Best Fly Fishing Kayak

Best Fly Fishing Kayak – Fly fishing is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors while still enjoying the tranquility of a river or the thrill of hunting in the water. There are fish below the surface, looking for the right kind and size of fly to catch them, no matter if you live in a large, meandering stream or small, grassy lake. You’ll be able to fish in more areas if you have a kayak that is top-rated for fly fishing.

You can only fish for fish that are within your casting range if you fish from shore. It’s hard to find new spots that you can’t reach without a kayak. Fly fishing enthusiasts who want to expand their fishing areas should read this article to learn more about the best kayaks.

Kayak fly fishing offers many new opportunities, but at a lower cost than other watercraft. You’ll need to be careful when choosing your kayak fly fishing boat. To capture the growing kayak fishing market, many makes and models have recently been introduced. Fly fishing is a sport with its own requirements. Don’t make the error of buying a model off the shelf at the local shop without testing it first.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the important points for best. Fly fishing Kayaks. Keep in mind, however, that not all kayaks can be used for fly fishing. You can also make your kayak fishing day more enjoyable by adding accessories such as kayak fly rod holders. Your fly fishing kayak setup should be as customized as possible.




Okuma Spinning Travel Kit


  • LENGTH: 12′
  • WEIGHT: 57 lbs
  • STYLE: Sit on-Top
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: 375 lbs
  • WIDTH: 32.5″
  • For easier transportation, shorter length and lighter weight
  • Adjustable, Padded Seat
  • For dry storage, enclosed bow compartment
  • Gear Tracks (for attaching fishing equipment)


Perception’s most basic kayak design for fly fishing is the Pescador 10.0. This boat is the ideal starter boat for novice fisherman. You don’t need to have much paddling experience. The kayak is lightweight and small, making it easy to transport from your car to where you want to go. You can adjust the comfort of your kayak’s interior with a padded seat. There are also gear tracks that make it easy to attach your fishing gear to the sides. The kayak also has a large compartment at the front for dry storage.





  • LENGTH: 12’5″
  • WEIGHT: 85 lbs
  • STYLE: Sit on the Top with Pedals
  • WIDTH: 33.75″
  • For more flexible locomotion with the upper or lower body, you can use removable pedals
  • Ergonomic Captain’s chair (fits many heights).
  • Front, Rear and Central Hatches (for dry storage).
  • Four Molded In Rod Holders (to keep multiple poles available)

BEST FOR: Hands-Free Fishing

The Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0 is an excellent choice if you don’t want your hands tied to the fish while you move around. The kayak’s pedal drive system allows you to move it forward by using your feet. However, this system can be removed to allow you to paddle with a kayak paddle. The kayak’s captain’s chair, which is ergonomically designed for people of all heights, has four rod holders that can be molded in so you can have multiple fishing pole sets at your fingertips. There are three hatches to provide dry storage for days when you might be out for several hours at once.




  • LENGTH: 12′
  • WEIGHT: 87 lbs
  • STYLE: Sit on the Top with Pedals
  • WIDTH: 34
  • For maneuverability in tight spaces, a Sharp Turning Radius is required
  • Fish Finder Technology is compatible (to increase your chances)
  • Cockpit with large area (more space for standing or sitting)
  • Pedals for Locomotion (allows the use of your upper and lower body to move)

BEST FOR: Comfortable Cruising

The Hobie Mirage Compass is the best choice if you want to feel comfortable while fishing for your catch. This kayak is more than comfort. You can maneuver it in tight spaces thanks to its sharp turning radius. This means that you can access areas where fish are more likely to hide than larger watercraft. These areas can be reached with a paddle (and your upper bodies) or the attached pedals, which allow you to use your legs to propel this kayak. The kayak also features a large cockpit where you can stand or sit while fishing and a mesh seat that can be removed to cool you down on hot days. This kayak also has a place where you can attach your Fish Finder Technology (sold separately). This will let you know if you are fishing in a good area (e.g. You can either find fish or move on.


