Kayaking is the hottest new trend in sport fishing. Manufacturers have taken notice, and now there are a wide range of models to choose from for fishermen of all experience levels. If you plan to take your next excursion with a friend, you will need to know how to choose the best tandem fishing kayaks to make your outing a success. Read on for our tandem fishing kayak reviews where we go over the best two person fishing kayaks for the money.
Why Tandem Kayaking?
There are many reasons that fishermen choose to fish in tandem with another person. Tandem kayaking makes it easy for you to talk and communicate with a partner, and they can be great for lazy days out on the water with a friend. Tandem kayaking is also popular with families who want the experience of fishing with children or pets. Tandem kayaking can also make it easier for novice fishermen to get out onto the water with a more experienced partner guiding the way.
What Type of Kayak Should We Choose?
By far and large, the most popular type of kayak for tandem fishing is the sit on top style. This type of kayak allows you to fish with ease without having to maneuver in and out of the kayak. It also gives you a higher vantage point so that you can see the horizon around you and look down into the water to spot fish. The sit on top kayak is also better for larger and taller fishermen who need additional space.
Who Sits Where in the Tandem Kayak?
As a general rule, the stronger and more experienced fisherman will sit in the back seat in a tandem kayak. This is because the person seated in the back is responsible for paddling the craft. Some people choose their seating based on safety. A parent fishing with a child may want the child upfront in order to keep a close eye on him. Others choose the seating configuration for ease of conversation. Ultimately the decision is yours, and it won’t make too much of a difference in the overall enjoyment of the tandem kayak.
The person who is holding the fishing rod may sit upfront so that the other person can steer the kayak. If you happen to be using your tandem kayak alone, it is best to sit in the back or the middle seat so that you retain better control of the kayak.
People who opt for two person fishing kayaks are forewarned that there are several challenges when it comes to this type of fishing. First, the kayak can be slightly unstable when there are two people standing in it at the same time. Tandem kayaks work best when the two occupants are of equal size and weight. Think seesaw.
Secondly, you have to work in tandem with your partner or else you won’t get very far. Both people have to maintain a similar cadence in order to get the best results. This is not to say that you always have to be in sync when using these kayaks. People fish and paddle with kids all the time. Just know that it will require a little more work on your part if you and your partner are not on the same page.
The Best of Both Worlds
If you are like most fishermen and do some of your fishing alone and some with a partner, you may consider a convertible kayak. These kayaks have a removable seat or one that slides back and forth to make space for an additional rider. Others have a “jump seat” that is perfect for a smaller person like a child. These kayaks provide the flexibility of a tandem while allowing you the stability of a single person kayak.
Hybrid kayaks are slightly lighter than their counterparts, and some models come with removable seats that fold away for easy storage. The Mill Creek1 6.5 Hybrid kayak is one of the most popular on the market and retails for $679.
The Top Tandem Fishing Kayaks for Sale
The Malibu TWO XL Angler
One of the first models designed specifically for the tandem kayaker, the Malibu Two XL features facing seats, ample storage space and a sleek body. The kayak can accommodate up to 500 pounds in weight, making it perfect for two average sized adults or one larger adult and a child. At 34 inches wide, it has a stable base, making it great for standing and casting. It weighs 74 pounds and comes with convenient overlapping foot wells. The Malibu Two XL Angler retails for about $1,099.
The Zest Two EXP by Johnson Outdoors
Johnson Outdoors introduced this model and saw it fly off the shelves almost immediately. Popular with both new and skilled fishermen alike, this kayak is a whopping 16 feet long and 30 feet wide. Its sleek body and curved hull makes it great for sailing through rapids and cutting through waves. Side mounted carrying handles make getting it in and out of the water a breeze. With tons of storage and a max capacity of 600 pounds, this tandem fishing kayak is one of the best on the market. The Zest Two EXP retails for $1,100.
The Airhead Montana Two-Person Inflatable Kayak
If it is portability you seek, then the Airhead Montana Two-Person inflatable kayak fits the bill. This kayak offers stability and maneuverability as well as added storage space. Stability fins at the bottom sides of the craft make tracking simple. This kayak is designed for moderate rapids and calm lakes. At just 36 pounds, this kayak is small enough to deflate and fit in the trunk of car, making it convenient and easy. The mesh seating offers back support, an adjustable rack and ample leg room. This kayak is a must have for fly fishing and recreational fishing and can accommodate up to 350 pounds. The Airhead Montana Two Person Inflatable Kayak retails for $499.99.
When it comes to finding the best tandem fishing kayaks, it pays to get the right one that will allow you to enjoy it year round, whether you are out with a friend or fishing alone.