Recently, anglers have turned to kayak fishing because of its cost-effectiveness, as not every fisherman can buy a boat. But the hustle doesn’t end here!
You still need to ask yourself some questions.
- Is the kayak comfortable enough to spend a whole day in?
- Can you have a company on your trips?
- Can the kayak handle changeable weather conditions and strong waves?
- Can beginners go fishing with inflatable fishing kayaks?
All of these questions could pop on your mind when you decide to buy a kayak. In this article, we’ll fill in all the missing pieces of the puzzle and make sure that you find the best inflatable fishing kayak.
Buckle up! Your journey is about to start.
At a Glance:
- Sea Eagle SE370 - Best Overall
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado - Runner Up
- Saturn FK396 - Maximum Weight Capacity
- Sevylor Big Basin - Pet-Friendly Kayak
- Intex Explorer K2 - Cheapest Kayak
The 5 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
1. Sea Eagle SE370 - Best Overall
The Sea Eagle SE370 is the best inflatable fishing kayak for newbies and pros. The kayak is very light in weight, as it only weighs 32 lbs. It comes with carry-handles to facilitate the transportation process.
This kayak is very well-constructed as it was made of 38 mils PVC to withstand sunlight and abrasion. It may not be very resistant to punctures; however, every Sea Eagle SE370 comes with a repair box that allows its holder to fix these holes.
Fishing kayakers don’t like wasting their time, which makes the Sea Eagle a perfect choice, as you can inflate the kayak in 10 minutes.
Moreover, if you enjoy the company on your trips, then you should know that the Sea Eagle can take up to 3 people, but it wouldn’t be recommended because it may cause too much stress on the yak, even though it can carry up to 650 lbs.
Such high weight capacity allows you to take as much equipment as you need, without the fear of sinking, but it may slow down your kayak, so try to stay reasonable with your baggage.
One more essential feature is that the yak comes with drain valves to allow the kayak to bail out the excess water.
Another advantage is that the kayak has 3 chambers: port, floor, and starboard walls. The previous feature is a significant safety precaution as if one of the chambers ruptures, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the kayak will drown.
Furthermore, the kayak’s stability is why many anglers choose it to be their go-to inflatable fishing kayak. It also comes with 2 stabilizing skegs, to ensure its stability.
Most users love using the Sea Eagle SE370. Still, they have some minor concerns like the kayak’s slow speed, and the kayak’s floor instability, so you may need to stay seated throughout the trip to achieve higher maneuverability on casting and retrieving techniques.
- Superb weight capacity
- Supports high passenger capacity
- Drain valves
- Two stabilizing skegs
- Floor’s low stability
- Hard to maneuver
- Low speed
The Sea Eagle SE370 is excellent for beginners, as they get the privilege of taking a friend or a trainer on their trip. Plus, they enjoy using a highly durable kayak that guarantees their safety and well-being.
2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado - Runner Up
If you’re starting your kayak-fishing career, Coleman Colorado is your right match. The qualities offered by this kayak are suitable for money, as the kayak costs less than $400.
Although it doesn’t come with paddles or pumps, so you may need to buy them separately.
Furthermore, it works perfectly with fishers who like to go after their bait without noise, not to startle the fish.
The Coleman Colorado is made of 18 gauge PVC to withstand shocks and punctures. Plus, the well-built structure of this kayak pertains to its saltwater, sunlight, and abrasion resistance.
The versatility of this kayak is why beginners and pros can maneuver it.
The Coleman Colorado is a 2-person kayak so that you can bring along your child or friend. Also, the seats are adjustable, and you can control them to suit your comfort.
The deflated Coleman Colorado weighs about 41 lbs, so it’s pretty heavy to carry, and it’d be best if you had a car to transport it from one place to another.
Moreover, it has a maximum weight capacity of 470 lbs, which is good enough to fit your fishing gear.
Also, some fishermen don’t like paddling, so you can mount a motor on the kayak, but keep in mind that this might cause disturbance for the fish.
Since nothing is ever flawless, some anglers mentioned that the kayak’s slow speed is a bit on the downside, and you might miss baits because of this feature.
Another disadvantage is that the Coleman Colorado isn’t white water-friendly. You’d better use it in calm rivers and lakes.
- Customizable for an angler’s comfort
- Maximum durability
- Can’t withstand white water
- Pumps and paddles aren’t included
The Coleman Colorado is the perfect choice for anglers on tight budgets, as it offers excellent value for money. The stability and durability of the kayak are worth considering.
