how to choose a fishing kayak

What Is the Best Fishing Kayak on the Market in 2018?

Kayak fishing was first practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic region. It was a secret means of hunting on the water.

Although you may not be interested in hitting arctic waters to hunt for seal blubber, you are reading this article because you are ready to step off of dry land and into the world of kayak fishing.

That first step is to outfit yourself with a good kayak. Let’s talk about the things you’ll need to know before choosing your aquatic hunting platform.

If you’ve never been kayak fishing, see that it’s much safer and more straightforward to learn that it may seem. Kayak manufacturers have been developing kayaks specifically designed for fishing for well over ten years.

Over that time, they’ve become increasingly more stable, comfortable, and conducive to an extended fishing trip.

Most are outfitted with things like anchoring systems, hatches to store your fish, paddle systems, handlebars, and places to hold your fishing rod.

In this article, we’ll review the best fishing kayaks on the market for 2018. Let’s first start with our top picks this year:

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler Kayak

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler Kayak is a seriously awesome angler kayak. It comes loaded with features, has an extra seat for a friend, and comes in at a very affordable price point.

This kayak was one of the first tandem fishing kayaks to hit the market and is still one of the most popular and highly-rated.

At just over 13 feet long and nearly 3 feet wide, the Malibu Two XL Angler has the size to accommodate up to 2 adults and one small child.

This is great for couples who want to go fishing together, a dad who wants to take his son fishing for the first time, or any individual who wants a ton of extra legroom.

This kayak can do it all:

Built specifically for fishing, the Malibu Two XL Angler has ample storage for rods, paddles, bait, and fishing gear for two people. 

It also allows for the addition of up to two round Gaspachi hatches which will prevent water from entering the kayak.

Our research found that paddlers loved the versatility of this kayak.

Most notably the maneuverability in the water (especially considering it can fit two people), the tracking, and the overall comfortability.

You just can’t beat the price, either.

On the downside, the only real complaint we found was that some paddlers found this kayak a bit heavy.

At 74 pounds, we’ve certainly seen fishing kayaks that are much heavier, so with two people carrying it; it should be no problem.

Overall this is our favorite fishing kayak of 2018.

It has all the bells and whistles you’ll need to have a serious fishing excursion – either alone or with a companion – all at a price that won’t break the bank.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler Kayak

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Next up is another Ocean Kayak model – the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak.

Designed by professional kayak anglers, the Prowler 13 Angler is a perfect balance of everything you’d look for in a fishing kayak.

It performs well on the water, as it’s stable yet quick and maneuverable – especially considering the 13-foot length.

Our research has found that it shows best on rough seas but can handle just about any element.

The other thing paddlers love about this kayak is the comfortability.

During design, the pros felt that a fishing kayak needs to be comfortable and able to handle a long day out on the water.

The ACS II Seat has adjustable leg and thigh support, a quick-dry mesh fabric, and a sleek, ergonomic design.

A paddler we found through our research was 6’6″, 265 pounds and had no problems feeling comfortable.

One other feature we loved was simple, yet innovative.

The Sonar Shield is a protective shield outfitted on the Prowler 13 that guards your fish finder against water and glare from the sun.

This keeps your vision clear, so you don’t miss a golden opportunity to reel in a big fish.

We found one paddler through our research that weighed over 200 pounds and was able to take his 40-pound dog on the kayak with him without any issues.

Other paddlers also loved the speed and turning ability of the Prowler 13 Angler.

We found that there weren’t a lot of negatives to this kayak. One user wasn’t expecting the dry-hatch system – which is a locking mechanism, not snapping straps.

The Prowler 13 Angler is an excellent choice.

While slightly more expensive than the tandem Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler Kayak, we found that it has a nice balance of features and performance with a fair price, all backed by a good warranty from a great company.

10% Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak


  1. Paul Presson May 15, 2017
    • Chris May 17, 2017