How To Choose A Fishing Kayak? Step By Step Guide
If you love hitting the water and hauling in the biggest fish swimming below you, kayak fishing should be YOUR sport. Get get started, you need a kayak, first. Angler kayaks, in particular, tend to be more versatile and affordable than the average boat, making them the perfect companion for your fishing adventures.
I have been in this sport last couple of years, helped dozens of my friends and fellows. Today, I will give you the complete step by step guideline on how to choose a fishing kayak, as well as the features that you should look out for as you begin your shopping.
How To Choose A Fishing Kayak?
You need to consider the following factors:
Figure Out Your Fishing Goals
Before you start testing different kayaks, you need to determine what your fishing goals are. To begin with, you need to identify where you want to fish, be it freshwater, salt water, large lakes, farm ponds, warm water, cold water, offshore, surf, dockside, on the shoreline, or in slow moving waters.
Maybe you want to fish in more than one of these water bodies. Knowing this prior to shopping for a kayak will allow you to cut down the number of potential options.
Additionally, you need to figure out if you are fishing alone or with family.
If you prefer solo fishing, then a 1-person kayak will be perfect for you. However, if you are a family man/woman, then you should go for a 2-person kayak.
This is perhaps one of the biggest trade-offs when it comes to choosing a kayak. Longer kayaks usually provide a paddler with faster speed when compared to shorter ones, while wider kayaks offer greater stability than their narrower counterparts.
Additionally, you will find that kayaks with an upswept bow will perform better in currents and waves as opposed to flat water. You, therefore, have to determine which factor; speed or stability, is more important to you and your needs.
Sit-In Vs Sit-On-Top
There are two main types of kayaks, one, which is designed for you to sit atop it, and the other that allows you to sit inside it.
The sit-on-top models are favorable to anglers, as they allow anglers to easily wade through the water, in addition to the fact that you can simply attach accessories to them. The downside to a sit-on-top kayak is it puts you in an elevated position where you are sure to get soaked.
On the other hand, we have the sit-in kayaks, which provide anglers with a wider cockpit in which they can fish from. The benefit of this style of kayak is that stability is improved due to your lower center of gravity, as well as the fact that there is a greater chance of you remaining dry- excellent for when you are in cold water.
Unfortunately, sit-in kayaks pose a difficulty when you decide to get out of the kayak so you can wade in the water.
Portability and Storage
When you have a kayak, you will need to transport it to the water and back home. It is therefore, a good idea to look at compact and lightweight kayaks, which are portable in nature. Furthermore, ensure that your kayaking option has carrying handles to make this chore easier.
Furthermore, you also need to consider storage options when selecting a kayak. If you are purchasing a long kayak then it will probably reside in the garage, or on a truck rack. If your chosen storage option exposes your kayak to direct sunlight and heat, then you will need to buy a kayak with UV inhibitors on its exterior (though it is never a good idea to store plastic kayaks in the sun.)
Comfort and Convenience
When you head out onto the water, you need to be fully prepared for everything and anything that will come your way. That is why you need to pick an angler kayak with enough space to store your tackle, gear, water, food, extra clothes and other personal belongings.
Also look for a kayak that is rigged with multiple rod holders or has provisions for you to rig these holders, as well a kayak that has comfortable seating for prolonged stretches on the water.
It is difficult to make an informed decision based solely on the specifications and opinions of others, so go out and find a kayak dealer who is willing to allow you to rent out and test a couple of kayaks before you select the perfect one.
Feel free to ask me if you have any question, or need my suggestion! Best of luck on your fishing trip!