Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak of 2021 (Reviewed and Compared)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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When fishing from a kayak, you’re low to the water level which is a disadvantage when it comes to spotting fish and making accurate casts.

But with a stand up fishing kayak, this all changes.

On the best stand-up fishing kayak, you can get to your spot, stand up safely, and fish more effectively…

See More Fish

You’ll be able to spot fish a lot more easily and your casts will be longer and more accurate, which should make your kayak fishing adventures a little bit more successful.

The day I went from walking a flats skiff to standing on a polling platform was revolutionary.

Having a higher vantage point meant I could spot fish way off and my catch rate went through the roof as we were ready for what was coming rather than being blind sided by a fish that came out of nowhere.

The Stand Up Fishing Kayaks From The Review

Top Pick

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

Well laid out for kayak fishing as a kayak can be, and it uses a pedal system, so your hands are free at all times to fish with instead of having to paddle.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

The best stand-up fishing kayak from the review is the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler.

This kayak is well laid out for fishing with pole holders, an accessory rail, 3 storage hatches, and bungee storage too. It also has a pedal drive so there is no need to paddle, and it’s super stable for standing on.

Best on a Budget

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

One of the best value kayaks in the review and it’s also one of the lightest, making it carrying around easier too.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

The best stand-up fishing kayak if you’re on a budget is the Lifetime Tamarack Angler.

This kayak has everything you need to get fishing right away, it’s stable to stand on, and it’s affordable.

There is enough storage space for your gear, 3 pole holders for your rods, and a comfy seat to go with it.

Our Best Stand Up Fishing Kayaks

Best Inshore Stand Up Fishing Kayak

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

A great choice if you want a lot of space on your stand-up kayak with the ability to add fishing accessories.

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

The Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 stand-up kayak for fishing is a great choice if you want a lot of space on your stand-up kayak with the ability to add fishing accessories.

You can add a small motor to the back, mount a fish finder, and there are even special scupper holes for your transducer.

Plus you’ll find accessory rails for adding any extras you might want.

Storage

The stand-up kayak has a large rear storage area that will happily fit any camping gear, a cooler, or is perfect for a home-made tackle box with built-in rod holders.

At the front, you have some internal storage lockers that will protect your gear plies tie-downs for adding any extra gear.

With all this space, plus a 400 lbs weight capacity, this stand-up kayak is perfect for long overnight fishing trips.

Size

This stand-up kayak is 35 inches wide making it incredibly stable when sitting or standing.

The breathable mesh seat is a comfortable seat to fish and paddle from and just in front of it is a large standing platform with an assist-strap to keep you balanced that is perfect for casting from, even in rocky conditions.

Handling

It’s an easy stand-up kayak to paddle around with excellent maneuverability.

It instantly reacts to your paddle strokes, and it tracks super well, even when being blown in the wind, making each stroke as efficient as possible.

The only thing missing from these stand up kayaks are fishing rod holders.

There are none to be found, but you could easily mount some at extra cost.

Specs

  • Type: Hardshell
  • Seating: Sit On Top
  • People: 1
  • Length: 12 ft 3 inches
  • Storage: 2 internal hatches – rear deck
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs

Pros

  • Super stable for sitting or standing
  • Durable built that’ll handle hitting rocks
  • Excellent maximum weight capacity for long trips
  • Comfortable adjustable seat
  • Tracks well, even in the wind
  • Scupper holes for a fish finder transducer
  • A large amount of storage space
  • Compatible with the Helix MD Motor Drive

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No fishing rod holders

2020 NuCanoe Frontier 12 Fishing Kayak

Its large width makes it super stable for standing up on, and the grippy large open deck is perfect for standing up and casting from.

2020 NuCanoe Frontier 12 Fishing Kayak

The 2020 NuCanoe Frontier 12 Standing Fishing Kayak is one of the most stable kayaks on the market.

This standing fishing kayak features a huge front deck with a width of 45 inches.

The large width makes it super stable for standing up on, and the grippy large open deck is perfect for standing up and casting from.

Space

The large deck space on this sit-on-top kayak can also be used for storage along with the front sealed hatch, and the rear bungee area.

It can hold a whopping 650 lbs, making it one of the best sit-on-top kayaks for long trips overnight as you’ll be able you carry all your supplies without any worries.

Setting

You can configure this sit-on-top kayak however you please, adding and removing a chair for one angler or two.

There are also rails to mount accessories like a fish finder, and it can handle a trolling motor, ideal if you want to travel further than paddling can take you.

Handling

Despite being super wide, this sit-on-top kayak responds well to each stroke, and it tracks well too.