Fishing Kayak


  • LENGTH: 13’2″.
  • WEIGHT: 86 lbs
  • STYLE: Sit on-Top
  • WIDTH: 30.5″
  • Large, Textured Deck (for casting and reeling from a stable platform)
  • Stand-up Assist Strap (Helps you to move from seated position to standing).
  • Two seating positions (allows for optimal paddling and fishing).
  • Dual Tackle Holders allow for easy access to multiple bait types


The Old Town Predator kayak is the longest on our list. It offers excellent stability for experienced anglers who need to be able to stand and cast better. The kayak’s textured deck provides grip while standing, and the handy assist strap allows you to move from a seated position to a standing position. The kayak’s seat can be adjusted from ‘Travel’ to ‘Attack’ depending on whether you are on your way to a fishing spot or ready to cast. Two recessed tackle holders are included in this kayak to allow you to store different bait types and have them at your fingertips when you need them.

Safety First

A kayak is a great investment, but it also opens up a lot of possibilities. All kayaks are susceptible to capsize, regardless of how stable they may be. Although kayak flying is possible almost anywhere, it’s best to learn more about kayak safety before you buy one.

  • Purchase a high-quality life vest to ensure you can comfortably paddle with a good seat and paddle
  • Be aware of your level of skill relative to the water that you will be using
  • Make sure you have the correct gear, such as throw rope or paddling gloves.
  • Look into other accessories for kayak fishing. Safety and convenience are key factors that can help you avoid getting tired.
  • Learn kayaking skills to improve your paddling ability and safety techniques like T-rescues, bailing and floating while on the water.

When you are traveling or kayak flying, make sure your kayak is properly protected with sufficient packaging to ensure it doesn’t get damaged during transport. You don’t need separate tickets for kayak fly. Your luggage can be checked in at the oversized luggage desk.

When to Use a Kayak vs. Other Craft

This article will focus on sit-on-top, hard shell fishing kayaks. These kayaks can be sat in comfortably, are easy to track over long distances and offer lots of storage space. They are great, but they may not be the right choice for everyone. There are other fishing boats that might work better in certain circumstances. You can find a list of them here, and further details about each one in the FAQs below.

  • Float tube
  • Pontoon boat
  • White water kayak
  • Rubber raft
  • Drift boat, or dory

Here are the Key Specifications and What is Important

What makes a kayak the best for fly fishing? Different kayaks can be used in different water conditions. Kayaks can be designed to perform in a variety of ways. They can turn vs. track, handle waves or calm water, have stability and weight, as well as their portability and storage capacities. These are our top recommendations for what you should be looking for in a kayak. You can find all the details in our FAQ below.

  • Match your kayak to the water type –Or small with no waves? Are you moving river?
  • How to handle surf and waves You must be able to keep going.
  • Height & comfort in the seat Tall enough to be comfortable, but not too tall to block casting (different from spin fishing).
  • Clear the decks To avoid tangles and snags
  • Stability is everything You should stand up if you wish to cast standing up
  • Comfort saves the day So you can kayak long distances
  • It’s also important to use color Lighter colors reflect light and keep you cooler. Darker colors can make it too hot on a hot day.
  • Sit-on top vs. sit-in design Sit-ins can paddle more efficiently, while sit-on tops are more efficient to cast from. This is among other things discussed in FAQs
  • Low profile means less energy and more grief– is pushed less by wind.
  • Pay attention to the weight of your cargo for transporting and portaging
  • Make sure to stock up on storage Look at the compartments and platforms in front and behind, as well as cockpit storage, overall volume, and other features that protect your gear and coolers.
  • Price Just a quick note on cost. It is important. Yes, If you spend less, will you sacrifice stability, safety, and other features? Yes. You have had enough? It is true.



When choosing the right kayak for fly fishing, you need to have a good idea of your fly fishing locations. To narrow down your options and find the best kayak for you, consider what requirements a lake or river will provide.

It is important to match your kayak with the conditions that you will encounter while fishing. A kayak that can handle waves is necessary if you fish in light surf. If you prefer to fish in calm lakes, where a higher position can give you an advantage, a kayak that is longer and wider will allow you to stand comfortably on the deck.

The distance you will need to paddle to reach your favorite fishing spot also plays a part. A good kayak paddle might work well for you, but if you plan to paddle for more than 30 minutes to reach your favorite fishing spot, a kayak equipped with a pedal drive system might be the best option.


You can get very fancy with the seating systems of kayaks designed for fly fishing. Although your technique and experience will determine your choice, novice fly fishermen should be aware of the advantages of a seat that can be adjusted for different conditions. You want a seat that allows you to cast comfortably, but is not too high to make your kayak unstable.

