If you are new to fishing kayaks, you might be amazed at the sure variety of kayaks on the market. There is seemingly no end to the variety but they generally come down to two types, sit in kayaks and sit on kayaks. Choose one of these two types and you are well on your way to narrowing down the selection.
Which Is Best?
A case can be argued for both types of kayaks and a definitive answer based on facts can not really be given. Because of this, I am going to give you an opinion, one that is shared by a lot of kayakers.
In my opinion, the best choice is a Sit On Top fishing kayak. They have a number of advantages, especially on a fishing vessel. Here are a few things to consider.
Launching Is Simple
For a new kayaker, it can be difficult to launch a sit inside kayak. Sit on tops are much easier because they allow you to simply place the kayak in the water, straddle it and sit down.
Easy On & Off
Not only are these kayaks easy to launch, they are also easier to get on and off. This includes not only launching and dismounting on land but also into water. If you want to get on and off of your kayak while in the water, it is much easier with a sit on top. This might mean if you want to take a quick dip to cool off or it might mean falling in. In any case, if you end up off of your yak while in the water, sit ons are much easier to get back into.
A sit on top will also be self bailing. They will have what is called scupper holes that allow water to drain out of the kayak automatically. This self bailing feature is convenient and it helps to make the sit on top unsinkable
A sit inside yak can be very restrictive, especially for those with longer legs. With a sit on top you are not confined in a small space and can stretch your legs a bit. Some are even stable enough to allow you to stand up in them.
An argument can definitely be made that sit on top fishing kayaks are much safer to operate. This is especially true to those new to the sport. This is because sit ons are much easier to climb back onto while in the water. In addition, the sealed construction of the kayak makes the boat unsinkable.
In general, a sit on top will be cheaper than a sit in kayak. Manufacturing methods make them much cheaper to produce so they can be offered for lower prices. Yes, a sit on top kayak can cost thousands of dollars but you can also get an entry level kayak for under 200 dollars. You would never find a sit in kayak for that price.
In general, a sit on top kayak is going to be much more stable. They are generally wider which makes them less tippy which is important when you are fishing and need to concentrate on landing that fish. In addition, many sit ons are designed to allow you to stand which is a huge benefit when working the shoreline.
Higher Load Capacity
Being wide, stable and sealed, a sit on kayak can usually carry more gear. When fishing, you are probably carrying a lot of gear, so this is important. A sit on fishing kayak will be able to handle the load and not ride low in the water. This means that you can have all of your gear and still have a kayak that handles well in the water.
More Propulsion Options
Another great benefit, if you want to keep your hands free for fishing. Many sit on kayaks will have available pedal or foot powered propulsion systems. This can make fishing more enjoyable and limit fatigue. Your legs, being larger muscles will be able to work much harder without getting tired.
The aftermarket is huge for sit on top fishing kayaks and this will allow you to customize your kayak to suit your individual needs much better. Add gear racks, pole mounts, cameras, rudders, anchors and much more easily and relatively cheaply.
Last Word On Sit On Top Kayaks
That is it, that is my case as to why sit on top fishing kayaks are best. There are so many advantages that they just blow sit ins out of the water. The only real advantage that I could see with a sit inside kayak is that it allow some protection from water and weather. This is something that can easily be counted by dressing appropriately for the conditions at hand.
If I was you and I was looking for a good fishing kayak, I would go sit in all of the way.