Best Fly Fishing Kayak [Top 5] – Best Kayaks for Fly Fishing

best fly fishing kayak

Fly fishing from a kayak is a growing trend in angling that provides access to hard-to-reach fishing spots. The best fly fishing kayaks offer adjustable seating, ample gear storage, and stability for a safe and comfortable experience.

These kayaks allow anglers to cast their lines and present their flies with a fly rod and reel, offering mobility and stealth for a natural fishing experience. Many fly fishing kayaks also feature standing platforms for a stable casting and fishing surface.

Quick Comparison of 5  Best Fly Fishing Kayaks

Product imageProduct nameHighlightsPrice
Reel Yaks Pedal Angler 11'A lightweight build and pedal-powered movement, with a cozy seat and ample storage.See pricing details
BKC PK13 Pedal Drive 13'Stability and versatility, with a pedal propulsion system and large open cockpit for easy access to gear.See pricing details
BKC TK122U 12' 6" TandemPerfect for group fishing trips with space for 2 or 3 people and a spacious cockpit and storage area.See pricing details
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120A motorized propulsion system for easy navigation, a comfortable seat, and ample storage space.See pricing details
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead InflatablePortability and versatility, as it is lightweight and can be used in a variety of fishing settings.See pricing details

In-Depth Review of the Top 5 Best Fly Fishing Kayaks

1. Reel Yaks Pedal Kayak Fishing Angler 11’

  • 11 feet long
  • Pedal drive system
  • Adjustable footrests, padded seat, rod holders, large storage hatch, bungee cords for gear storage
  • 70 lbs, polyethylene hull

Pros: Compact, efficient pedal drive, ample storage space.
Cons: May not be as stable as other kayaks due to its length.

See pricing details

2. BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

  • 13 feet long
  • Pedal drive system
  • Adjustable footrests, padded seat, rod holders, large storage hatch, bungee cords for gear storage
  • 425 lb weight capacity, 80 lbs, rotomolded polyethylene hull

Pros: Large weight capacity, efficient pedal drive, ample storage space.
Cons: May be difficult to move for some anglers.

See pricing details

3. BKC TK122U 12′ 6″ Tandem 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

  • 12 feet 6 inches long, can hold 2-3 people
  • Adjustable padded seats, rod holders, and bungee cords for storage
  • 450 lb weight capacity, 60 lbs, rotomolded polyethylene hull

Pros: Can accommodate multiple people, lightweight, ample storage space.
Cons: May not be as stable as other kayaks due to its length.

See pricing details

4. Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 Motorized Fishing Kayak

  • 12 feet long
  • Motorized drive system
  • Adjustable footrests, padded seat, rod holders, large storage hatch, bungee cords for gear storage
  • 325 lb weight capacity, 85 lbs, rotomolded polyethylene hull

Pros: Motorized drive system, ample storage space.
Cons: May be too heavy for some anglers, and limited in areas without a power source.

See pricing details

5. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak

  • 10 feet long, inflatable
  • Adjustable padded seats, rod holders, and bungee cords for gear storage
  • Heavy-duty PVC, 26 lbs

Pros: Lightweight, portable, and easy to store.
Cons: May not be as stable as other kayaks due to its inflatable design.

See pricing details

What is Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing is an angling method where an artificial fly is used to attract and trick fish into biting. The angler employs a lightweight rod, reel, line, and fly to cast into the water, allowing the fly to mimic natural movements, and then retrieve it with a series of the line pulls. The aim is to imitate food sources like insects, baitfish, or other prey that the fish would naturally eat.

Fly fishing is a challenging and popular sport that calls for expertise, patience, and knowledge of fish behavior and the aquatic insects they feed on. It can be practiced in both freshwater and saltwater environments to target species such as trout, salmon, bass, and others.

Fly Fishing Kayaks: What Are They?

Fly-fishing kayaks are kayaks that have been specially created for the sport of fly fishing. They are often wider, longer, and more stable than traditional kayaks, which provides anglers a steady platform to stand and cast from.

These kayaks feature ample storage space for fishing gear like rods, reels, waders, and tackle, as well as adjustable seating for comfort during extended fishing trips. Some fly-fishing kayaks also have rod holders, anchor systems, and stand-assist straps, which make it easier for anglers to fish from a seated or standing position.

With their design allowing for easy access to remote fishing locations and quiet propulsion, these kayaks are perfect for anglers looking to combine the excitement of fly fishing with the versatility and mobility of kayaking.

