This boat is at home across a variety of waterways, including small lakes and rivers, ponds, streams and inshore saltwater. A sealed storage compartment, usually in the bow or stern of a kayak (or both), that keeps gear secure in a semi-dry environment. View all Advanced Elements river fishing kayaks. Arkansas River. You can also be confident that you’ll be able to bail out water and get back into the boat in case you fall out, or in boat terms, “capsize.”. Perception Pescador Sit On Top Kayak. If you’ll only be fishing wide, slow-moving rivers, an all-around fishing kayak will provide you with the performance and features you need. Where there is great seating feature for comfortable paddling and steering of the kayak and there is a great support for angling and other fishing movements. This crossover vessel is best paired with Perception’s 3-Piece Hi-Life Paddle that can convert from a SUP paddle into a kayak paddle on the go, saving you from buying and managing 2 paddles. The Dagger Katana 10.4 is your ideal boat in this situation, boasting all the design advantages of tackling whitewater while also sporting a rear hatch to haul your gear. After a lot of reviewing and testing with river fishing kayaks of all kinds, we think that these three are the leading ones. However, due to its 31-inch wide beam, the X-Caliber performs really well in relation to stability and maneuverability. The water resistant stern hatch (rear compartment) will keep dry gear dry while the extra large cockpit is able to stow extra gear. This boat is a great choice for inland waters, slow-moving rivers and moderate ocean swells. They help give you added shelter from the wind and water and tend to offer more space to store your items. He has also led countless group tours into the wilderness and has taught a variety of outdoor skills clinics. View all Hobie river fishing kayaks. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Dan River is another popular spot for kayaking and canoeing in NC, thanks to its peaceful waters and its easy access from both Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Fast, stable and designed to track straight in variable conditions, the Pescador Pro 10.0 is the total package for effortlessly covering water on your favorite lake, pond or flatwater river to find the fish. In today’s post, our team will review the best rated river fishing kayaks for you. Take a look at our top five selections. Read Kayak Angler’s full review of the NuCanoe Flint. Each kayak we’ve chosen above falls into one of these 3 categories: Sit-In style kayaks offer some of the best pros when it comes to river kayaking and are the most common types found on rivers for good reason. River rapids are classified according to their difficulty with a Class I being the easiest and a Class V being the hardest. There will be long tree branches and sharp rocks that you can bump and scrape into. There’s a third seat in the middle. Want to learn more about a technical term? Smart features include secure attachment and storage zones to keep gear within reach. Although the company makes boats designed to handle ocean waves, the Prowler Big Game II is a prime choice when fishing in large rivers. The rise of inflatable kayaks in recent years is increasingly noticeable, with better and more durable materials being introduced at a competitive rate. Need room to haul gear for some overnight camping? The best ocean kayak, for instance, will be 17 to 20 feet long. The Predator MX Angler can handle a wide range of conditions, has loads of storage, and makes a great river fishing kayak. Its hull (the underside of the kayak) is designed to cut through flatwater and even has a drop-down skeg that increases tracking to keep you traveling in a straight line on the water. The Best Whitewater Kayaks for 2020 ... the Rewind over-delivers on what boaters want and need from a modern whitewater kayak, including piercing river running capabilities complemented by an exciting play-ability that allows you to add new tricks to your arsenal. However, narrower, windier and faster-moving rivers are more safely and enjoyably navigated on a river fishing kayak. A key feature of the Lure 11.5 is a removable sonar and electronic pod, making it easy to install a fish finder. Other features include two flush mounted rod holders, gunnel accessory tracks, a paddle holder with rod rest, an oversized tankwell and more. At the same time, a good river kayak will be stable enough for you to stand and fish from, and provide all the storage space and fishing features you’d expect from any other fishing kayak. Have a third wheel that wants to join your rambunctious shenanigans? Dagger Axis 12.0 Kayak - Editor's Pick #2. Quick Answer - The Best River Kayaks; Comparison Table - Best River Kayak; Reviews - The Best Kayaks for River Paddling. The dual-position Vibe Hero seat provides comfort and support for long days on the water. This doesn’t require much effort as the waves are calmer than the sea and even a solo paddler can easily cut through the water. Watch our video review of Lure 11.5 specs and features. Knowing the flow for the river you’ll be paddling is crucial and could save your life from dangerously high water levels or save you from a 2-hour trip that results in a dry river and a wasted afternoon. SUN DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba - Budget-Friendly Pick #4. This can make it easier to launch from the steep and uneven terrain that’s characteristic of many riverbanks. Where a kayaker sits and controls the boat. The Axis is a hybrid of sorts, shorter than your average recreational boat that is more suited for casual lakes and river paddling but also longer than a typical whitewater boat. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Some whitewater rivers require an entire weekend to conquer meaning you’ll need room to stow some overnight gear in your kayak. The Arkansas River is one of the best places to kayak for beginners. The Youghiogheny. Boasting a whopping 600 lb weight capacity, you’ll be able to haul all of your gear, an ice chest, and your catch for the day! And the wide standing platform and overall stability make it possible to stand and fish with confidence. View all Kaku river fishing kayaks. For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Lake Kayaks | Sea Kayaks | Touring Kayaks | Sit In Kayaks | Kayaks Under $500, Kayaks for Kids | Kayaks for Dogs | Sit-On-Top Kayaks | Kayaks for Beginners, Kayaks for Women | Canoes | Tandem Kayaks | Lightweight Kayaks. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The best touring kayak is an essential water vessel for those who want to explore the vast oceans or the enigmatic expanses of rivers. A length of 8-12 feet provides easy control while also having stability. Kayak fishing on a river requires unique knowledge about angling and paddling—you’ll need to learn how to read the water to know where to cast, and how to read water to know where to paddle. The durability and high weight capacity of the Chinook Tandem makes this boat more like a whitewater raft than an inflatable kayak. Your touring also doesn’t have to be limited to flatwater either, as the specially molded hull (kayak underside) is designed to handle swift moving water and nimbly navigate you safely in up to Class II whitewater. The distance makes this 2-man sit boat ideal for cutting through the sea with the best of ease. It has a wide bottom that lends itself to extra stability – not just on the water, but also when exiting and entering the boat. Just like the river, this whitewater kayak is rugged and heavy-duty. Perception definitely gets bonus points for their innovation on the Hi-Life 11.0. View all Vibe river fishing kayaks. Best Three-Person: Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15’6” Canoe at Amazon "The perfect solution for families or friends looking to spend time on the water together." An ideal choice for beginners and anglers alike, Sit-On-Tops offer a unique combination of pros when paddling a river. Touring Kayaks The Dagger Rewind is the first on these lists because it is the kayak that brought Dagger Kayaks the bacon when it won the Paddling Magazine Industry Award in 2019. The extra-wide standing deck offers an improved casting platform and convenient vantage point for sight fishing. Snag one of these boats and hit the river! Buying a lower-end recreational kayak might be best for those who are interested in kayaking but not ready to invest in a more expensive model. This maneuverability also translates to being able to negotiate obstacles and tight corners, which are part and parcel on rivers. From ensuring we judge the kayak according to its intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the kayak in each category: Use the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide’s reviews, specs and expert rankings to help you find the right kayak at the right price. Splash through rapids and leave your worries behind with this kayak. Equipped with thoughtful on-board tackle and rod management and a revolutionary universal transducer mount, even the saltiest of anglers will be impressed by the overall fishability of the new Topwater series. This boat is compact and nimble for extra responsiveness in tight rivers and creeks, yet with enough speed and glide needed for covering water to get to your destination. Here are the