Make sure the seat system can be adjusted to different heights when you are evaluating the kayaks. This will allow you to find the “happy middle” that suits you best. You can also adjust your setup to suit changing conditions or adapting your technique.


You want to ensure that your kayak deck for fly fishing has enough space to hold the items you need, but not too much. Snags can cause problems when fly fishing, especially if you set the hook and reel in the line manually. The best kayaks for fly fishing are generally made with a flat, wide deck that gives you enough space to move about, stand or sit down, and allows you to reel in your catch without being snagged.


When you’re carrying your kayak to the water, weight is most important. You’ll need to find a happy medium here, just like your seating system. An unbalanced kayak will cause it to blow around in the wind and make it difficult to fish at your favorite spot. A kayak that is too heavy will make it difficult to maneuver and could cause you to get hurt before you even set foot on the water.


Your preferred mode of locomotion is the last thing we will mention. A traditional kayak paddle is best for paddling short distances. This traditional kayak with paddles has the advantage of being able to use it for other purposes as well. If you want to maximize your fishing time while keeping your hands free, you should consider a kayak that has a pedal drive locomotion system.



Kayakers can store their gear in hatches, which are dry and convenient. These are particularly important for paddlers who travel in areas with high winds and waves. This can lead to more splashing into your kayak’s cockpit.


Fishing kayaks have only one type of track: the tracks. They attach to the kayak’s interior and run the length of your cockpit (from the front to the back). They are easy to reach when you are sitting in your kayak, and you have plenty of places for fishing gear.


Rod holders allow you to store your fishing rods (rods), while you are kayaking. You can also store additional poles in the rod holders without having to move them.


Although these technologies come in many forms, they all have one purpose: to help you find fish. They use sonar technology to give you a digital view below your vessel.


It’s the place where you will find a comfortable seat, or in the case for kayaks used for fly fishing, a secure position. The cockpit of a kayak is the area where you will spend most of your time. It’s important that you find one that you are comfortable with.


These compartments are built into fishing kayaks and allow you to store various types of bait. These tackle holders are ideal for fly fishing as they can be used to store the various types of flies you use during a session.

How to Choose the Right Fly-Fishing Kayak?

It’s a common question that I hear a lot these days. With kayak fishing becoming more popular and a variety of products on the market, it is understandable. Modern kayaks are available for every type of fishing, water body, and species. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. These kayaks are extremely portable and can be customized with the latest fishing technologies. They also have excellent fishing tools which opens up new possibilities for fly anglers. As the Jackson Kayak Product Manager, I am an expert on kayak fishing. This article will discuss some factors that can help you choose the right kayak for you, including the unique considerations of fly fishermen.

1. Where/What do you like to fish 90% of the time?

Before you decide which kayak is best for you, think about what you will use it for most. This includes the type of water, species, distances you are willing to travel, and how often you plan to fish. Although it may seem like something you would enjoy, the reality is that you will not be able to go to an exotic place to take a self-supported week-long trip on a wild, remote river. You can choose a kayak you would use for the remaining 51 weeks of the year and then let the week unfold.

Saltwater flats fisherman have different needs to freshwater bass fishermen than they do for trout fisherman. Are you going to fish from your kayak or use it for wading? What distance do you have to travel to reach your destination? Are you a fisherman who prefers to fish by yourself or do you have someone to transport your kayak?

A kayak that is designed to fish for lake bass in shallow water and close-up is different from one that is designed for deep-water fishing off-shore. There are many kayaks that are highly specialized. Others are more versatile. It is important to know where and how you intend to use your kayak.

2. What affects performance of a kayak’s physical aspects?

After you have identified the intended use of a kayak, it is possible to start looking at design aspects that can affect its performance. Kayaks come as many sizes and shapes, so we will first consider the overall design elements like length, width and shape of the hull before moving on to details.

The kayak’s length is a measure of its speed. It is generally faster if it is longer than it is shorter. However, length can affect maneuverability. While longer kayaks can be more difficult to turn, shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver. Nimble is great when river fishing is difficult because currents change frequently and turn radius is limited. However, nimble can be dangerous when you need to move in straight lines efficiently and the wind blows you around on a salt flat. Fishing kayaks are typically between ten and fifteen feet in length.

