Are Inflatable Kayaks Good For Fishing? Comparing Pros & Cons

Are you seeking a convenient and affordable way to enjoy kayak fishing adventures? Then an inflatable kayak may be the quickest solution you need. With their air chambers and easy-to-use pump, these kayaks offer portability like no other. 

But are inflatable kayaks good for fishing? Yes, inflatable kayaks are good for fishing. They can be excellent for fishing due to their portability, accessibility to remote spots, affordability, and suitability for different water bodies.

Now, concerned about the quality of fishing kayaks? No worries, there are numerous high-quality options available in the market that won’t disappoint you. Inflatable kayaks, in particular, are favored by many anglers for their comfortable ride and cost-effective alternative to hard-shell kayaks.

The main goal of this article is to explore whether inflatable kayaks are good for fishing or not. To do so, we’ll compare their advantages and limitations from a fishing perspective. Additionally, we’ll discuss the 7 tips & tricks for mastering kayak fishing from an inflatable kayak. 

Now let’s dive in!

Discussing Are Inflatable Kayaks Good For Fishing or Not.

Why would someone fish from an inflatable kayak?

Fishing from an inflatable kayak can be a rewarding experience. The exceptional portability allows anglers to access remote fishing spots effortlessly. Besides, beginner-friendly features make it suitable for anglers of all skill levels, and versatility accommodates other activities like kayak camping and touring.

Inflatable kayaks have a sleek design that helps them move smoothly through the water, giving you excellent control. This allows anglers to position themselves precisely where the fish are, making it easier to catch them.

Advantages of Fishing From an Inflatable Kayak

Fishing enthusiasts love inflatable kayaks because they are becoming more and more popular. These kayaks are portable and easy to carry, making them a versatile and practical choice for fishing. They offer many advantages that suit all kinds of anglers, from beginners to experts. 

Let’s explore why these kayaks are so appealing for fishing adventures.

Quiet and Stealthy

Discussing how quiet and stealthy are inflatable kayaks.

If you’re the type of angler who enjoys a little peace and quiet while you cast your line, an inflatable kayak is definitely the way to go. These boats are incredibly stealthy. So, you’ll be able to sneak up on fish without them being any the wiser. 

And because they’re so quiet, you won’t have to worry about disturbing the natural habitat or scaring off potential catches.

Accessibility to Remote Areas

Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry, which is a big advantage for fishermen. They allow you to reach remote areas that larger boats or hard-shell kayaks can’t access. 

You can explore quiet spots like secluded coves, shallow rivers, and hidden lakes where fish are undisturbed by noisy boats. 

This gives you a better chance of catching fish in peaceful, unspoiled surroundings.

Lightweight Maneuverability

Inflatable kayaks are easy to control in the water because they are light and move smoothly. Their streamlined shape lets them easily navigate tight spots like narrow channels or overhanging plants. This makes it simple for anglers to get close to where the fish are and cast their lines accurately.

Versatility In Different Water Conditions

Inflatable kayaks offer remarkable versatility. Whether you prefer calm lakes, flowing rivers, or even venturing into ocean bays, these kayaks can handle everything. 

And their durable construction and multiple air chambers provide stability and buoyancy on various types of water bodies. 

Easy transportation and storage

Deflating an inflatable kayak.

One of the major advantages of using an inflatable kayak for fishing is its easy transportation and storage. Unlike traditional kayaks, inflatable kayaks can be deflated and folded into a compact size. This makes them incredibly convenient to transport. 

Whether you have a small car or limited storage space at home, these kayaks can easily fit in your trunk or closet without taking up much room. This portability allows you to explore various fishing spots without any hassle.


Inflatable kayaks are cheaper than regular kayaks, which is great for anglers on a budget. Depending on the type and features, they mostly cost anywhere from $200 to $1000. 

So, you can enjoy fishing on the water without spending too much money.

Limitations of Fishing in an Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable kayaks are great for fishing and offer many benefits, like being easy to carry, getting to remote spots, affordability, and being user-friendly. However, there are a few things to think about before buying one. They have some limitations that you should be aware of when buying one!

Limited Weight Capacity

One major downside of fishing in an inflatable kayak is its limited weight capacity. Unlike hard-shell kayaks that can handle heavier loads, inflatable kayaks have a lower weight limit. This can be a problem for anglers who carry a lot of gear or fish with a friend. You have to be careful about the gear you bring so you don’t go over the kayak’s limit. 

