Fly fishing engages you directly with the water as you go as close to the water as possible, probably right on the water surface. Henceforth, navigating with a kayak for fly fishing comes with indisputable benefits in such conditions.
You can quickly take the kayak through narrow creeks or a shallow part of the lakes or rivers to find the fish structures which other vessels couldn’t reach. The thrill kayak and fly fishing bring together are simply awesome and fantastic.
Nonetheless, not all kayaks are made for fly fishing. You have to choose the best fly fishing kayak to enjoy the thrill and excitement of the favorite smallmouth bass or red snapper biting the lure. The kayak must have ample dock space and dependable stability. Also, you have to consider its storage space, performance, seating arrangement, etc., to pick the perfect kayak for your necessity.
Unfortunately, with over 1000+ brands and models in the market, this selection isn’t an easy task. In fact, many beginner fly fishers have termed it as ‘the most challenging task’ of their fishing career. So, what to do now?
If you don’t want the hassle and focus more on your fishing skills, take the help of our top ten fly fishing kayaks for a quick selection. The added buyer guide will help you decide which kayak to pick from our recommendations.
So, let us kick-start the fly fishing session with one of these kayaks.
10 Best Fly Fishing Kayak For 2021
When you sit on the kayak and through the fishing line into deep water to see the bass, perch, or walleye biting it, you feel something magical, something special, and unexplainable. Choosing the right kayak will provide you more access to fishing spots and increases the chance of some incredibly prized catch.
Here, take a look at our top choices for fly fishing kayaks.
If you are really a fishing enthusiast and want a professional kayak for the best angling experiences, the Perception Pescador Pro 12 is the best bet we can recommend for you. It comes with essential features that you want in a comfy kayak and goes on to test your fishing skills.
To begin with, the seat features a lawn chair style. Thus, you will love the seating arrangement on it. The seat also features breathable mesh. It enhances your comfort during sweaty days. Also, you get 2 levels of seat adjustment to suit it with your physique remarkably. All these features account for a day-long comfort with pain and aches.
When you want better casting, raise the seat height. And for relax paddling, lower the seating position instantly for better comfort. Also, the footrest can be instantly adjusted for enhanced relaxation while you kayak through the waterways.
You get both front and rear opening for the storage. So, you can quickly store your fishing gear, personal accessory, and tackles safely inside it. The storage compartment is incredibly big enough, indeed. It even has integrated rod holders for the fishing rod.
Next, the kayak features an innovative one-piece design. It is made from one large cutout with flawless seams on the key points. The hand-assembled kayak is made to be durable. It runs through the waterways as like it is gliding. The streamlined body enables the kayak to pass through shallow water without any issues.
It has a sufficient 12ft length and can accommodate up to 375 pounds maximum. Thus, it is suitable for heavyweight persons too. You can use the kayak for lakes, slow-moving ponds, creeks, streams, canals, and calm coastal lines.
- Length: 12’
- Width: 32-1/2”
- Weight: 64 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 375 pounds
Wilderness Systems is known for its versatility in the kayak industry. They have awarded some cutting-edge kayaks for anglers, and the Wilderness Systems ATAK kayak comfortably finds its position on top. It features ATAK technology. So, what does it mean?
ATAK stands for Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak. It means the kayak is purposefully made with practical features for a great angling experience. Professional anglers compare its performance with the motor drive of Helix MD, which has long been a benchmark in the waterways industry.
It also has the award-winning design of the already popular ATAK 140 among anglers. But its compact design keeps it one step ahead of ATAK 140. So, you get enhanced portability and manageability with the kayak. It would make your fishing experience sweeter.
The platform of ATAK 120 is open and fully customizable. You can quickly adjust it to meet your fishing necessities. The deck has a wind-shedding facility. It also increases the overall stability of the kayak during harsh conditions.
The sit-on-top seating arrangement offers unmatched comfort. The seat has a suspension style for quick position adjustment. You can quickly adjust the reclining position to low, mid, and high to fit your comfort zone.
The three different seating positions also allow greater stability and visibility. It helps in effective casting for the fishing lines. On top of it, the footrest is made large and padded. It ensures extended comfort for long kayaking hours.
It comes with a comfortable 12.3 feet length with ample storage space. You can quickly store your fishing accessories, electric gadgets, and foods inside the compartment. It is waterproof, and so ensures premium protection.
The kayak weighs only 86 pounds and can carry up to 400lbs. Thus, it can not only store all of your accessories at ease but also accommodates huge fish storage too.
- Length: 12.3.’
