Best Fishing Kayak for Big Guys
Best Fishing Kayak for Big Guys Comparison Chart
Best Sit-on-Top Big Man Fishing Kayak
Removable utility pod cover
Bow storage area with cover
6 accessory systems
Side scan transducer scupper
Removable console system
2 double-barrel rod holders
3 solo mount recesses
2 cup holders
2 mounting platforms
Recess for battery
Oversized stern tank well
3 molded-in rod holders
Rod and tackle storage
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Fishing Kayak for Big Guys
- 1.1 Best Fishing Kayak for Big Guys Comparison Chart
- 1.2 How We Chose the Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys?
- 1.3 Top 5 Best Fishing Kayaks for Bigger Guys
- 1.3.1 1. Best Overall and Best Sit-on-Top Big Man Fishing Kayak: Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
- 1.3.2 2. Best Bang for the Buck: Perception Outlaw 11.5
- 1.3.3 3. Best Sit-Inside Fishing Kayak for Big Guys: Wilderness Systems Pungo 125
- 1.3.4 4. Best Inflatable Kayak for Bigger Guys: Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack
- 1.3.5 5. Best Pedal Fishing Kayak for Big Guys: Old Town Topwater 120 PDL
- 1.4 What to Look For When Choosing the Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys?
- 1.5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Choosing a fishing kayak isn’t exactly easy. With so many brands and models on the market, all with different features, designs, and prices, kayak shopping can be overwhelming for anyone. If you’re taller and heavier than average, then you may find it even harder to find one that’s suited for your size. And when you get a kayak that’s too small and too narrow for you, then you’ll find yourself uncomfortable and just wishing your fishing trip was over.
So to help make your search faster and make sure you’ll end up with only the right model for your body size, we’ve come up with a list of the best fishing kayaks for big guys. We have also put together everything you need to consider when shopping for a big man fishing kayak.
Now, the average height and weight for men in the United States are about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 197.9 lbs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So if you’re taller and heavier, then this guide is perfect for you.
How We Chose the Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys?
We first searched for all the kayaks suitable for bigger guys on Amazon. After hours and hours of research, we were able to determine what was available on the market. From there, we created a shortlist of all those with the highest ratings and most recommended by other customers. We also included those that are suitable for individuals that are taller than 5’9” and around 200 lbs.
We then had to narrow down our list by comparing all the kayaks against each other. We considered their performance, features, durability, value for money, and overall quality. We also gave high importance to a kayak’s dimensions and weight capacity. After much deliberation, we were left with only the 5 best and most stable fishing kayak for big guys.
That said, all the fishing kayaks on this list are carefully selected and are guaranteed to provide you with the most comfort, safety, and stability on the water without compromising performance.
Top 5 Best Fishing Kayaks for Bigger Guys
- Best Overall and Best Sit-on-Top Big Man Fishing Kayak: Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
- Best Bang for the Buck: Perception Outlaw 11.5
- Best Sit-Inside Fishing Kayak for Big Guys: Wilderness Systems Pungo 125
- Best Inflatable Kayak for Bigger Guys: Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack
- Best Pedal Fishing Kayak for Big Guys: Old Town Topwater 120 PDL
Why we love it:
- Spacious deck
- Highly customizable
- Plenty of storage options
What it is best for:
- Lakes, bays, and slow-moving rivers
Our top pick for the best and most stable fishing kayak for big guys is the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120. Measuring 12’2” in length and 35 inches in width with an open deck, it can handle taller and heavier paddlers with ease. While it’s shorter compared to its predecessor, the ATAK 140, it’s much more manageable both on and off the water.
What’s great about this kayak is its customizable platform. It has a secondary transducer scupper, allowing you to easily add all the electronics you want on your ride. It also has 6 SlideTrax accessory systems all over the deck and mount plates on the front and back for quickly adding and removing your fishing and kayaking accessories.
The Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 offers plenty of storage options, too. It has a rear tank well and a removable utility pod cover for the small items you need quick access to, including your tools, tackles, and beverage. To top it all off, it’s an extremely durable, comfortable, and stable kayak with a great performance to boot. Overall, it has everything you need from a fishing kayak.
