If you want a way to fish just about anywhere, even somewhere you could not venture in a motorboat, it is hard to beat a kayak. Not only that, but kayaks are lightweight, quiet, and can hold a surprising amount of gear.
In this guide, we are going to help you shop for a lightweight fishing kayak that is right for you. We will share tips for what to look for in a fishing kayak, and will also introduce you to some of the top products you can consider.
Our Top Recommendations for Lightweight Fishing Kayaks
In the list below, you can compare the fishing kayaks we recommend.
Want to find out more about these products? You can view full details, pros, and cons below. If you scroll past the product recommendations, you also can find out more about key considerations when choosing a lightweight fishing kayak.
1. Best Lightweight Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak is our top recommendation in the inflatable category and our top suggested kayak overall. It is a high-quality boat featuring sturdy materials and a sit-inside design. It comes outfitted with adjustable mounting brackets for accessories (which you may remove if you prefer). With a ton of storage space, a 400-pound weight capacity, and high-quality 86-inch aluminum oars and accessories, it is an ideal choice for any budget or skill level.
- This rugged inflatable kayak is made from laminate PVC with a polyester core. It can stand up to impacts and abrasion, making it the durable boat you need for any environment. Oil, gasoline, and saltwater will not damage your kayak.
- Your purchase includes 2 floor-mounted footrests, 2 removable skews, 2 adjustable bucket seats, and 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders.
- The bow features storage space, and there are stainless steel D-rings you can use to tie down more gear.
- The bright orange color of the boat is great for safety, as it keeps you readily visible to others.
- Setting up this kayak is fast and easy. This, together with the low price point, makes it an economic and straightforward choice that is great for beginners looking to get started with kayak fishing. At the same time, it is an affordable and dependable option for advanced fishers as well.
- A few buyers have reported potential problems with the seams, but the majority of these kayaks do not seem to suffer from this flaw.
2. Best Lightweight Foot-Operated Fishing Kayak
BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak
In the market for a quality fishing kayak that features a pedal drive system? The BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak is the heaviest option on our list, but it is high in quality and worthy of your consideration. It is not an inflatable model; it is made from a single piece of high-density polyethylene for excellent durability and impact resistance. It weighs 80 pounds and has a 550 pound capacity. What we love most about it is how stable it is and the excellent control it offers.
- Those looking for something a little more maneuverable and puncture-proof than an inflatable kayak will love the rigid design of this product. Moreover, no setup is required, unlike with an inflatable model.
- It is common for rigid kayaks to be narrow, but this one features a wide, flat base. That way, it will be more stable than many competing products.
- The pedal system is easy and comfortable to operate, and allows you to rapidly stop your boat or go in reverse. You also can upgrade it with a customized trolling motor.
- There is a watertight compartment in the front you can use to stow your gear, and bungees built in at the back for additional storage.
- Flush-mounted rod holders are built right in.
- We would prefer that this kayak be about 20 pounds lighter.
- This is the most expensive kayak we recommend, so it is a premium option that may be outside of some kayakers’ budgets.
3. Best Lightweight Fishing Kayak for Comfort
Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak
If comfort is one of your top priorities when shopping for a fishing kayak, we recommend that you check out the Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak. The seats are premium quality, adjustable, and EVA-padded. We notice they are also a bit larger than the seats on some competing products. So, they can offer the extra support you need to fish comfortably with minimal fatigue for many hours on end.
- It only takes minutes to inflate this kayak, and doing so is easy.
- The 18-Gauge rip resistant 1000D PVC used to make this inflatable kayak is strong and can take a lot of wear and tear without puncturing. If something does go wrong, repairing the kayak is simple thanks to the three removable air chambers.
- Your purchase includes 2 adjustable seats, double-sided oars, 2 vertical rod holders, 4 trolling rod holders, a double-action pump, and a convenient bag for carrying your deflated kayak.
- You can sit or stand in this kayak to fish, and you should find the seats immensely comfortable.
- This ultralight kayak weighs only 27 pounds, but has a 450-pound weight capacity.
- While the included rod holders are convenient, they are placed a little awkwardly for rowing.
- After you deflate this kayak, it can be a little challenging to put it into the bag again for transport home.
4. Best Lightweight Fishing Kayak for Storage
Perception Pescador 10 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Front Storage Well
While there are a lot of great choices out there with respect to storage space, our top recommendation if you want to load up on gear is the Perception Pescador 10 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Front Storage Well. This product has a 325-pound weight capacity, and features a front hatch that is easy to open with a lid you can latch for security as you paddle. In the rear of the vessel, you will find an additional tank well providing you with even more room for your supplies. With its ventilated seat and drink holder, it is also our top recommendation for kayaking in hot weather.
- The seat features padding for support that is well-ventilated enough that you can continue to sit comfortably even on hot days.
- The design and manufacture of this kayak were handled in the US.
- This product features a drink holder, perfect for helping you stay hydrated on the water.
- You can drag this kayak behind you as you walk thanks to the replaceable skid plate. That can make it much easier to get it from point A to point B.
- The kayak features an attractive color/pattern, making it pleasing to the eye.
- Some boats feature a dry storage area in the middle, but this one does not. If that is something you are looking for, another kayak may be a better option.
5. Best Sit-on-Top Lightweight Fishing Kayak
Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass 13ft Single Fishing Kayak
One of our top recommendations in the sit-on-top category is the Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass 13ft Single Fishing Kayak. What we like about this vessel is not only its materials and design, but also how well it handles overall. It also has an attractive design from a visual standpoint.
- This boat features excellent stability, especially after you put your gear inside.
