Using a stand up kayak comfortably while fishing is one of the key features anglers look for in a kayak. Since kayak fishing has become so popular, manufacturers have attempted to create versions allowing users to stand up and move around as much as they like. Traditionally, kayaks have been made to provide stability for the user while sitting, but this has changed dramatically recently.
Kayaks come in two varieties: sit-inside and sit-on-top. Both are made to give users enough stability while seated, but what if you prefer to stand while you fish?
In most cases, sit-on-top kayaks are preferable since they offer more primary stability than conventional sit-inside kayaks. Nevertheless, the sit-inside kayaks that follow include those that enable easy standing.
There are a few key points that you should think about when searching for a kayak that will allow you to stand up and fish with ease.
Here are our top four easy kayaks to stand up in and fish safely.
Perception Outlaw 11.5
Sea Eagle FishSUP 126
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120
Possibly the best stand-up fishing kayak available now is the Perception Outlaw 11.5 model. It offers essential features and is constructed with all the necessary components for anglers who prefer to stand while fishing. This one has a roomy, traction-pad-equipped 35-inch deck.
The Perception Outlaw 11.5’s sole possible drawbacks are that it lacks dry storage compartments and has shorter gear tracks.
The high, comfy seat of the Outlaw 11.5 makes it simple to stand and sit down. It is a little kayak, measuring 11.5 feet long and weighing 77 pounds, yet it tracks and maneuvers rather nicely on the water.
Another extremely distinctive design that provides anglers with tremendous stability is the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126. We just have one inflatable kayak on our list, and that’s all. The boat’s construction incorporates a tapered, swallow-tail design to improve maneuverability. It can be fully inflated in about 7 minutes and is incredibly portable and lightweight.
It includes a detachable transom bar so that anglers may mount their preferred trolling motor for simple mobility on any river. With a 40-inch hull and a mind-blowing 500-pound weight capacity, the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 can accommodate two anglers or even a load of fishing equipment.
The well-liked ATAK 140 has been condensed into the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120. Given its ability on the water, this kayak is one of the more feature-rich models you’ll find for under $2,000 and is a remarkable value. It is constructed on a substantial 35-inch frame with a wide deck with padding to aid traction.
A stand-up assist strap is included with the AirPro Max seat, which is undoubtedly the most talked-about component. This strap helps you stay balanced both standing and sitting. This one is compatible with the electric trolling motor Helix MD Motor Drive from Wilderness Systems for simple mobility.
It is one of the most sought-after stand-up fishing kayaks today, thanks to features like a removable console, lots of dry storage, and SlideTrax attachment systems.
The Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 is a high-end vessel that comes equipped with almost everything you require for convenient fishing. It has a Minn Kota Spot-Lock motor technology, which enables you to go vast distances without putting any physical effort into it. You may sit back and soak in the landscape or set up your fishing rods to troll for fish while you move with the Bluetooth-connected i-Pilot remote, which also controls the motor system.
With a staggering 550 pounds of capacity overall and superb stability, the Sportsman AutoPilot 120 allows you to bring along whatever equipment you desire. It has a roomy deck with non-slip EVA foam padding for plenty of traction and comfort and an incredibly comfortable sitting system that is simply adjustable into a high or low position.
The Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120’s 150-pound weight and hefty price are its only possible drawbacks. Most inexperienced anglers will undoubtedly be unable to afford it, but serious kayak fishermen who demand the highest level of quality should consider investing.
Stand-up kayaks have benefits for anglers.
To maximize your efforts and become a more effective angler, you must have a kayak that allows you to stand up. The following are a few ways that standing up while fishing gives you a significant advantage on the water.
Having a Greater Range of Motion
You need to be able to let your arms move in a broad, sweeping manner to cast a fishing rod. The distance between the tip of the rod and the lure might vary between 2 and 3 feet. Depending on the lure you’re using, its weight, and size.
Your lure will frequently touch the water when you make your cast if you’re sitting down. This will significantly reduce the length and accuracy of each cast you make and increases the chance that your hook may become tangled up in something behind you.
These problems will disappear if you stand up while casting, giving you more space to cast your rod correctly.
Longer, More Accurate Casts
You’ll be able to cast considerably farther and with higher precision since you’ll be able to stand up and do so with the proper range and motions.
You must exert as much leverage as possible on the rod when making a long cast, which calls for you to bring the rod tip back further over your shoulder.
You can pull your rod down farther and ‘load up’ more kinetic energy in the rod tip to produce a longer cast by leaving 3 to 4 feet between it and the surface of the water.
Since your weight swings backward to forward during these lengthy casts, proper stability is crucial as you exert greater force into them.
Additionally, being able to stand up improves your sense of depth. In contrast to casting when sitting down, this makes it possible to load more energy into each cast, enhancing total casting accuracy.
Accuracy is essential while fishing around objects like trees or docks. Anglers with experience know that making more precise throws results in a lower danger of snagging your hook on the cover and a higher likelihood of capturing fish.
You nearly always need to stand up when casting for certain sorts of fishing, like fly fishing.
Most fishermen prefer to stand up while they fish to understand the water better.
While standing allows you to see the water surface more clearly, sitting down places your field of vision much closer to the water’s surface.