- ZVery durable
- ZExcellent stability
- ZTracks well
- ZComfortable for paddlers of all sizes
Why we love it:
- Designed for small to extra-large paddlers
- Durable and high quality
What it is best for:
- Lakes and ponds, slow-moving rivers, and calm coastal
Perception Outlaw 11.5 offers just the right balance between having enough space and portability. With an 11’6” length and 35-inch beam, this sit-on-top kayak has enough room to accommodate extra large paddlers. At the same time, it’s also more compact, easy to store, and easy to transport with its 77 lbs weight.
For big guys, one of the best features of this kayak is its seriously elevated seating. It’s raised 5 inches above the height of the deck, making it easier to go from a sitting to a standing position. The seat is also comfortable and can be stowed away if you need more room for storage or standing.
With Perception Outlaw 11.5, you can also take all your fishing and kayaking gear with you. There are large tank wells in the bow and stern, which are enough to hold crates. There are also molded-in trays for the items you need quick access to and cup holders for keeping your drinks within reach. Furthermore, it has 3 solo mount recesses for adding accessories and two double barrel rod holders.
- ZVery stable
- ZTracks well
- QQuite slow on the water
Why we love it:
- Fully adjustable and comfortable seat
- Adjustable footrests
What it is best for:
- Still/Calm, slow-moving, and calm coastal waters
If you’re interested in a sit-inside kayak that can fit bigger guys, then we suggest the Wilderness Systems Pungo 125. It’s part of the best-selling line of sit-inside kayaks from Wilderness Systems, which are known for their speed and efficiency. It also features the same renowned hull that offers excellent stability without sacrificing performance.
While considered a recreational kayak, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 125 can also be used and customized for fishing. It’s equipped with a dashboard that includes a removable dry box for keeping your valuables, two cup holders for your favorite drinks, and a recess for a battery. It also has SlideTrax to hold mounts for your fishing rods, fish finder, phones, and other accessories. There are even two mounting platforms where you can put more accessories.
The Wilderness Systems Pungo 125 is designed to accommodate those with larger frames. It even has a patented seating system that’s breathable, fully adjustable, and offers great support for your lower back. Plus, its footrests are adjustable, providing you with a more comfortable fit. So you can paddle for hours without worry.
- ZVery fast
- ZEasy to paddle
- ZEasy to store and transport
- QLimited storage
Why we love it:
- All-inclusive set
- Folds small
- Extremely durable
What it is best for:
- Flatwater and up to class II whitewater
Measuring 12’6” in length and 36” in width with a 635 lbs max limit, the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack is one of the few inflatable kayaks with enough space and weight capacity to accommodate large paddlers. In fact, it’s so spacious that it can hold 2 or even 3 people.
What we like about this kayak is that it performs better than most inflatable kayaks around. For one, it’s incredibly stable that you can even stand on it while casting or reeling in a catch. It even has a crocodile hide EVA foam floor pad, which prevents you from slipping while giving you extra protection against punctures and lacerations. More than that, it paddles far faster and straighter than other inflatables.
The best thing about the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack is that it folds small. So once you’re done fishing, you can simply deflate it, fold it, and throw it at the back of your truck or car. Easy and more convenient.
- ZCan fit 2 or even 3 people
- ZHas a high max weight capacity
- QLimited storage
Why we love it:
- Offers hands-free experience
- Instant forward and reverse
What it is best for:
- Slow-moving river and flatwater
To get to your favorite fishing spots faster and easier, consider getting the Old Town Topwater 120 PDL. Installed with a pedal drive system, this kayak allows you to go forward and reverse in an instant. You can also get farther without tiring yourself out.
As a kayak for bigger guys, the 120 PDL is perfect. It’s long and roomy with an impressive weight capacity. Plus, its adjustable and breathable seat provides the most comfort and support. It has excellent stability as well. So you can stand up to fight fish without a problem. We also like that this kayak performs well on the water. It’s easy to handle, quiet and offers a hands-free fishing experience. This means that you don’t have to worry about navigating and controlling your position, leaving your hands free to focus more on your fishing.
The Old Town Topwater 120 PDL offers enough room for all your fishing gear. It has three molded-in rod holders with thoughtfully-placed tackle and rod storage on the deck. There’s also an oversized stern tank well and a universal transducer mounting system to easily install your favorite fish finder.
