12 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks of 2021

5 kayaks in the sun

Fishing is a hugely popular pastime and sport. It can be relaxing, or it can be exciting, and it’s often a bit of both! It all depends on the type of fishing you want to do.

Kayak fishing provides you with the perfect way to get away from the crowds and discover your own private fishing spots. And, if the fish aren’t biting, you can simply reel in your line and paddle somewhere new.

If you want to fish with a friend, you’re going to need the best tandem fishing kayak. With plenty of space for you, your buddy, your equipment, and your catch, a fishing kayak provides you with the perfect platform for spending hours out on the sea, river, or lake.

There are lots of 2-person fishing kayaks to choose from, all with different features, advantages, and benefits. For this guide, we’ve tried and tested the best and most popular models so you can make an informed choice.

Whichever 2-seater kayak you buy, we guarantee that you’ll have a whale of a time out on the water!

Best Tandem Fishing Kayak

Vanhunks Voyager
$1,399.49
in stock
2 new from $1,399.49
Amazon.com
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T
out of stock
Amazon.com
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
$408.99
in stock
6 new from $407.99
Amazon.com
Sea Eagle 370 Pro
$379.99
$399.99
in stock
4 new from $379.99
Amazon.com
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
$234.90
in stock
32 new from $220.21
Amazon.com
Lifetime 10 Foot
$934.00
in stock
Amazon.com
Sevylor Coleman
$367.86
$519.99
in stock
Amazon.com
Elkton Outdoors
$1,599.00
in stock
Amazon.com
Wilderness Systems Tarpon
out of stock
Amazon.com
BKC TK181
out of stock
Amazon.com
Last updated on April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

1. Vanhunks Voyager

Vanhunks Voyager

$1,399.49  in stock
2 new from $1,399.49
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • Length: 370cm/ 12ft, width: 81cm/ 32inches, height: 37cm/ 15inches, weight: 35kg/ 77lbs, maximum weight capacity: 250kg/ 551lbs
  • Including: X2 paddles (aluminum 2 piece with 3 position adjustments), X2 deluxe aluminum seats, X2 swivel fishing rod holders, X2 storage hatches
  • Lifetime is offered on the Manhunts kayak hull, with a 12month factory manufacturing on all other parts and components.
  • Voyager deluxe family tandem kayak is designed to give enough room for 2 adults, 1 child or some extra baggage when touring
  • Made using 5mm thick, highest quality material making the Vanhunks Voyager deluxe tandem kayak UV resistant, Impact resistant and extremely durable

This rigid, sit-on kayak is strong, stable, and easy to paddle; everything a good fishing kayak should be. It’s big enough for two adults and plenty of fishing gear and is supplied with everything you need to get out on the water.

Key Features

  • 12’ x 32” x 15”
  • Weight 77lbs
  • Weight capacity 551lbs
  • Made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • Molded foot braces
  • Two adjustable/removable aluminum frame seats
  • Two paddles
  • Two swivel rod holders
  • Four molded rod holders
  • Two waterproof storage hatches
  • Twin open storage areas with bungee cords
  • Two cup holders
  • Forward, side, and rear carry handles
  • US coast guard-compliant design

This ocean fishing kayak has everything you need for your next fishing adventure. All that’s left to add is your fishing rods and life jackets! There’s plenty of space for all your gear, and the seats are both comfortable and easy to remove.

Pros

  • A comprehensive kayak package
  • Very stable design
  • Made specifically for fishing
  • Lots of useful features
  • Lifetime hull warranty
  • 12-month parts warranty

Cons

  • Only available in one color

While you can use almost any kayak for fishing, you’ll enjoy your angling trips a whole lot more on a kayak made for the purpose. This well-made watercraft has loads of useful features and is ideal for beginner, intermediate, or advanced paddlers.

