Shopping for a new fishing kayak is as tough as it is exciting. With so many things to consider, it can all be a bit overwhelming.
You just want to get out on the water and spend some quality time in the great outdoors, but you’re stuck trawling through countless options.
10-foot kayaks are considered the standard for fishing, offering enough stability for standing up and reeling in fish, but the irritating part is that you can’t overlook any other aspect. It all has real-world effects.
Get a boat that’s too thin and that fish has a better chance of catching you than you do of it. Choose one that’s too squat and the handling will be a nightmare.
Top Rated 10-Foot Fishing Kayaks
- Perception Crank 10 SOT Pedal Kayak
- Advanced Elements StraightEdge Angler Pro
- Pelican SOT Sentinel 100X Single-Person Kayak
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler SOT Kayak
- Lifetime Kokanee SOT Kayak
So, in the spirit of keeping you dry and the fish coming in, we’ve done the research and found five of the best 10 feet (or thereabouts) fishing kayaks on the market. Let’s go!
Perception Crank 10 SOT Pedal Kayak
The perfect option for kayak anglers that like to take it easy, the Perception Crank 10 can be controlled entirely via the pedal system and single-handed rudder control.
That means oars aren’t strictly necessary, saving your arm strength for reeling in that monster catch.
The seat is more of a throne than any kayak seat we’ve ever seen, making it a fantastic choice for those that like to get out in the water and stay their dawn ‘till dusk.
It’s a fully foldable, removable, and adjustable lawn chair design ensuring you’ll always be comfortable.
Featuring molded front and rear storage secured by bungee cords, you’re afforded plenty of space for rigging accessories and supplies, so you can play the long game and really immerse yourself in nature.
A lovely mix of pelagic coloring, the Crank won’t spook any fish, but we strongly advise off-setting this aqua-camo with some reflective strips so your fellow anglers and sailors can see you clearly.
- Comfort – Award-winning seating keeps you feeling supported.
- Pedal Power – Pedals can accelerate and reverse.
- Storage – Voluminous front and rear storage accommodates all your gear.
- Camo – Fish won’t know what hit ‘em.
- Price – It’ll cost ya to captain this vessel.
- Visibility – Needs reflective strips to ensure you’re visible to others.
Advanced Elements StraightEdge Angler Pro
The Angler Pro is an inflatable design which brings a huge amount of benefits to the table: it only weighs 45lbs, you don’t need a roof rack to hit the road, and it comes at a very appealing price.
Featuring an extra-wide beam and a drop stitch floor, this kayak was designed specifically for sight casting and wrestling those big bites.
No matter what kind of shapes you pull to hook that beast, the Pro guarantees stability.
Crafted from a highly-durable polyester core sandwiched in multiple layers of rugged vinyl, a puncture is highly unlikely, but with five separate air chambers, it’s no big deal if the worst does happen. You can keep on fishing or paddle back to dry land for a quick patch up on the go.
It doesn’t come with a paddle, so you’ll need to make some extra purchases, but once you’re stocked up, you can use the accessory frame system to mount tons of luxuries such as a fish finder or rod mount. Pretty nice, eh?
- Inflatable – Highly portable, lightweight, and well priced.
- Wide Beam – extra stability allows you to get physical and reel in that monster catch.
- Triple-Layer Body, 5 Chamber Body – Stay afloat, even with a puncture.
- AirPro Seat – Super comfortable adjustable seat.
- Visibility – Bright yellow coloring won’t spook fish and keeps you visible.
- Chair Straps – They’re not the strongest so pack spares.
Pelican SOT Sentinel 100X Single-Person Kayak
Measuring just short of the desired 10 feet, this 9.6-foot kayak offers slightly augmented maneuverability making it ideal for small to medium-sized bodies of water.
The multi-chine shaping and broad, flat hull make this one of the most stable options not just on our list, but on the market as a whole.
Able to stand and sight cast without worrying about capsizing, you’ll be pulling in more fish than you could eat in a month!
All it takes to fall in love with this kayak is a moment in the Ergocast SB Seating System. Simply kick back, and use the simple tension adjustment to dial in the perfect support no matter how long you’ve been on the water.
