Two’s Company – The 8 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks in 2022

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 2022 coming right up.

They say that two’s company – and when you’re literally in the same boat – you’d better hope that’s true!

The Best Fishing Kayaks for Two – Our Top Picks

If you’re looking for a quality tandem fishing kayak, but don’t want to scroll through the whole article, here’s our top three choices.

For the best tandem fishing kayak overall, look no further than the Vibe Yellowfin 130T – which packs in so many features, and can be paddled tandem or solo.

The best budget tandem fishing kayak is undoubtedly the Intex Excursion Pro, and it quite rightly also features in our review of the best fishing kayaks under $500.

For a pedal kayak, you can’t beat the BKC PK14, which is one of the most affordable pedal drive kayaks on the market – especially considering it’s for tandem kayak fishing.

Tandem Fishing Kayak Reviews 2022

Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem Fishing Kayak

Yellowfin 130T Tandem Fishing Kayak

The Yellowfin 130 is a 13-foot sit-on-top kayak that is versatile for recreational and family use, as well as fishing.

There’s a center seat for a child, or it can be easily converted for paddling solo, making it one of the most versatile tandem fishing kayaks out there.

Boasting two flush mount rod holders, two mounts for regular based accessories, and four top-loading gear tracks; there’s plenty of scope for pimping your ride out how you like it.

A 500 lbs weight capacity allows you to pack plenty of gear, and there are decent storage options with bungee tie down straps and watertight hatches.

Probably one of the best tandem fishing kayaks ever made, the Yellowfin is well worth your consideration for one or two anglers.

Pros

  • Upgraded Vibe Hero Seats.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
  • Molded carrying handles.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Rudder ready.
  • 12 scupper holes.
  • Four tackle tray holders.
  • Cup holders.
  • Highly customizable.

Cons

  • On the heavy side.
  • Pricey.

Takeaway

A great tandem kayak that is also suitable for solo fishing adventures, the Yellowfin is hugely popular among kayak anglers, while Vibe continues to impress with their range of versatile, practical craft.

Intex Excursion Pro Tandem Kayak

Intex manufactures quality, affordable inflatables that are a significant step up from the cheap play boats of yesteryear.

This is their professional series – the Excursion Pro – a versatile tandem kayak for recreation that just so happens to be kitted out for fishing, too.

Made with a super tough laminated PVC with polyester core, it’s highly resistant to wear and tear, as well as being protected from UV rays.

With a total weight capacity of 400 lbs, it features two removable skegs to improve tracking, two floor mounted footrests, and two recessed fishing rod holders.

There’s also two fully adjustable bucket seats for added comfort, and storage at the bow and stern. And the removable mounting bracket allows you to add fishing rod holders, a fish finder, and more – to help you achieve success on all your fishing trips.

Pros

  • Excellent price point.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Rugged, durable construction.
  • Paddles and pump included.
  • Stainless steel D-rings
  • Bow and stern plastic tips.
  • Repair patch.

Cons

  • Can be a challenge to pack up.

Takeaway

Another example of how good inflatables can be, this is a great recreational kayak that manages to fit in some practical fishing features – including the option of adding more accessories. Top marks.

BKC PK14 Tandem Pedal Drive Kayak

The Brooklyn Kayak Company offers an abundance of quality kayaks at affordable price points (stay tuned for more) and this is their premium pedal drive model that gives both pilots the chance to use the pedal propellers and rudder system for hands-free fishing.

Two, ergonomic, aluminum frame seats are also included for superior comfort and elevated field-of-view, and it’s compatible with an electric trolling motor for totally effortless fishing.

The high weight capacity of 670 lbs allows you to bring all your fishing gear and then some, while three, flush mounted rod holders will keep plenty of bait in the water as you enjoy a leisurely paddle down river.

And there’s a choice of four, striking colors – including a camouflage design.

Pros

  • Great price for tandem fishing kayak with pedals.
  • Three waterproof hatches.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Bungee deck storage.
  • Four deck mounts/accessory plates.
  • Rear cargo hold.
  • Comfortable and spacious.

Cons

  • Still on the pricey side.

Takeaway

For pedal power and price, this offering from the BKC might just be the best tandem fishing kayak on the market. Get one before they sell out.

Old Town Twin Heron Sit-in Kayak

Old Town Twin Heron Fishing Kayak

One of the few sit-inside tandem fishing kayaks out there, the Old Town Twin Heron is a beautiful-looking craft, with performance to match.

Made by the oldest canoe and kayak manufacturer in the world, it features their unique auto-trim hull, which prevents the bow from raising when it’s paddled solo, which means you can easily pilot this gorgeous kayak alone.

Alternatively, you can completely remove the front seat to take a four-legged-friend along, although I doubt they’ll be making use of the four, flush mount rod holders.

Available in three attractive color schemes, the Twin Heron is a striking boat that will seriously turn heads and help you catch fish at the same time.

Pros

  • Premium quality construction and performance.
  • Fully adjustable seating.
  • Cup holders.
  • Adjustable foot brace system.
  • Spacious cockpit.
  • Stern bungee cord.