Features to Look for in a Fly Fishing Kayak

When selecting a fly fishing kayak, make sure to consider these crucial features to ensure you get the best option for your needs:

  • Stability: Choose a kayak with a wider, longer design and low center of gravity for easy standing and casting. Consider a more stable design for fishing in rough waters or strong currents.
  • Storage: Ensure the kayak has enough storage for all your fishing gear, such as rods, reels, waders, and tackle, with large, easily accessible hatch compartments and gear straps.
  • Adjustable seating: Comfort is essential, especially for longer trips. Choose a kayak with a seat that can be adjusted for maximum comfort and support, and consider options for adding backrest or lumbar support.
  • Rod holders: Convenient and secure rod storage is crucial. Look for a kayak with multiple rod holders to store multiple rods at once.
  • Standing platform: A stable standing platform is ideal for precise casting and fighting fish. Choose a kayak with a non-slip surface large enough for comfortable standing and casting.
  • Anchor system: An anchor system helps keep the kayak in place while fishing. Look for an anchor trolley or cleat system for easy securing.
  • Stealth: A silent propulsion system allows for stealthy approaches to fish. Consider a low-maintenance paddle or pedal drive for quiet fishing.
  • Durability: Look for a kayak with high-quality materials and construction, a strong hull, and a weather-resistant deck for longevity.
  • Price: Fly fishing kayaks range from budget-friendly to high-end, so determine your budget and choose a kayak that meets your needs while staying within it.

Keep these characteristics in mind when choosing your fly fishing kayak, and do your research to find the perfect option that fits your specific requirements. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, a fly fishing kayak is a great investment that will provide you with access to remote fishing spots and the thrill of fishing on the water.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Fly Fishing Kayaks

Advantages of Fly Fishing Kayaks:

  • Portable: Fly fishing kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry, making it possible to access remote fishing locations.
  • Silent: The quiet propulsion system of fly fishing kayaks enables anglers to approach fish discreetly, increasing the chances of a successful catch.
  • Comfortable: Adjustable seating and standing platforms make fly fishing kayaks more comfortable for longer fishing trips.
  • Accessibility: Fly fishing kayaks allow anglers to reach areas that are hard or impossible to access on foot, such as shallow rivers, small lakes, and ponds.
  • Versatile: Fly fishing kayaks are suitable for a range of fishing styles, from freshwater to saltwater.

Disadvantages of Fly Fishing Kayaks:

  • Cost: High-end fly fishing kayaks can be expensive.
  • Limited Space: While fly fishing kayaks have enough storage for fishing gear, they may not be spacious enough for overnight trips.
  • Stability: Some fly fishing kayaks can be less stable in rough waters, making it difficult to balance.
  • Maintenance: Fly fishing kayaks require regular maintenance to keep in good condition, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Weather Dependent: Fly fishing kayaks may not be appropriate in adverse weather conditions such as heavy winds or rain.

In conclusion, fly fishing kayaks are an excellent investment for anglers who want to experience fly fishing in remote locations. However, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons and choose a fly fishing kayak that meets your specific needs and the conditions in which you’ll be fishing.

However, amidst these peaceful endeavors, we find a group of adventurers seeking a different calling – the waterfowl hunters. For those who yearn for the excitement of waterfowl hunting, a special companion is required – the best duck hunting kayak.

Unlike its tranquil counterpart, this vessel boasts an array of features tailored to cater to the unique needs of hunters. With ample space to stow hunting gear, decoys, and even firearms, these kayaks become indispensable tools for the avid waterfowl enthusiast.

Stealth and stability are the hallmarks of the best duck hunting kayak, allowing hunters to glide silently through marshes and reed-filled coves, unnoticed by their feathered prey. The sturdy platform offers a solid footing as they take aim, ensuring precision in their pursuit of ducks in their natural habitat.

Now, let us venture into the world of waterfowl kayaks, exploring the key features that set them apart from their angling counterparts. From ingenious storage solutions to specially crafted camouflage designs, the best duck hunting kayak offers a seamless fusion of functionality and prowess. Embark on a journey through the popular brands that have mastered the art of crafting top-notch options for waterfowl enthusiasts, and uncover the vessels that will become your trusted companions in the thrilling world of duck hunting.

6 Types of Fly Fishing Kayaks

Fly fishing kayaks are available in different types, each designed for a specific purpose and condition. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Sit-on-top Fishing Kayaks: These are the most popular and offer stability and comfort for anglers. They are also easy to enter and exit, making them suitable for beginners.
  2. Sit-in Kayaks: Sit-in kayaks provide better weather protection, but are more challenging to enter and exit. They are ideal for experienced anglers or fishing in colder weather.
  3. Inflatable Fishing Kayaks: These are lightweight, portable and easy to transport, making them a great choice for anglers looking for convenience.
  4. Self-propelled Kayaks: These are powered by a pedal system and allow anglers to move around the water without using their hands.
  5. Tandem Kayaks: These are designed for two anglers and are ideal for fishing trips with a partner.
  6. Specialty Kayaks: Specialty fly fishing kayaks are also available for specific fishing styles, such as saltwater fly fishing or stream fishing.

When choosing a fly fishing kayak, consider factors such as stability, portability, weather protection, fishing style, and skill level as an angler. By taking these into account, you can find a kayak that meets your needs and provides a great fishing experience.

Popular Brands for Fly Fishing Kayaks

Here are some of the most popular fly fishing kayak brands:

  • Hobie
  • Jackson Kayak
  • Dagger
  • Nucanoe
  • Wilderness Systems
  • Perception
  • Old Town
  • Native Watercraft
  • Eddyline
  • Perception Kayak

When choosing a fly fishing kayak brand, keep in mind your specific needs and the conditions in which you’ll be fishing. Research and read reviews to compare different brands and models and look for one that offers high-quality construction, stability, and comfort.

