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Up to date Jan 13, 2023 4:15 PM

There are numerous kayak choices which will suit your wants, however is a sit on prime kayak the very best for you? Virtually 50 years in the past, a southern California surfer named Tim Niemier designed a surfboard with a hollowed-out seat, and the sit on prime kayak was born. In 1988, Niemier began producing kayaks out of rotomolded plastic, growing availability and reducing prices, placing the boats within the palms (and underneath the butts) of anglers. It triggered a sea change in kayak fishing.

Because the historic Inuit, kayakers have fished out of their sit-inside touring kayaks, however Niemier’s sit on prime fishing kayak kicked off the trendy kayak fishing motion. Since then, sit on prime kayaks have grown in recognition. That will help you sift by way of the ocean of choices on-line, we selected our prime picks for the very best sit on prime kayaks.

How We Made Our Picks for the Greatest Sit On Prime Kayaks

Kayaks will be an costly funding, and with the value comes a number of concerns. With sit-on-top kayaks particularly, I primarily checked out performance for the supposed objective. Since these kayaks are supposed for extra informal and leisure actions like fishing, their sturdiness doesn’t essentially have to be to the usual of a whitewater kayak. When selecting the kayaks for this checklist, I appeared on the worth, ease of use, versatility, and projected longevity (when taken care of and saved appropriately).

Whereas having direct expertise with the merchandise listed is the objective, if I’ve but to make use of them myself, I seek the advice of somebody who has. Different components, comparable to industry-specific information of supplies, firm interviews, and verified buyer evaluations, additionally got here into play. Over time, we are going to add adjustments and updates to the very best sit-on-top kayak suggestions as extra boats will be examined and reviewed intimately.

Greatest Sit On Prime Kayaks: Evaluations and Suggestions

Greatest General: Wilderness Methods Tarpon 120

Greatest General

Why It Made The Lower: The Wilderness Methods Tarpon 120 kayak is a traditional and reliable sit on prime kayak with sturdy development and a useful setup that works effectively for quite a lot of actions.

Key Options

  • Weight: 63 lbs / 29 kg
  • Size: 12′ 3″
  • Capability: 350 lbs / 159 kg


  • Wonderful monitoring
  • Entrance hatch for dry storage
  • Works effectively for canines


  • The seat may very well be extra comfy and adjustable

On the daybreak of recent kayak fishing, there have been only some selections for sit-on-top kayaks. Wilderness Methods’ Tarpon 130 was one of many early favorites. Right now’s Tarpon has been up to date with fashionable options like gear tracks, a dry field, and a mesh coated tankwell to retailer fishing tools. Combining the consolation of a body seat with the efficiency of a low-profile seat, the AirProMax is elevated off the deck and coated in mesh to assist preserve you keep cool and dry. It weighs 63 kilos, making it simple to move and carry.

Greatest with a Pedal System: Hobie Mirage Compass

Greatest with a Pedal System

A kayak in light blue color in the body and black on the place where you can sit.

Why It Made The Lower: The Hobie Mirage Compass has a novel pedal system to make it simpler in your arms and higher for actions like fishing with nice maneuvering.

Key Options

  • Weight: 87 lbs / 39 kg
  • Size: 12′ 3″
  • Capability: 400 lbs / 181 kg


  • Straightforward to show
  • Ahead and reverse pedaling
  • Wonderful stability
  • Roomy cockpit


  • Doesn’t work effectively in shallow water

The Hobie Mirage Compass provides you the very best pedal system on a kayak with out spending some huge cash. The hull balances monitoring with maneuverability to go the space and get you into a decent fishing spot. It’s mild sufficient to cartop, and the molded-in bow, stern and aspect handles make it simple to maneuver the boat to the water. A cushty seat retains anglers fishing all day.

Hobie’s superior Mirage Drive 180 pedal system makes use of environment friendly and highly effective Kickup fins that spin 180 levels to go in reverse. When the drive or rudder hit an underwater rock, log, or the underside, they pop as much as clear the obstruction.

Greatest Kayak Boat: Jonny Boats Bass 100

Greatest Kayak Boat

A kayak in light blue color in the body and black on the place where you can sit captured from the front.

