You might think an inflatable kayak isn’t suitable for fishing, but they are purpose-built and have become extremely popular due to their fantastic durability and portability. A lot of experienced kayak anglers have even come to prefer an inflatable kayak for fishing.
In this guide, we’re going to go over some of the main points on inflatable kayaks. We’ll look firstly at why they make a great type of kayak for fishing, as well as the main points that you should consider and look for before committing to buying on. The information in this guide will be tailored to inflatable fishing kayaks – we also have a guide on inflatable kayaks, too.
Why Is An Inflatable Kayak Great For Fishing?
Well, arguably the main advantage of an inflatable kayak for fishing is the same as the main advantage of an inflatable kayak that’s being used for anything. They are extremely lightweight, portable, and easy to take to any location.
Traditional hard shell kayaks are certainly not easily portable, nor are they easy to store. They require something like a roof rack or a trailer to transport, and must have a good amount of space to be stored too. Not only is moving one around harder in terms of space, they also have to be properly secured to your vehicle which can be a stressful process in itself. An inflatable kayak eliminates absolutely every one of these potential issues.
An inflatable kayak will fit easily into the back of your vehicle and will come with a bag that can be used to carry it anywhere with absolute ease. They are very lightweight, and very easy to pack away into a large backpack or similar. They allow you to have a mode of transport on the water wherever you happen to be!
Whilst there are undoubtedly advantages to hard shell kayaks if you can manage to put up with the disadvantages, a lot of anglers prefer an inflatable kayak for fishing. Hardshell kayaks could possibly last longer than their inflatable counterparts, but inflatable kayaks will have a very long life too assuming they are properly maintained. In addition to this, a lot of people worry about puncturing an inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks that are made today are constructed from very heavy-duty, durable PVC and tarpaulin. They are designed to be put through their paces, and are very difficult to puncture indeed.
If you are an extremely regular angler that would like a permanent setup to be used all of the time, you may well be more suited to a hard shell kayak. However, inflatable kayaks are extremely durable too and are more than enough for the vast majority of anglers that are looking to get out onto the water in a kayak.
What To Think About Before Buying An Inflatable Kayak For Fishing
The Weight Capacity of The Kayak
How much weight that kayak you’re looking at buying can actually take is a very important factor to consider. Varying models of inflatable fishing kayaks will obviously hold different amounts of weight. A generally good rule of thumb is to add up the weight of you and another person (if applicable), the weight of your equipment, and to add another quarter or so onto this weight. This will ensure that, should you be bringing anything extra onto the kayak, there will be the weight capacity remaining to allow you to safely do so.
It’s also important to remember that it’s going to require a fair amount more effort to paddle your boat around the water if it’s at full capacity compared to half, for example.
Number of Air Chambers
No one wants to sink when they’re on board their inflatable kayak. Whilst a puncture isn’t an easy thing to get on an inflatable kayak today given that they’re so well made, it still is not impossible. To be sure that you don’t sink should your kayak suffer a puncture, you should be sure to look for a boat that is not made of one or two air chambers, but one that has many.
A boat that is constructed from many different air chambers has a far better chance of staying afloat in the event of a puncture as opposed to one that is made up of one or two. For example, if you were in a boat that was constructed from one air chamber and it was to become punctured, you’d find yourself submerged pretty quickly since there’s nothing to keep you afloat. If you were on a boat with 4 air chambers, on the other hand, you’d have a far better chance of staying afloat since only one would be deflated.
Regardless of the number of air chambers, it’s important to ensure that you have a good life jacket on whenever you are out on the water.
Your Main Use For The Kayak In Terms Of Fishing
Another point to consider is whether or not you’re actually going to be fishing from the kayak itself, or merely using it to get to somewhere to fish.
If you’re looking to use the kayak to get to a fishing location, then you’re not going to require the kayak to be all that kitted out. As long as it does the job and gets you to where you want to be safely, then it’s sufficient.
If however, you are looking to fish from the inflatable kayak, you’ll want to look for one that is designed exactly for this. You should ensure that your kayak is stable and that it has some good places for wet and dry storage. You’ll also want to make sure that the boat is fitted with mounts and rod holders so that you can have more than one line out at any one time.
You should be sure that the inflatable fishing kayak that you’re looking at is durable – no matter how many air chambers your boat is made from, you certainly don’t want a punctured boat. Getting a durable boat is the best way to ensure this.
