Are you ready to get out onto the water and catch some fish from the comfort of your own kayak, but don’t have the space for a hard-shell model? Then an inflatable fishing kayak might be the perfect solution for you. Inflatable fishing kayaks offer anglers a massive boost in portability and storage convenience while still providing a stable and versatile fishing platform.
What Is An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?
An inflatable fishing kayak is a flexible, inflatable alternative to traditional hard-shell kayaks that offers major portability, storage and affordability benefits. Inflatable fishing kayaks are made from durable materials like PVC or hypalon that can be inflated using an air pump when ready to use, then deflated and rolled or folded up for compact storage when not in use. Their lightweight and collapsible design makes them much easier to transport, load into vehicles and store when not in use compared to hard-shell kayaks.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to find the best inflatable fishing kayaks for your needs. I’ll cover the different types of inflatables, important features to consider, and my picks for the top inflatable fishing kayaks currently on the market.
List of the Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
Check out the thorough reviews of the best inflatable fishing kayaks below.
Boasting a multi-layer material construction reinforced with a patented aluminum rib frame, the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler inflatable fishing kayak delivers durability and tracking efficiency. Abrasion pads on the bottom and the wide 35-inch beam increase stability while bringing in large catches. The high-back seat featuring inflatable lumbar support and two integrated rod holders provides comfort for long fishing excursions. Measuring 9 feet 8 inches in length and weighing 41 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, the StraitEdge Angler packs substantial performance into a compact package. Furthermore, the removable Accessory Frame provides customizability by allowing anglers to add rod holders, a fish finder, or other gear. Between the multi-layer construction, abrasion resistant design, abundance of storage solutions, and flexibility provided by the removable frame, Advanced Elements have engineered the StraitEdge Angler to empower anglers with both performance and convenience.
With a 1000 denier reinforced layered PVC construction, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead inflatable fishing kayak can withstand rough waters while the solid drop stitch floor provides a stable bait-casting position. The rigid floor, spray guard, and self-bailing floor ports work in tandem to manage excess splashing. Bungee storage and universal hard points make it convenient to secure fishing essentials. The included dual-action hand pump allows for quick and hassle-free inflation and deflation, allowing for storage in the travel bag between uses. Overall, fishermen will appreciate the fishing-specific design components that boost performance and stability while harvesting fish, from the padded seat for lengthy waits to the reinforced durability for bouncing off obstacles. Meanwhile, the stress-free setup and storage system provides grab-and-go convenience for anglers seeking productive on-the-water times.
The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO takes inflatable fishing kayaking to a new level. Its wide 38.5 inch beam and drop-stitch inflatable floor ensure stability for standing, while multi-layer material and 5 air chambers deliver maximum durability. The revolutionary Accessory Frame System allows anglers to add rod holders, a fish finder, and other accessories using aftermarket 1 inch rail mounts. The comfortable AirFrame PRO seat provides hours of stability, support, and ventilation. Additional features increase performance and productivity, like aluminum rib-frame technology for superior tracking, stainless steel d-rings, bungee deck lacing for ample gear storage, and paddle holders. The included repair kit, owner’s manual, duffel bag, drop-stitch floor, and two accessory frames give anglers the essential gear needed to start fishing immediately. Measuring 10 feet 6 inches long and weighing just 45 pounds, the StraitEdge Angler PRO provides a durable and stable platform for serious anglers.
A fishing kayak designed specifically for anglers seeking larger catches, the Sea Eagle 350FX combines portability with a rugged inflatable design. Inflating in just seven minutes, the 11’6” kayak can carry up to 575 pounds and features 16 rapid self-bailing drain valves. The hull maximizes stability and maneuverability, allowing anglers to stealthily approach fish in hard to reach areas.
The swivel seat fishing rig package contains numerous conveniences for anglers, including a FlexBrace to stabilize rods, a 40-inch fish ruler, anchor trolley D-rings, and a removable double-layer high-pressure drop stitch floor with foam padding for comfort. Made from 1000 denier nylon with 2000 denier reinforcements, the 350FX is rugged enough for whitewater. Best of all, its compact 31 x 19 x 10 inch deflated size and 51 pound weight allows anglers to easily transport and store the kayak, providing the ultimate in fish-catching portability and convenience.
The inflatable Saturn 13′ Pro-Angler Fishing Kayak boasts impressive performance for anglers on the go. Made with heavy-duty 1100 DTEX PVC, the three chamber hull and 12 inch diameter tubes provide stable, reliable paddling in fresh or saltwater. Measuring 13 feet in length, the rigid high pressure air deck floor transforms the kayak into a steady multi-functional fishing platform. The two removable aluminum benches enable anglers to customize the experience, with space for rod holders, depth finders and cameras. Weighing in at a mere 43 pounds, the portability and transportation convenience of this inflatable kayak allows anglers to fish anywhere. Whether used directly from the durable aluminum benches, converted with foldable chairs, or outfitted with traditional kayak seats, custom electric motors or sails, the versatile Saturn Pro-Angler provides fishermen a durable, stable floating base with limitless configuration options to suit any fishing style.
The Intex Excursion Pro inflatable fishing kayak delivers a stellar performance for an affordable price. Boasting a durable 3-ply laminate construction with reinforced PVC, it shows exceptional strength against abrasion, impacts, and UV rays, allowing higher inflation pressure for rigidity. Remarkably, the included high output pump inflates the 10 foot long kayak quickly, while spring-loaded valves allow rapid deflation.
