Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Fishing…Blown Up!
Want a fishing kayak? One that is easy to transport? And one that doesn't require the storage space that a hard shell does?
You need an inflatable fishing kayak!
Sneak Peek: Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
(These links will take you to the kayak on 3rd party websites)
Newcomers to kayak fishing are probably thinking “won’t a blow-up kayak puncture easily because of fishing hooks?”. Don’t worry, kayak material has come a long way over the years, and they can withstand a lot of abuse.
Aside from rips or holes, there are other things to consider. You can relax though, because we’re going to run through what you need to be thinking about before you decide whether or not to buy an inflatable fishing kayak.
So picking from one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks should hopefully be a whole lot easier for you!
Top 7 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Reviewed
1: STAR Pike Inflatable Fishing Kayak (best overall)
The Star Pike is a durable inflatable yak that has great features that are designed to make your fishing trip easier and more comfortable.
One of the main features of this boat is the aluminum framed seat. This mesh covered seat is quick to drain and lets you sit in a more elevated position above the deck for improved visibility. The seat also folds for added convenience.
The deck features a drop-stitch floor, providing a more rigid platform for fishing and helping to improve speed and tracking on the water.
Another great feature of this fishing boat is the five built-in Scotty mount bases, meaning you can customize the yak by adding your own accessories, such as rod holders or gadgets.
There is plenty of room on board for your gear, with space behind the seat for your tackle box or cooler. You’ll also find several D-rings for securing your gear.
This yak benefits from having rigid keel inserts at the bow and stern for increased performance. It also has a removable skeg that can help with tracking performance on flatwater.
The Star Pike comes with a repair kit, a carry bag and a hand pump.
2: Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro Inflatable Kayak (most versatile)
This Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro can be a good choice kayak model if you’re looking to spend a long time on the water. It can be ideal for fishing in a range of water conditions.
A great feature of this boat is the Accessory Frame System which is a 1 inch rail mounting system at the bow and stern which can let you attach multiple fishing accessories. There are also stainless steel d-rings and bungee rigging at the bow and stern for keeping your gear safe and secure.
The boat has multiple air chambers and the benefit of a drop stitch floor, which can make it more rigid for standing on. It also benefits from having aluminum ribs built into the frame at the bow and stern to help improve tracking performance.
The AirFrame Pro seat is designed to offer comfort and support during an all-day fishing trip. The seat has an aluminum frame and breathable mesh paneling.
Another useful feature of this yak is the built-in paddle holders, so you can keep your paddle safely stowed while you reel in your catch.
However, this boat does not come with a pump included.
3: Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 125 HB Inflatable Kayak (best carrying heavy gear)
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 125 HB can be a great boat if you’re looking for a high weight capacity to accommodate you and all your gear. This fishing yak offers a generous 600 pounds capacity, making it ideal, particularly if you’re a larger angler.
This is a spacious boat, with plenty of room for your equipment and it even has a cooler with built-in rod holders that sits behind the seat. There are spray covers at the bow and stern to add a little protection to some of your gear, as well as D-rings for tying it down.
There are seven Scotty mounting points on the boat, giving you plenty of opportunities to rig it just how you like it.
The Rugged Core seat benefits from having a removable raised platform for improved visibility. The seat also has built-in rod holders, mesh storage pockets and a high back rest for support.
For improved performance on flatwater, there is a large removable tracking fin. The self bailing drop stitch floor can also improve performance by enhancing rigidity. The drop stitch floor can also give you added stability for standing and can be more suitable if your dog is joining you.
4: Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler AE1006-ANG Kayak (best value)
Another solo kayak, and the little brother of the Pro version above . The Straitedge Angler is a fishing kayak made from an aluminum rib frame with multi-layer material and anti-abrasion pads to keep it protected against heavy duty use.
This is not the longest inflatable out there, measuring 9ft 8in in length. Maximum carrying capacity is 300 pounds.
There are storage areas at both bow and sterns ends and it comes with 2 fixed rod holders. A nice addition is the removable mounting bar, which you can use to attach gadgets (like fish finders or GPS/phone) and/or another rod.
The high-back seat is adjustable. There’s extra back support in the form of an inflatable lumbar that can be pumped up as much as is comfortable for you.
It’s pretty easy to set up. Here’s a detailed video from Advanced Elements themselves showing you all the steps
5: Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak (best tandem inflatable)
The Colorado is a tandem inflatable constructed with a tough 18-gauge PVC construction. There are five Airtight System chambers to help ensure you stay afloat should the worst happen.
