9 Things to Know Before Buying a Fishing Kayak

9 things to know before buying a fishing kayak

Fishing with a kayak may seem simple, but without proper equipment and tools, you won’t be able to enjoy your fishing experience. This is the reason why it’s crucial to purchase the best fishing kayak available on the market. 

Remember that kayak fishing can be challenging as it requires strength and balance. If you want to pursue bigger fish, the impact might affect the kayak, and you’ll get worse. So, when doing research before buying a fishing kayak, make sure to keep the following things in mind before you go to any authorized Hobie dealer:

1) Consider the Kayak Type

Even if a fishing kayak is more affordable than a powerboat, an advanced model may get expensive. There are two kinds of kayaks: sit on top and sit inside. 

A sit-inside kayak is never a good choice for fishing because the water may stay inside until emptied. It’s also challenging to recover when flipped, and cargo space is very limited. 

On the contrary, sit-on-top kayaks are the best choice because of their open design, allowing quick access to cargo and room to mount accessories. Consider sit-on-top models if you want to enjoy fishing with a friend or teach kids about fishing. Other sit-on-top kayaks have seat configurations that allow you to change from one seat to two seats.

2) Length Matters

The length of a fishing kayak has an enormous effect on its overall performance on the water. To determine the most appropriate length for you, think of the kind of water you want to be using it on. Generally, smaller kayaks measure less than 11 feet and are known for being maneuverable. On the other hand, bigger kayaks are more efficient with longer than 12 feet in length. 

If your region’s waterways consist mostly of creeks, backwaters, and ponds, choosing smaller kayaks with better maneuverability is an excellent idea. If you’re planning to enjoy fishing in the ocean, lakes, or rivers, consider buying bigger models. 

It’s also critical to keep your body’s weight in the calculation. For example, if you’re tall and weigh heavier, choose a bigger kayak model, regardless of the fishing waters you prefer.

3) Keep Storage in Mind

The majority of kayaks have external and internal storage. Usually, internal storage accessible through rubber or locking hatch is excellent for things you don’t often access, like your emergency kit. External storage is essential for your fishing tackle, items, cooler, and for the things you want to access quickly.

buying a fishing kayak with storage for cooler rods nets hooks accessories

4) Consider the Manufacturer’s Safety Limitations

Take time to read the fishing kayak’s safety instructions. Understanding the specifications and weight limits that the fishing kayak can safely function at is crucial. You would want to consider not just your budget but also your wet clothing. Make sure your kayak for fishing may also accommodate equipment weight, such as chains, paddles, anchors, emergency supplies, or fishing supplies.

5) Pay Importance to Comfort

The importance of comfort can’t be overstated when shopping around for fishing kayaks. Compared to recreational kayakers, most anglers spend a long time searching for the best fishing hole in perfect condition. 

The seat should be comfortable if you spend more time in a kayak’s cockpit. It must have ample padding to help you prevent the discomfort of sitting on a hard surface for several hours.

6) Consider the Manufacturer’s Warranty and Cost

The prices of fishing kayaks may vary from one manufacturer to another. However, you have to take note that not all costly kayaks are the best and some inexpensive kayaks aren’t that bad. Typically, a cheaper fishing kayak with a warranty can be better than a more expensive kayak with a lousy manufacturer’s warranty.

Related: Top 14 Best Fishing Kayak Under 500 of 2024

7) Check the Fishing Kayak’s Portability

Since fishing kayaks come with various features, they tend to have heavier options in the market. It means transporting them from one place to another may require extra preparation and effort. 

If your favorite spot needs you to carry your kayak over a distance, you must ensure to look into several transportation alternatives. Heavy-duty rolling kayak carts are an excellent way to avoid dragging or lifting your fishing kayaks to get to the water. 

If you want a fishing kayak that you can carry without a cart, you can consider an inflatable fishing kayak or a sit-inside kayak. Such tend to be much better and lighter when going on multi-day fishing trips, where you’ll require portage on some sections.

8) Check the Attachments and Accessories

The best fishing kayaks must be able to adapt as your fishing desires and techniques change. As you learn and gain experience about several equipment pieces that may help you be more successful, you would want a way to attach such accessories to your kayaks. 

Most fishing kayaks have mounting points or D-rings where you can keep your gears ready. It includes places to attach pliers and some tools or even install compatible trolling motors. It’s more likely that how you fish today won’t be precisely how you fish in the coming days or years. Therefore, you have to carefully select fishing kayaks that can adapt to your expertise or experience. 

Installing various fishing kayak accessories and attaching gear is a good thing for a fishing kayak. These features will let your fishing kayaks work for you, regardless of your preferred fishing trips.

man in fishing kayak with accessories

9) Choose the Right Shape

If you know the right kayak length for your needs, it’s time to choose the shape. If you’re planning to paddle on rivers, bays, and lakes with little to no choppy water, you might want a boat with primary stability. It refers to how stable the kayak is when there’s no movement.

If you want to go fishing in the ocean and other most scenic fishing places, it’s when you would want a fishing kayak with secondary stability. It refers to how stable the fishing kayak is when rocked side to side. You may tell the difference between secondary and primary stability by checking the kayak’s shape. A more V-shaped kayak has primary stability, and models with rounded shapes have secondary stability.


By taking note of the things mentioned above, it’ll be much easier to find the right fishing kayak fit for your needs. However, be careful when selecting cheap fishing kayaks because you can’t guarantee their quality and stability. If possible, set a budget but don’t sacrifice performance and quality to enjoy savings wehn buying a fishing kayak.  

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