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Are inflatable kayaks good for fishing?

What type of kayak is best for fishing

The short answer is the one you have with you. When traveling around the country how many times do you wish you had some kind of watercraft when visiting your particular destination. If you like fishing well that makes it even more important. Usually, space is limited for travelers and having an inflatable kayak is my first choice. Inflatable kayaks have come along way these days, other than the cheap water-toy type kayak, today’s inflatables are Are solid and stable for fishing.

Today’s inflatables are light-weight making them easy to move about. Inflatable kayaks are strong and rigid when inflated, creating a stable platform for most anglers.

 Not to mention there’s no crowded boat dock, trailer, and typical boat-launch chaos. With an inflatable there’s no lifting of a big, heavy piece of plastic onto the car/van roof, just roll it out, pump it up, and put your gear in and go. Not too much stress in that! For RVers its takes up hardly any room and you can stick it anywhere. The one I use weighs 35 lbs. and my wife and I can move it around with ease.

Fishing kayak you can stand up in

Drop Stitch Material
Drop Stitch Technology

The kayak you choose should have a drop-stitch floor. Drop stitch floors are made of double-wall fabric from a specially designed drop-stitched PVC fabric often referred to as DWF, “Double Wall Fabric”. DWF is comprised of thousands of interwoven stitches holding both sections of fabric in parallel allowing it to be inflated with very high air pressure. When inflated, a high-pressure drop stitch floor is like standing on wood, giving you a stable platform for standing while providing additional buoyancy increasing maneuverability while underway. More on Kayaks you can stand up in

Do kayaks flip over easily?

The first difference between a hard shell and an inflatable kayak is the width. Inflatables are much wider than hard-shell kayaks do to the pontoon sides, making them more stable and a great choice for people of all ages. They don’t feel “tippy” so they don’t become a distraction from fishing.

state of the art, external, rigid, inflatable NeedleKnife™ Keel
State of the art, external, rigid, inflatable NeedleKnife™ Keel

The next thing to look for in an inflatable fishing kayak is an inflatable rigid keel. This keel goes along way in maintaining your kayak’s straight course when paddling. This reduces the amount of energy that gets wasted when paddling. Many inflatables just don’t go straight. They tend to yaw back and forth which can really fatigue the paddler. A rigid keel keeps thinks straight and keeps the energy of the paddle to its maximum efficiency. And finally, the inflatable should have an extended stern skeg to greatly help with tracking. A kayak with a rigid keel will definitely increase speed and agility in the water. These things are important as some kayaks are made for rivers with lots of currents where the paddling is more directional than transitional, mainly white water.

Fishing in an inflatable kayak

To start with you can get in and out of places that would be difficult in a fishing boat. It’s a very stealth approach to the spot you want to fish in, and it’s quiet.

Open Decks

Inflatable kayaks have a much more open floor plan which really helps them feel not-so-crowded when moving gear, ice chests, dogs, and tackle around. Open decks are definitely more suited for nice weather and calm water, and the softness of the inflatable construction makes everything a bit more comfortable.


You can fish with the inflatable kayak on rivers, lakes, ocean bays, ponds, anywhere there’s water. You can fish in rocky shorelines, sandy beaches, bridges, rocks, and other heavy structures. It cuts through the water like a knife.  You can paddle them, attach a trolling motor, equip them with fish finders, and just about everything you’ll need for fishing.

Are inflatable Kayaks durable? How long do inflatables last? 

Is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?

Even the most expensive inflatable kayak is just pennies compared to boats and motors, licenses, insurance, etc. One thing for sure you get what you pay for and I wouldn’t skimp too much when it comes to your safety, so buying a well-built kayak will keep you safe and will track and maneuver well. You also don’t need to necessarily buy a “fishing kayak”. Even though it comes with a few more bells and whistles, you might not want the “army green” color they all seem to come in. That said, all you need after that is a couple of rods, some tackle, bait, and a lunch. But hold on, let’s look at what could make things a little more geared for success.

