How To Choose The Perfect Inflatable Fishing Kayak
You love fishing which means you love getting to where the fish are. As quickly as you can, and as painlessly as possible. Not all transportation methods are created equal.
You could walk to the lake to get to the fish. Or drive to different access points.
But neither stacks up to the glorious mobility that is the inflatable fishing kayak.
In this post, we’re going to cover:
- Why inflatable fishing kayaks are awesome.
- What questions to ask yourself to help you pick the perfect one
7 Incredible Benefits of Inflatable Kayaks
Mobility is everything. Maybe a traditional kayak is too heavy for you to drag to the bank. Maybe you don’t have a good vehicle to lug a kayak to your favorite fishing hole. Maybe you like to travel, and want to bring your kayak with you.
Whatever the case, you’re on the hunt for an inflatable fishing kayak, so you’re about to get 2 special kinds of mobility:
- Transportation mobility
- Fishing mobility
If you’ve spent any amount of time fishing from the shore, you know precisely how valuable fishing mobility is.
With an inflatable kayak you can fish anywhere you’d like, without limitations. Fold it up and throw it in your carry bag, or store it in your backseat. No need for a 4x4, or a kayak mount, or straps, or even upper body strength. And that’s just a scratch in the tip of the iceberg.
Inflatable fishing kayaks are incredible, for so many reasons:
- You can pack them in a backpack or toss them in the back of the car.
- Take them anywhere: halfway around the world, or on a backpacking trip through the wilderness.
- Inflatable kayaks can venture out into water traditional boats can’t access. They can glide quietly through waters prohibited to motor boats or larger vessels.
- They’re lightweight and only take up a small amount of space. No extra clutter in the garage. No sprained backs.
- No fish-deterring fumes or water pollution.
- Minimal setup time. Ready to go in minutes!
- No need for boat ramps. Inflatables are easy to board.
- And they’re stealthy!
But how do you figure out which inflatable kayak is right for your unique set of needs?
How to Find the Perfect Inflatable Fishing Kayak for You
Just like shoes and clothes, inflatable fishing kayaks aren’t one-size-fits-all!
So how can you find THE ONE? Try asking yourself these questions:
- Do you like to fish in small, sheltered bodies of water? (i.e. ponds, lakes) If so, you won’t need a whitewater kayak (those are made for rougher waves), and you can get away with some of the more affordable models if you need to.
- Is fishing in the ocean your thing? (Or somewhere else with wind and waves?) You’ll want a kayak that’s built tough for rough waters.
- Love fishing by your lonesome? A single person kayak will do just fine. Alternatively, you can take a smaller two-person kayak out by yourself.
- Want to bring a friend or partner along? Try a kayak built for two. They have more space and a higher weight limit.
- Do you fish with one rod or two? If you prefer to use two rods at once, you’ll need a boat with two rod holders.
- Want to stay out on the water longer? Try a rugged, beefed up vessel that will help you catch more fish and better fish.
- Are you paddling through clear water? Or maneuvering through thick grass? The thick grass may hide all the bass, so you’ll want a kayak that can go almost anywhere.
- Got back pain? Try an inflatable kayak with an adjustable seat. Kayaks with swivel seats eliminate the need for uncomfortable back-twisting movements.
- Are you looking for stealth or speed? Glide quietly across the water as you row your kayak or pick an option that features an electric motor so you can reach your favorite fishing spot quicker.
- Love extra features in your fishing kayak? Try one with tricked-out accessories and extras like removable flooring, ample storage space, adjustable foot rests, spray skirts, and built-in fish rulers.
The 7 Types of Inflatable Fishing Kayaks & Which One Is Best For You
There are 7 main types of fishing kayaks: swivel seat, standard seat, stand-up, quick row, whitewater, motor powered, and 2-person kayaks.
Feel free to “fish around” these categories and find out which inflatable fishing kayak best suits your needs!
1. Swivel Seat Kayak
Ideal for those days when the fish are hitting non-stop, you can easily twist from one side of the boat to the other with ease, in a swivel chair. With ultimate comfort in mind, you won’t have to deal with those annoying back cramps by the end of the day. All you have to worry about is catching more fish and enjoying your day on the lake.
Love to fish in both rapid rivers and languid lakes? Instantly turn the whitewater-tough Sea Eagle 300X into a comfortable sit on top fishing kayak with this swivel seat kit. This easy-to-mount set adds versatility to your Sea Eagle 300X and allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
2. Standard Seating Kayaks
With a standard seat, you can enjoy an all-around comfortable ride. These inflatable kayaks are great for almost any kind of kayaking, and ideal for fast-moving waters. Since the paddler’s lower body is encased inside the cockpit, these kayaks often make for a drier ride. Our standard seat kayaks should meet all of your most basic needs.
