Kayak fishing is a sport that has rapidly grown in recent years, and with it, so too the brands and companies that create the gear we use, and shape the way we use it.
Without them, this popular hobby would be all but impossible.
With that in mind, I decided to show some appreciation by writing an article about the best kayak fishing brands in 2023.
But first – a small caveat. This is who I think is worthy of a mention. It’s not all-encompassing, and if I’ve missed a company off, then you can let me know in the comments section below.
Read on to find out if your favorite is here – and you can give me an earful if they’re not.
Table of Contents
- TOP 13 Best Fishing Kayak Brands in 2023
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
TOP 13 Best Fishing Kayak Brands in 2023
When writing any article about fishing kayaks, it’s all but impossible not to mention Hobie – a true market leader in the sport.
The California-based company has been designing and manufacturing outstanding watercraft since 1950, including paddle boards, boats, and then laterally some of the best river fishing kayaks on the market.
Aside from their built-to-last products, Hobie is synonymous with their famous pedal drive propulsion systems – with near silent underwater fins that will take your kayak angling experience to the next level.
Often copied, but never replicated, they invented the technology back in 1997, and has been a game-changer in the kayak fishing world ever since.
One of my personal favorites, Old Town is the oldest canoe and kayak manufacturer in the world, and they have some stunning products to prove it.
They’ve been building beautiful craft since 1898, so they know a thing or two about the demands of the community, and experience has clearly got to count for something.
Of all the fishing kayaks out there, I find Old Town to be the easiest on the eye, with some truly gorgeous vessels that have been born out of century-long craftsmanship and expert know-how.
With an extensive back-catalog (as you might expect being over 100 years old) Old Town offers plenty of superior kayaks and canoes to choose from, but their Sportsman kayak is one of the best stand-up fishing kayaks I’ve ever seen.
In developing the first sub-$1000 genuine fishing kayak, Vibe set an industry standard, and suddenly kayak fishing was more accessible to those who otherwise thought it was financially out of reach.
Since 2013 they have been at the forefront of developing fun, exciting, feature-rich, and affordable watercraft with more than a little bit of style.
Based out of Kennesaw, Georgia, their company ethos of passion and playtime filters through into the designs they create, marketed at everyone from beginners to pros.
And they also make one of my personal favorite fishing kayaks of all time, the Vibe Shearwater 125. I don’t think there’s a more complete angling machine right out of the box available today.
Under the umbrella of Confluence Outdoor (a US manufacturer of kayaks and canoes), Wilderness Systems joins no less than eight other top-quality brands that specialize in paddling watersports.
They’ve been in the game since 1986, producing attractive kayaks for recreation, touring, and fishing – with a strong emphasis on premium-quality construction and performance.
Over the years, they’ve racked up an impressive collection of awards, including the kayak of the year in 2015 for their famous A.T.A.K 140 model, and their Radar line is often included as some of the best ocean fishing kayaks on the market.
Based out of Greenville, South Carolina, they’re certainly a company to keep an eye on for the future of kayak fishing, as well as touring and recreational play boats, too.
Not to be confused with the high-altitude bike race, YakAttack is an interesting inclusion here in the sense they don’t actually make kayaks – but rather accessories and hardware for kayak fishing.
That makes them something of a unique proposition here, and they’ve risen to become one of the market leaders in their field since they were first established in a garage back in 2009.
You only have to check out their entry in this article on the best nets for kayak fishing to see what I mean. If that isn’t genius innovation – I don’t know what is!
And not only that, but if you’re looking to customize your craft with fishing-finders, GPS, flashlights, sport cameras and more – then YakAttack is a very good place to start for all your mounting needs – all made in the USA.
These guys just happen to be another personal favorite of mine, as they make some of the finest inflatable kayaks for fishing in the world.
They were the first inflatable kayak company that utilized the drop-stitch floor technology – which is a key component for stability, and rivaling the performance of hardshell kayaks for standing casts.
Based out of Long Island, 60 miles east of New York City, Sea Eagle has been manufacturing high-end inflatable boats since 1968, expanding and improving their range every year since.
Billed as a marriage between lightweight portability and quality, they are almost unmatched when it comes to super-durable inflatables that can take a beating and keep coming back for more.
Just check out the video below if you don’t believe me – a surefire advert for inflatables – and that’s from a few years ago!
They also make some quality inflatable SUPs, one of which easily made the cut for this article on the best stand-up paddle boards for fishing – so go check it out.
Sharing the stable with Wilderness Systems, Perception are also synonymous with all-round excellence when it comes to super-versatile kayaks – no matter what you need them for.
They boast a 40-year history that claims to have introduced more kayakers to the water than any other company – and they’ve got a good shout at making good on such a bold statement.
Ideal for kids and beginners, they make kayaking fun – with an emphasis on safety and easy paddling, for both sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks alike.
