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What to Consider When Shopping for a Kayak

When choosing a kayak there are quite a few things to consider before embarking on your hunt

For such a small boat, a fishing kayak greatly enlarges your fishing world. Not only does the kayak get you off the bank or pier and out onto open water, it opens up access to waters where powerboats may have difficulty navigating. Convenience is another strong suit: For many anglers, the simplicity of loading and launching the kayak encourages them to fish more often. But what factors should you take into account before diving into the kayak world?


What conditions will you be fishing in? Freshwater, inshore or offshore? These factors play a huge part in determining which kayak is right for you. Generally the wider and longer the kayak, the most stable it will be, but the hull shape is also pivotal to how the kayak performs in different conditions.

If you'll be venturing offshore and battling waves, you'll need a wave cutting bow and a sleek, streamlined hull. If you'll be focusing more in open water sight fishing conditions, something like the DoubleU hull from Old Town may be more suitable due to its balanced weight distribution.

Will you be having little ones or pups joining you on your outings? Consider your own weight plus the weight capacity, open space, and the amount of storage it has available.


How will you be transporting your new purchase? Will you have help loading and unloading at the dock? What kinds of conditions will you be launching in? Where will you store it?

If you are a solo kayaker or have physical ailments to take into consideration, transporting and launching your kayak needs to be as easy as possible. Explore some of the more lightweight or inflatable options. Consider how this trade off will effect your ability to stand in rougher conditions.

If you have the means to move around a heavier kayak, this may be the way to go if you are going to be in rougher conditions or are looking for an incredibly stable kayak with all the amenities.


Another important factor to consider is what kind of propulsion is ideal for you. Are you going for a paddle purist experience? A paddling platform is the obvious direction for you. Do you want to have the strongest legs of any one you know and leave your arms free for fishing? A pedal drive sounds like it might be your jam. Or do you not want to have to worry about either of those things and just ride out in style? Electric drive it is! We go further in depth on this topic in the video above.


The right choice of kayak all boils down to personal preference and how you plan on using it.

Now this final consideration is an important one, but don't let it be your determining factor. Price. Think long and hard about how often, and for what purposes you will be using your kayak. If this is something you'll be using on a weekly or even monthly basis, it may be worth it to splurge a bit to have a more enjoyable on-the-water experience.

Want more kayak content?

Be sure to pick up a copy of Kayak Fishing Fun magazine available on newsstands now.

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