7 Best River Fishing Kayaks

Kayak fishing is the best excuse for a work out, and for an escape from the mundane. As kayaks are generally easier to store, and launch they make a great choice for anglers. One doesn’t have to worry much about their maintenance as well. Anglers are also able to customize their kayaks for the purpose of fishing.

There are some things anglers should consider before they go kayak buying. Here are some rules being shared for kayak buying:

–  The Type of Kayak

The two basic types of kayaks are the sit-on-top and sit-inside kayaks. The sit-inside types are not the right choice for fishing. Their cargo space is limited, and they can be difficult to turn over in case they capsize. A sit-on-top is the preferred choice for fishing since they have scupper holes. Their open design allows anglers to access cargo easily and mount any accessories they would need.

– Anglers’ Body Type

People of different height and weight require different leg room and seating options. Fishing trips can take hours or even days. The rider should feel comfortable in the seat, and have space to adjust their feet or bend their knees. The seat should be elevated enough to keep the rider dry.

–  Stability

Anglers looking into buying a kayak should ideally attend a demo day. They should check to see whether turning, twisting, and casting would tip the boat over. Some anglers like to stand also. In that case they must make sure they don’t get a kayak with a V-shaped hull.

–  Portability

A buyer should be aware of how they plan on transporting the kayak before purchasing one. The weight of the kayak or whether it’s inflatable will have to be taken into account for this. The buyer should be check whether it could be tied on top of their car or placed inside the trunk.

–  Accessory-Friendly

While making this very important decision, fishers should make sure the kayak could be fitted with accessories. Anglers sometimes feel the need to attach a fish finder or something more basic like a cup holder. They should have the choice to add any accessory they find necessary.

– Brightly Colored

It’s always a good idea to go with a vibrant colored kayak. The kayaks that camouflage amongst other boats or their surroundings do not have great visibility. That decreases their safety in water. It is best to go for a noticeable color that can be easily spotted.

What to pack?

There is some necessary gear that every fisher should pack for a fishing trip. Here is a list that should help with it:

  • Life jacket (personal flotation device)
  • Food:

Protein bars, chips or popcorns, sandwiches, nuts

  • Water:

The exercise and humid conditions could dehydrate anglers. Keep enough drinking water.

  • Phone, preferably in a case that keeps it dry
  • Paddle
  • Rods
  • Paddle leash (no one wants to struggle with a paddle while fishing)
  • Sunscreen
  • Fish finder
  • Tackle
  • Wetsuit/waders
  • Signaling device
  • Fish finder
  • Whistle
  • GPS/ Compass
  • Fishing Reel
  • Pliers
  • Fish grip with scale
  • First-aid kit

The most important thing for anglers when fishing in rivers would be to find the right kayak. Here is a guide for anglers to be able to find the right one for themselves.

Sun Dolphin Boss SS

This is a kayak specially built for anglers. It is a sit-on-top as well as stand-on-top kayak. It has a catamaran hull design that increases the stability of the Boss SS in water. It makes for an excellent fishing platform.

Those who prefer remaining seated will enjoy the comfortable seat that can be adjusted in two different positions. Adjustable foot rests make sitting down more comfortable. For those who want to stand the anti-slip deck provides sure footing. A stand up strap secures the angler.

The kayak boasts a length of 12’ with about 33” width, yet weighs only 78 lbs. It has a weight capacity of 500 lbs making it convenient to carry as much fishing gear as one wants.

There are quick lock water proof hatches on board the Boss SS in the front and the rear. Large gear wells with bungees are also provided at the front and the back. There are four flush mount holders and a swivel holder that make the storage of rods easy. Other noticeable features include the beverage holder, paddle holder and carry handles.


  • Built with durable material
  • Storage wells are big enough to carry crates of milk
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Spacious cockpit provides ample space to sit comfortably and move around
  • Great weight capacity


  • Scupper holes are not big enough
  • The rod holders are not within reach
  • The chair is not stable and might also collapse
  • A bit heavy for carrying


Perception Pescador Pro 12

Perception Pescador Pro 12

Best River Fishing Kayaks - ir?t=living20xx 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B01LY7T3O6

This sit-on-top fishing kayak measures 12’ long and weighs only 57lbs. It offers a weight capacity of 375 lbs that allows one to carry extra gear as well. The 32” width of the kayak allows for great stability. It remains stable in uneven waters also. There are carrying handles on both ends for easy carrying of the vessel.

The kayak has been constructed with durable polyethylene plastic. It has leak-proof, one-piece construction. The thickness of the kayak varies in different parts to provide the required strength to each part. The boat has a balanced storage, accessories, and safety features. That makes it maneuverable.

The boat has a paddle holder as well as rod holders. The small storage spaces are great for dry storage where anglers can keep small valuables safe. There are also little hatches in front of the seat and behind it as well. A large cargo well is also located behind the seat. A cup holder, tackle box holder and bungee cords at the front and the rear add to the storage space.

The mesh seat of this kayak with its mesh back is really comfortable for day long journeys also. The position of the seat can be adjusted to the anglers’ liking. The foot rests make it a more comfortable experience.


  • Great space
  • Strong built
  • Easily maneuverable
  • Comfortable seating


  • Unsteady rod holders
  • Dry storage area is insufficient
  • Does not come with any accessories

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110Best River Fishing Kayaks - ir?t=living20xx 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07PQT3BYV

This solo sit-on-top kayak is 11’ long and weighs only 62 lbs. Though it’s a large kayak, it can be steered into small spaces with ease. It’s quite suitable for use in rivers and ponds. The hull is designed to provide greater stability and speed. While the rudder system improves the amount of control a rider has while steering. The stability is great whether the rider sits or stands in the boat. It offers a load capacity of 425 lbs.  The boat has 10 scupper holes for self-bailing that come with plugs.

