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Sit-in fishing kayaks are versatile vessels that can take you almost anywhere. Whether you want to fish in a calm, peaceful lake or try your luck in the open ocean, there's a kayak that fits the bill.
When looking for the right kayak for your fishing adventures, there are a few questions you need to consider. The answers to these queries will point you toward your ideal kayak.
The first thing you need to think about when looking for a sit-in fishing kayak is how you're going to use it.
If it's your plan to take your kayak out for short trips and general fun-in-the-sun, look into a recreational kayak. These types of kayaks tend to be wider, allowing for greater stability. And the best part is, whether you are sitting still to cast your line or navigating to your fishing hole, a recreational sit-in fishing kayak offers the peace-of-mind that you won't tip over.
Recreational kayaks also tend to be shorter. The shorter a kayak is, the easier it will be to maneuver. With this kind of vessel, you'll be able to sneak around corners and easily make turns. They're great for marshy areas, lakes and other smaller bodies of water.
Lastly, recreational sit-in fishing kayaks generally have larger cockpits. That means that you will have space to move around and you won't feel so confined. In the event that you do tip over, you'll be able to easily exit the boat and get back in.
If you're interested in taking your kayak into more extreme conditions, such as a large lake, a river or the ocean, you'll want to consider a touring, or sea, kayak. Because of their length, they are not as stable as recreational kayaks when you are not moving, but they make up for it once you start paddling.
The longer, more narrow body of a touring kayak also gives it the ability to move faster, which is important when you are traversing large bodies of water. You'll also find that these types of boats are equipped with thigh and/or knee straps. These straps offer you greater control over the movement of the boat. If you need to make a turn, you can use your body as well as your paddles.
Deciding on what length you want goes hand-in-hand with what you intend to do with your kayak.
Shorter sit-in fishing kayaks move slower but are more stable. If you aren't concerned with speed, which you won't be if you're just fishing for leisure or traveling on small, calm bodies of water, it's best to buy a shorter boat. Short boats, which typically measure between 8 and 10.5 feet, afford you better control over your vessel, allowing you to turn with little effort.
Another benefit to buying a shorter, smaller boat is that it will be lighter. There's no reason to invest in a long, heavy boat if it doesn't fit your needs. Save some money — and your back — by purchasing a boat that's easy to use and easy to carry.
If you'll be using your sit-in fishing kayak for activities where speed is a concern, such as day trips, extended excursions or fishing in the open ocean, you'll definitely want to invest in a much longer watercraft.
The longer and more narrow a kayak is, the faster it will travel. These types of vessels won't feel very stable when you first mount them, but they will feel extremely stable once you are up to speed.
Long kayaks usually measure from 13 feet to 16 feet or longer. While these boats can be extremely fast, what you make up in speed you lose in maneuverability. Boats of these lengths are hard to turn, requiring that you have plenty of clearance. Long kayaks are also heavy and cumbersome out of the water, so you may need help loading and unloading your kayak and bringing it to your launch point.
This talk of weight probably has you thinking that you want to invest in the lightest kayak you can. Depending on where you plan to travel, this might be just fine or just a bad idea.
If you plan on taking your sit-on fishing kayak into the open ocean, where you may encounter high wind and rough surf, you're going to want all the weight (and length) that you can handle.
Longer kayaks have a much easier time to going over waves: kayaks that are heavy are less likely to be bounced around by the general choppiness of the ocean. If you were to take a small, lightweight kayak into the sea, you'd probably often find yourself constantly on the verge of capsizing, which is never fun.
Small lakes, streams and marshes never see the roughness of the ocean, making them ideal places for a lightweight watercraft. If you don't think that you'll ever take your kayak into the sea, definitely go for the convenience of a small, light vessel.
The next question you need to ask in your quest to find the perfect sit-in fishing kayak is how long you plan to be in the kayak.
Cheaper, shorter boats tend to lack creature comforts. Your seat will probably be comprised of an indentation or a plastic lip. This is fine if you'll only use your kayak for a couple hours at a time, but if you plan on hanging around much longer, this might quickly become uncomfortable.
One solution to an uncomfortable seat is to buy a separate chair or cushion. This is actually a smart idea that allows your kayak more versatility, but watch measurements carefully before you buy. When buying the cushion and the kayak, make sure there is enough room for both the new seat and yourself.
Longer kayaks that are intended for extended use are designed to keep you comfortable. They're generally installed with padded seats, a back cushion and even knee and thigh pads. Longer kayaks also give you a lot more room to stretch out, which you'll definitely enjoy when you're out on the water for extended period of time.
One last benefit you'll find in longer boats is that they are equipped with plenty of storage options, offering you lots of space for clothing, food, bags, tackle boxes and anything else you'll need for your long trip.
How much effort do you want to exert in getting around in your kayak? The traditional method of propulsion is through the use of paddles. They range from basic and inexpensive to speciality and more costly. It's important to choose the right kind of paddle for the activity you're partaking in so that you don't waste energy and tire yourself out.
