Sit-On-Top Kayaks: Standard or Fishing?

My wife and I are shopping for sit on top kayaks to use on the weekends. The primary purpose is to paddle flat water lakes and rivers, but we both like to angle (fish) and could possible do some angling from the kayaks as well. However, the angling kayaks are significantly more expensive. Is it any more difficult to use a standard sit on top kayak to fish from than from a angling kayak? If so, elaborate on the difficulties please.

3 thoughts on “Sit-On-Top Kayaks: Standard or Fishing?

  1. William Post author

    I fish from a standard kayak that you sit in, I do find it hard to fish out of because your hands are usually chest level trying to get over the rim and you cant really have your elbows at your side or you miss the fish. I do get fish but its harder to do. sit-on tops in my opinion would work better for fishing, and you can put more stuff closer to you.

  2. g_steed Post author

    Option! Telling people that you kayak may be more enhancing than telling them that you canoe A canoe is a really good fishing platform. Instead of simply buying either kind of kayak you need to physically try them out. A good first action should be to take some lessons or attend a kayak school. You and your wife could be very comfortable fishing from a 17 or 18 foot canoe. If it is plastic or glass/fiber you can use it when the water is cold. Do consider weather and temperature as you assess your options.

  3. c_kayak_fun Post author

    Honestly, you will get a much better answer if you post your question on the forums at

    It doesn’t cost anything to sign up on there — it’s a non-profit user site for all kinds of canoe and kayak paddlers. Look under the “community” tab. There is even one forum that is exclusively for fishing. There are also articles with lots of advice on kayak models and alternatives and hundreds of active users who give great advice. It also has reviews of most models.

    I kayak a lot but not with sit-on-tops and I don’t fish. But i see many folks on the site that do.

    One drawback I am aware of is that sit-on-tops tend to be wider and more flat bottomed than sit-inside touring kayaks, so they are slower and don’t track as well. You might have to make some compromises if you want to primarily be able to paddle some distance on lakes and rivers. What makes a stable fishing platform is not conducive to speed or ease of paddling. It is possible to spin-cast and troll from a standard touring kayak (a good friend of mine is a fishing guide who teaches people how to do this.) As the previous respondent mentioned, you might want to consider a good canoe as an alternative that might suit both activities better than any kayak. Again, you will get more expert and useful advice on that over at

    Good luck with whatever you choose — paddling is such a great activity!

    UPDATE ADDED 2/15: Was talking to a fellow kayaker last night about fishing kayaks and he suggested another model, the RTM Disco (for paddlers up to 180 lbs) and the RTM Midway (for larger paddlers.) These are plastic hardshell sit-on-tops which have sleeker lines and are somewhat lighter than the usual broad fishing kayaks. Yet they are still stable and the open design gives you easy access to gear and leaves your arms free to cast and net. They are well under $900 new, even including freight charges from Florida (their only port of US entry.) See link below for photos and ordering information:–96426857

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