- ZGreat performance on the water
- ZEasy to maneuver
- ZVery stable
What to Look For When Choosing the Best Fishing Kayaks for Big Guys?
Kayak fishing is all about patience, relaxation, and finding peace. But if you’re feeling confined and uncomfortable while doing so, then it’s not going to be a very good or fun trip. So to avoid that and make sure you get the fishing trip you’ve always wanted, then you have to choose the right kayak for your size.
But with so many models and brands on the market, all with different designs, features, and prices, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Choosing what to buy gets even harder when you don’t know what to look for. So to help you make an informed decision and make sure you end up with the right kayak for your body size and fishing needs, here’s everything you need to look out for in a kayak before buying one.
Kayaks come in three types: sit-inside, sit-on-top, and inflatable. Here’s a rundown of each type to help you choose which one best fits your needs.
- Sit-inside: Traditional sit-inside kayaks are enclosed, so they are harder to move in and out of. They’re also harder to recover from in case you capsize. Furthermore, they have limited storage space.
On the good side, sit-insides put you in a lower center of gravity. They also have a much narrower design, allowing you to move faster on the water. Due to their enclosed cockpit, they are a great choice for paddling in cold water. Plus, they’re a better choice when you want to stay drier.
Now, contrary to what many believe, some sit-insides can also have large cockpits. So you won’t feel confined while in them. Just make sure to check the dimensions more carefully, especially if you’re bigger and taller.
- Sit-on-top: Sit-on-top kayaks have a more open design. There’s a seat that’s on top of the kayak, so you’ll be sitting above water level. This gives you more freedom for entering and exiting the vessel. Self-rescue and getting back on the vessel are also much easier after capsizing. Moreover, they feature self-bailing scupper holes, which drain any water that enters the cockpit.
Sit-on-top kayaks have better primary stability, which is a boat’s initial steadiness on flat water. This is because they are wider. So they’ll feel more stable and able to resist tipping over. More importantly, they are much more comfortable for larger paddlers as they are more open and spacious.
The downside, however, is that these types of kayaks tend to be slower. They also have less protection against the elements.
- Inflatable: Inflatable kayaks can be deflated, rolled, or folded down after use. They are lighter and more compact. This makes them a great option for those who don’t have the space at home for storing huge hardshell types of kayaks and those who can’t transport them.
Keep in mind that inflatables don’t perform as well as hardshell types, specifically when it comes to speed and durability. They are, however, surprisingly versatile. Plus, they’re usually cheaper, too.
That said, your choice of kayak type depends on your needs and fishing style. The best choice for big guys, of course, is sit-on-tops due to their open design. But if you’re looking for a faster vessel with more protection against the elements, then you may want to consider a sit-inside. On the other hand, for a kayak that’s easier to transport, carry, and store, then you may want to look for inflatable types.
Fishing kayaks nowadays can be moved in different ways. There’s the paddle, which is the simplest, quietest, and cheapest option. Plus, it’s lighter and easier to transport. However, it’s slower and requires you to exert more power and effort to move the boat.
There are also pedal kayaks, which can be propelled through a pedal drive system. This allows you to get to your fishing spots faster and more effortlessly. They also offer hands-free fishing, so you can focus more on catching fish. On the downside, they can be pricey and heavy to transport.
Now, if you don’t mind spending more and want a fishing kayak that will get you from here to there in a matter of minutes without breaking a sweat, then you may want to consider getting a motorized one. Like pedal-driven kayaks, motor-powered kayaks offer a hands-free experience. However, they’re expensive and harder to transport.
If you’re not ready to spend big on a pedal or motor-powered kayak, you can always get a paddle drive now and install it with a pedal system or trolling motor in the future.
If you’re on the heavier side, one of the first things you should look out for in a kayak is its weight capacity. You want something that can accommodate not only your weight, but your gear, beverage, and all the things you’re planning to take with you. If you’re planning to take home your catch, then you have to consider its weight as well.
Now, every kayak has a rated max weight capacity. However, keep in mind that not all of it is usable. See, as you go near the limit, its stability and performance will be affected. It will also be harder to paddle. Plus, there’s a higher chance of you capsizing when you exceed the limit. So to avoid that, try to stay within 70% of a kayak’s max capacity.
