Kayak fishing has a lot of benefits over fishing from shore or from a powerboat, but sitting down in your kayak doesn’t always allow you to make the most of your time on the water. That’s why the best stand up kayaks for fishing have been developed to help you get an elevated vantage point.
At first, we recognize that the thought of standing up in a small kayak might not sound like the smartest idea. But the good news is that many daring and expert anglers have come before you and that means that kayak companies have had to respond to their demands for more stable kayak designs.
Being able to stand up in your kayak without worrying about tipping over is a huge advantage for the kayak angler. It allows you to cast better, improves your line of sight, and can also help you spot ripples in the distance that may signal the presence of a school of fish.
Those are just a few of the benefits of having a stand-up kayak for fishing, but picking out the perfect model for your angling preferences isn’t always easy. That’s precisely why we’ve put together this collection of the ten best stand up kayaks for fishing.
In addition, we’ll also provide some clear pointers that will help you narrow down your choices and choose a kayak that’s going to suit your current and future needs. So, without messing around rigging our lines any longer, let’s start casting!
Table of Contents
- 1 Buying Guide
- 2 Stand Up Kayak Reviews
- 2.1 1. Emotion Kayaks Stealth Pro Angler 118
- 2.2 2. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
- 2.3 3. BOTE Lono Aero
- 2.4 4. Sea Eagle FishSUP 126
- 2.5 5. Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184
- 2.6 6. BOTE Deus Aero
- 2.7 7. Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
- 2.8 8. Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220
- 2.9 9. Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122U
- 2.10 10. Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5
- 3 Our Pick – Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5
- 4 Enjoyed Best Stand Up Kayaks For Fishing? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the KayakHelp journey.
Before you start scrolling through the shiny, alluring stand up fishing kayaks that we’ve reviewed below, take a second to read through our Buying Guide. We’ll cover the most important features and specifications you should look for when buying a stand-up fishing kayak.
When you’re considering a kayak’s stability, width is going to be one of the most important factors to pay attention to. Generally speaking, a wider kayak is going to be more stable than a kayak with a narrower width.
That being said, the design of the hull also comes into play when you’re talking about a kayak’s stability. There are several different kayak hull designs out there but, for our money, kayaks with tunnel (or pontoon) hulls tend to be the most stable for kayak fishing applications.
The good news about most stand up fishing kayaks is that they’re rated to hold much more weight than just the weight of the paddler sitting in the cockpit. This is really important because of the sheer amount of extra gear that most kayak anglers load onto their kayaks before paddling out.
When you’re shopping for a stand up kayak for fishing, just make sure the weight capacity of the kayak you buy is at least 100 pounds higher than your body weight. That will give you plenty of breathing room to add all of your gear without exceeding the kayak’s maximum weight rating.
That being said, you might need a kayak with even more weight capacity if you plan on installing a trolling motor and a trolling motor battery to the stern of your kayak. If you’re interested in doing this, we’d recommend choosing a kayak with a weight capacity that’s at least 200 or 300 pounds heavier than your body weight.
Even though you’re shopping for a kayak that you can stand up in to fish, you should also consider the design of the seat so that you don’t have an uncomfortable place to sit down when you need to take some weight off your legs.
For our money, the best fishing kayaks offer seats that can be adjusted to multiple different positions. These positions allow you to be as efficient as possible whether you’re actively fishing, paddling to a new fishing hole, or just leaning back and relaxing in the sun.
You’ll also need to consider how you’ll be able to organize your fishing gear and accessories on a given kayak. That’s why you’ll need at least one large open storage compartment and at least one smaller waterproof storage hatch to keep the appropriate gear secure and safe while you’re on the water.
Stand Up Kayak Reviews
The Emotion Kayaks Stealth Pro Angler measures 11 feet, 8 inches long and it offers a maximum weight capacity of 375 pounds. It’s designed with an open cockpit and a large stern compartment that allows you to easily secure a fishing tackle box behind your seat.
This kayak is designed with an innovative combination tunnel hull that provides a great balance between aggressive performance and stability. The bow aggressively cuts through the water and the stern gradually transitions into a tunnel hull to improve the kayak’s tracking ability.
The seat in the cockpit is built with an aluminum frame with a mesh material stretched between it. That mesh material helps the seatback breathe well and helps you avoid a hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable day on the water.
