When life gets on top of you, fishing can be just the tonic.
And while it’s great with one, it can be just as good with two.
Providing you get on, of course.
So, if you have a friend or loved one you could happily spend time with on the water, we’ve got the best tandem fishing kayaks in 2021 coming right up.
They say that two’s company – and when you’re literally in the same boat – never a truer word was spoken.
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Table of Contents
- The 10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks in 2021
- Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 17T Dune
- BKC PK14 Tandem Pedal Drive Kayak
- Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak
- Lifetime Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak
- BKC TK181 Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
- Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler
- How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayak for Two
The 10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks in 2021
How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayak for Two
Selecting the right kayak can be a bit of a tricky process – especially if you don’t know where to start.
Read on to discover our handy buyer’s guide to help point you in the right direction, and we’ll find you the best 2-person kayak for fishing in no time.
Type of Kayak
So, you have established that you want a fishing kayak, and, since you’re already reading this article, you would like it made for two.
Now you need to decide between a hardshell and an inflatable.
Hardshell kayaks are faster and more maneuverable than inflatable versions. They also offer more in the way of storage space and customization possibilities.
However, they’re usually much heavier, cost more (everything being equal), and can be difficult to transport.
The major advantage with inflatables is the portability factor. Simply throw it into the back of your vehicle, and you can be on the water at a moment’s notice.
You might be surprised to learn that they can also be harder to damage and more durable than a hardshell. Prang a rock with an inflatable kayak, and it will most likely bounce off, but prang it with a hardshell, and it will leave a nasty mark, dent, or other such damage.
A whole article could be written on the pros and cons of each, suffice to say it’s up to you to decide what features are more important for your needs and circumstances.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations – particularly when it comes to tandem kayaks – is the seating arrangements.
Obviously, you’re going to want the most comfortable seating available, but that’s not always possible depending on how much space you have, whether it’s an inflatable or hardshell, and how much you’re willing to pay.
As a rule of thumb, manufacturers tend to plow the most cash into seating – and a pedal drive if applicable.
Kayaks that have lawn-style chairs with metal frames offer the most comfortable options – riding in one of those is like floating down a river in your armchair.
Consider the height of the seating, too, as you’ll want the best possible field-of-view over the water, so higher seating positions are preferable.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and upgrade if the seating a kayak is sold with isn’t to your liking. Most tandem fishing kayaks will be customizable, so you can improve it with after-market accessories if you choose.
For the most part, it’s rare that good quality kayaks actually sink when it comes to overloading.
That said, you should still keep an eye on how much you’re putting in it – particularly as there’s going to be two humans (and possible an animal or two) on board.
Weight capacity isn’t such a concern when there’s only one person piloting the craft, but with two people and taking your combined fishing gear into account – things can add up.
Double-check the maximum weight capacity before making your purchase – especially if one of you happens to be on the heavier side, or likes to bring all the fishing gear that they own.
It always amazes me when some review websites attempt to pass off any old kayak as a fishing kayak.
Sure, you might be able to fish from it, but it’s not going to be as good as a yak that features dedicated fishing accessories that are designed to assist the kayak angler.
You can always pack one of these telescopic rods and call it good – especially if you’re short on space.
But keen kayak anglers should really be on the lookout for fishing kayaks that are actually fishing kayaks – with rod holders, tank wells for storage, mounting brackets for additional accessories, and other useful fishing perks.
It’s also worth noting how customizable a fishing kayak is, as you might want to add GPS devices, fish finders, or similar tech at a later date.
And for tandem craft, you both need to be able to access these features, otherwise someone might not be happy. A tandem fishing kayak with only one rod holder, for example, isn’t really a tandem fishing kayak.
Double the occupants, double the equipment. With two people on board – you’re likely going to be carrying a lot more stuff.
So, it stands to reason that you’ll need more space in which to put it.
However, given the fact that there’s now an extra body on board, tandem kayaks don’t always have more storage space than solo versions. Humans tend to take up a lot of room.
Still, keep a look out for the kayaks that at least attempt to offer additional storage space for two people, or at least maximize the space available in the most efficient way.
In an ideal world, you’ll both have plenty of room to stash your own gear, extra clothing, saltwater fishing pliers, ham sandwiches, or anything else you might like to bring along.
And perhaps the most important storage feature, is considering if the kayak has room for one of these awesome fishing coolers for all your beer.
One of the best things about tandem kayaking, is that someone can fish while someone else pilots the craft.
Taking it in turns can be a really enjoyable part of the fishing experience, whereas when you’re alone – you need to do everything.