2. Vibe Skipjack

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • KEY FEATURES | 2 or 3 person sit on top fishing kayak: 12.2 -foot 72-pound multi-person kayak perfect for fishing, travel, or family recreation - 500 pound weight capacity
  • ACCESSORY OPTIONS | 2 flush mount rod holders with caps and 4 Mounting points for Scotty, RAM, or Railblaza mount rod holders
  • STORAGE OPTIONS | Two V-Wave Hatches with built in cup holders for safe housing of smaller items and rear cargo area with bungee tie-down straps for larger gear
  • 2019 UPGRADES | 2 Phantom Grip Handles, 2 molded in handles at the bow and stern designed for heavy duty use. UPGRADED seats & storage hatches too!

This two-seater sit-on kayak will comfortably hold two adults, and there is a third “jump” seat that’s perfect for carrying a child or a well-behaved dog! It’s decked out with loads of fishing-specific features and is supplied with two aluminum floating paddles.

Key Features

  • Made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • 12’ 2” x 35” x 15”
  • Weight 70lbs
  • Weight capacity 500lbs
  • Four fishing rod holders
  • Two cup holders
  • Two fishfinder/GPS mounts
  • Two paddle holders
  • Molded carry handles
  • Twin waterproof storage hatches
  • Front and rear open storage wells with bungee cords
  • Molded, padded seats with removable backrests

At 35” wide, this is a very broad and stable kayak. It’s ideal for ocean fishing and especially good for paddlers who are nervous about capsizing. The extra width enhances stability but somewhat reduces speed and maneuverability, but this IS a fishing kayak and not a racer!

Pros

  • Very stable
  • Lots of space for paddlers, a passenger, and fishing gear
  • Well-made
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Can be used by one person or two
  • Tracks very straight

Cons

  • Only available in one color

This kayak is very easy to paddle. It’s well made, stable, and has all the features you need for an enjoyable day out on the water. This tandem fishing kayak should provide many years of trouble-free use.

3. Intex Excursion

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

$408.99  in stock
6 new from $407.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • Super tough laminate PVC with polyester core: Light weight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight
  • High pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability, with high pressure spring loaded valves for easy inflation and fast deflation
  • Includes 2 removable skews for deep and shallow water, 2 floor mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, 2 adjustable bucket seats
  • Removable and adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders etc. Includes a carry bag and repair patch
  • Storage space in bow and Stern with stainless steel d rings for tying down Dry bags and gear; Kayak total weight capacity: 400 pounds

While rigid kayaks are strong, stable, and easy to use, they’re not exactly easy to transport. For most, you’ll need a trailer or a roof rack. You’ll also need plenty of space at home for storage. This inflatable tandem fishing kayak is much easier to transport and store, so it’s ideal for compact car owners and apartment dwellers.

Key Features

  • Three-ply PVC laminate with a polyester core
  • 12’ 7” x 37” x 18”
  • Weight 39lbs
  • Weight capacity 400lbs
  • Three air chambers
  • I-beam floor for increased rigidity
  • Two fishing rod holders
  • Two adjustable seats
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Two aluminum paddles
  • High-output pump
  • Carry bag
  • Covered front and rear storage areas
  • Two removable skegs – directional and shallow water

Don’t be fooled; despite being an inflatable, this is still a real fishing kayak! Once inflated, it’s both rigid and stable. Big enough for two adults and a reasonable amount of gear, it’s ideal for whiling away the hours on mostly calm inland waters.

Pros

  • Easy to transport and store
  • Decent weight capacity
  • Comes complete with paddles, pump, seats, etc.
  • Ideal for space-conscious anglers and paddlers

Cons

  • Could be punctured on sharp rocks or with fishhooks
  • Takes 15-minutes+ to inflate

Providing you are careful not to puncture it, this inflatable tandem kayak is an excellent alternative to heavier, larger, rigid kayaks. It’s relatively rigid and provides plenty of space for paddlers and gear. It’s a good alternative for anyone who doesn’t have room to store or the means to transport a standard tandem fishing kayak.

