Are Fishing Kayaks Good for Rivers and How to Choose an Ideal Kayak

Are Fishing Kayaks Good for Rivers
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Fishing season has started; you are ready to go out in the river and cast your reel. You want to try kayak fishing this time and have decided to get a kayak. But, you want to know whether fishing kayaks are good for the river and should you get one?

Are fishing kayaks good for rivers? Fishing kayaks work pretty well for the rivers and they are a worthy investment if you intend to catch fishes in the rivers. However, it is important to know that kayaks come in different shapes. The kayaks that may work well in the lakes might not be as effective in the rivers.

Keep reading to find more about kayaks. I will tell you what makes them great and which type of fishing kayak would be ideal for rivers. I will even tell you if overweight people can use kayaks or not. So, read on!

Related: These are the Superior and The Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000



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
  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

Are Fishing Kayaks Good for Rivers: Detailed Analysis

Kayaks work pretty well for the rivers. However, fishing kayaks for the river has to be different from for other water bodies. That is because the water in the river is not still, and it can topple over your kayak. So, when you choose a kayak for the river, you must keep specific preferences in mind.

The following are some features that would help you select a good fishing kayak for the river.

Easy Maneuverability of the Kayak

For rivers, you need a fishing kayak that has excellent maneuvering capability. Rivers might have some narrow spots or waves while you are fishing. So, a kayak with ease of maneuvering will help in fishing at such sites.

Length Of The Fishing Kayak

Rivers are not as wide as oceans; they usually have secluded and narrow streams. The kayak should be able to turn in tight spaces and change positions immediately. So, a fishing kayak with a length of 13 feet or less is easily manageable in rivers.

Kayak Storage Space

For fishing, you require extra space to accommodate your fishing gear. It should have a vast storage capacity for fishing reels, rods, coolers, and other stuff.

Transportability of Kayak

You need to carry a fishing kayak from home to the river, so it should be easy to carry around and portable. Some inflatable fishing kayaks are also available that offer easy transportation.

If. your fishing kayak has the qualities mentioned above, it is likely to be a good kayak for the river.

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

Are Sit-On-Top Kayaks Good For Rivers?

The pronounced thing about rivers is that you never know what will happen next. One moment you would be sitting calmly floating over slow-moving water. Then, the next moment you would be struggling to maintain your balance and navigating through fast-moving water. To pick a kayak that can work on both types of water and sustain its durability is a tricky thing.

Sit-on-top kayaks have several features that distinguish them from other kayaks. Mostly, sit-on-top kayaks are user-friendly and easy to maneuver. They are recreational boats that work best on easy-flowing rivers. The wide hull of the sit-on-top kayaks makes them more stable. That is why it becomes facile for beginners to use sit-on-top kayaks.

You never feel confined or enclosed in sit-on-top kayaks. They have a self-bailing system to drain out water. However, the splashing water will make you wet as you sit on top of it. But, it can be a good thing as it makes kayaking comfortable in warm weather.  Getting on or off from a sit-on-top kayak is easy.

If you seek a kayak for recreational boating in rivers, then a sit-on-top kayak is a good choice. They are stable, durable, and sturdy. But, if you aim for something more adventurous and fast, then look around for a different type of kayak.

Related: These Terrific Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Are Perfect for Thrilling Results

Should I Get A Sit-In Or Sit-On-Top Kayak?

It is an age-old debate, which one is better, out of the two: sit-in kayak or sit-on-top kayak?

To get a clear answer, you must understand kayaking and its types. Whether you want a fishing kayak suitable for rivers, or a kayak to paddle through rough water? You should know your intent; based on that, you must decide which type of the kayaks would suit you and your requirements.

Let’s look at the positives and drawbacks of each kayak; so you can decide which one is better for you.

Sit-In Kayaks

The most obvious thing about sit-in kayaks is that you sit inside the cockpit. The boat shelters your legs, knees, and hips. It is a great recreational boat and covers distances easily. Paddlers can use it all day long or even for days as it has large storage space available. Also, they are swift and light and help in maneuvering through rough water. Usually, they feature a longer and thinner style that you can easily steer.

