Best Fly Fishing Kayak

Best Fly Fishing Kayak Comparison Chart

Best for
Max Capacity
Storage Options
Bottom line
Best Overall
Best Sit-on-Top Kayak Fly Fishing
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
Large and small lakes, bays, and slow-moving rivers up to Class II
86 lbs
12 ft 3 inches
35 inches
400 lbs
Rear tank well with bungee and gear straps
Removable utility pod cover
Bow storage area with cover
Paddle park
Stern hatch
6 accessory systems
Side scan transducer scupper
Removable console system
Highly versatile and customizable, solid, spacious, excellent stability, comfortable, tracks well and offers plenty of storage options
With excellent stability, comfort, versatility, and performance, this kayak has everything you need for a fun and successful day of fishing.
Best Bang for the Buck
Perception Outlaw 11.5
Lakes and ponds, slow-moving rivers, and calm coastal
77 lbs
11 ft 6 inches
35 inches
425 lbs
Large bow and stern tank wells
2 double-barrel rod holders
3 solo mount recesses
Molded-in trays
Cup holders
Affordable yet high quality, extremely stable, tracks well, very comfortable, and is versatile
Quite slow on the water
This kayak offers a comfortable fishing experience at a price that’s hard to beat.
Best Pedal-Drive Fly Fishing Kayak
Perception Pescador Pilot 12
Slow-moving rivers, flat-water lakes, ponds, and coastal waters with light waves
Pedal and Paddle
85 lbs
12 ft 5 inches
33.75 inches
475 lbs
Rear tank well with bungee
Front storage area with mesh cover
Paddle storage
Shallow recesses
Drink holders
4 molded-in rod holders
2 gear tracks
2 storage slots
Has plenty of storage options and room, a comfortable seat, is extremely stable, and versatile, offers hands-free fishing, is easy to maneuver, and performs great on the water
If you’re looking for a pedal-drive kayak that offers you a convenient and hands-free fishing experience, then this is a great choice.
Best Inflatable Kayak for Fly Fishing
Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack
Flatwater and up to class II whitewater
45 lbs
12 ft 6 inches
36 inches
635 lbs
Spray skirts with built-in rod, tool, hook, and lure holders plus storage below and cord lacing on top
Comes in a complete set, is compact, easy to transport, stable, durable, and can carry a lot of weight
Limited storage
Packs small and easy to store and transport, this is the best choice for an inflatable kayak for fly fishing.
Best Tandem Kayak Fly Fishing
Ocean, lake, or rivers
74 lbs
12 ft 8 inches
34 inches
770 lbs
2 dry hatches
4 rod holders
Rear storage area with bungee
2 paddle parks
4 accessory rails
Lightweight, has a dry hatch for each seat, comes with paddles, is very stable, seats are adjustable and comfortable, and has a huge weight capacity
Dry hatches are not watertight
Stable, comfortable, and tracks well on the water, this is a great choice if you’re planning to bring someone along on your fishing trips.

There’s nothing quite like fly fishing from a kayak. Not only are you outdoors and enjoying the serenity of the water, but you’ll also get the thrill of catching fish with a fly. It’s an art that requires a certain set of skills, technique, and the right gear – including your kayak. See, with the right vessel, you can access remote waters, approach fish without spooking them off, and stay comfortable in the water longer. 

But with so many kayaks on the market, all with different features, brands, and designs, it can be difficult to choose which one to buy. It gets even harder if you don’t know what to look for. So to save you from the trouble of going through the many vessels yourself, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best fly fishing kayaks around. We’ve also included a list of all the things you need to look for in one.

How We Chose the Best Fly Fishing Kayaks

We scoured the internet for all the fly fishing-friendly kayaks available on the market. After hours and hours of research, we were able to create a shortlist of all those highly rated and most recommended by other anglers. We also listed down all those that meet the needs of most fly fishers.

To narrow down our list, we put all the kayaks together and compared them against each other. We looked at their features, performance, quality, durability, and overall value for money. We then discussed among our team which ones to include and which to drop. After much consideration, we were left with only the top 5 kayak fly fishing models you can buy today. 

So whichever one you go with, we can guarantee that it is only the best-performing, fly fishing-friendly, and high-quality kayak for a safer, more comfortable, and enjoyable time on the water. 

Top 5 Best Kayaks for Fly Fishing

Why we love it: 

  • Highly versatile and customizable
  • Solid and durable
  • Spacious

What it is best for:

  • Large and small lakes, bays, and slow-moving rivers up to Class II

Can you fly fish from a kayak? You definitely can with the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120. Offering unmatched stability, a wind-shedding deck, and superior performance, this boat has everything a fly angler needs and more. With its spacious deck, you can move around, reach your gears, stand, and cast without worry.

One of the best things about this kayak is its open customizable platform. With six accessory systems from the back, middle, and front, you can easily add and remove all the accessories you want to take with you. From your rod holders, fish finder, or GPS, you can reconfigure them however you want. There are also mount plates on the bow and stern if you want to install your camera, lights, and other kayaking or fishing gear. 

