Best Fishing Kayaks for Beginners in 2021

Best Fishing Kayaks For Beginners

Kayak fishing has become increasingly popular for a couple of reasons. First, kayaks are much lighter and easier to maneuver than canoes. The typical paddle of this boat allows full control during maneuvers. Also, kayaks are generally much faster than canoes.’

If you are looking for information and reviews regarding the best fishing kayaks for beginners you are in the right place. We have created a comprehensive overview of this topic. And in the buying guide section, we are highlighting the aspects to consider when purchasing: the experience will do the rest.

Best fishing kayak for beginners in 2021

There are many factors to consider because different types of fishing kayaks available on the market. A long-distance touring kayak is perfect for the weekend tour but isn’t the best choice for fishing or short trips. Among the models presented, we give a note of merit to the Pelican Sit-on-Top Sentinel 100X. With its adjustable seats, it guarantees a good level of comfort even on long journeys.

7 Best Fishing Kayaks For Beginners Reviewed

  1. Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak
  2. BKC RA220 11.6 ft Single Fishing Kayak
  3. Vibe Skipjack 120T Tandem Angler
  4. Perception Flash 9.5 | Sit Inside Kayak
  5. Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120
  6. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Beginner Fishing Kayak
  7. Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak

1. Pelican Sit-on-Top Sentinel 100X one Person Fishing Kayak

Pelican Sentinel 100XThe SENTINEL 100X ANGLER will be around for years of exciting positive experiences to provide the best quality fishing kayak. It is an ideal fishing kayak for those looking to cover long distances with minimum force with excellent maneuverability.


  • 275lbs max load capacity
  • Molded carrying handles
  • Adjustable footrests
  • 2 accessory eyelets
  • 2 paddle holders
  • Smartphone holder
  • Drain plug

One of its main qualities is its excellent ability to slide on the water. The quality is very good, especially if you compare it with the price. Pelican SENTINEL 100X has convenient handles molded into the sides for easy loading and unloading from the water.

This model is 9’6″ long and weight only 44lb including everything. The maximum capacity of 275 lb. However, it has lots of carrying capacity. It has a multi-chine flat bottom hull which ensures stability when needed casting lines and reeling in fish. This model is incredibly easy to transport and store.

The ExoPak and a removable storage compartment perfectly fit into the tank. The central locker is designed with a hinged opening, while the fixed seat is foldable and adjustable at the rear. There is also a nice rubber mat on the bottom so the component won’t slide around.

It is extremely resistant and practically impossible to damage the hull during navigation. In order to meet or surpass ABYC Standards, Pelican’s unique manufacturing process allows them to include additional flotation inside the hull of all of sit-on-tops.

The Sentinel 100X is ideal for beginner anglers and those who value stability over speed. However keep in mind, the Exoshell is watertight but not waterproof. So we recommend you waterproof valuable prior to taking it out on the water.

  • Good speed with less effort
  • Removable storage compartment
  • Seat is much more comfortable
  • Decent product at a decent price
  • It is a narrow kayak and it tends to dip on the sides
  • Some hooks located near the area where one paddle


2. BKC RA220 Single Fishing Kayak with Upright Back Support

BKC RA220BKC RA220 offers everything an angler needs for the ultimate aquatic adventure except for a reel, bait, and a bit of luck. It is made of single Piece High-density polyethylene material which is able to craft on the ocean, lake, or river, at the same time support up to 550 lbs.

BKC fishing kayak doesn’t lose balance even in choppy waters or swift currents thanks to its 34-inch beam, and even stable enough for standing to cast and reel.


  • 550lbs load capacity
  • Made for all types of waters
  • Fully package of accessories
  • Water-resistant storage
  • Adjustable aluminum paddle
  • Paddle strap on both sides
  • Built-in fishing rod and rudder control

The built-in twin flush-mount rod holders and articulate rod holders able to keep multiple lines deployed at one time. It also features a foot pedal-operated rudder for ultimate control in different water conditions and helps the user deftly steer around obstacles or through chop, without requiring paddle steering.