Most cases, width has an effect on speed and stability. A narrower kayak is faster, while a wider kayak is slower. If stability is important for stand-up fishing, a wider kayak will be more stable and a narrower kayak will feel more tipy. You should be able to cast and see clearly from a kayak. The widest models will suit you if you are a large person and have trouble with unstable feet. A fishing kayak that is narrower may be better suited for you if you are small or very athletic. Modern fishing kayaks are between 30 and 35 inches in width.

The third factor is the hull profile, or rocker profile. This can be seen from the side. A hull’s curve from stern to bow is like a banana. It makes it easier to turn. It is easier to keep your course and track straight if it is flatter. Fishing rivers requires maneuverability to navigate through currents and obstacles. However, it will take more skill and effort to keep the boat on course. A flatter, more stable tracking hull will allow you to travel three miles per day through a bay to reach your favorite flat.

3. Sit-On-Top or Sit-Inside?

There are two types of fishing kayaks: Sit-Ontop (SOT), and Sit Inside. Sit-On Tops are basically hollow shells that you can sit on top. Sit-Inside kayaks look more like canoes. They are open on the top and have the seat within the hull.
For various reasons, Sit-Insides are more popular that SOTs. However, each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The perception that SOTs can’t flood is the main reason they are so popular. It depends on the hatch design. However, it is generally true that they can take on water that flows over the sidewalls. SOT’s will be safer if you are dealing with mild rapids or ocean waves. A SOT allows you to stand a bit higher, which increases visibility but decreases stability. These platforms are great for organizing your gear. However, it is easy for gear to slip off if not secured. Small items, such as flies, can also fall through the scupper holes. A Sit-Inside is better if you want to sneak up on spooky fish such as carp and bonefish. Scuppers can create drag and make noise in some water conditions. A Sit-Inside’s scupper-free shell may prove to be more preferable if you fish in areas with lots of fallen logs or push through brush.

Sit-Insides are popular for those who are familiar with canoes and want a safer ride. Sitting in a kayak gives you the feeling of safety and security. Sit-Insides offer great storage and everything can go inside so it won’t get lost. For example, our Kilroy model uses sidewall rod storage tubes that look like drift boats to store extra rigged rods. On a SOT they would be attached to the deck. Sit-Inside hulls are stable because you stand lower.

It’s usually a matter of personal preference. You should try both styles to determine which one is best for you. The Sit-Inside Jackson Kayak Kilroy is my favorite for most of my freshwater and saltwater fly fishing.

4. Which type of seat do I want?

One of the most prominent trends in fishing kayaks over the past decade was the introduction of “lawnchair”-style seating systems. The seats are no longer just made of foam with a plastic backrest. These seats can now be taken apart and used for beach chairs.

Modern fishing kayak seats are made of breathable, comfortable material. They can be used as beach or camp chairs when you’re not on the water.

These seats are designed to assist in standing-up fishing by raising your head above the ground so that it is easier to get up and then sit down. You can imagine standing from a sitting position on the floor rather than from a chair. The former is easier. It is a huge advantage for sight-fishing or casting if you can stand easily.

5. What Deck Features Should I Choose?

This is a huge topic and well worth your time. Fisherman like to have lots of stuff. We all have a paddle and tackle, tools, extra rods, rod holders or cameras, extra clothes, coolers and electronics, as well as other things that we might bring. It is important to have features that organize gear and make it easy to use them efficiently. You, your gear and the fish are all on the line. It’s not a good idea to struggle with your gear when you’re trying to make that crucial cast or to deal with the fish of your lifetime.

Modern fishing kayaks come with track systems that allow you to easily add accessories or customize the boat for specific trips. Fly fishermen will want to keep a lot of accessories in your seat so that they don’t snag the fly line. You should have your tackle within reach of you while you are seated. It shouldn’t require that you twist or lean too much to get to your primary tackle. It is important to have a place where you can quickly and quietly store your paddle, so that you can pick it up when you spot that fin breaking the surface.

Storage areas and hatches can also vary. The hatches on SOTs can be accessed from the bow or stern of the kayak, or both. There may also be a well for dry bags or other items. Access to the kayak’s interior is important if you plan to spend the night camping. Some models come with center hatches that allow rod storage while you paddle out on the waves. You can also store large fish in the kayak with center hatches, which is very useful for off-shore fishermen who might want to keep their catch and eat it.

When fishing with kayaks, fly fishermen should be aware of deck features that could pose a danger to their line. Kayak fly fishermen favor clean standing areas that are free from any obstructions to stripping or casting line.


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