Best Fishing Kayaks

Best Fishing Kayaks Would you like to catch more fish from a kayak that’s easy to haul? We’ve done the groundwork to discover the lightest fishing kayak models that offer smooth sailing and rugged durability.

Best Fishing Kayaks

 After endless on-water testing and lively debates, we’re ready to reel in the best compact kayaks for anglers on the move. Whether you’re a veteran looking to upgrade or a new paddler chasing your first catch, these nimble boats will get you to the fish faster.

Trust us when we say a featherlight kayak changes the fishing game. Beyond simplified transport, you can glide with precision to your secret spots. When you hook a trophy trout or bass, they provide the stability and strength to handle behemoths.

Get the inside scoop on our handpicked boats that can help any angler achieve more success this season. Keep reading for the top lightweight performers we confidently recommend based on our experience.

The 6 Best Fishing Kayaks

Our in-depth reviews are accompanied by a comparison chart and helpful tips. We focused on open and enclosed decks, inflatables, and even a pedal option – all weighing less than 50 pounds for car-top portability.

Eddyline Caribbean 12FS Angler

Best lightweight sit-on-top fishing kayak

Eddyline Caribbean 12FS Angler
12 feet30 inches45 pounds275 pounds

The Eddyline Caribbean 12FS Angler excels for warm-weather day trips. At just 45 pounds, it’s light enough to carry and launch solo.

The padded, adjustable seat is comfy and durable. It’s also waterproof and doubles as a camp chair – nice perks after a day on the water.

For storage, there’s a large open-air rear hatch with bungees for large items like coolers. A smaller sealed hatch up front keeps sensitive gear dry.

The built-in tracts allow mounting rod holders and other accessories. Plus removable seat gives the flexibility to customize the setup. To learn about the Best Cheap Kayaks click here

It handles rapids up to class II and most flatwater, pleasing casual and ambitious anglers. The 14-foot Caribbean model trades some maneuverability for higher weight capacity and tracking.

However, the Caribbean series balances portability and functionality for protected saltwater or freshwater fishing. I aimed for compact sentences using simple vocabulary.


  • Light and easy to transport
  • Stable and easy to paddle
  • Good front storage space


  • Weight limit better for day trips
  • Best for calm waters

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler

Best value sit-on-top fishing lightweight kayaks

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler
9 feet 6 inches30 inches44 pounds275 pounds

In the pros, I focused on stability, unexpected custom offerings, and agile maneuvering – the best assets when fishing.

For cons, I noted the lack of waterproof storage and the conditions it handles best.

Overall, it packs great features for the money, though adventurous anglers may desire more protection for gear and rougher water capacity.

I’m usually skeptical of the best Fishing Kayakk – but the Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler breaks the mold. It delivers steady performance for an affordable price.

What surprised me most array of custom extras on this budget-friendly boat. The console has handy compartments for tackle and gear. It also comes with rod holders, eyelets for accessories, and a paddle tie-down.

The Sentinel equals the Caribbean model’s width in just 10 feet. So offers the Best stability for protected waters, though taller anglers may feel cramped.


  • Best Fishing Kayaks has Rock-solid stability
  • Nimble handling
  • Decked out with extras despite the price


  • Best Fishing Kayaks has to calmer waters
  • No dry storage

Perception Sound 10.5

Best lightweight sit-inside fishing kayak

Perception Sound 10.5
10 feet 6 inches29.5 inches46 pounds335 pounds

The Sound 10.5 sit-inside Best Fishing Kayaks brings excellent stability in a streamlined package that’s faster than other fishing models. By riding low and snug in the cockpit, it handles nicely for reaching distant hot spots.

But that sleek form means limited onboard storage – it only packs a large rear well secured by bungees. Shorter paddlers may squeeze extras up front, but space is tight.

While not made for major hauling or rough waters, the Sound nails the basics for small-lake outings. With rod holders, gear tracks, and a mini dash toolbox, it can carry an angler comfortably through a full day of casting.


  • Tri-hull creates solid stability
  • Plush, comfortable seat
  • Faster than similar kayaks


  • Not much storage space
  • Made for day trips

Lifetime Payette Angler 98

Best value sit-inside fishing kayak
Lifetime Payette Angler 98
9 feet 8 inches30 inches44 pounds250 pounds

In the pros, I highlighted the affordable cost along with great stability and steering – important for fishing. The dry storage and bungees are also handy inclusions.