Cons

  • Nearly always sold out.

Takeaway

Hands down one of the best sit-inside tandem kayaks available, the Twin Heron is as stylish and sleek as it is comfortable, spacious, and practical. A highly versatile recreational kayak for all the family.

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Kayak

Of all the tandem inflatable fishing kayaks that are available, I think this is my personal favorite.

That’s largely down to a number of features, including its drop-stitch floor that can accommodate standing casts, the multiple Scotty-style mount points to add your own accessories, and its general versatility as a recreational craft.

Made from a durable 1000 denier reinforced, layered PVC, it’s built to last, and has self bailing drains in case you do take on water.

It tracks and paddles well, thanks to two skegs and a long waterline, and the comfort seating can be fully adjusted to suit the users of all shapes and sizes.

And as an inflatable tandem fishing kayak, you can pretty much take it anywhere, and the quality certainly gives Sea Eagle a run for their money.

Pros

  • Durable build quality.
  • Super lightweight.
  • High weight capacity.
  • Supports standing casts and reels.
  • Bow and stern plastic tips.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Bag, paddles, and pump included.
  • Easy to set up.

Cons

  • Limited storage options.
  • No integrated rod holders.

Takeaway

The Steelhead 150 from Elkton Outdoors is a top quality inflatable tandem kayak, that’s perfect for you and your fishing buddy. And although you’ll need to purchase rod holders separately, this ensures the craft is highly versatile, and you can kit it out how and when you see fit.

Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak

Lifetime Sport Fisher 100 Tandem Kayak

A Lifetime kayak is going to be at the budget-friendly end of the price range, and this is their tandem fishing version.

Capable of solo or duo paddling, the vessel has been blow molded from high density polyethylene, which provides excellent strength and durability.

UV protected, the hull won’t peel, crack, or fade, so you can be sure it will look good for years to come.

The Sport Fisher is marketed as a family kayak, as it can sit up to three people with a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs, making it ideal if you have a little one or a pooch that wants to come along, too.

Featuring three fishing rod holders, paddle parks, padded backrests and a six-inch storage hatch – there’s plenty to keep anglers happy here.

Pros

  • Great price for what you get.
  • Paddles included.
  • Bungee tie-down.
  • Compatible with a trolling motor.
  • Multiple foot rests.
  • Cup holders.
  • Elevated seats.
  • Molded bow and stern carry handles.
  • Very stable in the water.

Cons

  • As basic as they come.
  • Heavy.

Takeaway

Sure, it might be no frills, but it does what it sets out to do, and it does it well. And as a hard shell kayak, this is one of the best tandem fishing kayaks for the money, and perfect for a family fishing trip. Just don’t forget to use one of these awesome saltwater fishing rods if you’re venturing out in more challenging conditions.

BKC TK181 Tandem Fishing Kayak

Next up, we have another tandem fishing kayak from the Brooklyn Kayak Company. Capable of fitting up to three people, it offers plenty of space for all your gear, so you have some room for one of these practical saltwater tackle bags.

Featuring four, flush-mounted rod holders and three articulating rod holders, it’s certainly been designed with fishing in mind, so you can have multiple baited lines in the water at the same time.

Two waterproof storage hatches keep your valuables dry, and the craft is stable enough for choppier conditions, thanks to the 34-inch beam, rotomolded from a single piece of high-density polyethylene.

A bungee cargo hold to the stern offers additional storage, while ergonomic seats keep you comfortable all day long.

Pros

  • Affordable price point for what you get.
  • Paddles included.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Choice of colors.
  • High weight capacity.
  • Two dry storage hatches.
  • Excellent stability.

Cons

  • The seating isn’t the best.

Takeaway

When it comes to two person fishing kayaks, the Brooklyn Kayak Company likes to see people enjoying each other’s company out on the water. And this tandem kayak is a tough, durable, and practical addition to their budget-friendly fleet.

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak

Here we have another Elkton Outdoors offering, this time a hardshell fishing kayak for two.

It features EVA padded seats, and is constructed from one-piece rotomolded high density polyethylene to ensure years of durable use.

Just over 12 feet in length, it has plenty of storage options, including airtight compartments for both occupants, tank wells with bungee cord bow and stern, and a dedicated ice chest spot for a kayak fishing cooler.

Rod holders are in plentiful supply, and multiple carry-handles allow easy transportation. The high maximum weight limit of 650 lbs gives you an option to bring along a child or pet, and there’s even a child seat set in the middle, so you can keep an eye on them when you’re on the water.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Paddles included.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Scupper plugs.
  • Relatively lightweight.
  • Very stable.

Cons

  • You might want to upgrade the seating.

Takeaway

Another home run for Elkton Outdoors, this is a terrific two-person fishing kayak that is packed with quality features and comes with everything you need to set sail. However, I think it’s been specially designed for you to upgrade to their premium seating, so be aware of that.

How to Choose the Best Tandem Fishing Kayak

Read on for our handy tandem kayak buyer’s guide, and we’ll find you some awesome two person fishing kayaks in no time.

two men fishing from tandem kayak

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; and a sit-inside or sit-on-top kayak.

