10 Best Fishing Kayaks For Big Guys

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Choosing a fishing kayak takes time. The price, size, weight, capacity, construction, and design matter. Things get a little more complicated if you are a big person. That’s why we’ve taken the time to research, test, and ask around for 10 of the best fishing kayaks for big guys. 

For those in a hurry, the Perception Pescador 12 is the best overall. It has a UV-resistant polyethylene frame packed with fishing-specific features. It also offers a decent carrying capacity without increasing weight. 

However, if you want something sturdier, with pedals, and you don’t worry about the price, then the Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL is the best bet. And, for those who are very tall, the BKC PK13 is our suggestion. 

If you haven’t found the one on this shortlist, then continue reading until you do!  

10 Best Fishing Kayaks For Big Guys Reviewed

Perception Pescador 12 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 12
  • Width (Inches): 32.5
  • Weight (Pounds): 64
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 375
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Built-in gear tracks 
  • Adjustable padded seat and footrest 

The Perception Pescador has a light yet sturdy polyethylene shell. It only weighs around 64 pounds, making it fairly easy to carry. Plus, the in-built buoyancy system yields a maximum hauling capacity of 375 pounds. 

There are two dedicated storage areas: One at the front, which has a hatch to keep water out. The other is behind the seat and has a set of shock cords that help to keep your things in place. There you will also find two built-in rod holders. 

As the name suggests, the Pescador 12.0 is 12 feet long. The craft is fairly maneuverable and fast. The 32 inches wide beam increases stability and decreases the chances of the kayak flipping over. 

The Pescador 12.0 already comes with a cushioned fabric seat. You can adjust the back of the seat so you can paddle with comfort. You can also modify the footrest position. 

The boat already comes with two racks on either side. There you can fasten some electronics or extra rod holders. The advantage here is that you don’t need to puncture the shell to add gear tracks. 

There are two skid plates at either end that you can use to transport the craft from and to your car. 

Pros: 

  • It is available in several colors 
  • Comfortable and breathable seat
  • It already comes with gear tracks 
  • Adjustable footrest 
  • UV-Resistant construction
  • Stable 

Cons: 

  • The dry storage is quite small
  • The rod holders are awkwardly positioned 

Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 12
  • Width (Inches): 34.5
  • Weight (Pounds): 85
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 450
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Adjustable backrest 
  • Flush-mount rod holders
  • Pedal propulsion system

Retailing for around the same price as an old car, the Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL packs a lot of fishing-specific features for those willing to pay for it. The Salty PDL measures 12 feet long and 34.5 inches wide at the beam. The structure is stable enough for you to stand up and cast. However, the pedal system leaves little space to maneuver. But at least you have one, right? 

There are two dedicated bungee cargo areas at the stern and bow. Both are fairly large to accommodate a tackle bag. Still, we missed a watertight hatch. 

The seat sits a couple of inches above the deck. Thus, allowing you to see what’s upfront. The fabric is light. Consequently, it dries fast. 

Sadly PDL 12 already comes with a paddle-drive system. While it is a good thing, it substantially increases the weight. 

Pros: 

  • Sturdy multi-layer hull
  • Large storage areas 
  • Anti-split coating
  • Comfortable seat 

Cons: 

  • Not enough room to maneuver while standing 
  • Heavy
  • No paddle included 

BKC PK13 Fishing Kayak With Pedals

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 13
  • Width (Inches): 33.3
  • Weight (Pounds): 80
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 550
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Adjustable fabric seat
  • Pedal-drive system
  • Trolling engine compatible

The BKC PK13 fishing kayak might not be the most affordable option. However, with so many features, it surely pays itself in time. The craft is available in three different color options: Blue, blue camo, and red. 

One thing that we liked about the PK13 was that it already comes with a bicycle-like pedal system. This way, you can cruise through the water hands-free. You also get a rudder hand control to keep the craft on track. 

But the PK13 also comes with an aluminum paddle. It doesn’t look that durable. So make sure not to hit it. You can leave the oar at one side using the paddle tie-downs that come with the yak. 

As the name suggests, the PK13’s hull is 13 feet long and 33.3 inches at the widest section. As you can see, it sits on the narrow side. Still, the craft is stable enough to be used on lakes, rivers, and the ocean. 