- Width: 35”
- Weight: 86 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 400 pounds
Do you want to catch the large bass, perch, or walleye without compromising your kayaking comfort? If yes, then we suggest you look at the mesmerizing benefits of the Pelican Sit-on-top kayak. It has an open cockpit design. It ensures the most comfortable entry and exit on the kayak.
Also, its sit-on-top seating arrangement makes sure you enjoy the comfort at its best. The G2 seats have an adjustable cushion and backrest too. So, you can adjust them to maximize the fitting with the least troubles to face. It permits enjoyable fly fishing all day long.
The hull design features a flat bottom with a multi-chine facility. It provides greater stability and tracking experience on the water. Also, you get two handles to navigate the kayak. These handles are retractable and ergonomic in design. So, the hands don’t feel fatigued even after long hours of rowing with them.
One of the most practical benefits of the Pelican fishing kayak is its multiple storage facilities. In the front, you get a hatch with a quick-lock facility. Also, it has a 4” hatch plus storage bag for further accommodation of trip gears. On top of all these, you get a storage platform. It comes with bungee cords to securely hold all the accessories.
For fishing accessories, you get two flush mount rod holders. It accompanies by the swiveling rod holder. It even has six adjustable eyelets. So, you can attach different gear with them on the kayak. Next, come its footrest and foot bracing. The footrests are quickly adjustable to meet your essential fitting.
The kayak is 10ft in length and accommodates 325 lbs. of weight. Henceforth, you will appreciate its overall performance and practical benefits. All these features have forced us to include them in our best fly fishing kayak review.
- Length: 10’
- Width: 30.5”
- Weight: 50 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 325 pounds
The perception Pro kayak loads with essential features necessary for fly fishing. Its practical and useful features will make fly fishing angler-friendly, convenient and fun. You will love the way it navigates through the waterways and brings you close to the fish structures for some prized catches.
The kayak is gettable at an unbelievably low price. You won’t have to rob the bank to purchase the kayak. Yet, it delivers unbeatable performance that you get only from the most expensive and best kayaks in the market. The pedal driving performance is top-notch and doesn’t need previous experience at all.
The seating arrangement features a breathable and mesh chair. It has two adjustment points to suit your comfort zone. The breathability keeps you free from the sweating moments. Also, the quick adjustment means you can enjoy day-long comfort with back pain and aches. Also, the sit-op-top sitting position with an open deck increases stability and visibility. It is a great benefit for fly fishing as you can observe what is happening up front.
The pedal system has a pilot driving facility. So, you can recess it to the fully functional hull if need be. Thus, it promises zero drafts when you want to cast the fishing line in a particular spot. It enhances your fishing chances considerably.
For storage, you get both the front and rear opener on the deck. It permits you to store everything you want, including fishing gear and personal accessories. You get four-rod holders and fish finder consoles on the kayak that further triggers the fishing comfort.
Lastly, its one-piece construction promises to last longer than your anticipation. You can depend on its compelling performance to navigate the lakes, small rivers, creeks, and calm coastal lines.
- Length: 12’
- Width: 33.75”
- Weight: 85 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 475 pounds
Up until now, we have only included the 1-person fly fishing kayaks in the review. Thus, those who like spending time with family or friends may be a little frustrated. So, we have decided to eliminate their frustration with our 1st introduction of a high-performing and dependable 2-person fishing kayak. It has an open deck design with roomy space to accommodate two adults comfortably.
To being with, you get 18-gauge premium and durable PVC construction for the kayak. It enjoys NMMA approval. The bottom is made of 1000D tarpaulin and covers made of 840D nylon. Such durable construction promises to make the fly fishing kayak super reliable and long-lasting. You won’t have to spend money on a second kayak for several years.
It comes with multiple air chambers. Thus, even if one chamber gets punctured due to some reasons, other chambers will inflate without drowning. The storage compartment is made airtight to ensure that water doesn’t leak through it.
The rod holders feature the Berkley Quick Set mechanism. Thus, you enjoy hands-free fishing, which is great for fly fishing. Also, you can adjust the rod holder for better comfort. It even has motor fittings from Sevylor. It indeed comes beneficial to enhance the fishing capacities, as the kayak may go deep into different waterways.
The paddles are made secure with the connected paddle holder. So, they won’t move when you don’t want to. The kayak can accommodate up to 400 pounds and so is best for two adults. A larger storage capacity means you can quickly store the captured fishes plus cooler and other required gears without much problem.