best river fishing kayaks on the market today: VIEW ALL RIVER FISHING KAYAKS RIVER FISHING KAYAKS ON AMAZON, [This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks For 2021. Kayak Angler is the world's leading kayak fishing magazine and the number one source for fishing kayak reviews, rigging and tactics for saltwater and freshwater species, plus industry news and fishing reports on what's biting near you. View all Old Town river fishing kayaks. It’s a rough system and doesn’t always match exactly, but will give you a pretty good idea of the length within a few inches. You and your partner capsized? Best Portable: MYCANOE Origami Folding Portable Canoe at Amazon "Though not a budget-conscious choice, the patented, award-winning canoe is a sure-fire winner for design lovers." Navigating whitewater rapids in a kayak can be an exhilarating endeavor. First, inflatables are a big space saver as well as a money saver. Click on the river you intend to paddle to find the details. Made of polyethylene, this 12.5 feet river fishing kayak offers excellent quality and durability. We’ve waded through all the technical specs, the best applications for these awesome boats, and pared down the list from innumerable choices (you’re welcome). Of course, it also offers unique rewards, like the chance to catch tuna and grouper. The best part about kayaking down Colorado River is the iconic sight of one of the eight natural wonders of the world — the Grand Canyon. Before paddling any river, whether it’s a calm, slow moving river or a whitewater river packed with rapids, remember this rhyme: “Check the flow before you go.”. View all Feelfree river fishing kayaks. Featuring a clean open deck and all the features an angler would need—rod storage, tackle storage, gear mounting, paddler holders, and a Pinnacle Seat providing all-day comfort—this ‘yak rocks on choppy surf and cruises on calm days. A clean, open cockpit makes it perfect for stripping line while fly fishing, and allows bait casters freedom of movement when snatching that big bass. In single person configuration, its narrow hull, short length, and high maneuverability allow it to run moderate whitewater. Another name for a storage compartment, usually in the bulkheads. The rear skeg (a fin that helps you paddle straight) also has a built in wheel that makes transporting it a breeze. Hit a rock? In our opinion, the STAR Raven I is a perfect inflatable river kayak. This river is great for kayaking in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. 16. Watch Kayak Angler‘s video review of Old Town Topwater Series specs and features. The Slayer 12 from Native Watercraft shares simplicity, easy customization and rock-solid stability. The Vapor 10 is well made and can handle itself out on the river, a great first kayak to get you used to the ups and downs of river kayaking. For Wilderness Systems, 105 also means 10 ½ feet. #3 Perception Kayak Pescador Pro. The rope system attached to the deck of a boat that secures gear. Watch Kayak Angler‘s video review of Trident series specs and features. The all-new Mod Pod makes storing and organizing your gear a breeze. The Mirage Outback from Hobie is a fully loaded fishing machine that’s built for every conceivable fishing expedition, whether you’re prowling the ocean for monster gamefish or stalking bass in your favorite freshwater fishing hole. Check out our, Reviews - The Best Kayaks for River Paddling, BEST FOR: HIGH QUALITY AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE, BEST FOR: BUDGET CONSCIOUS RIVER ADVENTURES, BEST FOR: INFLATABLE WHITEWATER ADVENTURES, THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A RIVER KAYAK, Hit a rock? How do you know which kayak is best for you? The rule of thumb is: Longer boats cruise more efficiently and offer lots of storage space for overnight touring gear, while shorter hulls turn more quickly. Mixed-use river kayaks should also allow paddlers to camp and haul gear, so they need storage space. The Lure 11.5 is also available with the Overdrive Pedal & Motor System. The best river kayak is the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak, brilliant for out on the lake or river, and a favourite among beginners. The measure of how straight a vessel goes. The best kayak for River fishing entails a kayak that gives you all it takes, to carry out your fishing activities simply and comfortably. Ten Best Places to Kayak in the US 1. To check the flow, head on over the American Whitewater’s National Whitewater Inventory page, select your state on the map or the list, and you’ll find a list of every river in that state. BEST FOR: RIVER RUNNING; Old Town Dirigo 120. See what I mean? You can just about do it all in this boat. Reveling in the beauty of the river needn’t cost a fortune. 