The Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayaks – Complete Guide & Top 11 Picks for 2024

Of all the different types of fishing kayaks available, sit-on-top versions are arguably the best.

Their wide hulls provide excellent stability on still waters, as well as offering plenty of on-board storage space for your tackle and gear.

Not to mention the versatility to customize until your heart’s content.

In this article, we take a look at the eleven best sit-on-top fishing kayaks, to bring you the latest and greatest tools for keen kayak anglers.

A Quick Guide to Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks & TOP 3 Picks for 2024

Before we get stuck into the reviews, it’s useful to outline the criteria we’re looking for when we choose our shortlist of the best sit-on-top fishing kayaks.

And when you’re looking through the reviews yourself, you can bear these factors in mind.

  • The type of kayak – is it a hardshell or an inflatable?
  • Pedal, paddle, or power? How does the kayak get from A to B?
  • Size and weight – this article on choosing the right kayak size offers some in-depth advice.
  • Seating and comfort – for day-long fishing adventures, you don’t want your butt to go numb.
  • Performance – what is the kayak capable of when it’s on the water? What do you need it to do?
  • Storage – you’ll need more space and compartments for longer trips and more gear.
  • Fishing-friendly features – rod holders, accessory tracks, scupper holes… the more the merrier.
  • Cost – the very best sit-on-top kayaks will be suitable for your particular budget, and relative to how often you’re going to use the boat in the first place.
  • Aesthetic – how the kayak looks on the water, including color scheme and overall design.
  • Ease-of-use – shallow learning curves are best if you’re a complete beginner.
  • Safety – what sort of safety features does the kayak come with (if any at all), and should you perhaps add your own aftermarket?

With all that in mind, here’s our top three picks to get you started.

ProductAwardOur RatingReview
Vibe Shearwater 125 Fishing Kayak
Vibe Shearwater 125 Fishing Kayak
The “Most Complete” Fishing Kayak
Read review
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak

The Best Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak
Read review
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Fishing Kayak
Premium Quality Fishing Kayak
Read review

It’s been a very tight race in recent years, and kayak fishing technology is getting better all the time, largely to match its meteoric rise in popularity.

Any number of these kayaks can be interchangeable for top spot, and in the end, it’s come down to our personal preference.

Up first is the outstanding Vibe Shearwater 125 fishing kayak.

Billed as the “most complete” fishing machine ever to grace the water, it’s absolutely packed with a crazy amount of features, and is one of the finest-looking kayaks in the history of the sport.

Next up, the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 is an absolute monster of a fishing kayak, featuring the best pedal drive technology in the world.

It’s also one of the best ocean fishing kayaks out there, as it’s as close to an actual boat as a kayak is ever going to get.

Our third spot goes to the awesome Old Town Sportsman Autopilot, but it could just have easily gone to any sit-on-top kayak in the Sportsman range.

We thought we’d give you a bit of variety and choose one of the best motorized kayaks on the market, ideal for anyone who wants to explore the waterways with a minimum of effort.

An honorable mention must also go to the Perception Outlaw 11.5, which offers loads of attractive features for the price, and has really been making waves in the fishing kayak community since its release.

But without further ado, let’s take a look at our shortlist, and rest assured you’re in good hands.

How We Choose

Have you ever noticed that certain review websites will try to shoehorn in any old product, just so long as it’s easy to purchase online?

That’s not what you get with us.

We’ve spent hours researching each and every product that makes the cut on these pages – approximately 23 hours, 17 minutes, and 48 seconds.

But who’s counting?

We’ve had just about every sit-on-top fishing kayak from every brand under the microscope.

Not literally, of course, because they’re far too big for that and it would be silly.

Using our tried-and-tested method, we take all the important features and factors for choosing the best fishing kayaks (listed above), hold them up to each product, and make sensible, professional, and experienced judgements as to which kayak is going to be included.

Furthermore, we examine user reviews, videos, interviews, and more on each model, to get an unbiased view from kayak anglers and industry professionals.