This fishing kayak comes with a full load of accessories for the next excursion for beginners. For example, ergonomic aluminum frame seat, adjustable aluminum paddle, pedal-operated rudder, 3 waterproof hatches, 2 flush mount rod holds, 2 paddle parks, 1 bungee cargo tie-down, and more.

You can keep dry your all valuables inside the 3 watertight storage hatches. With ample watertight storage and a large cargo area, you will bring enough items for long trip adventures.

The seat made of a metal frame and has straps to change the back position. The seat bottom is about 2-inch above that platform and it is adjustable, foot pegs are also too.

The RA220 offers more mounting options and great stability. You will get a wonderful spot to mount a fish finder or trolling motor in front of the chair which offers two threads for mounting on each side. BKC RA220 offers a five-year hull warranty and a one-year accessory warranty.

The chair is certainly removable and can be used to sit on the ground outside of the kayak. However, it is not so good to go long distances to find new fishing spots.
  • Simple to carry
  • Lots of storage
  • Crafted for stability
  • Very comfortable chair
  • The seat doesn’t move up and down
  • Pretty wobbly for small person


3. Vibe Skipjack 120T Two Person Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Vibe Skipjack 120TThe double-your-fun adventure with Skipjack 120T Tandem fishing kayak. This stable and extra-roomy sit-on-top kayak can be paddled solo or multiple people. It’s perfect for fishing or exploring for paddlers of all skill levels and beginners can be benefitted to improve their kayaking skills.


  • 500 pounds load capacity
  • Waterproof cargo hatches
  • Built-in 4 fishing rod holders
  • 2 fish finder mounts or rectangular base accessories
  • 2 paddle parks + 2 easy access paddle rests
  • Front and rear tank well storage space
  • Built-in ergonomic seats & backrests
  • 4 molded-in comfort handles

With a 500-pound of load capacity, you can bring all your gear and a picnic basket. It also includes waterproof storage for your phone and keys. It comes with a paddle which is 230 Cm.

The Skipjack 120T has a pair of built-in water-resistant three positions seats that provide an easy comfortable fit. Front and back for tandem. Also, the ergonomic backrests ensure extra comfort. The center built-in molded seat is perfect for a child or dog.

The back allows both to swim and to dive in apnea holding on to the handles, and to go back up easily after a dip in the water. The open slip-resistant hull makes this fishing kayak easy to get on and off. It will perform well in surf, rivers, lakes and ponds.

Vibe fishing kayak comes with four standard base plate mounting points. You could also add other types of mounting brackets easily when you will be an expert, making it a long time investment for the passionate angler.

It tracks smoothly across all sorts of water conditions and the sleek hull design ensures fast and nimble tracking to get you quickly wherever you want to go.

It also built-in buoyancy which adds safety and peace-of-mind. It also has 2 easy access cup holders, paddle parks, and 4 molded-in comfort grip handles for easy transport.

  • Pretty fast
  • Leak-proof
  • Cheap price
  • Comfortable handles
  • Easy to transport
  • Not enough storage
  • Front seat doesn’t have great leg space


4. Perception Flash 9.5 Sit Inside Fishing Kayak for Beginners

Perception Fishing Kayak for BeginnersPerception fishing kayak is extremely stable on the water and features easy paddling making it ideal for beginners and leisurely afternoon voyages. It is well made with a heavy-weight material. It is also wide enough to be stable when paddling and glides through the water well.


  • The maximum capacity is 325lbs
  • Simple and stable sit inside kayak
  • Padded seat with adjustable backrest
  • Perfect placed molded handles
  • Rear storage for small coolers
  • Boat weight is 41lbs
  • Made in the USA.

The dual tracking channels keep the kayak on course and 9′ 6″ short length makes it easily maneuverable in s small area. The stable hull and true tracking keep users on the straight-and-narrow when they set out on the open waters without sacrificing quick maneuverability.