They have also added an extensive selection of quality fishing kayaks to their range over the years – not least the revered Pescador Pro line, which you will regularly find gracing many a kayak fishing review here on Bonfire Bob – among many others.
What do you get when you cross a world champion freestyle kayaker, slalom kayaker, and professional bass fishing angler – all of whom just happen to be the same person?!
Jackson Kayaks is the answer.
Established in 2004 by legendary kayaker/fisherman Eric “EJ” Jackson, they quickly developed a reputation for making some outstanding whitewater freestyle kayaks – and they are still number-one in the world for the sport.
Fishing kayaks naturally followed, and Jackson Kayaks have built a loyal and dedicated following among the angling community, with award-winning, innovative craft that can give you a serious edge out on the water.
Headquartered near Rock Island, Tennessee, Jackson’s high-end craft continues to impress, and they’ve added Blue Sky Boat Works to their portfolio to include some truly awesome fishing kayaks that rival bass boats for their stability.
But even if a kayak is super-stable, it’s always a good idea to wear some grippy fishing shoes to help keep you comfortable and safely on board.
Brooklyn Kayak Company
Located in Keansburg, New Jersey, the founders of the BKC grew up paddling the waters in and around New York City.
Today, they make some rock-solid, highly durable kayaks that just lend themselves to fishing – primarily because many of their kayaks come with fishing features as standard – without the need for aftermarket purchases.
They’re particularly known for making some of the best tandem fishing kayaks, and you should follow that link to discover more if you like getting out there with a partner or a loved one.
Don’t forget to take along a fishing cooler full of beer if you do.
Always highly-rated and very affordable, BKC offers some nice alternatives to the more expensive kayaks, including some quality pedal drive options that are significantly cheaper than the market leaders, without compromising on quality.
One of the baby kayak brands in our review, Bonafide didn’t come to fruition until late 2016 – but they’ve not wasted any time during the short years since, rising to become a force to be reckoned with in the kayak fishing game.
Backed by a team of expert paddle sports men and women, they have a mantra to produce the best possible fishing kayaks on the market – by hook or by crook, with a commitment to keeping things in the USA.
And going forward, you certainly wouldn’t bet against them.
While their product back catalog might be small and in its fledgling stages, what they do – they do very well, including their stunning SS127 model – one of the most stable kayaks produced in recent years.
Regardless of how rock-solid Bonafide (or any company) makes a kayak, you should always be wearing one of these certified fishing PFDs when you’re out on the water.
Another stalwart of the kayak and canoe world, Pelican has been at the forefront of paddlesport innovation for over 50 years.
Based out of Quebec, the Canadian company is known for its fun, accessible, and highly durable kayaks and boating craft, ideal for first-timers and experienced pros, alike.
They also make some quality accessories, including a neat entry in this review of the best kayak fishing tackle boxes.
Pelican has one of the most extensive back-catalogs of recreational kayaks available, and that includes some excellent fishing options that are as practical as they are affordable, including their awesome “Catch” family of stylish and practical fishing boat/kayak hybrids.
Take a look at the video below that reviews one of their most popular models – the highly affordable Pelican Sentinel – which is a great entry-level fishing kayak that won’t break the bank.
Offering decades of boat-building expertise, Native Watercraft produce some truly outstanding fishing kayaks, and back them up with a serious passion for the great outdoors and the environment.
Known for their performance models, they do a range of pedal-driven kayaks, sit-on-top options, and hybrid models that marry the best features of a canoe and a kayak together in one awesome unit.
Committed to ensuring their environmental impact is as close to zero as possible, NW not only makes some beautiful vessels, but they acknowledge and highlight the world in which we use them.
The vast majority of the materials they use in the construction of their products can be recycled when they reach the end of their lives.
NW also makes some cool accessories, including this awesome kayak tackle storage option that fits on the back of your seat.
Practical performance with a conscious – what’s not to like?
I’ve added KastKing here because – while they’re not strictly a “kayak fishing” company by any means – they do happen to make some of the best and most affordable gear and equipment for use when you’re out on the water.
They’ve also won their fair share of awards for innovation in the industry, since they burst onto the scene in 2011.
I just think their ethos on developing practical, affordable angling products, as well as their mantra of “keeping fishing fun” just lends itself to kayak fishing – which is why their inclusion here is justified.
As well as the fact they’re all-round one of the best fishing brands in business today – check out that link for more.
And it’s my article, so I can include who I want.
If you’re keen to get onto the water to enjoy this awesome hobby/sport/pastime, and you’re looking for some good kayak fishing brands to get you started, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let me know who you think comes out on top of the best kayak fishing brands in 2023 – or if I’ve missed someone out that deserves to be here.
Tight lines, everyone – and happy kayaking!