best tandem fishing kayak
When you want to get out on the water, kayaking is perfect for getting to smaller fishing spots that you can’t get to by boat. Going alone can be nice, but sharing the kayak with someone else can make any casual fishing trip more enjoyable.
Tandem fishing kayaks are fantastic for bringing a family member or friend to share the experience with you.
How do you know which tandem fishing kayak is right for you with so many options out there? We’ve looked through several options to find the best tandem fishing kayaks that are both comfortable and efficient.
Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks Reviews Of 2021
1. Jackson Big Tuna Kayak – 2021
The Jackson Big Tuna Kayak is one of the company’s largest models that can be used both solo and tandem. It is 14 ft. 2 in. long and 35 in. wide. The maximum load it can carry is 500 lb. The kayak is stable enough for you to stand with straps that are easy to reach and use to keep your balance.
The comfortable seats come with replaceable and easy-to-clean Ergo Seat covers. They are rotatable, which lets you paddle in traditional tandem positions with another person or sit facing each other while sitting on the kayak. If you are going solo, you can also adjust the position to give yourself more room. This fishing kayak includes Flush and Ram rod holders and Tough Ball secure rods to help you catch fish.
It also has a rod tip protector that helps secure rods while paddling. The hull space and dry hatch are roomy, perfect for storing any bags, rods, or electronics. There is a Tuna Tank that can hold your bait after you drill holes into it. Other accessories include water bottle holders, scupper holes, stand-assist straps, and a long load flat.
With all of these extras included, the fishing kayak itself is rather heavy at about 102 lb, so you may need to carry this with another person, especially if you are going a far distance to a lake or the ocean. It can also be somewhat difficult to maneuver because of its weight, especially if you are using it solo. Though it may be challenging to move it around, as it may drift in currents, it is generally easy to paddle in the water.
The Jackson Big Tuna Kayak comes with a limited manufacturer warranty to ensure quality.
- Two versatile seats
- Easy to paddle in the water
- Comfortable seating with Ergo Seat covers
- Extra storage space
- Large and heavy
- Can be difficult to maneuver
2. Wilderness Systems Pamlico 145 Kayak
The Pamlico 145 from Wilderness Systems is the best-selling tandem kayak of its series. The rounded hull allows you to accelerate and maneuver easily through flatwater. Its quick acceleration allows you to paddle longer distances with ease. It is 14 ft. 6 in. long and 31 in. wide, making it slightly narrower than other kayaks. It can carry up to 550 lbs and weighs around 73 lbs, which two people can easily carry.
This kayak is stable enough for you to stand with a minimal rocker and defined chine. It has a covered stern hatch where you can store dry goods or bait. The kayak also includes bungee rigging on both decks so you can keep your essentials or bait within reach.
The supportive Phase 3 AirPro tandem seating allows you to adjust it to your comfort and height. The seats include a high backrest that supports your middle and lower back. You can also convert the kayak for solo use easily. While you paddle, you can use the front and back foot braces for you to feel comfortable and more in control.
This fishing kayak is recommended for flatwater paddling, and it includes a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.
- Quick acceleration
- Smooth maneuverability
- Minimal rocking
- Adjustable seating
- No place to secure fishing rods while paddling
- Narrow cockpit
3. FastTrack™ Inflatable Kayak
- Length: 12 ft, 5 in
- Width: 2 ft, 9 in
- Weight: 44 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 288 lbs
- Suitable up to Whitewater Class II
This sleek inflatable kayak from FastTrack™ uses a patented, state of the art inflatable NeedleKnife™ Keel to provide a smoother and faster paddling experience. The curved shape of the kayak combined with the sharp point at the hull creates superb kayak rigidity with the lightweight feel of an inflatable. It is designed to be stable and safe.
It is incredibly lightweight compared to other rigid kayaks. This inflatable kayak can weigh either 35 or 44 lbs, depending on the model. A single adult could carry it comfortably on their own. It can not only be carried easily, but you can pack it away into a much smaller bag for storage. It is convenient to use and carry without breaking a sweat.
This kayak is 12 ft. 6 in. long and 3 ft. wide when inflated. It can carry up to 635 lbs, or about three people at a time. The floor is made of a removable high-pressure drop stitch, which provides greater rigidity and stability to the boat.
Unlike many other tandem kayaks, this product comes with a large, removable rear skeg that can control yaw (drifting to the right or left) and improve speed. It is simple to remove when you take the kayak out to rougher waters.
There are two open and close drain valves and front and rear spray skirts with storage underneath. The elastic rope along the sides provides additional storage above the spray skirts as well. The 18 D-rings on the sides can also be used to secure your seats and any fishing gear you carry. Overall, this kayak is slightly cheaper than others, making it great for those on a budget.
All FastTrack™ boats are covered by a three-year limited warranty to ensure quality.