And where we can, we get out in the boats themselves, or at least see them in the flesh at local paddle sports stores.

Either way, you won’t find any fluff here, and when we say “the best…” we mean the best!

The 11 Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks in 2024

Vibe Shearwater 125 Fishing Kayak

Vibe Shearwater 125 Fishing Kayak

Ordinarily, you might find the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost included here as one of the best fishing kayaks available, but their Shearwater model is simply on another level.

It has built up something of a cult following since its release, and is often difficult to get hold of.

That’s because of the outstanding design and build quality, not to mention the mind-boggling array of features it packs in specifically catering for kayak fishing.

From its five position seat to all the tackle tray slots and storage, every inch of this fishing machine has been designed to improve your experience on the water, and help you catch more fish.

And on top of all that, from an aesthetic point of view, it truly is a thing of beauty.

We’ve done a full, in-depth review of the Vibe Shearwater 125 which you can check out at that link.


  • Molded rod holders.
  • Three central pod options.
  • Gear tracks galore.
  • Padded standing area.
  • Stand assist strap mount.
  • Front storage hatch.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Plenty of tackle storage space.


  • Can be difficult to get hold of.


Are there better fishing kayaks? Maybe. Are there more expensive fishing kayaks? For sure. But Vibe claims that this is the most “complete” fishing kayak ever created, and I’m inclined to agree with them.

Simply outstanding, and when it comes to features, this could be the best fishing kayak there is.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak

Hobie has been making water craft since the 1950s, so they know a thing or two about this business. And in that time, they’ve perfected the fishing kayak.

The Mirage Pro series is the pinnacle of that expertise, of which the Angler 14 with 360 drive technology is arguably the flagship.

Built for superior comfort, this is the Rolls-Royce of fishing kayaks. Powered by their famed Mirage 360 Drive for multi-directional control, speed, and stealth.

Available in a 12 and 14 foot versions, the larger model is more suitable for offshore fishing and bringing more gear, and there’s plenty of customizable space and storage options for you to fine-tune your loadout.

And for anyone with a bad back, this is probably the most comfortable seating you’ll find on a fishing kayak. For a complete, in-depth review of the Hobie Mirage Pro series, you can follow that link.


  • World-class design and craftsmanship.
  • Lumbar support seating technology.
  • Front and center storage hatches.
  • Market-leading pedal system.
  • Kick up fins.
  • Retractable transducer shield.
  • Gear H-tracks.
  • Bimini compatible.


  • Exorbitantly expensive.
  • Not very portable.


Although you could buy a decent second-hand car for this price, the Mirage Pro Angler 14 is probably the best fishing kayak ever made. And if it’s not in most top fishing kayak reviews, then someone’s not doing their job right.

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Fishing Kayak

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Kayak

Regular readers will know I’m an Old Town fanboy, and the Sportsman Autopilot 120 is yet another addition to their premium-quality catalog.

It features a Minn Kota trolling motor as standard, so you can reach the best fishing spots effortlessly, complete with autopilot navigation.

The adjustable seat is fully removable, complete with comfortable lumbar support; while EVA foam deck pads provide a non-slip grip for when you want to get to your feet.

Multiple rod holders give you plenty of options for pole organization, and a shallow water anchor mount is compatible with your choice of anchor.

And when the motor is removed for normal paddling, the console floor adds a practical addition while preventing water from coming onto the deck.

Replacing the old Predator models, the Old Town Sportsman range is up there with the finest fishing kayaks in the world. And you can check out our review of the pedal drive version at that link.


  • World-class build quality.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Spacious, open deck.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
  • Four accessory tracks.
  • Old Town tackle box included.
  • XL rudder.
  • Plenty of storage capacity.
  • Kill switch key.


  • Pricey.


One of the best fishing kayaks there is, the Old Town Sportsman has been improved with the addition of a trolling motor, as well as the eclectic selection of fishing features it already boasts. Only serious anglers need apply for this impressive fishing machine.