The PK13 comes with a single, fully-adjustable fabric seat. Although it dries, it does take time. In addition, you also get a watertight hatch and a dedicated bungee cargo hold. There are three flush-mount rod holders as well. 

Pros: 

  • Trolling engine compatible
  • It comes with pedals and a paddle
  • Spacious cockpit 
  • Hand-operated rudder control

Cons: 

  • Heavy
  • The aluminum paddle looks flimsy
  • There is not much room for storage 

Reel Yaks Fishing Kayak With Pedals

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 11
  • Width (Inches): 34
  • Weight (Pounds): 62
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 500
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Built-in gear tracks 
  • Built-in rod holders and transducer hole
  • Adjustable padded seat and footrest 
  • Pedal and paddle included 

You might be scared away by the hefty price of this yak. However, upon closer inspection, you will notice that there is more than meets the eye. First, the fishing kayak already comes with a paddle and pedal-propulsion system. In short, you get two propulsion approaches. 

The kayak has three dedicated storage areas: Two at the front and one at the rear. The latter is small and barely offers enough room for a tackle bag. At the front, you get a hatch where. It is not water-tight. Therefore, think twice before placing any electronics inside. Fortunately, there is an 8” twist-lock hatch with an inner nylon bag. Here you can keep your water-sensitive equipment. 

You also get plenty of rod holders. You can always add more thanks to the built-in gear racks. There is also a dedicated hole for a fish finder transducer. Therefore, you don’t need to make more holes in the hull. 

The adjustable stadium-like fabric seat has enough padding to keep it comfortable. You can fully adjust it whenever you want. 

The craft is 11 feet long and 34 inches wide at the beam. Thus, stability is something to expect from this kayak. It also has an impressive capacity. It holds up to 500 pounds of weight. 

Pros: 

  • Impressive capacity
  • It already comes with a paddle and pedal system
  • Built-in rod holders and gear racks 
  • Transducer hole
  • Stable 

Cons: 

  • Flimsy carrying handles 
  • Lack of storage space
  • It takes an effort to maneuver the craft 

Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 12
  • Width (Inches): 36
  • Weight (Pounds): 72
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 650
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Built-in gear tracks 
  • Built-in rod holders 
  • 2 Adjustable padded seat
  • Two paddles included

The Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell fishing kayak is available in two colors: Grey and camo. Both feature the same rotomolded UV-resistant polyethylene hull. It is 12 feet long and 36 inches wide at the beam. The kayak has enough room to accommodate up to two anglers at the same time or a single large angler. 

The thing that we liked the most about the Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell fishing kayak was the hull. It has plenty of room to move your legs around and keep your gear close. The 650 pounds capacity gives you the flexibility you need to haul a lot of equipment. 

The kayak comes with three dedicated storage areas: Two dry-storage hatches and a single cargo room with bungee cords. You also get four inset rod holders. Naturally, three of them are far away from you since they are closer to the other seat. 

Pros: 

  • Plenty of room for storage
  • Airtight storage hatches 
  • Stable even when loaded
  • Durable hull

Cons: 

  • Heavier than other kayaks of similar lengths 
  • The seats are not that comfortable 

Lifetime 10 Foot Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 10
  • Width (Inches): 36
  • Weight (Pounds): 60
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 500
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Built-in rod holders 
  • 2 Adjustable padded seat
  • Two paddles included

Although it is shorter than other fishing kayaks, the Lifetime 10-foot yak offers up to 500 pounds of hauling capacity, with space being the main downside. 

There are two seats available. Sadly, the seats aren’t adjustable. As a result, the Lifetime fishing kayak is not the most comfortable. Besides, there is barely enough room for you to move your legs around. 

The good news is that the high-density polyethylene is only 60 pounds in weight. Plus, the small footprint makes it easier to carry the kayak around. In addition, the built-in buoyancy pockets increase stability even under heavy loads. The hull design helps with tracking, making it easier to paddle through long distances. 

There are three fishing rod holders, all of them are at the rear. 

