Top 5 Best River Fishing Kayak

Motor boats are expensive to purchase and also require considerable maintenance. So if you love river fishing and you want to go out there in style and fish at an affordable cost, go the river fishing kayak way.

What makes a good river fishing kayak all depends on the type of river kayaking you want to do. When you are going to a river that requires negotiating difficult rapids then it means that you need a much different boat than taking a long wilderness tour mild rivers or spending a relaxing day fishing in local waterways. And if you are interested in a river fishing kayak that has speed, the length and width are very important when making your choice.

Click here for the Best River Fishing Kayak available in 2021!

The Best River Kayaks Comparison

Malibu Stealth 12 River Fishing Kayak

Malibu Stealth 12 Best River Fishing Kayak

This is a wonderful kayak which is well equipped and makes a solo fishing trip a heavenly experience. It is packed with features which makes it the best river fishing kayak available on the market at it should be number one choice for any serious kayak angler. It weighs 27 kilograms and has a 165 kilogram maximum capacity. It is ultraviolet stable, has a front and side hatch, two rear rod holders and a fish finder. In addition, it has a rear bungee storage, paddle holders, side carry handles, adjustable footrests and a molded cup holder which makes this river kayak the best choice. It is available in a sand color which makes it to blend well with water or on the shore.

Why Go For Malibu Stealth 12 Fishing Kayak

  • It has a hull transducer area for fish finder
  • It has a rear storage
  • It has a molded cup holder
  • It has a center bait tank system
  • It has adjustable foot track system
  • It has a gator hatch
  • It has a bow and stern handles

Specifications for the Malibu Stealth 12 River Fishing Kayak

  • It has a width of 33 inches
  • It has a weight of 60 lbs
  • It has a depth of 12 inches
  • It has a capacity of 450 lbs
  • It measures 378 x 84 x 30 cm
  • It is UV stable


Native Slayer 12 River Fishing Kayak

Native Slayer 12 Best River Fishing Kayak

It is a sit on top kayak which is one of the best river fishing kayak which you can go for. The hull is quiet and stable with a little speed tossed in for good measures. It has a high low seat that is easy to reposition while on the water and off the water and it offers additional storage when in the high position. It is designed with a clean deck layout which makes it to offer ample room to stand, strip, rig or simply chill out and enjoy the day. It comes with a cam lock paddle holder that silently locks on to all the paddle shafts. It has foot paddles that have been added to the deck to increase traction and to reduce noise. The center console has been redesigned to open up the deck area. Go the open trunk is perfect for storing the PFD and fish bags. The scuppers are good for draining water after you pass through surfs or wave.

Why Go For The Native Slayer 12 River Fishing Kayak

  • It has a high low first class seat that elevates the paddle 6 inches, making going from sitting to standing such a breeze
  • Includes a tag along wheel
  • It has an uncluttered flat deck area that provides plenty of room to stand comfortably
  • It has a large storage for storing PFDs and other accessories perfectly
  • Has plenty of groove track accessory mount that provides almost limitless customizing options
  • Has an electronic console
  • Has a tag along wheel
  • Has quiet stable hull

Specifications for Native Slayer 12 Fishing Kayak

  • It has a width of 31 inches
  • It has a capacity of 400 lbs
  • It has a weight of 70 lbs
  • It has a depth of 12 inches


FeelFree Moken 12.5 Best River Fishing Kayak

FeelFree Moken 12.5 Best River Fishing Kayak

This is one of the top river fishing kayak which is stable, maneuverable and easy to transport as it comes with a FeelFree wheel in the keel. The wheel in the keel gets from your tailgate to the action without wearing you or your river kayak out. It also comes with a standard platform, an internal rod storage, molded-in carry handles, built in rod holders, center mount flip up console, ample rear storage for a storage crate or bait tank, adjustable footrests and a comfortable kingfisher seat. This is one kayak that automatically passes for the a great fishing kayak without any doubt.

Why Go For The FeelFree Moken 12.5 Best River Fishing Kayak

  • It has a wheel in the keel that make it easy to transport
  • It has a built in fishing rod holder
  • It has an integrated stern, bow and side to carry handles
  • It comes with a seat
  • It has a handy flip up console for lures and bows storage locker
  • It has molded handles
  • Has molded in paddle park
  • Has a drain plug
  • Has recessed fittings

Specifications of FeelFree Moken 12.5 River Fishing Kayak

  • It has a king fisher seat
  • It has standing pad
  • It has front oval hinge hatch
  • Has a stand up leash
  • It has a center console
  • It has fishing rod holders
  • It has a front uni trail rail
  • It has side pockets
  • It has a rear uni track rail
  • It has molded in crate recess
  • It has rear uni track rail with the down system


Jackson Kayak Coosa

Jackson Kayak Coosa

This kayak can comfortably take the abuse and punishment of whitewater with grace on a daily basis. It is the ultimate river fishing kayak which has the ability to navigate small creeks with ease while still giving the anglers an ultra stable fishing platform. This kayak is loaded with features like the high- low seat, paddle stagers, rod, large tank well and a drag chain which makes it a wonderful fishing machine and one of the best fishing kayak.