That seat is also adjustable to three different heights depending on your preference and activity. The low setting is ideal for when you’re actively using your kayak paddle, the high setting is great for fishing, and the reclined setting allows you to relax and just enjoy your surroundings.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler is easily one of the most affordable kayaks for stand up fishing on the market. It’s a very basic design but it will serve anyone that’s just dabbling with kayak fishing and wants to see what it feels like to be able to fish from a standing position.
This kayak measures ten feet long, 31 inches wide, and it weighs a total of 52 pounds. It’s also rated to be able to hold up to 275 pounds, which means it’s ideal for smaller paddlers under six feet tall.
You’ll be able to take advantage of the two flush-mounted fishing rod holders on this kayak to bring a few extra rod and reel combinations with you before you leave your launching area. Those rod holders are located directly behind the seat so you have easy access to your gear when you need it most.
The Tamarack Angler is also equipped with two six-inch storage compartments that are located in the bow and stern. These storage compartments are sealed with waterproof storage hatches so that you can keep some of your gear dry if you need that capability.
The BOTE Lono Aero is the first inflatable fishing kayak designed to allow you to fish from a standing position. It measures 12 feet, six inches long, 35.5 inches wide, and it weighs a total of 61 pounds when fully inflated (and before you load all your gear in).
One of the best parts about this stand up kayak for fishing is that you can make it work for you whether you drive a small sedan or an F-250. When you’re done paddling (and, hopefully, catching fish), you can deflate this kayak and pack it up into its compact storage bag to bring it home.
But, when it comes to functionality, the extra height that you’ll get when seated in this kayak will help you gain a better vantage point of the waters around you and the base can actually convert into a stand up paddleboard if you desire, which means it’s very stable when you do want to stand up to fish.
In addition, the Lono Aero is equipped with a cooler port that’s located directly behind the seat in this kayak. This cooler port is the perfect place to secure a circular cooler or even a five-gallon bucket to store gear or fish in, depending on your preference.
While the Sea Eagle FishSUP may be labeled as a paddleboard, it comes with a comfortable seat for kayaking applications. This seat is also one of the only ones you’ll find on a kayak that swivels to allow you to fish from different angles while you’re seated.
This is, of course, an inflatable fishing kayak, but it can be inflated to its maximum pressure in just seven minutes. It’s rated for a maximum pressure between 12 and 15 PSI, which is on par with most of the best inflatable paddleboards for beginners on the market these days.
In total, the FishSUP measures 12 feet, six inches long, 40 inches across, and six inches thick. That 40-inch width easily makes this one of the widest fishing kayaks on our list, which definitely lends to its added stability when you’re fishing from a standing position.
While it may look like a bit of a flimsy option compared to other fishing kayaks, this model is rated to hold up to 500 pounds. And because it weighs only 45 pounds itself before you load your gear on, it’s also one of the lightest and easiest-to-transport fishing kayaks out there.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company FK184 is another single stand up fishing kayak that’s best suited for smaller anglers. This kayak measures nine feet in length and boasts a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds.
Because of its compact size, this kayak is also a great selection for the casual angler. That’s because it can handle long days on the water in pursuit of an elusive aquatic species while also serving you well for quick, recreational paddles.
When it comes to storing your fishing gear or personal belongings on this kayak, you’ll have two separate waterproof storage hatches to choose from. The one in the stern is great for emergency gear that can’t get wet and the one directly in front of your seat is perfect for sensitive items that you need quick access to while you’re on the water.
There are also a total of four flush-mounted fishing rod holders on this kayak for you to bring extra rod and reel combos along. These rod holders are also carefully placed so that you can deploy multiple lines at once and maximize your chances of bringing fish home.
The second inflatable stand up fishing kayak on our list is the BOTE Deus Aero. This version is slightly smaller than the Lono Aero at a length of 11 feet, a width of 33 inches, and a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.
It also weighs less and, at just 41 pounds when fully inflated, it’s easily one of the lightest stand up fishing kayaks on the market these days. Plus, it gives you the added advantage of not needing as much storage space to keep it safe at home because it packs up into its own compact carry bag.
One complaint about many of the cheaper inflatable kayaks is that it can be hard to keep them straight when you’re paddling. But BOTE solved this issue by placing a 10-inch removable fin on the hull that vastly improves the tracking ability of this kayak.
In addition to that, it’s equipped with a raised seat that’s ideal for fishing and the swim-up platform at the stern can serve more purposes than just making it easier to get back in after you go for a swim. It also makes this one of the few inflatable kayaks on the market that can be compatible with a lightweight trolling motor!
The Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 is widely regarded as one of the best kayaks for stand up fishing because of its open cockpit design that includes its own standing platform. The bottom of this platform is equipped with traction pads that keep you from slipping as you’re fighting that record-breaking catch.
The total length of the ATAK is 12 feet, three inches and the width measures 35 inches across. This kayak also weighs 86 pounds before it’s loaded with any fishing gear and it’s rated to support a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds.
If you’re the kind of angler that likes to bring a lot of bait and tackle on every trip, you’ll love the accessory rails on the gunwales of this kayak. They make it super easy to attach fish finders, GPS systems, fishing pliers, and anything else you like to have at the ready but don’t necessarily want to be attached to your body while you’re kayaking.
The ATAK 120 also features a stand-up assist strap that helps you move from a seated position to a standing position without having to do all the work with your legs. This is a rare feature among fishing kayaks, as most require that you do all the work on your own.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220 is a great single kayak that measures 11 feet, six inches long and 34 inches across. The total weight of the kayak before it’s loaded with fishing gear is 68 pounds and it’s rated to hold a maximum weight capacity of up to 550 pounds.
In the bow of this kayak, you’ll be able to take advantage of the covered and sealed storage compartment to keep gear that absolutely needs to stay dry out of harm’s way. In the stern, a large open storage compartment is the perfect place for your tackle box or trolling motor battery.
While this kayak is designed to allow you to stand up and remain stable whether you’re bait fishing or fly fishing, the seat is also extremely comfortable when you need to give your legs a break. It’s a raised, aluminum-framed seat with plenty of upright back support.
This is also one of the few stand up fishing kayaks out there with a pedal-controlled rudder attached to the stern. This allows you to steer your kayak with the pedals in the cockpit instead of constantly having to compensate by paddling more on one side or the other.
Just to include at least one tandem fishing kayak in our collection, we’ve chosen the TK122U from Brooklyn Kayak Company. This is one of the few options that allows two anglers to stand up and fish from a wide, stable platform.
Plus, if you do want to use it as a recreational kayak sometimes, there’s an optional third seat in the center for a small child or furry companion. In addition, the two seats themselves are aluminum-framed with comfortable mesh backing that helps to keep you cool on hot summer days.
This tandem stand up fishing kayak measures 12 feet, six inches long and 34 inches across. It also supports a massive maximum weight capacity of up to 770 pounds and it boasts a total of four fishing rod holders for you to bring along extra rod and reel combinations.
Two of those fishing rod holders are flush-mounted to the kayak so they are designed to keep rods stationary. The other two holders are mounted on swivels so that they can easily rotate from one side of your kayak to the other, which makes them ideal for trolling.
The Perception Kayaks Outlaw kayak is an 11.5-foot long single kayak with a width measurement of 35 inches. This stand up fishing kayak weighs a total of 77 pounds and it boasts a maximum weight capacity of 425 pounds.
There are two open storage areas in the bow and stern of this kayak for securing a tackle box or kayak cooler and the stern of this kayak is ideally suited for anyone that wants to explore how to attach a trolling motor to a fishing kayak.
It also includes two flush-mounted fishing rod holders so that you can have a minimum of two rod and reel combinations at the ready before you even leave the shore. Self-draining scupper holes in the footwells of the cockpit also allow water to drain quickly without getting you or your fishing gear wet.
This kayak also features an elevated seating console to improve your vantage point when you’re on the water. That entire seat, however, can be completely removed if you know that you’re going to primarily be standing up when fishing from this kayak.
Our Pick – Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5
Our pick for the best stand up kayak for fishing is the Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5 because it offers many key features that will make the angler’s life much easier. It’s also available at a very reasonable price when compared to some other high-end fishing kayaks.
In addition to the two flush-mounted rod holders on this kayak, it’s also equipped with three mount recesses that allow you to attach additional rod holders, gear tracks, or kayak fishing accessories that you want to keep at the ready.
It’s also one of the few stand up kayaks we included that’s able to accommodate a trolling motor mounted to the stern. So, if you know you want to explore larger waterways in the future, this is definitely a kayak that will help you get there with minimal effort.
Finally, the center console on this kayak is designed for both function and fun. It features multiple cup holders so that you can keep your favorite beverages at the ready and keep your hands free to fish!