Fishing isn’t just a fun pastime. It’s also a way to be environmentally responsible, especially if you fish for invasive species and use a kayak instead of a gas-powered boat. But you’re going to want to stand up to fish from a kayak, so you’ll need one of the most stable fishing kayaks you can find.
Sitting down in a kayak works well when you’re paddling or floating downstream, but it’s less than ideal for wrangling a catch. If your kayak tips whenever you stand up to bring a fish into shore, it’s time to invest in a fishing kayak.
When you’re looking for a new fishing kayak, choose a durable brand that fits your budget and activity preferences. Pick from the most stable fishing kayaks manufactured by brands such as Pelican, Perception, Old Town, and Feelfree.
Most Stable Fishing Kayaks: Outdoor Empire Reviews
- Best Overall: Perception Sound 9.5
- Best Mobility: Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler
- Best for Families: Feelfree Kayaks Move Angler
- Best for Two Anglers: Intex Excursion Pro
- Best Overall: Perception Outlaw 11.5
- Best in Rough Waters: Vibe Yellowfin 120
- Best for Speed: Crescent LiteTackle
- Best Storage Options: Old Town Topwater 120 Angler
- Best Overall: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 IKE Edition
- Best Powered Design: BKC PK11 Angler
- Best Mobility: LONO Aero Bug Slinger Tarpon Inflatable Kayak
- Best Control: Hoodoo Tempest 120P Pedal Drive Kayak
|Best Fishing Kayak||Under $500||Under $1,000||Over $1,000|
|Product|| || ||
|Length||9 ft 6 in||11 ft 6 in||13 ft 8 in|
|Width||28 inches||35 inches||38 inches|
|Height||13.1 inches||16 inches||20 inches|
|Boat Weight||38 pounds||77 pounds||124.5 pounds|
|Max Capacity||300 pounds||425 pounds||350 pounds|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Most Stable Fishing Kayaks Under $500
When you’re choosing a stand up fishing kayak, working within your budget is critical. If you want to spend $500 or less, here are your top options.
1. Best Overall Under $500: Perception Sound 9.5
The Sound 9.5 boasts three keels instead of the standard two to give fishermen extra stability as they cast their lines. It also comes with two holders for your rods and places to mount your fishing gear. Choose between blue and green designs and adjust the seat until it provides the best comfort as you paddle to your fishing hole.
2. Best Mobility: Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler
This 44-pound kayak measures just 9.5 feet, making it easy to pack on top of your car and unload into your favorite lake or river. A special hull compensates for the shorter design. Still, because it’s shorter than the average fishing kayak, it’s best for people who are used to fishing in kayaks and are comfortable standing up.
3. Best for Families: Feelfree Kayaks Move Angler
The Move Angler is your best bet if you like to take your kids or grandkids kayaking with you. The keel includes a wheel that you can engage on land, making it easier for kids to haul their gear. This option is an adaptation of Feelfree Kayaks’ Move model, and it includes a kingfisher seat. Choose between brown, blue, and pink designs.
4. Best for Two Anglers: Intex Excursion Pro
For fishermen who like to take a companion fishing with them, the Intex Excursion Pro is a great option. Although it’s inflatable, the footrests give you enough stability to stand up. Each purchase comes with two 86-inch oars and can support up to 400 pounds.
Most Stable Fishing Kayaks Under $1,000
If you have a little more money to spare, check out this selection of the most stable fishing kayaks, which cost between $500 and $1,000.
5. Best Overall Under $1,000: Perception Outlaw 11.5
It weighs 77 pounds, but the specially-designed handles on both ends and sides of the boat make it much easier to manage. It also comes with a seat that rests 16 inches above the hull for maximum visibility and two rod holders so that you don’t have to watch your gear as you paddle.
6. Best in Rough Waters: Vibe Yellowfin 120
If you like to fish on a bay or river with a strong current, you don’t necessarily need to leave your kayak at home. The Vibe Yellowfin 120 is 33 inches wide and 12 feet long, giving you the best center of gravity. It only weighs 65 pounds, but it can support up to 400 pounds.
If you’re fishing in particularly choppy waters, take advantage of the rudder rigging to add your own rudder kit.
7. Best for Speed: Crescent LiteTackle
The Crescent LiteTackle is a formidable vessel, measuring 12.25 feet long, but it weighs just 75 pounds, a standard weight for fishing kayaks. Use the seat riser to move your standing position up by 5 inches. Store coolers and other gear behind the seat without sacrificing your speed or tracking capabilities.
