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The Best Beginner Fishing Kayaks Of 2021 Helpful Guide

best beginner fishing kayak

Kayak fishing has become a really popular way to go out fishing.  Kayaks are much cheaper than a fishing boat and engine and they allow you to access a lot of under fished secret sweet spots.  If you are a beginner fishing from a kayak you want to find a stable, easy to paddle kayak. If you’re new to the sport you probably don’t want to spend a ton of money either. If that sounds great to you here are the best beginner fishing kayaks you can get today.

Best Solo Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Best Tandem

BKC TK219 12.2′ Tandem Fishing Kayak

Best Inflatable

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

The Top 5 Best Beginner Fishing Kayaks

We examined several of the most popular beginner fishing kayaks available today.  Here are our reviews of the 5 best options available now.  We considered ease of use, price, options, functionality, and customer reviews in our selections of the best beginner fishing kayaks. We looked at both rigid and inflatable kayaks.

Best Solo Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

  • Constructed of uv-protected high-density Polyethylene. Multiple footrest positions for different size riders. Stable flat bottom
  • Adjustable padded seat back and seat pad for comfort. Two flush mounted fishing rod holders. One top mount fishing rod Holder
  • Front and rear shock cord straps. Two 6″ storage compartments in rear and center. One paddlekeeper, one adult black paddle

Summary

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is a great inexpensive way to get started in the sport of kayak fishing. It is a sit on top solo kayak made from durable HDPE and has 3 fishing rod holders. It has a flat bottom design with molded in skeg for stability. This kayak comes in a complete package including a paddle. This kayak has a lot of features making it our top solo choice for best beginner fishing kayak.

Hull Design and Construction

This kayak is a sit on top design. The hull is made from HDPE and features a flat bottom with a molded in skeg at the stern for stability. It has 2 flush mounted fishing rod holders molded into it. There are self bailing drains so it won’t fill with water. There are 2 storage compartments with hatches. One in front and one behind the seat. The seat has a molded foam backrest and seat cushion pad. There are footrests molded into the deck with multiple seating positions.  There is a paddle keeper to keep your paddle from drifting away as well.

Going For A Paddle

This kayak is very easy to paddle around and very stable feeling. It is stable enough to stand up on if you use some caution. The hull feels thick enough to stand up to the normal wear and tear of kayaking on lakes or streams with some branches and rocks to bump into.

The seat is comfortable but if you plan on spending several hours or longer sitting in it, it helps to add an extra seat cushion. The 2 hatches or big enough to hold gear and are easy to reach. The rod holders are in good locations that are easy to use while seated.

What’s Included

  • Kayak
  • 1 paddle
  • Molded foam seat back and seat pad
  • 3 rod holders (1 top mount, 2 flush mount)

Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 10 ft 0 in
  • Width: 2 ft 7 in
  • Weight: 52 lbs
  • Max capacity: 275 lbs
  • Hull Construction: uv-protected high-density Polyethylene (HDPE)
What We Liked
3 fishing rod holders
Very stable and easy to paddle
2 storage hatches
Durable HDPE construction
Paddle keeper to hold onto paddle

Best Tandem

BKC TK219 12.2′ Tandem Fishing Kayak

  • THE PERFECT KAYAK FOR OUTDOOR FUN. Our Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC TK219K tandem kayak has extra space to fit 3 – making it ideal for paddling with kids on family adventures.
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with 2 soft padded seats, 2 adjustable aluminum paddles, 2 waterproof hatches, 6 built in rod holders, 2 paddle parks, and 1 bungee cargo tie down.
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High density polyethylene material is superior to inflatable kayaks and a capable craft on ocean, lake, or river while supporting up to 595 lbs.

Summary

The BKC (Brooklyn Kayak Company) TK219 12.2′ Tandem Fishing Kayak is a sit on top tandem fishing kayak. It has many great fishing features such as 6 rod holders, watertight storage compartments for both seats, and a storage area big enough to hold a 20 liter cooler in back. It is sold as a complete package including 2 paddles as well. This makes it our top tandem choice for best beginner fishing kayak.