You’ll be able to keep your bearing on windy days and cover some solid ground too.

Durability

It’s made from high-density polyethylene, a durable light material that will handle the rigors of the ocean, lakes, and rivers.

You can happily drag it up the sand, bounce off the odd boulder, and park on a rocky shore without having to worry.

Price

Overall, this is a great sit-on-top kayak in terms of space and stability for standing to fish, but for the price, it is missing a few things.

Being this expensive, you’d at least expect some rod holders and foot braces to make paddling a bit easier.

Specs

  • Type: Hardshell
  • Seating: Sit on top
  • People: 1 or 2
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Storage: Front internal hatch, front and rear deck
  • Weight Capacity: 650 lbs

Pros

  • Super stable at 45 inches wide
  • Large casting and standing platform
  • Customizable for 1 or 2 people
  • Adjustable and comfortable seat to paddle from
  • Can handle a 2.5 HP (horsepower) motor
  • Tracks well and is easy to paddle around
  • Good storage options and large weight capacity for long trips

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Trolling motor will damage the transom
  • No built-in rod holders or foot braces

Top Pick

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

Well laid out for kayak fishing as a kayak can be, and it uses a pedal system, so your hands are free at all times to fish with instead of having to paddle.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 is about as well laid out for kayak fishing as a kayak can be, and it uses a mirage drive pedal system, so your hands are free at all times to fish with instead of having to paddle.

Pedal System

The pedal system on the Hobie Pro Angler 12 consists of two pedals that link to mirage fins beneath the stand up fishing kayak, and you simply pump the pedals to start moving. If you go too shallow, you don’t have to worry either, as the fins will automatically kick up to save themselves.

Then there is a rudder at the back to steer with from the chair, and a retractable skeg to give you the best tracking in the business.

Catch More Fish

With this kayak for fishing, you’ll be able to cover way more distance and you can have a rod in your hand the whole time.

You’ll never have to watch fish swim off before you’ve had a chance to put your paddle down again.

Storage

In terms of storage, this kayak for fishing has three internal hatches for valuables. One at the front and rear, plus one by the seat for easy access.

There are also bungee gear tracks at the front and rear for all your fishing gear.

At the back, there are two rod holders, and you’ll find an accessory mounting bar surrounding the cockpit area that’s perfect for adding anything from a fish finder to cup holders.

Features

The kayak features a comfy chair with lumbar support for pedaling, plus a grippy standing area for kayak fishing from.

It’s super stable overall, especially with the skeg down, and at 12 feet long with a 500 lbs weight capacity, it’s perfect for long overnight trips.

The only downside is that this kayak comes with a large price tag, double whatever you’re thinking, but it’s full of fishing features and about as durable as they come. So it’s worth it if you can afford it.

Specs

  • Type: Hardshell – pedal drive
  • Seating: Sit on top
  • People: 1
  • Length: 12ft
  • Storage: 3 hatches, front and rear bungee
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs

Pros

  • Pedal drive system makes it easier to cover large distances and keeps your hands free
  • Pedal Mirage drive system kicks up with an impact
  • Rudder makes sticking to your course easy
  • Retractable skeg offers better tracking when you need it
  • Accessory rails for adding fish finders, rod holders, and more
  • Comfortable, adjustable seat with lumbar support for pedaling
  • Stable to stand up on for kayak fishing
  • Excellent storage options that are easy to access

Cons

  • Almost as expensive as a small boat

Lifetime 10 Tandem Fishing Kayak

It’s a wide, stable kayak that is perfect for freshwater and inshore fishing, you can stand and sit on it with ease while you’re casting or paddling and looking for fish.

Lifetime 10 Tandem Fishing Kayak

The Lifetime 10 Tandem Fishing Kayak isn’t full of the best fishing features but it does get the job done overall.

It’s a wide, stable kayak that is perfect for freshwater and inshore fishing, you can stand and sit on it with ease while you’re casting or paddling and looking for fish.

These fishing kayaks can accommodate two or even three people but are just as good when paddled solo. And with a load capacity of 500 lbs, are great for overnight trips when one angler is using them.

At the back, you’ll find a couple of holders for your rods that are perfect for trolling and storing your rods.

You can easily access them from the adjustable seats to make a quick cast or fight fish when you hook one trolling.

Handling

Paddling these fishing kayaks is easy thanks to the seats and the multiple foot brace options that give you the perfect paddling stance.

And the hull not only provides stability but also good tracking in the wind thanks to its tunnel design that channels the water to give you a solid bearing.

Weight

The main issue with these fishing kayaks is their weight.

