Can You Fish in an Inflatable Kayak? Tips & Advice!


Every year inflatable kayaks are making huge inroads into the fishing world! People are living in apartments and homes with little storage for a hard shell kayak. There is also the issue of how to get your kayak to the water! Inflatable kayaks solve those issues and more!

Now more anglers are choosing to fish from inflatable kayaks than ever before! From the casual fisherman on a simple blow-up kayak to the dedicated angler on a specialized inflatable fishing kayak! Here’s why!

Today’s modern inflatable kayaks make terrific fishing platforms. Inflatable kayaks have plenty of storage room for your fishing gear, are compact, and are easily transported to a fishing location. Whether you fish lakes, rivers, streams, or on the ocean, there’s an inflatable fishing kayak for you!

If fishing from an inflatable kayak is something that interests you, then let’s look into more of the reasons you should know why these easily stored kayaks are becoming more popular to fish from!

Should I Load My Kayak Upside Down?
Should I Load My Kayak Upside Down?

Fishing From an Inflatable Kayak

Fishing from an inflatable kayak is fun and there are definite advantages to an inflatable kayak over their hard-shelled plastics counterparts!

Can You Fish From an Inflatable Kayak?

There are inflatables made with fishing solely in mind. However, you can fish from any inflatable to start with if you want to give it a try for a day or two first. The newer high tech materials make them safer and easier to care for than previous older models!

Some inflatables come with rod holders, storage areas, and drink holders for your convenience. At the same time, other plain kayaks are just basic inflatables and good for many recreational activities outside of fishing.

Purchasing or borrowing an inflatable kayak specifically designed for fishing is your best bet if you’re considering trying out the sport. When I first began fishing from a kayak, I used a couple of friends’ kayaks to start with. One was an inflatable the other was an inexpensive Walmart kayak.

The inflatable was easier on my lower back than the sit-inside plastic kayak! Inexpensive plastic kayaks can rub your lower back raw and cause sore spots. Overall, I’d rather paddle and fish from the inflatable over a cheaper plastic kayak!

As a comparison, take a look at the simple, high-quality entry-level inflatable kayak like the Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro Package. 11′ 2″ in length, weighs 26lbs, and has a 500lb weight capacity. It’s 24″ in length when stored!

And for a more fishing-specific kayak that will last for years, check out the ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak! This kayak is 10′ 6′ in length, weighs in at 45lbs, and packs up to a compact 32″!

With its air mesh seat for comfort and the 1″ metal rails to add accessories like rod holders and fish finders, it’s a fishing machine! You can even stand up in it!

As you can see, inflatable fishing kayaks can be very affordable and can be very fishing-specific! From simple plain kayaks to fish-hunting kayaks, the choices are plenty!

I’m seeing more inflatable kayaks on the water whenever I go out to the mountain lakes or nearby reservoirs too. Inflatable kayaks are certainly good for fishing!

Are Inflatable Kayaks Good for Beginners

An inflatable kayak is definitely a great starting point for a beginning kayaker. Let’s take a look at just a few of the advantages they give you!

Fairly Inexpensive to Start Out With

You can purchase a quality inflatable kayak for around $300 to $500 to get started fishing right away! This low price-point makes it an excellent first-time kayak for someone who wants to “test the waters”, so to speak.

Pro Tip: Check with a local kayak shop near you for a Demo Day date to paddle different kayaks in one day! They may also have someone on staff who would be willing to take you out and let you try their kayak too!

A kayak within this entry-level price range will have way more stability than a plastic model of the same price!

Many inflatable kayaks will often come with a paddle included! It may not be the best paddle out there, but since your just beginning to kayak, you will learn what you like or dislike and be able to upgrade your paddle at a later time!

Storage is a Breeze

One of the best things about an inflatable kayak is the fact you can store them just about anywhere! I once stored an inflatable kayak in my bedroom closet over the winter!

A plastic kayak can take up a lot of room, while an inflatable kayak will fold or roll up into its own storage bag. Many inflatables come in a backpack-style bag so that you can hike it into a lake too!