4. Sea Eagle 370

Sea Eagle 370 Pro

$399.99
$379.99
 in stock
4 new from $379.99
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • 3 person/650 lb capacity, weighs 32 lbs, suitable for up to Class III whitewater
  • 370 Deluxe Kayak Package features two movable, super comfortable Deluxe Kayak Seats for improved back support and 2 paddles, foot pump, and carry bag
  • 2 AB30 7'10"" 4 Part Paddles with asymmetrical blade and aluminum shaft
  • 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking & speed
  • Open and close drain valve, 5 deluxe 1-way inflation/deflation valves

Inflatable kayaks have come a long way in the last few years. They’re now almost as stable and robust as rigid kayaks. This model can hold up to three people, or two with lots of fishing gear. It’s easy to transport and store and cheaper than a rigid kayak too.

Key Features

  • Made from 38 mil-spec PolyKrylar
  • Welded seams
  • 12’ 6” x 34” x 13”
  • Weight 32lbs
  • Weight capacity 650lbs
  • Three inflation chambers
  • Two removable skegs
  • Fast-action pump
  • Removable seats
  • Two aluminum paddles
  • Storage bag
  • Forward and aft storage area
  • Repair kit

This well-made kayak can be unpacked and ready for the water in ten-minutes or less. Supplied with a foot pump, you can also inflate it effortlessly by using an electric compressor – not supplied. It comes with paddles, seats, and everything else you need for a fun day out on the water.

Pros

  • Light but tough
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Stable and easy to maneuver
  • Good tracking
  • Very roomy

Cons

  • Not a fishing-specific kayak

While you can use this kayak for fishing, it’s not explicitly designed for this purpose. It doesn’t have rod holders, so you’ll need to come up with a way to transport and store your rods. If you are a casual or occasional angler, this shouldn’t be too much of a drawback. But, if you take your fishing seriously, you may prefer a kayak specially designed for fishing.

5. Intex Explorer

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

$234.90  in stock
32 new from $220.21
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • Comfortable for anyone: Kayak includes an adjustable inflatable seat with backrest; Cockpit designed for comfort and space
  • Dimensions: Inflated size 10 feet 3 x 3 feet x 1 feet 8 inch; Maximum weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • Directional stability: Removable SKEG for directional stability
  • Increased visibility: In case of emergency, bright yellow color helps visibility
  • Made for smaller bodies of water: Explorer k2 is made for smaller bodies of water including lakes and mild rivers

Kayaks can be expensive, and tandems are invariably more costly than single-seaters. This inflatable kayak from Intex is big enough to carry two average-sized adults but buying it won’t break the bank. Plus, being inflatable, it’s also easy to transport and store.

Key Features

  • Three-ply laminate construction with a polyester core
  • 10’ 3” x 39” x 20”
  • Weight 30lbs
  • Weight capacity 400lbs
  • Three air chambers
  • Two paddles
  • Fast-action pump
  • Removable seats
  • Removable skeg
  • Repair kit
  • Carry bag

With a weight capacity of just 400lbs, this kayak may not be buoyant enough to carry two adults and all their fishing gear. But, for one adult and a child, or even paddling solo, it’s a budget-friendly kayak that is quick to set up and easy to use.

Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Stable and robust
  • High vis color

Cons

  • Not big enough for two adults and fishing gear
  • Not suitable for rough or large bodies of water
  • No fishing-specific features.

This is the perfect kayak for anyone who wants to fish on smaller bodies of calm water. With no rod holders and minimal space, you won’t be able to carry a lot of fishing gear with you. But, for use just off a riverbank, it’s a cheap and easy way to get out on the water.

6. Lifetime Tandem 

Lifetime 10 Foot

$934.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

When it comes to kayak fishing, stability counts. You want a kayak that won’t tip you out, even if you lean over to one side to haul in your catch! This fishing kayak is wide and stable but still streamlined enough to glide smoothly through the water.

