Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks
Are you looking for a tandem kayak that is fun to paddle around and won't break your bank? Tandem fishing kayaks are designed for two people. They need equal care and attention from both paddling partners. There is a reason why a two-person kayak is termed "a divorce boat." You and your partner need to co-ordinate and be on the same page when paddling.
It's another thing to want a tandem kayak after having experienced the fun and thrill a single person kayak offers, but if you are new to kayaking, I would recommend going through the buyer's guide, and frequently asked questions(FAQs) addressed in the latter part of this post. In the section next to this one, I have reviewed the ten best tandem fishing kayaks.
Top 10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks
Most tandem kayaks are not spacious enough for two people to sit comfortably and cast. You can do either one of them. Before coming up with this product, Lifetime, a US-based fishing equipment manufacturer, has taken this factor into consideration.
With the Lifetime 10-foot fishing kayak, two people can cast comfortably on either side of the vessel.
The frame of this best tandem fishing kayak is molded from high-density polyethylene (PE). PE is the most common plastic in use today, but when blow-molded with advanced machinery, it shows enhanced strength and durability. This kayak can also accommodate a kid or a pet. It has a weight capacity of 500 lbs.
Lifetime 10 Foot 2-Person Fishing Kayak is Suitable For:This kayak suits best for those who wish to take their family out for a fishing trip. The open cockpit's width (36-inches) makes it possible to move your arms freely when paddling and casting. Further, this vessel also comes with molded-in rod holders. You can let the fishing rod do its job and have a good time with your loved ones without any interruptions.
Brooklyn Kayak Company is one of America's trusted fishing equipment manufacturers. This company is headquartered in Keansburg, New Jersey. The model UH-TK181 is a tandem fishing kayak for those who wish to unplug from their daily routine and reconnect with nature.
This 12-foot is a two-seater kayak that can accommodate a kid or a pet. The total weight capacity is 440 lbs.
This sit-on-top kayak comes with three articulated fishing rod holders and four flush-mounted rod holders. The articulated rod holders are placed in three strategic locations, so you have the best chance to catch fish.
You can also make use of the flush mounts, placed on either side of the two cockpits. No matter what brand or type of fishing rod you have, you can mount them on the vessel.
BKC UH-TK181 12-Foot Tandem Kayak is Suitable For:The BKC UH-TK181 is the best tandem fishing kayak for those who wish to go on long fishing trips with their family. The vessel is equipped with all the accessories needed for two people to catch fish efficiently. Next, it also comes with two waterproof storage hatches. You can secure your car keys, wallet, snacks, and water bottles in it.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is one of the most robust and durable tandem fishing kayaks on the market. The 18-gauge PVC construction suits perfectly well with freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, and ponds.
The product is approved by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Experts at NMMA make sure that the product complies with the standards of safety, design, and construction set by them.
Furthermore, this product is perfectly capable of withstanding medium-power Class II water waves. The 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover vessel can take the hard knocks of medium-sized water waves. The more weight the vessel carries, the better secondary stability you can expect.
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is Suitable For:This is the best tandem fishing kayak for anglers who employ the trolling method of fishing. In this method, the fisherman uses a trolling motor for propulsion and control of the vessel. Sevylor trolling motor fittings are considered one of the best on the market.
Elkton Outdoors is one of the best tandem fishing kayaks for professional anglers. The open cockpit has an enhanced sit-on-top design. When designing this tandem kayak for fishing, the manufacturer has kept professional anglers in mind. The product is precision-engineered and optimized for a productive fishing experience.
The kayak is armed with all the necessary accessories required for fishing in freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, and ponds. A professional angler needs several intricately detailed rod holders placed strategically across the vessel. The Elkton Outdoors is equipped with five rod holders. Four insets (or flush) type and one swivel rod holder.
For longer trips with your family member, friend, or a helper, you can secure your valuables in the built-in-storage compartment located at the rear end of the vessel. Elkton has also provided two air-tight storage hatchets (one for each paddler).
Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak is Suitable For:This tandem fishing kayak suits best for those who fish for a living (or for food). You can fish either with a partner or go solo. The seats in the kayak not only have adjustable backrests but can also be displaced. For solo outings, it is advised to place the seat in the center of the kayak.
The Intex Challenger K2 is a well-designed and classically styled tandem fishing kayak. The bright green color makes the Challenger K2 stand out from the rest of the kayak in the water.
With the original Intex high output pump, you can inflate the vessel in less than 3 minutes. Next, inflating the other parts and attaching the accessories would take another 7-8 minutes. You assemble the entire kayak in 10 minutes.
This inflatable kayak is built to last way longer than those made by other brands. Although, care should be taken when transporting the kayak from home to the fishing venue and vice versa.
Having said that, the super-tough vinyl material is thick enough to withstand heavy blows from the rocks or plantation present in shallow waters. In addition, Intex also provides a repair kit for emergency situations.