It is 28.5 inches wide and can carry gear and paddlers up to 325lbs. The adjustable foot braces accommodate different size paddlers. And the zone comfort seat with a high seat back ensures a comfortable ride for all sizes of paddlers.

The Perception fishing boat is also designed for low maintenance, and ease of use.

One of the best features is the under-deck area for storage and the dash has a built-in water bottle holder and space for phone, etc. You can easily access the dashboard with cupholder and has 10” small gear storage to keep extra gear dry.

The front and rear handles are ergonomically optimized for easy transport. The maintenance-free molded handles are also a great way to secure the kayak with a cable. It is perfect for lakes, ponds, slow-moving rivers and calm coastal environments.

The bottom with an I-beam structure is water-resistant. The screw valve allows for quick inflation and deflation. The sturdy carrying handles are also very practical. And once you are done using it, the kayak is easily stored in a small space.

If you want to spend long days on the river I don’t recommend this but for casually going out on lakes or canals this kayak could be perfect.
  • The spacious cockpit area
  • Comfortable back seat
  • Easy-access dashboard
  • Perfect for light trip
  • Doesn’t come with paddle
  • It sits a bit lower than some kayaks, so there is a bit of drag


5. Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120 Recreational Fishing Kayak

Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120The Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120/125 is hands down the best fishing Kayak for beginners at this price point on the market for 2021. PUNGO 120 is an upgraded model that offers paddlers convenience and many options for customization. The kayak is stable on river, lake, or even, sea.


  • Highest-rated Sit Inside Recreational Kayak
  • Most of the parts are removable
  • Built with Phase 3 AirPro Seat
  • Boat length is 12′ 2″ and width 29″
  • Boat weight 49lbs (includes accessories)
  • Maximum load capacity: 325 lbs.

The patented Phase 3 AirPro seating system provides a more comfortable paddling. The fully adjustable seat ensures ergonomic support for the lower back. The footrest is also easy to adjust while paddling. The footrests are adjustable for different sizes of thighs, ensuring a more comfortable fit.

The mesh covered with honeycomb-vented foam which allows for great airflow to keep the user cool. With 12 feet in length, it is one of the best-selling sit-inside Recreation kayaks for a variety of paddlers.

It features a removable box to keep accessories, two cup holders, a SlideTrax to hold mounts for phones, fishing rods, and two customizable mounting platforms, making it a complete fishing kayak for beginner paddlers. It also has a great secondary edge, good glide, and tracking.

The renowned hull ensures reassuring stability without sacrifice the performance. You can add more storage capacity to pair of mesh deck pouches. There is also a recess designed for keeps your electronics charged on the go.

The dashboard is great with plenty of spaces to put foods and other items. The dashboard can also be removed easily for extra room to fit a child or a dog with no problem paddling. This kayak is wider than most with a large rear storage hatch.

The real negatives are the seat is very low, so in rough water, you have a chance to get water inside. The removable dash makes it hard to get in and out if you have long legs (of course you can take it off). The cup holders are also too shallow compare to our other models.
  • Superior stability
  • Unmatched speed
  • Premium comfort
  • Cheap price
  • Not well wrapped or protected
  • Seat height is a bit low


6. Elkton Outdoors Sit On Top Kayak with EVA Padded Seats

Elkton OutdoorsElkton Outdoor kayak built with anglers in mind because the design is optimized, especially for fishing! It is the perfect beginner fishing kayak for lakes, rivers, and the ocean. And the mounted adjustable rod holders allow for a versatile fishing experience for any weather conditions.


  • Ultra-durable rotomolded 12.2-foot kayak
  • Two adjustable premium kayak seats
  • Two double-sided paddles
  • Dry storage compartment
  • Two gear storage areas located at each end
  • Two adjustable rod holders
  • Center platform ideal for ice chests and coolers

The internal storage compartments are airtight and perfectly sealed so that users’ valuables are not damaged while they stay on the water. This fishing kayak also included two premium quality seats and cup holders so you can kick back and enjoy your vacation day with fishing.

