We’ve all heard those exaggerated fishing stories where the fish seems to get one or two inches larger every time the story is told. But if you have a fishing partner along, you won’t have to be the only one telling that story.
Besides verifying your record-breaking catch, having a fishing buddy along has its benefits for your safety. You can never quite know when things might go sideways (or upside down!) on your fishing trip, and when that happens it’s always good to have someone to help you through it.
There are many great tandem fishing kayaks out there that are stable enough for two grown adults to fish from. That’s true even if you both want to fish from the standing position for added visibility.
In this article, we’re going to highlight ten of the best tandem fishing kayaks and their features. We’ll also provide a thorough buying guide to help you narrow down your choices and define some key terms related to fishing kayaks in our ‘Jargon Buster’ section.
Table of Contents
- 1 Jargon Buster
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Tandem Fishing Kayak Reviews
- 3.1 1. Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181
- 3.2 2. Elkton Outdoors Tandem
- 3.3 3. Old Town Twin Heron
- 3.4 4. Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122
- 3.5 5. Driftsun Teton 120
- 3.6 6. Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Angler
- 3.7 7. Brooklyn Kayak Company PK14
- 3.8 8. Hobie Mirage Compass Duo
- 3.9 9. BIC Yakkair HP-2 Fishing
- 3.10 10. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler
- 4 Our Pick – Brooklyn Kayak Company PK14
Before we get into our tandem fishing kayak buying guide and the specific reviews of the best tandem fishing kayaks, let’s take some time to define several of the key terms you’ll run into later in this article.
Rod holders give you a place to keep extra rod and reel combinations strung up with different baits. They are usually either flush-mounted to the deck of the kayak or articulating so you can change your fishing angle.
Gunwales are the fancy kayaking term for the sides of the kayak. This is where features like handles, paddle rests, and sometimes rod holders are located.
Pedal drive is a propulsion system that relies on fins that extend below the hull of your kayak. When sitting in the kayak, you’ll have pedals in front of each seat that allow you to power the kayak forward with your legs, instead of your arms.
Ultimately, the tandem fishing kayak that’s best for you depends on a number of factors that are unique to YOU! In this section, we’ll provide some things to think about as you narrow down your options!
Length And Width
These two measurements are mainly responsible for the stability of a fishing kayak. In general, a longer and wider kayak is going to provide you with a more stable platform from which to fish.
But length and width should be considered in ‘tandem’! A shorter, wider kayak will often be more stable than a longer, skinnier kayak, so keep both of these measurements in mind when you’re evaluating stability.
Many anglers know the advantages of an elevated vantage point. And while you might have the goal of eventually fishing from the standing position in your kayak, it might take some time to work up to that level of comfort.
So make sure you look for a fishing kayak with elevated seats. This will give you the elevated vantage point from which to view fish behavior even before you find the balance and comfort to fish from a standing position.
For many anglers, more rod holders just means more adaptability. As you gain skills and learn more about what fish are biting at different times of the day, you’ll probably start to bring more rod and reel combinations with you.
Having multiple fishing rod holders on board allows you to grab and fish, rather than having to change your setup every time you want to change your approach. This saves you a lot of time on the water and keeps you actually fishing, which is probably your goal anyway!
A good fishing kayak can adapt to changing conditions. Whether it’s the ability to customize your setup with new accessories or have plenty of storage space in the kayak hatches, you should look for features that allow you to remain versatile on the water.
One of these exceptional features is a pedal drive propulsion system, which allows you to power your kayak with your legs instead of your arms. This allows you to keep your hands free to stay fishing and also reduces arm fatigue on long days on the water.
Tandem Fishing Kayak Reviews
The Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 is a 12-foot, 5-inch tandem fishing kayak. It boasts a total of seven fishing rod holders, four of which are flush-mounted to the deck of the kayak and the remaining three of which articulate to allow you to change your fishing angle.
In front of each seat in this tandem kayak, you’ll find a waterproof storage compartment where you’ll be able to store a wallet, keys, snacks, and anything else you need quick and easy access to while you’re fishing.
There is also an inset rear cargo area at the stern of this kayak. This cargo area gives you a large place to store a cooler, tackle box, or other large gear and it secures with a bungee tie-down system so you can be sure to keep everything in place.
Finally, the Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 tandem fishing kayak offers multiple carry handles at the bow, stern, and gunwales. This makes it easy for you and your fishing partner to carry this kayak from your vehicle to the water’s edge, and back when you’re finished for the day.
The Elkton Outdoors Tandem fishing kayak is 12.2 feet long and three feet wide. The rotomold injected body of this kayak is extremely durable and will be sure to last for as long as you want to keep taking it out.