- NeedleKnife™ Keel features a sharp bow to cut through currents
- Very lightweight
- Packs into a small package for easy storage
- Comes with a large removable rear center skeg
- No footrest
- Difficult to pack back into the bag
- Length: 12 ft, 5 in
- Width: 2 ft, 9 in
- Weight: 44 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 288 lbs
- Suitable up to Whitewater Class II
4. Hobie Mirage Compass Duo
Despite being the most expensive kayak on our list, the
In the cockpit, the ergonomic seating covered by breathable mesh is comfortable and supports your back. There are 4 Integrated H-Tracks to mount accessories, such as fishing rods, and you can store bait and other supplies both above and below deck in storage compartments. Bungee tie-downs are included to keep your belongings secure in the spacious storage area.
The kayak itself is highly responsive and easy to maneuver, thanks to its Kick-Up Rudder system. It can be used on flatwater and for more adventurous water outings. The Compass Duo is 13 ft. 6 in. long and 35 in. wide. It can carry up to 475 lbs, and the kayak itself weighs about 127 lbs.
There is a limited warranty on the
- Retractable, spring-loaded rudder system
- Large storage space
- Includes 2-piece paddles
- Highly responsive maneuvering
- More expensive than other brands
- Seats are not adjustable
5. Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Angler Kayak
This Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Angler Kayak is perfect for a fun family fishing trip. Its wider design offers greater stability while you paddle out on the water, though it is not stable enough for a person to stand.
The 2 person fishing kayak can be transfigured from a two-seater to a single seat for solo use. A center cross-lock hatch is professionally installed and includes 4 rod holders: 2 flush mount holders and 2 Cannon rod holders.
The kayak is 13 ft. 4 in. long, 34 in. wide, and weighs about 74 lbs, making it much lighter than other models. It can carry 2 people comfortably with gear, or up to 500 lbs. This tandem fishing kayak has side carry handles along the bow and the stern to make it easier to transfer this product from place to place.
Paddles are not included with the Malibu 2XL, but the kayak itself is slightly cheaper than other models. It does not use a rudder system, making this kayak ideal for flatwater rather than more adventurous water outings. If you purchase any other accessories along with the boat, Ocean Kayak offers free installation.
The hull and deck of all Ocean Kayak products have limited lifetime warranty coverage, while accessories have a one-year limited warranty.
- Great stability
- Comes with 4 rod holders
- Adjustable seating
- Side handles for convenience
- Little storage space
- Paddles are not included
6. Feelfree Lure II Tandem Kayak with Overdrive Pedal Drive
The Feelfree Lure II Tandem Kayak uses modern technology to give options for paddlers to use. It has an Overdrive pedal to propel the kayak forward or in reverse in the rear cockpit, leaving the front passenger to fish or relax.
It is the only two-in-one system which allows power-driven capabilities. You can attach a Motordrive, which is sold separately, to the fishing kayak as well for greater propulsion, or use paddles if you prefer.
A one-handed rudder is included to control your steering and seats which can be adjusted for maximum comfort. This spacious fishing kayak is 14 ft. 2 in. long and 36 in. wide. It weighs 114 lbs and can carry up to 475 lbs. This product is constructed with cast aluminum and other heavy-duty elements in order to increase its stability and make it long-lasting.
There are two rod holders included and two hatches for you to store small items. It includes a removable sonar pod, which allows you to install a transducer and a fishfinder with ease. Despite its weight, this kayak is easy to transport thanks to the wheel in the keel and side carry handles. However, this kayak does not come with paddles included.
The Feelfree Lure II Tandem Kayak comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- Includes removable sonar pod to install a transducer or fishfinder
- Overdrive Pedal offers greater propulsion
- Comfortable Gravity seat adjuster
- Wheel in the keel for easy transport
- Expensive cost
- Paddles not included
7. Vibe Skipjack 120 Tandem Kayak
This simple and spacious tandem kayak from Vibe is made for a variety of uses. It is 12 ft. long and 29 in. wide. The Skipjack 120 Tandem Kayak comes with three seats: two adult seats and an additional seat sized for a child or pet. The versatile seats are designed to endure and remain comfortable through all weather conditions.
The kayak weighs 55 lbs, making it one of the lightest on this list, but it can hold up to 500 lbs at a time. This product is designed to be lightweight on the water and remain stable.
There are 4 holders for fishing rods and 2 mounts for you to attach your fish finders. There are also waterproof hatches for cargo where you can store bait, electronics, or other necessities that need to stay dry. Transport is also much easier with 4 molded handles on the sides to carry your kayak with another person or on your own.
You can use this tandem kayak with another person for a fun fishing trip or solo for a relaxing outing on the water. It comes with 2 paddle parks and rests, though the paddles themselves are not included. The only cons with this kayak are its smaller size and non-waterproof hatches, but overall this kayak is a great value for the price.
