5 Best Fly Fishing Kayak: Buying Guide And Reviews

best fly fishing kayak

I have been telling people that kayaks are the best watercraft for fly fishing; I know it from my experience. Though fishing kayaks offer excellent assistance in the water, things about fly fishing are quite different. I discovered it after owning a couple of fishing kayaks.

Fly fishing is exciting but tricky. There are loads of techniques and ploys you have to apply. And most of the regular fishing kayak can’t fulfill those unique requirements. That’s why you need the best fly fishing kayak to get the full thrill of fly fishing.

If you want to feel the thrill that I do, let me give you all the juicy details on my favorite fly fishing kayaks. Here is my list of top 5 kayaks that will give you the ultimate pleasure of fly fishing.

The 5 best fly fishing kayak for you:

Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak with paddles

A. Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak with paddles

4.4/5

Though this versatile kayak is labeled as a tandem kayak, you can also go for solo kayaking. It is one of my most favorite kayak for fly fishing and let me explain the reasons.

It is a sit-on-top fishing kayak with a tunnel hull design. It allows you to sit side-saddle and stand up without the chance of falling into the water. Moreover, it has an excellent weight capacity of 500 lbs, which is great for a fishing kayak.

This tandem kayak is 36 inches wide and this immensely wider body of this kayak allows achieving the utmost stability, much needed for fly fishing.

This kayak comes with a six feet storage space and three mounted fishing rod holders. You also get ditty trays and short cord to keep your loose cargo secure in the kayak. Additionally, it has excellent comfortable seats with an adjustable footrest to give you the ease you need while fishing.

It is an efficient fishing kayak constructed with high-quality polyethylene. This kayak is extremely durable and one of the best fishing kayak under $1000.

Pros

Cons

Perception Pescador Pro 12

B. Perception Pescador Pro 12

5/5

With robust polyethylene construction and adjustable seats, this fishing kayak is one of the most efficient fly fishing.  This kayak is exceptionally steady and comes with leak-proof construction.

This kayak has got built-in buoyancy for extra safety.  You can take this versatile kayak for fishing in lakes, coastal waters and rivers. Additionally, this kayak comes with huge front and rear storage and bungee rope to tie your loose cargo.

It has a comfortable mesh-covered sit that you can adjust according to your preference. Moreover, it allows you to do forward and backward adjustments that help you to paddle with ease.

The one-piece roto-molded construction of this kayak can resist collisions, scrapes, damage, and UV-rays.  The breathable mesh cover of the seats allows airflow and so the seat remains cool even in the hottest temperature.

The seat adjustment comes with two height options.  Additionally, these lawn style chairs are removable, so you can also use them when you are not in the water! 

With the length of 10 feet and 32 inches wide, it has an excellent weight capacity of 325 lbs.  This fishing kayak offers the highest stably that you need for fly fishing, and the shorter length allows maneuvering this kayak comfortably in any water. Users say that it is one of the best offshore kayak options in the market.

Pros

Cons

Wilderness System ATAK 120

C. Wilderness System ATAK 120

5/5

The wilderness system ATAK 120 is an advanced level tactical fishing kayak and one of the most customizable fishing kayaks.  It comes with accessory mourning tracks in the rear, middle and in the front.

You can install fish finder, specific rod holders for fly fishing, or whatever you want. It has a stand-on deck that allows you to fly fish in a standing position without the fear of falling.  Moreover, it has a stand-up assist strap that makes your experience much more relaxed. 

This kayak has comfortable adjustable seats and enough space to rest your feet even if you have long ones! It also has scrappers for electronic devices, which makes your trip more delightful.

With a width of 35 inches and 400lbs weight capacity, it was one of the best kayaks that you can have for fly fishing. 

Pros

Cons

Sevylor Coleman Colorado fishing kayak

D. Sevylor Coleman Colorado fishing kayak

5/5

It is a two-person inflatable fishing kayak and has a robust construction of 18-gauge PVC.  It comes with a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover that ensures the highest protection from punctures and any other damage. 

