11 Best Beginner Fishing Kayaks in 2024

Cast off into Beginner Fishing Kayaks with our picks for the best models for new anglers. We’ll help you find the right balance of affordability, features, and functionality for your next water adventure. Whether you need a budget-friendly option to test the waters or a premium kayak loaded with fishing amenities, our guide has you covered.

Beginner Fishing Kayaks

We’ve combed through the top brands and designs to recommend starter kayaks that are stable, comfortable, and optimized for fishing. With our advice, you’ll be equipped to choose the perfect kayak to start landing trophies from your local lakes and rivers. Keep reading for reviews of our favorite Beginner Fishing Kayaks for every beginner’s budget and style.

Best Beginner Fishing Kayaks

Perception Pescador Pro 12

10’6″32″57 lbs325 lbs
Perception Pescador Pro 12

This mid-range fishing kayak from Perception hits the sweet spot for size, comfort, and features. At 12 feet long, it weighs about the same as the smaller model but can hold more gear.

It has upright rod storage and large front and back storage areas for tackle, coolers, and bulky equipment. The adjustable footrests and removable, supportive seats work for paddlers of all sizes.

Both beginners and intermediate anglers should consider this sit-on-top kayak for its solid performance at a reasonable price. The stability is great for newcomers still working on balance and paddling skills. There’s generous cargo space to fit you and your gear up to 325 pounds. The comfy seat lets you fish for hours without discomfort.

Key features for newbies are the two built-in rod holders, though some poles may be too small for them. Also, the weight and side carry handle placement can make solo transport tricky.


  • Stable for beginners
  • Comfy seat for long fishing
  • Easy-to-use design
  • Lots of storage and fishing features


  • Maneuverability is just okay
  • Rod holders may be too big for some poles
  • Carrying handles make solo carrying tricky

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler

9’6″30″44 lbs275 lbs
Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler

The Pelican Sentinel fishing kayak is great for relaxing and paddling in calm waters. Its stable flat-bottom design provides excellent tracking for long trips. At under 10 feet and 44 pounds, the Sentinel is easy to transport and store without help – perfect if you like fishing tips solo.

It has molded carry handles, eyelets for accessories, paddle holders, and rod tie-downs to equip you for a full day on the water. Despite the low price, the Sentinel 100X doesn’t compromise on functionality. The center console has built-in compartments for tackle and small kayak items. There are also two recessed rod holders, clips for paddles and rods, and eyelets for extra accessories within easy reach.

Engineered for simplicity, the Sentinel’s compact design increases maneuverability to access tight fishing spots. Its lightweight 44-pound construction makes carting it to the water effortless.

The seat is comfy for short trips but may need an upgrade for all-day comfort. Larger anglers may find it less stable for balancing bigger catches.

Storage includes a rear compartment for gear and a large removable bin, though the dry compartment isn’t fully watertight. Avoid storing valuables there to prevent water damage.


  • Easy to transport due to its compact and lightweight design
  • Fishing-oriented features add practicality
  • Offers ample storage space


  • Seat comfort could be better for longer trips
  • The dry storage compartment is not completely waterproof
  • Stability may be a concern for heavier users

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

10’6″32″55 lbs325 lbs
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

The ATAK 120 by Wilderness Systems is a high-end fishing kayak that can carry 400 pounds yet still maneuver easily on and off the water. Its stable rocker hull shape allows efficient paddling, while the removable Flex Pod console accommodates electronics or a motor drive.

It has an AirPro MAX seat with a quick-release buckle for security, and adjustable Keepers XL foot braces for support.

To level up your fishing, add the trailer-able cover and kayak crate for easy transport and protection of your catch. The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 is impressively designed for stability, comfort, and storage – making it our top overall pick for beginners.

Though slightly heavy, it has great speed and tracking. Add the optional rudder kit for even more control. The maneuverability handles most fishing situations. The standout Phase 3 AirPro seat keeps you comfy for hours of fishing. At 325-pound capacity, it fits different body sizes and extra gear for full days out.

