HydraYak’s Top Fishing Kayaks
Kayaks are built to preform in different ways and various conditions. With so many options on the market today, it can be difficult to make a choice on which kayak will best suite your needs. If you’re new to kayak fishing, it can be near impossible to really decipher which kayak you need. Below are my top recommendations for various categories that are important to use kayak anglers.
Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak 2015
This will most likely be my next kayak. The Hobie Mirage Outback is pretty much Hobie’s baseline kayak equipped with MirageDrive. Hobie keeps a strict pricing program, so you’re pretty much going to pay the full $2,299.99 sticker price. I’ll likely order it online and no sales help needed. Here’s the deal… I love my Jackson Big Tuna. It’s a big, do anything and bring a friend kind of kayak. I’m a big guy and I pack lots of gear, but still love to paddle for a workout. But when I ocean fish in big water, I find myself surrounded by peddle drive kayaks… and I can’t take it anymore! They are 2x as fast as my Big Tuna. Peddle drive kayaks allow you to go faster for longer = longer distances and consistent trolling speed. It’s that simple. The 2015 rudder system is a game changer. This allows for performance tracking of the kayak and can be deployed as needed.
Vibe Sea Ghost 130
The Vibe Kayak Sea Ghost is the flagship of Vibe Kayaks. This is a fishing platform fit for big water; oceans or lakes. The Sea Ghost offers the speed, tracking and stability needed for hunting most game fish. The bottom line on this kayak; it’s a fantastic fishing kayak at half the price of similar kayaks from other brands. The Sea Ghost 130 is equipped with 4 flush mount rod holders positioned for a wide spread, great for down line fishing or trolling baits/lures. 2 dry storage hatches are a must for fishing and organizing equipment. A rudder kit is a must for paddling long distance in adverse conditions. It allows an angler to paddle on a straighter line between point A and point B, saving time and energy. The Sea Ghost 130’s center console provides an great workstation for fishing, as accessories can be mounted to it while tackle and tools can be stored in the console. For the money, the Sea Ghost 130 is one of the best fishing kayaks available. Especially for anglers new to the sport and/or on a limited budget.
Most Popular Kayaks for Fishing
Most people start out fishing from a recreational kayak (not outfitted for fishing), and move into a better fishing platform shortly there after. And of these, many of them settle for a mid range priced, stable and functional kayak. The below kayaks fall in this category. They are great platforms in just about any water, or any condition, allow able storage and are full capable of preforming as a fishing vessel.
An overview of my fishing kayaks
I started kayak fishing 19 years ago. My first kayak, the Dagger Cypress, is a 11.5″ sit inside kayak. As seen in the picture, I didn’t drill or cut my kayak for nearly 15 years. I fished it as it came stock from the retailer. Once I did begin modifying my kayak to better suit my angling needs… there was no looking back. Rod holders, storage solutions among other mods were game changers on the water. Modifying you kayak to your preference will allow you to catch more fish, and have a safer, more enjoyable experience. I now have 3 kayaks. All with very distinct advantages and modifications. Below are the details on my kayaks.
Dagger Cypress 11.5ft
Outfitted for Kayak Fishing
The Dagger Cypress 11.5″ was my first kayak. This is designed to be a touring boat. It’s long, narrow, with a rounded hull with a single groove down the middle. It’s built for touring speed and to cover long distances. It tracks very well. It sits lower to the water than sit on top fishing kayaks. As a fishing platform, it’s speed and ability to cover water are big advantages. But, if a paddler were to roll it in deep water… it would be nearly impossible to get back into. Making it a dangerous option for open water or off shore fishing. If you’re new to kayak fishing and looking for ideas on what type of kayak to get? I’d recommend a mid-sized sit on top. With that said… I learned to love the biggest advantage of fishing from a touring boat. Speed. A touring boat is built to paddle fast in a straight line. This makes it a great trolling kayak! I could move through channels and coves on the lake with relative ease. It has some storage capacity; some accessible from the cockpit and some not. This kayak sites lower to the water then a sit on top.
- The rod holders (pvc pipe) are fixed to the crate with zip ties and glue. The outside rod holders are split wide to spread out baits when trolling 2 lines at once.
- There are 2 upright pvc rod holders used to store rods while not in use.
- The day pack contains a dry bag to keep important items dry – iphone, wallet, dry cloths, towel
- The milk crate is fixed to the kayak using 3 automotive bungie cords. This works very well and the milk crate is very secure. When baits are being trolled, the drag is set loose so a fish can take line, which alerts you to a strike.
- Velcro tape is used on the deck of the kayak to secure fish finder, small tackle box, a water proof radio and my micro bait tank.
Perception Swifty 9.5
Outfitted for kayak fishing
The Perception Swifty 9.5 is a fairly standard, inexpensive kayak. A kayak for this size and style is ideal for a starter boat. You can find these on Craigslist for cheap. It’s short, stable and maneuverable. It’s ideal for fishing small bodies of water where access is limited. It’s limitations are weight limit, storage capacity and without a skirt, this sit in side boat would be hard to get back into if the paddler were to roll over in deep water.
Jackson Big Tuna 14.1ft
One or Two Person Fishing Kayak
The Big Tuna is a monster of a fishing kayak. It’s big and stable. Just the kind you kayak I prefer when it comes to fishing offshore or big water situations. A paddler can enter and exit this kayak with ease… something that is not possible with my other kayaks. The Big Tuna excels in handling big water, waves or tidal flows. It’s 14+ feet long and designed to be a solo/tandem kayak. The BT is extremely comfortable. Stand in it, sit sideways, move from bow to stern to retrieve gear. It’s an excellent platform for long trips. Carry capacity… elite status. But, the Big Tuna’s advantageous size and stability are also it’s drawbacks. It’s heavy (80+ un-loaded). It’s slow… I get smoked by peddle drive kayaks. I’m 6’2″ 225lbs so the weight of the boat isn’t too much of a problem for me. But I can see how it could be too much to handle for a smaller solo paddler. The Jackson Big Tuna is my go to kayak when fishing big water!