One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to choosing a fishing kayak (or any kayak for that matter) is “what size do I need?”
We’ll address the answer in the buyer’s guide below, but first, we’re going to take a look at one of the most popular fishing kayak sizes out there.
The 10 footer.
In this review, we explore the best 10-foot fishing kayaks on the market, so you can have a one-stop-shop should you decide that this is the right length of craft for you.
Does size matter? Read on to find out, and maybe pick yourself up an awesome new fishing kayak along the way.
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Table of Contents
- The TOP 7 Best 10-Foot Fishing Kayaks 2021
- How to Choose the Best 10-Foot Fishing Kayaks
The TOP 7 Best 10-Foot Fishing Kayaks 2021
How to Choose the Best 10-Foot Fishing Kayaks
Choosing the right kayak for your needs can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to paddling.
Below, you’ll find a handy buyer’s guide to get you up to speed on the things you should be looking out for – and none of the fluff.
Fishing Kayaks – Does Size Matter?
Let’s examine the all-important question that’s on everyone’s lips when in the market for a new kayak.
Does size matter?
Well, yes it does, actually.
But with a caveat – there isn’t a great deal of difference between, say, a 10-foot kayak and a 12 footer.
Or even an eight-foot kayak and a nine-foot model.
However, you will start to see differences in performance and specifications when comparing longer kayaks to much shorter ones.
When it comes to kayak length, shorter kayaks are more maneuverable, whereas longer craft are built for speed and distance.
That’s why you’ll see adrenaline-junkies piloting short, stubby boats on whitewater, and touring yakkers piloting slim, 14-foot darts in large lakes, coasts, and open water.
In this length range, you’ll find excellent stability, with a good balance of speed, maneuverability, and overall performance.
As such, they’re commonly chosen as beginner kayaks, as well as being the most suitable for recreational play boating, and use in warmer weather.
Ten foot kayaks also tend to be easier to store and transport, so they make an ideal choice if you’re short on space.
And speaking of storage, this is another important consideration when it comes to kayak size.
The larger the kayak, the more space for stashing your gear and equipment it’s going to offer, as well as how much legroom you’ll have when you’re sitting in the cockpit.
Size isn’t always about performance – it’s about practicality, too.
What About Width?
Kayak width is commonly subject to its length – and it’s not as easy to specify exactly how wide you want your craft to be compared with how long it is.
As mentioned above, longer kayaks tend to be slimmer and built for distance and touring, whereas shorter models tend to be wider, and are ideal for fishing and general recreational use.
Wider kayaks have better primary stability, and are more suitable for standing casts and reels – depending on the model and how the deck is set up.
Either way, when it comes to these 10-foot kayaks, you’ll find there’s not a great deal of difference in the width of each craft.
Just bear in mind that the wider it is, the more stable it’s going to be on calm, flat waters.
Remember, though – this isn’t a good thing if you want to fish in tidal or choppy conditions. See below for more information.
Water Courses and Conditions
When choosing the right kayak type for your needs, you need to pay attention to where and when you’re going to be kayaking.
Different kayaks are designed for different conditions, and it’s important for your safety that you choose the right craft to suit when and where you’ll be kayaking.
For calm rivers and lakes, or quiet coastal inlets, a sit-on-top kayak is ideal, and a 10-foot fishing kayak is the perfect choice for this environment.
However, if you want to fish more challenging, peppy waterways or choppy conditions, you might run into some difficulty with this type of craft.
For fast moving rivers, you’ll need something that can turn quickly – and many fishing kayaks won’t be suitable for such an endeavor. Try one of these sit-inside fishing kayaks instead.
On the coast, these awesome ocean fishing kayaks are designed to handle waves and tidal areas more successfully than a flat-bottomed recreational kayak, with improved secondary stability to help prevent flips.
Whatever you decide, just remember to always wear a good-quality fishing PFD – and you can follow that link for some great examples.
Kayaks come in a variety of different styles and types, and choosing the right one can be a mission. Let’s briefly take a look at your options.