- There is a lot of storage up front, and the hatch locks with a sturdy hinge. You will also find a lot of storage in the rear.
- The 5mm polyethylene is rugged and ready to take what nature can throw at it.
- There is a solid 12-month warranty on parts and a lifetime warranty on the hull.
- This vessel tracks well, and you should be able to stay on course easily even if there are gusts.
- This kayak is a bit on the expensive side. That being said, it is still a good value for the quality you are getting.
- Sometimes there is damage during shipping with this product, though thankfully this is not typically the case.
6. Best Lightweight Fishing Kayak for Standing
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
If you want to stand in a kayak, we suggest considering the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak. This vessel does include a comfortable seat, but it is easy to stand on the drop-stitch floor to cast as well. You will be impressed with the kayak’s stability. With its versatile, convenient design, it is a solid mind-range purchase.
- Water won’t accumulate inside this kayak, thanks to the ports that drain whatever splashes inside.
- The 1000D Reinforced Layered PVC won’t puncture easily, even if you impact rocks.
- This vessel comes with a front bungee storage area as well as universal hard mounting points. Just keep in mind there isn’t much in the way of included accessories, so you may need to purchase some extra supplies.
- Elkton offers excellent customer service. It is unlikely that anything will go wrong with your kayak, but in case there are any issues, you should find that the team goes above and beyond to help you out.
- Occasionally, one of these kayaks will arrive with damage. It seems that they are not packed as well as they could be.
7. Best Lightweight Budget Fishing Kayak
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
If you are in search of a budget option for a fishing kayak, we do recommend considering our top inflatable model, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak. But a good alternative worth considering as well is the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak, which sells in roughly the dame price range.
- Although there are some complaints about durability from some buyers, the majority report that this is a rugged kayak that can withstand a lot of abuse from obstacles. It features a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and a 840D nylon cover.
- The design includes more than one air chamber. This helps prevent capsizing if a rock punctures one of them, and may also facilitate repair work.
- Both rod and paddle holders are included. You can adjust the Berkeley Quick Set Rod Holders.
- This is among the most lightweight kayaks on our list. Moreover, it is very portable, so bringing to and from the water should be easy in the carrying case.
- The placement of the rod holders is such that you might sometimes hit them as you are paddling.
- Sometimes this kayak can be damaged from light use. So long as you are within warranty, you can expect great support, but outside of warranty, it can be a problem.
Considerations for Choosing a Lightweight Fishing Kayak
Now that you have had a chance to check out some of the top fishing kayaks available and explore their pros and cons, let’s go over some key considerations to help you choose the product that will be right for you.
1. Weight, capacity, and size.
You will need to put some thought into the weight and dimensions you want for your fishing kayak. Longer boats are faster, but wider ones are more stable. The less your kayak weighs, the easier it will be to haul to and from the shore.
Also pay attention to the weight capacity for the different vessels you are contemplating. The kayak you are purchasing needs to be able to support you and all of your gear.
The weight of a fishing kayak is only one aspect of its portability. You also will want to consider how compact the design is, and whether you can deflate it for easy carrying (see below).
There are two main types of fishing kayaks:
The main reasons to consider the rigid type of kayak are 1-no punctures are possible, and 2-some kayakers feel they are more maneuverable, and 3-you do not have to inflate or deflate them. But inflatable models are far more portable, and many kayakers find them a lot more convenient overall. Additionally, they tend to be more cost-effective.
4. Ease of setup.
If you want to skip the hassle of inflating your kayak every time you want to head out on the water, a rigid model may be the way to go.
Otherwise, just shop for an inflatable model that doesn’t take a lot of effort to get ready.
5. Storage space.
What kinds of gear do you plan to stow aboard your kayak? Do you want most of your storage located in the front or rear? Do you need storage in the middle of the vessel? Do you prefer to secure most of your gear with bungee cords, or would you rather stow it inside a hatch you can latch?
Answering these questions can help you choose a kayak that offers the storage capacity you need as well as the configuration that will be most convenient and accessible for your supplies.
Will you be kayaking by yourself, or with somebody else? Choose a model that includes one or two seats as needed. If you think you will be standing up while fishing, you also should pick a boat that has the stability and floor space to make that an option.
The quality of seats and the materials they are made of also are important considerations, especially if you need extra padding to stay comfortable during a long day fishing.
7. Accessories and mounting brackets.
You may or may not already have some of the accessories you need for fishing on a kayak. If you do not have a lot of accessories, it can save you time and money to purchase a vessel that includes them.
Either way, the vessel you choose should have adequate mounting brackets to secure the accessories that come with it or which you will be providing.
Tough materials like laminate PVC resist rips and reduce the chances of punctures, allowing you to navigate your vessel among rocks and logs safely.
9. Stability, maneuverability, and handling.
Finally, consider how the vessel handles. Does it track well, even in breezy conditions? Is it stable, or prone to tilting? Can you maneuver it even in tight spots?
Think about the conditions you will be using the boat in. Will there be strong currents? Gusts of wind?
Also, how do you want to power and steer your kayak? Do you plan to use oars, or would you rather use your feet?
A vessel that is ideal for fishing in an inland stream will not be the same as one that is ideal for fishing in coastal waters. So, think carefully about your plans and environment first, and then you will know what features and qualities to prioritize in a kayak.
Get the Lightweight Fishing Kayak You Need to Fish in Any Waters
Now you know what features and considerations are important when you are picking out a lightweight fishing kayak. You also have our recommendations for inflatable and rigid products. If you are ready to start fishing in a comfortable, stable, maneuverable vessel today, click on any of the links in this article to get the lightweight fishing kayak that is right for you.