Paddling around in a tandem kayak can be a great deal of fun – not only does it mean you’re getting out and about on the water, it means that you’re getting to do so with a friend or your partner. Fishing from a tandem kayak can be even more fun!
Choosing the right tandem kayak for a normal trip compared to a fishing trip is a very different procedure! As you will know if you are a keen fisher, fishing can require quite an amount of equipment and support, as well as general space. In order to fish as well as possible from a kayak, it’s important that you choose the correct tandem kayak for fishing.
In this guide, we’ve compiled some pieces of advice that we think are good when it comes to choosing the best tandem fishing kayaks, as well as tandem and fishing kayaks in general. We’ve also included information on a number of different points that you should be sure to look out for when choosing your kayak, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of tandem fishing kayak.
What’s Good And Bad About A Tandem Fishing Kayak?
Depending on the type of person that you are and what kind of fishing you’re planning on doing, a tandem kayak might be a great option for you. Then again, a solo kayak might be a better option for you.
There are various advantages and disadvantages of each!
You Won’t Be Alone
Company is, without doubt, one of the more obvious advantages of a tandem kayak in general, not just one for fishing. Whilst fishing can be a fantastic experience alone in the peace and quiet, having some company is great too. Obviously, this “advantage” is purely subjective.
However, if you do enjoy spending time with someone else whilst you’re fishing, this is most certainly an advantage that a tandem kayak can offer. At the same time, if you’d like to take a break from fishing or only have one fishing rod, you and your fishing companion can swap roles – you relax whilst the other fishes! What could be better?
You Can Join Forces
When you’ve got two people on board the kayak, you can do more than one thing at a time that might get you closer to that all-important catch. For example, one person can paddle towards where the fish are active, and the other can cast into that direction immediately. Having a tandem fishing kayaks means you can move between areas more quickly, and continue to fish at the same time.
Once you do have that all-important catch of the day hooked, getting it onboard is far easier with two people to help instead of just one – leaning over a boat with a net, rod, and big fish on the line whilst on your own can be quite a challenge!
It’s Not As Easy To Move About
Again, similarly to the advantage of having a companion onboard your kayak, this is purely subjective. If both you and your fishing companion are keen kayakers, then the chances are high that it will in fact not be harder to navigate around. However, if you are both relatively inexperienced and not used to synchronizing your strokes, then it’s likely that you will find it more difficult and more slow to move from place to place.
Fishing Can Be More Limited
It’s important to consider what kind of fishing you’re planning on doing from the kayak too before deciding which is best for you. If you’re planning on fly fishing, you should remember that you’re going to need a lot more space to cast your line properly and that it could be potentially hazardous with two people on a boat.
It’s also important to remember that whilst a lot of people think a tandem means bringing more equipment is easy, it isn’t necessarily. Whilst there is indeed the space on a tandem kayak to carry one person as well as a lot of equipment, it is designed to be powered by two people paddling. If you are on your own trying to move a tandem kayak that is full of equipment, you’ll find that it becomes very difficult very quickly.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T – Tandem Fishing Kayak
The Skipjack 120T from Vibe Kayaks is a tandem kayak that makes the perfect vessel for fishing.
Being specifically designed for fishing, it is fitted with a total of four rod holders (2 for either seat. Between both of these seats, there’s a third seat in the center of the boat that’s ideal for smaller passengers such as a child or dog. It’s not possible to carry another adult passenger here – it would be unsafe to do so.
It’s a sit on top kayak and is, therefore, better optimized for stiller and calmer waters. For this reason, the Skipjack 120T isn’t the best boat for taking out to sea, or down rivers that could have some areas of fast-flowing water.
In terms of storage, there’s plenty available for all of your personal and fishing equipment on the 120T. There are two hatches that are ideal for storing more valuable items, as well as a larger area towards the back of the boat in which you can tie articles down with bungee cords.
Overall, the 120T is a very comfortable and easy kayak to use. It’s comfortable with two well padded seats, as well as having moulded foot rests that ensure you can get your legs into the most comfortable position before starting your day’s fishing.
Most importantly, the 120T can be relied on. It’s rotomolded form an individual piece of material. This means that the boat has kept all of the strength and durability that the material originally had – it hasn’t been changed by splitting it into numerous different parts and putting it back together. There are a number of scupper drains in the boat to ensure that flooding isn’t a problem too – very handy!
Brooklyn Kayak Company UK-TK181 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak – The Popular Model
The UH-TK181 is one of the most popular tandem fishing kayaks that is available on the market. To say that it’s truly kitted out for fishing would be an understatement. It comes with a total of 7 different rod holders – yes, you read that correctly, 7!