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is Suitable For:This kayak is perfect for those staying in windy or cyclone-prone areas. With this kayak in your arsenal, weather conditions will not stop you from indulging in your favorite hobby. This kayak makes it possible for anglers to fish in rivers, lakes, and ponds with sharp rocks or broken tree branches beneath the water's surface. It is virtually indestructible.
Are you looking for the best tandem fishing kayak for camping? It is not uncommon for anglers to go on a multi-day fishing trip. After a long day of trawling, anglers prefer setting up a camp on nearby slets, cays, skerries, or eyotes.
Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe is a sporty kayak capable of carrying heavy camping equipment and three adults. The load-bearing capacity of this kayak is 650 lbs.
Also, the inflatable kayak is fully portable. When not in use, it can be folded and placed in a carry bag contained within the product package.
The package also includes a foot pump, two inflatable seats, and two paddles. The paddles are 7-foot 10-inches long. The lightweight aluminum shaft and asymmetric blades enhance the efficiency of the paddles.
Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe Sport Kayak is Suitable For:The 370 deluxe sport kayak works great for experienced paddlers who are likely to encounter fast shallow stretches of water in a river (Class III whitewater). The size and shape of the vessel are more suitable for seasoned paddlers. Although, with two rear skegs, the manufacturer has made the job of tracking the vessel somewhat easy for beginners.
Are you looking for an affordable tandem fishing kayak? The Excursion Pro from Intex is an affordable kayak, but the materials used for the construction of the frame are of top quality. For instance, the bows are made from the same material as in a top brand such as Zodiac.
Intex Excursion Pro is one of the most affordable tandem fishing kayaks on the market. The manufacturer hasn't compromised on features. In fact, this product is equipped with the most advanced features.
Excursion Pro can also be used for one person. The seats stay in place with the help of velcro strips sewn into the floor. Both seats need to be removed, and one needs to be reattached to set up a single paddler configuration.
The three-chamber system is your assurance of safety and protection. If you nick a sharp stone or a broken tree branch and one of the chambers ruptures, the other two will keep the vessel afloat until you get to the shore. Having said that, the laminate PVC with the polyester core is puncture-resistant, hence such accidents are less likely to occur.
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is Suitable For:
This kayak is designed for freshwater fishing. It weighs 35 lbs and can be readied for action within 10 minutes. Although, you do need to inflate the three chambers (floor and two sides) separately.
Vibe Skipjack 120T is for those who seek outdoor adventure with their friends and family members. This kayak is a 12.2-foot long multi-person kayak that can bear 500 lbs of load. It is perfect for two well-built adults and a kid or a pet. You can also include fishing equipment like rods, fish finder, gloves, shoes, and much more. The entire frame weighs 72 pounds.
This tandem fishing kayak is constructed for stability, speed, and comfort. Although this vessel does not come with retractable skegs or rudders, the material itself possesses built-in buoyancy. You can use the aluminum paddles for guiding the vessel in the direction you want it to go.
Plus, Vibe has also provided two easy access paddle rests. They keep your hands free during reeling and retrieving the fish. Further, four fish holders and two fishfinder mounts make fishing more fun and effortless.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12-Foot Tandem Angler is Suitable For:
The Skipjack 120T is perfect for family outings and adventure. The package also includes an extra seat. For those who do not like to paddle, this kayak comes with four standard base plate mounting points. You can connect motors from a variety of brands. Also, the mounting brackets are easily customizable. You can change the configuration at will.
Old Town Twin Heron tandem kayak is made the old-fashioned way. A lot of anglers are skeptical about buying a closed cockpit kayak, such as the Twin Heron. A plus-sized person would find it challenging to fit inside or stay comfortable in a compact cockpit.
The Twin Heron is 31.5-inches wide. The deck height and cockpit heights are 15.5-inches and 23-inches, respectively. It is comfortable for a person with an average physique.
A plus-sized person can go for open-cockpit models discussed in this post. Sleeker looking kayaks usually sink in the water making the paddler concerned about their safety. Such is not the case with Twin Heron. And it sits up in the water quite well.
Further, the auto-trim hull makes it easy for paddlers to get in and out of the kayak. The bow won't pop up due to the uneven distribution of weight across the vessel.
Old Town Twin Heron Angler Tandem Kayak is Suitable For:This kayak is designed for shorter fishing trips. It does not come with separate storage compartments or hatches. Although, you can place the essentials such as water bottles, food, and fishing accessories in a tight plastic bag. Also, this kayak is lightweight. For transportation, you can effortlessly haul it over your car or a truck.
The Mirage Compass Duo is the new and upgraded version of the Hobie 2019 Compass fishing kayak. This tandem fishing kayak comes with all the advanced features needed for productive fishing. The flat deck is one of its unique offerings. When catching big game fish with a low-sensitive and durable rod, it is important to always keep an eye on the lure. Mirage Compass Duo lets you observe the surroundings better by standing on the flat deck.
