Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak
When you think of kayaking (whether fishing or not), the first thought that probably comes to mind is sitting down in a seat – comfortably paddling along. However, the avid angler will at times, perhaps more often than not, be wanting to stand up.
Stand Up Kayaks: Top Picks
(The links below will take you over to the products on Amazon)
There are sit-on-top kayaks on the market that cater for this requirement, and there are a number of reasons for this.
Yes, stand up fishing kayaks do still have a seat. But they also have platforms at either side in the center of deck, which are designed to be stood on.
Bear in mind there are alternatives to using a kayak to fish from while standing up. Stand up paddle boards (SUPs), traditional boats and just wearing plain waders are some examples, but we’re focusing purely on kayaks only today.
So…What Features Make A Kayak Good For Standing Up?
The two main characteristics of a good stand up kayak are width and a flat hull.
You want to be looking at a kayak with a beam (width) of at least 30 inches (32-35 ideally). A wider kayak will help take away any anxiety that may be created by wobbling left and right. This is particularly the case when your mind is concentrating on actual fishing, rather than getting around or trying not to fall into the water!
A second feature to keep an eye out for, is a flat hull. A flat hull bottom, in tandem with a wide beam will increase stability significantly.
Make sure that you have a suitable paddle for when you’re standing up. If you can use a hybrid, that’s even better.
Advantages Of Stand Up Fishing From A Kayak
Ok, so let’s set the record straight. You can fish from a kayak whether you are sitting down or standing up. No argument from you on that one we presume!
But standing up while you're fishing from a kayak has a few advantages for sure.
Better Views Of The Fish And What’s Going On
This is the primary reason for standing up. You can see so much more when you’re eyes are looking down rather than across the water. You should be able to see deeper into the water, and you can see further away. Great fro crappie fishing!
Also, if you’re sitting down, and depending on the conditions, you are probably less likely to be blinded be reflected sunlight bouncing off the water and ripples.
Standing up is also beneficial for seeing any upcoming obstacles that you want to avoid or areas that you want to venture into (and hopefully find some fish!). Both of these aspects are improved compared to sitting down with a more limited view.
Tips: Fishing While Standing On A Kayak
This is an obvious one….casting. When you’re standing up, you can cast so much further and with more confidence. Your accuracy should also improve. It’s much easier than when you’re sitting down. Try to cast using the strength of your arms rather than swinging your body.
Pitching and flipping is easier. You’re going to have more success using these techniques while you’re on your two feet.
Standing up also means you should be able to access your gear more easily. You will be better positioned to access storage area, and multi-task all-round. But again, this is down to the angler. Standing up isn’t for everyone!
Standing On A Kayak Can Take Practise
Be careful though. Fishing from a kayak take some getting used to. You need a degree of flexibility, good balance and having good core strength can definitely help.
Does this mean novices can’t do it? No, not necessarily.
You just need to practise your skills. It is recommended to hone your skills on very calm and shallow waters close to shore. And of course, make sure you have a good PFD, just in case! In fact, you should always have a PFD on no matter sitting or standing or how close to shore you are.
Like anything in life, the more you keep doing something, the better you become at it. In time, you will be a stand up fishing ‘pro’.
There is also a ‘happy medium’….kneeling!
Better than sitting (but not quite as advantageous as standing), kneeling down can be an option should you not be ready for standing at all times. You should have more confidence in stability, but your all-round flexibility will be compromised.
It’s an option to consider.
It Gives Your Back A Break!
Standing up is also good just to move into a new position. If you’ve been sitting down for a period of time, your back might start getting sore and/or your legs become numb.
Standing up can give your back a break and enable you to stay out fishing for longer.
SUP Fishing vs Kayak Fishing
If you’re really into standing up, there is also the option to use a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board. Going the SUP route is definitely for those who intend to do very little sitting down and spend all or most of their time standing.
Not that you can’t sit on a paddle board. They occasionally do come with seats (or you can add your own if that’s an option with the particular SUP). But they aren’t a substitute for a traditional kayak, which is geared towards actually sitting down the majority of the time. Back aches will probably set in faster when sitting down on a paddle board.
Paddle boards are also relatively cheaper than ‘yaks.
So yes, you can fish standing up on a paddle board, but we’re focusing on kayaks only today.
Here’s a paddle board if you’re interested though!
Top 3 Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks
1: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14
- Length: 13ft 8 inches
- Width: 38 inches
- Fitted Hull Weight: 120 pounds
- Fitted Rigged Weight: 145 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
Ok, this is for those who take their fishing seriously!
The Pro Angler 14 comes fitted with a standing deck and a lean bar to hold onto for resting or to assist with casting.
There’s also ample storage with a hatch at the front with removable bucket, which could be used for storing catch. A console within the cockpit (again covered and useful for bait), a small open area under the seat, and open storage at the rear stern end. There’s also a very generous 6 rod holders.
Don’t want to use paddles? That’s an option too. This Hobie has a drive system that you can propel with your legs. Useful if you want to hold the road and move at the same time. Steer left and right with the dual controls at either side of the seat.
The seat is fully adjustable. You can adjust height and it’s possible to increase or reduce lumbar support.
2: Feelfree Lure 10 Fishing Kayak
- Length: 10ft 4 inches
- Width: 36 inches
- Weight: 75 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 375 pounds
Ok, onto the Feel Free Lure 10. Now, you may be looking at the weight above and thinking “Heck, that is pretty heavy!”. Well yes, it’s not the lightest kayak in the world. But its weight ends up as an advantage for those who intend standing up a lot. The weight improves stability even more. It is 36 inches wide too, so another bonus.
There’s dedicated central standing areas. You can also attach this assist bar, which is designed specifically for Feel Free kayaks. Very useful for grabbing onto if you’re feeling a little unstable, or even just to lean against should you just want to take a little of the strain out of standing.
The seat adjusts vertically to different heights. So this is really cool if you want to stay comfortable on a long fishing trip.
Other features? It has covered storage areas for bait (center console). A covered hatch at the bow, which could be used for your catch or anything else that needs cover. There’s a cord covered open store at the rear.
There’s also a tracking rail at the front for attaching electronics, rods or other accessories.
Just be wary that it is a little more challenging to paddle the bigger distances due to the weight and width.
3: Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak
- Length: 12ft 4 inches
- Width: 33 inches
- Depth: 12 inches
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 450 pounds
This kayak from Malibu is the Stealth 12. At 12 feet long, and 33 inches wide it is built for stability.
There is a non-slip standing are in the middle. Under this area is the central storage hatch, and two smaller hatches at each side. We wouldn’t recommend standing on this kayak all day long. It is better set up for a mixture between standing up and sitting down. So, a good all-rounder.
There are 3 main storage areas on board. One at the bow end, which is covered. A covered ‘bait’ tank in the center (which we touched on before) and an open area at the back, with cord to hold down cargo.
It’s got 4 rod holders, two at the front, two at the rear.
Sadly, the Stealth 12 does not come with a seat, so you need to source your own. Better to pay the money and get something comfortable, if you intend sitting down for longer periods of time.
Do you have a stand up fishing kayak, or are you thinking of getting one? Let us know about it below...