3. Saturn FK396 - Best Weight Capacity
The most distinctive feature in this model is its high weight capacity, which may take up to 700 lbs. So, it’s an excellent option to consider for overnight fishing trips. You can also mount a GPS, a fishfinder, and an electric motor on the Saturn FK396.
It may not be very cheap, as it can cost more than $600, yet the qualities it offers are worth every penny.
The heavy-duty PVC is what contributes to the strength of this kayak. You can use it for fishing on coastal, windy shores, unlike the Intex Explorer K2.
The well-constructed body of the kayak didn’t stop the manufacturers from maintaining a lightweight kayak that anglers can easily carry from a place to another.
Saturn FK396 is a beginner-friendly kayak that is effortlessly maneuvered. In case you find a fishing hotspot, you can paddle your way through it because of the kayak’s narrow body and high-buoyancy tubes.
Everything on this kayak is adjustable so that you customize the aluminum seats and storage areas according to your liking.
The absence of a self-bailing mechanism is a complete disappointment to many anglers because you won’t be able to bail out the excess water when you go into deeper levels. That’s why some anglers make several holes in the bottom of the kayak to eliminate excessive water.
- Impressive weight capacity
- Narrow profile and high-buoyancy tubes
- Adjustable aluminum seats
- Easily maneuvered on deep coastal waters
- GPS and electric motor mountable
- Absence of self-bailing
If you’re pulling an all-nighter on a calm lake or a river, Saturn FK396 is your top-notch inflatable fishing kayak. You may need to consider other options if you plan to go into more profound levels.
4. Sevylor Big Basin - Pet-Friendly Kayak
Now, we’ve reached one of the most appreciated kayaks of all time. The uniqueness of this kayak comes from its pet-friendly construction.
As the kayak is made of anti-puncture, heavy-duty PVC, you can take your dog with you on fishing excursions, not worrying if the pet will make any holes in your well-built kayak. Moreover, the kayak has a tarpaulin bottom that contributes to the kayak’s overall strength.
Not that it might happen, but the kayak has a repair kit to mend any punctures.
The Sevylor company claims that the kayak can carry 3 people on its deck; however, most anglers said that the kayak could take up to 2 adults and a child; otherwise, the kayak’s speed will be noticeably lower.
As previously mentioned, the Big Basin is made of heavy-duty PVC, so it will work correctly if you like lake and river fishing.
However, if you like fishing in white waters, it won’t be a problem, yet you may need to think twice before you do it and consider applying serious safety precautions like having your PFD life jacket on at all times.
The Sevylor Big Basin comes with a dependable drainage system to expel excess waters if an angler went into profound levels.
In addition to the airtight system, the Big Basin possesses multiple air chambers to guarantee the kayak’s strength and the angler’s safety.
Also, you don’t have to worry about the wasted time inflating the kayak, as it may take you up to 15 minutes.
The kayak is 12-ft long, so it gives the buyer the privilege of adjusting the kayak’s seats to fit 1, 2, or 3 people. This length didn’t affect the lightness of the kayak, as it only weighs about 35 lbs.
One disadvantage that made anglers think twice before they bought the Big basin is that it doesn’t come with pumps and paddles. For that, you may need to spend a little more money.
- Pet-friendly construction
- Airtight system and multiple chambers
- Used in white waters and calm rivers
- Pumps and paddles aren’t included
- Takes only two adults, not three as mentioned by the manufacturer
If your pet is your best friend, you've reached your destination. With that kayak, you can go fishing through the strongest winds but still enjoy your best companion's company.
5. Intex Explorer K2 - Cheapest Kayak
This kayak is the cheapest inflatable fishing kayak in the market. It can carry 2 people so that anglers can have some quality time with friends or family members.
For such a low price, you can’t expect this kayak to perform in coastal waters, but it can give you a successful fishing experience in calm lakes and rivers.
The Intex Explorer K2 is made of vinyl, which contributes to an acceptable reliability level. You should also know that the Intex Explorer isn’t as reliable as the Coleman Colorado or the Sea Eagle SE370.
Plus, It’d be best if you avoid rough structures, as the vinyl exterior may experience some holes, letting water into the kayak.
The Intex Explorer K2 has 2 chambers to compensate for the weak vinyl exterior; however, it‘s recommended that you go back to shore if any punctures occur because you don’t know how long you’ll manage to stay on the water’s surface.