This kayak has multiple air chambers and comes with an airtight system to secure the kayaks from any leak. It has an easy inflate and deflation process and offers you the satisfaction of extreme portability.

Like any other inflatable kayak, this one is also very light-weight yet has an outstanding loading capacity of 470 lbs. It comes with perfectly placed paddle holders and adjustable seats with plenty of room for your legs to rest. 

One of the most amazing things about this kayak is its trolling motor, which you can use to drive your kayak if you get tired of paddling.

With its sturdy and stable construction and excellent fishing features, it is one of the best inflatable kayak for fly fishing.

Pros

Cons

Perception Pescador Pilot 12

E. Perception Pescador Pilot 12

5/5

The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is a pedal-driven kayak that can be recessed into hull for zero drafts.  It comes with a breathable mesh seat and built-in buoyancy for the best performance.

The leak-proof, one-piece polyethylene construction ensures maximum durability and security. It is a 12 feet long kayak with a width of 33.75 inches. This overall ratio of the kayak allows you to fly fish with extreme stability.

This kayak has the Perception’s own initial pedal drive design, one of the best in the market. Additionally, the Pilot 12 comes with large storage spaces for your gears and bungee tank to secure your cargos. As the covered storage spaces and positioned right beside the pedal drive system, you can access them anytime you want.

Pescador Pilot 12 offers you plenty of accessory mounting options that you can customize according to your likeliness. So, you don’t have to worry about the rod holders for your fly fishing rods.

This single person fishing kayak is exceptionally stable, and the pedal drive system allows you to have additional benefits to use your flying techniques immense comfort. With its abrasion-resistant hull design and maximum stability, turn it into one of the best pedal fishing kayak options for fly fishing.

Pros

Cons

So, this was the list of my list of the best fly fishing kayak, and I think now you can confidently choose one for yourself from this listing.

Kayak safety tips for fly fishing:

Absolutely, kayak fishing is more fun and adventurous than regular fishing trips. Moreover, kayaks are less likely to capsize. But nobody can guarantee that anything wrong will not happen.

And to prevent any unpleasant events, you can follow the tips I am mentioning below.

  • Get efficient flotation devices. Invest your money is the best quality life jacket.
  • Choose a kayak with comfortable seating arrangements.
  • Improve your kayaking skill.
  • Learn some safety procedures to apply in the moment of capsizing.
  • Take gears like paddling gloves and throw ropes.
  • Keep checking your kayak even if you are not using it. A regular maintenance routine will keep you safe from accidents.

No matter what vessel you are using or how safe it is, you can’t predict. As we all know that prevention is better than cure, we should always be prepared for any unfortunate events.

Tips for fly fishing in a kayak with success:

You are already aware of the fact that fly fishing is a tricky technique. Though everyone has their own style and ploys, you can always use some additional tips. So let me give you some suggestions that can help to fish with more ease.

Yes, fishing kayaks make your experience more comfortable and joyful. But if you are into fly fishing and use this technique all the time, it would be best if you choose a kayak with exclusive benefits for kayak fishing.

Avoid snagging:

Don’t keep anything out your kayak as snagging can reduce the performance of your kayak. Utilize your storage compartments to keep things organized if you keep your surfaces as clean as possible to avoid snagging.

Install rod holders specifically for fly fishing:

Rod holders in fishing kayaks are made for baitcasting or spinning rod. But if you are going to fly fish, you need to have holders to set your socialized fly fishing rods.

Most of the fishing kayaks are customizable, and that what I love about kayaks. So, you can install fly fishing rod holders without much trouble.

Keep the backcast high:

One of the problems that kayak fly anglers feel is the slapping water on the backcast. When you are casting in a seated position, it is quite hard to keep the backcast high. But it’s necessary if you don’t want to scare the fishes on the backside.

Get an anchor:

Kayaks are light-weight, and so they don’t tend to stay in the same place for a long time. Especially when the wind blows, your kayak will definitely move.