Perception Outlaw 11.5 Fishing Kayak

Perception makes some fantastic craft for recreational paddlers, and they’ve recently produced one of the best fishing kayaks on the market with the Outlaw 11.5.

Never too far away from fishing kayak reviews, the Outlaw is the perfect intermediate fishing machine, with premium features for a more budget-friendly price.

The two rod holders are double-barreled and can hold up to four fishing rods, and there are three solo mount recesses for adding accessories like fish finders.

Molded trays keep tools and equipment safe and close to hand, so you can stash one of these awesome fishing knives right where you need it.

This is one of those fishing kayaks you look at, and you can’t quite believe what they’ve managed to include for the price, all wrapped up in an attractive, easy-to-use fishing platform that’s perfect for beginners and pros alike.

Go here for a more in-depth review of the impressive Outlaw 11.5.


  • Large stern tank well.
  • Bow storage with mesh.
  • Paddle park.
  • Elevated, removable seating.
  • Cup holders.
  • Replaceable skid plate.
  • Gear storage trays.
  • Choice of colors.


  • Not the best fishing kayak for speed.


Possibly the best sit on top fishing kayak under $1000, Perception has struck gold with the Outlaw, a feature-rich, super-stable kayak that’s much more affordable than many fishing kayaks in this class.

However, it’s not built for speed, and some folks might find it a bit “clunky.”

Jackson Bite Angler Fishing Kayak

Jackson Bite Angler Fishing Sit-On-Top Kayak Playa

The first thing you notice about the Jackson Bite is how roomy and spacious it is.

The deck is completely clutter-free, and across its generous proportions you have a lot of scope for bringing along a mountain of gear.

Or, if you’re anything like me, keeping things streamlined and simple with a skeleton rod and tackle selection.

Either way, the Bite has been designed for no-fuss fishing, with the open cockpit design allowing for unrestricted movement, and the improved seating system providing excellent support for long days out on the water.

And that’s just what the Bite wants you to do, as it’s the perfect fishing kayak for spending hours in nature without a care in the world.

Check out our full Jackson Bite review for more information.


  • Large, spacious cockpit and deck.
  • Super stable design.
  • Fly patch panels.
  • Stand assist strap.
  • Flush mounted rod holders.
  • Gear accessory tracks.
  • Transducer scupper holes.
  • Molded rod stagers.


  • EVA deck padding is sold separately.


Another excellent fishing kayak from Jackson, the Bite is the ideal fishing platform for anglers who like to keep things simple but effective. There’s nothing here you don’t need, and everything that you do. Top marks.

Native Watercraft Titan Propel Fishing Kayak

At 10.5 feet in length, the Titan is one of the more compact sit on top kayaks with a pedal drive, and gives off more of a solid bass boat vibe.

Offering instant forward and reverse to give you more control no matter the conditions, the pedal system is intuitive to use, and all from a comfortable cockpit that features the company’s famous hand-sewn seating on a sliding track.

Surprisingly roomy, the Titan provides you with all the room you need to bring a mountain of fishing gear, and that generous stern tank well is ideal for larger kayak fishing coolers.

Then there’s the super-stable deck for standing casts and reels, integrated horizontal rod holders, unlimited customization options, and a commanding field-of-view from the fully adjustable seating position.

It’s also available with a transom motor mounting plate, so you can convert to power if you so choose.

Considering NW are one of the best fishing kayak brands out there, this kind of product certainly doesn’t hurt their reputation in the community – especially if you like hunting bass.


  • Grove accessory tracks.
  • Ideal for bass fishing.
  • Highly portable.
  • Anchor and trolling motor compatible.
  • Choice of colors.
  • High weight capacity.
  • Huge storage area.
  • Transducer mounting plate.


  • Expensive.
  • The drive system isn’t retractable.


A beautiful fishing kayak with all the trimmings, the compact size and lightweight design makes this a real winner – especially considering it has a pedal drive.

However, that’s also a bit of a downside for faster rivers, and you might want to consider the NW Slayer line instead.

