Curious About the Best River Fishing Kayak: Get Advantage With These 7 Kayaks

best river fishing kayak
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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.

QUICK GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

Below is a list of our favourite fishing gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.

  1. Best Fishing Reel: Penn Squell Level
  2. Baits For Rainbow Trout: Berkley Power Bait 
  3. Best Indore Fishing Rod: Royale Legend
  4. Best Ultralight Fishing Rod: KastKing Perigee II
  5. Best Spinning Reel Under 100: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
  6. Best Walleye Trolling Lure:  Original Floater Fishing Lure
  7. Best Pike Lure:  Jerk Bait Fishing Lure from Rapala
  8. Best Fishing Kayak under 1000: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
  9. Best Fishing Kayak under 300: Sun Dolphin Journey 10
  10. Best Fishing Wader:  HODGMAN H3 STOCKING FOOT CHEST WADER
  11. Best Fishing Gloves: BERKLEY FISHING GLOVES
  12. Best Fishing Cooler: AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler
  13. Best Portable Fish Finder: Reel Sonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar
  14. Best Inflatable Fishing Boat: Sea Eagle Green
  15. Best Fluorocarbon Line: KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

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

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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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

 

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

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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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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

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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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

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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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

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

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak

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This is one fine looking kayak. The sitting place is perfect for any activity you want to use it for. Be it surfing, catching fish, or anything else. The performance is exceptional, to say the least. The good thing about this is that it is a stable river kayak which is fairly easy to maneuver on the water without any difficulty.

The length of the kayak is not very big so it can fit in the back of your pickup. The compartments do not allow the water to enter inside which is a plus point as no one wants all their stuff soaked up with water after a recreational kayak trip.

The seat where you will be sitting is adjustable as one may like it. Though you should know that it won’t lift up. There are tracks on either side should you feel the need to attach any accessories such as fishing rod holders. The strong and sturdy carrying handles make the moving process fairly simple in the execution. The width of this ocean kayak is not much but it will serve the purpose well.

If you are a beginner or an intermediate paddler, this is one of the best river fishing kayaks for you.

Pros

  • Versatile sit-on-top kayak
  • An adequate length for easy traveling
  • Stable in use
  • Comes with convenient paddle straps
  • Vast storage area for your fishing gear
  • Adjustable padded seat

Cons

  • It is not a lightweight kayak so you will have to keep that in mind

Old Town Dirigo 106 Recreational Kayak

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Dirigo series has been famous for producing shorter in length and easy to maneuver kayaks and if you are looking for the best from the company, Old Town Dirigo Kayak surely wins the crown.

Having the shortest length in the Old Town Dirigo series, it is no surprise at all about the maneuvering abilities of this kayak. Even though it might seem like this is for those people who have a bit of experience in the field, this is not the case. Beginners can also use it without any issues as it offers a smooth ride.

Old Town offers a vast cargo area with plenty of storage space to store your gear away from the water splashes. The padded seat makes the experience better along with the glide track foot brace system to keep your feet at ease all day.

Measuring at 10 and a half feet, it only weighs 42 lbs which is amazing. It has a carrying capacity of 300 lbs as well. Quality design and durable construction have made Old Town Dirigo a top choice kayak for fishing for most people.

Pros

  • Ample storage space
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Comfortable padded seat for an all-day use
  • Weighs only 42 lbs
  • Thick thigh pads are a must-have feature

Cons

  • The storage place has a bad locking mechanism

Third Coast Arbor 100 Sit in Recreational Kayak (Citron/Blue/White)

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Third Coast Arbor Recreational Kayak has a vibrant color scheme that may look flashy to some people at first. However, don’t let that weird color scheme distract you from a load of features this kayak has to offer to you at an amazing price point. This is one amazing ocean kayak that has everything.

The design is just like most of the kayaks available in the market but the construction is amazing. The careful manufacturing process creates an exception kayak that can be used for a much longer duration than the rest of the options.

It is approximately 10 feet in length and the weight is 50 lbs. This is actually one of the drawbacks as 50 lbs is a lot of weight for a kayak that is just 10 feet long but it is partially because of the strong and sturdy construction. The kayak has three handles in total. When using, it is highly stable in the water, and controlling is not a difficult task.

The cushioned seat adds to the comfort of the user. One important thing is that the seat has a padded backrest as well which is a huge plus for someone who is going to use this for hours. On the front and back sides, there are two round hatches where you can store your belongings. They do not offer plenty of storage but it is enough to store your gear. Both hatches come with a removable bag as well. If you are looking for a cheap river fishing kayaks, this might be just the one.

