Things to Consider Before Buying a Fishing Kayak

There are a few things you should consider before buying a fishing kayak.

Remember our favorite Fishing Kayaks for 2018

1. Loading Capacity

The loading capacity of a Fishing Kayak is a very important consideration when buying a fishing Kayak. When you head out onto the water, you will need space for your equipment as well as, food, water, and extra clothes plus the space to land your prize catch. It is therefore important to ensure that the fishing kayak you select has an adequate maximum load capacity, which can easily carry you as well as your fishing gear and any accessories.

Different kayaks have different loading capacities The loading capacity is important because when overloaded the boat can become heavy and potentially unstable. The maneuverability will also suffer and the fishing kayak will become difficult to paddle.

All Kayaks have a manufacturer’s guideline so be aware of equipment and persons carried onboard. Usually larger boats will have a larger load capacity. But the width and hull shape also play an important part

  1. Seating

One of the biggest advances in fishing kayaks over standard models has been the seating systems. People have been fishing from kayaks and canoes for thousands of years. But only over the last 15 years have the methods and technology really been defined.

Many people think of Kayaks as a cold, wet place to sit and fish but modern day Fishing kayaks are really a platform to use and enjoy.

The seats come in a range of shapes, materials and models.

  • With the most basic a simple plastic shaped seating area, This can be cold and uncomfortable for anything more than minimum use.
  • The next stage would be a Foam or Fabric Sit on top seat / Backrest. These are usually a universal fitting with simple clips to attach to any model of kayak. This is one of the best and most simple upgrades to a basic kayak to make it more comfortable.
  • Many kayaks now are being fitted with a deckchair style system which is elevated off of the hull of the kayak to make it drier and warmer for extended use. These systems are comfortable and easily adjustable to find a position to suit the user. Many of these seats now have an option to also remove the seat for transport and the option to lift it out of the way during use to create a larger area for standing.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with your new seat to make adjustment easy when on the water.

4. Materials

When Buying a fishing kayak its good to know what it’s made of.

The majority of kayaks are being made from a roto molded plastic this is a durable process which gives the kayaks maximum strength vs weight for the best price. Some models use a variation of plastic moulding technique which allows a lighter boat to be created.

With so many boats on the market the best option is to buy a recognised brand as you can see many companies such as wilderness systems build a wide variety of kayaks with a good brand name they create kayaks for whitewater and waterfall use as well as Fishing kayaks. The products they create are high quality and robust. Be aware of brands using cheaper materials and parts to make a cheaper kayak which is not durable and adequate for your usage.

3. Water Safety

All watersports are associated risk sports, be sure to wear a PFD at all times whilst on the water. If possible it is important to take formal training. Never go out unaccompanied and remember to carry a communication device. Water can be very cold so be sure to dress appropriately with suitable neoprene or dry clothing and layering to stay warm and comfortable whilst on the water.

4. Features and Extras

Once you have purchased your kayak you need to decide where you will be going and what accessories are suitable for your needs. With so many extras currently available on the market. The features you can choose from include kayaks with multiple rod holders, dashboards, various storage options, pedal and motor drive options, transducer mounts, optional rudders and paddle upgrades are just a few of the options available,

Be sure to check the accessories are compatible with your model of boat as some have different fitting options.

5. Transporting your kayak

Transporting your kayak can be one of the most difficult aspects of Kayak ownership.

For many a fishing kayak is a better option too a full sized fishing boat because they can be easily transported and launched with little maintenance.

  • The most simple way to transport a Kayak is on a roofrack
  • The boat should be lifted ideally by 2 people due to the weight of the boat.
  • Once on the rack use kayak cam straps to tighten the boat securely.
  • Optional foam pads can be used to protect the hull of the boat.
  • In hot weather be sure to loosen the straps when stationary to prevent oil canning of the hull.
  • Seats and accessories should be removed from the fishing kayak before loading.
  • Paddles can be attached either to the rack with extra straps or put inside the vehicle.
  • If you are planning to carry more than one kayak uprights or J bars can be used to provide extra space on the roof rack.
  • Be sure to always check the boats are securely attached before driving.

6. Usage

Many Fishing Kayaks are built for different purposes.

It is important to have an idea of your intended use before buying a fishing kayak. This is because this intended use will give direction as to which boats your should be looking at.

Generally longer boats will have better waterline length and be narrower these boats will be faster through the water and better for paddling distance either in the sea or on fresh water. These boats will track well and the use of a rudder will drastically aid directional control.

Shorter boats are generally wider offering increased stability and load capacity for the shorter length. The Shorter the boat the more maneuverable it will be and better suited for river and lake use.

Wider boats will usually be more stable than narrower boats so for fishing whilst standing look for something with a large deck standing area. A stand assist strap will aid standing stability in the boat.

7. Drive Systems

There are three main drive systems available in Fishing Kayaks Paddle, Pedal and Motor drive options. You need to decide what will be best for yourself when buying a fishing kayak

Paddle Drive

Paddle power is the most common drive system for a kayak, having been used for thousands of years a kayak and a paddle lie hand in hand. It is important for all fishing kayak users to be able to paddle confidently. In the event of equipment failure or low battery being able to paddle is a key skill to use.

For shallow water conditions and beach landing being able to paddle is essential.


Pedal Drive

In 2007 Hobie kayaks revolutionized kayak drive systems with the introduction of the pedal drive since then other brands have also developed their own systems.

These have been developed to assist paddling with rudder systems to create a virtually hands free system.

There are a variety of different pedal drives some utilizing fins others a small propeller to create momentum both forwards and backwards.

The pedals are situated in front of the seat to be comfortable to pedal whilst seated. Some offer a simple pushing mechanism whilst others a more traditional rotational method like a bicycle to drive the underwater propulsion system.

These systems are almost maintenance free with simple cleaning with fresh water after use the main task.  


Motor Drive

Over the past few years motor drives have become a luxury accessory for your fishing kayak. These units are run from rechargeable battery units, which are stored in the front hatch. The motor will drive the underwater propeller to provide propulsion.

Motor drives allow longer days on the water, with less effort. It is important to always carry a spare paddle in the event of battery failure.

Some of the newest drive units are easily removable for transport and charging. They can be easily lifted for shallow water usage.


Hopefully this helps you when choosing your new Fishing Kayak. for some of the best Fishing Kayaks for 2018 take a look at our choice

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