Key Features

  • 10’ x 36” x 20”
  • Made from high-density polyethylene
  • Weight 75lbs
  • Weight capacity 500lbs
  • W-shaped hull for improved tracking and stability
  • Three fishing rod holders
  • Molded multi-position footrests
  • Single rear waterproof storage hatch
  • Two paddles
  • Twin rod/paddle parks

At just 10’ long, this is a very compact tandem fishing kayak. There is next-to-no storage space, so you’ll need to travel light. If you like to carry a cooler, fishing tackle box, and other gear, this is not the kayak for you. However, it should be more than big enough for you and your equipment if you use it solo.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Very stable
  • Streamlined and easy to paddle
  • Very robust
  • Plenty of fishing-specific features

Cons

  • Not a lot of space for gear, especially with two paddlers

Because it’s small, this kayak is very maneuverable and easy to transport. But compactness comes at a price – very little storage space. That’s fine if you are going solo or are a minimalist but, for a lot of anglers, this kayak will be too small for comfort.

7. Wilderness

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • This best-selling tandem offers performance for pairs
  • Converts with ease to solo use for a great day on the water
  • Features a signature rounded hull that delivers swift acceleration, helping you paddle longer distances faster,
  • Phase 3 AirPro seats - fully adjustable, ergonomic seating with ventilated mesh to keep you cooler
  • Thigh and knee padding for comfortable support and optimal boat control.

Sit-in kayaks put you closer to the water and have a lower, more streamlined profile than sit-on or inflatable kayaks. This means you can travel further, faster, and with less effort. This model is more of a tourer than a tandem fishing kayak, but it could still be used for some recreational angling.

Key Features

  • 13’ 6” x 31” x 14”
  • Weight 72lbs
  • Weight capacity 500lbs
  • Rear watertight storage hatch
  • Semi-enclosed easy-access cockpit
  • Thigh and knee pads
  • Two adjustable seats
  • Multi-position footrests
  • Front deck bungees
  • Front and rear carry handles
  • Rudder ready (rudder not supplied)

With very little storage space, you’ll need to leave your cooler and tackle box at home if you fish from this kayak. Plus, you’ll need to bungee your rods in place as there are no rod or paddle parks either. But, if you’re more into touring than fishing, this is a very enjoyable kayak to paddle.

Pros

  • Streamlined and stable
  • Tracks very well
  • Glides effortlessly through the water
  • Comfortable seats
  • Easy to get in and out of

Cons

  • Not a fishing-specific kayak
  • Quite long so may be tricky to transport

The reason this kayak tracks so straight and glides smoothly is that it’s 13’ long. While that’s great for the water, it will make this model harder to transport and store. Make sure you have a suitable vehicle and plenty of space to store what is quite a big kayak.

8. Sevylor Coleman

Sevylor Coleman

$519.99
$367.86
 in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use , NMMA certified
  • 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover provide durable protection from punctures
  • Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
  • Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak
  • Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders are adjustable for enhanced hands-free fishing

While you can use almost any inflatable kayak for fishing, very few are made specifically for that purpose. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak breaks the mold and is tricked out with lots of handy fishing features. This is a REAL inflatable fishing kayak!

Key Features

  • Made from 18-gauge PVC with 1000D tarpaulin bottom
  • 10’ 9” x 39” x 11.6”
  • Weight 42lbs
  • Weight capacity 500lbs
  • Three air chambers
  • Two swivel and four molded fishing rod mounts
  • Paddle parks
  • Two removable adjustable seats
  • Mesh gear pockets
  • Forward and aft carry handles
  • Trolling motor mounts

If you are serious about kayak fishing but don’t have space to transport or store a rigid boat, this could be the model for you. It’s plenty big enough for two adults and their gear but deflates to fit in the trunk of a compact car. It’s rigid and robust enough for most water conditions.

Pros

  • Lots of handy fishing-related features
  • Very tough construction
  • Light and portable
  • Very stable

Cons

  • Pump and paddles not supplied

Inflatable kayaks are often viewed as less than ideal for fishing. They’re more recreational than they are functional. This kayak is made especially for fishing, and it’s a real alternative to less portable, more expensive rigid tandem fishing kayaks.