In addition, the EXOPAK removable storage case has plenty of room for bringing all the gear you need for extended stints casting out, but what really floats our boat is that the Sentinel only weighs 44lbs.
That’s unreal for a hardshell!
- Weight – No need to hit the gym in preparation for your trip. It’s only 44lbs.
- Ergocast SB Seating – Seat is highly adjustable.
- Wide Hull – Stable enough to get creative with your angling.
- Price – This is an amazing value for money kayak.
- Durability – The RAMX materials are here to stay.
- Length – Not quite 10 feet.
- Hook Placement – Possible to scratch your hand while rowing.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler SOT Kayak
You’ll find this kayak on a bunch of different best of lists, and that’s because it’s an awful lot of kayak for the price.
The adjustable, padded seat features a supportive backrest, keeping you comfortable throughout your adventure, so sit back, find your sweet spot, crack a cold one, and enjoy the trip.
Featuring balancing chine rails; a wide, flat base; and deep tracking channels; the Tamarack Angler is designed with stability in mind.
It also has voluminous storage options, so you don’t need to pick and choose which bits of gear to bring. Bring it all!
It even has some advanced appointments like flush-mounted rod holders, so you can go hands-free for a spell, and paddle cradles, freeing up your deck for keeping essentials within reach.
Crafted from blow-molded, high-density polyethylene, this kayak can really roll with the punches, and weighing a minuscule 52lbs, it’s ideal for the solo angler looking for a weekend of peace and quiet.
- Lightweight – Perfectly manageable for a single person.
- Stability – Do what you need to get that fish; you won’t go overboard.
- Durability – High-density polyethylene can take the hits.
- Price – One of the best bang for buck kayaks you can buy.
- Visibility – Not so easy to see in bad weather conditions.
Lifetime Kokanee SOT Kayak
Reaching 6 inches beyond the 10 foot mark, the Kokanee is suited to large bodies of water where some extra speed is required in order to get out to the desired spot.
That extra 6 inches may not seem like an awful lot, but it allows you to bring along a fishing buddy for the day, and sometimes, the only thing that can make a fishing trip even more enjoyable is good company.
Despite featuring great back supports, there aren’t any seat bases, so it’s on you to stock it with cushions or some sort of riser to keep you at a decent height and give you good visuals on the water.
The Kokanee rewards those who don’t like to overcomplicate things.
In many respects it’s a good choice for the once or twice a year anglers that aren’t looking for the all singing all dancing fishing dreadnought, rather, a reliable kayak for family fishing vacations.
- Visibility – Lime green finish keeps you visible and safe.
- Stable Hull Design – Sight casting shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
- Room for Two – Take a buddy or your family along for the ride.
- Price – Good size to price ratio here, folks.
- Simple Design – Doesn’t have any specialist appointments.
- No Seat Base – For a long trip, you’ll need to fit an aftermarket chair.
Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Right 10-Foot Fishing Kayak
You may have taken a shine to one of our listed kayaks already, but before you buy it and set off on that awesome trip you’ve planned, you’ll need to consider some essential criteria.
The only downside to shopping for a 10-foot kayak is that generally speaking, it’s rare you’ll find any for less than $400.
If that’s the very limit of your budget, you’re best off checking out our list of the best fishing kayaks under 400.
If you want all the bells and whistles, a 10 footer could set you back something to the tune of $2000, so be prepared to smash that piggy bank.
A 10-foot kayak will usually accommodate one or two people. A single-person kayak is more likely to be kitted out with fishing-specific features and will of course be more spacious.
That said, as long as a two-person design isn’t too heavy, it can be used as a single-person vessel as well. You just need to ask yourself which suits your needs the most.
Fishing kayaks are almost always heavier than standard kayaks. It’s partly to do with the feature-rich designs and partly because the extra weight offers the stability required for anglers to reel in fish standing up.
A fishing kayak can weigh anything between 35 and 220lbs. In terms of portability, the lighter your kayak is, the better, but there are ways to deal with heavier boats.
