How to Choose a Fishing Kayak?

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I Have you been constantly worrying about how to choose a fishing kayak so that your fishing experience tends to be safer? Well, all your queries will be solved here as you will go through the detailed steps involved in buying a good quality kayak. It is important that you own the right fishing kayak in terms of size, shape and various other factors.

There has been an increasing surge in fishing kayaks now as they are more stable than canoes and much less expensive than fishing boats. They are easy to carry and are small-water friendly equipment.

#1, Before you Begin With It

In order to decide on how to choose a fishing kayak, you should first consider the below-mentioned points before buying the right kayak:

  • Will you be fishing for small water bodies or larger ones?
  • What will be the temperature of the water like where you will be fishing?
  • Do you need a stable kayak or a faster one?

#2, The Process of How to Choose Fishing Kayak

Video: Kayak Fishing Basics: How to Choose a Kayak

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You must own the right type of kayak for fishing and hence you need to follow the factors mentioned below to choose the best fishing kayak for your need.

  • Type of Fishing Kayak: There are different types of fishing kayak available for different type of water bodies, be it fresh water or salt water or lakes or ponds. Freshwater kayak is meant for fishing on moving water and fishing on the still water. Saltwater fishing is meant for offshore fishing and inshore fishing. So you must be sure of the type of kayak fishing in order to know how to choose a fishing kayak.
  • Sit-on-top or Sit-in Kayaks: Majority of kayak anglers prefer the sit-on-top kayaks as that allows them to add accessories and get out and wade. But the problem with this type is it will provide a wet ride and is usually unstable. The sit-in-kayak has a large cockpit opening to facilitate easy entry and exit while you are on the water and you can get easy gear access. However, if you decide to wade then this kayak type is not advisable.
  • Stability, Length, and Width of Kayaks: Longer kayaks are much faster than the shorter ones and help you perform better in water. If you tend to go for fishing in ponds, then go for shorter kayaks for better maneuverability. If you intend on fishing in bigger lakes, then you need more speed and so opt for longer kayaks. You would need a more stable kayak if you have a big body. In that case, opt for wider kayaks to get more stability. If you happen to be an angler covering lots of water in a day then opt for narrower kayaks as they paddle easier.
  • Rigging: A rod holder separates a fishing kayak from other kayaks. Two types of fishing kayaks are available in the market- stock kayak where you need to add your own rigging and angler kayaks that have a rigged design. Stock kayak is cheaper than the other one. You can start off with less gear by buying a stock kayak and spend less money and gradually add the things that you would need over time like some simple rod holders, safety whistle, a paddle leash, a dry bag, etc.
  • Paddle or Pedal: A pedal kayak is generally less fatiguing when you tend to travel longer distances. For that, you will have to carry a spare paddle in case of any problem. You should always opt for a light one to enrich the paddle fishing and you must invest in a paddle leash. You may opt for a pedal-powered kayak and carry a spare paddle.
  • Portability: Your fishing kayak should be such that it can be easily carried around if you intend to go to some other place for fishing. So portability is an important factor to decide on how to choose a fishing kayak. You will need something that is light and can be easily dragged to the water. Usually, sit-on-top kayak models are heavier than sit-in models.
  • Storage: Being a fisherman, you will have to carry a lot of items for which it is advisable that you choose a kayak that has got enough space for all the necessities. Some of the kayak models come with integrated storage while some others have space molded for external storage.
  • Pro-tips: Make a note of what all things you would require to carry while fishing and accordingly buy the suitable kayak.
  • Keel: A keel is basically a fin-shaped plastic piece that is meant to stick down into the water from the hull to improve speed and tracking. If you want to go for fishing in open water then go for a keeled kayak model for efficient paddling. If you want to float in shallow rocky water, then do not buy the keeled model. Some kayaks have got retractable keel, some others have integrated keel and some have none. You should be well aware of these things to know how to choose a fishing kayak.
  • Consult the Experts: You can ask expert opinions from people who already own fishing kayaks and get an idea as to which one would be the best for you. You can even rent out a kayak and test it once before making the final decision.
  • Pro-Tip: You can hire a guide who will put you in a kayak rigged so as to make your fishing efficient and easy.

Fishing kayaks have become the latest trend for all the positive reasons and so you need to know every detail on how to choose a fishing kayak. You should take into account the above-mentioned factors so as to make an informed decision about buying the right fishing kayak. While choosing the right item, you must narrow down your options based on the above considerations and then start identifying the right one.

The right type of fishing kayak will not only make your fishing experience much more efficient but also save you in case of any problem occurring during fishing. Hope this has solved your queries regarding how to choose a fishing kayak.

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I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable outdoor experience. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing. To contact Davis, visit the contact page. and About Us.