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Float and Fish: Inflatable Kayaks for Anglers

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

Updated on 7/10/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott


Initially, combining inflatable kayaks with fishing may not seem logical. After all, the prospect of sharp hooks and fish fins meeting an air-filled rubber boat could result in a less-than-ideal situation.

However, this assumption is not necessarily valid regarding the best inflatable fishing kayaks. Made from heavy-duty, practically puncture-proof vinyl, modern inflatables utilize multiple air chambers and drop-stitch construction to improve their performance and resiliency.

Inflatable kayaks are so durable that they make for an excellent ride when navigating through rocky rivers or avoiding tree stumps. Furthermore, inflatable fishing kayaks are effortless to store and transport. Granted, they may not handle as well as traditional boats, and adding accessories and fishing gear can be more challenging. Nonetheless, an inflatable fishing kayak is undoubtedly worth examining for anglers seeking a convenient and robust watercraft.


Best Budget Pick: Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • The recommended laminates for this kayak consist of both a PVC and polyester core, providing the ideal combination of durability and lightweight.
  • The material used in this kayak is hardy and durable, resistant to abrasions, sunlight, impacts, and even gasoline or saltwater.
  • This kayak includes built-in brackets for easy accessory mounting, such as a GPS.
  • With a capacity to hold up to 400 pounds, this kayak is capable of carrying heavy loads, accommodating two passengers and necessary equipment.
  • The kayak is equipped with stainless steel D rings for secure storage of essential items.
  • Comes with a carry bag, a high-quality pump, and two 86-inch aluminum oars, providing convenience and enhancing your fishing experience.
  • Inflating the fishing equipment becomes much more accessible with the included pump.

Things we don't like:

  • Many customers have noted that the oars aren't of the best quality.
  • Some customers have said that the paddles are not that great either.
  • A lot of people have complained that the aluminum paddles are weak.
  • The kayak comes with these items; however, you can replace them with better products as long as they are merely included.
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First, this kayak is perfect for anyone wishing to go fishing. Two passengers can be accommodated, making it ideal for taking a friend or family member on an adventure. Due to its robust and rigid design, this kayak is perfect for any adventure.

However, it also has a wide range of user-friendly features. The product has various parts, such as a repair patch, a mounting bracket, and storage space.



Middle Of The Road: Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • There are two primary reasons why the Steelhead fishing kayak is one of the best inflatable kayaks for fishing. They can either be purchased as solo kayaks or tandem kayaks. A rigid drop-stitch floor is also included with the Steelhead. When fishing, it's essential to have a solid platform to stand on and cast, and the Steelhead lets you release from a sturdy, stable platform.  
  • Furthermore, the Steelhead comes with a self-bailing drain on the floor so the water won't leak. Self-bailing can come in handy if you're fishing in rough waters or moving in a lot of fish which causes the kayak to leak water. The accessories and features are included: 5-7 hard mounting points for rod holders, spray shield, locking valves, drop-in adjustable footrests, lightweight paddle, carry bag, pump, and much more.

Things we don't like:

  • At this point, there isn't much to report on the con side. The reason for having no cons is that the Elkton Steelhead kayak is a relatively new product. Because it is not as well known as other kayaks, there is not as much information available. But I would say the packaging and the instruction manual are the only things I have noticed that I don't find particularly important. Let's see what happens! If more information becomes available about this kayak, I will update this post as soon as possible.
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I want to draw your attention to another product from Elkton's list. Thanks; to the drop-stitch floor of this kayak, it makes this kayak the perfect choice for fishing. Additionally, the kayak is a versatile, portable, and durable product with excellent storage, portability, and durability features.




Top Of The Line: Sea Eagle 385fta Angler Series Fishing Kayak

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • Super-tough inflatable kayak
  • Lightweight and simple to inflate and deflate in a short amount of time
  • Suitable for use with the motor (extra cost)
  • There are several seating configurations available for up to three paddlers.
  • Outstanding maneuverability and sensitivity, making it ideal for lounging down all day long (the seat is removable, and the deck is padded)

Things we don't like:

  • Every time it is used, it must first be inflated, and then who must deflate it.
  • When it's windy, it has the potential to move around a little bit.
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The Sea Eagle 385fta and its unique features can be easily set up by watching the video below. If you are tired of your parents' fishing kayaks, this one ain't for you!