- Length: 12.5’
- Width: 35”
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 400 pounds
The ATAK 140 fly fishing kayak from Wilderness Systems promises to be one of the most versatile and sturdy kayaks out in the market. It comes with the Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak (ATAK) system, which is an incredible feat itself. Also, it delivers precisely the same performance as it claims in the papers. So, you won’t be fooled by it.
Firstly, it runs with a Helix MD motor drive. So, it can navigate faster than most kayaks and go into deep water. It, thus, triggers your fishing opportunities because going deep into lakes and rivers means catching bigger fishes. Also, the design is rugged and sturdy to ensure durability and dependable stability on the water.
An open deck system with a seat-on-top position elevates your fishing comfort to the next level. The deck is sturdy and stable enough to support walks over it. So, you can actually stand upright on it while casting the fishing line. The seat features a patented suspension style with a breathable mesh design. It thus ensures all-day comfort. Also, you can quickly adjust the reclining seating positions at three different points. Hence, you will love its comfort for sure.
The XL-sized foot braces are adjustable too. Besides the comfort and steadiness of the kayak, we were impressed with its massive storage as well.
It has a stern hatch with two tank wells. The tank wells sit on the front and have a cover. So, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your fishing gears and personal accessories. It is a great feature to bring peace of mind.
- Length: 14’
- Width: 34”
- Weight: 95 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 400 pounds
Vibe Kayaks is a popular name in the kayak industry for a long time now. It has already delivered some of the best fly fishing kayaks for anglers, and the Sea Ghost 130 is definitely one of them. It has everything necessary for comfortable kayaking and angling. Hence, you won’t have to be anxious about anything for the best fly fishing experience with the kayak.
It glides through the waterways smoothly like a fish and takes you quickly to where you want to be for fishing. It is made for 1-person and has a 13 feet length. The width is 33 inches. Thus the width and length of the kayak should be easy to sit on for most peoples. On top of it, the Hero ViBe seat facilitates two adjustable seating positions and exemplary ventilation.
It further has ergonomic and soft-grip handles. All these accounts for great comfort. The kayak also has remarkable storage capacity. The dual-hinge console and the oversized cargo storage are more than enough to accommodate all of your fishing and personal accessories. You can also use the rear space for storage with the bungee cord. The hinge console is watertight, ensuring security for electric gadgets. So, you can focus more on fly fishing than wasting time thinking about the accessories’ safety.
For construction, Vibe Kayaks has used one-piece polyethylene. It adds ultra-stability and ruggedness to the kayak design. The hull design has a stealth mechanism. So, it remains quiet in the water. It enhances the chance of going close to fishes without letting them know your presence. It is a great benefit for ambush hunting of large fishes.
- Length: 13’
- Width: 33”
- Weight: 75 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 550 pounds
The Old Town fishing kayak is a unique fly fishing kayak as it features a stand-up fishing facility. It is so stable that you can comfortably walk on the deck and adjust the fishing line, baits, and lures to attract your desired fish.
The kayak is compact and easily transportable on your car for distant places. Thus, you won’t have to worry about its portability. Also, the overall packaging is nimble and well-crafted. You will love standing over the kayak and cast the fishing line.
The seat features a sit-on-top facility and has breathable element air. So, you won’t feel sweaty during the hot scorching days and give attention to fishing instead of sweeping off the sweat. It is a great relief for fishing in tropical regions.
The stern tank well is purposefully made oversized. So, it helps in storing everything you have from fishing to personal gadgets. It also has a storage facility for the tackles and rods. But the facilities don’t end here. It even has storage accommodation for three-rod holders. So, it is a fully equipped fly fishing kayak.
The deck pads have EVA foam. It enhances stability and traction while you stand on the kayak deck. So, you remain tension free of slipping off from the kayak. It brings comfort and safety for anglers.
The Topwater 106 kayak features a Double U hull. It is made ultra-stable for great steadiness on the water. You can navigate confidently with accurate handling. Also, it has a transducer mounting facility to locate the fish with the fish finder.
In short, you get a premium service with the fishing kayak. Indeed, you will love its fishing comfort.
- Length: 10’
- Width: 34.5”
- Weight: 73 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 440 pounds
Whether you plan for fishing or recreational kayaking, this Sentinel 100X kayak will suit your purpose at ease. So, it comes with 2-in-1 versatility and worth the investment. Thus, when you feel bored, you can quickly take the kayak onto the closest lake or river and peacefully navigate the water.
The kayak is super easy to transport, thanks to its lightweight construction. It, in fact, weighs only 44 pounds and has 9.6 feet in length. So, the transportability is incredibly easy. You can carry the kayak single-handedly without any help. It is a great use of its compact size. Also, the kayak is constructed with durability in mind too.
