Are Fishing Kayaks Good For Recreational Use?

Are fishing kayaks good for recreational use?

Are fishing kayaks good for recreational use

You usually go kayak fishing and have a kayak for that. However, forthcoming your friends invite you to paddle a kayak, you wonder: Are fishing kayaks good for recreational use?/ Can fishing kayaks be used for recreation?

The answer is: Yes, fishing kayaks can be used for recreation.

So, are there any differences in using fishing kayaks for recreation that you should note? Continue reading the article to have the answers.

Types of kayaks

Kayaks have many types with each type will have specific features to be able to serve many different needs.

There are two main categories: Flatwater and Whitewater.

In this article, I will only cover the types in Flatwater.

There are five types of Flatwater: sit-on-top, recreational, touring, inflatable, and pedaling kayaks.

Sit-on-top: this type does not have a closed cockpit. Many of them have seats on it. They are usually wider than others, so they have good stability. Using this boat is very easy to get wet. They are suitable for fishing and swimming.

Can you use a fishing kayak for recreation

Recreational: this is a boat with a closed cockpit large enough to accommodate an additional child to sit with you. This type is usually shorter than the touring kayak. They are great in the summer, you can leave the cockpit open to keep you cool, and when winter comes, you can use a spray skirt to keep warm.

Can fishing kayaks be used for recreation

Touring: This type is long and narrow, usually about 12 feet or more, and they have a small cockpit. They are suitable for long trips across large bodies of water, not for families to entertain.

can you use fishing kayaks for recreation

Inflatable: they are light, quick to inflate, cheap, and suitable for use in small bodies of water such as ponds and lakes. You can use them to go fishing and swimming. They are easy to climb even while swimming in the water.

Are fishing kayaks good for recreation

Pedaling: there are two types of pedaling kayaks: the first uses a propeller, and you pedal it like a bicycle, and the other uses flippers like a fish. Pedaling a kayak helps you take longer trips because you mainly use the muscles in the leg, not the shoulders or arms. It is suitable for people with back or shoulder problems.

can I use fishing kayaks for recreation

Are fishing kayaks good for recreational use? Advantages and Disadvantages 

Fishing kayaks often have specific features to use for angler. For example, there are rod holders, usually sit-on-top designs, wide and short hulls, etc.

If you want to use a fishing kayak for recreation, it is possible, but it will have some differences compared to regular kayaks. These things are sometimes to your advantage, sometimes to your detriment.

Let’s find out together.

Related: Can You Fish From A Regular Kayak?



Fishing kayaks are usually shorter and wider than regular ones, which makes them more stable for anglers to fish.

If you are kayaking for the first time, a fishing kayak is a good choice. Because of its good stability, you can even stand up on it. What I mean here is that you can rest assured that this kayak is very unlikely to tip over.

Sit-on-top design

The fishing kayak has sit-in and sit-on-top designs, but now most will be sit-on-top.

This design is suitable for new kayakers. It makes it easy to get in and out of the water.

Sit-on-top makes you more comfortable when paddling. You can even stretch your legs and stand up after getting tired from padding.

In addition, you can see fish and other wildlife below the water due to the high seat. It is interesting for recreation.

Large space

Fishing kayaks are designed to carry a lot of gear. So, it has more room for you to bring supplies than a regular kayak.

Holds great weight

As mentioned above, the fishing kayak has to carry a lot of gear. It means it can hold a lot more weight than a regular kayak.

It’s beneficial if you are a big guy or you can carry heavy loads without fear of sinking.



Since there are more specific features, a fishing kayak is always heavier than a regular kayak.

It will make it a bit difficult to transport the kayak. However, I think it won’t be a trouble if you already own a fishing kayak because you have managed to transport it previously.

No good tracking

Tracking is the ability of a kayak to hold the paddle straight. The longer the boat, the better the tracking.

When using a fishing kayak, you only paddle to the spots and stay there to fish. If you use it for a long trip, you will have a little difficulty, and of course, your muscles will be tired quickly.

Less maneuverable

Wide kayaks are less maneuverable than narrow kayaks, so it can be hard to maneuver or steer a fishing kayak.

Through the above share, you may have an answer for Are fishing kayaks good for recreational use?

What should you do when using a fishing kayak for recration?

To use a fishing kayak for recreation, you should remove all unnecessary gear and accessories, such as rod holders, tackets, gearboxes, etc.

It will make your boat lighter and more flexible to paddle.


Each type of kayak has specific features for its purpose. So consider whether you will use the kayak more often for fishing or recreation. Based on that, you will have the right choice for you.

You can rest assured that using a fishing kayak for occasional recreation is possible, and you don’t need to spend a fortune to buy two kayaks.

Thanks for reading our article about Are fishing kayaks good for recreational use? If you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can see more posts on our website here.

Further reading

Beginner Kayaking Tips for First

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