What Type of Kayak Is Better for Fishing?

When it comes to fishing, having the right kayak can make all the difference. There are several different types of kayaks available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the two most popular options for fishing kayaks – sit-on-top kayaks and sit-inside kayaks – and discuss which one may be better suited for your needs.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks

Let’s start by looking at sit-on-top kayaks. These kayaks are designed with an open cockpit, meaning that you sit on top of the kayak rather than inside it.

One of the biggest advantages of sit-on-top kayaks for fishing is their stability. Due to their wider hull design, they provide a more stable platform for casting lines and reeling in fish.

Another key advantage of sit-on-top kayaks is their self-draining feature. Since water can easily flow through scupper holes in the hull, you don’t have to worry about bailing out water if your kayak gets swamped or taking on water while launching through surf. This feature is especially beneficial for anglers who plan to fish in rougher waters or enjoy kayak fishing in inclement weather conditions.

Additionally, sit-on-top kayaks offer more storage space compared to sit-inside kayaks. They usually have larger tankwells at the rear where you can stow your fishing gear, coolers, and other essentials. Some models even come with built-in rod holders and accessory mounts, making customization a breeze.

In terms of disadvantages, sit-on-top kayaks tend to be slower compared to their sit-inside counterparts due to their wider hulls. This can be a drawback if speed is important to you or if you plan on covering long distances during your fishing trips.

Sit-Inside Kayaks

Now, let’s turn our attention to sit-inside kayaks. These kayaks have a closed cockpit, meaning that you sit inside the kayak hull.

Sit-inside kayaks are known for their speed and efficiency in the water. The streamlined design of these kayaks allows for faster paddling and better maneuverability.

One of the main advantages of sit-inside kayaks for fishing is their protection from the elements. If you often fish in colder climates or during colder seasons, a sit-inside kayak can provide better insulation and shield you from wind and water splashes. This can make your fishing experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

Another key benefit of sit-inside kayaks is their ability to track straighter in the water. The enclosed cockpit design reduces the effects of wind and currents, allowing you to maintain a straighter course while paddling. This can be particularly useful when trolling or covering larger bodies of water.

However, sit-inside kayaks do have some drawbacks. They generally have less storage space compared to sit-on-top models, with smaller hatches and limited deck space for gear. This means that you may need to be more selective with what you bring on your fishing trips or consider using external storage solutions.


In conclusion, both sit-on-top and sit-inside kayaks have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right type of kayak for fishing depends on your specific needs, preferences, and fishing style.

  • If stability and ample storage space are your top priorities, a sit-on-top kayak might be the better choice.
  • If speed, maneuverability, and protection from the elements are more important to you, a sit-inside kayak could be the way to go.

Ultimately, it’s essential to test out different kayaks and consider factors such as the type of water you’ll be fishing in, the duration of your trips, and the gear you’ll be carrying. By carefully evaluating these factors and understanding the pros and cons of each kayak type, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect fishing kayak for your needs.

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Michael Allen