3 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Fishing
In this article, we share our recommendations for three of the best inflatable kayaks for fishing. Plus, we make the case for why using an inflatable kayak is one of the most affordable and practical ways to get into the sport of kayak fishing.
Why Buy Inflatable?
Let's face it: fishing from a boat is almost always better than fishing from the bank. But for many, buying a boat simply isn't an option. Kayaks, on the other hand, are well within the reach of most bank-bound anglers.
But what if you don't have storage space for a standard hard-shell kayak? And, what if the price tag on a premium fishing kayak far exceeds your fishing gear budget?
Enter inflatable fishing kayaks.
Here are four reasons why you should consider buying an inflatable fishing kayak to get off the bank and out on the open water where the fish are.
If you have a few feet of extra space in your garage, a spare closet, or basement, you have plenty of room to store an inflatable kayak. Just deflate, stow it in its carry bag, and stash it away.
Ease of Transport
To transport a hard-bodied kayak, you need a roof rack on your car or, in some cases, a special kayak trailer to tow behind your vehicle.
But with an inflatable kayak, you can load it into the trunk of your car or the bed or your pickup. Quick, easy, and leaves plenty of space to bring a cooler, your fishing gear, and your dog.
Plain and simple, inflatable kayaks are way cheaper than hard-bodied fishing kayaks. While even an entry-level hard-bodied fishing kayak will run you around $1200 once you get it set up with all the accessories, most inflatable fishing kayaks can be had for well under $500 all-in.
Now, it's important to understand that an inflatable fishing kayak will not perform the same as a hard-bodied fishing kayak. They are different creatures. But, if you're simply looking for a way to explore more of your local water in search of fish, an inflatable fishing kayak is an excellent, affordable option.
Best Inflatable Kayaks for Fishing
If you're looking for an inflatable fishing kayak that's decked out with fishing accessories and ready to hit the water, look no further than the Coleman Colorado 2-Person fishing kayak.
While the brand name on the Colorado is Coleman, the kayak is actually made by Sevylor, a company who specializes in inflatable watercraft.
The Colorado is designed with the angler in mind, with features like Berkley quick-set rod holders, trolling motor mounts, and D-rings along the sidewalls that can be used to attach accessories or lash down a cooler.
The Colorado kayak is made of thick 18-gauge PVC material that's covered in durable canvas offering protection from stray fish hooks and other sharp objects. This material also resists pet claws so your furry first mate can come along for the ride.
As a two-person kayak, there are two padded seats with adjustable backrests. You'll also find paddle holders on either side of the kayak offering a safe place for both anglers to keep their paddles while fishing.
The only drawback to the Coleman Colorado fishing kayak is that the paddles and air pump are not included. But on the positive side, this allows you to choose a set of higher quality paddles than what typically come with inflatable kayaks.
If want to try out kayak fishing while spending the least amount of money possible, you should check out the Sea Eagle SE 330.
While this is more of an all-purpose kayak, not a fishing-specific inflatable kayak, it is well made, durable, and will certainly open up many fishing spots that you can't access on foot.
The Sea Eagle SE 330 is made with 33 mil polykrylar that is durable and puncture-resistant, as well as sun- and saltwater-resistant. I-beam floor construction gives the kayak more rigidity, offering more stability on the water.
Five of Sea Eagle's deluxe one-way air valves keep air in while inflating and maintain an excellent seal for worry-free paddling.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Sea Eagle SE 330 is that everything you need is included — minus fishing accessories and life jackets. Paddles, inflatable seats, an air pump, and a storage bag are all included. And the SE330 weighs only 26 pounds, making it very easy to lug around and store.
Remember: the SE330 is not a fishing-specific kayak, but it can definitely be used for fishing. You may need to get creative with some DIY rod holders and other fishing accessories found on fishing kayaks.
Or, head over to Amazon and check out the multi-purpose kayak storage box made by Sea Eagle that instantly adds two rod holders and a storage compartment to the SE330.
Last on our list of the best inflatable kayaks for fishing is a purpose-built, inflatable fishing kayak in a class of its own — the NRS Pike Angler.
Now, while we did say most inflatable fishing kayaks can be had for under $500, the Pike Angler is the exception.
But the higher price tag gives you an inflatable fishing kayak that can easily keep up with many hard-bodied fishing kayaks on the market.
While the Coleman Colorado and the Sea Eagle SE330 are intended for the more casual angler, the NRS Pike Angler will meet the needs of any hardcore kayak angler out there. It's loaded with fishing-specific features, the most noteworthy being three dedicated Scotty mounts — one in front and two behind the seat.
These specialized mounts allow you to install any Scotty accessories including rod holders and triple rod holders as well as fishfinder and GPS mounts.
The Pike Angler features 32 stainless steel D-rings to attach any accessories you might need and lash down your cooler or kayak fishing milk crate. A blade paddle rest on the side of the kayak gives you a convenient and reliable place to keep your paddle while you cast.
Featuring a double air chamber system made of heavy gauge PVC material, the Pike Angler is very durable and is so sturdy that you can actually stand up in it. It's hard to believe, but stand-up sight fishing is possible in the Pike Angler.
The Pike Angler is completely self-bailing, meaning there are scupper holes throughout the floor that allow water to drain automatically. The kayak comes with two different removable fins so you can choose the best one to suit the water conditions.
A paddle and air pump are not included in with the Pike Angler, and due to the rigid design of the double air chamber, you need a high-pressure pump to inflate the kayak.
If you've ever felt discouraged by the high price of hard-bodied sit-on-top fishing kayaks, we hope our recommendations for the three best inflatable kayaks for fishing helped you see a more affordable way to enjoy the sport.
As with most things related to fishing, upgrade-itus is inevitable, and once you've experienced the joy of fishing from an inflatable kayak, you may find yourself moving on to a decked out sit-on-top fishing kayak. Or, you might get hooked on the ease of transport offered by an inflatable kayak and just keep floating and casting away. Either way, enjoy the open water and keep catching!