Kayak Vs. Canoe – Which One’s Better for Recreational Fishing?

A few weeks ago, Peter, one of our online fans, sent us this message:

“I am 55, and it’s close to 40 years since I last went fishing in a boat. In my teens, I was a passionate canoer, but with work and family, I totally neglected it. Now, I miss the serenity of paddling in the open sea and rivers; I really want to enjoy those fishing expeditions again.

Can you recommend a type of boat that I can use in a slow-moving river or lake? Should I get a kayak or canoe? Your recommendations will be greatly appreciated.”

Well, we know there are many of you out there, friends, who are in a similar situation. You want to get into recreational fishing, but you can’t figure out the right vessel.

Don’t worry; we’re here for you.

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between kayaks and canoes, and help you figure out which one fits you best.

Let’s get started.

Kayak Vs. Canoe – The Differences 

Description 

The kayak is a small, narrow boat that is propelled using one double-bladed paddle.

Originally used for hunting, the Kayaks have been in use for millennia. The Inuit, an artic people, were the first people to construct and use them.

The initial version of the Kayak was crafted from a wooden frame and sealskin was used to cover it. It also had a hole at the center where the rider would sit.

Today’s Kayaks are made of tough, flexible, slightly-soft plastic.

Canoes are lightweight and narrow boats that are usually pointed at the front and the back.

They differ from kayaks in that instead of having a sealed top with a small opening at the center, they’re open at the top. The opening is lined with one or more platforms where the riders sit.

Propelling might be done by one person using two paddles or more people sitting or kneeling side by side, each with their own paddle.

Originally, it was the native Americans that made the canoe. They made it from a wood frame and used wood bark to create a water-tight seal.

Today’s canoes are made of different materials, mostly fiberglass and molded plastic.

Stability 

Kayaks are created in a way that they sit lower on the water. That makes them very stable. The wider beam further increases the stability, allowing you to fish comfortably even while standing.

As the cockpit is situated near the center, it also means you’re brought closer to the center of gravity.

Canoes are not as stable as they sit higher on the waters. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t fish while using a canoe. All you need is practice. By learning how to control and balance a canoe, you get to fish comfortably even while standing.

Bottom line – kayaks are better for stability.  

Reliability on rough water

We’ve already mentioned that kayaks are more stable as they sit lower on the water. Thus, kayaks are more reliable on rough waters than canoes.

Canoes are more suited for calm waters. On rough waters, they tend to rock more, and if you’re a beginner, you might end up tipping when the waters are choppy.

Bottom line – kayaks are better for rough waters.

Comfort

The top of the kayaks is closed except for the little cockpit hole. For that reason, you don’t have much room for spreading your legs.

Again, since the kayaks sit lower on the water, you’re likely to end up wet when the water splashes.

The top of the canoes is open, and there’s plenty of room for you to spread your legs and stay comfortable. Since they sit higher on the waters, canoes make it less probable for you to get wet.

If you’ll be on the waters for a long duration, you’re better off with a canoe.

Bottom line – canoes are better for comfort.

Storage space

When going fishing, you need lots of supplies – fishing lines and hooks or nets, fresh drinking water, and food perhaps.

With kayaks, the space is barely enough for you to sit comfortably, let alone store extra items.

On the other hand, canoes have plenty of space for you to store your supplies.

With that being said, there are specialized fishing kayaks designed with extra storage space for a few supplies.

Bottom line – Canoes are better for storage space.

Price

Canoes are generally more expensive than kayaks. Nonetheless, if you opt for a special fishing kayak, you will probably spend as much as you’d spend on a canoe, or even more.

Final Verdict – So, which is better?

By now, you might have realized that there’s none between canoes and kayaks that can outrightly be termed “better”. It’s all a matter of your unique scenario.

If you want something for personal use and aren’t planning to take anyone with you on your expeditions, you’re better off with a kayak.

A special fishing kayak is more appropriate for fishing.

Again, if you’re not planning to fish and just want to do recreational boating, then a kayak is more appropriate.

Planning to take people with you on your boating adventures? Then you better get a canoe for the extra space. A canoe is more appropriate, also, for fishing, as it has plenty of additional space for storing the fishing tools and the fish.

So, which one do you think is more appropriate for you and why? Let us know in the comments.

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