But when it comes to choosing the right kayak, having a pedal drive can also be a huge advantage for tandem yakking. It will just make things so much easier for both of you, which means more time and energy spent on actually trying to catch fish.
That said, a good set of paddles is still a must, and it’s nice when a kayak comes with them included – so look out for such offers in the review.
You might also want to consider a trolling motor at some point, so bear that in mind when choosing the right fishing kayak, as they’re not always compatible.
From a safety perspective, it’s well worth thinking about the kind of waters you’re going to be fishing in, and the general weather conditions on the day.
With tandem kayaking, it’s doubly important, not least because you both need to be in sync when it comes to navigating.
Don’t try to use kayaks that are unsuitable for the conditions. A cheap yak isn’t going to cut it for fishing in open water, for example.
Last, but by no means least, both occupants should be wearing an approved fishing PFD – no matter the conditions. Not strapped to the boat, not left back at home, and not tied around your waist.
Tandem fishing kayaks tend to cost a little more than their solo counterparts.
That said, there are bargains to be had, and with some models there’s not a great deal of difference.
Inflatable models usually cost less than hardshells, but the price skyrockets if you’re choosing something with a pedal drive system.
It’s up to you to choose a kayak that fits your budget, but I always say don’t run before you walk.
Purchase something that’s suitable for your skill level – and how often you’re actually going to be using it.
If anyone has a $3K fishing kayak gathering dust in the garage, then that’s sacrilege to the fishing gods.
What is the best 2-person fishing kayak?
For the very best two-person fishing kayaks, then look no further than Hobie.
However, they are very expensive and not always readily available.
Any other kayak in this review can offer a solid alternative to a premium, pedal-driven yak. Just look out for something that’s comfortable and spacious, with enough storage options and fishing-friendly-features to keep both parties happy.
Which is better single or double kayak?
Both have their pros and cons – too numerous to go into detail here – and in the end it’s really up to your personal preference anyway. There is no “better” option.
Some people prefer to use a double kayak on their own as it offers more room.
But it basically comes down to whether you prefer to pilot the craft alone or with a buddy. Or, if you have anyone that’s actually willing to go out fishing with you in the first place.
Can you fish from a tandem kayak?
Of course! There’s nothing stopping you. Using a tandem kayak is great because it allows one person to fish while the other pilots the craft.
You can switch things up so you both take turns, and there’s a strong chance you’ll have more success as a result.
Aside from that, as previously mentioned, tandem fishing kayaks are often preferred by solo kayakers, as without the extra body on board, they offer unrestricted freedom for those epic casts, and much more room for tackle and gear.
Which means more space to store all your stuff – and more room to use it in. Like these razor-sharp fishing knives that are great for cleaning fish and cutting bait while you’re on the water.
Can one person handle a two-person kayak?
For the most part, yes. A small caveat here is you need to double-check with a particular tandem kayak if it is possible to pilot solo.
But as tandem kayaks are often 12-15 feet, they’re still around the same length as solo versions, so piloting one alone isn’t going to be that much different.
They’ve just been designed with an extra seat, where storage space might have been instead.
However, they do tend to be heavier, which might make an overall difference for speed, tracking, and control in the water. Regardless, fishing kayaks are heavier anyway – so it really shouldn’t be an issue.
The real difference is when you’re using a canoe – as they’re more suited for at least two people, minimum.
What makes a good tandem fishing kayak?
I would say plenty of space is essential. There’s nothing worse than getting a dead leg, cramp, or fatigue in a kayak when you can’t stretch out. It’s meant to be a relaxing day on the water, not a trip to the physio.
Primary stability is important – which is how stable a kayak feels when you first step into it. You want something with a wide, flat hull. The ability to do standing casts is a real plus point, too.
Fishing rod holders and accessories within easy reach is another key feature. And there has to be enough for both users – it’s no fun if there’s only one rod holder in a tandem kayak, for example.
Paddle rests are also non-negotiable. You need somewhere to dock your paddles when you’re fishing, as the last thing you want is your paddle floating off down the river.
Are tandem kayaks hard to use?
Not much more than a solo kayak, to be honest.
As there are two occupants, you certainly both need to be on the same wavelength when it comes to paddling, so it might take a bit of getting used to before you pick up the rhythm and technique.
They’re also much heavier than solo yaks, which might cause you a few problems when it comes to transportation, and getting to and from the water.
Watch the video below which offers some great advice for tandem kayaking for beginners.
Perhaps the only thing better than fishing alone is fishing with a good friend or loved one, and with the best tandem fishing kayaks in 2021 – you can do just that.
Just make sure that you’re not going to fall out, literally and figuratively.
Let me know which model you’ve gone for and why, and I wish both of you safe paddling, calm waters, and tight lines.
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