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Best Fishing Kayaks for 2024

A fishing kayak has provide millions of anglers with a lot more access to awesome fishing waters with a lot less expense compared to a full-sized boat. And today’s best fishing kayaks are sturdy, rugged, balanced and comfortable and offer nearly as many options as your regular fishing boats do.

We have been actively reviewing many of the top fishing kayaks for the last year, and we have put dozens of kayaks through their paces over that time. We have actively reviewed a large portion of the new kayaks on the market to build one of the most comprehensive fishing kayak guides to help you choose the best boat for your own personal style of fishing. We ran the gamut on testing kayaks which included testing big kayaks, small kayaks, pedal drives, electric motors, paddle boards, inflatable kayaks, foldable kayaks, hybrid kayaks and more to give you a lot of usable information to make an informed decision.

A fishing kayak is a very personal choice. A guy like me, who weighs 250 pounds and wants to bring a lot of gear, looks for very different things in a fishing kayak than a smaller angler who might weigh 150 pounds and only want to bring one rod and a few baits. Some anglers will want to get their kayak on big waters. Guys like me will want a kayak for smaller waters like small lakes, ponds and floating creeks and rivers. Some folks will want maximum stability while others will want maximum portability.

So we have aimed to give you a lot of usable information to choose a good kayak that fits your specific brand of kayak fishing.


old town bigwater ePDL fishing kayak

BEST BIG KAYAK – Old Town Sportsman Bigwater ePDL+ 132 

The Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 is the first seamlessly-integrated battery-powered pedal kayak providing you with unmatched versatility. Combining pedal propulsion, power-assisted pedal, and motorized cruise control, the ePDL+ allows you to seamlessly switch between modes with the intuitive keys and screen located on the drive. Powered by an included lithium battery, the ePDL+ drive unlocks a new way to experience the water, no matter the conditions.

This is the total package. Paddle, pedal, ePDL, autodrive, with fully custom displays that tell you how fast and how far or long you can go without pedaling. And everything comes already on the kayak ready to go. We were fortunate to test this kayak down in Florida prior to its release and were very impressed with the performance of this high-end fishing kayak. We like to exercise and enjoy paddling and pedaling, but having the ability to switch between 4 modes of travel is very fascinating as an angler enthusiast. This kayak puts all the options at your feet or fingers.

This kayak is also one of the best Big Fishing Kayaks on the market now, and it is also one of the Most Stable Fishing Kayaks on the market as well. This also could quickly become one of the Best Fishing Kayaks for Ocean Fishing as well. So for all of these reasons above, this is why we ranked this the Best Fishing Kayak of 2023.

For more information visit

[ Length: 13 feet 2 inches | Weight: 143 Pounds fully rigged | Capacity: 375 pounds | $5,999 ]

See our full video review of the Old Town ePDL kayaks here.

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jackson kayak knarr fd


Jackson Knarr FD

I tested the Jackson Kayak Knarr FD and found this to be one of the best fully equipped kayaks available. It has a state of the art Flex Drive Mark IV that pedals very easy and turns the prop on a break-away shaft that will glide over obstructions under the water with ease. In fact I purposely went over shallow laydowns full speed to see how well this worked. I was able to pedal this boat fast and the stability was very good. It’s made to cut waves on big water, so you have to get used to the stability and where it catches because the hull is a unique design that enables it to climb over waves and cut through rough water with ease. Making it a great big water vessel. 

Then add to that the tall gunnels that have rod storage tubes in them to keep your rods flat and protected. Plus you have TriTrak track systems throughout to make adding accessories like fish finders, cameras, rod and paddle holders, and more super easy and exactly where you want them. You can add a trolling motor to the front or back if you prefer. You sit up nicely in their EZ Hi-lo seating system that is very customizable to make sure you fish comfortably all day. And the steering system on both sides and improved performance make turning a breeze in any conditions with forward and reverse, pedaling or rowing alike.

