Boats & Kayaks

Best Fishing Kayak For Beginners in 2023 | All Good Fishing

Picking up your first ever fishing kayak is so exciting and it could be challenging as well especially if you are a beginner. In fact, filtering down the best fishing kayak for beginners can be a stressful task even for some experienced kayakers as the kayak market is pretty loaded. Here, you need to be careful to get the right thing.

Best Fishing Kayak For Beginners

As far as kayaking is concerned, you may compromise a little bit to some extent. But kayaking plus the fishing isn’t a thing to compromise on as you need a vessel that is stable, maneuverable, durable, and responsive all at the same time. Any of these missing things, you won’t find yourself comfortable or safe on the water.

Although selecting the best beginner fishing kayak is an overwhelming task, the market still gets you the options to get things done at your fingertips. But, this as well, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So, to figure this out, we have sorted out some of the top entry level fishing kayaks for beginners that you can start out with right now.

However, to make things digestible and easier to consume, you need some sort of criteria that you need to keep in your mind, so you will be confident about your potential kayak. So, let’s take a short look at it.

How to Get the Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners?

Well, there are tons of factors that you need to keep in mind when selecting any starter fishing kayak. However, we will keep it simple and sleek without putting spices on it. For the beginner-friendly kayaks, you need to make sure its pricing and value to money stuff as some brands market their beginner kayaks for a premium price.

How to Get the Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners

One thing to keep in mind; you should not pick a kayak solely for its price. If you opt for the cheapest option out there in the market, you will be skipping several things from the comfort, safety, and performance departments. So, After balancing a vessel’s price and its features, you need to take its performance into account as this is a core element of any kayak out there.

To make your kayaking and fishing journey relaxed and insightful, that kayak should be of nice build and construction. You should pick hardshell vessels as they are made up of high-density plastic that stands out quite decently on the water. They deliver outstanding life and can also work in flooded water. Inflatable kayaks are also useful but they aren’t best for beginners.

For you as a beginner, the kayak should be easy to use so you will be able to learn and experience kayaking as much as you could. The size of a kayak also matters a lot, as this part defines its maneuverability and navigational factors. Longer kayaks are faster but they are a bit tricky to control compared to wide and shorter ones.

Alongside these things, there should be enough space in the cabin so that you can carry the essential gear with you. With the added spots of accessories, the kayaks become pretty delightful as you don’t have to create a mess any longer. Keeping all these things in your mind, let’s dive deeper into the best fishing kayaks for beginners. You will surely get the best match after skimming through this guide.

05 Best Fishing Kayak For Beginners At A Glance

Overall Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
  • Benefits: Useful beginner fishing kayak, An Impressive build and design, Stable yet a lightweight vessel, Easy to carry and transportable
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Features reasonable storage
Pelican SOT Kayak – Sentinel 100X
Pelican SOT Kayak – Sentinel 100X
  • Benefits: An easy to maneuver kayak, More than enough storage, A strengthened build quality, Easy to paddle and transport
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The Maneuverable Fishing Kayak
Sun Dolphin Journey 10F Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Sun Dolphin Journey 10F Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
  • Benefits: Comfortable and adjustable seat, An easy to control fishing kayak, With a solid build construction, Maneuverable and a safe vessel
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Lightweight yet a stable angler
Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak
Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak
  • Benefits: Stable and a maneuverable kayak, Easy to control and lightweight, Meant for all sizes of paddlers, Can handle up to 200 pounds
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An adorable and durable kayak
Perception Pescador 12 Fishing Kayak
Perception Pescador 12 Fishing Kayak
  • Benefits: A Balanced and stable kayak, Easy to maneuver and straight, One Piece durable construction, Easy to carry and a spacious cabin
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Best Fishing Kayak For Beginners | Our Best Picks & Review

1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Lifetime kayaks are quite decent especially if you are looking for entry-level to mid-range vessels out there. This Tamarack angler was launched back in 2018 and it also comes with a reasonably designed paddle alongside. So, you won’t have to get them separately. With this 55 pounds of weight, Tamarack becomes an easy to carry good fishing kayak for beginners. You need to have anchors to effectively handle it.

Lifetime is using Polyethylene of high density that ensures a strengthened vessel construction that is based on a sophisticated construction. It won’t be distorted if you are at the rocky or shallow waters as some kayakers usually do as a beginner. Anyways, it would surely get some scratches if you get aggressive with it.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Tamarack has got a flat bottom that is meant to provide a stable ride on the waters. The wider cabin gives a decent protocol to this entire vessel which is also reasonably spacious. You can put all your necessary stuff on the dedicated spots. Also, the legroom is also reasonably wider so you will stay comfortable throughout your voyage. The paddle mounts and rod holders are also pointed on the sides.



Reason(s) to buy

  • Useful beginner fishing kayak
  • An Impressive build and design
  • Stable yet a lightweight vessel
  • Easy to carry and transportable

Reason(s) not to buy

  • Not meant for oceanic waters

2. Pelican SOT Kayak – Sentinel 100X

Pelican SOT Kayak

Pelican is on the list with one of the most impressive kayaks ever produced. Sentinel 100X is a launch of 2020 and it is even lighter than the Tamarack of Lifetime which was 55 pounds and this one hardly weighs 40 pounds which is a nice thing especially for beginners. Pelican launched it in blue and white colors.

Sentinel is both an angler and a recreational kayak also as Pelican has launched both of its versions. Pelican has made a pretty durable fishing kayak as they are using their RAM-X which is almost the same thing as polypropylene plastic. This vessel has an edge over the other ones, as it is composed of layered construction.