Storage excels with a large rear well, front hatch, removable dry box, and magnetic bottle holders. Easy-to-use features make fishing a pleasure. Portability isn’t the best due to the weight, but the rigid carry handles help for transportation.


  • Stable for beginners
  • Lots of storage
  • Solid build


  • Less maneuverable
  • Heavy for portability

Hobie Mirage Outback

Hobie Mirage Outback

The Hobie Mirage Outback is a durable pedal Beginner Fishing Kayaks made of roto-molded Polyethylene. The hi-tech Mirage Drive 180 Turbo system, allows hands-free angling, turning your trip into a leg workout for efficiency and fitness. It’s a win-win.

The design works for beginners and seasoned kayakers alike. It has an adjustable, comfortable seat with lower back support and a scupper for mounting a transducer. At 12 feet long, it transports easily despite its heavy weight. The 425-pound capacity compensates by allowing ample storage and stability for anglers of all sizes.

Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler

TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-on-top1Single-layer Polyethylene450 lbs.82 lbs.
Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler

The Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler is an easy-to-maneuver fishing kayak with an ultra-stable, lightweight hull and low-maintenance forward/reverse pedal system. At 10 feet 5 inches and 82 pounds, it offers hands-free performance to smoothly glide through any weather.

The easy-pending system and oversized rear tank provide effortless fishing.

The integrated transducer mounting system allows you to mount a fish finder. Three-rod holders and storage for rods and tackle round out the well-designed construction. The Topwater 106 combines stability, hands-free pedaling, and thoughtful fishing features for smooth, stress-free angling.

Sun Dolphin Journey

TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-on-top1UV-stabilized Fortiflex® Polyethylene395 lbs.44 lbs.
Sun Dolphin Journey

The Sun Dolphin Journey is a great fishing kayak for beginner anglers. Weighing less than 45 pounds, it’s easy to carry and fits on car rooftops. As the name suggests, the Journey is packed with features for a true fishing trip experience. It includes a cup holder, bungee storage, an adjustable rod holder, and padded thigh braces on the footpegs for comfort.

For the price, it provides amateur fishermen with above-average value. The lightweight and thoughtful extras make the Journey ideal for new paddlers embarking on their first fishing adventures.

Intex Professional Series

TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-in2PVC w/Polyester core400 lbs.43.64 lbs.
Intex Professional Series

The Intex tandem fishing kayak is great for unwinding in shallow waters with a friend. Made from tough laminate PVC with a Polyester core, it’s built to serve all your fishing needs without compromise.

The thoughtful design has removable seat boosters, adjustable back and footrests, and integrated drain plugs. It includes a directional skeg, a high-output pump, and a pressure gauge.

The versatile mounting bracket can attach GPS, swivel rod holders, fish finders, and more accessories as needed.

Bow and stern storage with stainless steel d-rings provide ample room for big catches and stretching out. When winter hits, deflate and pack it away with ease. The Intex inflatable tandem kayak packs great features into a portable package that serves double the fishing fun.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-on-top1UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene275 lbs.52 lbs.

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is the best fishing kayak if you want great value without a big expense. Its no-frills design makes it a simple yet reliable companion for every fishing trip. Catch fish without draining your wallet.

At 10 feet long and 52 pounds, the Tamarack has a spacious yet maneuverable size that’s easy to transport solo. It includes two mounted rod holders, chine rails, and adjustable footrests to maximize your fishing productivity.

Lifetime offers a 5-year limited warranty for peace of mind, though you likely won’t need it.

With its budget-friendly price, thoughtful design, and warranty, the Tamarack 100 lets you focus on fishing while keeping money in your pocket. This straightforward kayak provides angling essentials without breaking the bank.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-in21000-Denier Tarpaulin, 840-Denier Nylon470 lbs.40.5 lbs.
Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Bring an old friend along in the Sevylor Coleman Colorado fishing kayak to catch dinner and make memories. The Colorado is one of the toughest inflatable kayaks around, made of rugged 1000D Tarpaulin and 840D Nylon. Even if one chamber gets a hole, this durable construction will get you through your ride.