[ Length: 13 feet 9 inches | Weight: 138 Pounds fully rigged | Capacity: 425 pounds | $4,199 ]

Buy at EcoFishingShop


hobie pro angler 12 fishing kayak

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 360

Hobie makes some of the best high-end fishing kayaks out there and the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler series is probably their most popular amongst avid anglers. The Pro Angler 12 360 offers top-of-the-line feature sets that are attractive to a lot of tournament kayak anglers. We’ve fished out of the Pro Angler 12 a few times and the boat is stable, fast, easy to pedal with their proprietary pedal system, with tons of room to carry gear and sit or stand and fish in any type of water. 

The Mirage Drive 360 and Kick Up fins enable you to move through the water and over obstacles without worry. It stock with 6 rod holders, an elevated Vantage ST seat with BOA lumbar support, a Guardian transducer shield, H-Rail for adding accessories quick and easy, rear and forward hatches for storage, with stain resistant grip pads throughout. It’s a high-end package for avid, serious anglers who want a lot of features in a wide stable platform.

[ Length: 12 feet | Weight: 132 pounds | Capacity: 500 pounds | $5,599 ]

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best fishing kayaks jackson big rig fd


Jackson Big Rig FD

The latest introduction the the Jackson Kayak lineup, the Big Rig FD brings one of their fan favorite kayaks back with modern improvements. This new big kayak features their Flex Drive Mark IV, and EZ Hi-lo Seat, plus track mounting systems, storage wells, rod holders, transducer ports, and the ability to easily mount electric motors all on one of the most stable platforms we’ve tested. The first time I stepped into this boat, it felt like I was in a flat bottom boat. It seemed wide and hardly shifted when I stepped into. I transferred from sitting to standing and back all day while fishing without a care in the world of losing my balance. 

This is a very stable fishing kayak at 40 inches wide. Couple with that, it pedals very well for its size and you can carry a warehouse of gear on it. So if you are looking for ultra stability in a bigger footprint, this Jackson Big Rig FD is worth checking out. See more about the Big Rig FD here

[ Length: 13 feet 3 inches | Weight: 136 pounds | Capacity: 550 pounds | $3,999 ]

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jackson bite fd


Jackson Bite FD

Another Jackson Kayak that I am fond of is the Jackson Bite FD. It’s just an 11-foot, 6-inch kayak, but it fits in the bed of the truck well or on a trailer easily. It weighs 95 pounds loaded out and lighter without the seat and pedal drive and can support a whopping 400 pounds. But it features the same great Flex Drive as the bigger kayaks while being more of a throw-and-go kayak at a good price. It’s wide at 35 inches so it feels very stable. It pedals fast. I could flat fly in it while pedalling and paddling.

It’s very maneuverable as well. It has great rod stagers on the deck to swap rods fast and efficiently and keep them low to go under things. The Comfort Seat is nice on long days of fishing. The recessed areas inside the gunwale keeps tackle trays handy on the fly. There is plenty of room to stand and fish. It checks all the boxes for those anglers who want an affordable pedal kayak with a lot of angler amenities at a good price. 

If you’re like me and have a boat but also want a kayak for some simpler fishing in smaller waters, this is one of the best options. See more at

[ Length: 11 feet, 6 inches | Weight: 95 pounds | Capacity: 400 pounds | $2,699 ]

Buy From EcoFishingShop


magellan outdoors pro pedal kayak

BEST VALUE KAYAK – Magellan Outdoors Pro Pedal Drive Kayak

I tested this kayak for more than a month. With the pedal drive and without. In small waters and on big reservoirs alike. I wasn’t sure what to expect on this one, but Academy is unique in that it has always done a good job on affordable good gear in its in-house brands. I think they offer a lot of value at lower price points in different niches in fishing. The Magellan Outdoors Pro Pedal Kayak impressed me from the first minutes with me.

I love the dark blue and black detailing, padded floors, easily removable pedal drive, scupper hole plugs, covered storage in the back and in the front, mesh cargo hold, adjustable seat, under seat storage system, rails for mounting gadgets and fish finders, and more. It’s a 10-foot, 6-inch kayak that offers great stability and will support 400 pounds. I have to be selective when I test kayaks in the smaller sizes because I’m 6-foot, 1-inch and weigh 260 with some mobility issues related to a back injury.