Make sure that the boat you buy is made from a heavy-duty and hard-wearing PVC or tarpaulin. The thicker the material, the better. The vast majority of inflatable fishing kayaks on the market today have been rigorously tried and tested to ensure that they are as puncture-resistant as necessary, but you should still be sure that you’re buying a boat that’s durable and that is constructed from high-quality material.
The Best Inflatable Kayaks For Fishing
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The Sea Eagle 330 is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks that are available on the market. It’s extremely roomy and has two seats as well as a good amount of options for storing your fishing equipment.
Even though the Sea Eagle 330 is very low in weight at 26 pounds, it’s extremely tough and can withstand a massive 500 pounds of load weight. It’s constructed from an extremely durable PVC/tarpaulin which is designed to be as resistant to punctures as possible.
The Sea Eagle 330 is an all-round great kayak to use. It’s easy to take out and pack away and is very easy to inflate and get it into use quickly.
The 330 can be used in fast moving waters (up to whitewater), and is extremely rigid for an inflatable kayak. At just over 11 feet in length and 34 inches in width, it’s a very stable boat too.
- Lightweight at only 26 pounds
- Can carry up to 500 pounds of load
- Well kitted-out with everything that you need to get started – paddles, pump for inflation and a carrying bag
Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The Intex Explorer K2 is a very aesthetically pleasing kayak indeed. Being an inflatable fishing kayak, it’s a very lightweight boat at only 32 pounds. It’s very easy to store and transport, being able to fit easily into the trunk of your car and the cupboard of your home.
The K2 from Intex is designed for use in slightly calmer waters. Although, it’s still very well kitted-out with features that will make it usable in slightly rougher waters too. It’s got a skeg and is provided with a lightweight paddle for each rider. As well as these, it comes with a hand pump that makes inflating the boat extremely easy and quick.
The seats in the K2 are inflatable and very comfortable. Even though the K2 is inflatable, it’s very sturdy being built with I-beam flooring.
- Comfortable and adjustable inflatable seats
- Stable – even though the K2 is an inflatable kayak, it’s got an i-bean built in which makes it both stable and rigid
- Best for smaller, calmer waters
- Well-made and very resistant to puncturing
- 2 air chambers – the entire boat won’t become deflated in the event that a puncture happens
Airhead Montana Tandem
The Airhead Montana is 12 feet long, meaning it’s almost the length of a regular touring kayak. It’s a tandem kayak with two seats, making for a boat that’s spacious in terms of both comfort and storage.
There’s plenty of storage at both the top and bottom of the boat, secured by bungee cords. As well as having great storage, the boat is very versatile in terms of the water that it’s good for use on too. At 12 feet long, and being relatively wide and extremely durable, it’s excellent for use on calmer and slightly rougher waters too. Whilst it’s not recommendable to use a kayak at night if this one were to be used in the dark, it’s would be highly visible in its bright orange coloring.
The Montana tandem is made up of three individual air chambers too, meaning that if one were to be punctured, the majority of the boat would still be held up above the water by the other two.
- 12 feet in length – at this length, the Montana Tandem is similar in length to a touring kayak. It’s very easy to move at a good speed across the water in this boat
- Tandem kayak
- Can be used in rougher white-water as well as calmer waters
- Bright colored orange – this boat is very visible in the water, and very safe
- Very lightweight at only 36 pounds
- Multiple air chambers – the Montana Tandem is made up of 3 air chambers. If one were to deflate, the boat would not sink
- High weight capacity of 500 pounds
Sevylor Quikpak K1
The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is a very well-known inflatable fishing kayak indeed. It’s a one-person inflatable boat, that’s compact and very functional indeed. It’s very quick to take out of the bag and get onto the water. In addition to this, it’s unbelievably easy to carry around given that it turns into a backpack and also a seat!
The Quikpak K1 is very durable and resistant to puncture, being composed of high-gauge PV that will keep you free of water invasion.
In the unlikely event that the K1 were to suffer from a puncture, the multiple air chambers will mean that the boat will still stay afloat and that you can get you and your equipment back to dry land without sinking.
The Quikpak K1 makes good use of double-locking valves that make inflation and deflation of the boat that very quick and very easy.
- Very fast setup time – the Quikpak K1 can be set up in only 5 minutes’ time. Getting onto the water is extremely quick and easy
- Highly Portable – the K1 turns into both a backpack and a seat when not in use. It’s extremely lightweight at 18 pounds too.
- Durable and Tough – the Quikpak K1 is made from 21-gauage PVC. It’s very resistant to puncture, as well as being lightweight and highly durable
- Multiple Footrests – since the K1 has a number of different foot-rest positions, it’s very easy to get comfortable inside the boat