Also, fishing with a partner might not be possible if you both, along with your gear, exceed the maximum weight the kayak can hold.

Vulnerability to Punctures

An inflatable kayak got punctured.

Another drawback of fishing in an inflatable kayak is that it can be easily punctured. Although modern inflatable kayaks are built to withstand tough conditions, they can still be damaged by sharp objects like hooks or rocks. Anglers need to be careful when handling fishing equipment and avoid dragging hooks on the kayak’s surface.

So, it’s important to pick fishing spots wisely, avoiding areas with sharp underwater objects that could puncture the kayak.

Less Stability Compared to Hard-Shell Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are less stable than hard-shell kayaks, which can affect your balance while fishing, especially in rough waters or strong currents. If you’re used to hard-shell kayaks, getting used to the less stable feeling of an inflatable kayak might take time. 

So, while inflatable kayaks may have less stability, you can still get the hang of it and enjoy your fishing adventures.

And with practice, many anglers learn how to stay balanced, even in challenging conditions. 

What You Need to Know About Fishing From an Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable kayaks are a great option for fishing, as they provide a stable platform and can be easily transported to different fishing spots. However, it would be best if you kept a few things in mind when fishing from an inflatable kayak.

Inflating an inflatable kayak.

First, always make sure your kayak is properly inflated before getting in. It’s also important to wear a life jacket and secure all of your gear so it doesn’t get lost overboard.

When paddling to your fishing spot, be mindful of the wind and currents so you don’t end up going off course. Once you’re in position, use the anchor system on your kayak to keep yourself stationary.

Now it’s time to start fishing! If you’re using live bait, make sure to keep it fresh by keeping it in a cooler or aerated live well. And finally, always practice catch and release when possible to help preserve our fisheries.

The 7 Tips and Tricks for Fishing From an Inflatable Kayak

If you’re an angler, who loves to fish but wants to spend less money on a kayak, an inflatable kayak is a great option. Inflatable kayaks are affordable, easy to transport and store, and can be just as stable and comfortable as traditional kayaks.

Here are some essential tips for fishing from an inflatable kayak:

Pack Light And Smart

Due to the limited weight capacity of inflatable kayaks, it’s crucial to pack only the essentials. Opt for lightweight fishing gear and prioritize the items you’ll need the most. Consider using compact tackle boxes and collapsible fishing rods to save space and reduce weight. 

Bring the Basics

In addition to fishing gear, you should always bring a few basic items. This includes a first-aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, flares, and a whistle in case of emergency. Remember to pack lunch, snacks, and plenty of water for a full day on the water. Depending on the weather conditions, consider bringing extra layers, such as rain gear or warm clothing.

Keep Items Secure

When packing your inflatable kayak with gear and supplies, make sure everything is secured properly. Tighten any straps or bungee cords that are holding items in place so they don’t come loose during your paddling adventure. Also, be sure to store any food or toiletries in waterproof containers or bags to keep them dry.

Be Mindful Of Your Surroundings

When you’re out on the water, it’s important always to be aware of your surroundings. This means being aware of the weather conditions, the other boats around you, and any obstacles in the water.  

It’s also important to be aware of the local laws and regulations. Make sure you know the boating speed limits and any other rules that apply in the area you’re boating in. This will ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Use Tethering Or Anchoring

In windy conditions or areas with strong currents, consider using a kayak anchor or a tethering system to keep your kayak in place while fishing. This will allow you to focus on fishing without drifting away unintentionally. 

Both systems provide kayakers with some security and stability when fishing from their kayaks.

Mind Your Casting Technique

Mastering your casting technique is essential in the confined space of an inflatable kayak. Practice casting in different directions to ensure your line doesn’t get tangled with the kayak or other fishing gear. 

Here are a few tips to help you mind your casting technique:

1. Use a lighter rod and reel combo: Inflatable kayaks are less stable than traditional kayaks, so you’ll want to use a lighter rod and reel combo that won’t weigh you down.

2. Don’t overcast: When casting from an inflatable kayak, be sure not to overcast. This can lead to your line tangled in the kayak or the water.