Hull Design and Construction

This kayak is a sit on top design made from uv stabilized HDPE. This tandem kayak has 4 molded in rod holders and 2 adjustable rod holders. There is a water tight storage compartment conveniently located in front of each seat. There is a large open storage area behind the rear seat that has bungee tie-downs and is large enough to hold a 20 liter cooler. Each seat has molded in foot rests with several foot positions. There are paddle storage tie-downs to hold the paddles while you are fishing. The seats have molded foam cushions for comfort.

Going For A Paddle

This kayak is very stable and paddles well. The layout is well planned and everything from the storage or rod holders is easy to reach. The sit on top design makes it easy to see into the water next to the kayak while fishing. It is not stable enough to stand while fishing. It paddles and tracks well thanks to it’s length. Solo paddling works best from the rear seat. There is no provision for removing both seats and putting one into a middle position.

What’s Included

  • Kayak
  • 2 molded foam seats
  • 2 paddles
  • 6 rod holders (4 flush mounted, 2 adjustable)

Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12 ft 2 in
  • Width: 2 ft 10 in
  • Weight: 68 lbs
  • Max capacity: 440 lbs
  • Hull Construction: High-density polyethylene (HDPE) UV Protection
What We Liked
6 fishing rod holders including 2 adjustable
2 watertight storage hatches
Large molded in rear storage compartment with bungee tie-downs
Molded in foot rests
Paddle Parks to hold your paddles

Best Inflatable Kayak

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

  • Super tough laminate PVC with polyester core: light weight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight
  • High pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability, with high pressure spring loaded valves for easy inflation and fast deflation
  • Includes 2 removable skews for deep and shallow water, 2 floor mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, 2 adjustable bucket seats

Summary

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is a great option for those wanting to get out and go fishing from their kayak. It offers many fishing friendly options such as rod holders, gear tie-downs, and a bracket for mounting things such as a GPS. The laminate PVC hull makes it puncture resistant. These features make it our top inflatable pick for best beginner fishing kayak.

Hull Design and Construction

The hull is a 3 chamber design made of a 3 ply PVC laminate to make it more puncture resistant. The hull uses 1 way valves for fast easy inflation and deflation. The floor chamber features an inflatable I-Beam for added rigidity. This kayak has removeable adjustable foot rests which is a feature not found on many 3 chamber hull inflatable tandem kayaks. There are 2 built in fishing rod holders and a mounting bracket where you can mount GPS’s and other fishing accessories.

The 2 seats are inflatable and an extra inflatable booster cushion is included as well. There are 2 skegs included. One longer one for deep water and 1 short one for use in shallow water.

Setup Process

The setup process is easy and quick. The 3 air chambers feature 1 way valves that make inflation and deflation a lot quicker. Setup time should typically take about 15 minutes from carry bag to in the water. Inflate the 3 air chambers then mount the seats and any accessories you plan on using such as the rod holes, accessory bracket or foot rests.

Going For A Paddle

There was plenty of space for 2 adults in this kayak. This kayak is very stable feeling and tends to float over and flex across waves. It is a very stable platform from fishing from. It feels more stable then many rigid kayaks people have tried fishing from. Directional stability is good with the included skegs. It was noticeably better with the deep water skeg. If you aren’t planning on going somewhere with only a few inches of water you should use it.

Putting It Away

Take down was a breeze thanks to the springloaded one way valves. Just remove the seats and accessories, deflate the air chambers and roll it up and your set to go.

What’s Included

  • Inflatable kayak
  • 2 inflatable seats
  • 1 inflatable seat booster
  • 2 paddles
  • Hand pump
  • Carrying bag
  • Repair kit

Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 12 ft 7 in
  • Width: 3 ft 1 in
  • Weight: 39 lbs
  • Max capacity: 400 lbs
  • Skegs: 1 (2 included deep and shallow water skegs)
  • Stored Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 16 inches
  • Hull Construction: 3 ply PVC laminate – 3 air chambers
What We Liked
2 fishing rod holers
Adjustable foot rests
Mountain bracket for fishing accessories
Tough PVC laminate construction
2 included skegs. 1 for deep and 1 for shallow water
Stainless steel D-Rings for gear tie downs

ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Kayak

  • Inflatable kayak; designed for anglers; features multi-layer material and patented aluminum rib frame
  • Abrasion pads offer maximum durability; wide beam increases kayak’s stability
  • High-back seat with two rod holders and inflatable lumbar support; removable mounting rail

Summary

The ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak has many great features to ensure you have your best day out fishing on the water. It is one person kayak with a 1 inch aluminum rail for mounting accessories, paddle holders, and a comfortable seat with an inflatable lumbar cushion. This kayak does not come with a pump or paddle. This kayak is produced by an American company and their customer support is based in the USA if you have problems

Hull Design and Construction

The hull is made from PVC Tarpaulin laminate material that is tough and durable. The hull has 3 main air chambers and built in aluminum sections in the bow and stern to give extra rigidity and a better hull shape for moving through the water. There is no skeg on this kayak due to the aluminum hull inserts. There is a bow and stern bouyancy bag as well for extra flotation if water gets inside the kayak.

There is a 1 inch aluminum rail that can be used for mounting accessories such as a GPS or rod holders. There are 2 rod holders built into the back of the seat. The hull sides have some built in holders for paddles. Always a welcome feature.

Setup Process

The setup process for this kayak involves unrolling the kayak from the bag. Hooking together the 3 sections for the aluminum rail. The rail will only go on the bow section. Some users have found it a bit difficult to mount it to the rubber mounts on the hull. Inflate the 3 main hull chambers. Mount and inflate the bow and stern buoyancy bags. Mount the seat. Finally, load it up with any fishing gear you might be taking with you and go paddle.

Going For A Paddle

The Advanced Element StraitEdge is a very stable feeling kayak with excellent tracking despite not having a skeg. The aluminum bow and stern sections really give it good tracking through the water. Users found the seat very comfortable for an afternoon out on the water.  The drain valves due a really good job of self bailing for this kayak if you get a lot of water inside it.

Putting It Away

Putting away is relatively easy. Remove the accessories and let it dry out. This kayak has a lot of places water can get trapped. It is a good idea to take it home and allow it to try more if you don’t have a lot of spare time.

What’s Included

  • Inflatable kayak
  • 1 paddle
  • 1 molded foam seat with inflatable lumbar support
  • 1inch aluminum accessory mounting rail
  • 2 fishing rod holders
  • Carrying duffel bag
  • Repair kit

Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 9 ft 8 in
  • Width: 2 ft 11 in
  • Weight: 41 lbs
  • Max capacity: 300 lbs
  • Stored Dimensions: 30 x 17 x 10 inches
  • Hull Construction: PVC Tarpaulin laminate material – 3 hull air chambers and 2 buoyancy chambers in the bow and stern
What We Liked
 Made by an American company with local American customer support
 Aluminum rail for mounting accessories
 Molded foam seat with inflatable lumbar cushion
 Aluminum inserts in bow and stern for better hull shape
 Bow and stern buoyancy bags
 Built in paddle holders

Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak – Sentinel 100X

  • A multi chine flat bottom hull ensures the stability needed when casting lines and reeling in fish.
  • Measuring 9’6″” and weighing only 44 lb, the SENTINEL 100X ANGLER is incredibly easy to transport and store
  • Made using our patented Ram-X materials, the SENTINEL 100X ANGLER will be around for years of exciting experiences.The best way to clean your kayak is by using a mixture of mild soap and warm water

Summary

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Kayak is a sit on top solo fishing kayak. It features a very stable hull design suitable for standing, a couple of rod holders, paddle tie-downs and a removable storage compartment. It is a great way to get out on the water fishing from a kayak.

Hull Design and Construction

This kayak is a sit on top design made from RAM-X crosslinked HDPE. This kayak features Pelican’s multi-chine flat bottomed hull for stability while afloat. The deck has 2 flush mounted rod holders behind the front seat. There is a removable storage tray located behind the seat with bungee tie downs. There is a storage compartment with cup holders just in front of the seat. The seat itself has an adjustable molded foam cushion. There are adjustable footrests. There is bungee tie-downs for holding the paddle as well. Like most sit on top designs, the kayak is self bailing.

