What you can do with your kayak is ever expanding and these narrow boats have now taken to the fishing world. Their long and slender design allows them to navigate down narrow rivers with ease. This means that you can take your kayak to even more places. When deciding on a kayak, it is important to know that river kayaking requires a different kind of kayak than you would typically use for calm lake waters. In this case, you would want to opt for a specifically designed kayak for river fishing. The best river fishing kayak is one with a stable base that leaves you with a sturdy ride.

Expanding within the sport of kayaking is something we love. That is why we enjoyed it when kayaking spilled into the fly fishing world. Finding the best fly fishing kayak means one that you can easily cast a line and have room to move around.

We have done the research to find the best kayaks for river and fly fishing. Compiling them in a list below, here are the top five kayaks of 2018.

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How To Choose A River / Fly Fishing Kayak – Buying Guide

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Fly fishing kayak reviews agree that the most important things to look for in your boat is one equipped with rod holders, and one sturdy enough to be able to sit in a number of different positions. Fishing in a kayak can be challenging, but the right shape and size will go a long way to improve your time. Getting the right deck will also make your fishing experience vastly more enjoyable.

Where do you fish?

This is a very important question to ask during your search. A river kayak will look vastly different than a lake kayak. For fast moving water scenarios a more covered deck could be a better option. This will keep you dry during your travels and allow you to keep warm and comfortable. If the water is slow and calm a sit on top option will suit you better. This will let more water crest the bow, but allows you to move around and even stand to fish.

Shape and size

If you predominantly fish in rivers you should look for a boat that is more stable and shorter. This will provide you with the balance you need to maneuver around in the fast current with confidence. Since you will be paddling a medium distance a short to medium length will give you the speed and efficiency your arms will appreciate.

A wide, open cockpit will be the best option for fishing, especially fly fishing. You need lots of room for the line to dangle which a small opening won’t allow. This will also make it easy to haul your catch in and store it. Especially sit on top options have enough room to even bring a medium sized cooler for your trip.

Stability

The stability of your kayak is very important normally, but even more so when you are fishing. You are going to be moving around a lot in your kayak, so you need the kayak to excellent stability in the water. You are also going to be in moving water, so there is more chance of the kayak moving. Combine that with the motion of casting your rod, and it is easy to see that you need more stability than a recreational kayak.

Look for a kayak which is wide. The width will stop the kayak from rocking as much when you are in the water. Look for a kayak which is close to 30” in width. You should also be thinking about the length of your kayak. The more presence in the water, the more stability. A longer kayak will also give you the chance to more evenly distribute your gear.

Ability To Stand Up

When you are fly fishing, you need to be able to stand up at times. If you are the kind of fisher who stands up regularly, then you are going to want to look for a kayak which is wider than normal. Look for a kayak which is at least 33 inches in width. If you want even more stability, then you can invest in standing platforms and stand-in bars. These accessories will allow you to stand up quicker and easier without rocking the boat.

Comfort

If you are out on the water fishing, you are not there for a short period of time. Fishing requires patience, and the fish do not bite straight away. You may be waiting a long time to catch a fish, but that is part of what fishing is all about. You are out there to find peace and calm, and if you can get a couple of fish, then all the better.

Look for a kayak which has enough comfort to keep you out on the water for a long time. You should be primarily focused on your seat. A padded seat will support you, and a backrest will help to keep your spine aligned.

You should also try and find a seat which is adjustable so that you can find the perfect sitting position. A seat with breathable mesh will also help to keep you cool and to wick any moisture away from you when you are seated.

Storage And Weight Capacity

When you are fishing, you want a lot of space to store your fishing equipment, and any other accessories you have on your trip. You should also be thinking about the weight capacity of your kayak. It is ideal if there is a place where you can process your fish, and store them until you get back to the shore.

You will likely have hooks, bait, and flies. You want to be able to store a lot of each item, so storage with lots of compartments to organize your stuff would be beneficial. You also want to keep your stuff dry, so look for storage which is waterproof. With the amount of fishing you will be doing, you want to be able to take as much with you as you can. When you are looking at your fishing kayak, look for one which can carry a lot of weight. This will allow you to bring any number of tackle boxes, and still have enough room and capacity for your food.

Deck

If you are fly fishing, then a sit on top kayak is the perfect vessel for you to wish from. These kayaks have no cockpit to sit in. Instead, you sit on the top of the kayak, usually in a seat. This comes with a few benefits.

One of the benefits is that there is more space for storage. Instead of your legs being store over a lot of the kayak, you can use this space for your fishing equipment. The other benefit of this kind of deck kayak is that it is easier for you to stand in your kayak. With this added benefit, you want to make sure that you are always safe, so when you are looking at a kayak with a deck, you should be focused on the traction which the pad will give you.

Shape and Size

The size of your kayak will depend on how much you want to take with you on your trip. The more you want to take, the bigger a kayak you will need. The same is true if you want to take another person with you.

The shape will also depend on the kind of fishing you are going to do. Some shapes of kayak will give you greater maneuverability, while others will others will give you more speed.

FAQs

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Q: Can A Fish Pull You Out Of Your Kayak?

A: Yes, a fish can pull you out of your kayak, but only if you are not careful and your kayak is not set up correctly. The first thing you should be doing is to have you kayak balanced carefully. If you have the weight distributed evenly, then you do not have to worry about losing your balance if you need to stand up, as the kayak will not rock to one side.

Make sure that you have your drag set properly. Always follow the instruction guide to set your drag properly, and do the same with an anchor. If you are catching large fish, and are worried about being pulled out of your kayak, then you are probably in the ocean. Make sure that you have an anchor which can cope with the currents of the water.

If you have everything set up properly, then you will be able to catch large fish with no worry about ever falling out of your boat.

Q: Where Do You Put The Fish Which You Catch?

A: There are two options for your fish storage, and they will depend on the set up of your kayak. The main option is to use a cooler. You can buy special coolers to be used for fish, but a regular cooler will also work if you pack it with enough ice, or have it cold enough for the fish. Your second option is to use an insulated bag on your deck. The insulated bag will sit in front of you, so may be easier to get in without having to stand up. You should also be looking for a space to process your fish on the kayak.

Q: Can I Put a Motor On My Fishing Kayak?

A: If you kayak comes with space for a motor mount, then you can place a motor on there, as long as you find a motor which is compatible with your kayak. You want to make sure that your kayak can take the force of the motor which attached. If you do not have space for a motor mount, then there are still ways to attach a motor, but we would not recommend it, as you can damage your kayak in the process.

Globo Surf Overview

Kayaking is an old sport that is forever expanding to take people even further away from shore. From using these small boats to take you on a multi night trip or whether you prefer to spend your days fishing, it offers something for everyone. While fishing has long ago been popular with kayakers, with a modern and stable design more and more people are turning to kayaks for fly fishing as well. This is because you are able to stand up and cast your line. River kayak reviews agree that taking the sport of fly fishing and practicing with the help of a kayak will take you even farther. Being able to navigate through narrow rivers and stand up in your boat will provide all the comfort of a big fishing boat with the convenience of a kayak.

More Kayak Reviews:

Sources

  1. Fly fishing, Take me fishing
  2. Current, National Geographic

Have you ever tried fly fishing with your kayak? Ever used a kayak on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.

Globo Surf River/Fly Fishing Review

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Needed a new kayak I could take on the river and go fly fishing with. Cheers on the great article.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!