Choosing a Fishing Kayak

Fishing kayaks come in a variety of types and sizes, each with its unique features. The following tips should help you narrow down the choices to select from when looking for a fishing kayak that suits your needs.

How Intended Use Influences Kayak Selection

In choosing a fishing kayak, one of the first factors to consider is the type of water you intend to use it on. For example, the type of kayak you would use on shallow coastal waters or inlets will be quite different from the one used for paddling across a large lake.

Large Lakes and Rivers

Kayaks used on large lakes or rivers are more stable than kayaks designed for use in coastal environments since they aren’t subjected to slamming waves or tidal currents. Such kayaks will often feature larger cockpits, making entry and exit easier. They’ll also be shallower, allowing you to fish more easily near the shoreline. Many of these kayaks feature skegs, which provide better tracking and control than rudders.

Whitewater Rivers

Kayaking in whitewater is an adventurous activity that requires a sturdy craft that can maneuver swiftly but will still stay afloat even if capsized. For this reason, kayaks used for whitewater are often shorter and wider than their counterparts, providing more stability. A longer kayak can lose its tracking when capsized, which may make it more difficult to re-enter. Kayaks for whitewater use will often feature bulkheads (sealed compartments in the bow and stern) that act as flotation devices; they also tend to be more expensive.

General Tips for Choosing a Kayak

When choosing a kayak, one important tip is to purchase the best quality boat you can afford. Cheaply made kayaks are often uncomfortable, limiting your time on the water. Shopping online will help you find good deals on well-made kayaks that fit your needs.