Which fishing kayak is right for you?
Are you confused about which fishing kayak you should purchase? If you have never used a kayak before you may not be sure which one you will need. Keep reading and we will try to break down the basic differences enabling you to make an educated purchase.
There are basically 2 types of kayaks.
They are Sit On Tops (SOT) and Sit In Kayaks (SIK). Each type has models that fish well. Before we discuss the merits and differences of each type let’s first discuss kayaks for fishing in general.
What makes a kayak a good Best fishing kayak under 500?
Fishermen often have needs that may be different than someone who intends strictly to paddle. Some of the basic features that fishermen prefer in a kayak are stability, storage, and enough flat surfaces to bolt on fishing extras such as rod holders and depth finders. Performance and maneuverability, while important to many, may not be the primary factors in choosing your first fishing kayak.
Start your decision process by answering some basic questions which will help you narrow down the kayak models that are most appropriate for you.
- First consider you.
What are your height, weight, inseam measurements and general condition? If you are a big or very tall man, there are certain kayaks that will suit you better. In fact, this will make your decision easier because finding the right kayak will be more a matter of finding one that handles your size and weight more than anything else. Look for kayaks with lots of leg-room and a weight capacity that will handle you and your gear.
If you are a small to average sized person getting a kayak that’s big, heavy, and has a 600-pound capacity probably is not your best choice. But if you are going to fish in the ocean a very small kayak would not be the best choice either. As you will see, choosing a kayak can be a compromise of sorts.
Best fishing kayak under 500, consider the different factors and consider them
- What vehicle are you going to use to transport your kayak?
If you are planning to transport your kayak in the bed of a pickup truck a bigger, heavier kayak does not present a problem. However, if you have a large SUV, like a 4WD Suburban, you should be conscious of the kayak’s weight because it will take some extra effort to get the kayak on and off of the roof of such a vehicle. The bottom line is that if your kayak is easy for you to load and unload you will use it more often.
- Where do you plan on using the kayak?
Will your kayak be used exclusively in freshwater? If so, where? Lakes, ponds, small rivers, and creeks? Will you be fishing large, open bodies of water with lots of waves and chop? Do you plan on using your kayak in saltwater? Do you plan on fishing in the ocean and launching your kayak through the surf? How are you planning to get your kayak to the water? Can you simply drive it to the water and launch or do you plan on launching in remote areas where you can not drive your vehicle to the water’s edge? All these factors are important when choosing your kayak.
- What fishing methods do you like to use?
Do you only use one style? Do you use artificial lures, fish with live bait, or both? If you are going to use bait, do you want to use live bait-fish or dead bait? Will you need room for a live-well on your kayak? Do you plan on anchoring and chumming? Do you fly fish? The type of gear you plan on attaching and taking along is going to affect your decision. In short, the way(s) you fish can affect which kayaks are going to better suit your needs.
- What type of fisherman are you?
Are you strictly a catch and release fisherman, do you like to take the occasional meal home, or are you regularly taking fish home? Where are you going to store your catch? Is there room in/on the kayak you have selected?
Which style of kayak is right for you? A Sit On Top or a Sit Inside Kayak?
Sit In Kayaks are the traditional type of kayaks. When most people think about kayaks this is the type that usually comes to mind. They are similar to canoes in that you sit inside on the bottom hull of the kayak. Sit-ins offer more initial protection from the elements, however in rougher conditions they can fill with water without the proper accessories. In adverse conditions they are usually outfitted with a spray-skirt. A skirt is a covering that goes around you and the opening in the kayak that prevents water from entering. When a skirt is used you may inadvertently limit access to the items that are inside of the kayak, but if you are a bare bones type fisherman this may suit you just fine.
Sit On Top kayaks are a newer breed of kayak. They resemble a modified surfboard of sorts and you sit on them rather than in them. SOTs have what are known as scupper holes, which allow water to drain from the cockpit. This way when water washes over the kayak the cockpit may briefly flood but it will quickly drain eliminating the need to pump out any water. This is especially beneficial in places like the surf zone.
Both styles of kayaks are useful to fishermen and within each style there are models that will suit you better than others. Let’s get back to some of those earlier questions and see why they’re important in helping you choose which of these types of kayak will be best for you.