The best fly fishing kayak should provide excellent stability, roomy storage, and a comfortable seat, at a reasonable price point that fits your budget the most. Don’t you know that a fly fishing kayak for serious anglers would be a bit different from the one for beginners?
The following review list will prove it!
Here are the best fly fishing kayaks (Apr 2021 Update):
- Best Overall: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
- Best For Beginners: Perception Pescador Pilot 12
- Best For Moderate Ocean Swells: Perception Pescador Pro 12
- Best For Hands-Free Fishing: Sevylor Coleman Colorado
- Best For Different Waterways: Feelfree Lure 11.5 Kayak
- Best For Serious Anglers: Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak
|Top 6 Best Fly Fishing Kayaks|
|Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100||Read Our Review|
Best For Beginners
|Perception Pescador Pilot 12||Read Our Review|
Best For Moderate Ocean Swells
|Perception Pescador Pro 12||Read Our Review|
Best For Hands-Free Fishing
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado||Read Our Review|
Best For Different Waterways
|Feelfree Lure 11.5 Kayak||Read Our Review|
Best For Serious Anglers
|Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
- Superb stability - Feature Chine Rails, Deep Hull Tracking Channels, and Flat Bottom
- Ensure the quality - Backed by a 5-year warranty
- Weight capacity is limited, not ideal for heavy guys
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a wonderful budget entry-level fishing kayak that we highly recommend for people who really don’t want to break the bank and still want to access water.
For starters in fly fishing, we prefer a kayak that is ultra-stable so that they can enjoy the water. And this guy is so far so good. It is made of UV-protected high-density polyethylene (HDPE) highlighting chine rails, deep hull tracking channels, and a flat bottom.
The provided seat is perfectly added with adjustable foam padding on the back, in addition, two 2 flush-mounted fishing rod holders on the sides. This combo allows you to relax nicely with hand-free while waiting for fish.
Although there’s nothing too outstanding to talk about, we still appreciate the 6” compartments in both center and rear as well as the shock cord straps.
|Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Specifications|
Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene
Two 6" Storage Compartments in Rear and Center
Overall, Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is our recommendation for budget-minded fishers.
Best For Beginners: Perception Pescador Pilot 12
- Fit all fly fishers - deliver huge weight capacity & multiple footrests
- Stable - Can cast in a standing position
- Convenient - Feature many add-ons
- The rod holders are shallow and wide so your rods will move around
- A bit hard to drag it from/to the water as it’s really heavy
- Not ideal for tight-budget people as the price is high
Although this Perception kayak is pricey, if you’re a beginner and making a serious move into fly fishing, it is going to be a great workhorse in the long run, even when you become an experienced.
Of course, at this high price point, the durable feeling and stability give a huge difference from the budget models.
But what we appreciate the most is the seat which is positioned a bit higher than the boat for easier paddling.
The storage compartment is also much larger where you can keep securely your tackle box or personal items. Along with that, there are many convenient add-ons, such as cup holders and a little tray as an additional storage space.
|Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Specifications|
Water Types: Flat
If you’re ready to pay for quality, the Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is an excellent choice to start with. It’s more than durable to last you a couple of years.
Best For Moderate Ocean Swells: Perception Pescador Pro 12
- Roomy - feature plenty of storage space with good waterproofing ability
- Efficient - Catch up speeds fast and glide on the water easily
- Multiple-use & simple maintenance
- It collects water in weird places, like in the tackle box or under the seat but the amount of water is unnoticeable
- Wish the handles gave more grip so that you can easily drag it around
This Perception model is significantly cheaper but it’s more specific for moderate ocean swells because the length, width, and weight are just perfect.
It is a 12’ long kayak with nearly 33” wide, it catches up speed really fast, showing no inferior to other sit-on-top kayaks at the same price point (or even higher-end). With a flat bottom and 64 pounds of weight, it also glides much more easily on the water.
One nice thing about this kayak is you can remove its seat for easier maintenance or using it as a chair on the ground.
And if you’re a fisher who loves carrying multiple fishing gears, its spacious and well-organized storage spaces will go you crazy. Some are even leak-proof and waterproof with a perfect size for your fishfinder.
|Perception Pescador Pro 12 Specifications|
Lawnchair style mesh seat with 2-level seat adjustment and breathable mesh for ultimate all-day comfort and no pain
Seat can be lowered for relaxed paddling or raised for optimum casting
With the Perception Pescador Pro 12, you can rest the heart to put more fish in it or feel confident to drag it into any moderate ocean swells.
Best For Hands-Free Fishing: Sevylor Coleman Colorado
- Easy to inflate/deflate and to transport
- High hand-free capability - Feature workable rod holders and paddle holders
- Enhance your fishing performance - Equipped with a trolling motor fitting
- The backrest is a bit too low for tall guys
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is the one and only 2-person inflatable kayak in this list that we feel reliable and workable enough for fishing.
It is constructed by NMMA-certificated 18-gauge PVC with 840D nylon cover and 1000D tarpaulin bottom (not to mention to the multiple air chambers) so it stays resistant excellently to punctures. Other components and add-ons work greatly, especially the Airtight system and valve.
The most worth-mentioning thing here is we’ve never felt such satisfaction on a fishing boat’s rod holders like this one. It highlights some adjustments but that is key for great enhancement in your hands-free capabilities.
In addition, the trolling motor fittings and the secure paddle holders are incredible.