Pros: 

  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Very stable
  • Tracks with ease
  • Comes with paddles 

Cons: 

  • The seats are not comfortable
  • Not enough storage options 

Perception Outlaw Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 11.5
  • Width (Inches): 35
  • Weight (Pounds): 77
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 425
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Adjustable fabric seat
  • Flush-mount rod holders
  • Built-in tackle trays

The Perception Outlaw screams fishing from whichever angle you look at it. It is 11.5 feet long, 35 inches wide, and hauls up to 425 pounds of weight! The open deck gives you enough room to stand up. Plus, since the seat is 5 inches above the deck, it is easier to stand up as well. 

The meshed seat dries extremely fast, regardless of how wet it gets. Overall, the seat is comfortable. You can easily remove it to increase storage space. 

The Outlaw comes with two double-barrel rod holders on either side of the seat. There you can place up to four rods. There you will also find molded-in trays and cup holders.

Storage-wise, you get two bungee cords cargo areas at either end of the craft. There is no watertight hatch. So, you must purchase waterproof bags if you want to protect your sensitive equipment. 

The Outlaw also has three mount racks to add extra accessories if you ever need them. 

Pros: 

  • The high seat makes it easier to stand up
  • The open deck offer plenty of room for storage
  • Anti-slip traction pads
  • Decent carrying capacity for the size

Cons: 

  • There is no paddle included
  • There is no watertight storage area 

Pelican Basscreek 100XP Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 10
  • Width (Inches): 30
  • Weight (Pounds): 50
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 325
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Adjustable backrest 
  • Flush-mount and swivel rod holders
  • Adjustable footrest 

With only 50 pounds, the Pelican sit-on-top fishing kayak is a compact and affordable option. It is smaller than most other options on this list. The craft is 10 feet long and 30 inches wide. However, the multi-chin flat bottom increases stability. You can cast and retrieve and won’t even notice it. 

The Basscreek 100XP has enough buoyancy to handle up to 325 pounds of weight. It might not be as impressive as other options. Still, keep in mind that it is shorter and narrower as well. 

In terms of storage, you get the classic bungee cord cargo area at the stern. There is a watertight storage hatch at the bow. Still, it is so far away that you can’t keep any essentials there. Thankfully, the deck offers enough room for you to spread your legs and keep small items near. 

You also get 3 rod holders, a bottle holder, and a paddle tie-down. You can adjust the footrest position for better comfort. 

Our only complaint is the seat. While the backrest is comfortable, we can’t say the same as the bottom section. 

Pros: 

  • Lightweight
  • Despite being small, it offers plenty of room
  • It comes with a swivel rod holder
  • Stable

Cons: 

  • The seat is not that comfortable
  • It doesn’t come with a paddle

Lifetime Pro Angler 118 Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 11
  • Width (Inches): 32
  • Weight (Pounds): 85
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 375
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Built-in rod holders 

Despite being heavy, the Lifetime Pro Angler 118 fishing kayak is very stable and maneuverable once it is in the water. The sharp bow cut the water, thereby increasing speed and tracking. On the other hand, the flat bottom keeps the craft steady as you cast and retrieve the line. 

The deck has enough space for your legs. The adjustable fabric seat dries quickly. Still, it lacks the comfort found in other kayaks. The yak offers an adjustable footrest. It goes all the way down to accommodate tall anglers. 

On either side of the seat, you get a set of gear tracks. Use them to fix rod holders, fish finders mount, or pretty much anything you want. 

Storage-wise, the Pro Angler 118 comes with an airtight hatcher at the bow. Plus a bungee cord cargo area at the stern. You can also place small items on the deck as there is enough space. 

The Pro Angler 118 comes with two flush-mounted rod holders. You can find them behind the seat on either side of the boat.

In terms of construction, the craft has polyethylene construction. It is 11 feet long and 32 inches wide. 

Pros: 

  • It comes with a 5-year warranty 
  • Durable exterior 
  • Plenty of gear tracks
  • Roomy deck 

Cons: 

  • Heavy
  • The seat is not that comfortable 
  • It is slower than other options 

BKC UH-RA220 Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Features: 

  • Length (Feet): 11.5
  • Width (Inches): 34
  • Weight (Pounds): 68
  • Maximum Capacity (Pound): 550
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Built-in rod holders 

Measuring 11.5 feet long and 34 inches wide, the UH-RA220 is today’s last option. Its polyethylene construction is stable enough to handle slow-moving water and hauling up to 550 pounds of cargo. 