Stability is a vital feature to look out for when it comes to choosing a fishing kayak. It’s what keeps your boat afloat on the water and what keeps you from capsizing, even in choppy conditions. You’ll also need as much stability as you can get so you can move around to reach your gears and if you’re planning to stand while fishing.
Before we proceed, you should understand the difference between initial or primary and secondary stability. These are terms that you’ll encounter when shopping for a kayak, especially when checking its stability.
When a kayak has high initial stability, it will be better at handling your movements. This allows you to stand up, move, or even walk around the deck and it wouldn’t tip over. Meanwhile, if a kayak has good secondary stability, it will be able to withstand the movements of the water. This makes it ideal in choppy, windy, and wavy conditions. That said, since fishing is usually done in calm waters and requires the paddler to move a lot, then a kayak with good initial stability is a better choice.
To determine a kayak’s stability, you’ll need to check out the following features:
- Dimensions: When you’re shopping for a kayak, make sure to look at the length and width. Not only will this give you an idea of its stability, but it will also help you determine its behavior in the water.
For instance, thinner kayaks are incredibly fast. However, they aren’t very stable and they’re handling isn’t that good either. So avoid them as much as possible. What you need is something wider and shorter. While they can be slow on the water, they’re incredibly stable and easy to maneuver. You can also go with something a bit longer as it can support more weight and offer you more space.
As a guide, we recommend kayaks with a beam that measures at least 30 inches or more. For the length, you may want to look for those 11 ft or longer.
- Hull Shape: There are four main shapes of kayak hulls: rounded, v-shaped, flat, and pontoon. Since having initial stability is more important than secondary stability in fishing, you can cross off kayaks with rounded or v-shaped hulls. Instead, look for kayaks with flat or pontoon hulls as they offer the most initial stability.
- Chine: This is the transitional section between the wall and base of the kayak and it can be either soft or hard. Soft chines are rounder, providing more secondary stability. On the other hand, hard chines are more angular, which offers better initial stability. Again, since you need more initial stability, choose those with hard chines.
One of the main kayak concerns of every “big guy” is comfort – and rightfully so. Since you’ll be spending hours in your boat, you’ll want something that won’t feel confined. There should be enough space for you to move and access your things, and enough room in front for your legs. You’ll also want to look for a seat that can accommodate your size.
So before you decide on purchasing a kayak, look at the specifications. A longer kayak will provide you with more legroom. If you’re going with a sit-inside type, make sure to check the cockpit opening and see if it has adjustable foot braces.
As for the seat, look for something adjustable. This will allow you to customize the seating according to your body size. Ideally, the seat should be elevated as well as it will make shifting from a sitting position to a standing one much easier. Moreover, make sure that it’s breathable and quick-drying if you don’t want to be paddling all day in a wet seat.
When choosing a kayak, you should also consider how you’ll take it from your home to the water and vice versa. For example, if you’re planning to cartop, like most anglers, then you should look for a kayak that you can lift.
You want a kayak that can accommodate all the fishing and kayaking gear you need. So look for storage options, like rear and stern tank wells, dry hatches, drink holders, recesses, paddle parks, and pockets. Fishing rod holders will also come in handy when you’re out in the water. Furthermore, you want to look for kayaks with track mounts or mounting points, so you can install a fishing finder, GPS, lights, camera, and other accessories. That said, the more storage options there are, the better.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What kind of kayak is best for heavy person?
A: The best kind of kayak for a heavy person is a sit-on-top. It offers more stability and room for you to sit, move, and even stand around. It’s also much easier to get in and out of. Plus, it’s easier to get back in if you flip over.
Q: Can a big guy kayak?
A: Yes, a big guy can definitely kayak. Today’s modern kayaks are designed to be enjoyed by all, regardless of shape and size. So even if you’re taller or heavier, then there’s sure to be a kayak for you. Just make sure to check a kayak’s dimensions, design, and features before you purchase it.
Q: Are kayaks plus size friendly?
A: Yes, some kayaks are plus-size friendly. You just have to look more carefully. Look for those with a higher weight limit and those with more space. You should also check the seat and legroom to make sure you can stay comfortable throughout your entire time on the water.