Bonafide SS127 Fishing Sit-On-Top Kayak

Bonafide SS127 Fishing Sit-On-Top Kayak

Since its release in 2021, Bonafide’s SS127 has attracted a lot of attention in the kayak fishing world. And for good reason, as it’s a beautifully designed and functional fishing kayak that ticks a lot of boxes.

For a start, it’s one of the most solid craft you’re ever likely to pilot, with a hybrid catamaran-style hull that doesn’t sacrifice performance for stability.

As such, it’s also one of the best fishing kayaks for oceans on the market, and is comfortable in almost any water conditions.

Then there’s the crazy list of features that it manages to pack into its relatively compact size, including an adjustable seat, transducer hole, built in rod holders, and plenty of storage capacity.

I’ve sat in the SS127 recently, and it was super comfortable, with a durable, clutter-free feel.

I felt right at home, and desperate to get it out on the water, but as we’ve barely scratched the surface on what this outstanding fishing kayak offers, I highly recommend checking it out yourself in more detail.


  • Perfect for fly fishing.
  • Deck traction pads.
  • Paddle holders.
  • Stern skid plates.
  • Excellent, balanced performance.
  • Gunwale perch pads.
  • Anchor compatible.
  • YakAttack gear tracks.
  • Choice of colors.


  • If you find one, let me know!


One of the most stable fishing kayaks on the market, the SS127 is built for the apprehensive kayak angler looking for extra peace-of-mind on the water. And anyone who’s looking for the best fishing kayak when it comes to features, in general.

Intex Excursion Pro Series Inflatable Kayak

If you’re looking for one of the best sit on top fishing kayaks under $500, then you can do a lot worse than the Excursion Pro from Intex.

The popular inflatables brand might be more commonly associated with mattresses and beach play boats, but their Pro series is well worth considering, not least because of what you get for the price.

Made with a super tough laminate PVC with polyester core, it’s lightweight, portable, and yet highly durable, and has some practical fishing features that you usually don’t get in kayaks in this class, such as the removable mounting bracket for extra kayak rod holders, or a GPS.

Spring-loaded valves provide fast inflation and deflation, and it comes with everything you need to get onto the water fast, for the ultimate in grab-and-go kayak fishing.

It’s so good, we’ve done a full, in-depth review of the Intex Excursion Pro which you can find at that link.


  • Outstanding price point.
  • Detachable fishing rod holders.
  • Multiple D-rings for securing gear.
  • Removable mounting bracket.
  • Floor mounted foot rest.
  • Bow and stern storage.
  • Pump, paddles, and carry bag included.


  • No storage hatch to speak of.
  • The seat isn’t the most comfortable.


Sure, it might not be the best fishing kayak of all time, but as a budget-friendly option that’s packed with features, this is a great choice, and given the fact that it’s one of the most portable and lightweight fishing kayaks out there, it’s perfect for solo anglers who like to grab any opportunity to get out there and fish.

Lifetime Teton 100 Angler Kayak

Lifetime Teton 100 Angler Kayak

Famous for manufacturing affordable, durable, polyethylene -based products, Lifetime have a number of budget-friendly kayaks on the market.

For the money, the best of these is their Teton 100 fishing kayak, as it’s rare you’ll find a lawn-chair style padded seat at such an affordable price.

It also offers plenty of storage space, with large front and rear tank wells, and bungee cords to secure your fishing gear.

Two, 12-inch gear tracks allow customization, and there’s two flush mount rod holders conveniently located for easy use.

And the lightweight design and compact size ensures it’s much easier to transport than a pedal kayak. As an entry-level kayak that’s a step up from the most basic craft, the Teton 100 is a great option, so much so that experienced kayak anglers will surely get a kick out of turning this boat into a more advanced machine.

We love the Lifetime Teton 100 so much, we’ve given it a dedicated review at that link.


  • Great price point.
  • Solid, durable construction.
  • Attractive coloring.
  • Self bailing scupper holes.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Plenty of tackle storage room.
  • Luggage-style handles.