But this kayak was stable, fast, nimble and a pleasure to fish. It has a flatter hull design that will make it a nice creek kayak or a throw in the back of the truck and go kayak to drop in those hard to reach places. At $1,199 I found this kayak to be a steal with all of these features.

[Length: 10 feet, 6 inches | Weight: 88 pounds | Capacity: 400 Pounds | $1,199] 

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Bass Pro Ascend 133X Kayak package



I have tested a lot of kayaks the last year or so and it’s always interesting just how different folks can make a kayak from the others out there. The Ascend 133x kayak at Bass Pro looks a lot more like a narrow boat than a kayak per se. It has a hybrid canoe / narrow Jon boat feel to it when you first look at it. The first time I got it on the water, I think that was messing with my head a little because I will admit it took me a bit of time to get used to its balance. I think at first I was nervous because I had a graph, two batteries a trolling motor, Livescope and more and was worried with losing it all on Kentucky Lake.

But after 4-5 hours of fishing, catching fish and trolling around, I never thought about it tipping again. The boat is unique in how it balances. It’s long at 13 feet and wide at 36 1/2 inches. But it seems narrow because it’s 13 feet long. That’s the part that takes adjusting. Also this is a $1,000 kayak with a lot of accessories in the kit. So the plastic is not as thick and solid as some of the higher end kayaks. That flex also deceives you a bit in the balance of the boat. But the kit is solid. You get a Motorguide Xi3 trolling motor that is awesome with a remote and GPS anchor locking availability which is nice on a kayak. It came with a quick release bracket and that makes transporting quick and easy.

The boat is heavy at 125 pounds. I found you really need wheels under one side to move it around and even loading in your truck is easier with wheels. I swapped out the unit with a 9-inch Garmin unit and Livescope for my first bit of testing and fishing and had a ball catching some slab spawning crappie. The seat is comfortable. The included Ascend Paddle is awesome for just paddling around. All in all this is heck of a setup for the money. 

Read our full review on the Ascend 133X Tournament Kayak here.

[Length: 13 feet | Weight: 125 pounds | Capacity: 550 Pounds | $2,399] 

Buy from Bass Pro 

vibe makana 100 fishing kayak

BEST FISHING KAYAK UNDER $2,000 – Vibe Makana 100

I am super impressed with the newest offering from Vibe, the Makana 100. This $1,599 is easily one of the best value fishing kayaks available now. It offers a very stable and decently wide platform at 33 inches, can support a ton of weight, comes with a pedal drive, several rod holders, a great  two-position Hero Seat 2.0, room for storage, Viber Rudder with easy hand steering, ability to add a motor, and it weighs just 55 pounds (77 pounds with drive, seat, etc). The Makana 100 fits easily in the bed of a truck. So this might also be one of the best throw and go kayaks with all these options at just $1,599.

All of this makes the Vibe Makana 100 a heck of a value in a fishing kayak for anglers on a budget and die-hard, avid tournament anglers alike. See more details in the button below.

[ Length: 10 feet | Weight: 77 pounds fully loaded | Capacity 400 pounds | $1599 ]

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feelfreeus lure 10 v2

BEST FISHING KAYAK UNDER $1,000 – Feelfree Lure 10

The Feelfree Lure 10 kayak features a variety of unique features including the removable multi-height adjustable Gravity Seat, Wheel in the Keel, the new Electronics and Sonar Pod and is Beaver Tail Rudder ready. The Lure 10 comes with everything you need to go fish including Uni-Track rails for rigging options, flush mounted rod holders and a large tankwell to store your fishing gear or a cooler.

The Lure is very stable for its size with a 34-inch width, and it includes a padded standing platform so you can paddle or cast in either the sitting or standing position. It’s a good option at $999 for a paddle-only kayak. See more at

[ Length: 10 feet | Weight: 77 pounds (no seat) | Capacity: 375 pounds | $999 ]

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vibe yellowfin 100


Vibe Yellowfin 100

The Vibe Yellowfin 100 offers a simple paddle only fishing kayak. But it comes with 4 rod holders, 2 integrated gear tracks and 2 tackle tray holders on a maximized stability platform with room to stand or sit and fish. This 10-foot kayak is packed for the adventurer at just $799. It features 2 large deck plate storage hatches, built-in rod holders, an all-day comfy Hero Seat, comfortable adjustable foot braces, cup holder, 4 carry handles and spacious bungeed tank well, perfect for crates, bags or a cooler.