Kayak fishing setup for beginners

Rod HolderInflatable kayak fishing rod holder

You’ll need some rod holders that keep your poles up and out of the way when paddling. There are several types: Glue-on, Clamp-on, or bolt-on (mounting to an accessory frame of a motor mount). I like to keep my rods behind the seat point back when I’m traveling and in my hands while fishing. I have a Sea Eagle so I put the trolling motor mount on the back and added two rod holders mounted to it. Works with or without a trolling motor mounted. I think you could Strat this to most kayaks. You could glue on some Scotty mounting pads that hold rod holders as well.

anchor system
Grapnel Anchor System


Depending on how you fish, you may want a lightweight anchor to keep you in one place or at least slow you down if it’s windy. You don’t need too much weight so don’t overdo it. I like this one because it folds up and is a little more compact.

Plano soft tackleTackle Storage

I would keep this small, lightweight, and definitely soft. You don’t need everything you own in one big box. This is a good choice or something like this.

Waterproof bag

Throw in your repair kit, a rope, a whistle, a first aid kit with a compass, and if you’re going to be in big water a handheld VHF radio isn’t a bad idea. Also, fish grips, measuring tape, a stringer, and a hook remover.

Inflatable fishing kayak with trolling motor

If you even think you might want a trolling motor on your kayak plan for that when first buying. Trolling is a big part of fishing for some, so adding the electric trolling motor option is the one you want. You’ll be looking at 3mph – 5mph at best. You can figure two pounds of thrust per 100 lbs. weight you’re moving. It won’t take too much thrust to move you along. A Minn Kota Endura 30 with 30lbs. of thrust,  for example, should work for most people. More on adding a trolling motor to a kayak here

Best inflatable fishing kayak

For portability and fishing, the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack™ Angler Series Inflatable Fishing Boat is the best choice.

the 385fta FastTrack™ Angler Series Inflatable Fishing Boat
The 385fta FastTrack™ Angler Series Inflatable Fishing Boat

About the 385fta FastTrack™ Angler Series Inflatable Fishing Boat

I’m gonna be 100% honest with you guys this is the most comfortable boat I’ve ever fished out of and everything on the boat is soft and quiet. You can hang your legs over the sides of the pontoons, you can lay in the bottom of, it it’s just so versatile.  The boat has all these little d-ring attachments so you can literally place the seat anywhere you want in the boat. I paddled this kayak in the very front it was stable, I’ve paddled it with it in the rear, but normally I pedal right behind center. I really do like the seat they’ve made it very ergonomic for paddling and standing up here, you got plenty of room for a natural movement. Sea Eagle will send you a paddle I’ve used it I mean way I have better paddles that I use but this paddle isn’t bad it breaks down really small it’s a four-piece so if you’re transporting this in a car you know that does have its advantages of breaking down into a little bit shorter sections and it works well with the boat. When you order your Sea Eagle boat there’s different packages you can choose from. It depends on if you’re wanting to add a trolling motor to your boat, if you’re wanting to add a swivel chair to your boat, if you’re wanting to mount fish finders and different electronics to your boat.


Person Capacity


Hull Weight

45 lbs.


12 ft. 6 in.


3 ft.


11'7" x 18"

Load Capacity

3 Persons or 635 lbs


36" x 15" x 20"


4 (port, starboard, keel, floor)

Tube Diameter


Air Valves

4 Recessed One Way

Inflation time

7 min



Quadruple Overlapped Seams



1000 Denier Reinforced

Engine Capacity


34 lbs. thrust electric (max engine weight 15 lbs)



