How to Choose a Fishing Kayak?

Imagine gliding across a calm lake at dawn, casting your line into the mist-shrouded water, the silence broken only by the gentle splashing of your paddle. Fishing from a kayak offers an unparalleled sense of freedom and connection to nature, but with so many options on the market, choosing the right one can feel like navigating a maze of jargon and features.

Whether you're a seasoned angler or a newbie looking to cast your first line, finding the perfect fishing kayak can be daunting. Do you want a sit-on-top or sit-inside model? Inflatable or hard-shell? What about storage, stability, and comfort? The choices seem endless, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

But don't worry, we've got your back. This guide will break down the essential factors to consider when choosing a fishing kayak, demystifying the jargon and helping you make an informed decision that suits your needs, budget, and fishing style. 

Key Considerations When Choosing a Fishing Kayak

Consider the next factors before you cast your line into the vast sea of fishing kayaks.


When battling a trophy fish, the last thing you want is to do the same with your kayak! Stability is paramount for fishing, allowing you to cast, reel, and even stand up (if you're feeling adventurous) without tipping over.

Wider kayaks generally offer better stability but don't discount those with outriggers or pontoon-style hulls, which can provide a surprisingly stable platform.


Don't forget to factor in your weight, the weight of your fishing gear, and any potential catch when considering a kayak's weight capacity. It's better to err on the side of caution and choose a kayak with a higher capacity than you think you'll need.


Fishing gear can quickly accumulate, so ample storage space is essential. Look for kayaks with hatches, bungee cords, and dedicated rod holders. This will keep your gear organized and easily accessible when you need it most.


Let's face it: fishing can involve long hours in the water. A comfortable seat, ample legroom, and adjustable footrests are crucial for preventing aches and pains. Try different kayaks to find one that suits your body type and paddling style.


If you have limited storage space or don't have a roof rack, portability becomes a major consideration. Inflatable kayaks are a fantastic option for those who prioritize convenience. They can be easily deflated, rolled up, and stored in a closet or car trunk, making them ideal for spontaneous fishing trips.

Related Article: Are Inflatable Kayaks Good for Fishing?

kayaks with fishing storage

Types of Fishing Kayaks

Choosing the right type of fishing kayak boils down to your preferences and how you plan to fish.

Here's a breakdown of the two main categories:

Sit-on-Top Kayaks

  • Pros:
    • Stability: Generally more stable than sit-inside kayaks, making them ideal for casting, reeling, and even standing.
    • Accessibility: Easier to get on and off, which is helpful when landing fish or dealing with gear.
    • Self-Bailing: Equipped with scupper holes that drain water, keeping you drier and preventing the kayak from getting swamped.
  • Cons:
    • Storage: Limited internal storage compared to sit-inside kayaks.
    • Weather Protection: Less protection from the elements, as you're more exposed to wind and water.
    • Tracking: You may not track as straight as sit-inside kayaks, requiring more effort to maintain a course.

Sit-Inside Kayaks

  • Pros:
    • Storage: More internal storage space for gear and catches.
    • Weather Protection: Cockpit offers better wind, rain, and cold protection.
    • Tracking: Typically track straighter than sit-on-top kayaks, making paddling easier.
  • Cons:
    • Stability: May feel less stable than sit-on-top kayaks, requiring more practice.
    • Accessibility: This can be more challenging to get in and out of, especially when landing fish.
    • Drainage: Water that enters the cockpit needs to be manually drained.

Inflatable vs. Hard-Shell Kayaks

  • Inflatable:
    • Pros: Highly portable, lightweight, and easy to store. Great for those with limited space or who need to transport the kayak over long distances.
    • Cons: It may not be as durable as hard-shell kayaks and can be affected by wind and currents.
  • Hard-Shell:
    • Pros: Generally more durable, faster, and better at tracking than inflatable kayaks.
    • Cons: Can be heavier and bulkier, requiring more storage space and a roof rack for transport.

Ultimately, the best type of kayak for you will depend on your preferences, fishing style, and transportation needs. If you're looking for maximum stability and ease of use, a sit-on-top kayak might be a good choice.

A sit-inside kayak might be better if you prioritize storage space and protection from the elements. And if portability is your top priority, an inflatable kayak could be the perfect solution.

Related Article: Key Advantages of Inflatable Kayaks Over Traditional Hardshell Models

When it comes to outfitting your fishing kayak, a few additional features can significantly enhance your experience:

Rod Holders

These handy accessories keep your rods secure and easily accessible, freeing up your hands for paddling, baiting hooks, or enjoying a cold beverage. There are several types of rod holders to choose from:

  • Flush Mount Rod Holders: These are built into the kayak's deck and offer a streamlined look. They're great for trolling or when you need your rods out of the way.
  • Adjustable Rod Holders: These allow you to change the angle and position of your rods, giving you more flexibility for different fishing techniques.
  • Rotating Rod Holders: These make it easier to maneuver your rod when fighting a fish or changing lures.

Paddle Holders

A paddle holder is a simple yet invaluable accessory that secures your paddle to the kayak when not in use. This frees up your hands for fishing tasks and prevents your paddle from drifting away.

Fish Finders and GPS

A fish finder can help you locate fish and structure underwater if you're a serious angler. A GPS unit can help you navigate unfamiliar waters and mark your favourite fishing spots. While not essential for beginners, these high-tech tools can significantly improve your chances of landing a big catch.

fish finders and gps

Perun Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayaks: Your Ultimate Fishing Companion

At Perun Outdoors, we understand the needs of Canadian anglers. That's why we offer a range of inflatable fishing kayaks designed to be durable, portable, and affordable.

Unlike traditional hard-shell kayaks, ours are easy to transport and store, making them perfect for spontaneous fishing trips or those with limited storage space. Don't be fooled by their inflatable nature – these kayaks are constructed with tough, puncture-resistant materials that can withstand the rigours of the Canadian wilderness.

Cast Off with Confidence: Your Ideal Fishing Kayak Awaits

Choosing the right fishing kayak comes down to understanding your needs and priorities. Consider factors like stability, capacity, storage, comfort, and portability before deciding. If you want a convenient, durable, and affordable option, check out our range of inflatable kayaks.

With a Perun kayak, you'll be equipped to explore Canada's vast waterways and reel in the catch of a lifetime. 

Explore our website and discover the perfect inflatable fishing kayak to make your next fishing adventure unforgettable. Contact us today for more information.

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