6 Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks of 2020

Kayak fishing brings great joy and amazing adventures on the water.

If you are looking for ways to upgrade your gear, why not considering the best stand-up fishing kayaks below?

Here are the best stand up fishing kayaks you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
  • Most Affordable: SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak
  • Best For Heavier People: Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
  • Best Overall: BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak
  • Highest Capacity: Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
  • Best For Mild Water: SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak

1-Seater Kayak

Best Overall: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Impact-resistant
  • Rugged construction
  • Great tracking

Cons
  • Not suitable for tall people

Let’s first start with the best overall option for a single kayaker. What does Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 kayak have to offer?

It is made of highly resistant high-density polyethylene. That also means the boat is very durable and lightweight. This sit-on-top is 10 ft long and can hold up to 275 lbs.

The Lifetime Tamarack offers flexible footrest, padded seats and backrest to support users on their long trip. This kayak also comes with a flat bottom with chine rails and deep tracking channels, enhancing water responsiveness.

It features 2 big hatches for gear and personal stuff. What’s more, this item is very affordable.

What is the drawback? You can stand up perfectly on this kayak as long as you are not too tall.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak Specifications

Length

10 ft

Width

31 inches

Boat Weight

52 lbs.

Deck Size

120 x 31 x 14 inches

Max Capacity

275 lbs.

Water Type

Flatwater, open water

Highlight Features

3 fishing pole holders

Multiple footrest positions

2 storage hatches

Verdict

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is the best option for solo beginners or intermediates who are mastering their kayak fishing skills.

Most Affordable: SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Large seating area
  • Stability
  • Expanded storage
  • Easy to get in and out
  • Affordable

Cons
  • No back support for long trips

Even more affordable than the first one, Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 offers a great deal for folks on a tight budget. This unit is built from Fortiflex high-density polyethylene, famous for durability and resistant.

What’s more, this material is UV stabilized, meaning the color stays fresh after sun exposure. This durable construction also promotes tracking and water responsiveness. The seating area is quite generous, giving room for users to move around.

Generous storage room and stability are other factors that make this unit desirable. Unfortunately, Sun Dolphin doesn’t include a backrest, you will need to find an alternative for long trips.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak Specifications

Length

10 ft

Width

30 inches

Boat Weight

44 lbs.

Deck Size

120 x 30 x 11 inches

Max Capacity

250 lbs.

Water Type

Flatwater, open water

Highlight Features

Carrying handles

Adjustable padded seat

Adjustable foot braces

Verdict

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak is an affordable option kayak fishing enthusiasts and beginners.

Best For Heavier People: Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
8.8Great
Pros
  • Maximum stability
  • Easy to carry
  • Lightweight
  • Enough dray storage
  • Easy to get in and out
  • Ideal for heavier people

Cons
  • Difficult to adjust speed (due to the width and increased stability)

This Journey 12ft kayak from Sun Dolphin is the upgraded version of the 10ft model. It is 2 inches longer, 4 lbs, heavier, but the weight capacity enlarges up to 145 lbs. This is a great fishing kayak for slow-moving water.

Sun Dolphin Journey 12 comes with 2 colors. The Olive allows you to camouflage while the sand enhances visibility. Thanks to the generous dimension and comfortable seating area, this kayak is perfect for heavier and taller folks who have trouble fitting in other models.

If you want to stand upcasting, this unit offers stand support straps.

The downside is you will have a hard time to adjust the speed. Yes, the increased width and superior stability make it hard to do so.

Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak Specifications

Length

12 feet

Width

48 lbs.

Boat Weight

48 lbs.

Max Capacity

395 lbs.

Water Type

Flat, slow-moving water

Highlight Features

Protective thigh pads

Portable accessory carrier

Adjustable foot braces

Two flush mount holders

Verdict

Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak with its incredible stability and generous seating space is a safe choice for heavier and taller users.

2-Seater Kayak

Best Overall: BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak

BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak
BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Sets well in water
  • Easy to paddle
  • Stable
  • Seats are in decent quality
  • Easy to maneuver

Cons
  • No good for stand-up fishing

BKC UH-TK181 is the best overall option for 2 kayakers. This sit-on type can accommodate 3 people, though it can only offer two deluxe seats. The total capacity is 450 lbs. Yet, it is only 68 lbs., very easy to maneuver.

This unit sets well in calm and mild water. There are two storage tanks for items and gear. The tracking is great and paddling brings great joy. You can even set sail solo with this unit.

The bigger drawback is the design. It isn’t wide and sturdy enough for stand-up fishing.

BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak Specifications

Length

12-foot 5-inch

Boat Weight

68 lbs.

Max Capacity

440 lbs.

Water Type

Mild and open water

Highlight Features

7 Rod Holders

Multiple Carrying Handles

Secure Cargo Area

Verdict

BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak promises to bring the great bang for your buck with its comfort and maneuverability.

Highest Capacity: Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Durable construction
  • Generous storage
  • Comfortable seats
  • Highest capacity
  • Very stable

Cons
  • None

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T offers the highest weight capacity. It can hold up to 500 lbs.

With two ergonomic backrests and cushions, your paddling journey is way more enjoyable. The built-in handles and lightweight allow users to carry it anywhere. 3 seating positions can carry 2 adults and a kid.

Of course, if you want to explore alone, go for it. This unit offers generous footrest, big storage space for gear and solid construction.

The great news is there are no cons!

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Specifications

Length

12-Feet 2-Inches

Width

35″

Boat Weight

72 lbs.