If you’re a keen fisherman and someone that is fishing for a variety of different types of fish, you’ll understand the importance of having a number of different lines out. The UH-TK181 allows you to do just this. 3 of the 7 rod holders on the kayak are articulated, and the other 4 are still. This means that you’ve got different types of rod mounts for different types of rod/fish – a very useful feature indeed.
The TK181 has been designed for long-term usage. It’s a comfortable place to sit whilst you’re out fishing all day, and provides you as the fisherman with all of the appropriate rests and supports to allow you to be as relaxed and as comfortable as possible. In addition to the 7 rod rests, there are also paddle rests. These are very useful if you’re trying to land a fish, or indeed do anything that requires the full use of both of your hands. If you don’t need to paddle, simply use the paddle rests on the kayak and you can focus your full attention on something else whilst remaining very comfortable.
All in all, this BKC sit on top tandem fishing kayak is an extremely versatile boat. It has been designed to be used and to perform well in all conditions. It’s great for choppier water, and for the calmer water, it’s even fitted with a trolling motor. It’s wide and well balanced – you don’t need to have any fear of this boat capsizing easily. We love it!
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 – Inflatable Tandem Fishing Kayak
When you think of fishing on a kayak, inflatable may well not be the first thing that comes into your mind – but hear us out! The Coleman is made from extremely durable PVC that’s 18-gauges thick. This makes it very resistant to puncture, and overall an extremely hardwearing boat. To increase durability, the bottom of the boat is lined with even thicker tarpaulin – you are arguably just as guarded against punctures in this inflatable kayak as you are in a hard-shell. You would have to make a real effort to puncture this boat!
In the extremely unlikely event of a puncture, you don’t need to worry about sinking either. The Coleman is constructed from multiple individual air chambers that ensure the entire boat won’t be submerged should one chamber lose air. You’ll always have enough air to get back to shore.
Similarly to the UH-TK181 that we reviewed from BKC, this boat has all of the amenities that you could possibly need to keep your day of fishing as comfortable as it can be. It’s fitted with multiple different rod holders in varying locations, as well as paddle holders that allow you to rest your paddles and have the full use of both of your hands at any time.
There are many places for storage onboard the Colorado 2 as well, with many pockets on the back of both seats that are available to both paddlers. These are ideal for storing smaller items of fishing equipment, such as tackle boxes and bait.
As you have probably imagined though, the main fantastic point that this kayak has to offer, in our opinion, is its immense portability. The Colorado 2 packs away into a tiny space that can be easily packed away into the trunk of a car or pickup.
If you decide that the Coleman Colorado 2 is for you, you should note when purchasing that it does not come with an inflation pump. This could be a particularly nasty surprise if you did not unpackage your kayak until you got to the side of the water! It’s the one downside of the Coleman Colorado 2 from Sevylor. Otherwise, we recommend it highly, and as do its users!
Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem – The Heavy Duty Tandem Fishing Kayak
If you’re looking for a tandem fishing kayak that is absolutely guaranteed to stand up to the test of heavy usage and harsher conditions, then you need look no further than this 10 foot beast of a unit from Lifetime.
This kayak from Lifetime was designed to support everything that a fisherman could need to do whilst out on the water. It’s got a rear storage compartment, as well as rod holders positioned within easy reach of the seats. It comes complete with paddles too. If you’d like to use a fish finding unit, the drainage points that are drilled into the bottom of this Lifetime kayak allow one to get down into the water easily.
Due to the wide and relatively short construction of the kayak, it’s a very stable boat. You won’t feel at all insecure in this kayak should the water get a little more choppy. It can easily hold up to two people, with a weight limit of 500 pounds. This is a very impressive capacity indeed considering the boat itself weighs in at only 60 pounds – it’s one of the highest weight capacity kayaks that we’ve reviewed.
It’s very well-reviewed by various users, and we absolutely agree – it’s a great kayak for fishing in all conditions. Being a truly heavy-duty beast, having extremely comfortable seats and a wide and stable construction, we truly cannot find anything to fault on the Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem fishing kayak.
Are You Still Unsure About Tandem Fishing Kayaks?
Of course, there are a number of different buying points that we think you should be aware of and should consider when looking at tandem fishing kayaks – we hope we’ve covered these well in our guide.
If you’re still unsure of tandem fishing kayaks, or indeed other types of kayaks that are available, we would highly recommend having a look at our homepage, where we review a number of different as well as provide some general buying advice.