At a hull weight of just 51 pounds, this is one of the Best Lightweight Kayaks available as well that anyone can transport easily in the back of a truck and carry it down to the water and go. If you want a simple, no nonsense, paddle kayak, this one is hard to pass up. And even though it’s a small, light kayak, it can support 375 pounds. Again this is one of the things we love about Vibe Kayaks. They build very stable platforms in light, small footprints that are easy to transport and fish out of quickly at great prices!

[ Length: 10 feet | Weight: 64 pounds fully loaded | Capacity: 375 pounds | $799 ] 

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native ultimate fx 15 tandem fishing kayak

BEST 2-PERSON / TANDEM KAYAK – Native Ultimate FX Tandem 15

The solid Native Ultimate FX Tandem 15, hybrid canoe/kayak platform makes fishing accessible in a multiple of ways. The Ultimate FX Tandem fishing kayak features two high/low seats for improved fish-ability and all day comfort and can be easily converted to a solo paddling boat for single angler missions. In addition, the Ultimate FX 15 Tandem offers ample storage with it’s open footprint to meet all of your kayak fishing needs. A sturdy enough option to stand up or sit and fish regardless if you want to paddle alone and fish or fish with a friend or family member. For more information, visit:  

Length: 15 feet 3 inches | Weight: 90 pounds | Capacity: 600 pounds | Propulsion: paddle | $1,699 


oru beach sport lt foldable fishing kayak

Oru Beach LT Sport

I will admit, I was skeptical about a foldable kayak, but one of the fastest growing segments of the fishing kayak space is in the more portable options like inflatables and now foldables. The super unique design of the Oru Beach Sport LT gives you a quickly assembled folding kayak that I honestly came away very impressed by its performance. Even on my first try, I put it together in 15 minutes and when I got in I was really impressed with how I sat in the water, how maneuverable the kayak was and I actually really liked how I set really level to the water. I could skip baits effortlessly under docks and overhangs.

I’m a big guy and I never worried about taking on water and was never slowed down by my weight in this kayak. The sturdy rail system from the Haven TT allows you to seamlessly mount all types of accessories from fishing rod holders to camera gear without the hassle of adhesives. The new gel cushion seat system made for a comfortable fishing day. The open cockpit design allowed me to just drop my gear in and go without it being in the way.

And at just 28 pounds, the Beach LT Sport has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, making it the easiest by far kayak to get in and out of the water and into your vehicle. It breaks down faster than it went together, and I was on my way in minutes. A very ingenious option for kayak anglers looking for maximum portability and efficiency. And it says that it can be folded and unfolded more than 10,000 times before it will wear. See more at

[ Length: 12 feet 1 inch | Weight: 28 pounds | Capacity: 300 pounds | $1,379 ]

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NRS Pike Inflatable Kayak


Best Inflatable Kayak Under $1,000 – NRS Pike 12.6 Pro

I wasn’t even aware that NRS had inflatable kayaks now until a few weeks ago and a good friend let me test and review his NRS Pike 12.6 Pro. Immediately I found it to be one the more impressive inflatable kayaks I’ve tested. Not only does it blow up and assemble faster than any other I have tested but it was easily the most stable I’ve ever tested of the inflatable kayaks. It features a 4-inch drop-stitch deck that inflates independently of the two 10 1/2 inch side rails. You air all three up and you have a super stable platform to fish out of in minutes. The keel insert improves your tracking on flat water and EVA foam deck will protect your kayak from hooks and snags. There is a fish measuring board integrated into the deck. Along with a suspended aluminum framed mesh seat, YakAttack accessory mounts, and adjustable foot pegs, and you have a great fishing platform that transports easily and fishes stable and well for an inflatable kayak.

