Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Bring Versatility to Your Favorite Sport
When you make the choice of buying inflatable fishing kayaks, you are bringing a lot of versatility to your favorite sport. The thrill of working hard-to-access areas of a lake, plus the advantage of mobility, gives the smart angler the promise of better results while fishing.
It Starts with Safety Features
These boats have buoyant side tubes each with its own separate air chamber, whereas cheap rafts have just one air chamber – a design that is not allowed on many lakes for safety reasons. The tubes on quality inflatable fishing kayaks have separate air chambers so that if one tube is seriously damaged or even deflated, the air in the other tube provides buoyancy and allows the craft to remain floating.
Along with this superior tube design and nearly puncture proof outer hull material, these IKs also feature better quality valves for quick inflation times (averaging about 10 minutes or less), as well as speedy deflation for when the weather turns and you want to break down and pack up — fast.
These yaks are extremely lightweight, typically weighing between 12 and 35 pounds, and will pack down to a small portable size, enough to fit in a carrying bag. And unlike regular kayaks with bold bright colors, inflatable fishing kayaks such as Sevylor’s Tahiti and Colorado Canoe come in a camouflage hunter green hull color to blend in with the landscape.
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Narrowing Down Your Choices
Despite the versatility of inflatable fishing kayaks, there are advantages and disadvantages and you will want to weigh carefully before choosing this type of craft over an inflatable pontoon boat, drift boat, motorized raft, hard side canoe, or even a float tube.
Have you tried fishing from a raft? Did you find that you can’t see much of the lake while sitting so low in the raft? Did it feel awkward and unnatural trying to row a high set of oars over the oversized tubes? And did you find the raft was blown all over the lake by the wind? What fun is fishing if you are exhausted once you get to the spot where you want to put in your line?
If you tend to fish on large lakes and rivers, you don’t want a short kayak that is not designed for extended paddling – so in that scenario you will want to get a longer kayak with superior tracking ability.
Small IKs, on the other hand, are ideal for backcountry lakes where you must carry in all your gear, or for keeping on hand for camping trips when you don’t have any room for excessive gear but can manage to stow a small IK and a paddle.
Inflatable fly fishing kayaks are becoming popular with anglers who like SOT or Sit-on-Top kayaks like the popular Airis Angler. They offer ease of movement on the water, are stable for standing and casting, and allow for easy exits when you want to wade in shallow waters. Other IKs designed exclusively for fishing include features such as rod holders, gear-mount platforms, portage backpack, storage compartments, and accessory attachment systems.
An IK with a high pressure air floor like the Sea Eagle Explorer can even offer a stable platform for standing which also gives you a higher sightline looking out over the water.
More Versatility to Enjoy More Fishing
In general, inflatable fishing kayaks seem to offer the best of everything and they are far superior to rafts for fishing. IKs offer straight tracking in the water and require less paddling effort, they are maneuverable in tight spots, and still provide a wide beam for stability as well as space to store a tackle box and gear. They range in price from around $120 and go up to $1,000 depending on the features as well as any accessories you choose to add. Go with the best inflatable kayak you can afford and it will take you through many seasons of fishing.
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