Sea Eagle 385tka is right up your alley if you are looking for the Cadillac of fishing kayaks when it comes to kayaks. Unlike the inflatable fishing kayaks your mama has, this is something unique! In addition to the kayak, paddle, seat, carry bag, pump, skeg, and repair kit, the standard package includes the following items.

You can upgrade this kayak with various accessories, so you'll be the envy of all your friends without using a trailer!
In some packages, a swivel seat with an elevated base is included. The advantage is that you'll get a better view of the water and use a full 360-degree swivel for more conveniently fishing and landing your fish.

Of course, the Pro Motor Rig package is one of the most popular. You will get everything from this bad boy, including a swivel seat, trolling motor, motor mount, and the rest of the standard package details. It is impossible to find any other kayak with such extensive features as this one, and you could let someone else do the DIY for you.

Up to three people can be accommodated in the Fast Track Angler with a maximum weight of roughly 635 pounds! It is not just this. And it is also highly rugged because the hull is made with a proprietary crocodile hide material. The kayaks are also made by Sea Eagle, a reputable brand that has been making them since 1968! You don't have to look any further than the 385tka Fast Track Angler if you are looking for a complete one-stop shop for fishing kayaks.


Tips for Choosing the Perfect Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Are you considering buying an inflatable fishing kayak for your next fishing trip? Before you make a decision, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. Here are some key considerations to help you choose the best inflatable fishing kayak for your needs.

Material Matters

While inflatable fishing kayaks may not be as durable as traditional boats, you can extend their lifespan with the right material choices. If speed is a priority, PVC kayaks are lightweight and affordable. However, exposure to extreme sunlight can damage them over time. To protect your kayak, invest in a UV-resistant Hypalon boat, which is more expensive but sturdier.

Weight Worry

The weight of your inflatable fishing kayak is important, especially if you plan to transport it frequently. While they range from 20 to 50 pounds, most kayaks come with a carrying bag, so the weight shouldn't be a major concern.

Size Selection

Kayaks come in various sizes and shapes. If you're fishing with friends, opt for a longer kayak with extra seats. If you're solo fishing, choose a smaller kayak to save money and ease of use. Consider the body of water, too - a longer kayak is better for still waters, while a smaller kayak is easier to maneuver in a winding river.

Water Conditions

While inflatable fishing kayaks are great for still waters and mild conditions, they are not ideal for rapids or rough waters. For these conditions, a hard-shell kayak is sturdier and more suitable.

Inflatable vs. Traditional Kayak

The choice between inflatable and traditional kayaks depends on your preferences and budget. Inflatable kayaks are lighter and more portable, while traditional kayaks are sturdier and easier to maneuver.



Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of an inflatable fishing kayak over a traditional one?

Inflatable fishing kayaks are more lightweight, portable, and affordable than traditional kayaks, making them a popular option for fishing enthusiasts.

Can inflatable fishing kayaks handle rough water conditions?

Inflatable fishing kayaks are designed to handle calm to moderate water conditions, but they may not be suitable for heavy rapids or rough waters.

How long does it take to inflate an inflatable fishing kayak?

Most inflatable fishing kayaks take between 10 to 15 minutes to inflate, depending on the pump and size of the kayak.

Do inflatable fishing kayaks come with fishing gear and accessories?

Some inflatable fishing kayaks come with basic fishing gear and accessories, while others may require additional purchases. It depends on the manufacturer and model.

Can inflatable fishing kayaks be easily transported?

Yes, inflatable fishing kayaks are designed to be compact and easy to transport, making them a convenient option for fishing enthusiasts.

How durable are inflatable fishing kayaks?

The durability of inflatable fishing kayaks depends on the quality of the materials and construction, but they are generally built to last and offer a long lifespan.