This kayak features a total of four fishing rod holders flush-mounted to the gunwales of the kayak. These rod holders are located just in front of the bow paddler’s seat and just behind the stern paddler’s seat.
This kayak also has two above-deck storage compartments in the bow and stern of the kayak. Both of these storage areas feature a bungee security system to keep your larger gear in place while you’re on the water.
The Elkton Outdoors Tandem fishing kayak comes with two padded, adjustable seatbacks that allow paddlers of many body types to find a comfortable seat. It also boasts two handles on the gunwales and one each at the bow and stern of the kayak to make it easier to transport this kayak.
The Old Town Twin Heron is a sit-inside fishing kayak that measures a total of 13 feet, six inches in length. While it’s made for two anglers, this kayak can also adjust to provide comfort and performance for a single paddler.
The auto trim hull of this kayak is designed so that the bow of the kayak doesn’t pop up out of the water, even if there’s only one paddler situated in the stern seat. This creates extra stability for a single paddler and also allows this kayak to move through the water more efficiently when you’re navigating between fishing holes.
This kayak features a total of four fishing rod holders that are flush-mounted to the deck at the front and rear ends of the cockpit. It also contains a comfortable GlideTrack footbrace system that helps you find a comfortable and stable paddling position for a full day on the water.
The Old Town Twin Heron features comfortable, adjustable seat backs with extra padding for all-day comfort. In total, this kayak weighs 60 pounds and boasts a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds, which is plenty for two paddlers and all of your fishing gear.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122 fishing kayak is a 12.9-foot, 77-pound kayak that’s capable of supporting up to 770 pounds of paddler and gear weight. The aluminum seat frames on this kayak provide extra support and the padding supported by the frames keeps you comfortable all day long.
This kayak features a total of two fishing rod holders flush-mounted to the deck. It also boasts an additional two articulating fishing rod holders that are located centrally on either side of the bow paddler’s seat.
In the stern of the kayak, there is an open storage area where you can keep larger fishing supplies such as tackle boxes or a cooler. This area features a bungee deck rigging system so that you can make sure all of those larger supplies are secure.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company TK122 also boasts a built-in, rotomolded handle in the bow and an attached flexible grip in the stern to make transporting this kayak easier. In the case that you need them, there is also a handle on each gunwale of this kayak.
The Driftsun Teton 120 fishing kayak is a twelve-foot kayak with a total weight capacity of 500 pounds. In addition to two seats in the bow and stern, this kayak also features an optional central third seat for a child, puppy, or extra fishing gear.
There are a total of four fishing rod holders flush-mounted to the deck of this kayak and an additional two mounting points for Scotty accessories. Each paddler will also have access to a watertight storage compartment directly in front of their seat, as well as a built-in cup holder.
The large rear storage area is a great place to keep your tackle boxes, coolers, and other large fishing supplies. This storage area features a bungee deck rigging system that ensures your gear stays right where you want it throughout the day.
The Drifstun Teton 120 comes with a total of four fixed carry handles to make it easier to transport. It also has a paddle rest for each paddler to secure their paddle when you need your hands free for fishing.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Angler fishing kayak is a 13-foot, four-inch kayak with a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds. This was actually one of the first tandem, sit on top kayaks to be designed specifically for fishing applications.
This fishing kayak features a total of four fishing rod holders flush-mounted to the deck and an additional two articulating rod holders located on either gunwale. It boasts one central watertight storage hatch for keeping snacks and valuables dry while you’re on the water.
Because of this kayak’s molded-in footwell design, it is also adaptable to a single paddler. You’ll be able to change the setup of your seat back very easily and still find a comfortable and ergonomic position as a single paddler in this kayak.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Angler fishing kayak also has a small bow storage area that’s secured with bungee rigging for smaller gear items. Finally, it weighs a total of 74 pounds and has a width measuring 34 inches across.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company PK14 is a 14-foot fishing kayak that’s packed full of useful features. It boasts a maximum carrying capacity of 660 pounds, so it is capable of carrying two anglers and all of your gear with ease.
This kayak boasts a pedal drive propulsion system and, at the stern of this kayak, you’ll find a rudder control system that helps you steer. The person in the stern seat of the kayak uses their hands to work the rudder system and ensure the kayak is tracking where you want to go.
The elevated seats on this kayak are great for getting a better vantage point into the water below you. They’re also aluminum-framed and mesh-backed for extra support and better evaporation on dry, humid days.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company PK 14 also features a total of three watertight storage compartments for dry gear. One of these is located in the bow of the kayak while the other two lie just beneath each paddler’s seat.
