Choosing The Best Kayak for Rivers Fishing

Fishing kayaks for the river are different from sea kayaks. When choosing a kayak for use in a river, the preferences change significantly. This is because water in a river is not calm and sometimes it may toss your kayak.

The following are some qualities of good river kayaks.

This is a very important factor. As a matter of fact, rivers are not as wide as lakes or the ocean. This means that your kayak length should be easily manageable. Be sure to get a kayak that can easily turn at any point on the river. The length recommended for river kayaks is 13 feet and below. Shorter kayaks turn very easily and change positions as well. All the products that have been reviewed in this section meet the standard.

  1. Ease of maneuvering.

This is the key quality of any kayak that is meant to be used in the river. Rivers tend to have waves and sometimes secluded spots where fish hide most of the times. A kayak that can easily maneuver helps in gaining the most out of river fishing. the products that have been reviewed have the capability to maneuver easily in rivers.

  1. Storage capacity.

As a fisherman, you need sufficient space to keep your catch.  The products we reviewed have enough space to keep your fish. Some of the storage compartments can even be used as freezers.  Our review explores products that can be relied on in terms of storage space.

A good fishing kayak for the river will have some mechanism that eases its transportability from the river to your car or home. the traditional kayaks may occupy a lot of space. The inflatable kayaks are also good since they can be folded and kept in a bag for easy transporting.

Top 5 Fishing Kayaks for the River Reviews

1).  Driftsun voyager 2- person inflatable kayak

This product serves well for people who would like to experience smooth kayaking without having stress on where to store a bulky traditional kayak in their home. it is artistically designed to provide enough stability and comfort as you enjoy fishing from all the sports in the rivers, streams, and lakes. This product poses stiff competition and boasts of a variety of accessories that make it a comprehensive package. Its sporty look will make you look forward to the next fishing experience.

It comes with a bunch of accessories.

These are items that help to make working with this product easy. They include a travel bag in which the kayak can be folded into after use. This bag also helps in protecting the kayak from possible damage that may occur if left uncovered. The second item is a deluxe hand pump.  This facilitates inflating the kayak in preparation for use. The third item is a removable tracking skeg for directional stability.


  • It is easy to set up and take down after use,
  • It is easy to maneuver. Its small size makes this possible,
  • It is portable and light,
  • It is durable and strong,
  • It does not leak or rip easily,
  • It has a reliable performance record for choppy and calm waters,
  • It is comfortable with seats and back support.


  • In case of a serious puncture, it may pose danger to the user.

Features and specifications:

  • It weighs 27lbs,
  • It has removable seats that have good back support for ultimate comfort,
  • It has adjustable paddles that are made of aluminum for strength,
  • It is constructed using tough PVC material for durability. The nylon fabric cover is rip resistant,
  • It has Boston valves that help in deflating and inflating,
  • It can hold up to 450lbs recommended weight,
  • It comes with a repair kit for emergencies,
  • It has a rear drain for emptying and cleaning.

This product is pricey but it has a good performance history.

It can be used in rivers, streams, and lakes. It is a great gift idea too.

2).  Vibe kayaks skipjack 90

This kayak is small, which makes it a perfect choice for the river. It is an item whose service you will never regret. For adventure enthusiasts, it is an essential that you will always have on your packing list every time you are going out. This kayak is a good fit for people who like going fishing in the rivers.

It is easy to maneuver.

Fishing in a river can be hectic if you have a long kayak which gives you a hard time when trying to make turns. Some rivers are not so wide and deep. This means that your kayak must be small to fit in. this kayak allows you to maneuver easily as you avoid rocks that may be disastrous to your boat. It will also allow you to get into the secluded spots where fish hide most of the times.

Features and specifications.

  • It is 9- foot long,
  • It weighs 46 pounds,
  • It has 4 grip handles on both sides for transportation,
  • It has 4 rod holders,
  • It has a seat,
  • It comes with a paddle,
  • It holds up to 300 pounds of weight,
  • It has built-in footrests.