The Sea Eagle Elite is loaded with extra storage space for camping trips or long excursions. It seats two people comfortably, and handles both whitewater and flat water with ease.
At just 7 lbs 6 oz, this ultra-light packraft is ideal for recreational fishing. The extended over-sized stern and upturned bow let you paddle through any type of water.
Got a need for speed? Weighing just 10 lbs, the Aqua Xtreme Edge Inflatable Kayak is as swift as a marlin and as thick-skinned as a whale shark. Captain it on whitewater, rivers, lakes and seas for an exhilarating adventure.
3. Quick Row Kayaks
Much like row boats, quick row kayaks have two oars. So instead of swinging a double-sided paddle from one side to the other, you’ll have an oar fixed on each side. This will allow you to row simultaneously from both sides at the same time so you can enjoy extra speed, and reach your favorite fishing spot much quicker.
This vessel can do it all--whitewater, flat water, even down-wind sailing. Two 8' AB40 paddles allow for rowing, and the ultra-high seat provides excellent back support. Want to go solo on some adventures, and bring a friend on others? The Sea Eagle 380X is spacious enough for two, but small enough for one.
Sail to speeds of up to 7 knots in this adaptable inflatable kayak. Built for limitless adventure, it’s ideal for rowing, fishing and whitewater adventures.
4. Stand-up Kayaks
These boats are sturdy and stable enough to stand up in. While standing up, you can cast your line farther away without worrying about a fall, and read the water from a better vantage point. They’re also nice for those long days on the water, when your legs could use a good stretch.
Swift and agile, the Innova Halibut will take you to the remotest waters where the best catch hides. Designed for extra stability, it boasts a solid floor for stand-up fishing, plus a high-standing adjustable seat. The detachable track fin makes navigating lakes and slow-moving waters a breeze.
Packrafts are becoming increasingly popular so we thought we'd include one as a great stand up fishing option! The sturdy 1-person PackFish is the perfect portable fishing vessel. Pack it in a backpack for hiking trips, and set it up in 5 minutes flat. Built specifically for fishing, this “grab & go” boat features sturdy stand-up flooring and a comfortable high-back seat.
5. Whitewater Kayaks
Designed to handle rapids and waves, whitewater kayaks can take on the roughest conditions. When you’re in the thick of the action, you’re going to want a vessel built for the task. Think of these kayaks as agile tanks — durability isn’t going to be an issue. Whitewater kayaks are perfect for adventures down raging rivers to those secluded fishing spots only the bravest anglers enjoy.
Featuring an extended over-sized stern and upturned bow, the Aqua Xtreme Beta is ready to roll with the rapids. Another standout feature is it's incredibly low weight. Coming in at only 5lbs 11oz, you’ll have no problem packing this one in your luggage.
The Aqua Marina Betta VT K2 was made for rough conditions, in fact it’s a great option for fishing in the ocean. With extra durable PVC material and Anti-UV and seawater fabric, you’ll be able to explore further without worrying about your boat.
6. Motor-powered Kayaks
These kayaks have specialized built-in motors that can give you extra thrust, or a complete break from paddling. Feeling the other side of the lake? No problem. These motor-powered kayaks can quickly get you to your fishing grounds of choice.
This one’s for all you avid fisherman out there. The Sea Eagle Fishing Explorer is brimming with extra features, and it’s built with crocodile-tough materials to last a lifetime. With extras like non-slip removable flooring, spray skirts, adjustable foot rests, and ample storage space, this isn’t a fishing kayak-- it’s a fishing machine.
An inflatable boat that doesn’t require a trailer, ramp, or maintenance? The Sea Eagle FishSkiff™16 is one of the most exciting options out there. Accompanied with the Honda 6 hp outboard you can travel as fast as 17mph. This inflatable boat has a ton of extra options as well; add a second swivel seat, or attach a sun/rain canopy to make your fishing trip that much more enjoyable.
7. 2-person Kayaks
Don’t want to spend long hours fishing alone? Choose a 2-person kayak, and bring your buddy! Perfect for a weekend away, you can take advantage of the extra trunk space, and inflate one boat instead of two. Enjoy added space and companionship, as you glide down the river with your favorite fishing pole in hand.
With agility and tracking in mind, the Sea Eagle 330 was designed to glide. With two rear skegs (basically fins) much like a surfing board, you’ll go further with less effort.
Float along a lazy river or race down the rapids in this well-rounded sport kayak. It’s a sit-inside kayak for two, designed for speed and durability.
The BEST Inflatable Fishing Kayak
So, what’s the best inflatable fishing kayak on the market?
As you can see, it depends entirely on you. The best kayak is the one that fits your needs, and makes your fishing trips as smooth, simple and enjoyable as possible.
Luckily for you, we carry a wide variety of kayaks to suit all ages and skill levels.