Why It Made The Lower: The Jonny Boats Bass 100 will remind you of a traditional paddle boat, simply with higher mobility, simpler storage, and the power to be motorized.

Key Options

  • Weight: 77 lbs / 35 kg
  • Size: 10′
  • Capability: 400 lbs / 181 kg


  • Options best for fishing
  • Customizable
  • Elective so as to add a motor
  • Very secure


  • Shorter than most kayaks, making the monitoring much less environment friendly

Based mostly on the long-lasting Jon boat, Jonny Boats Bass 100 is designed to be customizable or left primary. Like a kayak, the 10-foot-long rotomolded plastic boat is mild and simple to move. Alternatively, the extensive, secure hull has 400-pound capability to accommodate a fuel or electrical motor. The Jonny Boat retains rod holders, gear and electronics in simple attain from the elevated body seat. It is also secure sufficient so that you can stand on the padded deck and fish all day.

Greatest Finances: Vibe Yellowfin 120

Greatest Finances

A kayak captured from above and sideways in a military color.

Why It Made The Lower: The Vibe Yellowfin 120 is a well-liked fishing kayak because of the extra reasonably priced worth, options designed with fishing in thoughts, and simple to move.

Key Options

  • Weight: 65 lbs / 29 kg
  • Size: 12′
  • Capability: 400 lbs / 181 kg


  • Straightforward to move
  • Obtainable in a smaller measurement
  • Excellent options for fishing


  • Efficiency on the water received’t be nearly as good as different choices listed

The Vibe Yellowfin 120 isn’t like a kind of low-cost kayaks you see outdoors of basic sporting items shops. The traditional hull design is secure and environment friendly. Two flush-mount rod holders and a number of gear tracks present limitless choices for rigging. A high-quality, tremendous comfy body seat is on par with dearer boats. A big V-hatch within the bow holds fishing rods and equipment under deck.

Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for the Greatest Sit On Prime Kayaks

Sit on prime kayaks now are available lots of of sizes, kinds, and kinds. You possibly can select to paddle, pedal or, motorize the kayak. You will get one designed for velocity, or for mobility, or for a compromise between the 2.

When selecting the very best sit on prime kayak for fishing, ask your self three questions:

The place will I fish?

How will I fish?

How will I retailer and transport the kayak?

Should you plan to fish sheltered waters solely a brief distance from the launching level, then a light-weight paddle kayak could also be your best option. If you’re seeking to cowl distance and fish open water, take into consideration an extended, narrower kayak.

Do you make a thousand casts in the hunt for a trophy catch? Then a standup kayak is your alternative. For fishing on the go, take a look at a pedal kayak.

Are you seeking to have your cake and eat it too? Then you definately’ll love the motorized sit on prime kayak.

Do you reside in an house and drive a compact automobile? A light-weight sit on prime kayak is best for you.

Measurement and Weight

To various levels, a sit on prime fishing kayak is light-weight, adaptable, and simple to keep up and retailer. To excel in all three classes, a 12- to 13-foot paddle kayak is your best option. Right here’s why:

A paddle kayak is lighter and simpler to move (and cheaper) than a pedal or motor kayak.

A brief kayak is extra maneuverable whereas an extended kayak will likely be quicker. A 12 to 13 foot sit on prime kayak provides the paddler the very best of each worlds. The very best sit on prime kayak has a large sufficient hull to offer stability however a beam that’s slender sufficient to make for environment friendly paddling.

A kayak that weighs lower than 80 kilos and is sufficiently small to retailer in a storage or a nook of the yard is most handy, and most 12 to 13 foot sit on prime paddle kayaks examine that field.

The topside needs to be rigged with gear tracks and fishing rods for grab-and-go fishing. Anglers seeking to customise the boat with electronics, storage and rod holders respect open areas and flat areas to mount accent bases with storage for fishing tools.

Most significantly, a sit on prime kayak is comfy for all day fishing. The seat helps the decrease again and butt for a extra highly effective paddle stroke whereas draining water and drying rapidly.

