When you’re out on the water in your kayak, on the hunt for some big fish, there’s one thing you want to avoid more than anything else – falling in! Not only will it cause the obvious problem, which will lead to a rather wet day for you, but it could also quite conceivably completely destroy your chances of attracting your prey, as they’ll be startled by your impromptu diving exhibition.
While your own abilities as a kayak fisherman, as well as the water conditions, will help to decide whether you take a plunge on your fishing trip, there’s one factor that’s more important than any others. This is how stable your kayak is, and you’ll possibly be surprised to find out that different kayaks can be wildly different when it comes to their stability. This is especially true for those who are newer to the world of kayak fishing, and might not be so used to keeping their balance while trying to reel in a big fish.
The stability of a fishing kayak really comes down to two factors, with the first being the length/width. Kayaks with a shorter length – and therefore a relatively wider body – are much more stable on the water, as you’d expect. You will lose the advantage of speed when you opt for a wider kayak, however what’s the point in going fast if you’re only going to fall in? An upswept bow can also be added to a kayak to further increase its stability.
The other factor to consider is the type of kayak you choose, with sit-in kayaks generally offering a much more stable ride than sit-on-top kayaks. Their flexibility is much less though, as the fisherman is not able to easily get out and wade, plus they can’t move around as easily.
Now that you understand why having a stable kayak is essential, you’ll now find reviews of the five most stable fishing kayaks on the market. These include sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks, in order to cater for the needs of absolutely every kayak fisherman out there…
Old Town Predator 13
This is one of the more expensive fishing kayaks out there, but it is also almost certainly the most stable you’ll find. The slip resistant deck ensures that moving around the kayak is easy and safe, while the hull contains eight scupper holes which drain away water and maintain the kayak’s great balance. This kayak is also fully customisable, so you’ll be able to choose where you place equipment such as rods and GPS. This means that you can distribute the weight around your kayak perfectly.
Strength is also key when it comes to getting the most stable fishing kayak, as any damage to the kayak will affect its performance. Luckily for owners of the Old Town Predator 13, it is built using LT900 polyethylene, which is designed to withstand even the toughest of challenges. If you can afford to spend upwards of $1,000, this is definitely a great fishing kayak to consider.
Pelican Liberty 100X
This is a great kayak, as it is aimed at both the novice fisherman and the more experienced one. The main feature to mention is the fact that it has an innovative twin-arched hull, which provides stability from the moment even a beginner takes their seat. What’s great is this though: this kayak will keep on performing, even as you get more proficient, and doesn’t lose a huge amount of speed due to its stability.
Pelican are one of the world’s foremost producers of top-quality kayaks, so you know this offering is going to be a good one. Other features found at this fishing kayak include a comfortable backrest, a huge 60L storage pouch, and a hull made from incredibly strong material. The Pelican Liberty 100X is certainly a great choice for anyone looking for a stable kayak, but one that also performs to a very high level.
Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher
This is an absolutely fantastic fishing kayak, offering amazing stability thanks to its great hull design. What’s more amazing is this though: it is designed to seat up to three people, and still retain its incredible stability! Other features to enhance the stability of this kayak include multiple foot wells, which ensure great leverage even when reeling in the biggest fish, as well as numerous scupper plugs to keep the kayak well drained.
It should also be mentioned that the Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher is also reasonably affordable for a three-person kayak, as it can be purchased for around the $500 mark. This makes it good for those just starting out, or perhaps for a family or group of friends looking to split the cost. The stability is the biggest selling point though, and the main reason why this kayak comes so recommended.
Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fish and Dive
When you first look at this kayak, you probably won’t think it is going to be hugely stable, as it is a long model. You’ll be surprised to find that it keeps upright incredibly easily though, as the length is matched by the large width of this kayak. Stability is even more important in this kayak as it is designed with kids in mind, as it includes a seat specially designed for smaller passengers – something that is perfect if you’re looking to introduce your child to the exciting world of kayak fishing!
It isn’t just stability that makes this kayak so good though. It also offers a number of rod holders, a Gator Hatch in the bow and incredibly comfortable seating, all of which combine to make using this kayak an incredibly pleasurable experience. It’s not the cheapest model on the market, but it also isn’t the most expensive either.
Old Town Vapor 10 Angler
This is the second mention for Old Town on the list, which isn’t surprising, considering they are regarded as one of the very best kayak companies in the world. This is a reasonably simple design, but the stability it provides is stunning, thanks to the polyethylene hull and the fact that it is reasonably wide. It’s a great choice if you want to get to harder to reach places, although don’t expect this kayak to go too quickly, as it is designed with the more sedate angler in mind.
Other features that add to the appeal of this fishing kayak include molded carry handles, flush-mounted rod holders and adjustable floor braces. It’s a great choice if you value reliability and control over speed.