It features adjustable seats and comfy mesh storage space. The Berkley quick-set rod holders let you adjust pole angles when you sense a fish is near. With its puncture-resistant build and thoughtful fishing amenities, the Colorado inflatable kayak ensures a safe, fun trip for reconnecting with a Beginner Fishing Kayaks buddy over some catches. 

Lifetime Tandem

TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-on-top2UV-Protected Polyethylene500 lbs.60 lbs.
Lifetime Tandem

Though labeled as a 2-person kayak, the Lifetime tandem can fit 3 people or 500 pounds total. Its pontoon hull creates great stability – ideal for families with one child or couples with pets.

The high-density Polyethylene hull provides rigidity, tracking, and stability for both beginners and experienced anglers.

Designed for flatwater use, this 10-foot kayak is as robust as they come. It includes a 6-foot storage hatch, 3 rod holders, 2 padded seats, and 2 double-sided paddles. No extra purchases are needed – everything is included! From the padded seats to integrated rod holders, this tandem kayak is thoughtfully outfitted for a family-friendly day of Beginner Fishing Kayaks on calm waters. 

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack

TypePerson CapacityMaterialWeight CapacityWeight
Sit-on-top1Roto-molded Polyethylene300 lbs.46 lbs.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack

The Vibe Skipjack Beginner Fishing Kayaks prioritizes speed, stability, and compact size. Made for fishing and recreation, it’s the perfect weekend escape into nature. At just 9 feet long, the Skipjack is easy to load in and out of the water quickly with its light weight. The dimensions are ideal for maneuverability.

Engineered for exceptional stability, it tracks smoothly across all water types and weather with its leak-proof roto-molded polyethylene hull. Built-in buoyancy adds safety.

A 6-inch waterproof cargo bag and ample front and rear storage let you easily bring home your catches.

Whether you’re Beginner Fishing Kayaks or exploring the Skipjack’s balanced design delivers speed and agility without sacrificing stability. Its lightweight versatility makes it the go-to kayak for action-packed days out on the water.


There are many different types of kayaks to choose from. The main categories are:

  • Pedal kayaks:

 These allow you to pedal with your feet instead of paddling. Good for Beginner Fishing Kayaks since your hands are free.

  • Inflatable kayaks:

 These fold up small for easy transport and storage. Good for recreation.

  • Sit-on-top kayaks: 

You sit on an open deck with your legs inside. Easy to get in and out. Good for Beginner Fishing Kayaks or recreation.

  • Sit-inside kayaks:

 You sit inside a closed cockpit with your legs extended. Better for covering distance.

Choosing the right kayak depends on how you plan to use it. Consider where you will paddle, your experience level, and how much gear you need to carry. Test paddle different kayaks to see what feels most comfortable. Invest in a quality kayak and gear to make the most of your time on the water.

Kayaks Type

Kayaks Type

When choosing a kayak, first decide if you need hands-free fishing with pedals. If so, look at Beginner Fishing Kayaks like the Perception Pescador Pilot. It has pedal drive, rudder steering, and lots of storage space. But it’s also more expensive.

If hands-free isn’t needed, consider a sit-on-top recreational kayak. These let you easily get in and out. They typically have more storage than sit-inside models. Also, think about transport and storage. Inflatable kayaks are most portable.

Finally, factor in legroom. Sit-inside kayaks have less space but may be faster for covering distance. Focus on your main kayaking goals. Test different models to find one with the features you need, in a price range you can afford. With so many options, take your time to pick the right kayak for you.


When choosing a kayak, first decide if you need hands-free Beginner Fishing Kayaks with pedals. If so, look at Beginner Fishing Kayaks like the Perception Pescador Pilot. It has pedal drive, rudder steering, and lots of storage space. But it’s also more expensive.