  • Not the best for tracking.


For the price, this is surely one of the best fishing kayaks out there – as you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with the Teton 100 from Lifetime.

And it’s probably the best DIY fishing kayak out there, perfect for anyone looking to pimp their ride without spending a fortune, and starting with an affordable chassis with excellent potential. Performance wise, however, don’t expect a world beater.

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130 Sit-on-Top Inflatable Kayak

Here we have a smart-looking inflatable from Aquaglide – the Blackfoot Angler 130 fishing kayak.

Offering a high weight capacity of 650 lbs, this is a great craft for packing all your fishing gear, and throwing it in the back of your pickup truck.

It comes with a fishing cooler located behind the seat, which also incorporates rod holders, and a map case.

The seat itself is of the framed, lawn-chair variety, fully adjustable, with under-seat storage. Offering plenty of space for all your fishing gear, a drop-stitch floor increases rigidity, and the Duratex, reinforced PVC construction is built to take a beating.

Definitely one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks on the market, but I’ve only chosen this over the Sea Eagle 385 FastTrack because I think it looks cooler.


  • Designed for a fishing trip.
  • Universal accessory mounts.
  • EVA traction pads.
  • Five scupper drains.
  • Spray skirt.
  • Webbing tie-downs and storage space.
  • MOLLE compatible plates with mesh bags.


  • None to speak of.


For an inflatable, this just might be the best fishing kayak out there, and the perfect solution for avid fishermen who like to be on-the-go.

When it comes to sit on top kayaks, the Blackfoot Angler is well worth your consideration – and it’s suitable for whitewater, too!

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 Fishing Kayak

It was a close call between the Wilderness Systems Radar and the A.T.A.K, but I’ve gone for the latter, which stands for Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak.

Wilderness Systems manufactures some of the best fishing kayaks out there, and the award-winning A.T.A.K series are their flagship models.

Available in 12 foot and 14 foot versions, the 120 is more compact, and thus improves manageability whether you’re on the water or off it.

From the cockpit, you have a commanding view of the surroundings with the WS AirPro MAX seating system, which is about as comfortable as they come.

The kayak itself features the FlexPod removable center console, SlideTrax accessory rails, a wealth of storage options, and transducer scupper with cover.

Suitable for those thrilling standing casts and reels, the A.T.A.K is a super-stable fishing platform that’s perfect for calm waters.

Best of all, it’s fully compatible with a pedal system, so you can add pedal power at a later date if you wish.


  • Award-winning design.
  • Silent traction pads.
  • Bow paddle park.
  • Large stern tank well with bungee.
  • Bow and stern storage hatches.
  • Stand up assist strap.
  • Pedal kayak convertible.


  • No molded in rod holders.


Easily one of the best fishing kayaks ever to grace the water, every inch of the ATAK 120 has been designed for catching fish in comfort.

The fact that it’s capable of adding pedals is a great feature, but you can always check out this review of the best pedal fishing kayaks if that’s what you want as standard.

A Buyer’s Guide to Sit on Top Fishing Kayaks

Below, you’ll find plenty of tips, tricks, and advice to help you in the search for your next favorite toy – a really good fishing kayak.

Here’s what you should be looking out for if you want to become a successful kayak angler. You can also read this article for the basics on how to choose a fishing kayak.

angler in a sit-on-top kayak fishing on the river

Type of Kayak

Fishing kayaks (and kayaks in general) come in all shapes, sizes, and types. When you’re in the market for a new kayak, your first hurdle is deciding between the following options:

Sit On vs Sit Inside

There’s a good chance that if you clicked this link you’re already looking for the best sit on top fishing kayaks, and you can forget about the sit-inside versions.

However, it’s still worth mentioning the difference – especially for anyone who is new to kayak fishing.

This article on sit on top vs sit inside fishing kayaks will tell you everything you need to know, and you can go here if you want to try your hand at the best sit-inside fishing kayaks instead.