Once your kayak is deflated and dry, you place it back into the bag, and you can then tuck it away in a closet, spare bedroom, or corner of your garage! They are that easy to store!

A plastic kayak will take up way more space in your garage than a comparable inflatable. If you keep a plastic kayak outside, it is prone to theft and damage from weather or rodents.

Easy to Transport

Inflatable kayaks are the easiest of kayaks to transport to the water! You can throw it into the back seat of a car bed of a pickup truck, or even strap it to the roof in a luggage rack! Quick and simple to place into your vehicle, and you’re on your way to a fun time on the water!

Also, it only takes one person to load up an inflatable kayak! Whereas heavier sit-on-top models can be a bear to move around by oneself, and often it takes two people to load one on a car-top!

Inflatable Kayaks are Stable and Comfortable

Compared to a similarly priced hard-shell kayak, most inflatables are very stable on the water and are easier on your body!

A $300 to $500 hard-shell kayak lacks many of the comforts of their more expensive sit-on-top plastic kayaks that range from $1,000 to $5,000! While an inflatable kayak in the $300 to $500 range will lack in certain areas, it is far more comfortable, in my opinion, to fish and paddle from!

Inflatable Kayaks Are Safe for Fishing

One of the first questions people wonder about is the safety aspect of these kayaks. And are they safe to fish from? Compared to kayaks from ten to fifteen years ago, they are incredibly safe to fish from!

Inflatable kayaks of today are made with high-tech, puncture-proof materials. They have built-in rigidness and are extremely stable on the water. You can even walk around on many inflatables of today. Exercise the same cautions as you would on a hard plastic kayak!

Use the same precautions as you would with any small boat on the water. A Personal Floatation Device is definitely mandatory for your safety! Bring along a whistle or small air horn if you need to for signal assistance, and in most states, it’s required by law! A safety knife is handy in case you become entangled in some line.

See my top three fishing PFD’s on my Gear Page! Best Kayak Fishing Life Jacket: My top pick

Depending upon the kayak’s make and model, I would recommend bringing along a patch/repair kit like this one on Amazon. It will come in handy if you get a pinhole or small tear in an air bladder.

How Long Do Inflatable Kayaks Last

An inflatable kayak will last up to 10 years and longer with proper care!

When you pack it up from the day on the water, it will no doubt still be wet. You’re going to want to remove it from the bag or pack once you arrive home and let it dry out completely.

Once it’s dry, carefully repack it and store the kayak in a cool dry place.

If you’re storing it for the winter, or a longer time than normal, I’d place a Bounce dryer sheet or two in an open plastic baggie to keep mice out. This is what I do with my kayak and also my ice fishing shelters! It works great!

Can I Leave My Inflatable Kayak Inflated

There are no problems with leaving a kayak inflated. If the weather is very hot, I will recommend letting some of the air out of the kayak. This will give the air room to expand and not damage any seams on your kayak.

Leaving your kayak inflated is especially nice when you’re fishing multiple days in a week! And if you’re camping, leave your kayak inflated all week long!

Are Inflatable Kayaks Worth the Money

In comparison to many of the other top brand kayaks, inflatable kayaks are a great value. Since they are made with less expensive materials and manufacturing processes, your costs are lower than with a plastic molded kayak.

You also have the advantage of easier storage (smaller packing) and transportation (lighter and easier to move around) to and from the water!

Don’t discount inflatable pontoons either! Take a look at them my article: Kayak Vs Inflatable Pontoon For Fishing: Which Is Better?

So if you’re looking for an easy and lightweight way to get on the water and fishing, an inflatable is something you may want to look at!

And yes, many other people are fishing from inflatable kayaks and they make great fishing platforms with a number of advantages over hard-shell kayaks!

Be sure and check these articles out!

Have fun and stay safe out there!

Mike Rodman

Mike enjoys fishing all year round, from fly fishing small streams in Wyoming's higher mountains to kayak fishing the lower altitude lakes and reservoirs. Mike also has a passion for ice fishing. When he has spare time, he'll be found at his rod bench building custom fishing rods.

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