Kayak styles for fishing: Buying a Sit-on-Top Vs. Sit-Inside
If you’re an angler who now wants to start fishing from a kayak but have no idea which style is best suited for you this article will give you a few important points you need to consider, as well as our opinions and preferences.
There are two main styles of kayaks:
Below are images of each.
Pictured directly below is an example of a sit-on-top fishing kayak, specifically, the Sun Dolphin Journey SS (Priced: Under $500). As you can see the angler is sitting on top of the kayak deck, legs and torso are free to move. This Sun Dolphin model provides value at the under $500 price point.
The Sun Dolphin pictured above is available in both the 10 and 12 foot sizes. See the best price at Amazon, read over 30 customer reviews.
The first decision most beginners are confronted with is which style they should buy? Overall, it’s a personal preference but there are a few functional differences to consider, especially, if you are buying one to devout solely to fishing.
Take a look a the Sit-inside kayak below: As you can see from the image of the Aruba 10 model, this style keeps your legs locked into the kayak.
This particular sit-inside isn’t a fishing model and used only as an example image to show the differences when looking and comparing these two styles
Which do we prefer for fishing and why?
Now when you compare the images of these two (sit-on-top Vs. sit-inside) the first thing that may come into you mind is “WoW, it looks like I would get wet being out on the water in one that I sit onto of!”
Yes, this is true, you’re gonna get wet! Are you afraid of a little water? If you are then maybe the sport of kayak fishing isn’t a good match?
Unless you plan to fish in very cold waters, we highly recommend you buy a sit-on-top kayaks (SOT) for fishing. It is a personal preference, but 99.9% of the cases, anyone you ask who’s experienced in the sport is also going to tell you the same.
The video does a good job at informing what the differences between a sit-on-top vs. sit-inside are:
Why are sit-on-tops better for fishing?
If you look back at the two pictures provided at the top, even as a beginning, someone who has never paddled or even sat in a kayak certain things should be obvious when comparing these two different styles.
The sit on top style allows quicker and easier entry and exit compared to a sit-inside. And once you are in, it also provides a greater amount of mobility. Your legs are not locked in, you are able to twist your torso, unhindered from side to side.
Not only does a sit-on top provides you with much more freedom to move about, which equals comfort. The also sit lower which gives you a better view of the water.
And if you flip over out on the water they are much easier to get back on top of. This style of kayak is what made the sport of kayak fishing grow as it is today.
The ONLY reason we would buy a SIT-INSIDE is if we were gong to be fishing primarily in COLD waters the vast majority of the time. If this is true for you, then yes buy a sit-inside style of fishing kayak.
But as far as freedom on the water the sit-on-top style is the best for fishing.
Models that we recommend
To get something decent you will have to spend some money. How much do you want to spend? Do you need the best? Have you ever took the time to research prices?
If you have researched prices then you are aware the best fishing kayaks can cost over $3000. This amount of money is what you will pay for the absolute best, there are a bunch of decent sit-on-top fishing models at lower prices.
How much do you want to spend
You’re gonna have to lay some money down, here are a few sit-on-top kayak models for sale that we believe provide good value at their price point.
OK, the Old Towne Predator MX model is probably the most expensive model you will find on our list, it goes for around $1200. If this is in your price range then this is a great kayak to own. The company Old Towne has been manufacturing kayaks and canoes for over 100 years in the USA.
In our opinion the MX model is both beautiful and heavy duty. Read reviews from very satisfied customers.
Good inexpensive 2-person kayak?
Are you looking for a father and son fishing kayak? We wouldn’t recommend the Lifetime Sport Fisher (Pictured below) for two large adult men but this might be the best option for a father looking for an inexpensive tandem kayak option that him and his son can take out fishing together.
Another nice thing about this the Lifetime Sport is it’s not as huge as other tandem models and one person can easily manage to paddle it on the water.
A cheaper alternative under $400
If you are on a budget but still would like to get started in the sport of kayak fishing this is one of the cheapest solutions that we can recommend, the Emotion Renegade XT angler.
The Renegade XT angler includes all the necessaries for fishing. Rod holders, storage hatch and a cargo net on the rear. It’s durable and stable. This model has received more than a few positive comments and reviews from previous customers.
For a price of under $400 this model provides quality and value. To read more on what current owners have to say, see the reviews at Amazon.
A sit-on-top with a perfect 5-star rating
So far all customers who have left a review of their experience with the Future Beach sit-on-top fishing kayak have given it a perfect 5-star rating.
We are unwillingly to say any kayak is perfect but we admit this model made has received outstanding reviews and ratings from owners through 2014-2015. See the best price and read customer reviews
Conclusion – Sit-on-top Vs. sit-inside
We prefer the sit-on-top models for fishing. Most experienced kayak anglers do. They provide easier entry and exit and also much more freedom to move in as you are out on the water.
Above we have only provided a few examples of recommended models. Make sure to do your due diligence before buying anything.