3. Use a shorter rod: A shorter rod will give you more control when casting from an inflatable kayak.

4. Practice your casts before heading out on the water: As with anything, practice makes perfect! Be sure to practice your casts before heading out on the water so that you can avoid any accidents or mishaps.

Use The Right Bait And Lures

If you’re hoping to catch a fish while kayak fishing, it’s important that you use the right bait and lures. Depending on the type of fish you’re trying to catch, you’ll need to use different baits and lures. Do some research on the type of fish you’re hoping to catch, and then choose the right bait or lure accordingly.

One general tip is to use brighter baits and lures if you’re fishing in murky water – the brighter colors will be easier for the fish to see. Another tip is to use smaller baits and lures if you’re fishing in waters with lots of small fish – the smaller bait will appeal to the larger fish you’re hoping to catch.

Whatever bait or lure you choose, make sure that it’s properly secured to your kayak so that you don’t lose it (and your money!) while out on the water.

Learn How To Stabilize Your Kayak

To make your inflatable kayak more stable, put heavy items like a cooler or tackle box near the center of the kayak. This way, the weight is evenly distributed, and you reduce the chance of tipping over while fishing.

If you plan to tackle rough waters, consider getting a wide-stance kayak like the Innova Swing II with an extra-wide hull for better stability.

Also, learn proper paddling techniques. Sit correctly with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and knees slightly bent. This helps you control the kayak and avoid tipping over. When paddling, lean into each stroke and use your core muscles for power.

Lastly, practice self-rescue techniques like the Eskimo roll or wet exit. If your kayak does tip over, knowing these techniques will help you get back in the boat safely or call for help. These tips will make your fishing trips on an inflatable kayak safe and enjoyable.

Carry Repair Kit

No matter how experienced you are, things can always go wrong when you’re out on the water. That’s why carrying a repair kit with you is essential whenever you set off in your inflatable kayak.

At the very minimum, your kit should include the following:

  • A pump for inflating your kayak
  • A spare paddle in case yours breaks
  • A dry bag to keep everything else dry

Of course, you can always add other items to your kit as well, such as a fishing net or first aid supplies. The key is to be prepared for anything that might happen while you’re enjoying a day out on the water.

Reviewing the 3 Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

Fishing in an inflatable kayak is a fantastic experience! These boats are versatile and easy to carry, making them perfect for anglers of all levels. Whether you’re exploring new waters or fishing in your favorite spot, inflatable kayaks are a great choice.

We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for the best option. Here are reviews of the top 3 inflatable fishing kayaks available right now. Keep reading to find the perfect one for your fishing adventures.

#1 Sea Eagle 370

Reviewing the Sea Eagle 370 inflatable kayak.

The Sea Eagle 370 is a highly regarded inflatable kayak that has gained popularity among fishing enthusiasts. With its durable construction and impressive performance, it is no wonder why this kayak is considered one of the top choices for anglers. 

This kayak is specifically designed for fishing, and it comes with all the features you need to make your fishing trips successful.

Let’s dive into the features and benefits that make the Sea Eagle 370 stand out from the rest.

The first thing you’ll notice about the 370 is its large size. It’s 12 feet long and 3 feet wide, which gives you plenty of room to move around and store all your gear. The kayak also has a 400-pound weight capacity, so it can easily accommodate two people and all their gear.

The 370 is made from durable PVC material, so it can withstand rough waters and repeated use. It also has an inflatable floor and inflatable seat cushions, so you’ll be comfortable even if you spend all day on the water.

The kayak comes with two paddles, a foot pump, a repair kit, and a storage bag, so you have everything you need to get started. And when you’re ready to pack up, the kayak deflates quickly and easily so you can store it in your trunk or closet.

Additional Features of Sea Eagle 370

In addition to its core features, the Sea Eagle 370 offers several noteworthy extras that enhance the fishing experience. Let’s dive into them.

These include:

  • Two removable inflatable seats for added comfort during long hours on the water.
  • Multiple D-rings and bungee cords for securing gear and accessories.
  • A drain valve for easy water removal after a successful day of fishing.
  • A repair kit for quick fixes in case of minor damages.

#2 Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012

Reviewing the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012.

If you’re searching for a top-notch inflatable kayak for fishing, look no further than the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame AE1012. This kayak is perfect for serious anglers, offering ample storage space and features that make fishing a breeze.