Removable High Pressure Drop Stitch Floor

Whitewater Rating


Suitable up to Class II

Inflation Pressure


3.2 psi

One of the options that you can choose when purchasing a Sea Eagle boat is a swivel seat. It’s basically just two aluminum crossbars, you connect them via a wider piece of aluminum, it’s all wing nuts and hand knob, so very easy to go together. How it works is, the seat basically just lays right across the top of the pontoons, you can put it in the back, you could put it in the center, and it’s held in place by the straps that Sea Eagle sends you. They go through the loops and wrap around the legs at last you have a swivel chair, it also comes with two Scotty rod holders right on the side, it makes it really really easy going to a standing position with this seat and you don’t lose stability. Again with this boat being three feet wide it’s very stable you can sit in the bottom of the kayak, you can sit with the inflatable chair or you can opt for the swivel seat with rod holders. All of them serve a purpose, all of them are good and work great. For those of you who don’t like to paddle you can order a trolling motor mount.

Does it paddle as well as a rigid kayak almost there’s a little bit of yaw when you’re paddling but not much that inflatable rigid keel on the front and the skeg on the back really does a good job of keeping the boat steady and because it’s so light and the draft is so low this boat really moves? I’ve caught some really really big fish out of this boat. Because again going back to everything being soft touch, not only does it make it comfortable, it makes it quiet so you can really sneak up into some shallow places and get in on those bigger fish.

Durability is not an issue. Now you have to be mindful it’s not gonna take the abuse that a normal plastic rigid boat would take, but I can tell you I’ve run into docks I’ve run into thorn bushes on the lake ran over rebar hit trees I’ve done pretty much everything you can do and there have been zero issues with the boat itself.  It’s tough, it’s not some cheap inflatable that’s you know you’ve got to worry about “oh gosh if I run over a rock am I gonna sink?” no I’ve actually fished a tournament out of this book so that’s a testament to my confidence in this boat. It’s a really great rig.

The thing I like the most about it is it’s so lightweight. It car tops really well you throw the kayak on top of a car you put your straps on you tighten it down tight because it is an inflatable boat it sticks to your roof racks really well and the straps bike down into it so there’s no wobble or anything going down the freeway at 70 miles an hour. I can definitely throw it in the trunk of a car or keep it in the closet in the house, pretty much store it anywhere. The pros of this kayak are its portability. At 45 pounds you can car top this kayak, bring this kayak anywhere you want. The build quality is amazing I’m never out on the water thinking am I gonna I got a sink because I ran over something. I don’t have that issue I don’t have those thoughts in the back of my mind. I haven’t had any issues with deflating. A lot of times if you pop up a boat and you get on colder water it reduces the pressure inside the boat and you just don’t feel like you have any stability. That has not been the case with this boat. That drop stitch flooring really does a great job of adding the support that you need through the whole boat and it just feels great to fish out of.

There’s a lot of accessories available for this kayak. A lot of different packages you can choose from depending on what you want to do with your boat, and what type of water you’re fishing. There are D ring attachments throughout the boat so you can put pretty much add everything you need. There are bungees for paddles you got everything you need. The rigid front bow and stern really are just little added things that most inflatable kayaks don’t have.

Sea Eagle’s been around for 50-plus years making inflatable boats so they know what they’re doing!

Standard Features

  • NMMA Certified
  • Customized front & rear spray skirts with built-in rod, tools, hooks, and lure holders plus storage below and bungee rope lacing on top for additional storage
  • Made of more durable 29% thicker 1000 denier tough as crocodile hide hull material – double layered on tubes and bottom for extra protection
  • Combination of double-reinforced welded/glued seams
  • Non-slip crocodile hide EVA foam padding on the floor to prevent slippage and punctures from fish and hooks
  • Built-in Fish Ruler
  • Center balanced ergonomic carry handles
  • Custom hunter green color to blend in with surroundings
  • 2 Open and close drain valves
  • Separate inner High-Pressure Drop Stitch floor for greater rigidity
  • Large removable, swept-back skeg at the rear to control yaw and improve speed
  • Outside state of the art inflatable NeedleKnife™ high-pressure drop stitch keel at the bow for incredibly true tracking
  • 18 D-rings to secure seats and gear
  • Nylon carry bag, repair kit & Printed instructions