13 Foot Kayak

Old Town Predator 15 MX Kayak - Best Fishing Kayaks

Wilderness Systems Ride Angler Kayak

Wilderness Systems Ride Angler Kayak - Best Fishing Kayaks

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The Best Fishing Kayaks of 2016: Avoid the Boat Money Pit


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