The boat provides great comfort for anglers with a two-position seat made of breathable fabric. Tall riders would find equal comfort with the adjustable foot braces even on long days in the water.

There’s a console in the center of the boat that is great for storage along with front and rear hatches, and a bungeed tank at the back. There are two paddle parks with bungee rigging in the bow, and a built-in cup holder. The two flush mount holders give anglers the comfort to cast more than one line.


  • Great stability
  • Customizable gear tracks
  • Specially-designed seat for added comfort


  • Heavy to transport as compared to other kayaks
  • Installing the rudder can be a bit difficult
  • Not recommended past class II rapids

Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90

Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90Best River Fishing Kayaks - ir?t=living20xx 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07PQTQVD5

This kayak is absolutely light weight and is 9’ long. It is best for throw-and go-fishing adventures. It has durable, leak-proof single piece construction. The water craft ensures nimble tracking with its sleek hull design. The slip-resistant deck ensures safety and reduces the chances of slipping. There are 6 scupper holes that come with plugs. The boat weighs 46 pounds and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. It is stable in all kinds of waters.

The compact boat has great storage options. There’s a sealed V-Wave deck plate with a cargo bag. Bungee tie down spaces are given at the front and the rear. There are four quick-reach, flush-mounted fishing rod holders. A built-in cup holder is also within the rider’s reach to make the entire journey comfortable. A universal mount is given to be used for fish-finders or other accessories with a rectangular base.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy transportation
  • Gear mounting options are great


  • Taller riders would find it cramped
  • Not meant for open ocean


Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 KayakBest River Fishing Kayaks - ir?t=living20xx 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B00A7EXF4C

A tandem, inflatable kayak, the Intex Explorer K2 is made with a rugged vinyl. The structure of the boat is puncture-resistant, with an I-beam floor for rigidity. When inflated, its 10 feet long with a weight capacity of 400 pounds. The bright yellow color of the watercraft makes it easily visible in water ensuring greater safety.

Setting up of the kayak is quite easy with Boston valves that help with fast inflation and deflation. It takes only a few minutes to inflate and launch the boat. The boat comes in a carry bag with foldable paddles. Storage and transportation of the boat is extremely convenient.

The boat is equipped with a skeg for improved tracking. Grab lines and carry handles on both ends of the boat make for easy carrying inside and outside the water.

The seats are inflatable and comfortable for long journeys also. They can be removed to enjoy a solo fishing experience, and adjusted to get the right position. A high output pump and a repair kit is also part of the package.


  • In spite of being inflatable it is durable
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable and removable seats
  • Lightweight
  • Easily portable
  • Beginner-friendly


  • The removable skeg can get misplaced in water
  • The paddles are not sturdy
  • Offers less weight capacity
  • Tracking performance is best with two anglers and not one

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 KayakBest River Fishing Kayaks - ir?t=living20xx 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B00NCHYGBW

The Tarpon 100 is easily maneuverable and stable at 10’ long and 30” wide. It is light weight at 55 lbs and easily glides in tight coves and small creeks. Even novice kayakers find it easy to paddle the kayak into tight spots.

The boat has a weight capacity of 325 lbs and the boat has great storage options. There’s a large bungee tank well at the back. There are dry hatches in the centre of the boat and in the front. Side pockets with mesh covers can be used to store smaller things. The kayak is also equipped with a Slide Trax gear rail system that makes it easy to mount extra accessories

The seat is comfortable with its contoured seat cushion and backrest. There are holes in the seat of varying densities to help an angler adjust better. It also provides comfort to the thighs.


  • Highly maneuverable and fast
  • Comfortable seat, and adjustable foot braces
  • Generous space for dry storage
  • Gear tracks make it convenient to mount holders


  • Hatch opening isn’t wide enough
  • Kayak is relatively heavier
  • not great for lengthy trips

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Sevylor Coleman ColoradoBest River Fishing Kayaks - ir?t=living20xx 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B00J0S0JGS

Built with an 18 gauge PVC and a 1000D tarpaulin bottom this inflatable kayak is hugely puncture-resistant. It comes with an Airtight system that prevents leakages. There are multiple air chambers that keep the boat afloat even if one of the chambers were to get punctured. The double-threaded Boston valves allow quick inflation and deflation.  It can be maneuvered easily into hard reach fishing-holes also.

When inflated the boat measures 10’ in length and has a weight capacity of 470 lbs. It comes equipped with paddle holders to let anglers enjoy a hands free experience. The boat also has Quick Set rod holders that help improve the fishing experience. The hands-free experience is improved with little mesh pockets and D-rings for storing gear.


  • Hardly any chances of punctures because of the durable built
  • The rod holders are adjustable and can hold different kinds of rods
  • Good enough storage
  • Adjustable seats
  • Spacious enough for two people to sit comfortably
  • Easy to carry in and out of water


  • The sidewalls can feel bulky
  • Doesn’t come with a paddle or a pump
  • Can be blown away with the wind


The most versatile kayak amongst all those described here is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. I think it’s just awesome when a kayak is easy to store and transport. Being a tandem kayak it makes the trip more enjoyable with a companion. The removable seats do give one the freedom to use the watercraft for solo fishing trips. The setting up and packing up of the kayak are both smooth and fast. The durable material of the kayak and its vibrant color ensure safety in the water. It helps anglers enjoy a carefree fishing experience. The seats are comfortable too which helps a lot in long journeys. There could not be a better choice than this boat for a comfortable day of fishing in the river.

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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