Going For A Paddle

This kayak is very stable and paddles well for a short kayak. It is stable enough to stand from while fishing. The rod holders and gear storage tray are easy to reach. Overall the design is very well thought out and makes for an easy to use fishing platform. The bungee paddle tie-downs are a nice touch to keep your paddle from floating away while you are fishing.

What’s Included

  • Kayak
  • 1 molded foam seats
  • 2 rod holders (2 flush mounted)

Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 9 ft 6 in
  • Width: 2 ft 6 in
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Max capacity: 275 lbs
  • Hull Construction: RAM-X crosslinked high density polyethylene (HDPE)
What We Liked
2 fishing rod holders
1 removeable storage compartment
Tough RAM-X HDPE construction
Adjustable foot rests
Paddle Parks to hold your paddles

fishing in the fog on a kayak

How To Choose The Best Beginner Fishing Kayak – Buying Guide

Fishing kayaks are a great way to explore new and hard to get to fishing spots.  They are great for exploring new places, drifting along a stream, just generally getting away from it all.

There are several things to consider when choosing a beginner fishing kayak. Where do you plan on using it? What kind of water do you want to use it in? What kind of accessories and gear do you want to fish with? How much weight do you need it to carry? Do you want to fish along or with a buddy. Where will you store this kayak? How will you transport it to the water from where you live? I’ve answered all of these questions for you in the section below.

Inflatable Or Rigid Fishing Kayak

There are 2 main types of kayak construction. Rigid and inflatable. Rigid is the traditional kayak that you see most of the time made of some form of plastic, wood or fiberglass. Inflatable kayaks are what they sound like. They are some form of rubber, plastic or cloth material that you inflate to use and roll up for storage. See my article on inflatable vs hardshell kayaks for more information.

Rigid Fishing Kayak

Rigid or hardshell kayaks are typically made from plastic, wood or fiberglass. Plastic (HDPE) being the most common. The advantages of a rigid kayak are that it is ready to go when you want to use it. You don’t need to spend time inflating it. Just drop it in the water and go.

Rigid kayaks give you more control. They don’t flex like an inflatable so they are more precise and can track better. They can cut through or go over waves. They don’t flex and conform to the wave.

Hardshell kayaks require more maintenance then inflatables. Scratches and gouges are a lot more difficult to repair. You can’t just slap on a repair patch. You can drop an inflatable kayak with little to know damage no matter how high you let it go from. If you drop a rigid kayak you will very likely damage it.

Hard shell kayaks also don’t have air valves that can wear out and they are more resilient to long term sunlight exposure. You can leave a hard shell kayak sitting outside in the sun for years and still use it. You can’t do this with an inflatable.

Transportation and storage are the biggest drawbacks for a rigid hardshell kayak. Almost anyone has some space in the close or basement to store an inflatable. Not everyone has a garage or large area to store a rigid kayak. You have to have a car with a roof rack or trailer to transport a rigid kayak. With an inflatable you can just toss it in the trunk or back seat in it’s carry bag.

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

An inflatable kayak solves the transportation problem by making it into something you can carry throw in the trunk of your car and keep it at home in your closet, basement or garage.  This makes them a lot more convenient than a traditional rigid kayak.

Inflatable fishing kayaks are an ideal solution for anyone living in an apartment or home without a garage and who doesn’t have access to a car or truck with a roof rack or trailer hitch or have a place to store a fishing boat.

Inflatable kayaks have air valves that can wear out over time. Some are replaceable. Some are not. Some inflatables also have replaceable air bladders instead of built in air chambers.

UV rays can degrade almost any inflatable over time. It is important to find a storage place for them out of the sun.

Inflatable kayaks are more flexible and may not handle with the control that a rigid kayak can have. That is a trade off to the design. An inflatable kayak with drop-stitch construction may be almost as rigid as a hard shell but you’ll pay a lot of money for it too.

Read my review of inflatable fishing kayaks for more information.

Kayak Materials

Inflatable and rigid hardshell kayaks are constructed very differently. Rigid kayaks are molded into shape. Inflatable kayaks are made of soft panels that are heat welded, glued or stitched together.