  • It is easy to set up and take down,
  • It is highly stable on the water,
  • It is light and portable,
  • It is small, which makes it easy to transport even in vehicles,
  • It is perfect for beginners,
  • It is a compact piece,
  • It comes with all accessories such as plugs and paddles,
  • It has a storage compartment that is already lined to prevent your valuables from getting wet.


  • Its small size reduces the storage space. May not be suitable for people who bring in a lot of stuff,
  • The seat is not firm and keeps on sliding. This may make it difficult for you to fish comfortably.

This product is affordable and delivers value for your money.

This product is suitable for people who like going to fish alone. It is also good for use on rivers due to its small size and ability to maneuver. It can be a perfect gift.

3).  Brooklyn Kayak company- BKC UH-TK 181

This product is great for the river, with features that make it sturdy and maximize its capability to remain stable even when the water tries to act up. It is good for any fishing outing in the river with enough space to carry some essentials that you may require.

It has quality aluminum paddles.

Fishing in a river can never be successful paddles. This is because the kayak needs a lot of directional control. The paddles are made of aluminum which makes them strong and able to weather the moving water.

Features and specifications.

  • It comes with two quality seats,
  • It has 7 fishing holders with three of them flush mounted for stability and 4 of them adjustable,
  • It has many storage compartments, all of which are waterproof,
  • It has four carrying handles,
  • It weighs 85 pounds,
  • It has a beam measuring 34 inches for enhanced stability,
  • It holds up to 450 pounds weight,
  • It is designed with 2 paddle rests,
  • Comes with a 5-year comprehensive warranty.


  • One can fish in a river without getting wet,
  • It is strong and durable, cannot be damaged by rocks,
  • It is highly spacious with more than two storage compartments and sufficient leg room for 2,
  • It is beautifully designed,
  • It tracks and maneuvers so well,
  • It is comfortable, with deluxe seats and back support,
  • It has enough rods to facilitate seamless fishing,
  • It is highly stable in water and won’t topple over,
  • It is easy to transport, with multiple handles on both sides


  • It can be very heavy to load after use,
  • It is large and does not save on space.

This product is a bit pricey but it is worth the money. An investment you can never regret having.

Due to its strength and stability, it is recommended for those who love fishing in the river. It is also a perfect idea for a gift.

4).  Lifetime fishing kayak with paddle (Payette 116 angler)

This kayak is not so aesthetically appealing but its performance is unbeatable. It is simply wired to make your fishing in the river easy, fun and comfortable. With excellent ability to maneuver well in lagoons and rivers, you can be assured that your fishing experience is going to be redefined. It has all the features you need to have a fantastic time out in the river.

It is made of High-Density Polyethylene.

This makes it strong enough to endure hitting against rocks and pebbles. With this, you will have no reason to worry about cracking or chipping. The material is strengthened to promote durability. The Polyethylene is also UV- protected to ensure that it does not fade when it is left out in the sun for long.

Features and specifications.

  • It has a large open cockpit,
  • It is fitted with one seat,
  • It has a storage compartment,
  • Eat has handlers for easy transportation,
  • It has 1 fishing rod holder and 2 pole holders,
  • It has a high-quality paddle that allows you to direct the kayak with ease,
  • Its footrest positions are changeable for different user sizes.


  • It has plenty of storage space, even to the open cockpit,
  • It is versatile, it can be used by people of different sizes,
  • It can be easily transported,
  • It has a seat for comfort while fishing,
  • It has a flat bottom which enhances stability,
  • It is strong and durable.


  • It is not completely leak proof.

It is a pricey product but there are negligible complains about it. It performs so well

This is a great item to gift a loved one. It is also great on rivers and will help you enjoy your fishing sessions.