Coming back to the kayak itself, Sentinel is a stable kayak without any doubt. With its flat bottom, the vessel becomes quite maneuverable. It can also give you a reasonable speed so it would float decently on the water and it never gets out of your control. Of course, the practice is a must and you will see the magic of it.

This vessel has got a wide sitting area which itself is located in a wide cabin so you will never feel uncomfortable while sitting on it. You can utilize this space to keep your important stuff with you. Moreover, it would be perfect for all paddler sizes.



Reason(s) to buy

  • An easy to maneuver kayak
  • More than enough storage
  • A strengthened build quality
  • Easy to paddle and transport

Reason(s) not to buy

  • Stability could be even better

3. Sun Dolphin Journey 10F Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 10F

Sun Dolphin launched their 10 feet long fishing kayak back in 2015 and it weighs almost similar to the Pelican Sentinel which is around 40 lbs or a little bit more than that. Still, the kayak itself is quite easy to carry and you don’t need to worry about any other part of it. Even being a slightly portable fishing kayak, this kayak is still capable of handling up to 250 pounds of weight but it isn’t up to mark.

The kayak has a flat bottom which makes it quite maneuverable especially on lakes and ponds where the water isn’t flooded as such. Nor do you need to get on the aggressive currents if you are just starting out. Anyways, the kayak performs pretty decently to provide you with a lucrative fishing experience, to be honest.

Sun Dolphin Journey 10F Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Along with this, it is easy to paddle a kayak that would not be an issue when it comes to controlling. On its sides, you will get a spot to hold the rods and paddles as well. Overall, the kayak is stable and safe, so you won’t regret it. Meanwhile, it has a spacious cabin along with more than enough legroom for the kayaker.



Reason(s) to buy

  • Comfortable and adjustable seat
  • An easy to control fishing kayak
  • With a solid build construction
  • Maneuverable and a safe vessel

Reason(s) not to buy

  • The weight ratio isn’t accurate here

4. Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak

The lifetime with the second fishing kayak that is a launch of 2018 and it comes for a weight of a bit less than 40 pounds. This hydros angler is one of the best budget kayaks that you can grab to save a lot of your bucks. Alongside this, Angler 85 is capable of handling up to 200 pounds with little to no problem at all.

To stand out better in the market as well as on the water, Lifetime makes it with a straight yet a haul bottom so it would float nicely. With this haul bottom, the vessel provides exceptional stability for its price that still has a little bit of room for improvement. However, you won’t find it lacking either in tracking or stability. The kayak moves straighter and controlling this vessel would not be a big deal for you.

Other than its stability and maneuverability, the kayak is quite spacious for its cabin as well. The kayak is designed for paddlers of any size as it has also got a different range of positions for paddlers. Its deck features a reasonably wide cabin to store important things there and it is also waterproof to some extent. Besides this, the kayak comes with an adjustable and comfortable seat for long hours.



Reason(s) to buy

  • Stable and a maneuverable kayak
  • Easy to control and lightweight
  • Meant for all sizes of paddlers
  • Can handle up to 200 pounds

Reason(s) not to buy

  • Tracking could be a bit better

5. Perception Pescador 12 Fishing Kayak

Perception Pescador 12 Fishing Kayak

Last but not the least, Perception is here on the list of the best fishing kayaks for beginners with their Pescador 12 fishing kayak. Perception launched this Pescador back in 2019 and it is the heftiest kayak on the list that exceeds even 60 pounds. However, you have got a tolerated range of 350 pounds of weight to handle this.

If you want to explore water streams and rivers nearby to you, this kayak is the best deal as it has almost every necessary thing to make your kayaking remarkable. If you are a relatively large paddler, this sit on top kayak is worth it. It is a one-piece construction that is leakproof and the main reason for this price.

These things contribute to the safety checklist to make it a safe vessel for you. Although it is a bulky vessel, it is still a transportable vessel if you have any anchor system for it. The vessel profile itself is stable and maneuverable. You will get a nicely positioned and comfortable seat that is adjustable as well. Furthermore, you can also put your accessories in the cabin in their pre-located positions.



Reason(s) to buy

  • A Balanced and stable kayak
  • Easy to maneuver and straight
  • One Piece durable construction
  • Easy to carry and a spacious cabin

Reason(s) not to buy

  • A bit tricky to handle for beginners

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good kayak for beginners?

The best kayaks for beginners are technically lightweight and do their jobs pretty well. They shouldn’t be compared with performance kayaks, as they have their own domain. Meanwhile, comfort, build, and stability are also decisive factors for a kayak. On the other hand, trolling motor kayaks are also best, but they aren’t recommended for beginners. Unless you don’t know how to tackle a manual kayak, motor-powered kayaks aren’t going to make you perfect.

Do fishing kayaks and anglers are something different?

Fishing kayaks are also known as Anglers that are used for fishing. Mostly fishing kayaks come for a wider cabin, that brings stability to the entire vessel so it won’t lose its stability out there in the water. Fishing kayaks could both sit on top and sit inside. Both have their own pros and cons that mostly depend on your style.

Summing Up the Best Fishing Kayak For Beginners

If you want to kick start your journey of fishing by kayak, you first need to grab the best fishing kayak for beginners. With these kayaks under you, you will be having a safer journey. Although beginner kayaks aren’t easy to find, this guide is specifically meant for you, if you are also suffering from the same headache.

These kayaks don’t disappoint you at any point and they always provide a maneuverable fishing experience. You will get decent stability along with ample storage. With their lightweight paddles, you will be able to learn kayaking just in a few attempts. You will get almost all the necessary things in these irons, and some also come with bells and whistles if you want a long-term investment.