Finally, this kayak comes with a total of three fishing rod holders flush-mounted to the deck. It also boasts a total of four carry handles, two on either gunwale and one each at the bow and stern, which make it much easier to transport this kayak.
The Hobie Mirage Compass Duo is a 13-foot, six-inch fishing kayak that weighs a total of 127 pounds and boasts a maximum weight capacity of 475 pounds. The width of this kayak measures a full 35 inches across.
This kayak also boasts a pedal drive propulsion system that allows you to power yourselves across the water without tiring out your arms. Each paddler has a pedal system at a convenient angle in front of you and you’ll have to get in sync to power this kayak forward.
Whoever is sitting in the stern position will be in charge of operating the hand-controlled rudder system. There are a total of four fishing rod holders flush-mounted to the deck of this kayak.
The Hobie Mirage Compass Duo also features breathable mesh seats that are elevated above the cockpit so you have storage room underneath. There are also a total of two watertight compartments in this kayak for storing snacks, phones, and other valuables you want to keep dry.
In addition to the storage compartment, there are also two above deck storage areas on this kayak. They are located at the bow and stern of the kayak and give you ample room for storing larger supplies, such as coolers, tackle boxes, and dry bags.
The BIC Yakkair Fishing kayak is a total of 13-feet, five inches long and weighs a total of just 33 pounds, making it by far the lightest of the tandem fishing kayaks on our list. It also measures 37.8 inches across and boasts a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds.
Located at the bow and stern of the kayak, you’ll also find bungee rigging on the deck. This provides you with additional storage locations for smaller gear items that you don’t mind getting splashed on while you’re fishing.
This kayak inflates in minutes and features a high-pressure floor that adds extra stability and improves the overall performance of the kayak. It also features a protecting canvas cover that limits the UV exposure of the rest of the core elements of the kayak.
The BIC Yakkair fishing kayak comes with two backrests that each boast two sewn-on fishing rod holders on the back. This gives you ample space for keeping multiple rod and reel combinations at the ready.
Finally, this inflatable fishing kayak easily deflates and stores in a compact carry bag when not in use. That carry bag even features wheels to make it easy to move this kayak around and you won’t have to worry about having extra storage space for it in the backyard.
The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler is a 17-foot fishing kayak that weighs 244 pounds. It boasts a large maximum weight capacity of 900 pounds and measures 43.5 inches from gunwale to gunwale.
While you’ll probably want a wheeled kayak carrier to help you transport this kayak, it has lots of great features to make your life a breeze once you’re on the water. The elevated seating system on this kayak is fully adjustable for a number of setups.
You can start in the traditional tandem configuration. But you can also adapt so that the seats are facing one another, which can be great for teaching a young child how to fish from a kayak.
And finally, one seat can even be removed if you’d like to take this kayak out as a single paddler. The pedal drive propulsion system will especially come in handy then, but even with two riders, it will make it so much more efficient to move between fishing locations.
The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler boasts a total of ten horizontal rod holders and two vertical rod holders. Hence, this kayak provides the greatest ability to have multiple rod and reel combinations at the ready to fish in changing conditions.
Our Pick – Brooklyn Kayak Company PK14
The Brooklyn Kayak Company PK14 is our top pick for the best tandem fishing kayak. It has a host of great fishing-specific features, but where it really stands out is in the pedal drive propulsion system.
As you get more comfortable in your kayak, you’ll want to spend longer and longer days on the water. But if you’re constantly using your arms to reposition your kayak, as well as to handle your fishing rod, you’re more likely to get tired.
With a pedal drive propulsion system, you eliminate the need to paddle your kayak in the traditional sense. Sure, the stern rider will need to mind the rudder control steering system to make sure you’re on course, but otherwise you’ll be able to keep your hands free for fishing.
As you know, our leg muscles are (generally!) much larger than our arm muscles. So when it is time to relocate to a new fishing spot, you’ll be able to do so with much more speed than if you were paddling a kayak without a pedal drive propulsion system.
This kayak also features these elevated seats and a wide, flat cockpit area below each paddler. Getting an elevated viewpoint can be crucial to actually see the fish behavior below you if you’re fishing in clear waters.
This kayak gives you that elevated viewpoint without compromising on stability or your comfort. These seats will keep you cool and comfortable as you extend your days on the water.
Additionally, the total of three watertight compartments gives you the potential to pull off a multi-day fishing expedition in this kayak. With the additional rear storage area being perfect for storing a large, 20 or 30-liter dry bag or cooler, you might never go home once you have this kayak loaded down.
Finally, the last of our favorite features of the Brooklyn Kayak Company PK14 is the flat, sunken cockpit design. This gives you the potential to fish from a standing position as you and your fishing partner get more comfortable balancing together in your kayak.