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Tips for Selecting a Fishing Kayak

by Huk Gear June 05, 2015

Kayaking is one of the most rewarding ways to fish. It’s challenging and tiring, but landing a prize fish from a kayak is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Like reels, rods, and tackle, not all kayaks are created equal. Some are made for cruising the water as swiftly as possible, while some are created solely for fishing. With that said, you need to take your time, think about your needs, and consider all the factors before purchasing a kayak.

Stability over Speed

When selecting a kayak for general paddling and cruising around, you can choose between stability and speed. For many kayakers, you can opt for speed at the expense of stability, because you’re just out for a nice trip. If you’re purchasing a kayak for fishing, however, it would be wise to consider stability over speed. You never know what you might hook, and between casting, changing rods, grabbing tools, reaching for fish, and other motions, it can be easy to loose your balance in an unstable, thin kayak.

Sit-On Instead of Sit-In

For most anglers, a sit-on-top kayak is the way to go. As opposed to the sit-in style, where your legs and torso are in the kayak, a sit-on-top style offers more versatility and is generally easier for getting in and out. The main drawback for sit-on-tops is that water from your paddles and fishing equipment can drip into the cockpit area, but a small rag can quickly dry your boat.

Extra Features

Kayaks can come with a lot of features, including storage pockets, cup holders, clips for keys, dry-storage compartments, and more, but for anglers, the single-most important feature is a rod holder. You need a place to keep your rod while you paddle to the best fishing spot on the lake, so make sure there is a rod holder that you can easily reach from the sitting position.

Storage Space

Different anglers have different needs and preferences, so you’ll want to think about how you fish and what you want to do on the water. If you’re used to taking a boat loaded with hundreds of lures, dozens of rods, and all the latest equipment, you’ll probably want something with more storage space (and you’ll still need to cut back). If, however, you fish from the shore and fit all of your equipment in a backpack, you can probably get by with a kayak that has less space for storage.

Does Color Really Matter

The jury still out on whether color actually matters in the effectiveness of a fishing kayak. Biologists believe fish don’t see as many colors as humans, so don’t assume that a brightly colored kayak will scare away your catch.

In fact, there is evidence that fish respond more to shadows than actual colors; if that’s the case, it won’t matter whether you’re kayak is neon yellow or an earthy brown. Some anglers prefer a camouflage print or dark green to blend in with the surroundings, while other simply pick the color they like. You may also want to consider safety, as a bright color will announce your presence to nearby boats.

Fishing Shirts for Kayak Anglers


The one down side of kayak fishing is you have almost no relief from the sun. You can arm yourself with protective apparel to guard your skin from the sun. The long-sleeve fishing shirts from Huk not only keep you cool, comfortable, and dry, all while protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. Check out all of our Huk Gear and take a look at our huge selection of fishing shirts, shorts, and other performance fishing apparel.

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