Features Of the Jackson Kayak Coosa Best Fishing Kayak

  • It has a high low seat
  • It comes with a superlinear polyethylene hull
  • It comes with a bow and stern hatches
  • It has a replaceable skid plate on keel
  • It has a day hatch for accessories
  • It can tackle storage under seat
  • It has a drag chain recess
  • It has rod stagers and flush mount rod holders

Specifications of the Jackson Kayak Coosa

  • The width is at 32 inches
  • It has a capacity of 375 lbs
  • It has a height of 17 inches
  • It has a weight of 70 lbs


Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Angler River Fishing Kayak


It is a highly maneuverable best river fishing kayak with a beam of 30.5 inches. It is wide enough to be stable but not too wide that it rolls excessively in mild rapids. It has a round orbix day hatch amidships and gear storage pockets along either side. It features slide track gear rails mounted on either gunwale both forward and aft of the cockpit which combines with the wilderness system angler package which includes several Yak Attack attachments. It has side carry handles with paddle keepers on both sides so you will have complete control of your paddle while fishing.

Specifications of Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Angler Best River Fishing Kayak

  • It has a length of 10 feet
  • It has a width of 30.5 inches
  • It has a weight of 61 lbs
  • It is a sit on top river kayak
  • It has a capacity of 325 lbs


It is sometimes urged that any kayak can be used for river fishing, but the truth is, some are better suited for this task than others. When the rapids start breaking is when you will know that a real river kayak will rise above the rest and get you home safely. A river fishing kayak is designed for fast flow and rough water so that anglers can get to the fish that hides in the deep spots along the way.

When it comes to the best kayak for river fishing, maneuverability is very important. Having the ability to run across flows and spin into an eddy is important for fishing and also for your safety too. A kayak which tracks straight on an arrow may be good, but will not be able to turn and avoid danger in a swift moving flow. Best river fishing kayaks will have a slight rocker which is banana shaped to the hull to enable them maneuver well in the waters.

Volume of in an upswept bow is very important when choosing the top river fishing kayak as this will help force the nose of the kayak up on top of a standing wave instead of plowing right through them. This will enable you to turn quickly and make sure that you follow the best line through rough waters. It will also make it possible to paddle back up river to hit a hole you may have missed while running through.

Types of Kayaks

Some of the types to consider while going out there to buy the best river fishing kayaks are:

Whitewater Kayaks

When you are looking for a kayak with the ability to negotiate difficult rapids, then whitewater kayaks should be your choice. They have short bodies and a lot of rocker or curvature between stern and bow thus allowing them to have that capability to turn quickly in order to avoid hitting rocks and help you negotiate waves. The only con about this type of kayaks is that, they generally have low speeds are poor in tracking. They can rarely stay in a straight line.

Sea Kayaks

You can use sea kayaks to do your river fishing as they are extremely long and sleek. They track extremely well and they are also fast. Most of them come with storage compartment, thus making them a good choice for recreational, casual and long trips. The longer the kayak, the faster the speed, but the maneuvering is compromised here. But there are some types which allow for quick turns for slightly rowdier rivers – go for this one.

Sit on Top Kayaks

When you are going for casual river kayaking, then it is advisable that you take a sit on top kayak as it is a smart choice for that. It allows you to sit on top of an open cockpit instead of an enclosed compartment like the case with sit-in kayaks. Sit on top kayaks are more comfortable since it becomes easy to move in and out of the kayak at will. They are also stable thus making them appealing to most people who find sit-in a little bit too trippy. They are good for river fishing as they have enough room to store your lunch and gear.

Recreational Kayaks

These are the best all purpose river fishing kayak types as they are a bit of all round and can be used for various occasions as compared to the ocean kayaks. They are better as compared to white water kayaks as they track well. The only downside about this type is that, they are not good for long trips or extreme white water, but they are good for nearly all the other conditions on the river. Recreational kayaks could be the  best river fishing kayak for you. Try it today.


When fishing from anywhere in a river in a kayak, safety should be top of mind. Along with your best river fishing kayak, get yourself the best PFD that you can afford and wear it all the time you are in the waters. Make sure someone knows where you are doing your fishing; either a friend or family. Have a plan in case you wet exit from the kayak. With prior preparation and a lot of safety precaution, the best river fishing kayak will open a lot of opening in fishing.

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