10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks: In-Depth Reviews

tandem fishing kayak

There are a couple of things that could make fishing more enjoyable for you; 1) fishing with a buddy and 2) fishing from a kayak. But why not combine both? Using a tandem fishing kayak will allow you to do exactly that.

Fishing from a kayak also allows you to head out to popular or un-tapped fishing spots that aren't accessible by land. This could easily allow you to smash your fishing personal best and bring a whole new level of enjoyment to the sport. Instead of just casting your line and waiting on the river bank, you are now the one tracking down the fish and seeking them out - trust me, it's fun.

So, if you are looking for the best tandem fishing kayak, we have you covered. Below are product reviews of our top picks for the 10 best tandem fishing kayaks, followed by a buyers guide and common FAQs. We have tried to select a range of tandem fishing kayaks which will be suitable for a range of people. Some are beginner friendly, some are for your more hardcore anglers and some are budget friendly. 

Let's dive right in!  

10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks

Our Top Pick
Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Fishing Kayak Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Fishing Kayak
$802.18

The 10 ft. Lifetime Sport Fisher tandem fishing kayak takes our top pick, as it is one of the most versatile kayaks on the market. The comfortable tiered seating allows for the kayak to be paddled solo or tandem and there is even room for a kid or dog in the center. The tunnel hull design has an incredible weight limit of 500lbs and is incredibly stable, making it almost impossible to tip over. The Lifetime Sport Fisher includes two kayak paddles, two padded backrests which can be moved to any of the three seating positions, three flush-mounted fishing rod holders, and a 6-inch hatch for extra storage access beneath the deck. It is also designed to accept the Lifetime Power Mate motor mount accessory (sold separately) making it possible to add an electric trolling motor to your kayak.

Key Features:

  • Versatile Design Allows for Solo or Tandem Paddling
  • 10-Foot Compact Length for Easy Transport and Storage
  • 3 Fishing Rod Holders and Rear Storage Hatch
  • Can add an electric trolling motor
  • Stable Hull Design with a Weight Capacity of 500 lb.
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty
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10/22/2020 10:45 pm UTC
Next Best
BKC TK181 12' 8 BKC TK181 12' 8" Tandem 2-Person Fishing Kayak

The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC TK181 sit on top tandem fishing kayak is a great choice for a fishing trip on the water.

Measuring 12-foot-8-inch & 68-pounds, the TK181 tandem kayak has the capacity to support plenty of weight and the space to hold plenty of fishing gear. With its 34-inch beam, it has the stability and tracking to keep you balanced, and on course even when the wind and water current pick up, it's stable enough to allow you to stand whilst casting your line.

The TK181 tandem kayak is nimble enough for a solo paddler and sturdy enough for two full-grown adults and their gear thanks to a huge 595-pound load capacity. Three adjustable fishing rod holders and four flush-mount rod holders give you an edge when angling and allows you to cast multiple lines at once.

Two waterproof compartments keep valuables dry, while the rear cargo area secures larger items. Any water that splashes into the vessel will quickly drain out through eight scupper holes.

Key Features:

  • Ability to add a motorized trolling motor
  • Comes with two aluminium kayak paddles & deluxe kayak seats
  • 595lb weight capacity
  • Very stable whilst remaining nimble in the water
  • Waterproof storage areas
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Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
$628.41

Inflatable kayaks are getting more and more popular, the ability to take your kayak to a lake or river without having to load it onto your car or a trailer is a huge bonus. The Sevylor Colemen is produced from 18-gauge PVC with a thick tarpaulin bottom and a tough nylon cover, so you don't have to worry about puncturing the kayak with any of your fishing gear.

However, to give you peace of mind, there are multiple air chambers, so if one goes down you can still easily get back to shore.

The adjustable seats will keep you paddling comfortably the whole trip. But if you want to move more easily, you can always add the Sevylor trolling motor and store your paddles in the convenient holders. You can cast your line and still move your kayak by taking advantage of the Berkely quick set rod holders.

Key Features:

  • 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use, NMMA certified
  • 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover provide durable protection from punctures
  • Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
  • Paddle holders secure your paddles out of the way
  • Ability to add a trolling motor
  • Berkley quick set rod holders


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10/22/2020 10:45 pm UTC
Perception Kayaks Rambler 13.5 | Sit on Top Tandem Kayak Perception Kayaks Rambler 13.5 | Sit on Top Tandem Kayak

The Perception Rambler 13.5 tandem kayak is the perfect choice for a beginner paddler or anyone in search of a highly versatile, and affordable kayak that can be used both recreationally and for fishing.

The supremely stable sit-on-top design is exceptionally safe and easy for anyone to get in and out of and cast a line from.

The roomy, two-person design is still very nimble and cuts through the water well, whilst still remaining very stable.

There is plenty of easy-access storage for all of your gear and the seats are adjustable for maximum comfort, allowing you to stay on the water for longer and hopefully catch more fish!

The perception ramble isn't necessarily designed to solely be a fishing kayak, for example, it does not include rod holders, however, there is enough room to adapt the kayak to your own needs.