We also like that the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 offers plenty of storage options. There’s a large rear tank well with an adjustable bungee and gear straps to avoid losing your things while on the water. There’s also a bow storage area, stern hatch, a paddle park, and a removable utility pod cover for your tools, tackles, and drinks. There’s even a removable console system for mounting your fish finder, battery, and transducer. 


  • ZExcellent stability
  • ZVery comfortable
  • ZTracks well
  • ZHas plenty of storage options


  • QHeavy

Why we love it: 

  • Affordable
  • Very comfortable
  • Versatile

What it is best for:

  • Lakes and ponds, slow-moving rivers, and calm coastal

Here’s a great choice if you’re on a tight budget. The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is an excellent fishing kayak at a surprisingly affordable price. It is known for its wide-open deck, comfortable seat, and well-made platform that’s suitable for stand-up fishing. 

This kayak comes with a comfortable and seriously elevated seat that provides you with the highest fishing vantage available in a kayak. It’s also removable, so you can have a completely walkable deck. If you want, you can also put in a 35L cooler in its place. 

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is equipped with two double-barrel rod holders as well, allowing you to set up or carry up to four rods simultaneously. It also offers enough room and attachment points for customization. So you can rig your ride depending on your needs and fishing style. 


  • ZWell-made
  • ZExtremely stable
  • ZTracks well


  • QQuite slow on the water

Why we love it: 

  • Plenty of storage
  • Spacious
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable seat

What it is best for:

  • Slow-moving rivers, flat-water lakes, ponds, and coastal waters with light waves

Interested in a pedal-driven kayak for fly fishing? Then look no further. The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is one of the best kayaks with a propeller system. This allows you to propel your boat, even in reverse, and control your position without breaking a sweat. More importantly, this leaves both of your hands free to do other more important things – like fishing. 

What we love about this kayak is that it offers superior stability and performance on the water, which makes it a great choice for anglers of any skill level. You can cast from a standing position without worrying of it tipping over. You’ll also have no problem navigating your vessel into the direction you want it to go, even against light waves and wind. 

With the Perception Pescador Pilot 12, you can go fly fishing all day with comfort. The deck is spacious and has generous storage. The cozy captain’s chair is great, too, with its breathable and well-ventilated mesh. On top of that, you can easily rig it to match your fishing needs with its multiple accessory mounts. 


  • ZConvenient and easy to maneuver
  • ZExtremely stable
  • ZOffers hands-free fishing
  • ZPerforms great on the water


  • QPricey

Why we love it: 

  • Comes in a complete set
  • Compact
  • Stable

What it is best for:

  • Flatwater and up to class II whitewater

If you have limited space at home or don’t really have the means or the patience to transport a huge hardshell kayak, then consider the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack. It’s an inflatable type of kayak that packs small, which makes it easier and more convenient to carry and store. Once you’re done fishing, you can just deflate it, fold it, and throw it at the back of your car.

Unlike other inflatables, this kayak offers great stability. In fact, it’s so stable that you can even stand on it. It’s also more durable than most with its reinforced side walls. You don’t have to worry about sharp fins, hooks, and other pointy objects on your boat. To top it all off, it can surprisingly carry a lot of weight. You can even bring another person with you while fishing.

It’s rare to see an inflatable kayak that can perform just as well as a hardshell kayak. But the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack sure comes close. With its unique external drop-stitch construction keel, it can move fast and straight on the water with ease. It can slice through waves, currents, and winds, so you’ll have no problem going to your favorite fishing spots. 


  • ZEasy to transport and store
  • ZDurable
  • ZCan carry a lot of weight


  • QLimited storage

Why we love it: 

  • Comes with paddles
  • Can fit 2 persons
  • Comfortable and adjustable seats

What it is best for:

  • Ocean, lake, or rivers

Planning to fly fish with another person? Then you may want to check out the BKC TK122U. With a huge weight capacity, it can hold 2 adults comfortably. There’s even extra space in the middle to fit a child or a pet, which also makes it great for family adventures. Aside from that, it offers ample storage. So you can take all the necessary fly fishing gear you want with you. 

This tandem kayak is built with stability in mind. Thanks to its 34-inch beam, it can remain balanced in almost any condition, even against choppy waters or fast currents. It’s comfortable, too. Equipped with two aluminum frame chairs with padding and backrests, you can fish for extended periods. 

Furthermore, as a tandem kayak, the BKC TK122U is surprisingly lightweight. It’s even lighter than the single kayaks on our list. This makes it easier to transport, especially with two persons carrying it. 


  • ZLightweight
  • ZHas a dry hatch for each seat
  • ZVery stable
  • ZHas a huge weight capacity


  • QDry hatches are not watertight

What to Look For When Choosing the Best Kayak for Fly Fishing?

When fly fishing from kayak, one of the most important things you have to consider is the kayak itself. See, fly anglers have unique needs. This is why you should get a kayak that is fly fishing-friendly. 

However, with such a huge diversity of kayak designs on the market and with so many models to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So to make it easier for you and make sure you end up with a vessel that will meet your needs, here’s everything you need to look for when buying a kayak for fly fishing. 


