The Different Types of Kayaks and Their Suitability for Fishing

November 17, 2015

Best Inflatable fishing kayak

A Kayak is a small boat, which has a double-bladed paddle. Kayaks are also known as canoes, mainly in the UK. It has a deck, which is usually covered, one or more than one cockpits, and seating for paddlers. There are different types of kayak and to choose the best one, you need to know about the different kayaks and their functions.

What are the different types of kayaks?

What is a fishing kayak?

Fishing kayaks are specifically designed for those people, who love to fish. These Kayaks have the best accessories, which can be used in this adventure sport. There are rod holders, as well as coolers, and much more present in these Kayaks. They even have GPS receivers, lights and hatches, which are specially designed for the purpose of catching fish.

Sit on Top Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 sit on top fishing kayak

Those who love to fish, have to choose between sit-on top or sit in kayaks. There are pros and cons of sit on top kayaks.


  • They can easily get out of the kayak if they have to and access their fishing equipment.
  • They are good for those who are inexperienced in paddling.
  • They are also good for those who have a lot of gear, as there are different compartments.


  • It can make you wet, because there is no cover that can protect you.
  • A wet ride can make you sick and cold as well; this would negatively affect your fishing experience.
  • Slower and usually heavier

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler inflatable Kayak

Initially, inflatable fishing kayaks were assumed to be pool toys, but now times have changed. Technology has advanced and these inflatable kayaks are now used as recreational boats. Inflatable kayaks are better as compared to the hard shell kayaks on the market, in terms of performance. The best thing about an inflatable kayak is its light weight. Moreover, they are:

  • Scratch Resistant
  • Affordable
  • Easy To Maintain and Store


best fishing kayak for 3 people

Tandem fishing kayaks are also called double kayaks; it is called so because it has space for two people to sit in. This means that two people would be driving the same kayaks, at the same time, which would shed the load of work.


  • If you do not like to fish alone and want your fishing partner in the same boat, then this is the best option.
  • In tandem fishing kayaks, one person can sit in the front and teach a person, preferably a beginner in the back.


  • The problem with Tandem kayaks is that they are heavy, as they weight about 75-100 pounds. People have difficulty carrying them.
  • Shorter tandems are not very stable.
  • It would not be of any use if your partner does not want to come with you.

Paddle and Pedal Powered Kayaks

There are paddle kayaks and pedal powered kayaks.

Hobie Mirage Pro 14 sit on top fishing kayak

Pedal powered


Pedal powered kayaks, as compared to paddle kayaks, do not make you feel fatigued while you cover a long distance. It is much easier to drive a pedal powered kayak as all one has to do is press it down by foot. However, paddling requires a lot more energy to get the Kayak moving so it is not possible to cover very long distances on a paddle kayak.

BKC UH-TK219 tandem fishing kayak review

Paddle powered


However, if something goes wrong with the pedal powered kayak; you might get stuck in the middle of nowhere, if there are no paddles available.

Pedal powered kayaks are more expensive compared to paddle kayaks.

Aluminum Fishing Kayaks

Aluminum Fishing Kayaks as the name suggests, are made up of aluminum and they can bear any weather, like snow and heat. This is the reason why most people who do not have a place to keep their kayaks, buy aluminum kayaks as they can be left outside. They last for a long time and are economical. They also have a high initial stability. However, an aluminum kayak is heavier than other types of kayaks.

A major advantage of an aluminum kayak is that it can carry a lot of load, as compared to other modern kayaks. Another advantage is that it does not draw a lot of water inside keeping the paddlers dry.

Recreational Kayaks

In addition to fishing kayaks there are also several other types of kayaks including recreational kayaks; while not specially made for fishing these types of kayaks can be perfect for the person who wants a dual purpose kayak. This is also helpful if you want/need a two-person kayak but only one person wants to fish.

The cockpits of recreational kayaks are large and they are different from sit-on-top kayaks. The cockpits have soft-chinned hulls and they are manufactured using rotationally-molded polyethylene plastic.


  • They are not very expensive.
  • They are more stable as compared to sit-on-top kayaks.
  • The cockpit is enclosed, which means the paddler is protected from external elements.
  • If recreational kayaks are properly outfitted, then they are perfect for fishing.


  • When taken out in rough seas, they do not perform well.
  • They are slow, as compared to other kayaks.

However, they are not good when the currents are strong. They also have a small storage area, which means you cannot store a large amount of fishing tackle or fish when you catch them if keeping them.

Touring Kayaks

The physical description of a touring kayak is that it is between 12 to 17 feet long and the hulls of the kayak are shaped in a way, that it increases the kayak’s lift during the waves and rough water. There is also a tracking system attached to the kayak.

Pros of touring kayaks:


  • The hull designs are more efficient; they are efficient as compared to sit-in and sit on top kayaks.
  • They are speedy, which means that the paddler can paddle as fast as he wants. The paddler does not even have to put much effort.
  • Offer good stability.
  • The cockpits are comfortable


  • The cockpits are smaller and this would be bad for those paddlers who easily feel claustrophobic.
  • They are very expensive.

Modular Kayaks

The special thing about modular kayaks is the fact that it can split into different sections. These sections would ensure easy transportation and this modular kayak can even fit in the back of your SUV. They are mainly used in day tours and you can even buy a second cockpit, so that the kayak would turn into a tandem.

Folding Kayaks

As the name suggests, folding kayaks can be disassembled, folded and would fit into a carry bag. This kayak has a stiff frame, which is quite useful as it gives it a rigid structure. The performance of a hard-shell kayak and a folding kayak are similar. It might take longer to assemble the kayak in the beginning, but after you become familiar with the process, it would not take a long time.

To have a good fishing experience, it is necessary to choose the best Kayak. While choosing a kayak, consider their pros and cons as well as your fishing requirements.

About the author 

Richard Dravick  -  I created this site to help people who like myself enjoy kayaking and fishing. Kayaking allows you enjoy all the great themes of nature that are around us everywhere and combining this with fishing can create some of the most memorable times in life.
Please let me know if you have enjoyed these reviews and if you have thoughts on what you would like to see for future reviews so that I can keep the content fresh.

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