How Much Weight Can a Fishing Kayak Hold?

How much weight can a fishing kayak hold?Weight capicity

How much weight can a fishing kayak hold

When you ask: How much weight can a fishing kayak hold? Then it sounds like you have a lot of fishing gear and luggage you want to bring when you go fishing. Or you want to add a device like a motor or pedal drive to your boat but don’t know if your kayak can fight it without sinking.

It is when you need to consider the maximum capacity of your kayak.

I’ll give you a quick answer: On average, a fishing kayak can hold around 370 to 460 lbs. This figure is calculated based on the manufacturer-stated weight capacity of many fishing kayaks. However, for effective operation, you should only allow the kayak to carry about 240-300 lbs.

To learn more, continue reading with me.

Maximum capacity vs Performance capacity

How Accurate Are fishing Kayak Weight Limits

The maximum capacity of a kayak is the weight limit announced by the manufacturer. It means the maximum weight your boat can carry. When exceeding that number, you will sink.

One more thing you ought to keep in mind is that even though you’re only carrying weight close to that, that’s still not the number the manufacturer wants you to.

That weight won’t make the boat sink but make it difficult to paddle or move. It will make your experience not as expected. That is never what the manufacturers intend to do.

So there is another quantity given by manufacturers often referred to as Performance capacity.

This quantity has more practical meaning than Maximum capacity. 

Performance capacity is the maximum weight your boat can hold that does not affect your performance.

How to calculate what size kayak you need?

Fishing Kayak Weight Limits

For optimum performance, the boat’s practical weight capacity will usually be 2/3 of the weight limit announced by the manufacturer. For simplicity, you can consider it around 65%.

We have the following formula: Performance Capacity = Maximum Capacity x 0.65

For example Maximum capacity of the boat is 475 lbs, then the Performance Capacity will be about 309 lbs.

If you are about to buy a fishing kayak and want to know if buying one with a Maximum Capacity is enough for you and your gear, you can reverse the above formula as follows:

Maximum Capacity = Performance Capacity / 0.65

You need to rate how much Performance Capacity you want.

This capacity will include your weight and all the gear you want to carry, including the paddle or even the motor you want to install to upgrade the boat.

How to increase the weight capacity of your kayak?

Currently, you have a kayak and know How much weight can a fishing kayak hold? But the gear you want to bring when fishing is increasing. So how to update the weight capacity of your boat?

I have some solutions for you

Install more kayak outriggers

How much weight does a fishing kayak hold

Kayak outriggers are long arms with a floatation device on one end. They attach to your boat and extend to the water. The float not only provides additional buoyancy but also increases the stability of the kayak.

Related: What You Need To Know About Outriggers

Use float bags

How Are fishing Kayak Weight Limits 1

Float bags are bags that are filled with air and placed farthest away in the boat. Although not as efficient as outriggers, these are still popular methods because they are cheap and easy to implement.

How much weight can a fishing kayak hold?Weight limit of some brands

Fishing kayaks are always designed with a larger capacity than others because they are characterized by needing to carry a lot of supplies.

In this article, I will list for you some kayaks which are popular on the market:

Under 400 lbs

Brands that produce many types of kayaks, non-specialized, often have a smaller weight capacity than specialized fishing brands, such as Pelican, Perception, Lifetime, etc.

Pelican: usually only produce kayaks with lightweight capacities, such as:

Pelican Sentinel 100X – 9.5 Feet: 275 lbs

Pelican Fishing Kayak Kayak 10 Feet: 325lbs

Perception: Most of Perception’s kayaks have a weight capacity of 300-400, including some products such as:

Perception Access 11.5: 300 lbs

Perception Pescador 10/Pro 10: 325 lbs

Perception Sound 10.5: 335 lbs

Perception Pescador 12/Pro 12: 375 lbs

Lifetime: Most of Lifetime’s products fall within this range, examples:

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100: 275 lbs

Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103: 300 lbs

Lifetime Yukon Angler 116: 350 lbs

Lifetime Pro Angler 118: 375 lbs

BKC: a few products of BKC in this range can mention as:

BKC FK184 9′ Single: 330 lbs

BKC FK285 9.1’/9’2″: 350 lbs

400-600 lbs

Most fishing kayaks have a maximum capacity of 400-600 lbs.

Perception: some of its products also have a large capacity, such as:

Perception Outlaw 11.5: 425 lbs

Perception Showdown: 450 lbs

Perception Pescador Pilot 12: 475 lbs

Lifetime also has products in this range, such as:

Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem: 500 lbs

Old Town most of its products are in this range, some examples are:

Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120/106: 450 lbs

Old Town Sportsman 120: 500 lbs

Old Town Sportsman 106 Powered: 525 lbs

Old Town Sportsman PDL 106: 558 lbs 

BKC: Most of BKC’s boats are in this range:

BKC PK11 Angler 10.5/Solo: 420 lbs

BKC PK12 Angler 12: 460 lbs

BKC PK13 13′ Pedal Drive/ Solo: 550 lbs

BKC TK181 12.5’/ TK219 12.2′: Tandem 595 lbs

Over 600 lbs

Usually, a few tandem kayaks and very few fishing kayaks have this capacity.

BKC‘s kayak tandems all fall into this range:

BKC TK122 Angler 12 /TK122K 12′ 8″/ TK122U 12′ 6″/ TK122P 12′ 6″: 770 lbs

BKC PK14 14′ Tandem: 670 lbs

Elkton Outdoor typically has a capacity above 600 lbs

Old Town

Sportsman AutoPilot 136: 660 lbs


Hopefully, due to this article, you will no longer have to ask: How much weight can a fishing kayak hold?

You have also found the right weight for your boat or the weight capacity of the boat you are planning to buy. You usually go kayak fishing and have a kayak for that.

Thanks for reading our article. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can see more posts on our website here.

Further reading

How Much Wind Is Too Much For Kayak Fishing?

What Size Do I Need for My Weight?

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