My top 5 things to look for when buying a sit on top or sit in fishing kayak


So you're in the market for a kayak but not just any kayak, but a fishing kayak. Kayaks have become very popular for fishing. This is an inexpensive way to cover more water without having to buy a boat. We are going to focus on the sit in and sit on; both are great in their own ways. It all comes down to personal preference.

Before we get into my top five things let’s look at these two first…

Sit in kayaks are best to use in seasonal areas with cooler weather, being that part of your body is inside of the boat and will help block the wind and water.  If you were to tip over, it can fill with water but don't worry it will not sink you would just have to remove the water when you get on Shore. Sit in kayaks tend to be lighter in weight then sit on top due to having less plastic.

Sit-on-top kayaks are more popular for fishing due to some manufacturers offering wider built, which gives you the ability to stand while fishing. If you were to tip over on sit on kayaks you can just be flip it back over due to them having scoffer holes. The water will just exit through the holes and you can continue kayaking.

Here are my 5 things to look for when considering buying a kayak:

1. Stability and speed: Both kayaks perform extremely well in stability. If you are looking to stand up while fishing my recommendation would be a sit on kayak with a wide body built. If you’re looking for speed, it comes down to the length of the kayak, the longer, the faster you can get it going 14ft and up are best.

2. Weight: most fishing kayaks weigh over 50 pounds. This is something you have to keep in mind when purchasing your kayak. If you’re transporting it using your car or suv it can be challenging getting it on top of the vehicle. One option to consider is a kayak trailer, which can cost anywhere between $200-$1500.

3. Size: Fishing kayaks come in a variety of sizes that can range from 10ft -16ft. Smaller kayaks in the 10ft range are easier to maneuver, but lack in speed. Kayaks 14ft and up have the speed, but harder to maneuver. As for myself, my 12.5ft has a good mix of both.

3. Dry Storage: Compartments are very important. They provide a place where you can store your life jacket, anchor, mobile devices, and fishing tackle. Some higher-end kayaks even have built-in coolers. Another thing to look for are rod holders as most fishing kayaks will come with at least two rod holders.

4. Seating:  From my experiences, higher end kayaks ten to have a more comfortable seat then the less expensive kayaks but I wouldn't worry too much being that there are several aftermarket seats available on the market. My advice is to do some research and see if there are aftermarket seats available for the kayak you’re looking to purchase. 

5. Price: So, what is all this going to cost me you ask? Well depending on your needs is what will determine the price. Fishing kayaks range anywhere from $500 to $1500,  there are even some that can cost up to $3500 for the more advanced ones. One thing I’d like to say is fish do not know whether you're in a $500 or $3500 kayak, so ultimately the decision is yours. Have fun and fish on!

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