Hardshell kayaks are faster and more maneuverable than inflatable versions. They also offer more storage and customization possibilities.

However, they’re usually much heavier, cost more (everything being equal), and can be difficult to transport.

The major advantage with inflatable kayaks 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, and as luck would have it, that’s exactly what we’ve done! Check out the hardshell vs inflatable debate in more detail at that link.

For the most part, tandem kayaks are of the sit-on-top variety – with one or two exceptions. A sit-on-top kayak is generally the preferred choice for most anglers, but sit-inside models are not without merit.

This article on sit-on-top versus sit-inside kayaks will tell you everything you need to know.

man stand up fishing on kayak

Paddles, Pedals, or Power?

One of the best things about tandem kayaking is that you can fish while your fishing partner pilots the craft.

Taking it in turns can be a really enjoyable part of the experience, whereas when you paddle solo – you need to do everything yourself.

Having a pedal drive can also be a huge advantage, as it will make things so much easier for both paddlers, which means more time and energy spent on catching 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.

Regardless, paddles that come with a kayak package are rarely any good, and you’ll want to upgrade in the future. Check out this article on the best kayak fishing paddles on the market.

You might also consider adding a motor at some point, so make sure the kayak you choose is compatible with this kind of technology.

And bookmark this link when you’re ready to shop for a quality kayak trolling motor.

Comfort and Seating

One of the most important considerations – particularly when it comes to a two-person fishing kayak – 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.

Better quality seats = a higher price.

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.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and upgrade if the seating a kayak comes 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.

two man kayak fishing in summer

Weight Capacity

A kayak’s maximum weight capacity is there for a reason – so you don’t overload your kayak with occupants and fishing gear – including the weight of a potential catch.

Recently, an angler hooked a whopping 500 lbs marlin in a kayak, and it dragged him 15 miles out to sea.

He needed a backup boat to finish the job, but imagine if he’d tried to “land” it on a kayak with a 300 lbs weight capacity!

And this figure is arguably even more important when it’s a two-person fishing kayak.

In a kayak that’s carrying two people, possibly a child or pet, and a lot of fishing or camping gear – the weight can soon add up.

And overloading a kayak is one of the most dangerous things you can do – especially if you’re fishing or paddling in rough/deep waters – far from the shoreline.

Like when a 500 lbs marlin takes you for a ride!

So, don’t dismiss a kayak’s maximum weight capacity, and never even try to come close to it when you’re organizing your next outdoor adventure.

Storage Solutions

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 enough storage space in which to put it.

However, given the fact that there’s now an extra body on board, a typical tandem kayak doesn’t always have more room than a solo version.

Humans tend to take up a lot of space.

Still, keep a look-out for the kayaks that attempt to offer additional storage 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 room for one of these awesome fishing coolers for all your beer.

Remember, just because it’s a two-person kayak doesn’t necessarily mean that you need two people to pilot it.

The best tandem kayaks can be paddled solo, which means even more storage space for all your fishing gear.

fishermen with ocean kayak in the waves

Fishing Friendly Features

It always amazes me when some review websites attempt to pass off a non fishing kayak as a fishing kayak.

Sure, you can catch fish from almost any craft, (including these awesome float tubes) but it’s not going to be as good as a kayak that features dedicated fishing features and accessories.

Of course, 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 be on the lookout for kayaks that come with rod holders, tackle trays, deck mounts for additional accessories, gear tracks, 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.

Water Conditions/Weather

From a safety perspective, it’s well worth thinking about the kind of waters you’re going to be fishing in, and the 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, paddling, and moving on board.

Don’t try to use kayaks that are unsuitable for the conditions. A cheap kayak isn’t going to cut it for fishing in open water, for example.

And always prepare yourselves for the weather. It’s not always about the best rain gear for fishing – you’ll also need a good quality fishing hat when you’re under those damaging UV rays.

Last, but by no means least, both occupants must 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.

Cost

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.

FAQs

What is the best 2-person fishing kayak?

Any kayak in this review can lay claim to this title, but the best tandem kayak for you might not be the best for me.

Just look out for something that’s comfortable and spacious, with enough storage options and fishing-friendly-features to keep both paddlers happy.

Which is better, a single or double kayak?

Both have their pros and cons, and in the end it’s really up to your personal preference anyway. There is no “better” option.

It basically comes down to whether you prefer to pilot the craft alone (with more room for all your gear) or with the company of a buddy.

Can you fish from a tandem kayak?

Of course! 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.

Tandem fishing kayaks are often preferred by the solo kayak angler, as without the extra body on board, they offer unrestricted freedom for those epic casts, and much more room for tackle and gear.

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.

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 fish standing up is ideal, 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, but you need to make sure you’re in sync with your paddle partner for efficient performance.

Watch the video below, which offers some great advice for tandem kayaking for beginners.

Summary

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 2022 – 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, or if you have any tandem-related fishing tales you’d like to share with the community.

Stay safe out there, tight lines, and happy kayak fishing!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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