Fishing kayaks are available in three types: sit-on-top, sit-inside, and inflatable. A sit-inside kayak has an enclosed cockpit, while a sit-on-top has a more open deck. Since casting a fly rod is quite tricky, especially in a kayak, it’s best to go with a sit-on-top kayak as there’s more room for you to move around. It’s also more accessible since it’s easier to get in and out of. Not to mention that it’s more stable too.

On the other hand, if you don’t have space at home for storing or don’t want to go through the trouble of transporting a hardshell kayak, then you might want to get inflatable types. They are more portable and convenient to store. Plus, they are usually cheaper. Keep in mind, however, that they’re less durable and don’t perform as well as hardshell types. 


You’ll need a kayak with good stability to keep it balanced on the water. This will also help you to stay afloat even in choppy conditions. Most of all, you’ll need a kayak with more stability if you’re planning to stand on it. 

Now, there are two types of stability in kayaks. There’s primary stability, which is the initial balance and steadiness of the boat in calm water. When a kayak has good primary stability, it will be difficult to capsize even when you lean too far on one side. On the other hand, there’s secondary stability, which is a boat’s ability to stay stable when tipped on the sides. If a boat has better secondary stability, it may feel tippy in the beginning. But once you’ve gotten the hang of it, leaning becomes much easier. This makes it ideal for rougher conditions.

With that in mind, when it comes to fly fishing, you should look for a kayak with better primary stability. This is because you’re more likely to fish in calm and flat waters. Now, the question is, how can you determine a boat’s stability? If there’s no way to test it out of the water, you can always check the following features:

  • Width: Generally, wider kayaks are more stable. So for a more steady vessel, opt for a wider fishing kayak. The drawback, however, is that the wider it is, the slower it will be on the water. 
  • Hull Profile: A kayak’s hull can greatly affect its stability. For instance, those with round and V-bottom hulls have more secondary stability, which makes it more ideal in swells, waves, and currents. But when it comes to fly fishing, it’s best to go with a kayak with either a flat or pontoon hull as they offer the most primary stability. 


As you know, fishing can take hours. So you’ll want your kayak to be as comfortable as possible. Here’s where the seat plays a critical part. It should offer enough support for both your back and bottom. It should also be breathable and quick-drying as there’s nothing more annoying than sitting and paddling on a wet seat. Ideally, it should be adjustable with multiple sitting positions for the most comfort. 

Furthermore, you should check the footrests and make sure they are adjustable. This will make it easier and more comfortable to stay upright when paddling. Moreover, you want to ensure that the cockpit is spacious enough for you to move, stretch, and reach your gear. For kayaks that are suitable for stand-up fishing, you also want to make sure there’s enough room for you to stand in. 


When shopping for a kayak, the length is one of the features you should look out for. This will give you an idea of how fast and maneuverable it will be on the water. This will also tell you its trackability or how well it handles. 

Normally, longer kayaks, or those 12 feet and up, are faster and better at cutting through the water. They are also easier to paddle and glide straighter. On the downside, they are heavier, making them harder to transport. Meanwhile, shorter ones, or those 11 feet and less, are more maneuverable. So if you’re going to calm and small waters, then consider a shorter kayak. But if you’re planning to go on large and open bodies of water, then you might want to get a longer kayak. 

When it comes to choosing the right length, you should also consider your body type. For instance, if you are bigger and taller, then you may want to go with a longer kayak as it will provide you with more room for your legs and space to move around. 


When it comes to kayaks, you can also choose from three different methods of propulsion: paddle, pedal, or motor. The quietest, cheapest, and lightest option is the paddle. If you’re looking for the fastest way to get to your fishing spots without tiring yourself out and if you have the budget, then you can go with a pedal-powered or a motor-powered kayak. They also offer a hands-free experience, so you don’t have to worry about controlling your vessel and just focus on catching fish. The trade-off, however, is that they can be expensive and they’re much harder to transport. 

If you’re not ready to spend big on a pedal or motor-powered kayak, there are also paddle-driven kayaks that can be installed with a pedal drive or trolling motor later on. 


You should also consider how you’ll take your kayak from your home to the water and back. If you’re like most anglers who plan to car-top your vessel, then you have to look for a kayak that you can lift, remove from the roof of your vehicle, and get to the water. 


Finally, you want to look for a kayak that offers as much storage as you need. It should be able to accommodate all the fishing and other kayaking gear you’re planning to take. Ideally, there should be a sizeable tank well or storage area at the bow and rear. Dry hatches, pockets, drink holders, paddle parks, and recesses will also come in very handy while you’re out fishing. 

Aside from that, you may also want to look for more fishing-specific features, like fishing rod holders. Track mounts are useful, too, especially if you’re planning to add a fish finder, GPS, camera, and other accessories to your kayak. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can you fly fish from a kayak?

A: Yes, you can fly fish from a kayak. With the right technique, skills, knowledge, and gear – including the kayak itself – kayak fly fishing can be a rewarding experience. Depending on your style and whichever works best for you, you can cast seated or standing. With a kayak, you’re also able to access remote waters and approach fish without spooking them off.