The UH-RA220 comes with two watertight hatches for water-sensitive equipment. Anything else can go on the stern cargo area. 

Although you can stand up, there is not enough space to move around. Be careful. The good thing is that you can spread your legs thanks to the adjustable footrest.  

The craft comes with a rudder that you can control with your feet. It takes a little patience to get a hold of it. But everything should go swimmingly once you do. Overall, the performance is good. It tracks well. However, it is quite difficult to maneuver because it sits on the wider side.

Pros: 

  • Plenty of storage space
  • Very stable
  • Foot-controlled rudder
  • It comes with rod holders and gear rails 
  • Impressive capacity

Cons: 

  • It is quite hard to maneuver 
  • Delicate bow 
  • It lacks room to move while standing

What to look for when Choosing the Best Fishing Kayak for Big Anglers

Big people have different requirements than average-size people. Fishing kayaks are no different. In this case, space, capacity, and size requirements are more specific. Choosing anything smaller translates into poor performance and discomfort. On top of that, bid anglers also need to consider common aspects of these crafts such as tracking, construction, design, seat, among other things. 

best fishing kayak for big guys

In short, things get a little complicated. Luckily for you, we’ve already covered all of these -and more- in this section. Here you will find kayak-specific features that your craft should have. Plus, other things that you need to consider regarding space and size requirements. But enough of the lollygagging. Let’s get started. 

Sit-On-Top Versus Sit-In Fishing Kayaks

Before diving deep into kayak anatomy, we need to decide which type of kayak we need. There are two types: Sit-On-Top and Sit-In. 

Sit-In Fishing Kayaks

The second type has a close deck design. Here, you sit inside the craft, protecting your lower body while your upper half remains outside. Because you sit closer to the water, Sit-In kayaks are inherently more stable than any other. It is also easier to control since you can use your core to move the craft. 

The main problem with Sit-In fishing kayaks is the lack of space. It takes practice to get in and out of the craft. Plus, there is no room for you to fish from a standing position. As a result, we don’t recommend such kayaks for anglers, especially if they are large. That’s why none of the options here are of this type.

Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayaks

In contrast, Sit-On-Top kayaks offer an open deck design. As a result, you can easily get in and out. You also have more room to move, stand, and spread your legs. 

Having an open deck makes Sit-On-Top kayaks more suitable for fishing since you can place your gear directly into the craft. Besides, these kayaks are easier to customize and add fishing-specific gadgets. 

However, not everything is perfect with them. First, the craft is less stable because you sit closer to the water. This makes it difficult to control as well. Lastly, because the deck is open, your whole body remains exposed to the elements. 

Nevertheless, we think that the pros of Sit-On-Top fishing kayaks outweigh the cons by far. 

Fishing Kayak Anatomy

Regardless of which type of craft you choose, each kayak has pretty much the same parts. We won’t dive too deep here. But it pays to learn which word refers to what.

Let’s start with the hull. It is the lower section of the craft. Therefore, it is the one touching the water. 

The bow is the front section of the kayak. Thus, it is the first part that cuts the water as you slide through. Depending on how sharp the bow is, the kayak will travel a little faster. 

The beam is another section of interest. It is the widest part of any kayak. It mostly influences stability and maneuverability. 

The stern, in contrast, is the rear of the kayak. Thus, it is the last section of the craft that slides through the water. The size and shape of the stern determine how stable the kayak is. 

The cockpit is the last section we will talk about. It is where the seat is. On Sit-On-Top kayaks, the cockpit is not as defined as on a Sit-In model. But it still has one.  

Dimensions and Performance

After reading today’s menu, you likely notice that not all kayaks are of the same length and width. As a result, performance won’t be the same. That’s why we will now talk about dimensions first and then performance. 

Length

Length is arguably the first thing that everyone notices when searching for a fishing kayak.

Typically, the longer the kayak, the faster it slides. It cuts through water easily. That’s why all racing kayaks are 11 feet long, at least. Still, speed gain comes at the price of maneuverability. 

Longer kayaks are harder to control, especially in narrow rivers and creeks. So, make sure to learn how to make tight turns before hitting the wild.