8. Best Storage Options: Old Town Topwater 120 Angler
If keeping a lot of gear with you is essential, you can’t go wrong with the Old Town Topwater 120 Angler. This 12-foot model weighs 82 pounds and can hold up to 500 pounds. The seat’s height is adjustable, and so are the footrests. The kayak comes with places to store up to three rods and extra compartments for the tackle.
Most Stable Fishing Kayaks Over $1,000
If you have enough room in your budget and you’re committed to finding the best stand up fishing kayak, consider these models, which cost $1,000 or more.
9. Best Overall: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 IKE Edition Kayak with 360 Drive Technology
Take your fishing game to the next level with this elite kayak. Equipped with pedals to keep your arms fresh enough to reel in your next catch, this kayak measures 13.75 feet long and just over 3 feet wide. It also has special fins that help you turn completely around without tipping over.
10. Best Powered Design: BKC PK11 Angler
If you don’t want to paddle or pedal yourself to your next fishing location, choose this 10.5-foot fishing kayak. This craft boasts an aluminum seat and a trolling motor, one of the most stable fishing kayaks around. The Angler clocks in at just 68 pounds, making it easy to transport even with this added weight.
11. Best Mobility: LONO Aero Bug Slinger Tarpon Inflatable Kayak
This inflatable kayak measures 12.5 feet long and 35.5 inches wide, and it can hold up to 400 pounds. Pump the hull and top up to between 10 and 15 PSI for best results. To add some comfort to your ride, blow up the seat cushions to between 7 and 10 PSI before leaving land.
12. Best Control: Hoodoo Tempest 120P Pedal Drive Kayak
Thanks to its aluminum frame and pedal system, the Hoodoo Tempest is one of the best stable fishing kayaks. The specially-designed hull keeps this kayak moving smoothly despite its 80 pounds of weight. Each 12-foot model comes with a place to store your paddles, a rudder rigging system, a seat, and four carrying handles.
What is the Most Stable Fishing Kayak?
The best stable fishing kayaks are designed for you to stand up while reeling in a catch. The kayak should have a tunnel hull, also called a pontoon hull.
This hull has two round points at the front of the boat, and they join in a U shape on the bottom. The double-pointed design allows the hull to cut through the water efficiently without leaving you unbalanced.
Following the kayak’s recommended weight capacity also improves its stability. For example, if a kayak is only rated to hold 400 pounds, and you weigh 200 pounds and pack 250 pounds of gear, you’re likely to upset your craft’s equilibrium.
While motors and pedal systems help you fish for longer in deeper waters, they also add weight to your kayak. Especially if the motor hangs lower than the floor of your kayak, it could get caught on the ground in shallow water, making it easier for you to tip.
If you choose a stand up fishing kayak with extra movement gear, make sure it’s highly rated for stability.
What Length Kayak Is the Most Stable?
The best kayak length for stability depends on the user’s size. Canoe Kentucky owner Nathan Depenbrock calls 12-foot kayaks “the one magical length, the single universal length.”
11-foot kayaks can deliver similar results for shorter adults, but only children should use 10-foot kayaks if they want to stand up and fish. Longer kayaks give you more stability, but they can be harder to maneuver and carry.
Is a Fishing Kayak More Stable?
The best stable fishing kayaks offer much more support than recreational ones because they’re wider, distributing your weight across a bigger space. The U-shaped hull that distinguishes fishing kayaks keeps it afloat even if you rock the sides.
What To Keep in Mind When Choosing a Stable Fishing Kayak
No matter your budget, there are certain questions to keep in mind when looking at the best stable fishing kayaks.
Stability is a big part of kayak safety, but you should also consider whether the seat leaves enough room for you to wear a life jacket. Are there spaces to store extra clothing layers, first aid kits, emergency radios, and other safety essentials?
Can you carry your kayak on your own? Is it light enough for you to load it into your trunk or secure it to the top of your car without hurting yourself?
Do you need a high-quality seat if you’re going to be on the water for a few hours? How many rods do you usually take, and does your chosen kayak have enough places to hang them? If you like to eat your catches, does the kayak have a place to keep your fish?
Looking at the most stable fishing kayaks is a great way to practice responsible outdoorsmanship. Check out these standing kayak recommendations and make your final decision based on your budget and gear needs.
Check our buying guides on some of the fishing gear you might need.