Moreover, the stability and maneuverability are impressive.The additional rigidity from high inflation and two removable skegs enable stable tracking in both deep and shallow water. Conveniently, ample storage in the bow and stern accommodates all essential gear, while D-rings facilitate cargo tie-down.
Built to last, the Elkton Cormorant inflates within minutes to provide anglers over ten comfortable feet of fishing fun. The heavy-duty 18-gauge PVC and rugged tarpaulin construction tolerates fishing abuse well, keeping leaks at bay. Two adjustable bucket seats with EVA foam backing offer support through hours on the water. Alongside, built-in rod holders abound. Fishermen get two full-action rod holders and four additional trolling rod mounts to arrange based on preference.
Storage conveniences like six mesh pockets and a mesh bag allow anglers to organize lures and tackle while on the go. The compact storage size and lightweight build lend themselves well to kayaking as an alternative to bulkier conventional fishing kayaks. When needed, the three separate air chambers enable quick deflation, inflation, repair, and adjustment in the field. Best of all, included accessories like two aluminum oars and a double action pump get anglers on the water fast to reel in the catch of the day.
Constructed from rugged 18-gauge PVC with a durable 1000 denier tarpaulin bottom and 840 denier nylon cover, the Sevylor Colorado 2-Person inflatable fishing kayak can withstand lake use. Furthermore, multiple air chambers allow the vessel to remain afloat if one chamber becomes punctured, enhancing safety. Comfortable adjustable seats and convenient add-on rod holders enable hands-free fishing. The padded Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders precisely angle fishing poles while the adjustable seats promote comfortable paddling throughout the excursion. Mesh pockets and D-rings provide ample storage for anglers to carry their necessary gear.
How to Choose The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks?
Choosing the right inflatable fishing kayak can seem overwhelming with so many options on the market. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you weed through the options and find the perfect kayak for your needs.
Know Your Budget
Like anything, start by considering your budget. Inflatable fishing kayaks range widely in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. Set a budget that balances affordability with quality, remembering you get what you pay for to some degree. Consider items like build quality, materials, and extras when comparing options at different price points.
Determine Your Fishing Style
What kind of fishing do you enjoy most? Kayak fishing differs between still water versus moving water, ocean fishing versus freshwater, and longer day trips versus quick jaunts. You’ll need features like storage, rod holders, and stability that match your preferred fishing style.
Check the Size and Weight Specs
Make sure the length, width, weight, and weight capacity work for you and your gear. Longer and wider kayaks track straighter and feel more stable but sacrifice maneuverability. Larger capacity allows for extra gear and passengers. Find the balance that suits your preferences and needs. And don’t forget to factor in the kayak’s inflated and deflated weights – you want something you can comfortably carry and transport.
Compare Extras and Features
Things like the number of rod holders, gear pouches, utility hatches, and cup holders set kayaks apart and add functionality. Some options have console units, rudders, mounted fish finders and more. Take stock of which features will add the most value and convenience for how you intend to fish from your kayak.
Read Reviews and Talk to Owners
The best way to narrow your choices is getting first-hand information. Read online reviews from owners, talk to friends who kayak fish, and ask questions at your local boating and fishing stores. Real world experiences highlight the most important factors to focus on and any common issues to watch out for with specific brands and models.
Frequently Asked Questions When Picking The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
Q: Are inflatable fishing kayaks stable enough for fishing?
A: Yes, many inflatable fishing kayaks are actually very stable thanks to their wide beam design and specialized fishing features like built-in rod holders. Some even have inflatable outriggers to provide extra stability.
Q: How much weight can an inflatable fishing kayak hold?
A: Most inflatable fishing kayaks can hold between 250-400 pounds. Heavier duty options can go up to 500-600 pounds of total weight capacity. Be sure to check the weight limit for the specific model you are considering.
Q: Can I stand up in an inflatable fishing kayak?
A: While most inflatable fishing kayaks allow you to stand up easily thanks to their stability, some models have a higher center of gravity and are not ideal for standing. Look for one with a flat or V-shaped bottom for best standing and walking capability.
Q: Do they come with rod holders and fish finders?
A: Yes! Many inflatable fishing kayaks come with features like built-in rod holders, gear tracks, fish finder mounts and even paddle holders to keep your equipment organized while fishing.
Q: How easy are they to inflate and deflate?
A: Inflatable fishing kayaks use hand or electric pumps to inflate in 5-15 minutes depending on the model. They deflate and fold up for easy transport and storage. Quick inflation and deflation are definite pros of inflatable kayaks.
Q: What about durability in rough water?
A: Inflatable fishing kayak hull materials like PVC, Hypalon and drop-stitch construction make them very durable, even in rocky areas and more rugged water conditions. Many anglers use them in rivers, lakes and oceans with no issues.
Whether you’re a casual angler looking for convenience or a seasoned pro after the ultimate fish-catching machine, inflatable fishing kayaks offer a combination of portability, stability, durability and functionality that hard-shell alternatives simply can’t match. Their inflatable design and specialized fishing features allow you to comfortably and efficiently access even the most remote fishing spots, allowing you to spend more time actually fishing. An inflatable fishing kayak just might change the way you hit the water for years to come.
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