9. Hobie 2020

Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • Dual MirageDrive 180s + Turbo Kick-Up Fins
  • Vantage XT Seating provides the ultimate comfort control with 4-way adjustability and Boa lumbar support, front seat and pivot 180 degrees
  • 2 vertical rod holders, 10 horizontal rod holders; Two Piece Paddle and T-Handle
  • Rectangular hatch with pivoting tackle management system, large front hatch, and under-seat tackle storage

Fishing kayaks don’t come much better than this model from Hobie. It’s big and stable and equipped with everything you could need for long days out on the water. It even has a pedal drive system, so you can power yourself through the water without having to put your rod down.

Key Features

  • Made from rotomolded polyethylene
  • 17’ x 43” x 18”
  • Weight 244lbs
  • Weight capacity 900lbs
  • Dual peddle drive system with kick-up fins
  • Pivoting, adjustable seats
  • Two vertical and ten horizontal rod mounts
  • Under-seat storage areas
  • Three large-capacity watertight hatches
  • Battery shelf for trolling motor (not supplied)
  • Forward and aft carry handles
  • Large front covered storage hatch

This fishing kayak is designed for serious anglers. It’s got every feature you could possibly want in a fishing kayak. It can be fitted with a trolling motor or even a small sail, leaving you free to focus on catching fish.

Pros

  • Fully equipped
  • Hands-free operation
  • Suitable for open water
  • Very well-made

Cons

  • Heavy and long
  • Very expensive

You’ll need a trailer to transport this 244lbs fishing kayak; it’s far too heavy and big for any kind of roof rack. But, if you want a fishing kayak that’s almost substantial enough to be classed as a boat, this is the model for you.

10. Elkton

Elkton Outdoors

$1,599.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • BUILT TO LAST: Constructed with a rotomold injected body to ensure your kayak will never crack or puncture and will last for years to come!
  • EASY TO TRANSPORT: Two carry handles allow for convenient transportation. Fits easily in the bed of a truck or a trailer!
  • PLENTY OF STORAGE: An air tight compartment, two storage areas located on each end of the kayak along with a designated platform for ice chests means you will never have to leave anything at shore while using your fishing kayak!
  • ACCESSORIES: Includes everything you need to hit the water including two paddles, two seats, rod holders and bungee cords! All you need to do is find the lake!
  • DIMENSIONS: 12' 3" length x 3' wide; large enough for two people and all the gear you need!

Like most rotomolded polyethylene fishing kayaks, this model is light, strong, and all-but unsinkable. It’s loaded with fishing-specific features and comes with everything you need to get out on the water. This is a lovely fishing kayak!

Key Features

  • 12’ 2” x 36” x 14”
  • Weight 72lbs
  • Weight capacity 650lbs
  • EVA high-backed padded, removable seats
  • Two watertight storage hatches
  • Rear storage area with bungees
  • Forward, side, and rear carry handles
  • Paddle parks
  • Four molded rod holders
  • Two swivel rod mounts
  • Two paddles
  • Space for a large cooler/small extra passenger

This well-equipped sit-on fishing kayak is ready for the water! There is plenty of space for two adults and a reasonable amount of fishing gear. It’s a stable kayak that’s streamlined too, and suitable for most water conditions.

Pros

  • Lots of fishing-specific features
  • Fully equipped and ready for the water
  • Stable and streamlined
  • Made to last

Cons

  • Reviews suggest the seats are not especially comfortable

If you find the seats uncomfortable in this kayak, they are straightforward to remove and replace. This small issue aside, this kayak is well-made, well-priced, and enjoyable to use. It should provide many years of enjoyable fishing.