Materials – Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable tandem kayaks can be made out of several different materials. PVC is the most common. PVC is a lightweight durable plastic material that is commonly used in many marine inflatables.  PVC is a good choice for inflatable SUP construction because it can be easily thermobonded into the hull shape and the core.  PVC is typically used in the form of a laminate for extra strength and abbrasion resistance compared to a single layer.

PVC can be constructed in what is known as “Drop Stitch” that creates a very rigid thin structure after inflation. Dropstitch is ideal for floors and hulls of touring kayaks where a long rigid kayak is desired.

The downsides to PVC is that it is UV sensitive and will degrade over time if left out in the sun too much. It is less abrasion resistant than other materials.

Vinyl can be used for kayaks. Vinyl is one of the feed components of PVC. Vinyl by itself is a more stretchy, less durable material than PVC. It is only used in very inexpensive kayaks. Vinyl kayaks are still a very good value. They will not last as long as a PVC or Hypalon kayak.

Hypalon is another material choice. Hypalon must be glued instead of heat welded making it much more expensive to manufacture than PVC. Hypalon has superior UV resistance and abbradion resistance compared to PVC. Most military or coastguard inflatable boats are made from Hypalon.

What does 1100 Denier mean? Most PVC materials are backed with a polyester or nylon laminate material. 1100 Denier refers to the material weight. Most kayaks use a backing material between 900 and 1300 Denier. For more information click here.

For more information on inflatable kayak materials click here.

Materials – Rigid Kayak

Most kayaks targeted at the beginner market will be made of roto-molded polyethylene or HDPE. In this process a plastic powder material is put into a mold which is then heated and spun until the powder melts into the shape of the kayak. It is then cooled and it’s finished. Roto-molded kayaks are heavy. They are durable and can take some punches against rocks and stops. If you do manage to crack the hull or get a whole polyethylene is not easy to repair because few adhesives stick to it.

A more expensive molding process can be used called thermoforming. In this process the plastic material is formed into sheets that are then put onto a model. With thermoforming the sheets can be several layers that are set for different strength and appearance characteristics. They are lighter than roto-molded kayaks but heavier than fiberglass kayaks. Thermoformed kayaks are generally as durable as roto-molded or fiberglass kayaks. They can be repaired fairly easily.

The most expensive hardshell rigid construction is molded fiberglass or carbon fiber. This will give you the lightest and most rigid kayak but it will be the most expensive as well. Fiberglass can be repaired using resin and glass cloth.

Weight of Fishing Kayaks

Most fishing kayaks weigh between 25 and 80 lbs.  There is a lot of variation in fishing kayak lengths and construction. A tandem hardshell kayak will weigh much more than an inflatable one man kayak. One person can easily carry a 25 pound kayak by themselves. A 50-60 lb carry bag will get heavy quickly. A tandem hardshell kayak is very difficult to carry alone. In general, an inflatable kayak will be lighter than a hardshell rigid kayak.   

Length

Common fishing kayaks tend to be between 9 feet and 14 feet long.  Longer length kayaks glide and track better so are preferred if your going to be kayaking long distances. A shorter kayak will be able to spin and maneuver easier. A longer kayak will also be heavier if carrying weight becomes a concern.

Weight Capacity 

Most fishing kayaks have a weight capacity between 300 to 600 lbs. Some can go higher. You should consider how heavy you and your paddling partner are and how much gear you want to carry when selecting a kayak.

Beginner Fishing Kayak Packages

A lot of kayaks are sold in a package that includes accessories such as a paddles.  If the kayak is inflatable it will usually come with a pump and carrying case as well but not always.  Most will include a small repair kit as well. If your just starting out it can be easier to find a package deal then to find all the parts individually.

Look for inflatable fishing kayak packages that include these items:

  • Hand pump – Dual Action Preferred
  • Carrying Case
  • Paddle – Adjustable Length Preferred
  • Repair Kit
  • Accessories such as rod holders or mounting bars

Types Of Kayaks

There are several types of kayaks available. Lets look at a few of them.

Fishing

Fishing kayaks are similar to recreational kayaks. They are meant to have a stable hull shape to be easy to fish from and they should have some fishing rod holders and holders for other accessories. Frequently they may have drop stitch floors to make standing easier and various seat options such as benches or swivel seats.