Hardshell vs Inflatable

Ahhh, the eternal debate. Hardshells vs inflatables. Which is better for fishing?

While whole articles have been written on the subject, I can actually break it down into a single line.

Hardshells offer better stability and performance, inflatables are easier to transport and store.

There is more to it, but that’s it in a nutshell!

For a more dedicated article on the best inflatable fishing kayaks, follow that link. And if you want to upgrade, you can try this review of the best inflatable fishing boats, instead.

fisherman kayaking and fishing on lake

Pedals vs Paddles vs Power

How you get from A to B is an important consideration when it comes to choosing the best fishing kayak, and you have three options:

  • Paddles.
  • Peddles.
  • Trolling motors.

While the quality of peddles and trolling motors improves every year, paddles are still not obsolete just yet. You’ll still need them as a backup in case something goes wrong with the technology.

And since most fishing kayaks don’t come with a paddle, check out this article on the best paddles for kayak fishing.

Essential for improving paddle strokes and paddle acceleration, they can also offer some extra features that are useful for kayak anglers.

Likewise, you can go here for the best kayak trolling motors – if your choice of kayak doesn’t already come with one, like the options found in this review of the best motorized fishing kayaks.

man kayak fishing in river

Size and Weight

I would say that the best fishing kayaks are generally found to be between 10 and 14 feet in length.

Anything longer and you’re looking at a touring kayak, anything much smaller, and it’s a more recreational play boat – although there are exceptions.

With a good fishing kayak, you want a balanced marriage of speed and maneuverability, but as stability is also important, you’re looking for kayaks with wider hulls.

Unfortunately, the trade-off is going to be in weight. Sit on top fishing kayaks tend to be heavier than any other kind – especially with the addition of pedal drives and other power systems.

You need to make sure you’re prepared for that, or choose an inflatable model as an alternative. And even with lighter kayaks, it’s a good idea to use one of these awesome kayak carts to help take a load off!

And don’t forget about the fishing kayak weight capacity. Make sure you know how much it can take – including yourself – so you don’t overload with fishing tackle and gear.

Finally, if you are at all worried about finding the most stable fishing kayak, you might like to check out this article on the best fishing kayaks for big guys and gals.

fisherman in sit-on-top kayak with multiple fishing rods


Fishing kayak companies put a lot of time, effort, and money into designing the most comfortable seating options possible.

Outside of performance on the water, for many fishing kayaks, it’s this feature that truly sets apart the best of the best. And we’ve come a long way from simply having a padded seat on board.

Look for fully adjustable, lawn-chair style seating for day-long comfort during your fishing adventure. Not only will they provide adequate support, but they’ll offer a great field-of-view for sight fishing.

Likewise, having adjustable foot braces or multiple footrest positions will improve your fishing experience, and can cater for anglers of all sizes.

Finding the right fishing kayak means finding the right fishing kayak seating.


Even the best fishing kayaks are not designed to win races.

However, you still need a modicum of performance when you’re chasing down those fish, and trying to access the best spots for kayak fishing.

When it comes to kayak performance, remember to keep these simple pointers in mind:

  • The wider a fishing kayak is, the more stable it will be.
  • The shorter a fishing kayak is, the more effective it will be in negotiating obstacles and hazards.
  • The longer and thinner a fishing kayak is, the faster it will go, and the better it will track (keep straight when moving through the water).
  • Hardshells will outperform inflatables 99.9% of the time.

If you’re fishing in breaking surf, look for a kayak with a multi chine hull, which will help dissipate the waves – but at the cost of speed.

Again, most kayak anglers don’t need to set any speed records, and are looking for a happy medium between speed, maneuverability, and tracking.

But a kayak that offers a balanced performance is going to be more comfortable and efficient to pilot, and help to prevent fatigue during long days on the water.

fisherman on inflatable fishing kayak with fishing tackle

Storage Options

On board dry storage options are essential for keeping valuables out of the wet. Both paddling and fighting fish can get you and the kayak deck soaked, so dry storage hatches are a great addition.