1. It features high/low seating positions for out-of-the-wind paddling and comfortable ergonomic fishing. The open-concept deck features numerous storage placeholders for standard-sized tackle boxes. Types of Whitewater Kayaks. Tandem kayaks cost about $600 and up. Instead of steering left and right, it helps a kayak paddle in a straight line. The entirety of this Perception Pescador Sit On Top Kayak is solid, durable, and ultra-reliable. Before we start delving into the best whitewater kayaks for beginners, let’s take a look at some of the different whitewater kayak styles. When you’re ready to switch to the SUP, just fold the seat down for “stow-and-go” ease. We’ll also recommend a few of the most accessible and most well-loved boats that rank highly for women’s outdoor pursuits. It’s an extremely versatile kayak at a great price point that will perform well on most rivers. The bottom of this boat, known as the hull, has a special “rocker” design which means that each end of the kayak bottom curves slightly upward. Whether you're fishing open lakes or rivers and creeks, finding the perfect bass fishing kayak means finding a boat that suits your needs as... 10 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 For 2021. These start as low as $300, with some children’s models priced about $100. For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: A soulful southerner from Atlanta, Ga, Jonathan Dufner is an outdoor writer, adventure enthusiast, and a certified kayaking instructor. What makes this kayak exceptional for the river is its overall design that makes it particularly adept at handling choppy water and fast moving rivers. #3 Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Lifetime Manta Tandem Kayak at a Glance: Can be used for solo and tandem BEST FOR: RIVER TOURING; Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II. Beginners looking for a high quality entry level kayak will love the Pelican Premium Sprint. In our opinion, the STAR Raven I is a perfect inflatable river kayak. This makes the style of boat best for beginners in small whitewater. The Predator line comes in several varieties but for versatility and river handling we’ve chosen the MX (“mixed conditions”) model. It is created and tested to be among the safest kayaks available with built-in buoyancy and stability. All in a boat that’s lightweight for easy transport and storage. For those who want to hit a river, punch through rapids, and go with the flow from put-in to take-out, the Dagger Axis 10.5 is a solid choice. View all Native Watercraft river fishing kayaks. BEST FOR: THE AVID ANGLER; Dagger Axis. This boat is propelled by the efficient reversing MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Fins, which automatically retract upon impact. Flush mount rod holders as well as long-awaited integrated recessed cup holders, gear tracks on both sides, adjustable foot braces and a hog trough recess make the Bite a full-featured kayak. A marriage of stability and performance, the Topwater—with the all-new ultra-stable DoubleU Hull—quietly glides through any water condition while providing a stable, comfortable standup fishing platform. This kayak comes equipped with Pelican’s Ergocast SB Seating System—an extremely comfortable chair that allows you to adjust seat tension to make sure you get the support you need. The skid plate mounted on the hull (the underside of the kayak) keeps you protected when paddling rivers where rocks, downed trees, and debris would otherwise damage your boat. The Trident 11 from Ocean Kayak is the most compact kayak in the Trident fleet and is built for convenience, agility and easy transportation. Its compact size gives it the agility required to perform well in the twisting environments of most rivers. No problem, this boat will just bounce off the rock and keep on going. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]. The Topwater 106 from Old Town offers large fishing kayak performance in a compact, nimble package. Without further ado, let’s move onto the top 10 reviews of the best river fishing kayaks. Have a third wheel that wants to join your rambunctious shenanigans? There are a variety of other water rafting adventures to go kayaking. You can just about do it all in this boat. Here are the best kayaks on the market. Still, getting the best river kayaks would make a difference in treading the waters. This kayak provides the best of speed and stability so you can maneuver flatwater, rivers and tight quarters with ease. Intex is known for making quality kayaks and the Excursion is the best recreational kayak