[ Length: 12 feet, 8 inches | Weight: 48 pounds | Capacity: 375 pounds | $995 ]

Buy from Bass Pro 

bote lono aero inflatable fishing kayak

Best Inflatable Kayak Under $2,000 – BOTE Lono Aero

BOTE makes some of the best stand up inflatable paddleboards and they somewhat mastered the inflatable technology in those early on. Now they make Kayaks as well and these kayaks are something else. An inflatable with a pedal drive is impressive. And the rigidity and toughness they have made with these inflatable kayaks is impressive. I own a Lono Aero. It’s a 12 1/2-foot inflatable kayak with a comfortable inflatable seat and pedal drive.

This kayak is a little more involved to setup, but once you do you have a stable rigid comfortable inflatable kayak that fishes very well. The Rudder System and APEX Pedal Drive are very nice to have in an inflatable package I can throw in my wife’s SUV and go. The rear deck is nice and adding a rod rack gives you the ability to haul a bunch of rods and gear. If you’re looking for a kayak with maximum portability in an inflatable option this is another solid choice.

[ Length: 12 feet 6 inches | Weight: 51 pounds | Capacity: 400 pounds | $1,798 ]

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Isle explorer pro sup-kayak hybrid


Best Inflatable Hybrid Paddle Board – ISLE Explorer Pro

I was just exposed to the ISLE Paddleboard / Kayak Hybird offering in the Explorer Pro. But there is a growing segment of anglers who are fishing on paddle boards, especially on slow moving rivers. They just like to dangle their legs in the water in the warm months and just tool around leisurely and fish. And these hybrid paddleboard kayaks are very cool new options for anglers. The ISLE Explorer Pro inflates easily and we were up and fishing in minutes thanks to their additional electric air pump.

The Seat sets up quick after inflating to parts, attaching via velcro and carabiner clips on straps to the loop stringer system running down either side of the paddleboard. Once the seat is in, you simply sit on it and get a feel for where you want to put the foot rest. Set it so your knees are bent and then attach the clips to the nearest loop and tighten. It’s very stable and having a paddle board with a backrest and footrest is very nice if you don’t want to dangle your feet in the water. Extra bungee straps allow you to fasten down paddles and gear while you fish. I was super impressed with this unique offering for those looking for a cross between a paddleboard and a kayak. See more at See other Isle paddle boards at

[ Length: 12 feet (14 also available) | Weight: 23 pounds | Capacity: 325 pounds | $995 ]

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Bote Rackham Aero Jason Sealock sunrise

Best Inflatable Hybrid Skiff – BOTE Rackham Aero

This reimagined BOTE Rackham Aero offers a paddleboard kayak hybrid capable of having a pedal drive which makes it another attractive option for anglers wanting to fish off paddleboards with a little more access to water. The APEX Pedal Drive is sold separately but it’s what makes this paddleboard hybrid so inviting. Now you can have the best of both worlds with this offering. A simple paddleboard, or an evolved almost pedal skiff for getting after fishing a little more seriously. Everything you want out of a paddle board with everything you need out of a kayak. It’s sturdy, stable and functional with a relatively easy setup and lots of options to add on. A very fun way to fish in the warmer months for sure. Read the full review here

[ Length: 12 feet 4 inches | Weight: 45 pounds (79 pounds in bag) | Capacity: 400 pounds| $1,549 (Apex: $899) ]

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bonafide fishing skf117


This is a brand new kayak hybrid modeled after saltwater skiffs that was introduced at the 2023 ICAST SHOW. It’s shallow depth, wide platform so it makes it super versatile. The High Rise seat has two positions high and low and can also be removed to put in a cooler if you prefer to fish sitting on a cooler more like a skiff. The Drop Skeg is a skeg that can be lowered with a lever and raised so you can toggle back and forth with a skeg or no skeg. You can also easily add wheels via the Gear Track or with bolt on wheel systems. You can easily add motors to it. The boat is very stable and very open. It has a transducer pocket up front for easy adding of electronics.  It offers an easy to convert system at a really great price. These should be available any day now. 