Recreational

This is the most common type of kayak. They are designed to be stable and easy to paddle. They are meant to be easy to use and comfortable. They are usually 12 feet or less in length. Because they are focused on stability they don’t go through waves great and won’t track in a straight line really well.

Touring

Touring kayaks are long and narrow. They are meant to have really good tracking and speed. Stability can be sacrificed to make a hull shape that moves through the water easier. They are longer, typically 15 feet or longer.

Sea or Ocean

Sea or Ocean kayaks are designed to be better at handling waves and surf. They typically have more rocker shape (raised bow and stern) and a v-shaped hull profile. These allow them to cut through waves easier. This will make it a bit less table when not moving compared to a more square profile that a recreational kayak will have.

Whitewater

Kayaks meant for whitewater usage will have hull shapes with more rocker to allow them to spin and manuever easier. Whitewater kayaks may have self bailing design or valves to keep them from filling with water. They should be built with heavier material so they don’t easily puncture or cut on any underwater obstacles such as rocks or branches.

Tandem

Tandem kayaks are kayaks that sit 2 people. There are also triple or more kayaks that can seat more people.

For more information on kayak types look here.

Types of Rod Holders and Accessories

There are quite a few options out there for fishing rod holders and accessories for inflatable fishing kayaks.

Scotty Mounts

Scotty Mounts are a plastic base with many available snap in options. Look here for more information on Scotty Mounts.

1 inch metal tube

There are many fishing rod holders and mounts available designed to mount to 1 inch tubing. 1 inch tubing is a standard railing size across the boating industry.

Fishing Rods For Kayak Fishing

The important thing to remember when selecting a fishing rod to use on your kayak is make sure it is long enough to go around the bow and stern of the kayak. You are somewhat limited in how much you can move in a kayak so you need to be able to follow a fish if it goes around the front or back of your kayak. If you have a 12 foot kayak, assume your sitting about in the middle of it. Pick a fishing rod at least 6 feet long.

How to use a kayak

Below is a quick video showing the basics of how to paddle a kayak.

How to fish from a kayak

Below is a video with some tips on fishing from a kayak.

Click here for some good tips on kayak fishing for beginners.

calm water kayak fishing

Beginner Fishing Kayak FAQ

Q: How Much Do Fishing Kayaks Cost?

A fishing kayak package (kayak, paddle, pump, etc..) can run anywhere from $250 to well above $2000.  There are value options at the low end of the scale that are great for getting on the water and messing around at the local pond, lake, or stream.  The price can vary a lot depending on whether it is inflatable or rigid, single or tandem kayak, and how many options such as rod holders the kayak has. Inflatable Kayaks with drop stitch rigid floors for standing tend to cost quite a bit more.

Q: How do I transport a fishing kayak?

If you have an inflatable kayak you can just toss it in the trunk or back seat of your car or truck. If you have a rigid hardshell kayak then you’ll either need a roof rack with pads or a trailer. Some people with pickups or big SUV’s just tie in down hanging out of the pickup box or out the back of the SUV.

Q: What should I take with me on the kayak to go fishing?

Here is a list of a few handy to have items on your fishing kayak.

  • Safety gear – A PFD, whistle, light, first aid kit
  • Fishing rod
  • Bait or lures
  • Net
  • Sun protection – sun block
  • Rain coat
  • A small anchor and line
  • Lunch or snacks
  • Drinking water
  • A radio

Q: Do I need To Have Someone Else Along To Use A Tandem Kayak?

No. You can use most tandem kayaks with just one person. Some have adjustable removable seats that can be set up for just a single paddler. If they aren’t then you can still paddle and control the kayak by yourself from the rear seat. Tandem kayaks are incredibly versatile because they can be used by 1 or 2 people and sometimes 3.

Q: How Do I Inflate a fishing kayak?

You hook up a handpump to the kayak and pump it up to the specified pressure.  Most pumps have a pressure meter on them so you can tell how much air to put into it. Dual action pumps (They pump air in on the up and down stroke) make pumping up your kayak a lot faster.  The below video shows an example of how to inflate and set up a typical inflatable fishing kayak.

Q: Do I need To Wear A PFD While Using A Kayak?