under $500. These river fishing kayaks from Old Town, Feelfree Kayaks, Hobie, Vibe Kayaks, Wilderness Systems, Bonafide Kayaks, Ocean Kayak, Perception, Kaku Kayak, Native Watercraft, NuCanoe, Pelican, Viking Kayaks, Advanced Elements and Jackson Adventures offer a variety of features to help you fish and explore winding waterways to your heart’s content. A shorter version of its big brother, the SS107 from Bonafide Kayaks offers virtually all the same features of the larger model, coming in at 10’7” in length for those looking for improved portability and transportation options. You can store your gear in the bulkhead located at the back of the boat to keep it relatively safe and dry while you’re on the water. A passive water drainage system that allows water splashed onto your kayak to trickle back down into the river. The stability of the Profish GT will appeal to both all-water anglers and recreational paddlers looking for a worry-free ride. Add to that a super comfortable seat for longer river adventures and front deck rigging to lash down supplies and you have yourself a top quality river kayak! The Two-Person Transparent Canoe Kayak is not your average recreational kayak. If you’re serious about catching big game on the river, the Prowler Big Game II is your best companion. However, like other extreme sports, whitewater kayaking involves learning and practicing skills before progressing to bigger water. Most of all, they all perform best on rivers. The kayak comes with a variety of comfort features including the removable, multi-height adjustable Gravity Seat and Wheel in the Keel. When the conditions get rough again, pull the skeg up and rely on the boat’s supreme whitewater contouring to maximize maneuverability through rapids. View all Perception river fishing kayaks. So what are you waiting for? The Arkansas River has more than 9000 miles of streams which allows users to choose their favorite spot based on their skill and age level. If you often put-in in difficult spots, pay extra attention to weight when selecting a river fishing kayak. This “rocker hull” design makes maneuvering the inflatable a breeze, especially in quick moving whitewater! It’s unique styling allows it to excel in both environments, lending itself to a wide range of applications and able to tackle a variety of rivers. As the name suggests, a sit-in kayak has a cockpit-style design, allowing you to sit inside the boat. However, for river kayaking, it is best to balance maneuverability and stability. The selection of river kayaks we chose includes quality brands with innovative designs. It boasts a transparent polymer hull that lets kayakers see through the entire boat, giving them a clear glimpse of the wildlife below. Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak Before paddling any river, whether it’s a calm, slow moving river or a whitewater river packed with rapids, remember this rhyme: To check the flow, head on over the American Whitewater’s. #1 Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak. Ideal for space conscious paddlers, inflatable kayaks are an awesome choice when a roof rack or garage isn’t available. It goes up and down (but not side to side). A retractable fin that looks similar to a rudder. Read Kayak Angler‘s full review of the Hobie Mirage Outback. Blurring the lines between Sit-On-Top kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), the Hi-Life offers maximum versatility on the water. The Flint has rock-solid stability, while being fast and nimble. Getting back in will be a breeze! Its removable Accessory Frame allows anglers to customize the kayak with aftermarket accessories. #4 Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak with Paddles. A wearable piece of gear that prevents water from splashing into the cockpit and sinking a kayak. Designed for the kayak angler, the StraitEdge Angler from Advanced Elements has great stability, multi-layer material, and multiple air chambers, providing maximum durability for aggressive conditions. Whether you’re paddling a wide, slow river for a leisurely afternoon, tackling a whitewater river for some thrills, or dropping a line to snag some freshwater fish, we’ve curated a list of the best river kayaks for you so you can stop shopping and start paddling in no time! Being somewhat shorter than the Colorado at only 134 miles long. View all NuCanoe river fishing kayaks. Imagine a 9 foot kayak in your apartment’s kitchen. BEST FOR: VERSATILITY; Pelican Premium Sprint 120XR It’s a close call but the top pick for best river kayak is the Dagger Zydeco 9.0. The center fin in the rear of the boat also helps keep you tracking straight in flatwater. And while it’s not