There are fittings for a Sevylor trolling motor and it has the obligatory paddle holders, D-rings for pulling or tieing, a handle at the bow, and mesh pockets or cargo nets for storing away the valuables. It also comes with two adjustable padded seats.
The Colorado is specifically designed for 2 persons, but can easily be used by the solo fisherman. Many buyers have reported that they use it for single use with no problems whatsoever.
Now onto the features that are going to help you out with your fishing...
As we mentioned before, there are fittings for a small motor, and there are holders so you can keep your kayak paddles out of sight while you get on with the important task of catching!
What about rod holders? Well, there are 2 Berkley ‘Quick Set’ holders on board, which are fully adjustable.
A carry bag and pressure gauge are included. You’ll need to purchase paddles and a high pressure pump separately however.
6: Aquaglide Chelan HB One Inflatable Kayak
The Chelan HB One from Aquaglide is, as the name suggests, for the single kayaker.
This is more of an all-rounder inflatable kayak (and a good one at that), which also has integrated fishing rod holders in place, so we are including it our line-up of recommended kayaks….for fishing.
It’s great for tracking (due to it being almost 12ft in length), and made from commercial-grade Duralex.
A Splashguard is located at the front of the cockpit to help keep the water away while paddling. Bungee cords are located at both ends to keep down whatever you need for gear storage.
Like the Sevylor Colorado above, there are unfortunately no air pump or paddle included.
7: Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak (best budget)
This Sevylor Quikpak K5 is a budget kayak that is designed to offer portability and affordability. It is an inflatable sit-inside yak that’s made for one paddler. It can be ideal if you’re looking to head off into remote locations as the boat packs into a backpack (which becomes the seat) so that it can be easily hiked to your favorite spot.
This yak features multiple air chambers for safety and is made from durable 24-gauge heavy duty PVC with tarpaulin bottom on the underside of the hull.
For being a compact sit-inside, there is surprisingly a lot of room. You can store your gear both in the stern and on top of the spray skirt, using the included bungee lacing to keep it tied to the boat. The added spray skirt can help to keep you dry while you’re paddling, making it ideal for different climates.
A great feature of this little yak is that it is designed to take just a few minutes to inflate. It also comes with a two-piece paddle included, which is designed to fit into the backpack.
While it 's not specifically a kayak for fishing, it is a stable, buoyant boat that can be ideal for both freshwater and saltwater. It can be great if you’re looking to fish in hard to access spots.
Why Fish Using An Inflatable Kayak?
The big positive for inflatable kayaks is portability and getting around easily. Inflatables don’t need to be lifted up onto the roof rack of your car.
Inflatable fishing yaks can simply carried around in a bag, and then placed in the trunk of your car (or even just carried around on the bus, train or plane).
Then, when you get to your destination, simply take it out of the bag and pump up. This only takes a few minutes. When you're done having fun fishing, simply paddle ashore again and deflate, then pack away. Now that’s pretty cool.
Inflatable yaks are pretty tough, so don’t worry about damage and/or holes. It’s pretty difficult to get a puncture in these (but not impossible). You may want to think about purchasing an inflatable with several air chambers if you’re worried. More on this later.
Video: How To Repair An Inflatable Kayak
If you’re an occasional fishing fanatic, or are just trying out the hobby, then an inflatable might be more suited to you. Inflatables are generally less expensive and are a cheaper solution for those who want to try out fishing with a kayak.
If after some time you are still really enjoying it, you may want to upgrade to a hard kayak if you really want to get into it (and have the storage room!).
Features To Consider When Choosing An Inflatable Fishing Yak
Stability can be an important feature to look for, especially on a fishing yak where you’re likely to need to move around to grab your gear or even stand up.
Generally speaking, inflatable kayaks can be pretty stable because they are often wider than standard comparable yaks.
Many of them can also be used in a range of conditions, which can give them an advantage over hard shell vessels, as they tend to have a combination of both secondary stability for rough water and primary stability for flatwater.
If the thought of a sinking kayak sends shivers down your spine, then consider opting for a ‘yak with at least several air chambers.
The more chambers, the less likely you are to be sat on board watching the river, lake or sea rise up! You really want to be looking out for multiple chambers if you aren’t a great swimmer and/or have the kids with you out far from dry land.