That one is up to you and what you are comfortable with. I personally almost always wear one. If it’s really really calm and hot out I might take not where it but I will always have it with me. The laws for PFD’s and kayaks vary from state to state. Many require that you at least have a US Coast Guard approved type 3 PFD with you. To real more about PFD’s and kayaks click here.

Q: How Do I Get Back Into A Kayak In Deep Water?

If you’ve ever rented a kayak somewhere, they can feel pretty difficult to get in and out of. With a little practice you can self rescue yourself in deep water. The best thing to do is go out on a nice warm day with warm water and practice getting in and out of the kayak in a comfortable place near the shore. The below video shows how to get back into a kayak in deep water.

Q: How Do I Choose A Beginner Fishing Kayak?

Choose a fishing kayak based on what you would like to do with the kayak and how much weight you need to carry. Choose a kayak with a weight capacity higher for you and your fishing gear. If you want a tandem also consider how much your partner might weigh.

Do you want to stand up while fishing? If so you should look for one that is a more stable design with a drop stitch construction floor if it’s inflatable. If you would like to try out some white water pick a kayak that is rated for white water and has self bailing.

Do you want to go fishing with a buddy? If so then pick a tandem kayak instead of a solo kayak.

Q: What kind of fishing rod should I use fishing from a kayak?

Choose a fishing rod that is at least half the length of your kayak if it’s a solo kayak. If it’s a tandem choose one that is longer than the distance from the seat to the front or back of the kayak.

Q: How Long Do Fishing Kayaks Last?

If well cared for a hardshell or inflatable kayak can last for many years.  The key is keeping it dry and clean and out of UV light when not in use. 

Q: Are Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Durable?

An inflatable kayak can be more durable than a rigid kayak because they can bump into rocks or branches without getting a permanent dent.  They can be cut if you hit them hard enough with a sharp enough object.  They are much more durable to small impacts.  If properly cared for the PVC or Hypalon material can last for many years. 

Q: How Do I Find A Leak In My Inflatable Kayak?

If you have a leak in your kayak, the easiest way to find it is to inflate the kayak and hold it underwater and then look for where air is bubbling out. If you inflate the kayak onshore and then put it into cold water, the kayak will appear to lose air as it cools down.  Changes in temperature from the water to air can make the kayak feel like it has gained or lost air pressure during the day even when it hasn’t.   

Q: How Do I Patch An Inflatable Kayak?

Use a repair kit designed for a PVC or Hypalon inflatable.  Most Inflatable kayaks come with a repair kit for patching small holes or cracks. The general process is applying adhesive sealant around the crack or hole and covering with a piece of patching material and let dry.   

Q: How do I repair a rigid hardshell kayak?

It really depends on what materiel the kayak is made from.  HDPE kayaks which are the most common are also the most difficult. You will need to melt new material into the crack to weld it shut. The video below shows a process for repairing your HDPE roto molded kayak.

Q: How To Dry An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?

You can let your kayak air dry if you have enough time.  It’s best to wipe it down with a towel after cleaning it and then let it air dry. If you are short on time you can towel dry it and take it home to dry. Unfold and unroll it at home to allow it to finish drying.  If it is a windy day remember to secure the SUP board as they can blow away.  Kayaks with a fabric cover over inflatable air bladders can get water trapped between the layers. Examine your kayak closely for where water might collect.

Q: How To Clean A Fishing Kayak?

The best thing to use for cleaning and inflatable kayak is fresh water.  Always hose the kayak down with freshwater after using it in saltwater.  Saltwater can degrade the PVC material and seams of an inflatable kayak over time.  If more is needed you can use a biodegradable cleaner meant for PVC or Hypalon inflatable boats or for a rigid use any cleaner like you would use for washing your car.  Rinse with freshwater again after using cleaner before putting it away.

Q: How To Fold An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?

Folding an inflatable kayak is super easy.  You simply deflate it.  Most will want you to fold the 2 sides in, and then roll it up. You want to avoid having the creases of your fold fall along seams as that puts added stress on them in storage. Your inflatable kayak will come with instructions on how to fold and roll it properly for storage.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water.  I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions.  I decided to start Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

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