The Sentinel 100X is made of Pelican’s patented Ram-X elements. It is of top-notch quality and promises to last for few seasons of rough and tough use in different waterways. Also, you can clean the kayak easily with mild soap after each use.
The kayak has a removable storage compartment. Also, the ExoPak storage compartment has a perfect fitting on the tank well. Thus, you can quickly store your fishing accessories inside the compartment without any tension.
Furthermore, you will appreciate its comfortable sit-on-top design with an open deck. The hull adds an extra floatation facility. It even exceeds ABCY standards. Lastly, it has a sufficient 275 lbs. of weight carrying capacity. It may not be on the higher side, but it is still enough to accommodate your gears.
- Length: 9.6’
- Width: 30”
- Weight: 41.8 pounds
- Carrying Capacity: 275 pounds
Intex is another name in the kayak market that you can trust for its consistency in making the most versatile and user-friendly kayaks. This time we introduce their Explorer K2 kayak for your fly fishing fun. It is made for 2 persons, and so, your fly fishing will become comfier. While you cast the fishing line and wait for the fish to bite the baits, another person can handle the kayak.
The two seats are inflatable with adjustable backrest. It also has breathability. So, you won’t feel irritation with the sweats during humid conditions. Also, the seats feature a unique cockpit design. It ensures maximum comfort for the anglers with sufficient space.
Next, the kayak features a removable SKEG. It enhances the optimal directional stability. So, you can quickly reach your favorite fishing spot without hassles. The stability also means that the kayak won’t move once kept in a standby position for angling. It is a great relief since most kayaks tend to change their direction, which isn't very pleasant.
You can use the Explorer K2 kayak for mild rivers with calm currents and in lakes. It is not made for coastal line fishing. Nonetheless, its compactness and lightweight design will indeed trigger your fly fishing experience greatly. Also, its inflatable design is made for quick and easy portability. So, you can go to the nearby water bodies and have some quality time.
Last but not least, we have to appreciate its bright yellow color design. It helps in higher visibility during emergencies. Also, its 400 pounds weight carrying capacity is enough in most cases.
- Length: 10 feet
- Width: 36”
- Weight: 30.6 pounds
- Carrying capacity: 400 pounds
The Guideline on How to Buy The Best Fly Fishing Kayak
We have introduced ten reliable and widely popular fly fishing kayaks to you. These kayaks are also usable for recreational activities. Nonetheless, you have to choosy while opting for the kayak that suits your fly fishing necessity.
It is important since there are hundreds of fly fishing kayak models in the market. So, you should consider which feature to look for the fly fishing kayak purchasing time. It will help you maximize your budget benefits and enjoy the optimum comfort.
Determine Fishing Location
Not kayak will work best in all water conditions. In fact, kayaks are specifically made for particular locations and won’t survive in other conditions. Hence, you have to determine where you would fish frequently.
The kayak should match your fishing location effectively. For instance, some kayaks are suitable for mild rivers and lakes. On the contrary, some kayaks can comfortably navigate coastal lines and rivers too. So, firstly decide your fishing location and purchase the fly fishing kayak accordingly.
Also, you should consider the type of fish you mostly like to catch. Some fishes live in deep water while others will happily roam around the shores. Thus, it will determine your kayak type too.
Speed and Tracking Facility
Do you want to fish near the river banks or go deep into the lake to find the honey hole for the fishes? This type of factor determines how fast the kayak should track and how steady its tracking is in reality. The further you want to go on the waterways, the more crucial a kayak’s speed and tracking become. You would like to have a speedier kayak for fly fishing in deep locations.
Also, for surf fishing in saltwater, you might prefer a seat-on-top arrangement. It enhances stability and comfort during the angling session.
Type of Kayaks
When you have fixed your fishing location and the desired speed essential for the kayak to go to that specific place, you should then select the right kayak type.
Floating tubes are the least use kayaks and are used if you have limited space at home and vehicles to carry them. Although it is not particularly a kayak, many fly fishers use them for angling in nearby ponds or lakes. You can quickly blow them and use them right off the bat.
Blow-up kayaks are also suitable with limited storage space. But these kayaks often provide a miserable result in fly fishing. The chances are high that you would fall into water from the kayak. So, we don’t recommend you blow up kayaks.
Then comes the rubber rafting kayaks. Although these rubber rafts are made primarily for rafting sports, some models actually support fly fishing requirements. The inflatable kayaks are mostly made of abrasion-resistant and rugged materials. So, it will withstand harsh conditions better.
