Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak of 2018 & Buying Guide

Purchasing a stand up fishing kayak can take you to new destinations when it comes to reeling in distant fish. Not only will you have the flexibility of standing or sitting, but you will experience more stability when dealing with a potential catch. If you are ready to embark on a kayak fishing adventure, you will want to put thought into which vessel you plan on using for your needs.

We know it can be cumbersome to choose the best stand up fishing kayak, so we’ve crafted a straightforward guide to aid you in making a final decision. We will introduce you to the top 5 picks for fishing kayaks along with all of the criteria you should use to pick one that fits your needs.

Product

Ranking

Our Rating

Price

13 Foot Pro-Angler Inflatable Kayak

Best Overall

Lifetime 10 Foot

2nd Choice

Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot

3rd Choice

Imagine Surf V2

4th Choice

BKC UH-RA220

5th Choice

Buying Guide

Using a Stand Up Fishing Kayak

  • Versatile Fishing Experience –Whether you are a professional fisherman or just enjoy fishing as a hobby, a stand up fishing kayak can provide the versatility of either standing or sitting on top while in the water. This type of kayak is often used in saltwater or other types of calm waters as it provides stability when handling your catch. Instead of taking out a full-sized boat, a stand up fishing kayak is a portable solution for embarking on a water adventure.
13 Foot Pro-Angler Inflatable Kayak

13 Foot Pro-Angler Inflatable Kayak

How Do I Choose a Kayak?

Lifetime 10 Foot

Lifetime 10 Foot

Purchasing a stand up kayak can involve looking at many different options and narrowing them down based on your preferences and intended use. Instead of mulling through long lists of specifications, here are some basics to consider when choosing your fishing kayak:

  • Weight Capacity – Before you look at any other details of a particular kayak model that you are interested in, you first need to make sure that it will fit your current weight. It is always helpful to allow a small cushion of weight just incase you happen to fluctuate, you don’t want to have a model that is not safe for your body structure.
  • Dimensions– When looking at stand up kayak options, the length and width are important factors that will influence your final decision. Long kayaks such as those measuring 10 feet, cover distances faster although the tradeoff is that they can be a bit trickier to maneuver if you are navigating through tight spaces. Often, when you have a wider kayak, it will provide more stability when standing up.
  • Portability – Depending on how often you plan on transporting the kayak to the water, you will want to look at how portable it is for carrying and travel. Some models have built-in handles that make it easier to lug around when not in the water. There are inflatable stand up kayaks which are great if you are limited on storage space. Also, look at the weight of the stand up fishing kayak as that will help you gauge the portability.
  • Design – If you want to stand out while in the water, you may want to choose a more bold design for your kayak model. Depending on your color preferences, you can decide on a plain, solid design or a more exciting design such as camo or multiple colored.

What Features Should I Look For?

Once you’ve looked at the initial product attributes, you will want to find an option that fits your needs and preferences. Here are some convenient features to look for when buying a stand up fishing kayak:

  • Storage Space – When deciding on a fishing kayak, you will want to consider how much storage space that you will need to carry your gear. Many models have on-board storage where you can secure your fishing gear with bungee cords. If you need additional space for a change of clothing or water-tight compartments for dry storage, be sure that the kayak you decide on has these added features.
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Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot

Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot

Imagine Surf V2

Imagine Surf V2

  • Rod Holders – Next, think about how many fishing rods you plan to bring while fishing. There are different options available when it comes to the placement of the built-in rod holders such as flush mounted, drag anchors or adjustable holders. If you are buying a tandem kayak that fits two or three passengers, you should make sure the model has multiple sections to hold fishing rods.
  • Included Accessories – Accessories can make all the difference in your buying choice as it saves you from purchasing the gear separately. It is helpful if you are able to find a kayak with the paddle included. Aluminum benches or mounting gear are great if you plan to bring along a GPS, camera or other even a fish finder. Some models even come with accessories that help make your fishing experience easier such as a Transducer compatible scupper.
  • Enhanced Comfort – If you plan on being out in the water for long periods of time, chances are that you will not be standing up the whole time while on the kayak. Kayaks with adjustable foot sections and thigh support can make it much more comfortable for your lower body while seated in the cockpit. You can also look for cushioned or adjustable seating options that will enhance your fishing experience.

