Many factors come into play when choosing a kayak for fishing, and in this article, we will take a look at the key factors to look out for to help you select the right fishing kayak that best suits you. If you’re confused about what to look out for before purchasing a kayak, then this is the article you might want to read through.
How to Choose the Best Kayak for Fishing?
1. Sit on Top Versus Sit Inside
This is one of the key factors to consider when choosing the best kayak for fishing. Even though most anglers prefer the sit on top kayak, we will give you detailed information on which is best for you and why.
– Sit on Top
A sit on top kayak has a very wide open deck and for a sit on top, you’re actually going to sit on top of the kayak as the name suggests. Furthermore, your legs aren’t enclosed inside the kayak but rather, your legs will be held in place by food braces found on top of the kayak.
One thing about sit on top kayaks is that they are good warm weather paddling boats, making them a good choice for places where you get hot. Though preferred by most kayak anglers, the downside of using a sit on top kayak is, you get wet on sit on tops; water can splash up over the deck. Scupper holes are found inside the deck to drain any water that comes in, but that doesn’t prevent you from getting wet.
Another reason why most kayak anglers prefer the sit on top kayak is, you can get on and off easily. So, if you want to go for a swim while you’re out there, you can get off and swim around and easily get right back on the kayak. Also, they allow you to fish from different fishing positions and they have a large area for storage.
Although it is preferred by most kayak anglers, I will highly recommend this type for those in a warm-weather spot.
– Sit Inside
For a sit inside kayak, there is a cockpit opening where you sit inside the kayak, with your legs underneath the cockpit. Unlike the sit on top, you sit lower inside the kayak with your feet down underneath and held by foot braces.
The advantages of these are, they are used in cold weather areas like the Northern United States where water might be chilly and the weather might be windy. Also, these kayaks come with a skirt that closed off the cockpit and goes over you to prevent water from getting inside.
If you’re looking to paddle three or four seasons, you live in cold weather areas, you might need a sit inside kayak that can keep you warmer you try to get out; the cockpit will fill up with water. Even though it wouldn’t sink when filled with water, you will have to drag it to the shore and flip it over to drain the water out.
2. Length and Width
In general, the longer and narrower a boat is, the faster it will be. But the wider a boat is the more stable it will be.
A few questions to ask yourself when considering the length of a kayak is, do you plan on covering a lot of ground? If you do, you would probably want to go for a kayak which is over 13 feet long. If not, you may want to go for a kayak under 13 feet. Also, kayaks with lengths under 13 feet are a lot easier to handle, move around and store.
Also, depending on where you’re going to fish with your kayak, you might want to consider the right length and width. For narrower and smaller water bodies, kayaks of lengths 118 feet are best suited for these areas, as they will provide you with more stability.
Width is becoming less of a decision these days. This is because most of the fishing kayaks you would find on the market are pretty wide and stable. If you will be sitting whiles fishing, it’s hard to go wrong with any fishing kayak. But if you plan on standing on your kayak whiles fishing, you might want to test out the stability of the kayak you want to buy, because some will definitely feel more stable than others.
3. The Rudder
One thing you might also want to decide on is whether you want a kayak with a rudder. Contrary to popular belief, rudders aren’t there to turn the kayak, although they help. Their main purpose is to keep your kayak running straight when you’re there to turn the kayak, although they help. Their main purpose is to keep your kayak running straight when you’re dealing with wind.
Some people live by them but most kayak anglers like me are happy to use them but we don’t really miss them if our kayaks don’t have one.
4. Paddle of Pedal
With both of these choices available, an angler should be prepared to make the proper selection based on what their preferences are and how they fish.
The advantage to these type of fishing kayaks is, they are easy to maneuver and also provides you with the ability to fish hands-free. In addition, you don’t need as many anchors are you would with a paddle type of kayak and they are great for trolling.
Pedal kayaks are good when used in water bodies which are more than one foot deep. Also, they cost up to a $ 1,000 more than paddle kayaks. The downsides for these types are; they mostly get junked up with grass and debris also, they weigh 40-50 pounds more than the paddle type of kayaks.
If you are looking to fish in shallow water bodies, this might be the right choice for you. These kinds of kayaks are easier to drag around and they are inexpensive as compare to best pedal kayaks. They provide stealth and give anglers the chance to go into tight places to catch specific kind of fishes.
The downside of using these are, you will have to put your paddle down before you can actually start fishing, and you will also have to anchor your kayak before fishing.
With the above information, I hope you find the best kayak that suits you.