The AE1012 boasts a strong aluminum frame that keeps it stable on the water while still being lightweight and easy to carry. It comes with fishing rod holders, a fish finder mount, and an anchor system, giving you everything you need for a successful fishing trip. You can add more gear with an optional accessories package with a trolling motor and batteries.

With all these great features, the AE1012 is one of the best inflatable kayaks for fishing available. If you’re serious about catching fish from your kayak, this is the one for you!

Let’s dive into some additional features that make fishing even better with this kayak:

Built-in Aluminum Ribs

The kayak has aluminum ribs in the bow and stern, which improve how it moves on the water. These ribs make the kayak more stable, especially in rough waters.

High-Back Seat

The kayak has a comfy high-back seat that gives great support during long fishing trips. You can adjust the seat to find the most comfortable position for fishing.

Paddle Holder

A holder on the side keeps your paddle secure while you fish or cast your line. This way, you have your hands free when needed.

Tracking Fin

The kayak comes with a tracking fin that you can easily attach. This fin helps the kayak stay on course and makes it easier to paddle straight.

#3 Intex Explorer K2

Reviewing the Intex Explorer K2.

Finally, it’s Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. 

This kayak is made of durable PVC and features a comfortable seat with a backrest. It also has two built-in rod holders and an inflatable I-beam floor for stability. The Explorer K2 can hold up to 400 pounds and is ideal for lakes and mild rivers.

It’s a 12 feet 7 inches long kayak suitable for intermediate paddlers who want to explore various water conditions. Offering stability and maneuverability for different environments, Explorer K2 works well in calm lakes or even Class III rapids.

A great feature of this kayak is its heavy-duty puncture-resistant material, making it durable and long-lasting. You don’t have to worry about accidental scrapes or bumps damaging the kayak while fishing. Its rugged construction lets you focus on your adventure without any distractions. 

Explorer K2 offers several additional features that enhance its performance and usability for anglers:

High-Pressure Inflation

The kayak has special high-pressure air chambers that make it more rigid and stable on the water. This helps the kayak perform better and stay on track, even in windy or choppy conditions. So, you can paddle with ease and confidence in any weather!

Removable And Adjustable Seats

The kayak features removable and adjustable seats with backrests, offering anglers comfort and support during extended fishing excursions. The adjustable seats allow for customization to accommodate different paddlers’ preferences.

Multiple Storage Options

The kayak provides ample storage space with its bow and stern storage compartments. Additionally, there are D-rings and bungee cords on the kayak’s deck, offering additional storage for fishing gear or equipment.

Where to Find the Best Deals on Inflatable Kayaks

If you’re looking for the best deals on inflatable kayaks, you should keep a few things in mind. First, check online retailers like Amazon and REI. They often have good sales on kayaks and other outdoor gear. Second, look for used kayaks. You can find some great deals on used kayaks if you know where to look. Remember local stores. Some stores will offer discounts on kayaks if you buy them in-store.

Learn More

Are Inflatable Kayaks Suitable For Saltwater Fishing?

Yes, many inflatable kayaks are designed to handle saltwater conditions. However, choosing models with corrosion-resistant materials and proper maintenance practices is important to ensure longevity.

How Long Does It Take To Inflate An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?

The time required to inflate an inflatable fishing kayak varies depending on the model and the type of pump used. Generally, it takes around 5-15 minutes with a manual pump or just a few minutes with an electric pump.

Can I Carry All My Fishing Gear And Accessories In An Inflatable Kayak?

Yes, most inflatable kayaks come with storage compartments or attachment points where you can secure your gear and accessories, such as tackle boxes, coolers, or rod holders.

Final Words

In conclusion, inflatable kayaks can be a great choice for fishing, offering many advantages that suit different fishing adventures. They are easy to carry, allow access to remote spots, and are affordable, making them perfect for all types of anglers. Setting them up and deflating them is quick and simple due to their lightweight design. But before you opt for one, make sure you check the limitations.

About Ronin D. Sullivan

"Flow with the currents, embrace the adventure, and let the river be your guide."

- I am a kayak instructor and proud co-founder of PaddleWiggle. With a passion for paddling and a wealth of experience in the field, I've dedicated my life to sharing the joy and art of kayaking with others. Being a co-founder of PaddleWiggle is a dream come true. Together with my fellow founders, we've built a platform that serves as a premier destination for kayaking enthusiasts.

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