Addressing Controversy

  • Limited Storage– A common misconception about stand up fishing kayaks is that they are limited on storage space. While some options are more compact and only have on-board storage, there are plenty of kayaks available that include space for plenty of gear. If storage space is important to you, make sure you find a model that has plenty of room for your fishing accessories.

Top 5 Picks for Stand Up Fishing Kayaks

1. BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Review

The Brooklyn Kayak Company Angler Fishing Kayak provides a secure foundation for one person to stand or sit while fishing in the water. This 11.5 foot kayak can hold up to 440 pounds and has multiple storage areas to bring along loads of gear.

The three waterproof storage sections are ideal for smaller items to fit inside without getting wet. There is also a built-in cargo area that features elastic tie-down straps to allow you to hold larger gear on the surface of the kayak.

You will have the option to choose from three neat design options including camo, gray camo and sky blue. Not only will you be able to navigate the water in style but you will not have to worry about tipping over in this model.

Having the ability to bring along several fishing rods is a huge plus especially when you want to bring in more fish at the end of the day. There are 2 rod holders flush mounted to the kayak as well as 1 adjustable fishing rod holder.

You will be able to control where you place the fishing line instead of manually fiddling with it in the water. Both beginners and experienced fisherman will enjoy the convenience of the two paddle park sections of this large stand up fishing kayak.

You can either sit on top or stand up and fish as there is unmatched stability offered in the hull section. It also features a Transducer compatible scupper that is helpful for finding fish. This kayak is the deluxe package for solo fishing and exploration.

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Pros

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    Expansive storage options
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    Stability
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    Paddle keeper sections

Cons

  • Lengthy size
  • Bulky for transporting

2. Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler Fishing Paddle Board Review

The Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler Fishing Paddle Board is an extremely versatile stand up kayak designed to help you cast with ease. You have quick access to four fishing rod mounts, two rod holders and two drag-anchor cleats which will give you plenty of opportunity to reel in a fresh catch.

With a super tough blow-molded polyethylene surface, this model is both strong and built to withstand frequent water expeditions. If you desire storage space, both ends of the kayak have storage space on board and there are also two built-in storage hatches.

You can secure a PFD or dry bag to the front of the board instead of having to carry it on your back. For anything that you don’t want to get wet, the storage hatches close shut for a watertight seal.

This kayak offers a stable ride whether you are standing or sitting up while fishing. With dimensions of 11 feet x 35 x 8 inches, the wide seat will allow you to confidently reel in fish without tipping over.

It even features a full length deck pad to help with traction and control while you are standing up. The seat back can be folded down when not in use and quickly flips up when you are ready to take a seat.

Weighing at 68 pounds, this model has two built in handles to lift it to and from the water. It accommodates a load up to 305 pounds to hold you and your catch of the day. The Imagine Surf V2 kayak will give you plenty of options for exploring the water for the ultimate fishing experience.

Pros

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    Plenty of storage
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    Durable surface
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    Traction for standing

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
  • Lower weight limit

3. 13 Foot Pro-Angler Inflatable Kayak Review

If you are limited on storage space, the 13 Foot Pro-Angler Inflatable Kayak is a great solution. For those who live near the water but don’t have a place for docking a full size kayak, this model will be ready at a moment’s notice.

Not only is it easy to store, but it is constructed from heavy-duty 1100 Dtex PVC that provides enhanced durability. The floor of this stand up fishing kayak is rigid and stable while inflated but can easily be rolled up for portability when deflated. There is an additional layer of PVC fabric on the floor and on the side tubes to prevent accidental punctures from the fishing hooks.