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[ Length: 11 feet 7 inches | Weight: | Capacity: 425 pounds | $1,249 ]

old town sportsman autopilot 120

BEST MOTORIZED FISHING KAYAK – Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120

We’ve used a few kayaks with motors, and the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot is the closest we’ve found to fishing out of a big boat in a kayak. With the Autopilot you can Spot Lock and hold in place and fish, something that has always been the achilles heel of kayak fishing. It maneuvers well with its rudder system. And all the prewiring and rigging makes this boat ready to go right out of the box. All you have to do is add the battery and hook it up. You can use the Foot Brace Steering for hands free steering while fishing. Premium seating, 18 inch track systems for mounting accessories, 4 rod holders, non-slip EVA decks, extra large rudder for best in class boat control, the lift assist will help you stow and deploy your motor quickly and easily, and a custom tackle box round out this do-it-all with power fishing kayak.

[ Length: 12 feet | Weight: 152 pounds | Capacity: 406 pounds | $4,349 ]

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River fishing adds another dimension to kayak fishing. While a kayak is a great way to fish rivers in general, having the right kayak makes the endeavor way easier and way more enjoyable. Maneuverability is one of the key components and being able to knife through and ride current runs but also just staying on track in current can be a big thing in a kayak. And then the ability to get your kayak over shallow shoals means you need specific kayaks made for rivers.

Some of the best ones according to our readers and our own experiences would include the following:


There are a plethora of kayak makers now and it can be hard to navigate even if you think you are well versed in kayaks. Frankly there are so many new ones introduced year after year it gets difficult to keep up with the total market, even for us. There are a lot of companies making kayaks now that really aren’t kayak makers or in the fishing space so sometimes if you see an ultra low price on a kayak, just know you’re probably not getting it from a company known for making boats or fishing gear. There are a few brands that you can always trust to have top quality kayaks. Brands like Old Town, Hobie, Jackson Kayak and even companies like Vibe, Wilderness Systems, Bonafide, NuCanoe, and Native have very strong lines of kayaks and have extensive backgrounds in kayaking and fishing. So they are building quality boats for anglers. To these brands it’s more than just rotomolding polyurethane. 

In the inflatable arena, brands like BOTE, NRS and now Isle have mastered making rigid inflatables that are safe and stable to fish off for the more adventurous anglers who don’t mind dipping their toes into the water. 


With Old Town you get a brand that is constantly pushing the envelope of what anglers can do in a fishing kayak. They are able to leverage their parent companies knowledge of electronics and motors and bring big boat technologies down to the kayak level. Their new ePDL offering is revolutionary in the kayak space as was their autopilot electric motor option for kayaks. They also make great pedal and paddle kayaks giving a lot of budget options for very high end fishing kayaks. We spend a lot of time in Old Town Kayaks and love what they do to keep pushing kayak fishing forward.


Hobie is a name synonymous with kayak fishing and watersports in general. They also make very high end fishing kayaks packed full of the best features to give anglers the maximum amount of options on a small watercraft. We’ve fished out of Mirage Compass, Passports, Outbacks and now their Pro Angler kayaks. All are solidly built, stable, fast, maneuverable kayaks. You will be getting a quality kayak with them. Their pedal drive system was cutting edge when it first came out and offers a unique style of propulsion it’s like half paddling back and forth instead of full rotations like on a bike and it maneuvers two fins under the boat that sweep water back and forward and all directions with their 360 versions. So they put a lot of thought as well into making fishing kayaks as user friendly for the angler as possible. Adding a lot of conveniences to a kayak anglers life.


Jackson Kayaks was born from a world-class kayak family. Eric Jackson a world champion kayaker in his own right started it and now his daughter runs the company since he has left. This family and the folks that build the kayaks at Jackson live and breath kayaking and fishing and have for decades. So they build very thoughtful, stable, and user friendly kayaks. Their kayaks can handle big waters and small streams alike and they built kayaks to fit just about every scenario an angler can face. I’m a big fan of Jackson Kayak and the people that make these kayaks.


Vibe Kayaks might not be as well known as the other big three brands, but this is one company I think is the up and coming brand to watch. I say that because they are making very good, stable kayaks, with great features and bringing them down to price points that will bring a lot more anglers into the kayak fishing mix. A great pedal kayak that fits in your truck bed for $1,599. A great and stable paddle kayak for $999. I’ve often said in my articles that real innovation is bringing the most advanced technologies down to lower price points through improvement of processes and materials. And I feel like Vibe is on a mission to make kayak fishing a lot more accessible to a lot more people. 