They are heavy to move around, especially when launching them, and there is only one handle which makes it a bit cumbersome.

Durability

The high-density polyethylene hull is super tough though, so don’t be afraid to drag it down the beach.

Another thing this kayak is missing is gear tracks for mounting accessories to like a fish finder, so you’ll have to drill holes into it when you want to add anything.

Specs

  • Type: Hardshell
  • Seating: Sit on top
  • People: 2/3
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Storage: Rear internal, front bungee
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs

Pros

  • Wide flat hull for stability when standing
  • A lot of deck storage when used solo
  • Adjustable and removable seats for a bespoke setup
  • Two rear holders for your rods
  • Adjustable foot braces for comfortable paddling
  • Great tracking even when it’s windy
  • Durable design that can handle a few pumps
  • Can take two or even three people

Cons

  • Not many fishing features like gear tracks
  • Heavy and hard to move around with just one handle

Best on a Budget

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

One of the best value kayaks in the review and it’s also one of the lightest, making it carrying around easier too.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is one of the best value kayaks in the review and it’s also one of the lightest, making it carrying around easier too.

The reason it’s so light is that it’s a little shorter than others at 10 feet long, but the reduced length won’t make a difference to your day on the water, as these fishing kayaks still track well.

Build

These kayaks are well rigged for fishing with two holders for your rods at the bag, and one in the middle by the seat.

This means you can carry three rods, troll two of them, and have one ready for a quick cast. 

Storage

In terms of storage, you have a large bungee area at the front and back, plus two hatches. 

The hatches are not waterproof, and they run the length of the kayak, so make sure anything you put in there is in a dry bag and clip it on somehow so you don’t have to dig around for it later.

Handling

The kayak is comfortable to paddle thanks to the supportive seat and multiple foot rests to match anyone’s height.

It also tracks well, and the paddle holders make it easy to stop paddling and start fishing quickly, ideal when fish are moving past you at speed.

Capacity

The kayak does have a low load capacity at 275lbs compared to the others that have around 500lbs, so it’s not ideal for long overnight trips, but perfect for day trips.

Specs

  • Type: Hardshell
  • Seating: Sit on top
  • People: 1
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Storage: Rear and middle hatches, front and back bungee
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs

Pros

  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Well rigged for kayak fishing
  • Multiple holders for your rods are laid out well
  • Good storage options
  • Low weight for easy launching
  • Comfortable seat to paddle from
  • Stable for standing on and fishing
  • Best value kayak in the review

Cons

  • Low load capacity compared to others
  • Hatches aren’t sealed and gear ends up all over the inside of the kayak

BKC TK181 Tandem Fishing Kayak

An awesome option for two anglers to gofishing in thanks to its excellent layout.

BKC TK181 Tandem Fishing Kayak

The BKC TK181 Tandem Fishing Kayak is an awesome option for two anglers to gofishing in thanks to its excellent layout.

Each seat has dry storage hatches and holders for your rods next to it making it for each person to have everything they need to catch a fish within reach.

Features

When sitting in this kayak, you’ll have two rods in flush-mounted holders behind you, a dry hatch for gear between your legs, and an articulated holder in front of you.

This means you’ll barely have to move to get a lure out, pick up a rod, cast, or fight a fish.

Seats

The seats are adjustable and supportive for comfy for paddling from, and fully removable so you can choose to take the kayak fishing solo whenever you like.

It’s also a great solo kayak for long trips as you can utilize the huge load capacity of 595 lbs to transport all the camping gear you might need.

Space

The two things holding this kayak back are that it’s not the best stand-up kayak and there isn’t much room to add accessories like a fish finder.

There isn’t much deck space for your feet when standing and it might be a little treacherous and you’ll risk falling in.

Specs

  • Type: Hardshell
  • Seating: Sit On Top
  • People: 2
  • Length: 12.5 ft
  • Storage: 2 hatches, 1 rear bungee
  • Weight Capacity: 595 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent kayak fishing layout
  • 4 flush-mounted and 3 articulated holders for your rods
  • A good amount of storage options
  • Hatches are watertight for storing valuables
  • Great load capacity and perfect for two people
  • Nice seats that are comfy to paddle from

Cons

  • Not overly stable for standing up on
  • Not much space for adding accessories.

Sea Eagle FishSUP 126

More of a stand-up paddleboard than a kayak but it’s still great for standing fishing and ideal for calmer waters like lakes and lagoons.

Sea Eagle FishSUP 126

The Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 is more of a stand-up paddleboard than a kayak but it’s still great for standing fishing and ideal for calmer waters like lakes and lagoons. 

