Heading out alone for a day of fishing is a surefire way to relax and take some time for your own thoughts. While you're sure to enjoy this alone time every once in a while, there will undoubtedly be times when you'd like to fish with another person, if only for the conversation.

Tandem fishing kayaks are designed to carry two or more people so that you go out on the water with a child, spouse or friend. When you're shopping for Tandem kayaks, there are a number of considerations you must take into account to ensure you pick just the right one.
They include:

image

  1. Who will you be bringing along?
  2. What will you be bringing along?
  3. Where will you be fishing?
  4. Do you want a sit-in kayak or a sit-on-top kayak?
  5. Do you want a true tandem or a convertible?

Who will you be bringing along?

One thing you need to think about when looking for a tandem fishing kayak is who you plan to take out with you.

If you're bringing a child, you can get away with a smaller vessel. On one hand, you will easily be able to paddle on your own if you need to. Plus, you may also be able to use the kayak as a solo boat on those days you want to go out on your own. On the flip side, shorter boats move more slowly, so you won't be able to slice across the water the way you'd be able to with a longer one.

If you're buying the tandem fishing kayak for yourself and another grown adult, you'll want something with more room. Longer boats afford both you and your rider more spaces. They also move more quickly, so you can expect to cover longer distances in a short amount of time if you are both-paddling.

Some tandem kayaks are large enough for two grown adults and a child in the middle. These types of kayaks are wonderful for family outings, and on those days when it's just the two of you, you can use the extra seating as additional storage room.

What will you be bringing along?

As tandem fishing kayaks are arranged to ensure that there's room for two people to sit, you're not always going to find the same type of storage capacity as you will on other kayaks. Storage space will definitely be limited on shorter kayaks — and there may be none at all — while longer kayaks usually have at least a storage area between the two riders.

If you plan to use your tandem fishing kayak for a quiet day at the lake where you won't need much gear, look for one that offers bungee storage or a roomy cockpit. Use this spare space to store a backpack, a tackle box or any other small items that you're bringing along.

For instance, fishing trips where you intend to bring home a big catch or those that may last longer than one day are the ones where you'll need to bring extra supplies. In addition to bait, rods and other fishing gear, you may also need to bring a change of clothing or food. For these instances, you'll definitely need a kayak with ample storage space. Often, the only way you'll find this space is if you purchase a long boat.

A kayak that measures 20 feet, for example, should certainly have at least one storage compartment if not two, plus bungee storage.

Where will you be fishing?

The areas that you intend to visit on your fishing expeditions are another factor in choosing the right tandem fishing kayak. If you intend to stay close to shore and away from the open ocean, a smaller watercraft is perfectly suitable. In addition to being lightweight and easy to carry, these boats are easy to maneuver, and turning is a breeze.

If it's your intention to travel great distances or even out into the sea, you'll want a longer, more heavy-duty kayak for several reasons. First, longer kayaks move faster. This is important because you'll be able to get where you want to go faster and with less effort. Next, longer kayaks afford you more space. For instance, you’ll have access to more storage space, you'll be able to stretch out and there will be less risk of getting tangled up in the line of your rider.

Heavier, longer kayaks handle the rough waves of the ocean more easily than smaller, lightweight vessels. They also offer more stability when you are reeling in a big fish. They aren't the easiest to maneuver, but that isn't an issue when you have all the freedom to make your turns.

Do you want a true tandem or a convertible?

One of the main reasons that fisherman consider tandem fishing kayaks is because they want to have the ability to take someone else along for the ride. In the minds of most buyers, it is cheaper to buy one larger kayak than two separate ones. If money is of no concern, it can be argued that transporting one kayak is a lot easier than moving two.

For whatever reasons you want a tandem fishing kayak, it's important to remember that they don't make very good solo vessels, should you decide that you want to go out alone. Even the shortest ones are longer than traditional kayaks, and paddling and navigating on your own is going to take some serious effort.

With this in mind, you have to think about whether you want a true tandem fishing kayak — that is, one that can only ever be taken out when you have a companion to bring along — or if you want to look at a convertible one instead. The huge advantage of a convertible kayak is that it can be used for either one fisherman or two.

Convertible tandem fishing kayaks are outfitted with movable seats. You can use both the seats when you're going out with a friend, or remove one and adjust the placement of your seats when you want to fish alone. Some convertible kayaks are easier to use than others, so it's important to study the layout of the vessels you're considering — including length and weight — to ensure that it can be used in the manner you choose.

Do you want a sit-in kayak or a sit-on-top kayak?

Tandem fishing kayaks are available in both sit-inside and sit-on-top styles. Deciding which is better really comes down to your preferences..

Sit-in kayaks come with two separate cockpits — one for you and one for your rider. Depending on the size of the boat, these cockpits can be small and snug or large and roomy. Each type has its advantages, with smaller cockpits allowing for maneuvering with your body while larger ones allow you to stretch out when you start to cramp up. The semi-enclosed cockpits also offer some protection from wind and water, which will help keep you dry in choppy conditions and warmer on cooler days.

Sit-on-top fishing kayaks, by their very nature, present more space for moving around, even on a smaller boat, because there are no cockpits to enclose you.

As they don't offer the protection of the sit-in varieties, these types of kayaks are more suitable for warm climates and warm weather. Unlike sit-in kayaks, some sit-on-top kayaks may give you the opportunity to stand up while fishing, and if you want to take a dip in the water to cool off, it's easy to slide off and remount.

Taking a friend or loved one out for a day of fishing is a great way to work in some good conversation and have lots of fun. If you want to go in the same vessel, a tandem fishing kayak is an excellent choice. Answer the questions above and compare the many available models, you'll find the right kayak in no time.

