The stereotypical image of a kayak is of a slim, sit-in model. They have excellent secondary stability (they’re easy to right if they flip) making them great for whitewater excursions.
But for fishermen? Sit-ins just don’t cut it. Modern sit-on-top fishing kayaks offer far more functionality than even the best sit-in possibly could.
With that said, let’s take a look at why sit-on-tops are better.
Why Sit-on-Top Kayaks Are Made for Fishermen
In a word, it isn’t possible to optimize a sit-in kayak for fishing. Sit-on-top kayaks are made for it.
One big thing is primary stability. That is, how stable a sit-on-top model is in calm conditions. They are wider, flatter, and heavier than most sit-ins, making it easier to keep them steady. Most are stable enough to stand on – which is necessary for casting to and fighting fish.
They might not ride as comfortably in a chop, but they are very stable and easy to stand in, and even if you do capsize or turtle one, most sit-on-tops will not sink because they have sealed, buoyant hulls – making them safer, too. Their stability also makes them viable as hybrid kayaks for cast-and-blast fishing and hunting.
Most sit-on-top kayaks are far, far more comfortable, with elevated, adjustable, mesh seating and plenty of leg and elbow room. For what it’s worth, it’s easier to get in and out of a sit-on-top fishing kayak than a sit-in model, too.
At first glance, it might not look like a sit-on-top is optimized for gear space, but in reality, they are. Most sit-on-tops have plenty of storage compartments, hatches, rod holders, and tackle depots, as well as tie-down points for larger cargo.
Even if there is space within the hull of a sit-in kayak, you won’t easily be able to reach what you bring along, if you can bring it at all. They are cramped and make accessing tackle almost impossible.
Handling is another thing. Most sit-in kayaks are frisky and there is a steeper learning curve associated with paddling adeptly. Sit-on-top kayaks can be paddled, but many also have pedal drive systems that run a propeller or fins that are silent, efficient, fast, and very easy to control.
Because of the nature of a sit-on-top kayak’s wide deck, it’s also easier to reach the water from the deck or cockpit and access points around the kayak – necessary for landing big fish.
Plus, with the modular, versatile deck designs of most sit-on-top kayaks, there are many more opportunities for customization. You can rig it the way that works for you.
Which Are the Most Reputable Makers?
Fortunately, the modern market offers a wide range of excellent sit on top kayaks, many of which are expressly specialized for anglers. Some of the top makers and brands are:
● Old Town
● HOODOO Kayaks
● Hobie (which makes kayaks in addition to sailing vessels)
● Native Watercraft
Start with this list; there are many excellent sit-on-top fishing kayaks made by these producers, although it is not an exhaustive list, so keep your options open as you shop.
Explore Jackson, Hobie, Native, Old Town, and HOODOO Kayaks
Ready to upgrade your current fishing rig to a modern sit-on-top fishing kayak with all the bells and whistles, and room for all your gear?
Visit No Bad Days Kayaks. Their customer service team is second to none and they will help you pick out a sit-on-top that has every feature you could conceivably need (plus, probably, some that you didn’t even think of).
Visit their website or get in touch with them at 512-229-0560.