Sit-In Kayak Pros

  • Their swift movement allows them to paddle through miles.
  • The lightweight, thin body is useful for maneuverability. You can steer them smoothly with a quick stroke of paddles.
  • The position of your body gives greater control over the movements of the kayak. So, you can maneuver it with a firm grip on its motions in rough water. It offers you stability and balance with control.
  • Most of the sit-in kayaks have a large storage compartment in the boat.
  • In cool air and water, sit-in kayaks feel more comfortable and relaxing.

Sit-In Kayak Cons

  •  It limits the range of motion, which makes casting difficult. Also, fishing requires particular gear, and a sit-in kayak might not store fishing rods or reels.
  • You do not have much freedom to move in sit-in kayaks. If, by any odd luck, your kayak flips, it would be challenging to come out of it. Also, the boat is likely to get filled with water.
  • Sit-in kayaks are light and nimble, but it does not take them much to become wobbly.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks

A sit-on-top kayak is another popular choice of fishing kayak among anglers. Many sit-on-top kayaks allow two or three paddlers at a time. The boaters can sit on top with a hassle-free slipping in or out of it. Besides, the wide structure is conducive for fishing, photography, swimming, or scuba diving. Cruising through a shallow marsh or floating on the water is easy with sit-on-top kayaks.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks Pros

  • The structure of the sit-on-top kayaks comprises of a broader and flatter hull. It makes these kayaks more stable and prevents them from flipping over.
  • Sit-on-top kayaks tend to support more pounds of weight. They possess a heavy and durable construction.
  • It offers a broader range of motion that is valuable for setting up gear for many activities like fishing or photography.
  • You can easily come on board by hopping on it because there is no cockpit.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks Cons

  • Sit-on-top kayaks are heavier and bulkier. Lifting and handling them is cumbersome.
  • Despite its stability, you cannot expect sit-on-top kayaks to do well in harsh waters. It cannot keep up with rapid flowing water.
  • Storage space is hard to access due to being inside the hull.

If you are interested, then check out some of the best sit-on-top fishing kayaks here.

Are Fishing Kayaks Worth It?

Fishing kayaks are worth your money and value. Kayaks come with many features that make them best for fishing. It is an efficient and entertaining way to go out in the water and catch fish.

Kayaks offer better and easy access to any water body. They are inexpensive in comparison to conventional fishing boats. You can easily find a high-quality and heavy-duty fishing kayak in a range of $1000 to $3000. You can geta great quality kayaks under $1000 here. Also, you can get some cheaper options for fishing kayaks under $500.

Moreover, kayaks offer versatility concerning their use and your needs. You can customize your kayak as per your requirements. They are easy to carry around and have better casting angles. Spending money on fishing kayaks for a better fishing experience is worth it.

How Dangerous Is Kayak Fishing?

Generally, kayak fishing does not seem like a dangerous activity. But, one should always be aware of the dangers that lurk underneath the surface of any adventure. Similarly, kayak fishing does pose some of risks because accidents can happen anytime. Hence, you must understand the hazards of kayak fishing, and be prepared for any situation.

Your environment, surroundings, and equipment play a vital role in making kayak fishing dangerous or safe. The factors that make kayak fishing dangerous are:

  • Rapid currents and rocks
  • Large boats
  • Flipping
  • Large surf
  • Dangerous sea creatures
  • Changing weather conditions
  • Exhaustion

Keep these risks in mind and prepare for them beforehand to be safe.

What Color Kayak Is Best For Fishing?

It seems strange to combine kayak fishing with colors. In reality, it is of utmost importance if you do not want to jeopardize your safety.

To remain safe on the water, the kayak needs to be visible. For visibility, bright color kayaks are the best and safest option. Colors like bright yellow, red, or orange are more detectable in water. In comparison, dark colors like blue can disappear in the ocean and are harder to spot. Thus, look for bright color kayaks when you want to go kayak fishing.