11. Wilderness Tarpon

Wilderness Systems Tarpon

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • Offers a fast and nimble tandem paddling experience while remaining stable
  • Each paddler has an a fully adjustable, premium seat and foot braces for a custom fit
  • A feature-rich kayak with dual dry storage hatches, cup holders and 2 SlideTrax accessory tracks
  • Boat length: 13' 6"
  • Boat weight: 88 lbs

While a fishing kayak needs to be stable, that doesn’t mean it has to be slow too! This model is perfect for lazy days out on the water but is also streamlined so you can get from A to B more quickly and easily.

Key Features

  • 13’ 6” x 34” x 14”
  • Weight 88lbs
  • Weight capacity 600lbs
  • Front and rear storage tankwell with bungee cords
  • Two watertight storage hatches
  • Side rails for extra accessory mounts
  • Adjustable seats
  • Molded drink holders
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Front and rear mesh gear storage pockets

This fishing kayak could just as easily be used for long-distance touring. It glides smoothly through the water with minimal effort, so you should have no problem seeking out hard to reach fishing spots quickly and easily.

Pros

  • Stable yet streamlined hull
  • Well-made and sturdy
  • Very comfortable seats

Cons

  • Fishing rod holders not supplied
  • Paddles not included

It’s a little odd that this fishing kayak does not have any built-in rod holders. But, with the fitted side rails, it’s easy enough to add your own and position them wherever you want. With plenty of space for two adults and their fishing gear, this is an excellent kayak for day-long fishing trips.

12. BKC TK181

BKC TK181

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 11, 2021 3:37 pm

Features

  • 7 Rod Holders: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak features 3 articulated fishing rod holders and 4 flush-mounted rod holders. Get multiple lines in the water at once and get more bites
  • Waterproof Storage Hatches: Stash a wallet, keys, snacks, and more in the twin watertight storage compartments, which are conveniently located between each paddler's legs
  • Twin Paddle Rests: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak features two secure paddle rests, so you can free up your hands without the risk of losing your paddles
  • Secure Cargo Area: An inset rear cargo area uses a secure bungee tie-down system so you can stash larger pieces of gear and extra clothing, lashed down for good measure
  • Multiple Carrying Handles: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak four carrying handles make overland transport almost as easy as paddling the Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak

Brooklyn Kayak Company (BKC) has been making kayaks for many years. Their products are high-quality, well-priced, and always fit for purpose. This tandem fishing kayak is perfect for lakes, rivers, and out on the ocean too.

Key Features

  • Made from rotomolded high-density polyethylene
  • 12’ 8” x 34” x 15”
  • Weight 68lbs
  • Weight capacity 595lbs
  • Rear storage tankwell with bungees
  • Four molded rod holders
  • Three swivel rod mounts
  • Two watertight storage hatches
  • Adjustable, removable seats
  • Paddle parks
  • Front and rear carry handles
  • Two paddles

This well-made kayak comes with all the accessories you need to get out on the water. The seven built-in fishing rod holders and space for tackle boxes and coolers mean you can relax and enjoy a full day out on the water.

Pros

  • Lots of fishing-specific features
  • Very well-made
  • Spacious and stable
  • Lots of storage areas
  • Large enough for two paddlers and a small passenger

Cons

  • Seats are not all that comfortable (easily replaced)

Supplied with seats and paddles, all you need is your life jacket, and you are ready to take this tandem fishing kayak out on the water. It’s built to last and should provide you with many enjoyable hours out on the water.

Key information

Consider the following before choosing and buying a tandem fishing kayak:

How do you paddle a tandem kayak?

6 people paddling on tandem kayaks

Paddling a tandem kayak can be tricky at first but gets easier with practice. As a rule, the rear paddler simply copies the person in front of them, and the front paddler dictates the rhythm. The rear paddler should do the majority of the steering, except when major course changes are required. Then, both paddlers will need to work together.

You may still find you go off course from time to time, but this should become less of an issue the more time you spend paddling with your partner.

Turning a tandem kayak requires a little more coordination. For best results, the person at the front should do a forward sweep stroke while the person on the back does a reverse sweep stroke on the opposite side. This will allow you to turn quickly.