There are so many good brands out there that you can feel confident you are getting a good kayak when you buy one. So don’t think because they aren’t in a top list that they don’t make good kayaks. With so many on the market now, it’s getting harder and harder to pick the best in a variety of options. Go to any kayak makers website and you will see that every one has 10-12 options and if there are 20 brands, you’re talking about 100 kayaks. Just too many to list in one piece. But there are a ton of brands making great paddle kayaks. Several brands are making great pedal kayaks. Bonafide and Native are making some really cool new kayaks. NuCanoe has always had a good kayak. So there are a lot of good brands now unlike just 10 years ago where you had very limited options.

And now kayaks are being fitted to add electric motors to easily. Getting them closer and closer to being fully functional fishing boats. And we’re seeing the kayak motor market expand a lot now recently as well. There were several new introductions in Kayak Motors at ICAST.

Other fishing kayak brands worth looking at would include the following: 


Budget kayaks refer to kayaks for a low cost, but it’s all relative to us. Can you buy a kayak for $300? Sure. Are you going to be happy fishing out of it? Not often. You will get pushed around in the wind. You will deal with cracking and leaks and lack of longevity. You won’t have many options. But yes you can get out on the water a bit with them.

For us, good budget kayaks are kayaks that offer good options at a reasonable price point. Kayaks under $1,000 is a sweet spot. Right now about the cheapest good pedal drive kayak is that Vibe Makana 100 for $1,599. There are several good paddle kayaks for under $1,000. But we still recommend sticking with good brands. Unless you just want to fish for a single season.


There are a lot more anglers gravitating to inflatables. Largely because they don’t need a truck or trailer to get their kayak to the water. They can throw it in the trunk of a car and go. Just pump it up and get on the water. There are several anglers in Texas, California and Florida, fishing on paddle boards and even doing things like throwing giant swimbaits. They usually take one rod, a box of big baits and a net and go. They dangle their feet in the water and just paddle and float and fish. It actually looks like a heck of a good time to me and I think we will see more anglers doing this in the future and you are starting to see manufacturers offering more options for this hybrid style of kayak fishing.

And now we have foldable kayaks that turned out to be very functional. One thing I liked about the foldable kayak was I was not worried about puncturing the foldable kayak like I sometimes am with an inflatable kayak. These inflatables are tough. Isle shows a video of their paddle board being thrown off a mountain, run over by a car, hit with a hammer and more just to show how much of a beating they can take and still be fine and float and fish. So these are real viable options now for anglers.


Buying a fishing kayak is no small task. You can spend a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars depending on what you plan to do with a fishing kayak. Honestly, this is what we love about this relatively new niche in fishing. You can get into it for a few hundred bucks, but then, you can expand as you get better and upgrade to a boat capable of handling big water and rough conditions with less worry. You can make kayak fishing a lot more convenient with tons of add-on options depending on how you setup your portable fishing kayak. The main things to consider when buying a kayak would be the following:

  • Price
  • Stability
  • Weight
  • Propulsion
  • Transportability
  • Durability
  • Add-ons


What kayak is best for fishing?

The kayak that fits the way you like to fish is the best one for fishing. If you want to tackle big waters, get a kayak made to handle big waters. If you want to fish in the current of rivers a lot, get a kayak made to fish rivers. If you want to throw it in the bed of your truck and hit a lot of small waters, get a kayak made to throw and go. 

Are fishing kayaks worth it?

Of course this is a loaded question. In our minds the better question is what does a kayak offer me? It offers you the ability to cover water at a fraction of a cost of what a boat, motor, trolling motor, trailer would cost. It lets you get to fish you often can’t reach from the bank. It lets you cover a lot of water and explore areas of fisheries you can’t get to in a big boat or on foot. It opens up a world of fishing possibilities for you. And it can do that for under $1,000. 

Are fishing kayaks more stable than other kayaks?

Generally speaking to fish well, you need to do it from a stable platform. The better fishing kayak manufacturers understand more stability gives the angler more flexibility and makes their kayak more attractive. Anglers can stand up and venture further in more stable kayaks. So generally speaking the best fishing kayaks are much more stable than the run-of-the-mill paddle for fun weekend kayaks.