Tips to Buying a Fishing Kayak
Are you new to angling and unsure of where to start? Or are you a kayak fishing regular and looking to upgrade your boat? Regardless of where you’re at, there’s plenty to learn and brush up on surrounding fishing kayaks. Angling is a great sport that is accessible to anyone willing to do some research to understand what they most need from their kayak to have a successful trip.
Because you’re adding in more activity and different equipment when kayak fishing, there are naturally different features and considerations you want to be aware of when choosing a boat. From storage space to method of propulsion, many things differ when it comes to fishing kayaks.
Fishing Kayak Specifications
Now-a-days, there are many different types of fishing kayaks flooding the market. Kayaks are becoming more popular for this activity due to their increased stability and portability compared to a canoe, and because they are usually cheaper than motor- powered fishing boats.
When selecting a fishing kayak, keep in mind that size matters! Your fishing kayak’s length, width, and weight need to be considered - for stability and portability, and for casting-off and reeling-in securely. You want to be able to handle, balance, and transport your boat with ease and confidence.
The other aspect many consider when looking at fishing kayaks is the type— either sit-in or sit-on. Sit-in kayaks are a less popular choice for fishing, as you aren’t able to stand and move yourself around as easily when casting-off and reeling-in. It also tends to lack storage space compared to a sit-on model, and the sit-on kayak model is more optimized for draining water and mounting fishing accessories.
Additional Features for Fishing Kayaks
Fishing kayak add-ons can be extremely helpful in organizing your materials and allowing you to focus on the fishing experience while on the water. You don’t want to add too many. However, each additional feature adds weight and bulk to your boat which could negatively affect its handling and portability.
Every fishing kayak should have a few mounted aids or features, though, especially if you’re buying it new. Here are ones we find most helpful to consider as you navigate the purchasing process:
- Rod Holders—these mounts give you designated space to pack and store multiple fishing rods for your angling trip. Having this space allows you to come better prepared for the different types of fishing you’ll want to do while out on the water.
- Paddle Holder—you don’t want to be free balancing your paddle while trying to concentrate on reeling-in a fish, so having a secure place to mount or tie your paddle while actively fishing comes in handy.
- Pedal Drive—some anglers prefer to not deal with paddling at all while kayak fishing and instead install a pedal drive for their boat. This allows you to pedal and propel yourself forward in the water, which can be handy for keeping your hands free, but also adds some weight to your kayak.
- Trolling Motor—many anglers choose to buy their fishing kayak with a trolling motor or add a trolling motor to their boat. Trolling motors offer great advantages for your fishing experience and an opportunity to cover more area to catch more fish!
- Keel—this fin-shaped piece of plastic is attached to the hull and rests in the water for improved tracking and speed. This equipment is particularly helpful for open-water fishing in deep water.
- Ample Storage Space—sit-on-top kayaks usually have ample storage space, which comes in handy when you need to store bait, a tackle box, and your personal items without fear of them getting wet.
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