Look for fishing kayaks with cup holders – having a place to keep a water bottle (or cold beer) is very useful. And speaking of cold beers, why not take along a fishing cooler to keep them super chilled?

The best fishing kayak for storage will have stern and bow tank wells, capable of holding a fair amount of extra fishing gear – or even to have a four-legged friend along for the ride.

And fishing kayaks that maximize and use the space well are going to stand out, so look for clever storage solutions that keep things close to hand – but out of the way and organized. Under seat storage is a good example.

angler fishing from the kayak in the river

Fishing Friendly Features

As I always say, a fishing kayak without dedicated fishing features is just a kayak. And the very best fishing kayaks offer as many of the following details as possible:

  • Flush mounted rod holders, and/or articulating rod holders, to keep your poles organized.
  • Gear tracks to attach accessories – such as extra rod holders, a fish finder, and sports cameras.
  • Paddle holders will help with hands-free fishing.
  • Trolling motor compatibility, to give you the extra zip to get to where the fish are biting.
  • Fly fishermen will enjoy a standing strap and ample deck space for standing casts and reels.
  • Tackle boxes included.
  • Anchor compatibility. Check out this article on the best kayak anchors for more info, but remember you must never anchor a kayak in rough seas.
  • Customization – the ability to add your own accessories, and pimp your fishing kayak until your heart’s content.

This list is not exhaustive, and the best fishing kayak for you will have all the features you need, and nothing that you don’t.

To get some inspiration, take a look at the video below, which offers a detailed walkthrough of a fully customized fishing kayak.


The price of good fishing kayaks can vary wildly, and some of the very best are eye-wateringly expensive.

I always recommend buying the best you can afford, while considering how much it’s actually going to be used. If you’re a casual kayak angler, there’s no need to drop five grand on a fishing machine.

And if you are tightening the belt, check out this article on the best budget-friendly fishing kayaks on the market.


What fishing kayak has the most comfortable seat?

Tough question. I would say they all have a good shout at boasting the most comfortable seat, and short of sitting in them all, there’s no real way to find out the answer.

If I was pushed, however, my gut instinct is to say it’s a toss up between the Hobie Mirage and the Old Town Sportsman.

What is the lightest fishing kayak?

The lightest fishing kayak is likely to be an inflatable model, as kayaks with a pedal system are going to be very heavy.

At just over 36 lbs, I would say the Intex Excursion Pro is the winner in this department. Certainly for this review, anyway.

What is the most stable fishing kayak?

Another good question, and again, impossible to answer without rigorously testing all the kayaks here, with different occupants, and in different conditions.

However, since you’ve asked nicely, I’m going to say that the Bonafide SS127 could well be up there as the most stable fishing kayak on the market.

That said, kayaks from Hobie, Old Town, and Native Watercraft are also very much in the running for the title.

Does color matter in fishing kayaks?

No. Since the jury is out on whether fish see color at all, the color of your kayak isn’t going to make much of a difference when you’re hunting your prey.

However, it’s a different matter when it comes to safety. Brighter colored kayaks are going to be much easier to see than muted, dark colors – should you ever get into difficulty.

Perhaps not so much on lazy rivers and glassy lakes, but if fishing offshore, for example, a highly visible kayak is pretty much essential.

Regardless, you should always be wearing a certified PFD, and these fishing PFDs are a great choice for practicality and safety.


Fishing kayak technology is rapidly developing all the time, and it can be hard to keep up!

This selection of the best sit-on-top fishing kayaks proves it – as there are some truly outstanding craft here, to help satisfy even the most serious angler.

Let me know which one you’re taking on your next fishing trip, and why!

Stay safe out there, and happy kayak fishing!

Stuart Jameson

Stuart is passionate about travel, kayaking, camping and the great outdoors in general. He's not quite as enthusiastic about angling as his father was, but out of the two of them, he's yet to hook his ear lobe while fly-fishing, which he sees as an absolute win.

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