Gone are the days of paddling and fishing alone,, thanks to tandem fishing kayaks that allow you to head out on the water with your best mate, partner, or even your furry friend in search of your biggest catch to date.
These kayaks offer anglers the freedom to fish on waterways that aren’t accessible by traditional fishing boats. And what’s better, you get to share the experience, or not, depending on your social battery that day.
Fishing kayaks, including tandem fishing kayaks, are extremely versatile as they can be paddled completely solo, with two paddlers, and occasionally even three if one of the trio is of school age.
Most tandem fishing kayaks are sit-on-top models as the open deck allows for ample storage and the space to freely move around when casting and reeling. The open hull design also makes it incredibly easy to mount and dismount the boat, which is useful for everyone, including those with limited mobility.
And for top tips on fishing from a kayak, then head on over to 10 top kayak fishing tips.
Tandem fishing kayaks are designed to comfortably hold two passengers, but they also have the option to be paddled completely solo. The seats inside a tandem fishing kayak are adjustable and removable with numerous tie points throughout the boat, so you can position your seat wherever you so wish.
Tandem fishing kayaks also come with a decent amount of storage space, however, the storage isn’t as good as regular solo fishing kayaks due to the extra seat. For hardshell sit-on-top tandem fishing kayak varieties, there will typically be scupper holes dotted throughout the deck to drain any water that makes its way onto the boat.
And, if you’re opting for an inflatable tandem fishing kayak, then you’ll also find air valves that you’ll use to pump air into the kayak’s separate air chambers. Most inflatable tandem fishing kayaks will come with two or more air chambers, so if one does happen to puncture, you still have a backup so you can paddle back to land.
Making any large purchase isn’t an easy decision, and that is no exception for your first or next tandem fishing kayak. We’ve put together a complete guide on how to choose a kayak to help you along with the process.
If you have your heart set on a tandem fishing kayak, then keep these below features in mind before hitting checkout.
Hardshell tandem fishing kayaks are more often than not made from molded polyethylene. Polyethylene is an extremely strong material meaning it can take on general wear and tear that comes with the sport of kayaking. When you’re looking at kayaks, take note of the density of the polyethylene. The higher the density, the stronger and lighter the kayak will be.
Alternatively, inflatable tandem fishing kayaks will be made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). And just like the polyethylene, the higher the denier of the PVC, the longer lasting the inflatable fishing kayak will be. And don’t worry, inflatable kayaks are as durable, if not more durable, than hardshell variations.
Each and every kayak will come with a maximum weight capacity that shouldn’t be overlooked. Overloading your kayak can cause it to sink into the water, making it extremely difficult to maneuver and paddle. Tandem fishing kayaks have some of the highest weight capacities of all kayaks as they’re designed for not just two paddlers but also excess gear.
If you’re a solo paddler looking for a high-capacity kayak, then a tandem kayak may be a great option for you as you can remove the front seat, load on all your gear, and paddle your way to your favorite fishing location.
Be sure to calculate your weight, the weight of the second paddler (if there is one), and the weight of all your fishing gear and compare it to your chosen tandem fishing kayak’s maximum weight capacity. Ideally, you want to be at least 25% under the limit to ensure your kayak handles efficiently.
Tandem fishing kayaks are relatively long kayaks as they need to accommodate not one but two paddlers. As a general rule in the world of kayaking, the longer the kayak, the straighter it will track and the faster it will go.
This isn’t to say, however, that shorter kayaks are slow and unfavorable because shorter kayaks in fact have the benefit of better maneuverability and a lighter overall weight. Each paddler is different, so the decision will ultimately come down to your own personal preference.
Fishing kayaks, including tandem ones, are some of the widest kayaks on the market as they require increased stability for the angler to cast and reel in their fish, often from a standing position. Wider decks mean a more stable kayak, so if you’re just starting out with the sport, the wider, the better.
One downfall to a wide kayak, however, is the fact that the width will, unfortunately, slow the kayak down. Not by a huge degree, but that’s something to keep in mind if speed and performance are high on your priorities list.
Tandem kayaks are long and wide, which already puts them in the heavy category. Add on additional fishing features, and you’ve got yourself a hefty ‘yak that will be difficult to carry and transport.
If you don’t have the ability to transport a tandem fishing kayak on the roof of your vehicle or on a trailer, then an inflatable tandem kayak could be the answer to your problem. Inflatable tandem kayaks can weigh under 50 lbs, and once you store them in their dedicated travel bag, you can pack them into the trunk or backseat of your car.
Fishing requires quite a lot of gear that needs to be stored somewhere in the kayak. Tandem fishing kayaks generally have adequate storage, but as there are two paddlers, it can get cramped when everything is on board.
Keep in mind how much gear you’ll want to take out with you and spend time comparing the storage areas on kayaks you have your eye on.
Rudders aren’t going to make your break your fishing trip, but they are handy to have if you want to spend some extra money.
Most tandem fishing kayaks will at least come with the option to add a rudder on if you so wish. Rudders improve the overall tracking of the boat, which may not be important to you if you’re only recreational paddlers and anglers.
Some tandem fishing kayaks come kitted out with fishing rod holders, fish finders, and other mounts accessories to improve your day out on the water. And although all these accessories look and sound great, they can add additional weight to your already heavy kayak.
Tandem fishing kayaks are a great way to head out on the water with your best fishing buddy. They’re much smaller and cheaper than traditional fishing boats, and they give you the option to paddle down remote waterways that larger boats can’t get to.
Along with this, tandem fishing kayaks can also be paddled solo offering the angler more weight capacity and space to take out all their essential fishing gear.
Fishing kayaks, including those of the tandem variety, are some of the most stable kayaks out there, thanks to their significantly wide decks. Anglers need stable kayaks as casting and reeling from a standing position isn’t as easy on the water as it is on land. As a general rule in kayaking, the wider the kayak, the more stable it will be.
One of the best things about a tandem fishing kayak is the fact that you can choose to paddle it solo if your fishing buddy is busy that day or if you just need some peace and quiet out on the water. All you’d need to do is remove the front seat, reposition the back seat, evenly distribute the weight of yourself and your gear, and you’re good to go!