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado Specifications|
18-gauge PVC construction
1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover
Multiple air chambers
For fly fishers who really pay attention to the hands-free capability of a fishing kayak, look no further.
Best For Different Waterways: Feelfree Lure 11.5 Kayak
- Easy to use and convenient - Feature a good track system with no drilling requirements
- Full of control - Can handle excellently in chopping lakes, bay, rivers, and ocean
- Ultra-convenient - Have a place for GoPro mounting
- Not ideal for strong currents
- A bit pricey
Our team testers were seriously impressed by how innovative of this design.
It features an 11’ 6” of length with 34” ultra-wide design, a gravity adjustable seat, two workable fishing rod holders, and a track system.
This track system is what we pay attention to the most as it provides a wide range of outfitting options, but the coolest thing is no drilling requirement. For example, the removable electronic pod for your fishfinder and GoPro mounts.
We’re also surprised by how smoothly and safely it can handle in different waterways, from chopping lakes, bay, rivers to the ocean. That said, we consider it would be hard to fight strong currents so, don’t.
|Feelfree Lure 11.5 Kayak Specifications|
11 ft 6 in
Wheel in the keel and integrated bow
Stern and side carry handles
Two Fishing rod holders and track system
While most fly fishing kayaks at this low price point can just handle moderate currents like lakes and rivers, this stands out by its versatility and decent performance. Good for different waterways!
Best For Serious Anglers: Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak
- Very lightweight & easy to transport
- Excellent comfort, relaxation, and convenience - Feature Phase 3 AirPro seating system
- Roomy - Offer much more storage room than other 10’ kayaks
- The price does not include paddles
Aside from stability and speeds, we focused more on the tankwell capacity in consideration of the best fly fishing kayak for serious fishers. And this model outperformed to other counterparts.
In the 10’ kayak lines, it offers the largest storage capacity with some waterproof compartments so that not just putting in, you can organize them for easy access.
One worth-noticing feature is this boat weighs just 55 pounds although it’s hard-shell design so dragging or lifting it won’t be a matter at all for most fishers. We particularly like the Phase 3 AirPro seating system as it excels the comfort and customizability to the user.
|Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak Specifications|
Versatile sit-on-top offers stunning performance for surf play
Lakes and bays
Built with pro anglers’ needs in mind, the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 is a versatile and reliable kayak that delivers stunning performance, no matter for bays, lakes, ponds, or surf play.
How To Choose The Best Fly Fishing Kayaks?
- Stability is key in the fly fishing kayak because seated fishing requires modified techniques, not to say that most people prefer to stand up for a better chance to catch fish.
- A fly fishing kayak must be stable not only when you are casting, retrieving, or moving around but also during fish fights or sudden line breaking.
- Dimensions and weight can give a huge change in a kayak’s stability. The heavier and wider the kayak, the more stable.
- Bonus: Look for a kayak that features a flat bottom, chine rails, and deep hull tracking channels can improve the stability of your kayak a lot.
- This becomes more important when it comes to a kayak for fly fishing as there will be more gears and tools to bring along, such as rods, tackle box, somewhere to store your catch, and even a fishfinder.
- Aside from a spacious storage room, you might want it to be well-organized for easy access. That’s when these three options come into place for your choices:
- Stern storage: Highlight the biggest storage space that can fit a box, cooler, bungee cables, or anchor points for tie-downs.
- Cockpit: It is outstanding for the highest protection and security, which can keep your essentials from UV rays, the weather, and water. But for fly fishing, it should be an ultra-low profile to avoid snags.
- Hatches: It is very easy to access with moderate security.
- Lots of beginner fishers ignore this feature until their butts get numbed after hours sitting on an uncomfortable kayak seat while fishing.
- As not all fishers are not same in terms of height and weight, look for a kayak with adjustable seats (in addition to multiple footrests) to make sure it fits nicely to your height and legs’ length. Don’t forget to consider whether its mechanism is easy to reach and adjust or not.
- The padding is also important.
- It should be comfortable, breathable, and removable.
Which Brands Make The Best Fly Fishing Kayaks?
- When it comes to budget-friendly fly fishing kayaks, you’ll struggle to find anything better than Lifetime – an American fishing-goods company with over 35 years’ expertise in the industry.
- High-end brand Perception is globally renowned for its safety, comfort, durability, and versatility that makes kayaking fun for paddlers/fishers of all experience levels.
- Another preppy staple that has a lot going for it – Sevylor, founded in 1948. It has now been the leader in innovations and unique designs to make it safe and keep it fun.
Can you fly fish from a kayak?
As long as the kayak is stable enough for a standing position when you cast a fly rod.
Which fishing kayak is the most stable?
From our list, we would pick the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 based on its flat bottom, deep hull tracking channels, and chine rails.
What is the best fishing kayak to buy?
It depends on many things, such as where to ride it on, your fishing and kayaking skills, and your budget. The list stated above has been carefully reviewed based on specific categories, check it out.
Which Kayak has the most comfortable seat?
Out of the 6 given options, we highly recommend the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak due to its Phase 3 AirPro seating system.
Can you stand up in a kayak?
Yes, you can.
But if you’re a beginner, remember to take some time to practice combined with the right kayak.
As a kayak can make or break your fly fishing trip, always think carefully about which is the most suitable for you.
We hope the list above with 6 best fly fishing kayaks in the market has helped you find out a good one. Thanks for reading!