So, getting an anchor will keep your kayak stay on the place where you want it.

Fight the fish one the reel:

The biggest problem in fly fishing is the tangled line, and you must avoid this awful thing. After you hook the fish, don’t just strip to land the fish. Pinch the line with rod hand and reel up any slack as fast as you can.

But no matter how many suggestions or finesse you use in your fly fishing, if you don’t have the best kayak for fly fishing you will never have the ultimate success.

So yes, it’s high time for you to know what to look in a fly fishing kayak before buying one.

The ultimate buyer's guide to the best kayak for fly fishing:

If you desire to have the finest fly fishing experience with your kayak, look for the features I pointed out below. It will help you to pick the most fitting one for you.

What's your favorite fishing spot?

The first thing you need to figure out your most favorite spot for fly fishing. The reason behind this is that the same kayak works differently on each type of waters. So you have to keep in your mind the area of your fly fishing trips.

So, where do you want to go for fly fishing the most? Is that large open water, a bass pond, or your local lake? It is a crucial factor to think about.

Stability of the kayak:

The stability should be your very first concern while selecting a fishing kayak.  And when you are about to do fly fishing, you need to be more careful about the steadiness of your kayak’s hull.

The stability of your kayak depends immensely on the width of its body and the depth of the keel. The hull’s width contributes to the resistance of tipping, and the depth of the keel maintains the overall balance when you lean to cast your rod.

It will be wiser if you try to get a kayak with a broader beam as they are less likely to tip over.

The seating position of your kayak:

For fly fishing, you need to have your seat in a higher position but not too high. Otherwise, you will have to compromise with the accuracy of your casting. It will be best if you get a kayak that has an adjustable seating arrangement.

And don’t forget about your comfort because you will have to spend a lot of time in your kayak. Make sure that your seat has excellent back support, adjustable footrests, and enough space for your legs. Or else, nobody can save your body from cramps after your fishing trips.

The deck of the kayak:

The deck probably plays the most crucial role in fly fishing, as you need to stand up to deploy this technique. And for this reason, the sit-on-top kayak is the best option because it doesn’t have a cockpit.

Loading capacity and storage system:

Every fishing kayak must have a high loading capacity as they have to carry all those fishing gears and the fishes you catch. And you also need multiple storage spaces to keep your things separately organized.

So, if you want to get your fishing kayak’s ideal loading capacity, there is a way to measure it. Figure out the average weight of your gears and body weight and add 100 pounds to that number. And the ultimate number you get should be the ideal loading capacity for your kayak.

Propulsion:

Though most of the kayaks are driven with the paddle, you can choose another option. For fishing, it is better to pick a leg driven kayak as you can do hands-free fishing with it.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Of course, it is possible to do fly fishing out of the kayak with absolute success. You just have to get the kayak that provides superior stability, has a wider hull and allows you to stand without the chance of tipping over,

It isn’t ironclad to stand while flying fishing, as it can also do that in a seating position. Your launching will not be as accurate as it would be from the standing position.

Well, it is your preference, but fishing kayaks provide extra facilities for an angler. You wouldn’t get those benefits from a floating tube.

But floating tubes are affordable, handy, and have loads of storage spaces. So it depends on your fishing style that you want to have floating tubes or not.

Yes, you will need an anchor for fly fishing, as it will help to stay still on your chosen fishing area. Anchors do come real handy when you are fishing on windy weather or in moving waters.

Eight to nine feet length is the best size for kayak fly fishing rods.

Yes, sit-on-top kayaks have no cockpit, which allows you to stand on the deck and fly fishing with finesse.

In conclusion:

The idea of kayak fishing is already radical, and when you add fly fishing to it, you can have twice the thrill you have in regular fishing. But to have that kind of excitement, you need to get the best fly fishing kayak. As I have given you all the necessary details about the most efficient fly fishing kayak, you will not have any further problems while choosing one. So get one for you as soon as possible to have the best experience of fly fishing.