Fishing from a kayak is the hot thing to do this year. I have been hearing this for the last 15 years and its true to a point. Right now each and every kayak maker out there has at least one fishing kayak and most have several “angler” models to choose from. Some models are wide and offer the ability for the paddler to either sit higher or even stand, while other models offer greater tracking, glide and speed. Most angler models are made with coastal fishing in mind, while the river fishing kayak does not receive a lot of attention.
So what is a fishing kayak? In my opinion its ANY kayak that you can fish out of. Whether its a 9 foot OK Frenzy that you rented or the $2000 Angler model with every conceivable accessory on it, if you can cast a line from it, its a fishing kayak. Where the choices have to be made have a lot to do with how much you want to spend, where you plan to do most of your fishing, and then maybe do you prefer tracking, glide and speed or capacity and the stability to stand a cast.
Just a quick note on costs and maybe a reread of our earlier blog on junk kayaks might be in order. But the bottom line still is you get what you pay for.
The right kayak for where you plan to fish. As just a simple rule of thumb I consider kayaks 10 feet and under to be river kayaks, from 11 feet to maybe 12 or 13 feet tops make for great for rivers, lakes and coast, consider them the jack of all trade kayaks, not doing one thing perfectly, but several thing very well. And then 14+ feet are typically your coastal models. On a personal note, I tend to fish mainly rivers and prefer kayaks in the 12 foot range. Not huge on standing and casting but I do like the higher seats especially when fly fishing.
The last consideration basically comes down to how you like to fish. We have seen the industry move the last few years to wider more stable kayaks that offer the angler to ability to seat higher or even stand. Kayaks like this can offer very good stability and usually a higher weight capacity, which is a sign of a well made kayak. If its 34 or 36 inches wide and only rated to 300 or 350 lbs, its a POS. Then there are the leaner kayaks that offer greater paddling ease through better tracking, glide and overall speed. As the consumer you should kinda know which you are so the sales person doesn’t try to sell you a kayak that’s not what you need.
And a final note on accessories. Go slow. Theres no need to leave your local kayak shop with every accessory known to man. Its easier to add stuff to the kayak then to remove stuff you don’t need.

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