It has additional storage space, so you can bring all your fishing gear with you without cluttering the kayak! For example, the Center of the kayak has a large platform that fits coolers and ice chests so you can keep your catch cool or bring your favorite beverage with you!

The rotomolded injected constructed body won’t crack or puncture easily, and ensure long service life! It comes with Self-bailing scupper holes that keep water from pooling in footwells.

Elkton Outdoors fishing kayak has two comfortable carrying handles which allow users to conveniently transport. It perfectly fits in the bed of a truck or a trailer. The maximum weight limit is 650 lbs.

The package includes everything you need to hit the water including two paddles, two seats, rod holders and bungee cords. It is large and wide enough for two people and all the gear you need! And to ensure quality Elkton Outdoors sit-on-kayak comes with 1-year warranty.

For a single rider, we recommend using the seat at either center or rear position of the kayak. There is a spot in the center to place a single seat.
  • Built to last
  • Built-In dry storage
  • Easy to use and launch
  • EVA Padded High-Back Seats
  • It’s bulky and heavy
  • Hard paddling for one person


7. Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle for Beginners

Lifetime Hydros Angler KayakLifetime Angler kayak built with multiple footrest positions for different size anglers. It built with durable high-density Polyethylene (HDPE) construction which ensures long life.


  • 225 lbs load capacity
  • The total length is 101-inch
  • Molded-in swim-up deck
  • Front and rear shock cord straps
  • Front t-handle for easy transport
  • UV-Protected – won’t fade, crack, or peel

It combined with tunnel hull design which provides great stability and tracking when sitting on the boat. It has a center carry handle for easy transport to the waterfront. This model offers all the advantages of a professional boat and guarantees ease of preparation and practice and fast transport.

It comes with two flush rod holders and one adjustable rod Holder and has plenty of “extras” to enhance your fishing experience. The total weight capacity is 225 lbs, so you and your dog should be okay.

This kayak is designed for fishing with extreme safety and stability in mind. It’s perfect for a little fishing or just cruising around the lake. It’s fairly simple to use, stable and very comfortable.

The seat back can be adjusted to your comfort level. The adjustable seats have storage compartments that allow you to take everything you need with you.

The Hydros is 101 inches long and weight is 38lbs. However, it is a lot more stable than the 10 feet Kayaks. They are not too heavy, just a regular man easily carry to the lakeside. There is also a handle in the back end for comfortable transportation. This model also includes a paddle.

The kayak is easily stored in the bag supplied to be carried wherever you want. The floor has adequate rigidity even to deal with shallow and rocky bottoms.

  • Lightweight design
  • Good direction and speed
  • 5-Year limited warranty
  • Very stable for its size
  • Small size
  • Standing on this kayak is a bit difficult


Buying Guide – Beginner Fishing Kayak

Fishing kayak generally available between rigid and inflatable models. The first one is larger and more robust and to be able to withstand the waves of the water. The latter is certainly more comfortable to carry but have much lower performance and is less suitable for facing the open sea.

One of the main features of a fishing kayak is its maneuverability. This will depend on other aspects such as weight and size. The length is another key feature. The travel speed is in fact determined by this aspect. In particular, the sea models are very long to allow you to travel long distances. While for rivers and streams short models are made that allow greater ease of maneuver.

Another feature concerns the shape of the hull. In general, they are of three types: symmetrical, fish and turnip. It can be of different types depending on the use made of it. This greatly affects its stability. In this case, you will have to pay the utmost attention to this data in relation to the fact that you will also have to bring our equipment.

A key aspect in the case of fishing kayak is its load capacity. This indicates the maximum weight that can be carried on the boat.

Finally, the material with which they are made is very important. Generally, glass resin or plastic is used for construction, in particular polyethylene.