The cons cover the lack of customization and an unpadded seat. But it still delivers on core performance for the price.

I was happily surprised by the Lifetime Payette Angler 98. It gives great performance at an affordable cost. This Best Fishing Kayak works best for casual anglers or beginners using calm waters. Its sporty, small design handles well for all skill levels.

The Payette doesn’t have fancy extras like gear tracks. But it does offer impressive stability that’s easy to paddle.

I appreciate the built-in rod holder by the seat and cockpit space. This allows strategically placing gear for easy access when paddling.

Storage is somewhat limited but used well. The front has accessible bungees, and a rear hatch keeps items dry.

Stability is good despite the narrow shape, and the seat back pads well. I added padding to the seat bottom for more comfort.


  • Budget-friendly price
  • Very stable and easy to maneuver
  • Includes dry storage hatch and bungees


  • No options for custom add-ons
  • Seat lacking padding

Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series

Best lightweight inflatable fishing kayak

Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series
12 feet 6 inches36 inches45 pounds635 pounds

The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series is a Best Fishing Kayak that can also be used as a raft. It is stable and durable, and it can be used with a small electric motor. The kayak has a wide hull and a non-slip surface, making it a good choice for fishing in windy or wavy conditions. 

The sprayskirts come with a built-in rod, hook, and lure holders, and there is additional storage space beneath bungee cords. The kayak can hold up to three paddlers, but it is most comfortable for one or two people. The kayak can be inflated in less than ten minutes.


  • A stable standing platform for casting
  • Electric motor installs easily
  • Huge weight capacity


  • Harder to handle than a hard shell kayak

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight

Best lightweight inflatable pedal kayak

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight
9 feet 5 inches40 inches37 pounds350 pounds
  • This kayak can also be used as a stand-up paddleboard.
  • It has kick-up fins that protect it from damage in shallow water.
  • It has a comfortable seat and is easy to steer.
  • It is not specifically designed for fishing, but it has enough space for a kayak crate and fishing rods.
  • It is compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport and store.

Best Fishing Kayaks[don’t buy one before watching this]

Lightweight Fishing Kayak Comparison Table

KayakLengthWidthWeightCapacitySeatingCockpit TypeStructure
Eddyline Caribbean 12FS Angler12 feet30 inches45 pounds275 pounds1Sit-on-topHard-shell
Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler9 feet 6 inches30 inches44 pounds275 pounds1Sit-on-topHard-shell
Perception’s Sound 10.510 feet 6 inches29.5 inches46 pounds335 pounds1Sit-inHard-shell
Lifetime Payette Angler 989 feet 8 inches30 inches44 pounds250 pounds1Sit-inHard-shell
Sea Eagle 385fta12 feet 6 inches36 inches45 pounds635 pounds1 or 2Sit-on-topInflatable
Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight9 feet 5 inches40 inches37 pounds350 pounds1Sit-on-topInflatable

              The Best Fishing Kayaks Buying Advice

When buying the Best Fishing Kayaks, there are some important differences to understand that impact performance and suit your needs

Sit-Inside or Sit-On-Top: enclosed cockpit vs open deck

Material: typically polyethylene, composite, inflatable

Speed: longer, sleek models are faster

Maneuverability: shorter, wider designs turn easier

Comfort: padded seats and adjustable footrests

Stability: wider width improves balance

Tracking: longer length holds a straight line

Durability: solid construction prevents dents

Portability: lighter and compact is transportable

Customizations: rod holders, gear mounts, anchor systems

Sit-Inside vs. Sit-on-Top

Sit-inside Best Fishing Kayaks has a cockpit that encloses your legs, with the seat mounted below deck level. This streamlined design makes them faster and track better. The seating position offers more protection from splashes and spray. However, the enclosed space can feel cramped, especially for bigger paddlers.

Sit-on-top kayak seats are mounted above the deck, with open sides for easier leg room. Their wider shape for stability can make them slower but very user-friendly. The open design leaves you more exposed to the elements.


Most hard-shell fishing kayaks are made of durable polyethylene plastic. This tough, rigid material is cost-effective and low maintenance. Polyethylene can handle scrapes and knocks, lasting for years if not excessively dragged over rough terrain.

Kayak Material

Inflatables once had a poor reputation, but quality brands now produce exceptional designs. Their sturdy drop-stitch construction withstands accidental bumps and collisions. Multi-chamber redundancy keeps you floating even if one chamber gets a leak.