We recommend investing in this cart RAILBLAZA Ctug Kayak or Canoe Trolley Cart: Sports & Outdoors It will make lugging a heavy kayak to the water a total breeze.
Weight Bearing Capacity
Next, you should consider how much weight a kayak can hold when on the water. It’s a good idea to prepare your normal fishing pack and weigh it.
Then, as much as you may not want to, you should weigh yourself and any friends or family that will be paddling out with you.
Exceeding your kayak’s weight limit is a huge safety risk, and the chances are, no matter how well the hull is designed, you’ll end up capsizing or taking on water.
You can glean how a kayak will perform in the water by assessing the dimensions. Primarily, longer kayaks will be faster but harder to maneuver, and shorter ones will be slower but easy to handle.
Likewise, thin boats are easier to manage, but not very stable, while wider kayaks offer enhanced stability, but restricted maneuverability.
Inflatable vs Rigid
This is one of the most defining decisions you will make. Inflatable kayaks have more benefits than hardshell designs, namely, they’re lighter, usually more affordable, and have a greater weight-bearing capacity.
The problem is that they require more maintenance, and aren’t quite as durable as their rigid counterparts.
Rigid kayaks are normally the premium option, and it’s lovely not having to drag a pump around with you wherever you go, but they can be difficult to manage, especially if they weigh 80lbs or above.
SOT vs SIK
Most fishing kayaks are SOT (sit on top) designs as they don’t take on water when they roll, and they’re more stable as weight is redistributed during a catch.
That said, SIK (sit in kayak) designs are easier to paddle, so some prefer them for extended fishing expeditions in order to conserve energy.
Whether it’s to store your fishing equipment, paddles, or the fish themselves, your fishing kayak needs plenty of storage space.
It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t have any, as there are ways you can install your own, but we’d recommend settling on something that has as much storage potential as possible.
Are you a paddler or a peddler? Pedal kayaks offer hands-free control of the boat, which is a definite boon for anglers, but they require extra clearance space underwater, which can make them difficult to set out in the water.
They are, however, more powerful, allowing you to get where you need to be as fast as possible.
Paddle kayaks are championed for their simplicity, affordability, and comparatively low water disruption.
The problem is that they’re yet another unwieldy item that needs to be stored. If the wind picks up, managing them can be a problem.
Not all kayaks arrive water-ready. Before you settle on one, make sure you’re fully aware of what’s included with the purchase.
That way you can buy other essentials ready for when the boat’s dispatched.
What is the Best 10 Foot Fishing Kayak?
It’s a matter of preference and application really, but our favorite is the Perception Crank 10. It’s not cheap, but with an advanced pedal system, tons of storage, and an award-winning seat system, it’s worth every dime.
Is a 12 Foot Kayak Better Than a 10 Foot Kayak?
A 12 foot kayak will almost certainly be slightly faster than a 10 footer, but a 10 foot kayak will be easier to handle.
Ultimately, which is best depends on the body of water you wish to use it in.
Longer kayaks make traversing larger waters far easier, but if you’re in a more cramped environment, the maneuverability a 10 foot kayak brings is essential.
What is the Most Stable Fishing Kayak?
Broad beam kayaks with soft chines are the most stable for fishing in calm waters, but hard chines with advanced secondary stability are better for rough oceanic waters.
What’s the Difference Between Initial and Secondary Stability?
Initial stability is the ability of a kayak to resist capsizing due to the forces exerted by the paddler, while secondary stability is a measure of a kayak’s ability to resist capsizing due to forces exerted by the water.
Can One Person Handle a Tandem Kayak?
One person can absolutely handle a tandem kayak; however, it may be slightly harder to maneuver.
You’ll also need to consider the weight of the boat. If it’s a struggle to get it in and out of the water, it may not be worth your effort.
There you have it, master anglers. With one of these 10 foot kayaks beneath you in the lake, you’ll be able to catch more fish than you ever thought imaginable.
Each one offers the superior stability you need to reel in the catch of the day, so while your friends are struggling to stop minnows capsizing their kayaks, you can take some monster sturgeon and trout to task.