Fishing Kayak Buyers Guide

Fishing Kayak Buyers Guide

You don’t need a yacht or motorboat to enjoy fishing. There’s a cheaper way to move around lakes, rivers, seas, and harbors.

The fishing kayak provides all the comfort that yachts and motorboats provide. Stable footing, adequate space to move around and store the fish, and fishing-friendly features are some of their perks.

This article provides you with all that you need to know about fishing kayaks, weight capacity, pros, and cons of fishing kayaks with electric motors, pros and cons of fishing kayaks without electric motors, and others that provide answers to your questions.

Fishing Kayak Buyers Guide

Is A Fishing Kayak Better Than A Yacht or Motorboat For Fishing?

The fishing kayak is better than a yacht or motorboat if you’re only fishing for a day on a body of water that’s not too big or turbulent.  It also beats the two in terms of mobility and portability. Nevertheless, the reason why you should get a fishing kayak instead is because of its affordability.

Fishing kayaks don’t require a lot of set-ups to be used. All you need to do is load them on the car roof rack then head to a fishing location that you fancy. When launching, all you need is to do a quick preliminary check-up and you’re good to cruise on the water.

It’s not even a problem if you want to transfer a kayak from one location to the next without using a vehicle. You may load fishing kayaks on a trolley for transferring. Some even allow the installation of a removable trolley anchor (more about this later on)

Fishing kayaks save a lot of money from yacht rentals or motorboat rentals. Rent for yachts or motorboats averages $200 – $1000 per day.  Notice these costs for they’re already the price of low to high-end fishing kayaks in the market.

How Much Weight Can A Fishing Kayak Hold?

It’s hard to provide a general answer on the weight capacity of fishing kayaks. There are numerous types and brands. Each has different weight limits.

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Weight Limit

Inflatable fishing kayaks have a weight capacity of 220 – 400 pounds.  Some can exceed this weight limit with their innovative construction (3 chamber construction, advanced floatation features, etc.).Examples are those that come from Hobie, Wilderness Systems, Dagger, Old Town, Sea Eagle, and Pyranha.

Hardshell Fishing Kayaks

Hardshell fishing kayaks have a better weight capacity than inflatable fishing kayaks. This is because they have more solid construction. Depending on the design and material – fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic, thermoform – hardshell fishing kayaks’ weight capacity is usually between 300 – 500 pounds.

Tandem Fishing Kayaks

Tandem fishing kayaks hold a lot of weight. Most have a weight limit of 500 – 700 pounds. Two full-sized adults may ride tandem fishing kayaks without any problems. However, note that inflatable fishing kayaks don’t do really well since they might deflate.

Will You Sink Immediately If A Fishing Kayak Can’t Hold Your Weight?

It’s a misconception for a fishing kayak to sink all of a sudden if it can’t bear your weight. In reality, stability issues are the most apparent problem that you will experience. If a kayak can’t hold your weight, it might attempt to topple off or become wobbly.

Is A Fishing Kayak With Electric Motor Worth It?

Due to kayak R&D, fishing kayaks that move through paddling aren’t the only ones that you’ll find in the market today.  At present, you may also get motor-powered kayaks that rival the performance of motorboats.

The question is whether or not these fishing kayaks deserve your investment. Motorized fishing kayaks are almost double the price of traditional fishing kayaks. For this reason, think before buying them. This article presents some pros and cons to help you out.

Pros of Fishing Kayak With Motor

1. Speedy – Fishing kayaks are faster than traditional kayaks. They can travel between 50 – 80 kph. That’s why they’re ideal for fishing on large lakes.

2. Arm and Hand Friendly – Motorized fishing kayaks don’t need paddles to move. This is very advantageous if you want to reserve all of your hand and arm strength for fishing.

3. Convertible – Some fishing kayaks don’t have motors by default. However, you may use a motor kit to transform them into a motorized fishing kayak.

Cons of Fishing Kayak With Motor

1. Harms the Environment – Motorized fishing kayaks use gasoline as fuel. In the meantime, there are no battery-operated ones. Motorized fishing kayaks release carbon emissions. They may even cause an oil spill.

2. Noisy – Motorize fishing kayaks create a lot of noise, which affects your fishing experience since the sound chases the fish away.

3. Incurs Additional Costs For Maintenance – Just like any other motorized equipment, a fishing kayak with a motor needs maintenance like gasket replacement, piston replacement, etc.

It’s up to you to buy a fishing kayak with a motor or not. But here’s a piece of advice; buy a motorized fishing kayak if you’re do not want to strain your arms with paddling or you’re kayak fishing in an expansive body of water.

Is A Fishing Kayak With Pedal Drive Worth It?

A fun variant of fishing kayaks is fishing kayaks with pedal drives.  These are kayaks with a cycling mechanism that connects to a propeller. You lunch these fishing kayaks forward by pedaling which makes the propeller turn.

You may use pedal drive-enabled fishing kayaks for fishing in lakes and seas. Their performance is case-specific depending on their brand and their overall design.

Pros of A Fishing Kayak With Pedal Drive

1. Burns Calories – a 1-hour ride in a fishing kayak with a pedal drive is like exercising with a stationary bicycle. Though the amount of calories burnt is not the same, it’s an undisputed fact that a pedal drive pushes you to work your legs. And when you work your legs, some calories are burnt and your legs might even get shaped in the process.