Best fishing kayaks trade some speed for easier handling. Shorter kayaks turn more easily but don’t track as fast in a straight line.

Speed: The Eddyline Caribbean models are the fastest, with their longer and narrower shape. The Sea Eagle inflatable can fly with an electric motor.

Maneuverability: Shorter kayaks like the Hobie iTrek, Pelican Sentinel, and Lifetime Payette make very tight turns. Their compact size squeezes into narrow fishing spots


Smaller, Best Fishing Kayaks may lack the speed of bigger models, but their superior maneuverability more than makes up for it. Compact designs like the Hobie iTrek 9 and Pelican Sentinel 100X truly shine when it comes to making tight turns and squeezing into narrow spaces that larger kayaks simply can’t access.

Kayak comfort

 I’ll never forget an outing where the exceptional nimbleness of my Hobie iTrek 9 allowed me to easily navigate a winding river’s bends. I discovered hidden alcoves and secret fishing holes I would have completely missed with a bigger boat. For anglers just learning the sport, having a kayak that’s so responsive and easy to handle builds confidence and makes the experience more enjoyable while developing your skills.

 So when prioritizing not just getting somewhere quickly but having the precision to pinpoint the best hole-in-the-wall spots, the Pelican Sentinel 100X, Lifetime Payette Angler 98, and Hobie iTrek 9 have that perfect blend of being lightweight yet extremely maneuverable. Their tight turning capability lets you explore places that would be impossible with longer, faster kayaks, often leading you to secluded gems brimming with fish.

Stability & Tracking

Sit-inside designs seem more wobbly at first but are less likely to fully capsize if you lean. Sit-on-tops feel steadier initially but will flip if you go too far.

Stability & Tracking kayak

Long and narrow kayaks typically track better in a straight line. The Hobie iTrek and Sea Eagle inflatable have aids to improve directional control.

The Eddyline Caribbean models and Perception Sound also track well due to their longer shape. Good tracking is key when paddling in windy areas.

Well-balanced stability gives confidence for fishing while efficient tracking saves effort in holding a course. Evaluate your comfort level and conditions to find the best blend of initial steadiness versus secondary leeway before tipping. Consider tracking aids if winds or currents are strong where you’ll paddle.


  • Hard-shell lightweight kayaks are durable and can be landed on most beaches without any problems.
  • Inflatable Best Fishing Kayaks are also durable, but you should avoid dragging them over anything other than sand.

Portability & Storage

  • The Hobie iTrek 9 is the easiest lightweight kayak to transport and carry, weighing only 20 pounds.
  • For solo kayakers, a kayak cart will make it easier to move your Best Fishing Kayaks from the parking lot to the water.
  • Most lightweight kayaks on our list have limited storage space, but the Sea Eagle 385fta can handle a considerable amount of gear.
  • The Eddyline Caribbean 12FS and Hobie iTrek 9 have good storage capacity for kayak crates and dry bags.

Fishing Customization

Outfitting your Best Fishing Kayaks with various accessories can significantly improve your fishing experience.

Add rod holders. This will free up your hands so you can cast and reel in your line.

Install a fish finder. This will help you locate fish so you can cast your line in the right spot. Mount a GPS. This will help you navigate to your favorite fishing spots. Add a cooler. This will keep your fish fresh on the way home.

Eddyline Caribbean 12FS: This kayak has a single track between your legs for a rod holder and two accessory tracks on each side for additional gear.

Pelican Sentinel 100X: This kayak comes with multiple rod holders and accessory eyelets for customization.

Having highly customizable Best Fishing Kayaks will make your fishing trips more enjoyable and successful.


  • Pelican. Mission.
  • Aquaglide. Blackfoot Angler 160.
  • Aquaglide. Blackfoot Angler 130.
  • Sea Eagle. Explorer 380x.
  • Delta Kayaks. Delta 12s.
  • Oru Kayak. Inlet.

Orange and white are the most visible colors in daylight on calm water.

The heavier your kayak is, the harder it will be to paddle.

A lighter kayak is easier to carry and load, and it also paddles faster. You can also bring more gear with a lighter kayak because it weighs less.


The best fishing kayaks are the Eddyline Caribbean 12FS Angler, Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler, Perception Sound 10.5, Lifetime Payette Angler 98, Sea Eagle FastTrack Angler, and Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight. They are all less than 50 pounds and easy to transport. They also have a variety of features that make them perfect for fishing, such as rod holders, gear tracks, and dry storage.

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