As a result of fishing is extra enjoyable with a pal, many anglers need a two individual kayak referred to as a tandem kayak. A tandem sit on prime kayak for fishing options two comfy seats spaced far sufficient aside to permit each anglers to solid and land fish. Or, one individual paddles whereas the opposite casts. Be certain that the tandem kayak has room for gear in each the strict and bow. Some tandem kayaks will be remodeled right into a single-seat kayak for solo fishing journeys.

Get essentially the most out of your kayaking expertise with our favourite kayak paddles.

Distinctive Options and Designs

Shortly after the introduction of the sit on prime fishing kayak, Hobie made the daring transfer so as to add a pedal system to propel the boat. The thought caught on and at present many producers supply pedal-powered kayaks. As a substitute of paddling, the driving force pumps pedals along with his legs to show a propeller or flap flippers.

A pedal system is extra environment friendly and quicker than paddling and permits anglers to fish whereas they go. Pedal methods additionally let anglers carry extra fishing tools with a heavier, extra secure boat. A pedal boat makes use of a extra comfy elevated body seat that makes it simpler to face. This additionally makes getting into and exiting the kayak simpler. Anybody seeking to get a kayak for severe fishing will want a pedal-powered sit on prime kayak.

Lately, a number of firms have launched “kayak boats,” or sit on prime kayaks designed to be rigged with a motor system. These are small kayaks that may be paddled and transported and not using a trailer, however massive sufficient to assist an electrical or fuel outboard. The cockpits on these are massive sufficient to permit an angler to face up. If you’d like a kayak with boat-like qualities, search for one with a large, secure hull with massive capability to accommodate the load of the motor or gasoline tank.


As fishing kayak designs enhance, the very best options and efficiency can now be discovered on a finances. Finances kayaks or used kayaks are additionally the very best for learners. Should you can add your individual rod holders, gear tracks, and different options, then it can save you cash and nonetheless get an incredible sit on prime kayak.

Finances kayaks typically have the identical hull and cockpit design as a dearer mannequin with fewer included equipment. A finances kayak often has a less complicated seat that’s nonetheless comfy. You could have to surrender a padded deck and bow hatch, however you may nonetheless get a well-appointed fishing kayak for brief day journeys with restricted sort out and equipment.


Q: What’s higher, a sit in or sit on kayak?

Sit in kayaks supply extra inside cupboard space and higher efficiency in a lighter boat. Sit on kayaks are extra secure, extra comfy and simpler to entry and exit. Sit on prime kayaks additionally supply extra choices for rigging with rod holders and different equipment. Most anglers discover a sit on prime kayak higher for fishing.

Q: What’s the greatest sit on prime kayak?

The reply is determined by the place you’ll fish and the way you’ll transport the kayak. Search for high quality development with powerful elements. A cushty seat permits all-day fishing and a secure hull makes it attainable to face and fish. Anglers like to hold plenty of sort out and equipment, so the very best sit on prime kayak for fishing has a big space within the stern for a gear crate, kayak cooler or livewell. Gear tracks and flat areas make it simple so as to add equipment and electronics.

Q: What measurement kayak ought to I get for my top?

Physique measurement and weight matter for a sit-on-top kayak, however not a lot for a sit on prime. Sit on prime kayaks have adjustable seats and foot pegs to accommodate anglers of varied heights.

Q: Can you employ a sit on prime kayak on a river?

Sure, you need to use a sit on prime kayak on a river, particularly in case you are utilizing it for fishing. Sit on prime kayaks should not designed for quick flowing water or rapids, however in sluggish transferring rivers, they are often very useful and maneuverable.

Q: How a lot weight can a sit on prime kayak maintain?

How a lot weight a sit on prime kayak can maintain is determined by the general development and design. On common, sit on prime kayaks have a weight capability starting from 350-400 lbs.

Closing Ideas on the Greatest Sit On Prime Kayaks

The very best sit on prime kayaks can carry plenty of fishing gear and preserve all of it in simple attain. That alone is a cause to go together with a sit on prime fishing kayak, however there are a number of different issues to think about earlier than you buy one. Even should you couldn’t discover the proper kayak for you on our checklist, we hope you need to use our purchasing concerns to slender down the checklist. If you’re a newbie or on a finances, we at all times suggest used choices as effectively.

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