- Of course, no matter how many chambers your kayak has, always wear a life jacket!
Now this is a tricky one that has a lot of variables.
Different kayaks have different weight capacities. Of course, the tandems hold more weight than solo kayaks. But you need to consider how heavy the paddlers are going to be. You also need to consider how heavy all the fishing gear you plan on taking is going to weigh. All of it, combined.
It can be harder to paddle around with a lot of weight, especially if you’re going solo, so think long and hard about this.
How Will You Use The Kayak?
First of all, will you mostly be fishing from the kayak, or are you looking for a kayak to take you out to an area to go angling?
If you are just looking for some transport, the functionality of the kayak isn’t so important. You won’t need so many (if any) fishing related features, and you also won’t care so much for stability. You just need to get where you’re going as quick and easily as possible.
If you’re kayak fishing from the inflatable, there are various options out there that combine angling features with the convenience and portability of an inflatable. Whether you will need a boat load of fishing features will probably depend on how keen an angler you are and the type of fishing you plan to do.
Accessories like rod holders and mounting points can be useful as these can give you somewhere specific to store your rods or attach additional accessories, such as a fish finder.
Boats with a lot of fishing features can be more comfortable and easier to fish from because they tend to offer improved seating, adequate storage space and sometimes even standing decks.
A vessel with a self bailing floor can be a good choice if you plan to paddle on moving water, such as rivers or choppy conditions.
Self bailing means the boat can drain water out through holes that are usually in the floor of the boat, preventing your boat from filling up with water.
However, if you plan to paddle or fish on open waters, calm lakes and slow moving rivers, you may find that instead water comes into the boat through the holes. This is when scupper plugs can be useful to plug the holes and prevent water from getting in.
It goes without saying that you’ll want a kayak made from toughened material. This is particularly the case if you are bringing your dog.
A dog’s claws can get pretty sharp, and of course a “man’s best friend” doesn’t know that they can put holes in your little vessel and put you all in danger.
Remember that dogs can get excited when out on a kayak. Their behavior can be erratic, and they might try jumping off the ‘yak at any time, increasing the chance of digging in those claws!
And of course, there’s the fishing gear itself. Hooks, rods and other fishing bits and pieces can get sharp. You want to make sure your inflatable has puncture resistance so that it's protected against any accidents.
Inflatable Kayaks FAQs
What Are The Benefits Of Using An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?
An inflatable can be much easier to transport than a hard shell fishing yak because it tends to be significantly lighter and more compact. Inflatables also often have a higher weight capacity than their hard shell equivalents because of the increased buoyancy from the air-filled chambers.
Are Inflatable Kayaks More Stable To Fish From?
They can offer excellent stability because they tend to be wider than hard shell equivalents, so they can generally be more stable for fishing and they can usually handle rougher waters than hard shell equivalents.
However, there are many hard shell kayaks with hulls that are designed to optimize stability for fishing.
Should I Get A Hardshell Fishing Kayak Instead Of An Inflatable?
This will usually be down to personal preference. If you want a boat that’s easy to transport, store and has good stability and a high weight capacity, an inflatable can be better. If you’re after a faster boat and storage isn’t an issue, a hard shell might be more suitable.
What Happens If I Get A Hole?
Most inflatable yaks are constructed with multiple air chambers, meaning if you get a hole in one, the rest of the chambers should keep you afloat. Many inflatables can be repaired using a patch kit to cover the hole and prevent it from getting worse. Patch kits are sometimes included when you buy the boat.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe To Fish From?
Yes, inflatable yaks can be safe and stable to fish from. They tend to be made out of durable materials, with multiple air chambers for durability, increasing high buoyancy and improved safety.
The Bottom Line
If you’re after a durable inflatable fishing kayak we think the best one is the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler Pro because it has a comfortable framed seat, dual mounting rails and plenty of storage space for your gear.
A good runner up is the Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 125 HB. It’s lightweight, has a huge weight-bearing range, lots of mounting points and even a cooler with rod holders.
These inflatable boats can be ideal if you’re short on storage space at home and want a vessel that’s easy to take to the water. Remember, not all of these yaks will be suitable for everyone. Weight capacity and space on board will likely be important things to think about.
And that's our roundup of the best inflatable fishing kayaks!
What about you? Do you have an inflatable kayak that you use for fishing? Tell us about it below!
We also wrote about the best fishing kayaks overall, if you're interested.