Max Capacity

500 lbs.

Water Type

Open water

Highlight Features

Sleek hull design

Backrests, and cushions + foot braces

Slip Resistant Deck

Verdict

If you are looking for a responsive unit for flat and mild water, buy Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak without hesitation.

Best For Mild Water: SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Can accommodate up to 3 people
  • Stylish
  • More room to move
  • Comfortable seats

Cons
  • Only 2 padded seats

You can’t find a better deal than a Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak. The open cockpit design gives users the freedom to move. You can hang your legs over to rest and look around if you want.

Space and weight capacity are enough for 3 people, but there are only 2 padded seats. Other useful features include adjustable seats and footrests, paddle holders.

I love the stylish design. No doubt, it is the best-molded plastic unit in the market.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak Specifications

Length

161.5″

Width

34.5″

Boat Weight

70lbs.

Max Capacity

500lbs

Water Type

Mild water

Highlight Features

Made from Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High Density Polyethylene

Self-bailing

Adjustable padded seats

Adjustable foot braces

Verdict

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak is a rugged unit to handle mild water. A great recreational solution for solos, couples, and small families.

How To Choose The Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks?

Size And Weight

  • By addressing the size and weight of a kayak, you work on its stability too. This is especially important for beginners.
  • My advice is too look for a heavier and wider unit.

Weight Capacity

  • Are you a solo kayaker or someone who likes to share? Depending on the answer, you can pick a single-seat kayak or double-seat one.
  • Plus, don’t forget to count the amount of fish you want to take home. Try to find a unit with enough (or a bit excessive) weight capacity.

The Hull

  • There are many different hull shapes, from V-shape, flat to the pontoon.
  • Finding the right shape will allow you to balance out easier. A flat hull is generally good for fishing and recreational purpose.

Which Brands Make The Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks?

Vibe Kayaks

  • Vibe Kayaks specializes in both fishing and recreational kayaks. Since 2013, this company has upgraded how people spend their time on the water. With great features, good looking models and affordability, Vibe Kayaks is the leading manufacturer in the field.

Sun Dolphin

  • Sun Dolphin focuses on boats and kayaks. Their products are known for their durability, solid construction and flexibility.

BKC

  • BKC is a source for affordable and stable kayaks. You will find well-built, stylish kayaks under $1000 here.

Lifetime

  • If you love sit-on-kayaks, find the best ones at Lifetime. Built from high-density polyethylene plastic, their products are highly durable, lightweight and stable.

FAQs

Which is a more stable sit-in or sit-on kayak?

Sit-in and sit-on kayaks are the most common types in the market. When it comes to stability, each type offers different levels. Most sit-on kayaks are self-bailing. They come with small draining holes that water can come through. For this reason, sit-on is likely to be more stable than a sit-in.

That doesn’t mean sit-in isn’t stable. They are made for a different purpose and in different weather. They are a great choice if you want to shield from the wind or paddle in cool water. However, when sit-in flips, it will fill with water and hard to recover.

Is a sit on top kayak better for fishing?

A sit-on-top kayak is perfect for fishing. Thanks to the self-bailing design, this guy is almost unsinkable. Even when it flips, which is rare, it stays floated, so you can pull it back to the shore and have all your gear back.

When it comes to stability, as I have answered in the first question, it is astonishingly stable. Most sit-on-top allow you to cast standing up, making fishing much easier.

Plus, the sit-on-top type is easy to get in and out. They also offer generous storage space. Some are big enough to hold a cooler or big fishing bag.

Can you stand up on a sit on top kayak?

Yes and no. You probably see a lot of commercials ads and pictures of people casting standing up on a sit-on-top kayak, but this is very misleading. The majority of sit-on-top kayaks allow you to stand up without a problem.

However, there are many factors involved, such as the design, the hull, its width, and other weather conditions, that contribute to the overall stability of a kayak. I have seen a wide kayak flip over on a relatively calm day and easy water. So it depends on the kayak and the owner to make standing up possible.

The first thing you need to consider is a balance. When standing up, make sure you balance from your ankles up. Things will get harder if you have big shoulders or belly. From my observation, short and slight framed anglers have a better chance to stand up.

Another factor is to choose a wide deck to stand on. Most adults have a 20-inch shoulder width, so a 28-inch platform will give us a hard time to balance. You should look for a kayak with 28”+ wide deck or even more.

Which is easier to flip canoe or kayak?

Due to the difference in design, canoes are generally more stable than kayaks.

Kayaks are built narrow, with the curved bow and stern upwards. This way, the whole boat floats in the water. When the hull isn’t in the water, you will find less resistance when you paddle.

However, comparing this design to canoe’s one, it is clear that the former enjoy better stability. The hull of canoe is wider and deeper into the water that generates great stability. So in general, a canoe is harder to flip over than a kayak.

Is it dangerous to kayak?

There is a hidden danger in every sport, including kayaking. Sometimes, what we perceive danger isn’t the actual risk. Just recently, a kayaker went missing when trying to paddle on a flooded river. Here I only mention how easy danger can find the way in your favorite kayaking activity. By miscalculating the actual risk and perceived danger, we can put ourselves in an uncomfortable situation.

If you kayak on flat water, the danger is low. On the other hand, kayaking in class V rapids can be very dangerous.

To lower any possible risk, make sure that you wear your life vest every time you go kayaking.

Conclusion

The best stand-up fishing kayak allows you to cast and fish freely. They are built to stay on the surface of the water. For any kayak finishing beginners or masters, having a suitable unit to stand is essential and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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