If hands-free isn’t needed, consider a sit-on-top recreational kayak. These let you easily get in and out. They typically have more storage than sit-inside models. Also, think about transport and storage. Inflatable kayaks are most portable.

Finally, factor in legroom. Sit-inside kayaks have less space but may be faster for covering distance. Focus on your main kayaking goals. Test different models to find one with the features you need, in a price range you can afford. With so many options, take your time to pick the right kayak for you.

What are Chinese?

Chines are the lines that run from the tip to the back of the kayak, separating the bottom from the sides. They affect how the kayak handles.

There are two main types:

Hard chines – These have a distinct crease or angle between the bottom and sides. Hard Chinese provide better speed and tracking but can make the kayak feel tippy.

Hard chine kayaks are best for covering distance efficiently in open water. They trade some stability for speed.

Soft chines – These have a rounded transition between the hull and sides. Soft chines give a smoother ride but can be slower. Soft chine kayaks are more maneuverable and stable, but slower. They are good for recreational paddling in calm waters.

Consider how you plan to use your kayak when choosing between hard and soft chines. Test paddle both to see which design fits your needs.

Kayak Material

Kayak Material

The most popular material for Beginner Fishing Kayaks is polyethylene plastic formed through rotational molding. This involves heating and spinning the plastic to mold the deck and hull together. It creates a durable, leak-proof kayak.

Another method is the fusion process which welds or fuses the deck and hull with heat. This can be less impact-resistant but is affordable.

Composite materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber, or Kevlar can also be used. These make the kayak very lightweight but also more expensive. They are less common for Beginner Fishing Kayaks.

  • Rotational molded polyethylene plastic – The most common, durable, and affordable
  • Fusion method – Affordable but less impact-resistant
  • Composites like fiberglass are lightweight but expensive

For fishing, rotational molded polyethylene is best for its durability and cost. But consider how you’ll use the kayak when choosing construction. Test different materials to find the right balance of durability, weight, and price for you.


When choosing a kayak, consider how much it weighs for transporting and stability.

Lighter kayaks are easier to carry to the water. But they may feel more tippy, especially for beginners.

Heavier kayaks are more stable and withstand the weather better. But they’re harder to transport. Sit-on-top kayaks are often heavier than sit-inside models. For fishing, balance weight with your transport needs:

  • If parking right at the water, a heavier kayak could work.
  • If carrying longer distances, aim for a lighter but still stable option.

Also, factor in your skill level – beginners may want a heavier, more stable kayak.

Prioritize weight based on how and where you’ll use the kayak. Test paddling different weights to find the right feel. The goal is a kayak you can comfortably transport and paddle without tipping over easily.


Storage space is very important in a fishing kayak to hold your catch and gear.

Sit-inside kayaks often have more storage than sit-on-tops since they are enclosed. The closed design leaves room for you to sit while storing rods, tackle, etc.

However, all that storage space means more weight. The hull has to balance the load to stay buoyant. Consider how much fishing gear you need to carry when choosing storage:

  • Lots of gear – prioritize a sit-inside kayak with ample storage
  • Minimal gear – a sit-on-top could work well

Also, factor in transporting the kayak when loaded with gear. More storage = more weight to carry.

Test kayaks when fully loaded to ensure there is enough space and stability. Adequate, accessible storage will make time fishing from a kayak much more enjoyable.

Kayak Accessories 

Kayak Accessories 

Fishing kayaks need lots of space for gear. Rod holders let you store multiple rods and free your hands while paddling. Straps hold your catch until you get to shore. Look for mounting rails to attach accessories. This helps organize your rods and other items. It also gives you a place to rest paddles while fishing.

The “chines” are parts under the water between the bottom and sides. Hard chines have sharp angles for speed and stability sitting still. Soft Chinese have rounded edges for stability in waves but less speed.

Consider space, rod holders, straps, rails, and chine type when choosing a fishing kayak. Pick features that match how and where you’ll use it. Ample storage and stability are key for convenient fishing.

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