Obviously, using paddles requires effort on your part. While some paddles are designed to help you glide through water quickly, your arms may still tire out after an hour or several hours of paddling. If you plan to stay close to shore and fish for just a little while, paddles are the smartest, most cost-effective choice for you. However, if you intend to go long and far with you sit-in fishing kayak, you may want to explore other options.
As your legs are comprised of larger and stronger muscles than your arms, you can put them to work for lengthy periods of time. Kayaks equipped with foot pedals allow you to free-up your arms fishing and other tasks while your legs do all the work. These kinds of kayaks are ideal for situations where you will constantly be moving your watercraft with a reel in hand or if you plan to traverse great distances to find the perfect fishing spot.
If you want to have almost no limitations to how far you can travel, a sit-in fishing kayak with a motor is your best choice. These boats require no effort from you so far as propulsion, and you can travel as far as you'd like without feeling a hint of fatigue. They are also the most expensive option, and you will need to ensure you have a vessel that has room to store fuel so you don't become stranded. It's also a good idea to equip your boat with a collapsible paddle to help you get back home in the event that you experience engine failure.
Sit-in fishing kayaks are the most popular variety on the market, so you'll definitely have plenty of options to choose from when you go shopping for a new one. Think hard about how you'll use your kayak, including where you'll be going and how long you'll be staying, to ensure that you find the right fit.
O.k. The dog in the picture before is not shown in a sit inside fishing kayak but he was too good looking not to lead off these reviews.
Generally speaking, fisherman prefer sit on top fishing kayaks because they are easier for standing to cast and don’t inhibit arms when casting seated. But, there are still some benefits for a sit inside fishing kayak.
The main use for a sit inside style is for fishing in rivers with strong currents; more protection from rocks and outcroppings is required in such environments. This doesn’t mean that you are going to stay any drier than you would in a sit on top type. If you are in a kayak, plan to get wet.
|Top 3 Sit on Top Fishing Kayaks|
|Sit inside Fishing Kayaks||#1: Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro||#2: Old Town Vapor 10 Angler||#3: Sun Dolphin Excursion|
|Storage Available||Laege rear well storage, bow internal plus bow and stern bungee system||Stern open day well and bow bungee open deck storage||Hatch with shock cord open deck|
|Max Support Weight||325 lbs.||300 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Seating||Foam padded dry seating||Adjustable, padded seat and back plus thigh pads||Adjustable padded high-back|
|Width / Stability||23”/ good stability||28”/ good stability||30”/ good stability in 2’ waves|
|Power Method||Paddle only||Paddle only||Paddle only|
|Unique Features||51.5’’ long cockpit for 6.4 tall person and arm rests||Molded-in-paddle park in extra-roomy cockpit area||2-flush mount & 1-swivel rod holder|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Malibu Kayaks are one of the hottest young brands in the fishing kayak market today. Those who own more than one brand of fishing kayak love the Malibu products and the Sierra 10 is no different. These are well-made of quality products and designed to skim quietly through the shallowest waters while being able to withstand bumps and bruises of hidden underwater protrusions.
The room inside of the unit will fit someone as tall as 6-foot 4-inches up to 230 pounds. If you weigh more than that or are taller, you should look at another brand. The seat by Apex is designed with modern technology to repel moisture and reduce sweating after sitting a long time. The rear tank well is large enough to hold a 5-gallon bait bucket or a sealed container with extra clothes, towels, and a handheld GPS.
Quality, spaciousness, extra storage, padded seating, built in rod holders, price
Inability to mount fish finder or GPS
With an Amazon perfect customer rating of 5 stars (out of 3 reviews), the Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive is worth the price.
One of the reasons that this Malibu Stealth 14 is considered number two on our Top 3 list is it’s proven safety on the ocean. Users tout its proven capability in waters from the Finger Lakes of New York and Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Surf and the shallows and flats of creeks.
The Comfort Flex seat of the unit molds to your body type and provides comfort without making any adjustments. The open day well is large enough to easily hold a large ice chest or 5-gallon bait bucket. Among other things, the cockpit area is roomy even with the cockpit tray that lets you work on lures, or place a sandwich while waiting for the fish to bite.
Anchor with trolley system included, extra-long cockpit, plenty of storage
Difficult to get in and out of for elderly or those with leg problems
With an Amazon perfect customer rating of 4.7 stars (out of 14 reviews), the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak is worth the price tag.
The Prowler 13 is at the bottom of our Top 3. That said, getting on this list wasn’t easy. This yak is designed to handle rough waters such as the open ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes.
The reinforced molded hull has been sculpted to provide the best tracking and turning in a fishing kayak. While it is a good choice for lakes and ponds, it is one of the best for rivers and streams.
Its overall 13” depth, allows for shallow stream fishing and with the protection of the hull lets you get into brush and mangroves with fewer cuts. The quality of the material and styling combines to prevent ordinary damage from underwater protrusions: one person can effortlessly drag it out of the water and carry it to shore.
Quality, stability, wide cockpit, price
Limited to storage available
With an Amazon perfect customer rating of 5 stars (out of 33 reviews), the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak comes at a great price point.