Inflatable fishing kayaks offer their paddlers the ability to launch their kayak in even the most remote waterways in search of fish. These inflatable ‘yaks are carefully constructed to provide anglers with adequate storage space, a large enough weight capacity, and comfort for long days out on the water.
Inflatable fishing kayaks typically come in a sit-on-top variation as the open hull design allows for easier dismounting and mounting while also giving fishermen a decent amount of room to cast and reel in their fish.
Sit-inside fishing kayaks aren’t as popular as sit-on-tops, but there are still some great options with enclosed cockpits that offer paddlers protection from the weather and cold water if they live in cooler climates.
Something else we particularly love about inflatable fishing kayaks is their price point. Traditional fishing kayaks can be fairly expensive, but some inflatable varieties cut that price in half, if not more making them ideal for anglers on a budget.
If you’re looking to buy your first inflatable fishing kayak, then check out the best inflatable fishing kayaks. And if additional fishing accessories aren’t important to you, then you could also check out the best inflatable kayaks, as they too can be transformed into your ideal fishing vessel.
Inflatable kayaks are typically fairly simple and standard as they’re designed to be as lightweight as possible. Some fishing kayaks do come with some additional fishing features, such as rod holders, but for the most part, the hull design is basic.
Manufacturers do, however, design inflatable fishing kayaks to have adequate storage space for fishing gear, tackle boxes, and coolers, with some even being big enough to hold pets or an additional paddler. The seats on inflatable kayaks are also inflatable and can be easily adjusted and removed to suit paddlers of all sizes.
Inflatable kayaks, both sit-inside and sit-on-top varieties, will have air valves and air chambers that can be inflated and deflated with a foot pump or an electric pump. Ideally, you’d want your inflatable fishing kayak to have two or more air chambers so that if one gets a puncture, you’ll be able to paddle your way back to land with the remaining chamber still inflated.
If this is your first time buying an inflatable fishing kayak, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind. We’ve put together an inflatable kayak guide to help make your decision easier.
For those who have their mind set on an inflatable fishing kayak, then consider these below features before purchasing.
Inflatable fishing kayaks, like regular inflatable kayaks, are made from polyvinyl chloride (PV) that is welded together by a process called drop stitching. When purchasing your inflatable kayak, you’ll want to look out for the density of the PVC, as the higher the density, the stronger your kayak will be.
All kayaks have a recommended weight capacity that should be taken into consideration every time you load up your kayak. Fishing kayaks tend to have generous and extremely high weight capacities, and this is no exception for the inflatable kind.
It’s best to calculate your weight plus the weight of any gear that you’ll be taking out with you and compare it to the weight limits of kayaks you’re considering. Make sure your weight is way under the limit, as you may need some leeway in the future if you upgrade or change any gear.
If solo inflatable fishing kayaks aren’t giving you the weight limit that you need, then consider purchasing a tandem kayak and removing the front seat, as they typically have the highest weight capacities of all.
What shorter kayaks lack in speed, they make up for in maneuverability and weight. If you’re a recreational fisherman, then speed may not even be on your radar. But, if you’re planning to enter into competitions, then a longer and narrower inflatable kayak that can be paddled at faster speeds with better tracking may be a more suitable option for you.
Fishing kayaks are some of the widest kayaks on the market as they offer the angler increased stability when casting or reeling in their fish. Their wider hull does make an inflatable fishing kayak slightly slower, so if speed is a concern for you, purchase an inflatable fishing ‘yak with a narrower hull.
Sit-on-top inflatable fishing kayaks offer storage space at the bow and stern end of the hull. These storage spaces are regularly accompanied by bungees so you can secure your items in place.
Sit-inside inflatable fishing kayaks, on the other hand, lack in storage space which is why they aren’t favored amongst anglers. This isn’t to say that they can’t be used for fishing, but if you do decide on a sit-inside ‘yak, you’ll have to be very minimal with your gear.
Nearly all kayaks have the ability to add on a rudder, and although they aren’t an essential, they do improve the kayak’s tracking and are nice to have if you have the extra money. Do your research on which rudder would best suit you as there are many different varieties on the market.
As we mentioned before, inflatable kayaks are usually fairly basic in order to keep their weight down. When purchasing an inflatable kayak, however, you at least want it to come with a pump, a carry bag, and a paddle, but if you have your heart set on an inflatable fishing kayak that only comes with the boat itself, then you can always buy these accessories, along with any other fishing accessories separately.
Inflatable fishing kayaks are some of the widest kayaks out there, which also makes them some of the most stable. As a rule, the wider the kayak, the more stable it will be, so keep that in mind when purchasing your ‘yak.
A common and annoying misconception is that inflatable kayaks, especially those used for fishing, wouldn’t be durable enough to warrant the money. But, we’re here to tell you that inflatable kayaks are as durable, if not more durable, than hard shell varieties.
The PVC materials that are used to create inflatable fishing kayaks are thick and sturdy. So thick, in fact, that even your fishing hook wouldn’t penetrate it. The bumps, dents, and scratches that a traditional hard shell fishing kayak would succumb to isn’t a problem for inflatable kayaks as their squishy hulls would simply bounce off objects in and out of the water.
Inflatable fishing kayaks come with a huge range of benefits, the most notable being that they’re lightweight, easy to transport, affordable, durable, and stable.
Inflatable fishing kayaks can be deflated and packed down into a duffel bag, making them incredibly easy to transport to remote waterways or store in a cupboard or under your bed. They’re also a great option for paddlers shopping on a budget as they’re sometimes half the price, if not more, of traditional hard shells. Finally, their durability means that with proper care, they’ll remain in your watersports collection for years to come.