There are many brands, models and types of fishing kayaks, from 9ft. single person fishing kayaks to 17ft tandem kayaks that will keep you out all day. Knowing the size, weight and stability of these before you get on the water is useful for both fishing success and comfort. However it is essential for safety to know how these features will impact your time on the water
This article will explore some examples of Fishing kayaks and what the weight, load, length and width are and how these impact stability, travelling fishing and more.
The average fishing kayak is around 11ft in length and between 30 and 40 inches wide and can weigh from 25lb to over 100lbs. Fishing kayaks can range from 8.5ft up to 17ft for two-person tandem designs. Longer kayaks are built to be faster through water, and shorter to be more maneuverable and stable.
About 10 years ago this would have been a much shorter article. Then, if we wanted to go fishing from a kayak, it was basically going to be a canoe or a rod strapped to the side of a traditional kayak. ten years on and these fishing kayaks are everywhere is a huge, and we mean HUGE, range of both established and new to the market brands.
There are a tremendous amount of variables on size, style and use of fishing kayak. SO much choice that, judging form the number of questions in Facebook groups and forums, it gets to be quite confusing for those new to kayak fishing. This article will offer some examples of the size and how big fishing kayaks can be. We simply can not do them all as there are hundreds out there now.
However we will take some of the more traditional brands, and the new ones and give you some ideas.
Does Fishing Kayak Size matter?
Using the correct sized fishing kayak for your purposes is important. By size we mean more than length. Length will help you cut through water, store more fishing tackle in the kayak but other dimensions like width, weight and capacity are equally as important and come with some safety considerations as well.
So while we can not cover every fishing kayak on the market, we can cover why each of these numbers matter. So keep reading after the example table to see which is more important to your style of fishing.
Fishing Kayak Size: Length, Weight, Capacity and Width Comparison Table.
In the table below we offer examples of Fishing Kayaks with length, weight, width and capacity as well as an Amazon link to check the price. ( if it is on Amazon) or a another link so you can check out the details if its not.
|Fishing Kayak Model||Length||Weight||Width||Capacity (people |
|Intex Excursion Pro Kayak||10ft||25lbs||1 person or 190-220lbs||Check Price|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak||10.5ft.||34lbs||2 people or 450 lbs||Check Price|
|Hobie Mirage Pro Angler||13.5ft.||120lbs||38 inches||1 person – 600lbs||Check Price|
|Hobie Mirage Oasis 2 Person||14.5ft.||96lbs||33 Inches||2 people or 550 lbs||Check Price|
|BKC Pk13 Pedal Drive||13ft||80lbs||33.25 Inches||1 person or 550lbs||Check Price|
|BKC Pk11 Kayak||10.5Ft.||60 lbs||34 Inches||1 person or 420lbs||Check Price|
|Perception Pescador Pro 10||10.ft.||57lbs||32||1 person or 325 lbs||Check Price|
|Perception Outlaw 11.5||11.5ft.||77lbs||35 Inches||1 person or 425 lbs||Check price|
|Riot Kayaks Escape 12||12ft.||72lbs||30 inches||1 People or 350lbs||Check price|
|BKC Pk14 Trolling Motor||14ft.||103lbs||2 people or 670lbs||Check price|
Why Is The Length Of A Fishing Kayak Important?
The longer a fishing kayak is the better it cuts through water, it also offers more storage space if you are planning to overnight or to have extended time on the water. However the longer they are the more material and there for the more weight they will be.
If you are launching these on your own, or have to portage around weirs or other obstacles this is something to consider. These are better and more efficient to paddle if you are going on long journeys
The shorter the fishing kayak the more maneuverable it will be which for short creeks or tight rivers might be useful. However it will be slower through the water than longer models. I have, stupidly, taken rodeo paddle boats on 20 K river trips instead of longer boats and at the end of the day my arms were jelly.
If you are having to paddle any sort of distance and are not that experienced I would not suggest a shorter boat.
They do have benefits on being lighter and easier to move for one person and if there is a little extra width to them they will offer some increase in stability as well.
Why is the Weight of Fishing Kayaks Important?
The weight of a fishing kayak affects the boat in two ways, on shore and on water. On shore the heaver a fishing kayak is the more difficult to transport and lift. This may be onto the roof of your car, or even from your car to the water. Although it is possible to get kayak trolleys to help with this.
On water it will sit deeper in the water, especially with you in it, and this makes it less easy to turn and move. However lightweight materials often add to the price of the kayak.
A more lightweight kayak is easier to carry, easier to load onto your car (especially by yourself) and easier to get up to speed. A lighter boat also allows you to carry more gear because less of the weight capacity is taken up by the weight of the boat itself. The tradeoff is that lightweight materials can make a kayak cost significantly more.
Lets take a look at the materials that fishing kayaks are constructed of:
- Composites: Not really a fishing Kayak material, although other kayak can be made of this. They are not as robust as plastic kayaks and are used more for racing or slalom racing kayaks.
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic: These are lighter and while still durable they do do come with a little UV protection although keeping them under cover is a better option. These tend to be a little higher priced than polyethylene models.
- Polyethylene Plastic This is what most kayaks including fishing kayaks are made of. It is inexpensive and durable, if you keep it out of the sun as much as possible) however is is the heaviest option. The medium and low priced kayaks will all be made of this.
What Difference Does Width Make In Fishing Kayaks?
The width of a fishing kayak affects the speed that it can travel through water, and its stability and center of gravity. Hopefully you are not planning on entering any races in your kayak, and if you are be prepared not to be get a trophy anytime soon. Width is a fishing kayak will affect the stability and your ability to stand and fish.
The wider the kayak is the more stable it will be. Fishing can be a vigorous activity and the wider the kayak is the more movement is possible, with more aggressive casts. The trade off is they are no where near as robust as the plastic models and more likely to crack or hole while in use.
Is Capacity Important In Fishing Kayaks?
For a fishing kayak capacity is dependent on what the use case is. If you are planning on day trips to your local lake then a smaller capacity kayak will suffice. If you are planning multi day expeditions then you will need more.
The average capacity for a fishing kayak is around 250 for a single and 500 for a double seated fishing kayak. This includes the weight of the paddler.
If you are a larger paddler this may pose a problem if you are taking gear with you, or if you are close to maxing this weight limit out. Not only for lack of space for the gear but adding weight beyond its limits will make the kayak sit lower in the water and become more unstable. This will affect safety. We are in the process of writing articles for larger paddlers and will link when they are completed.
Fishing Kayak size can vary tremendously and is very much related to how you plan on using it and your skill level. However, in our opinion larger to medium kayaks will cover more options than smaller ones. So unless you are just going to use it on your local small lakes to get to the middle or those inaccessible areas take a look at those rather than the smaller ones.