Finally, you’ll find your kayak tracks straighter if you put the strongest paddler at the back.

Should the heaviest person sit in the front or back?

Ideally, your kayak should be level in the water, so the weight is distributed evenly. That said, if one person is heavier than the other, they should sit at the back. This will lift the nose of the kayak slightly and stop it from digging into the water.

What are the size options?

4 kayaks on a beach

Tandem kayaks are available in various sizes, from compact ten-footers up to 15 feet or longer. As a rule, longer kayaks are also narrower, which means they go faster and further with less effort. However, they are not usually as stable.

Shorter kayaks are wider and more stable, making them better for fishing. 12 feet is a fairly standard size for fishing kayaks. Make sure that your fishing kayak can comfortably hold you, your partner, and your equipment. If you or your paddling partner are tall or you want to carry a lot of equipment, a longer kayak may be better.

What are fishing kayaks made of?

close up of a fishing kayak hatch on the water

Kayaks can be made from a wide range of materials, including polyethylene, fiberglass, wood, PVC laminate, carbon fiber, and a combination of the above. The materials vary in strength, weight, and cost.

In terms of weight vs. ruggedness vs. cost, polyethylene is arguably the best material. It’s reasonably light and robust, resistant to the effects of UVA, and not too expensive. That’s why most rigid kayaks are made from polyethylene.

Are the seats adjustable?

Some kayaks have fixed seats. They are molded and part of the hull and fitted with a padded seat and back pad for comfort. These seat pads can be removed and replaced, which is handy if you want to upgrade.

Others have seats that can slide forward or backward. These are usually adjustable for angle too. Some even turn so you can position yourself to look sideways.

Seating comfort is very personal, and what one person likes, another may find intolerably uncomfortable. Some seats start off fine and then become uncomfortable after several hours on the water.

For this reason, if possible, it’s usually best to try before you buy. If this is not an option, sit on your kayak on dry land to determine if it’s comfortable, and return it unused if it is not.

Can a tandem kayak be used by one person?

kayak fisherman paddling at sunrise

Some tandem kayaks, especially the more compact models, can be used by one person.

A few models allow you to remove the seats and place on in the center of the craft for better weight distribution.

Longer kayaks, especially those without removable seats, can still be paddled by one person but will be hard to maneuver.

Where can you use a fishing kayak?

2_tandem_fishing kayaks in the ocean

In theory, a fishing kayak can be used on any body of water. However, if you’re after fish, quiet waters are usually best. This means slow-moving rivers, lakes, and calm seas. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a fishing kayak out in rougher waters, but you are unlikely to catch any fish. You’ll also need to make sure your gear is secured in case you capsize.

Bottom Line

While there is nothing wrong with casting your fishing line from the shore or riverbank, fishing from a kayak can add a whole new dimension to your angling adventures.

A tandem fishing kayak is easy to transport, store, and use, and some models are reasonably cheap. With no servicing required and minimal ongoing costs, fishing kayaks are ideal for anyone who wants a boat but doesn’t want the hassle or the expense of owning one.

There are many different types of tandem fishing kayaks to choose from, so there are models for everyone. Tandems are arguably the most versatile because they can be used by two people or just one, and there should be plenty of space for your gear too.

In terms of design, there are sit in and sit on kayaks, as well as inflatables and kayaks with foot-operated pedal drives to choose from.

Which is best?

That’s an impossible question to answer because it depends on your personal circumstances. For example, if you’ve got a large car or truck, or you own a trailer, and you’ve got plenty of storage space, a 14-foot rigid fishing kayak will be a good fit. But, if you have a compact car and live in an apartment, an inflatable would be a better choice. Check out our blog on how to tie down a kayak in a truck bed here.

So, set your budget, determine your needs, and then look for the kayak that best fits your circumstances. Whichever one you buy, you’re going to LOVE using it. Just don’t forget your life jacket!

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