Anglers that frequently sight fish for different species know that being higher up offers significant benefits when it comes to seeing more clearly into the water.
Standing up allows kayak anglers to see fish swimming close to their craft.
A wider range of view also makes it easier to spot any underwater obstructions your line can tangle with. Additionally, since you can see everything, your kayak might run into, it may be preferable to stand than sit.
This is crucial if you’re using a pedal kayak or motorized propulsion because if you run into solid things just below the water’s surface, your propeller or fins could easily be destroyed.
Being able to stretch
If you’ve ever spent a lot of time in a kayak, you are aware that after a few hours of sitting, you may start to feel a little crowded. If you intend to spend a day or more on the lake, getting up and stretching your legs and back
is quite helpful.
Standing up promotes better blood flow throughout your body and lessens the amount of exhaustion that comes with spending long periods seated. Just watch out that you don’t get lightheaded when you stand up. You don’t want it in a kayak at all.
Features to Consider
Since standing while fishing has so many benefits, every serious angler should choose a kayak that makes it simple to stand. The following design features are the most crucial ones to consider if you’re looking for a high-quality kayak that will enable you to stand up confidently.
You should search for “primary stability” in any kayak’s description. Any kayak’s hull design favors either primary or secondary stability. Primary stability is crucial to standing up in a kayak since it prevents the boat from toppling to one side or the other.
Most kayaks are made with either good primary or secondary stability as a priority, not both at once. As a result, you will have to decide between kayaks that have one or the other.
Most fishermen will fish in calm, flat water. Therefore primary stability is the best option.
However, you might choose a kayak with better secondary stability if you want to cruise or fish in locations where the water is more erratic.
Your kayak’s breadth is frequently a reliable measure of how much main stability it can have. Stability is primarily influenced by a kayak’s length, width, and overall weight.
A kayak with a wider beam will often be more stable than one with a smaller beam. A broad kayak will be more stable even though it may go considerably more slowly than a narrow kayak.
Getting a stand-up kayak at least 31 inches wide or wider is advised when looking for a nice one. Regardless of how long the kayak is, most serious kayak fishers often choose a width of 32 to 36 inches.
In a kayak, you have a few hull shape and design options to pick from. These include flat, V-shaped, rounded, and pontoon hull types; each has advantages and disadvantages depending on the water you’ll be paddling through.
A flat hull is frequently the ideal option for stand-up kayak fishing, especially if you plan to use it on calm water like ponds, lakes, or slow-moving rivers. A pontoon, V-shaped, or rounded hull would be preferable if there’s a risk you’ll find yourself in stormy water.
For the most stability, a pontoon hull is a wise option. The finest kayaks for both primary and secondary stability are frequently kayaks with pontoon hulls since they are versatile and can be utilized in many settings.
Wider, more open deck
The ability to stand up comfortably while fishing also necessitates having enough space to arrange your feet in any way you see fit.
It’s typically preferable to choose a kayak with a roomy deck over one with a center console or very little space for your feet.
It’s best to stand up on a broad, open deck that is flat, has cushioning, or both because you’ll have more space to adjust your feet and balance yourself as needed while fishing.
If you’re battling a big fish, having a roomy deck is always helpful because it will provide you with more mobility while you struggle to keep your catch under control.
An added plus is getting a kayak with a seat that can pop up and out of the way, which offers you a little extra space if you need it.
For two reasons, standing up is often considered ideal in kayaks with high or elevated seats. First, a high seat is significantly more comfortable because it relieves pressure on your lower back and reduces the amount of bending required by your legs. Second, rising from a high seat is considerably simpler than rising from a seat near the deck.
An elevated seat is significantly more comfortable to sit in for extended periods than a lower seat, as any seasoned kayak angler is aware. To provide more leverage when paddling the kayak, high-end kayaks frequently have seats that can be adjusted from a comfortable high position to a low setting.
The total weight will also impact the stability of a kayak you place inside. Choose a kayak with a bigger weight capacity if you are a larger person or intend to bring along a substantial amount of gear. It is advised not to fill a kayak to the maximum capacity because doing so puts you at risk of tipping over.
Instead, aim to limit your weight to no more than 75% of the kayak’s maximum capacity. This will improve stability and prevent you from unintentionally packing your boat with excessive gear.
Specific Features for Fishing
The best kayaks for fishing have horizontal rod staging systems with rod tip guards and flush-mount rod holders that keep your poles erect. If you’re a serious angler, you’ll probably need more than two rods on your kayak for various rigs and lures.
Look for a kayak with adjustable rod holders so you can store and arrange your rods wherever you see appropriate.
The most crucial component of a kayak’s accessories is its gear tracks. These will enable you to mount and position things like GPS devices, cameras, fish finders, and other fishing-related gear.
Gear tracks are on both sides, behind the seat, in front of the seat, in the middle, and on many high-end fishing kayaks. Gear tracks span the entire length of the kayak. The best approach to arrange your gear and make the most of the space in your kayak is to have more gear tracks than you need.
Storage choices for your fishing equipment include tackle box compartments, hatches, and tank wells. Your gear must stay out of the way while allowing you to swiftly and readily reach certain items whenever you need them.