Is Kayaking Harder Than Canoeing?

An adventure enthusiast or a nature lover would love both kayaking and canoeing. Both activities require skills, training, and experience. You cannot expect to master one without undergoing training. If you want to venture on the waters, kayaking or canoeing, both can bring you fun and adventure.

So, which one is harder, kayaking, or canoeing? It depends on your skills. Each sport is unique and serves different purposes. Now, it comes down to your preference and experience. Kayaking brings speed, easy paddling, and maneuverability. In contrast, canoeing is more comfortable, slow, and stable.

Can I Kayak If I Am Fat?

To answer it directly: Yes, you or anyone can kayak despite their sizes and shapes.

Kayaking is a great outdoor activity that anyone can enjoy. Regardless of the size, physique, or shape, anyone can learn and do kayaking. However, the key is selecting the right kind of kayak.

There is a broad range of kayaks available in the market. These kayaks come with specific size and weight capacity. Despite being overweight, you can find a kayak that suits your size and supports your weight. You only have to put some effort into finding the right kayak.

What Size Kayak Do I Need For My Weight?

The most significant thing to understand here is that you cannot buy a kayak solely based on your weight. You should consider some other factors, too, like your height and gear weight.

For that reason, you can follow two rules of thumb.

The first rule: The kayak’s maximum weight capacity should be 125-150 pounds more than your body weight.

The second rule: Find the maximum capacity of the kayak and reduce it by 30-35%.

A kayak is perfect if the reduced weight capacity is more than your body and gear’s total weight.

You can also take help from this chart to calculate the weight capacity.

Kayaks’ Weight Kayaks’ Performance Weight Limit Person’s Body Weight + Weight of the Gear
300 pounds 180 pounds 155 pounds + 25 pounds
400 pounds 240 pounds 215 pounds + 25 pounds
500 pounds 300 pounds 275 pounds + 25 pounds

Related: Are Fishing Kayak Slow or Fast?

What Is The Best Kayak For A Fat Person?

Without diving into details of several kayaks, I will tell you one best kayak for a fat person.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is the best fishing kayak for a large person. It comes with a high weight capacity of 550 pounds. Also, it is the longest fishing kayak with a length of 13-feet and 33-inch width. Its dimensions and power make it perfect for overweight people.

Moreover, it has a durable and robust construction. Made with Rotomolded high-density polyethylene, it is a reliable and stable kayak. The dual position and breathable Vibe Hero seats offer comfort. Further, it also features two flush-mounted rod holders and a tackle tray.

Toe controlled rudder system allows speed and provides control. Thus, any large person can go kayaking in this fishing kayak without any worries. Its sturdy construction and extensive dimensions can hold massive weight and size. Also, it is not going to topple over easily and offers maximum grip and stability.

What Is The Best Kayak For River Fishing?

Many kayaks, best for river fishing, are available in the market. However, one of the best kayak for river fishing is Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. It can hold two adults with a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. Explicitly designed for lakes and mild rivers, it allows easy paddling.

Two adjustable and inflatable seats with backrests offer comfort. For directional stability in rivers, it comes with a removable skeg. Lightweight and compactness, this fishing kayak moves in the river smoothly.

Moreover, its bright yellow color enhances its visibility for safety. The inflatable I-beam floor with rugged vinyl construction makes this kayak sturdy, comfortable, and rigid. Further, it comes with two useful accessories: a high-output air pump (for easy inflation and deflation) and two 86-inch aluminum oars.

In short, you are getting immense value at a budget-friendly cost with this kayak. Its particular design help in maneuvering in the rivers like a breeze.


Hopefully, you have found all the answers to your questions regarding fishing kayaks. Fishing kayaks offer easy access and versatile use for fishing in the rivers. Kayaking is an enjoyable activity for everyone despite their body shapes and sizes. You just need to acquire the right kayak to enjoy fishing in the rivers!

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