Tandem fishing kayaks are great fun for those who enjoy fishing with a buddy— their child, their spouse or even their pet. But, with all good things comes a few glitches that should be considered before you jump into buying a tandem kayak.

For example, you need to have a plan on where to store it when not in use; how to transport it; and who is expected to be fishing with you. If you plan on using it primarily with a child, you need to think about the height of the sides and the stability for standing up. For pets, ask yourself if the seats are removable so that your dog can lie down during the day, or for an older person or one who is a novice to yakking, is it easy to get into and out of?

Top 3 Tandem Fishing Kayaks
Tandem Fishing kayaks #1: Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem #2: Lifetime Manta Tandem #3: Malibu pro 2 Tandem fish & dive
Storage Available Bow & stern Hatches, netted side-pockets, open deck Forward hull storage Bow & stern open deck w/ bungees, square center hatch w/ cover,8” round front hatch w/ bucket, 8” round rear hatch w/bucket
Max Support Weight 550 lbs. 500 lbs. 550 lbs.
Seating Adjustable seat and seat back plus inflatable lumber support Padded seat backs only Dry seating only, seats needed for comfort
Width / Stability 33”/ excellent stability 34”/ good stability 33”/ good stability
Power Method Mirage Drive Pendal and Paddle Paddle only – 2 included Paddle only
Unique Features Sail mount and rudder inlcuded weights only 60 pounds Weights only 62 Pounds, trolling motor mount open available
Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

#Number 1

Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak

This sit on top tandem fishing kayak is built by people who love fishing: the details as well as placement of accessories makes it obvious. The unit is 14.5 feet long so make sure you know where you can hang it before you get it home. Additionally, you’ll probably want a trailer to transport it since it could be damaged hanging off the back of your truck .

  • Weight capacity 550-pounds
  • Transport weight 93-pounds
  • Length 14-feet 6”
  • Width 33”
  • Storage hatches bow & stern plus netted side pockets
  • Adjustable seat and adjustable high back with inflatable lumbar support
  • MirageDrive pedal system
  • Two-piece paddles with on hull storage
  • Sail mount
  • Rudder included

The width not only makes this kayak completely stable for two people, but also stable for standing up to fish or cast. The netted side pockets of the unit placed at each seat keeps items secured if the yak tips over.

Pros:

Quality, stability, storage, pedal and paddle option, plus sail mount

Cons:

Personal preference add-ons may add to price, Price

** Shipping internationally must be done directly through Hobie company

With an Amazon perfect customer rating of 5 stars (out of 2 reviews), the Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Kayak is worth the big dollar price.

#Number 2

Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak

Lifetime puts out this great Manta Tandem fishing kayak which is built for two for a day on the lake, pond or a quiet back bay setting. While it doesn’t come set up with all the bits and bobbles of the more expensive yaks on the market, it is a top-rated yak in its price range.
The 34” interior width is roomy enough for a heavier angler, making it easy for the beginner to stand up for fishing.

  • Weight capacity 500-pounds
  • Transport weight 60-pounds
  • Length approximately 10-feet
  • Exterior width 36”
  • Padded backrests (2) included
  • Storage in open cargo area forward
  • (2)2-piece paddles included
  • Tunnel hull design for good tracking and turning

With a weight capacity of 500 pounds, you and a second person can easily take this yak out on the lake, pond or back bay for a day of fishing. In fact, many people who purchase this Manta Tandem toss it on a car-top rack or in the back of their truck, head off for a week of camping and nature adventure with their friends or family.

Because it only weighs 60-pounds, even if you are on your own, it can easily be carried onto a shore point if a storm should erupt. It can also be loaded into a car or truck by one person.

In order to stand, you will have to straddle the seat wells: this may be inconvenient for older or those with physical difficulties. The sail receiver placed in front of the forward seat allows one person out alone to use the wind if you tire of paddling – provided the wind doesn’t take you further away from your destination.

Pros:

Price, lightweight, sail option, paddles included, good stability, easy for one person to load and use solo

Cons:

Open storage only, lacks rod holders, seat is on hard surface, standing requires straddling seats

With an Amazon perfect customer rating of 4.1 stars (out of 76 reviews), the Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak is worth the price tag.

#Number 3

Malibu Kayaks Pro 2 Sit on Top Kayak (Tandem Fish and Dive Package)

Malibu’s fish and dive tandem kayak is rated for ocean, lakes, ponds, bays and rivers. You probably won’t want to go river rafting in this sit on top fishing kayak but it’s nice to know that if you happen to get towed by that monster fish you’re out to get or if you run into high waves on a lake, you’re in a yak that is designed to meet the circumstances – even if you’re not.

  • Weight capacity 550-pounds
  • Transport weight 62-pounds
  • Length approximately 13-feet
  • Exterior width 33”
  • 5 Storage areas
  • 6 molded in rod holders
  • Easily maneuverable for single or tandem use
  • Trolling motor mount available as option
  • Stainless steel hardware

The Pro 2 Tandem fish and dive package provides plenty of storage for all day adventures on the water. Many use this unit as their remote island transportation to spend a weekend camping away from the roaring crowds. The hull design lets you skim the water easily whether one or two people are fishing. Plus, the unit allows you to get into shallows where

Pros:

Lightweight, maneuverability, extra storage, stability, 6 rod holders, reasonable price

Cons:

Seat not included, 13’ length may need small tow trailer

traditional boats can’t go.

With an Amazon perfect customer rating of 3.5 stars (out of 8 reviews), the Malibu Kayaks Pro 2 Sit on Top Kayak is worth the price tag.