2. Environment Friendly – Pedal drives don’t release emissions into the air. All that they need to work is the force of your legs.

3. Silent – A fishing kayak with pedal drive is very silent. It only gives out a faint swishing or whirring sound. This is advantageous if you’re fishing in a location where sound-sensitive fishes dwell.

Cons of A Fishing Kayak With Pedal Drive

1. Strains The Legs – The only problem that you’ll experience with pedal drive enabled fishing kayaks are leg cramps. Sometimes, depending on the water condition, pedaling requires little or a lot of effort.  Pedal drives are very inconvenient if you’re fishing on turbulent seas and lakes with a lot of debris.

2. Flimsy Propeller – Most fishing kayaks have flimsy propellers. The propellers have to be flimsy so that pedaling doesn’t take a lot of effort.

What Are The Best Fishing Kayak Accessories?

You may install fishing kayaks with additional accessories. Accessories do many things like making the kayak more comfortable, more stable, or more appropriate for serious kayak fishing. Here are some of the best accessories that you should think of buying:

Fishing Pole Holders

A fishing kayak usually has 3 – 4 fishing pole holders by default. However, you may add additional pieces for you to use lots of fishing poles at once. It might even be better if you replace the stock fishing pole holders with pivoting ones since they’re more versatile.

Phone Holder

Most fishing kayaks don’t have a phone holder that’s why you should have it installed. A phone holder allows you to carry a camera or a smartphone in case you’re anticipating a call while kayak fishing. It even helps you document your kayak fishing trip for a youtube vlog.

Foot Holds

Footholds are something that’s not present in all kayaks. Some have these in the form of embossments while others have these as a separate accessory on the kayak. A foothold is essential because it helps you lure in big fishes such as bass, catfish, trout, etc.

Reflector Stickers

If you’re kayak fishing during peak season, boats and other large watercraft can collide with your fishing kayak. To minimize the possibility of this danger, put 5 – 6 reflector stickers on the hull for you to be visible in the middle of the lake, river, or sea.

Handyman Tools

If you’re using a motorized fishing kayak, be sure to have handyman tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and adjustable with you. You will badly need these if the motor of the fishing kayak starts acting up.

By the way, don’t forget to bring a retractable kayak paddle even if you’re fishing kayak is motorized since it will allow you to keep the kayak moving even if the motor is broken.

Ergonomic Seats

If you’re not very picky, the stock seats of the fishing kayaks will do. However, if you want to be very comfortable, consider replacing them. The best seats for replacement are ergonomic seats that are either made out of leather or polyethylene with armrests, adjustable seat height, and an adjustable seatback pad.

How To Increase The Weight Capacity of The Fishing Kayak?

You may increase the weight capacity of a fishing kayak by removing or replacing some of its components. Replace large seats with small ones, remove useless components such as stern net or stern rope, and don’t put a lot of objects in the storage compartment.

If you’re using a motorized fishing kayak, be mindful of the motor that the manufacturer installed. Its weight should take half of the kayak’s weight capacity. If it’s too heavy, replace it with a lighter motor that has the same power output.

In the case of pedal drive-enabled fishing kayaks, you might want to replace the stock pedal drive with an aluminum variant. Aluminum pedal drives are light and easy on the legs.  By the way, you don’t need replacement if the stock pedal drive doesn’t affect the weight capacity of the fishing kayak.

Increasing the weight capacity is only possible for hardshell kayaks. No methods can increase the weight capacity of inflatable kayaks. This is because their weight capacity largely depends on their inflation and default design. To increase weight capacity, you have to alter the build of the fishing kayak. This is something that you cannot simply do with inflatable ones.

The Best Way To Attach Accessories To A Kayak

The best way to attach accessories in a kayak is to bolt them. Of course, you shouldn’t bolt randomly. Always follow how the manufacturer did the bolting in the first place. That’s why before proceeding with the attachment of the accessories, study the construction of the fishing kayak first.

You might also want to use racks and screws for some accessories. Racks and screws are particularly useful for additional fishing pole holders and phone holders.

Look for the housing compartment before attaching a pedal drive or motor drive. A housing compartment is a designated part of the kayak where you may easily insert pedal drives or motor drives without altering the build of the fishing kayak.

When attaching remember not to drill holes on the lower parts of the fishing kayak. Holes should always be on the upper part. If you really have to make holes on the lower parts of the fishing kayak, be sure not to drill through its hull to prevent leakage.

How To Install An Anchor Trolley System On The Fishing Kayak?

An anchor trolley system prevents the fishing kayak from drifting away due to wind and water current.  All fishing kayaks don’t come with a stock anchor trolley system. You have to install it yourself, and this is how you do it.

The first step is to drill holes on the upper portion of the stern of the kayak. The holes should be 1 – 2 inches apart and should match the length of the pad eyes. Place the pad eyes between the holes that you drilled. Make sure that each side of the pad eyes is on top of each hole.

To secure the pad eyes on the upper portion of the stern, insert a screw on each hole.  Tighten the screws slowly so that they don’t make the existing holes bigger than what’s intended.

Afterward, clip a karabiner on the pad eyes. Tie a rope on the karabiner. That’s it you’re all set!

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