- Great price value
- Comes with three different seats
- Front and rear storage areas
- Paddles included
- Hatches are not waterproof
- Smaller than other kayaks
8. Lifetime Kokanee Tandem Angler Kayak
One of the cheapest kayaks on this list, the Lifetime Kokanee Tandem Angler Kayak is perfect for fishing out on the water for long periods of time. It is smaller than other models at 10 ft. 6 in. long, but it is 36 in. wide, providing more stability on rougher waters. The boat itself weighs 76 lbs, making it easier for two people to carry, and it can hold up to 425 lbs on the water.
With comfortable, padded seating, this kayak is designed to be taken out for long fishing trips. The body of this product is made with durable, UV-protected high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to last you a long time. The multiple footrest positions provide extra comfort while you fish or lounge on the water.
Rear carry handles make transporting this kayak easy, though the molded grips may not work well for everyone. It is not the highest-performing kayak in the market, but it is durable and comfortable for family recreational uses and fishing trips for the price.
This tandem kayak from Lifetime comes with a five-year limited warranty. They provide superb customer service and replace parts with no questions asked while the product is under warranty.
- Great price value
- UV-protected, durable construction
- Multiple footrest positions
- Versatile padded seating
- Shorter than other kayaks
- Seats may not be as comfortable as other models
Choosing the Best Tandem Fishing Kayak
When looking for the tandem best fishing kayak, it is vital to consider several features before buying. While looking at this buyer’s guide, consider what you find important to help you decide which product will be right for you.
Space for storage and passengers is crucial when taking a kayak out for a day-long fishing excursion. You will want to have enough space to store bait and refreshments and keep other essentials dry. You will also want a place to keep your catch if you do not plan to release it back into the water.
Fishing kayaks usually provide the best storage compared to other kayaks in the market. However, they offer a variety of options, so depending on how much you want to carry with you, make sure you choose a kayak that has plenty of space.
Maximum Weight Capacity
Like any other kayak, tandem fishing kayaks can vary significantly in how much weight they can hold. You will want to take into account you and your companion, your cargo and gear, and the weight of your catch even if you end up releasing it.
A good tandem kayak will be able to hold all of that and a little more with a high weight capacity.
The weight of the kayak can be a significant factor when choosing the right one for you. Tandem kayaks run heavier than most because of the added features and denser construction to hold two people. Pedal options and improved seating can also be contributing factors to weight.
Heavier kayaks are great for lounging on the water and fishing in one spot. Lighter kayaks are designed for adventurous water outings and for greater acceleration and maneuverability. You will want to consider how much you and your companion will be able to handle as well when transferring the kayak to various locations.
As with any product, the price may be the ultimate influencing factor in making your decision. Going with the best you can afford is usually sound advice, but finding a fishing kayak that fits your needs and matches your skill level is important to consider as well.
Starting with a cheaper model as a beginner can be a better decision than investing in an expensive model. However, more expensive models with a variety of advanced features can be a substantial investment if you plan on using your fishing kayak frequently for years.
Here are fast answers for common questions about these types of kayaks.
What Makes a Good Tandem Fishing Kayak?
The best tandem fishing kayak depends on what you need. However, the best fishing kayaks generally have excellent stability on the water, practical features, and comfortable space for two people with plenty of legroom. You will want enough room for two people to fish without getting caught in the line!
If you want to attach a fish finder or a GPS, look for kayaks that come with mounts included. Any kayaks that come with rod holders are perfect for longer fishing trips as well. However, these are just additional features to consider when looking for the best kayak for you.
Good storage is also important when taking a fishing kayak out for a day trip. You will want to have enough room to bring bait and have a cooler for refreshments without feeling overcrowded.
Overall, a good fishing kayak will include plenty of space, comfortable and adjustable seating, and mounts for any fishing equipment or hardware.
Can I Use a Tandem Kayak Solo?
All tandem kayaks can be used by a solo rider, and you can adjust it so the single seat rests at the center of your boat. Using it solo can create plenty of space for cargo and other gear you want to take with you.
However, some tandem kayaks are better equipped for solo use than others. It is important to look at the description of the product to see if the kayak is stable enough to accommodate a single rider. You don’t want the hull to rise out of the water when using it solo!
Check the descriptions to see if the tandem kayak model can be adapted specifically for solo use before purchasing.
Out of all of the kayaks we have looked at, we highly recommend the Jackson Big Tuna Kayak because of its excellent stability, versatile and comfortable seating, extra storage space, and easy maneuverability in the water.
It is on the pricier side for tandem kayaks, but it provides the sturdiness and storage space you need for a comfortable day on the water.
In looking for the best tandem fishing kayak for you, consider which features are important to you and your fishing companions. The cost, seat versatility, space, and weight can all be crucial factors to consider. Ultimately, the best tandem kayak is one that provides the most for you and your companion.