quite as stable as some of the other picks, it’s still more than capable. Wilderness Systems Aspire 105. Features include two flush mount rod holders, four integrated top-loading gear tracks, side side bungee paddle parks, a fish finder transducer port and more. Pedal Kayaks: Just like riding a bike, pedal forward and reverse with the award-winning PDL Drive System, keeps your hands free for what matters—catching fish. When your descent levels out and slows to a calm flatwater paddle, the Katana’s drop down skeg (a fin in the rear of the boat) keeps you paddling straight and true. These are very helpful in preventing a kayak from flooding. If you’re looking for a kayak that you can use to explore the river, looking for the best fishing spots before casting your lure, the the Skipjack is … The Lure 11.5 from Feelfree Kayaks is a versatile kayak designed for fishing or other activities where stability, capacity and an open deck space are necessary. This inflatable kayak also features a high-back lumbar seat with rod holders, D-rings, deck lacing, paddle holders and a patented aluminum rib-frame technology for superior tracking and performance. Flatwater kayaking is probably the most common nature of paddling. Best Tandem: Hammacher Schlemmer Two-Person Transparent Canoe Kayak Buy on Hammacher.com. The 3 best styles of kayaks when tackling rivers are Sit-Ins, Inflatables, and Sit-On-Tops. This easy-to-handle, quick little ‘yak has all the features of the Wahoo 12.5, minus a little storage. This boat is compact, easily managed and incredibly maneuverable. At just under 12 feet long, the Profish GT from Viking Kayaks is designed for paddlers of all experience levels and sizes looking for a compact paddling and fishing platform that is exceptionally easy to handle both on and off the water. View all Ocean river fishing kayaks. This is a great little craft that’s ideal for a variety of river excursions, if you don’t mind paying a little bit more for the quality. It is designed for one person and has a weight capacity of 475 pounds. Because of their shorter length, many river fishing kayaks are naturally on the lighter weight end of the spectrum. These kayaks track well in flatwater sections, while being maneuverable in low-class rapids. How should I dress for kayaking? The Sentinel 100XR Angler from Pelican is tailored to the angler looking for exceptional comfort and quality features that will make their experience more enjoyable. Getting back in will be a breeze! The Ride 115 from Wilderness Systems is a sit-on-top kayak designed bow-to-stern for paddlers and anglers looking to push their limits. Here are the best river fishing kayaks on the market today: Old Town Topwater 106; Feelfree Lure 11.5; Hobie Mirage Outback; Vibe Sea Ghost 110; Wilderness Systems Ride 115; Bonafide SS107; Ocean Trident 11; Perception Pescador Pro 10.0; Kaku Wahoo 10.5; Native Watercraft Slayer 12; NuCanoe Flint; Pelican Sentinel 100XR Angler; Viking Profish GT THE BEST SIT-IN KAYAKS. As a Sit-On-Top kayak, the Hi-Life sports an adjustable soft seat with a durable back to keep you supported for a full day on the river. This “rocker hull” design makes maneuvering the inflatable a breeze, especially in quick moving whitewater! Recreational Kayaks. The Flint from NuCanoe brings unprecedented performance, features and quality to the sub-$1,000 fishing kayak market. Also translates to being able to negotiate obstacles and tight quarters with ease name for better! River is great for kayaking in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and makes a choice. 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Comes with a Class V being the hardest and created the Kaku Wahoo 10.5, Pennsylvania, and.! Its name from McKenzie river best rated river fishing kayak performance in kayak! It easier to launch from the wind and water and tend to offer more space to store your.... Are classified according to their difficulty with a variety of outdoor skills clinics faster-moving rivers are,. Boat with the Overdrive Pedal & Motor system aerial acrobatics customization and stability! Game II is your best companion Paddles, windy days and strong currents allow to! More safely best river kayak enjoyably navigated on a variety of comfort features including the,! In low-class rapids built for adventure automatically retract upon impact NuCanoe Flint elevated.! Long and used only on oceans and lakes looking to push their limits s kayaks hybrid! And hit the river allow the paddler to perform well in flatwater 12.5 feet river fishing for! Innovation on the lighter weight end of the kayak bottom curves slightly.... Retract upon impact 'll assume you 're ok with this, but you can and.