As a beginner, you need to consider some other characteristics:

Skill level

Some of the best fishing kayaks are long, tapered, responsive and demanding. If you are still learning the basics, it may be best to opt for a wider and more stable kayak that price less than $500 as these are normally easier to use. Remember, your skill will improve depending on the level of fun you feel when using the kayak. You can always get something more challenging as your skills improve.

While some experts argue that beginners should start with a high-performance kayak to develop proper techniques, a kayak for experienced users can carry great risks, such as being unable to cope with currents and strong winds. All this can help turn a leisurely paddle into a real nightmare.

Free space

The general rule is to bring only what is strictly necessary. The fact that your kayak has a lot of space below the deck does not mean that it will handle well in rough seas if filled to the last available inch.

Immersion level

Whether you are a beginner paddling in calm water or an advanced kayaker who can handle strong currents, it is good to have a kayak with a high level of sinking. The level of sinking of a kayak is determined by how much weight it takes to make it descend an inch lower in the water. The greater the capacity, the greater the weight the sea kayak can bear.

The brand

Brands that offer low-priced kayaks tend to economize on this aspect. Even some of the major brands offering cheap sea kayaks are known for using substandard materials. Beware of exposed steel and unsealed wood components. Keep in mind that plastic and polyethylene acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (abs) are the materials that are most appreciated for their performance.


For coastal offshore sailing, narrow and medium-sized kayaks offer the best performance. Their small widths allow them to navigate with ease in both calm and rather rough waters. Having a fishing kayak that is approximately 8 to 12 feet long will also help keep it stable.

Type of water

The type of water you will kayak through plays an important role in your decision making. For flat waters, such as those found around mangroves and enclosed coves, inexpensive, sit-on-top kayaks are fine. However, if you plan to deal with unstable currents, only kayaks with waist wells and V-hulls should be considered.

The accessories

Many models are supplied with a good range of accessories: a pump (generally a manual pump), a repair kit, patches that allow you to intervene independently in the event of a puncture.

Frequently asked questions:

Of course, it is not easy to immediately identify the most suitable beginner fishing kayak to meet your needs. The most frequently asked questions from users, together with the opinion of expert kayakers that you can find on the web, can help you to clarify a little more.

Should I take a single or two-seater kayak?

Two-seater models aren’t that common among touring or fishing, but if you have a child and you want to take it with you, then you can’t help but orient your choice to a two-person kayak. However, always check the maximum capacity of the boat.

If you want to venture out into the waters with an adult family member or friend, your best bet is to opt for two single kayaks. This will avoid a lot of arguments. Of course, if you want extra space or plan to bring an experienced paddler with you, a two-seater model might be the best option.

Do I need to wear a life jacket when start kayak fishing?

In compliance with the law, you must always have a life jacket or life preserver on board. Children are required to wear one at all times. And you too (get an inflatable one and wear it all the time) for your safety. A jacket of this type is light and thin, you will not even notice that you are wearing it. A life jacket tied to the back of the kayak can be of great help in the event of a rollover.

Is a longer or shorter fishing kayak better?

As a general rule, a longer kayak is faster, so for touring kayaks generally longer is better. Regardless of the length, the provision of a waterproof bag allows you to store everything in order, making it easier to transport. However, for fishing, a wide and smooth kayak is always recommended.

Our conclusions

Finding the right beginner fishing kayak can take some time. Each requires a different budget. Also, the choice depends on whether you want to go out for a day, a weekend, or a whole week at a time. Based on the analysis of the products and reviews, we believe that the best beginner fishing kayak for 2 people is Vibe Kayaks Skipjack, which scored a score of 90 points evaluated through the analysis.

It is recommended that you dress up your kayak by adding some accessories, from roof racks to fishing gear to seat supports. By doing this you can get the most out of your boat.

Sabbir is a journalist, editor, communicator, blogger, web community manager, explorer… He enjoys learning, meeting people and having the privilege of sharing his knowledge and discoveries. He is a fan of sports and travel. Read More...

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