Lastly, there are the drift boat kayaks. These kayaks, with great stability and streamlined hull design, become the apple of the eye for the enthusiastic fly fishers. The drift boats float slowly but steadily and permit you to cast the fishing line.
So, you can confidently play with the bass and trout to raise them over the water and get your prize for the hard work. The downside of drift boats is that these are often costly, and you can’t navigate them solo. Also, it needs time to master the navigation skill on large rivers.
Sit-On-Top Vs. Sit in Arrangements
Sit-in kayaks have an enclosed hull design. The seat-on-top kayaks, on the contrary, come with an open deck and hull design. When it comes to fly fishing, the selection rule is pretty simple.
You should always look for a seat-on-top kayak for the best fly fishing experience. These kayaks have sufficient storage space. Thus, you can comfortably store your fishing and personal accessories. The open hull design is ideal for fly casting with precision.
Also, seat-on-kayaks are slightly larger and so, has better steadiness. It becomes crucial for your comfier fly fishing experience.
Seat Adjustment and Comfort
Fishing is a challenging sport by all means. Hence, you would like to maximize your comfort for fly fishing. The comfort mainly comes from the seat adjustments. The kayak seat should have opportunities to adjust the seat according to your physique.
Also, it should have a comfortable backrest. The backrest may have adjustability too. Next, it should feature breathable mesh construction. It helps in keeping the sweat and moisture away during hot and humid conditions.
Weight Carrying Capacity and Storage
The storage facility of the kayak is important as it determines how many accessories you can actually carry on the kayak. Also, the weight carrying capacity will have a direct influence over the storage of the kayak.
A kayak with great storage capacity is better if you plan for long days of fly fishing. Also, it permits you to bring more fishes to the land. Also, if you opt for a two-person kayak, it should also have better storage capacity.
Ideally, most kayaks have around 325 pounds weight carrying capacity. Some kayaks, however, takes it to the next stage with up to 550 pounds of storage. Also, the storage compartment must be watertight to ensure the security of the stored accessories.
Lastly, you should count the number of rod holders the kayak has. It will help you cast more fly fishing lines at the same time.
Kayaks are indeed made of every possible material. It includes composite, plastic, fiberglass, inflatable, and thermoform materials. For obvious reasons, plastic and inflatable kayaks are the most popular among fly fishers.
Plastic-made kayaks are lightweight and feature a steady hull design. Also, it can take some abrasions without any issues.
Benefits of Using Fly Fishing Kayaks
The kayaks have become popular and steady equipment for fly fishing. Experienced anglers have maximized their fly fishing experience from the kayaks.
But what are the exact benefits that a kayak brings in your fly fishing enjoyment?
- Kayak navigation doesn’t need much skill. You can quickly learn the navigation tricks and move on water successfully. Thus, kayaks are great for beginners to kick off their fly casting career.
- Kayaks have better mobility on the water than any other water vessels, including boats. Also, its streamlined and narrow shape can comfortably float through the narrow spaces in lakes, rivers, and creeks.
- Kayaks are useful for fishing in shallow water since it doesn’t require much depth in water. It can easily navigate through with a few feet of water depth.
- The kayaks are compact and mostly inflatable. So, it helps in easy transportation in the lakes, rivers, and coastal lines. It is a great benefit for anglers.
- Kayaks, specially seat-on-top ones, come with incredibly higher storage capacity. Thus, you can carry more accessories within the airtight compartments. Also, they have a bungee cord attachment facility for an additional storage facility.
- The maintenance cost of the kayaks is so low that you won’t even notice it. Also, most kayaks are durable and so don’t need much maintenance at all.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can I really fly fish out of a kayak?
Kayaks, with their growing versatility and popularity, have become the widespread means for fly fishing. Its lightweight design and streamline shape enable it to take the closest to the fish that a regular boat can’t. Also, it enables you to explore areas where a boat can’t access. So, you can definitely practice fly casting from the kayaks.
2. Can you recommend a steady kayak for fishing?
We have already reviewed and recommended the top ten kayaks for fishing. These kayaks are highly stable in different water conditions. Nonetheless, if you want some more recommendations for fishing kayaks, we would want you to look at Old Town Predator MX Angler and Malibu Kayaks X-13 closely.
We know how challenging it is to find a dependable, stable, and steady kayak for fly fishing. While one kayak may have supreme steadiness, the other might have optimal durability. Thus, during our best fly fishing kayak review, we have gone miles ahead to combine the most practical features on the kayaks to recommend them for you.
When you plan for your first fly fishing, you can swiftly choose from our ten top kayak suggestions. These kayaks are worthy of every penny and will surely boost your fishing experience.