Pros

  • Adjustable padded seat with handy backrest
  • Stability is great
  • Width and length are adequate
  • Cushioned handles for carrying to make the transportation easier
  • Good value for the money
  • Robust construction

Cons

  • Has a small cargo area
  • Weighs more than usual

Perception Rhythm Sit In Kayak for Touring – 11.0

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If you looking for a kayak that is suitable for use in lakes and rivers, Perception Rythm Kayak is for you. Its deluxe padded seat and a soothing backrest puts the user at ease and offers a comfortable position to use it all day long. Length of the kayak is merely 11 feet and it weight 47 lbs. It may sound heavier, but it is not much when you carry it. The carry capacity of the kayak stands at around 275 lbs.

To help you carry the boat around, there are carry handles on the front and the back side of the boat as well. Storage place is not a problem as the dry storage is ample and it can protect your gear without any problem. It is designed in such a way that gives more favor to high speeds in water. Managing the wind action is a key point and it has been managed well in this kayak.

One of the biggest problem people face is adjusting their feet in the foot paddlers. This kayak comes with adjustable foot pegs to fit different sizes which is a huge relief. Stability is not a problem here with its impressive sleek and stable design. The center of the gravity is kept lowered to enhance the stability and increase the efficiency of paddling. It is made up of high quality material and combined with amazing craftsmanship and quality finishing, this is one of those river fishing kayaks that are built to last. Hull design is a bit concerning here as it caves in. Thought the hull can be restored in its original position, that is not a permanent solution. Overall, it is safe to say that the hull design needs serious improvements.

Pros

  • Comfortable seating system
  • Superior stable design
  • Ample storage space to keep your valuable dry and safe
  • Has bulkhead flotation foam
  • Spacious and easy to enter cockpit

Cons

  • Poor hull design
  • Water may enter through the rear hatch

Intex Challenger Kayak Series

Intex Challenger Kayak has a cool design combined with a vibrant color scheme to make it stand out from the rest. It is made up by welding the material together that makes it highly durable. The bottom of the kayak i.e. fllor is inflatable to add to the stability of the kayak.

Unlike other fishing kayaks, this one has a spacious cockpit which ensures the comfort of the user. You can even stretch your legs if you feel the need to do so. There is a cargo net provided for storage of gear but as you might have guessed, it cannot keep the water away so no sensitive gear can be stored here.

One important thing worth noting here is that it comes with an aluminum oar and a manual hand pump to help with the inflation process. Weighing at just 27 pounds, it is one of the best inflatable fishing river fishing kayaks available.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Stable because of the inflatable floor
  • Adjustable seat
  • Fast to deflate and inflate using the given pump
  • Good value for the money
  • Best inflatable fishing kayak

Cons

  • Has a fat side wall that is an obstruction while paddling
  • The cargo net is of practically no use

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

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Lifetime Tamarack Angler Kayak is made up of UV-resistant polyethene. The bottom is kept flat and it has deep hull tracking channels. Again, realizing the different foot sizes of the people using, there are multiple footrest positions available.

The seat is comfortable with front and back shock cord straps to add to the safety of the user. Another highlight is that it has two flush mounted fishing rod holders. Alongside that. if we take a look on storage side, this angler kayak features two storage compartments on the front and rear side. Rear T-handles are also there to help with the transportation process.

The constructional quality is amazing and this is one of those touring kayaks that will last you long.

Pros

  • High quality polyethene construction
  • Comes with multiple footrest positions pertaining to different sizes
  • Comfortable to use seating system
  • Flush mounted rod holders
  • Two storage compartments
  • Stable and fast paced kayak
  • Has additional rod holder

Cons

  • Storage compartments run under the complete hull without any break so things do not remain where you place them

SUN-DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak

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Sun Dolphin Sit-in kayak is made up of rugged high density polyethylene which makes it a strong and durable fishing kayak. It is more suitable fo use in lakes and river or designated fishing spots.

This kayak features a simplistic design that is very lightweight and makes the transportation easy as well. It is long in length so that makes it easy to maneuver and paddle around. This also adds to the stability of kayak while using. In addition to that, the open tank well results in a wide storage space however, it does not guarantee any protection from the water.

The seating area is comfortably spacious with a lot of leg room. The padded seat is adjustable as per the requirements of the user. It has carrying handles for easier transportation. The thigh pads are thick to ensure maximum stability. Rod holders are comfortably placed for easy access all the time.

Pros

  • Amazing value for the money
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Offers good headroom
  • Portable Accessory Carrier if you need extra storage
  • Top quality construction
  • Intelligent placement of rod holder

Cons

  • Seat padding is a bit thin

Verdict!!

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.

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