As long as you’re paddling on still water, you can maneuver your kayak with no trouble, as the Intex Explorer comes with excellent stability.
On the other hand, if you go fishing in rough waters, the wind and waves will make you lose control over the kayak, so you’ll waste your time trying to stay on the kayak rather than fishing.
Of course, the fishing experience will be much more rewarding if you do it from a boat’s deck, yet it’s the money that has the last saying in that matter.
The Intex Explorer is considered the best option for that cost. Unlike Coleman Colorado, the Intex comes with paddles and pumps, so you won’t need to spend extra money.
- Best value for money
- Excellent stability
- Included pumps and paddles
- Loses its stability in coastal waters and on windy days
- The vinyl exterior is quite weak
Spending less than $100 on an inflatable fishing kayak is a winning bet, you only need to stick to calm lakes and rivers to enjoy a high-quality fishing trip.
How to Pick an Inflatable Fishing Kayak
You can use most inflatable kayaks for fishing, but there are some special-made models that are adjusted to suit specific fishing techniques. They also come with essential fishing features like comfy cockpits for long fishing trips and built-in rod holders.
Of course, other types of inflatable kayaks come with fishing-friendly features; however, they don’t offer the same compatibility with fishing techniques like the one provided by inflatable fishing kayaks.
Before picking your go-to inflatable fishing kayak, you may need to go over some essential specifications to guarantee that this kayak is your best match.
The first-ever inflatable kayak was made of PVC, which was very weak and couldn’t withstand direct sunlight and abrasion.
As time passed, manufacturers got more creative with the PVC technology, and they invented a more durable version of inflatable kayaks.
Of course, PVC, inflatable fishing kayaks aren’t the best option if you prefer morning and afternoon fishing, although many anglers may go for them because of their relatively low prices.
To protect your PVC kayak, you can spray it with a UV protectant.
To replace the weak PVC, some manufacturers introduced the Nitrylon inflatable kayaks, which are a bit stronger than PVC ones.
On the downside, Nitrylon kayaks are slightly more massive, and many anglers avoid buying heavy gear because they can be an obstacle on long trips.
Hypalon inflatable kayaks are the latest invention. They’re the most robust kayaks compared to their previous counterparts.
Hypalon kayaks are the most recommended kayaks for fishing because of their anti-abrasion and anti-puncture construction.
You may need to save a lot of money to afford that one, but it’s the best quality for money.
If you like going solo on your fishing trips, single-seated kayaks will suit you just fine.
However, some people prefer taking their kids and friends on fishing trips, so many inflatable fishing kayaks offer a removable-seat option. That way, anglers can adjust their kayaks according to their fishing modes.
Another critical feature is how much storage the kayak has. If you plan to go on long fishing trips, you may need to fill your kayak with food, drinks, extra bait, and an ice bucket to keep your catches fresh and edible.
Also, note that all inflatable fishing kayaks come with a must-be-followed weight policy. If you add more weight than the inflatable can handle, it might drown. Under no circumstances, should you risk your life for some more bait or food!
In most cases, you may need to stand up to perform accurate casts and get a better vantage point. So, it would be best if you got a wide kayak. The wider the kayak, the more stability it might offer.
If you’re fishing in still water, you may not pursue a self-bailing, inflatable fishing kayak, as the probability of getting water into the kayak is low.
But, if you usually go into more profound levels and may face some waves, it’d be best if you considered buying a kayak supporting self-bailing technology.
The kayak would start bailing water out to keep the kayak light if the amount of water in the kayak exceeded a specific limit.
Getting an inflatable fishing kayak will save you a lot of money, unlike hard-bodied ones.
Hard-bodied kayaks could cost up to $3000; on the other hand, inflatable fishing kayaks start at $300 and may go up to $1000.
So, getting an inflatable fishing kayak is a smart option if you’re on a tight budget.
Inflatable fishing kayaks are the best option for anglers who prefer light traveling. The heaviest kayak weighs about 55 lbs, which is nothing compared to hardshell kayaks.
Choosing the best inflatable fishing kayak depends on your preferences, especially your chosen fishing location and style.
If you like going into profound levels and following your bait without startling them, the Sea Eagle SE370 is your go-to fishing kayak.
Taking a pet on a fishing trip can be dangerous, but the Sevylor Big Basin made it possible, without putting your life at risk.