To fish while standing up, there are rigid high buoyancy tubes on the edges of the kayak to keep it stable. If you want to add extra directional stability, you can attach the removable fin onto the bottom of the canoe.

This model comes with all you need to inflate the kayak in minutes with a hand pump and spare air valve included. It also comes with a kayak paddle, repair kit and carrying bag for portability.

The only things you will need purchase separately is your fishing rods and gear. The hugging rope makes it easy to pull out of the water and there are also handles in both the front and back of the kayak.

Two aluminum benches come with this kayak to be used to mount virtually any hardware including GPS units, fish finder, video cameras and much more. This kayak features lots of functionality to make your fishing trip both comfortable and convenient.

Pros

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    Removable seats
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    Great for mounting gear
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    Portable

Cons

  • Must be inflated
  • Not designed for rapids

4. Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Fishing Kayak Review

If you are looking for a comfortable stand up fishing kayak, the Sun Dolphin Journey 12-Foot Fishing Kayak is an excellent choice. It features a large seating area that has enhanced stability for both standing and sitting while in the water.

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With a portable accessory carrier with the option of being used for storage, tow behind or a backpack, you will be able to bring along all of your fishing gear. There is a dry storage compartment which is helpful for storing your phone, keys and anything else you don’t want to get wet.

For enhanced comfort for your lower body, the inside section has adjustable foot braces and protective thigh pads.For your convenience, the kayak features two flush mount rod holders along with one swivel rod holder.

Simply click your rod into the holder and wait until you see a fish tugging on the line. This model is fairly portable for your travel needs as it weighs 48 pounds and includes retractable carrying handles to pick up for transporting.

Measuring at 144 x 29.5 x 13.5 inches, you will have room to stretch out while seated along with security while standing. You will even have a place to put your paddle with the built-in paddle holder.

The UV-stabilized Fortiflex high density polyethylene will withstand any water conditions without cracking or puncturing. The Sun Dolphin Journey kayak is a popular selection for beginners who want to have the versatility of stand or sitting.

Pros

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    Water tight compartment
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    Added comfort features
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    Lightweight

Cons

  • Doesn’t include paddle
  • Limited storage space

5. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak Review

The Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak holds up to 3 people with balanced seat. The inside is designed as a tunnel hull to make it possible to stand up while fishing without taking a tumble into the water.

It is constructed from lightweight polyethylene material and weighs at total of 60 pounds which makes it easy for transporting from your vehicle or dock to the water. This model includes several helpful features that will allow you to focus more on fishing and less on the small details.

To secure your paddle while not in use, the kayak has built-in clips and a paddle cradle. There are also three fishing pole holders which sit next to the three contoured seats.Even with three people inside, storage will not be an issue as there is a front cargo section with shock cord straps to secure your gear.

There is also an interior storage hatch for items that need to stay dry. If you have loose odds and ends such as plastic bait, you can place them in the built-in ditty trays.

The kayak comes with 2 double-sided paddles so you will have everything you need to embark on a water adventure. To keep the inside from filling up with water, there is a scupper plug that will drain the cockpit area.

This stand up fishing kayak can accommodate up to 500 pounds which is plenty for you and 2 friends. Each person will have multiple footrest positions for the maximum level of comfort. This stand up kayak is perfect for multiple people to enjoy a relaxing fishing experience.

Pros

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    Holds 3 passengers
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    Adjustable foot rests
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    Cockpit drainage

Cons

  • Shorter lengthNo added cushioning for seats
  • No added cushioning for seats

Conclusion

The winner out of these 5 popular stand up fishing kayaks is the 13 Foot Pro-Angler Inflatable Kayak for its portability and convenience features. This model is ideal for travel as it can be rolled up so you don’t have to worry about having a dock or large truck. It also comes included with a kayak paddle and plenty of helpful accessories such as a repair kit and carrying bag. To keep a strong stance while fishing, it has reinforced edges and a removable fin.