Comparing brands can be challenging due to each brand’s unique features, benefits, and styles. Consider the following factors when making a comparison:

  • Quality of construction: A kayak’s stability, durability, and overall performance are all impacted by the quality of its construction. Look for brands that use top-notch materials and construction techniques and have a strong reputation for creating durable and reliable kayaks.
  • Customer feedback: Read customer reviews and ratings to gain insight into the quality and performance of each brand, and see what real users think of their kayaks.
  • Availability: Take into account the availability of each brand, as some may only be accessible in certain regions or countries.
  • Product range: Check the variety of products each brand offers, and make sure they have kayaks designed for different fishing types and conditions. This will help you find a kayak that meets your needs.
  • Price: Kayak prices vary greatly between brands, so it’s important to consider your budget and compare prices for the best value.

By considering these factors, you can make a knowledgeable decision and select a brand that offers the quality, product range, price, and customer satisfaction you’re seeking in a fly fishing kayak.

Where to Buy a Fly Fishing Kayak

Sources for purchasing a fly fishing kayak include outdoor specialty stores, online retailers, direct from the manufacturer, and secondhand

  • Outdoor stores like REI, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabela’s offer a variety of kayaks and expert advice
  • Online retailers like Amazon, Kayak Fishing Supplies, and Austin Kayak provide a diverse selection at competitive prices.
  • Some manufacturers sell directly to consumers through their websites.
  • Used kayaks can be found on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace but make sure to inspect the kayak thoroughly before buying

Consider the selection, price, and customer service of each source, and research and read reviews to find the best option for you.

9 Safety Tips for Fly Fishing from a Kayak

To ensure a safe fly fishing trip from your kayak, follow these important safety precautions:

  1. Follow rules and regulations: Know the fishing and kayaking rules in the area and comply with them, including respecting private property and obtaining necessary permits.
  2. Know how to self-rescue: In case of a capsize or fall, know how to get back into the kayak.
  3. Prepare for emergencies: Have a plan in place and be ready to call for help. Have a means of communication such as a cell phone or VHF radio, and know the location of nearest rescue services.
  4. Wear a PFD: Make sure the life jacket fits well, is Coast Guard approved, and easily accessible in case of an emergency.
  5. Wear visible clothing and have a visible signaling device on your kayak.
  6. Check weather and water conditions: Avoid kayaking in high winds, waves, or storms.
  7. Choose the right kayak: Pick a kayak suitable for the type of fishing and water you’ll be in, with consideration for factors like stability, maneuverability, and storage capacity.
  8. Bring important safety equipment: Have a whistle, fishing first aid kit, waterproof phone case, and means of communication, such as a VHF radio.
  9. Know your limits: Be mindful of your physical abilities and only fish in areas where you feel confident. Seek help if necessary.

Prioritize safety, be prepared, and stay aware of your surroundings to have a safe and enjoyable fly fishing experience from your kayak.

Cost & Maintenance of Fly Fishing Kayak

A fly fishing kayak’s cost and maintenance can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of kayak, its size, and the materials and features it is made of. Here’s a closer look at the price and upkeep of fly fishing kayaks:


  • The price of a fly fishing kayak is determined by a variety of factors, including its size, materials, features, and brand. A high-end kayak, for example, made of lightweight, durable materials and featuring a large, roomy cockpit, plenty of storage, and adjustable seating may cost several thousand dollars.
  • Entry-level fly fishing kayaks can start around $500, but high-end models can cost several thousand dollars.


  • Regularly inspecting the hull for cracks, dents, and other damage can assist you in identifying and repairing problems before they become more serious and costly to repair.
  • Tightening loose hardware, such as screws and bolts, can help maintain the structure of the kayak and prevent damage to the kayak or the surrounding environment.
  • Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your fly fishing kayak in top shape and extending its lifespan.
  • Cleaning the kayak after each use, inspecting the hull for cracks and other damage, and tightening any loose hardware are some basic maintenance tasks.
  • Keeping the kayak clean will help prevent the accumulation of algae, barnacles, and other debris, which can make paddling difficult and reduce the kayak’s speed and maneuverability.

In addition to routine maintenance, it is a good idea to store the kayak properly when not in use. Covering the kayak with a protective cover or storing it in a dry, shaded area can help to protect it from the elements.

A fly fishing kayak’s cost and maintenance can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of kayak, its size, and the materials and features it is made of. Regular maintenance and proper storage can keep your kayak in top shape and help it last longer. When selecting a kayak, it’s always a good idea to think about the long-term cost and maintenance and to buy a kayak that meets your needs and fits your budget.

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Conclusion: The Best Fly Fishing Kayak

The best fly fishing kayak is one that fits your specific needs and wants, such as stability, ease of movement, storage capacity, and comfort. Some popular options among fly fishermen include the Reel Yaks Pedal Kayak Fishing Angler 11’, BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive, BKC TK122U 12′ 6″ Tandem, Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120, and Elkton Outdoors Steelhead. Ultimately, the best kayak for you will be determined by your personal preferences and budget, so consider these aspects when making your choice.

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