The mid-section of this kayak is a lot wider in comparison to the bow and rear end, which makes it more stable in rough waters. The frame is made from super-tough polyethylene material.
The package included two paddles, two hatches, a large storage compartment, two fish rod holders, and a cargo area with bungee tie-downs. You can easily place an H-Crate or Livewell in the cargo area.
Hobie 2020 Mirage Compass Duo is Suitable For:The Mirage Compass Duo, as the name suggests, is designed to accommodate two well-built adults, a kid or a pet, and luggage. The seats are a lot more comfortable than the previous version, and you will also find some storage space (for water bottles and food) underneath them.
Buyer Guide - How to Choose the Right Tandem Fishing Kayak
Choosing the right tandem kayak is a lot more challenging than you think. Along with your preferences, you must also consider the needs and wants of your fellow paddler. It is quite common for people to end up frustrated with inappropriate sized or under-equipped tandem kayaks for fishing. Paddling a multi-person kayak also requires some training. This section will assist you in choosing the best tandem fishing kayak.
Before choosing a tandem kayak, make sure you take the following factors into consideration:
1. Type of Water Body
Some manufacturers do make separate kayaks for freshwater and saltwater. The difference is mainly in the material used for construction and cockpit design. The kayaks mentioned in this post are mainly meant for freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. Also, they are for recreational fishing.
It is rare for someone to want to step into a large water body like an ocean for fishing. That too in a small boat like a kayak. Having said that, the Old Town Twin Heron comes with a closed cockpit and can be used in saltwater bodies such as creeks and ocean.
Creeks are good and quieter than the ocean. You will find fish species such as common shiner, brook trout, brown trout, creek chub, and fallfish.
Before choosing a tandem kayak, you need to take into account your and your partner's body type (height, weight, etc.). You should also know that paddlers with average height and body do not have to be critical about the vessel's dimensions.
However, they do need to be clear about the speed that the kayak wishes to paddle. Longer or sleeker tandem kayaks are speedy, whereas shorter and broader tandem kayaks offer better maneuverability.
3. Seating Arrangement
Tandem fishing kayaks come in two types of seating arrangements: 1) Sit-On-Top 2) Sit-in. If you are into (or planning to learn about) recreational or casual freshwater fishing, you should go for a sit-on-top open cockpit kayak. It is perfect for Class II or Class III type water.
On the other hand, a sit-in style kayak shelters your lower body from water when paddling in rough waters. They are well-suited for touring or angling in water bodies with medium-heavy water pressure. The only downside of a sit-in type kayak is there are no spacious storage compartments.
4. Kayak Type
From the context of recreational fishing, kayak comes in three types: 1) Tandem Inflatable 2) Tandem Plastic and 3) Pedal-Powered. Note that plastic is just a general term for hard and durable synthetic material, namely Polyethylene and Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
The Tandem Inflatable kayak is perfect for those who are planning on a vacation abroad or far away from their home. They can be folded and placed in a carry bag. Most airline companies do not have a problem with you carrying portable fishing equipment.
Plastic kayaks are more resilient against the wind, waves, and sharp/pointy objects floating on the water. They offer more safety and security for you and other passengers.
Finally, if you have an injury in your arm or want to focus fully on fishing (and not paddling), you can opt for a kayak with a pedal propulsion system. US-based kayak manufacturers like Hobie have introduced advanced pedal-powered kayaks for fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Tandem Kayak Mean?
The dictionary definition of the word "tandem" is "having two things arranged one in front of the other." There is more than one application of a tandem kayak. It can be used for touring, recreational fishing, or connecting with loved ones.
Tandem kayaks have two types of seating arrangements: 1) Back-to-back 2) Face-to-face. Sitting back-to-back lets you paddle in unison, whereas face-to-face is good for conversing.
Can One Person Handle a Tandem Kayak?
Yes, a two-person kayak can be handled comfortably by one person. Although, you need to rearrange the position of the rear seat. Try to bring it as close to the center as possible, or else the bow will rise up in the air, destabilizing the entire frame.
By changing the position, you will be exerting less effort per mile. That being said, it is going to be a bit harder than paddling a one-person kayak.
Is Tandem Kayaking Hard?
You can cut down a lot of effort per mile with the support of another paddler. Tandem kayaking can seem hard, and you might run into trouble only if you do not work well as a team. The person at the rear end must take the lead and make a decision as to which direction to go. If you get this part right then, you will find tandem kayaking fun and enjoyable.
Tandem kayaking is for those who love to spend time outdoors with their family and friends. In this above post, I have mostly included top US-made products. Imported kayak can be relied upon if you plan to participate in the recreational sport on occasions, and that too within 2-3 miles of the shoreline.From the products mentioned above, I would pick Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Kayak over others. The stern of this kayak is a lot shorter and wider than others. Hence, it offers good stability, even when you paddle solo. Kayak paddles are included in the product package. And there is plenty of space to store your fishing equipment.
Last Updated on January 5th, 2021