Sit-Inside or Sit-on-Top? Inflatable or Hardshell? Solo or Tandem?
Sit-on-top kayaks are generally the preferred choice for anglers, as they offer more room for gear and equipment, as well as more space for your own comfort and nonrestrictive fishing.
However, as mentioned above, sit-inside fishing kayaks are much better for fast-flowing rivers and choppy conditions. Take a look at this article on sit-inside versus sit-on-top kayaks for more information.
Inflatable kayaks offer unbeatable portability and storage solutions, but they can’t match a hardshell’s overall comfort and performance.
Finally, many fishing kayakers prefer to use a tandem kayak even if they’re going out alone, as it allows them more room for gear and equipment – or possibly a four-legged-friend instead.
Take a look at this review from more of the best tandem fishing kayaks on the market.
Once again, you need to consider the who, what, why, where, and when of kayak fishing before you make your final choice.
Follow this link if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to choosing the right fishing kayak for you.
For the most part, 10-foot fishing kayaks will offer plenty of space to include a top-quality seating system.
For the ultimate in all-day-comfort, look for kayaks with fully adjustable frame seating – similar to a lawn or camping chair.
Remember, though, a significant amount of the manufacturing cost will go into the kayak’s cockpit – and high-end seating designs will cost you a lot more.
However, I would highly recommend you don’t cut corners when it comes to your comfort – especially if you’re of advancing years. It’s well worth spending a bit more in this department.
Fishing from an awkward position can make life miserable, and it will likely cause you pain, discomfort, and possibly even injury.
And don’t forget to keep legroom in mind – look for kayaks with adjustable foot braces, so you can be sure it works well with your height, and how much space you need should you wish to stretch out.
Another figure you need to take into consideration when buying a kayak is its weight capacity.
This is the maximum weight the kayak can hold before it will get into difficulty, begin to take on water, and/or start to sink.
The higher the weight capacity, the more gear/equipment/people/animals/kitchen sinks you can safely carry on your kayak.
This figure is particularly important when kayak fishing, as you’ll likely be carrying more weight when angling than you will for any other type of kayaking.
Not to mention the weight of anything you might catch.
As a general rule of thumb, you should add 150 lbs to your own weight to determine the lowest weight capacity a kayak needs at the very least.
I would also heartily recommend you don’t even try to come close to a kayak’s maximum capacity – just to be on the safe side.
Never overload your kayak, and always be sure to distribute weight around the craft, so you’re evenly balanced when you’re on the water.
Fishing Friendly Features
10-foot fishing kayaks are perfectly sized to add a great selection of fishing-friendly features, that basically make the difference between a normal recreational boat and an efficient fish-hunting craft.
Look for something that offers plenty of rod holders – be they flush mounted, articulated, or otherwise.
Tank wells for storage will offer you a great place to put one of these kayak fishing crates or tackle boxes.
And center consoles can be useful for setting up your jig, keeping useful tools and tackle on-hand, or even holding a refreshing beverage when you’re ready to celebrate a catch.
But it doesn’t stop there – take a look at the video below for plenty of tips and advice for customizing and upgrading your fishing kayak.
You can spend as much or as little as you like on a 10-foot kayak, as there are options out there to suit every budget.
But good kayaks aren’t cheap, and cheap kayaks aren’t good.
However, I would recommend that you take into consideration your experience, skill, and passion for the sport before you throw thousands of $$$ at a high-end model.
And ask yourself how much use you’re genuinely going to get out of it. There’s no point blowing the bank on a top-of-the-range, fishing-hunting beast you only take out once a year.
When it comes to kayaking, size does matter.
And it seems that the 10 to 12-foot kayak range is the sweet spot for this particular sport.
So, I hope this run-down of the best 10-foot fishing kayaks has helped guide you to choosing the right length for your particular needs.
Let me know in the comments if it’s a 10-footer you’re going for, or if you prefer something a little longer.
In the meantime, stay safe out there, tight lines, and happy kayak fishing!