5). Sun Dolphin Bali SS sit-on-top kayak

This product is made by the legendary Sun Dolphin company which is well known for high quality, excellent performing fishing products. The kayak is meant with a special focus on river and lake fishing enthusiasts. This product has been on the market for a while and it has won customer trust with its incredible performance.

It has a portable accessory carrier.

This can be used as a tag along towing system for hooking up with another kayak. It is widely used by parents place their kids on a different kayak but in the same river or lake.  It helps them to closely monitor their children’s activity as they fish or workout. The portable accessory carrier can also be used as a backpack or an extra storage space. This feature makes this product very convenient and cost-effective at the same time.

 Features and specifications.

  • It is constructed using High-Density Fortiflex polyethylene which makes it strong and durable,
  • It has a storage compartment that keeps your belongings dry during fishing,
  • It has an open cockpit that allows easy entry into the kayak,
  • It weighs 40 pounds,
  • It measures 10 by 10 by 10 inches,
  • It can carry a load of 395lbs,
  • It has adjustable footrests for use by people of different heights,
  • It has scupper plugs that help in draining the kayak. The holes aid during cleaning as well,
  • It has the self-bailing


  • It is easy to clean,
  • It is versatile in that it can be used by people of different sizes and in different types of waters,
  • It has plenty of storage space where you can put your belongings and extra baggage,
  • It does not fade, chip or break easily. It is strong and durable,
  • It is beautifully designed,
  • It is comfortable to use,
  • It does not leak water inside,
  • It can be used by people who need to exercise besides recreation,
  • It is stable on water, flamboyant and maneuvers easily.


  • It does not come with fish pole holders,
  • One may not be able to stand on it,
  • Loading it after use can be cumbersome due to heaviness.

This product is affordable.

The product is good for people who love kayaking in rivers and lakes.

When it comes to selecting a river fishing kayak it can be a little hard. You have a huge variety of options available and that does make it tougher to make the right decision. However, anyone can make the right choice when they know a few things about fishing kayaks and river fishing.

Pedal or Paddle

You have two options when it comes to steering the kayak – paddle and pedal – and the choice you make can have a huge bearing on your success. For instance most people who tend to go further out often find pedal works better than paddling simply because they aren’t as tired. However, if you are opting for river fishing then usually paddles are going to work best. You don’t always go too far out in the rivers so you aren’t traveling great distances.

Sit In or Sit On

There are different types of kayaks as most will know and if you want to find a good kayak for the river you have to know what you like better. Sit in and sit on top kayaks are great but they aren’t for everyone. There are going to be some who will say the sit on top isn’t right for them because they don’t feel they are safe; then again, there will be others who say the sit in isn’t roomy enough. It can vary but that is why you have to give serious thought and consideration over what is the most suitable for your fishing needs.

River Fishing Is Different From Ocean Fishing

However, most people forget that rivers are completely different from oceans and you have to know your limits. Rivers are usually a lot calmer and don’t often run into high swells or trouble waters meaning a river kayak is going to be a lot different from the one used in oceans.

This is something most forget but it can be important to remember because river fishing can be fun but if you don’t use the right kayaks you will end up wasting money. Take your time to understand what you need before making a purchase.

The Advanced Elements AE1012-R Inflatable Kayak

One of top kayaks has to be the Pelican Premium Intrepid 100x. This is perfect for rivers and very strong and tough indeed. Though, the kayak isn’t overly costly which is very useful since most people are working with a limited budget. However, it is a nice little kayak and one which is going to remain at the top of its game for the upcoming years.

The padded seat is a really nice feature and certainly very comfortable as well. The seat is also adjustable and this is going to be something every angler will enjoy too. Though, most anglers are going to find the kayak very positive and will enjoy heading out onto the river.

This is one of the simplest kayaks to set up also. Once you inflate it, you need to place the seat into its position and you are good to go! Yes, that is it and that has to be what makes this one of the really good kayaks for river fishing. It isn’t too tough and super simple to get onto the river.