The best things about it are its portability, the fact you can add a motor to it, and it’s well rigger for fishing.

Portability

Being inflatable, you can throw it in your trunk and drive it anywhere with ease. There is no need for a roof rack, and it’s much lighter than a kayak to move around.

It inflates in less than ten minutes with the included pump and is rigid and stable once inflated.

Storage

One the SUP you’ll find a front bungee storage area where the included storage box with pole holders slots in.

There is also a paddle park and 14 d-rings for you to add extra gear to, or attach a seat to for comfort. And at the back is a removable mount where you can add a small motor for trolling.

Durability

The Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 is made from a 1000 denier reinforced drop stitch, making it rugged, durable, and resistant to punctures.

The SUP has great buoyancy and a large load capacity of 500 lbs, but it’s not the best for rough waters and should only be used in lagoons or lakes, as large waves will certainly come over the deck.

Specs

  • Type: Inflatable
  • Seating: Stand on top
  • People: 1
  • Length: 12.5 ft
  • Storage: Front Bungee
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs

Pros

  • Includes a storage box with holders for your gear
  • You can add a motor to it
  • Wide and non-slip for stability when standing
  • Quick and easy to inflate
  • Super portable as it packs down small
  • Multiple D rings for adding things like a chair
  • Durable and resistant to punctures
  • Paddle pocket for storing the paddle quickly

Cons

  • Not the best in rough conditions

What are stand-up fishing kayaks?

Red and Yellow Sit on Top Kayaks on a Beach
Red and Yellow Sit on Top Kayaks on a Beach

Stand-up fishing kayaks are like a normal kayak except they have been designed with fishing and stability in mind.

They are wider than a normal kayak, around 35-40 inches in width so you can stand on them with ease, and they have handy features for fishing like fishing pole holders or mounts for motors and accessories like fish finders.

Why buy a stand up fishing kayak?

When you’re sitting in a kayak you’re very low to the waterline.

This makes it harder to cast long distances, as you don’t have much leverage, and your casting accuracy may suffer too.

Being so low also makes it hard to spot fish. By having a kayak you can stand on, your increased height makes it a lot easier to see through the water and spot the fish you are trying so hard to find.

Things to consider – A Buyer’s guide

Can you stand on it?

Whichever kayak you choose, you have to make sure it is stable enough to stand up on and fish from.

The best way to ensure the kayak you’re looking to buy is stable enough is by checking the hull design and its width.

NOTE

The wider the kayak, the more stable it will be. And a flat hull is far more stable than a V-hull for example, as it’ll correct any rocking motion a lot faster.

Here’s a quick helpful video on how to stand on a Kayak…

How To Stand Up In A Kayak The Easy Way

Is it easy to get to the fishing grounds?

Hardshell kayaks are not light and often weigh over 100lbs. Unless you live on the water, you’re going to be lifting your kayak onto the roof rack of your car, so make sure it’s light enough for you to handle.

TIP

You should also check that it comes with carrying handles, one at each end and one in the middle is best. This will make carrying it and dragging it to the water to launch it a lot easier.

Will it hold enough for your intended trips?

Every kayak comes with a maximum load capacity which can range from 275lbs to over 600lbs.

If you’re looking to go on long overnight trips or load up with 300lbs of fish, then you’re going to need a kayak that can hold 500lbs or more.

TIP

If you’re a catch-and-release fisherman who goes out on day trips only, a small load capacity of 275lbs is more than enough.

How is it powered?

Kayaks are either pedal or paddle powered, and some have the option of adding a small motor to them.

Pedals are easier on your body as your legs are doing the work, and your hands are free to fish with, but they are also quite a bit more expensive than paddle kayaks.

Standing out

Thanks a lot for reading my fishing kayak reviews and buying guide, I hope you enjoyed it and found the right kayak for you.

If you haven’t quite made a decision, here are the two I would go for, and for different reasons.

Best Inshore Stand Up Fishing Kayak

For an all-rounder, the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120.

It’s wide, stable, easy to stand on and you can create the fishing layout of your dreams on it.

There are accessory rails for fish finders, holders, a scupper hole for a transducer, and you can add a motor to it.

Best on a Budget

If you’re looking for a solid budget option, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is the kayak I’d suggest.

It’s a third the price of the others but is still great to fish from with its pole holders, comfy seats, and great stability that makes it easy to stand on.

Safe Paddling!

Thanks again for reading my article, I hope you found it useful.

Please share it around with any of your kayaking buddies and perhaps check out some of my others.

I cover everything from paddles to fish bags for kayaks.

Until then, enjoy your new kayak and tight lines.

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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