Width

Remember what the beam is? Well, when we talk about the kayak’s width, we are referring to how wide the beam is. Typically, the wider the craft is, the more stable it gets. As a result, you can move more and bring more gear with you. However, there is a price. 

Wide kayaks are not as maneuverable as narrow models. That’s why most touring and racing kayaks are so slim. Nevertheless, this is not an issue in most cases, especially if you are a large person. Here comfort is more important than maneuverability. 

Fishing Kayak Stability

We are diving into deeper waters now. Stability is, arguably, the first thing that you must look for in a kayak. Like we said before, it largely depends on how wide the beam is. But there are also a couple of things that you should know. The hull shape, for example, is among those things. 

Kayak Hull

There are three main hull designs: 

  • Rounded
  • V-Shaped
  • Flat 

Rounded hulls make faster and more maneuverable kayaks. There is less water resistance and superior secondary stability. Don’t worry. We will explain what secondary and primary stability is in a few lines below. Most whitewater kayaks use this hull design. 

V-Shaped hulls, on the other hand, cut through the water better. As a result, it is easier to keep a straight course. In other words, they track better. They also offer more secondary than primary stability. That’s why some fishing kayaks use this hull type.

Flat hulls, as the name suggests, have a flat bottom. Since there is a lot of contact between the water and the hull, they lack the maneuverability and speed of the other types. Still, they offer superior primary stability. Sadly, we can’t say the same about secondary stability. Still, you can also find some fishing kayaks with such a hull.

What’s Primary Stability?

Primary stability refers to how stable the craft is while sitting on clam water. You can always add a kayak outrigger to enhance primary stability. 

And What About Secondary Stability?

When we talk about secondary stability, we are referring to how stable the kayak is once it tips. 

Kayaks with high secondary stability are ideal for rough waters.

Fishing Kayak Capacity

Capacity is the second thing that you must look into. If you are a large angler, even more. 

Most fishing kayaks have a capacity of around 300 pounds. Keep in mind that this includes your own weight. So, let’s say that I’m near 200 pounds. This leaves 100 pounds for gear, which might be enough for beginners. Still, we don’t recommend pushing the kayak to its limits. It is wise to leave some free pounds. 

The capacity largely depends on the dimensions, design, and materials of construction. For example, the larger and wider the yak is, the more weight it can hold. The same goes for kayaks with flat hulls.

Fishing Kayak Portability 

There is little to worry about when the kayak is on the water. However, you have to consider how you are getting it there. 

In other words, you must consider size and weight. The larger and heavier the kayak, the more difficult it will be to transport. Sadly, most fishing kayaks for big guys are 10 feet long and 30 inches wide at least. 

In addition, fishing kayaks weigh at least 50 pounds without gear. It will increase substantially once you add a fish finder, tackle box, extra rod holders, among other things. In short, you must consider how you will take the kayak to the water and back. 

Consider getting a kayak rack to prevent any damage to your car. Plus, a kayak cart to pull the craft from your vehicle to the plier. 

Propulsion System

There are three unique propulsion methods: Paddle, pedal, and trolling engine. You can use the first on any kayak. Just make sure that the model you are getting already comes with one. 

But if you want a stealth approach, then a pedal-drive system is what you need. Unfortunately, not all fishing kayaks are compatible with such a system. 

For those who don’t like to oar, the trolling engine is the best bet. Still, keep in mind that your craft must be compatible with aftermarket trolling engines. 

Our Top Pick: Perception Pescador

It is hard to find a well-built, stoked fishing kayak under 1000 bucks. That’s why we were surprised by the Perception Pescador. It comes with a comfortable seat, paddle, airtight storage, bungee cord cargo area, molded rod holders, and gear tracks. In short, everything you need to start fishing.

In addition, the craft remains pleasantly light while also offering enough capacity for those who weigh more than 200 pounds. The adjustable footrest means that the Perception Pescador will accommodate anglers of different heights.

The wide beam enhances stability without compromising tracking and speed. Still, the best thing about the Perception Pescador is its price. You get a durable, UV-resistant shell for less than 800 dollars. Leaving you with enough money to rig the craft to your liking. Get yours here!

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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started luremefish.com to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.

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