Key Features:

  • Additional mold-in center seat for the kids or dog
  • Removable padded seat and backrest with adjustable support
  • Front, rear, and side comfort carry handles for easy transport
  • Bungee cord lashes secure fishing gear of any shape or size
  • Plenty of room for the addition of rod holders
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BIC Yakkair 2 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak BIC Yakkair 2 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak

The YAKKAir HP 2 Tandem Fishing Kayak is extremely portable, not only is it inflatable but it is also carried in a wheeled backpack making it super easy to take anywhere, whether you're on foot or by car. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up and because you can walk it to the edge of the water, it's great for getting to those hard to reach fishing spots.

It features a high-pressure keel and floor with a durable PVC skin, making the kayak resistant to punctures and highly efficient through the water. Many customers report that it is as comfortable and as easy to manoeuvre than a rigid tandem fishing kayak.

The YAKKAir HP 2 can also be used for solo kayaking, by mounting just one of the seat/stretcher units in the centre of the kayak where the appropriate fittings have been incorporated in the design, leaving lots of room for all your fishing gear.

Key Features:

  • 2 fishing backrests with rod holders
  • Safety grab lines
  • Abrasion and Bow protector
  • Carry handles
  • Mesh storage in front and rear
  • Paddle attachment
  • Includes carry bag, pump, and repair kit
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Most Customizable Option
Malibu Kayaks Pro 2 Tandem Fishing Kayak Malibu Kayaks Pro 2 Tandem Fishing Kayak

The Pro 2 Tandem is designed for all-around ocean, lake, and flatwater paddling, it is a kayak that is ideal for fishing, diving, and recreational paddling for people of all ages and abilities and it works exceptionally well for both one or two paddlers.

The kayak doesn't come with seats and paddles, which can be positive for some people, as it makes the kayak fully customisable for you.

There is an 8-inch round rear hatch for your valuables and the option to include up to 6 fishing rod holders as well as a trolling motor.

Measuring 13 feet long, 33 inches wide, and 11 inches deep, the kayak is exceptionally stable and can even be stood up on to cast. There is also an impressive 550lb weight capacity, so you can pack the kayak full with plenty of fishing gear.

Key Features:

  • 550lb weight capacity
  • Fully customizable
  • Ability to add 6 fishing rod holders
  • Area for trolling motor addition
  • Storage hatch for valuables
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Intex Excursion Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Lightweight Kayak Intex Excursion Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Lightweight Kayak
$549.99

This tandem fishing kayak is specifically designed for two people and has the capability for them to go for an extended fishing trip. It’s a sit-on-top kayak, so it’s much easier to get in and out of and gives you extra mobility needed to cast your line. You can remove a seat and paddle the kayak solo, this also gives you a lot more room for extra fishing gear.

Key features:

  1. Made of tough but light PVC with a polyester core. It’s resistant to damage from water banks, salt water, gasoline, oil, and sunlight
  2. There’s room for two paddlers and their fishing equipment, including integrated recessed fishing rod holders and a mounting bracket for a GPS and fish finder
  3. Comes with a carry bag, paddles, seats, and rod holders.
  4. Adjustable Footrests
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10/22/2020 10:45 am UTC
Lifetime Beacon 2 Person Fishing Kayak, 12' Lifetime Beacon 2 Person Fishing Kayak, 12'
$539.33

The Lifetime kayak is a great option if you are looking for a tandem fishing kayak that can also be utilized as a regular kayak when you just want to head out on the water for some fun. It has an impressive 500lb weight capacity, so it can accommodate two adults and plenty of fishing gear.

The self-bailing scupper holes prevent the kayak from filling with water, so it can be used on choppier currents. It also comes with 2 quick-release ultra-light seats which have good back support for a full day of fishing.

Your valuables can be kept safe and secure in the deck storage hatch and you can fit plenty of gear under the netting and bungee chords.

Key Features:

  • Two built-in padded, ultra Lite seats
  • Storage hatch for added storage beneath the deck and cargo net lacing for storage
  • Skeg wheel for enhanced tracking and easy transportation
  • Molded-in footwells for comfort and secure foot bracing
  • Four carry handles to assist in transport
  • UV-Protected high-density Polyethylene construction
  • 5-Year limited warranty
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10/22/2020 10:45 am UTC
AQUAGLIDE Navarro 145 Inflatable Kayak AQUAGLIDE Navarro 145 Inflatable Kayak

Unlike the other tandem fishing kayaks on our list, this example is not a 'sit-on-top' kayak, it is a 'sit-inside' kayak which means that once you are in the kayak, your lower half is completely covered. This is great if you plan on kayaking a lot in winter as it keeps you much warmer and sheltered from the wind. However, it does cause you to sacrifice a lot of space for storage. So you won't be able to take anywhere near as much gear with this kayak - If you get your fishing rod set up before you head out, you should be fine.

The Navarro features drop stitched floor construction for higher pressure inflation making the floor more rigid for paddling performance without adding weight.

There is a dry compartment to hold small amounts of fishing geat and to keep your valuable dry. The kayak also features a bungee cord storage system at the front of the kayak which can hold your paddle or rod whilst not in use.

Key Features:

  • Inflatable for easy storage
  • Removable seats and adjustable footrests
  • Dry storage hatch
  • Quick-release skeg for better tracking
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How to choose a 2 person fishing kayak - Buyers Guide

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Finding the best tandem fishing kayak isn't always as straight forward as you may seem. There is literally hundreds of options on the market to sift through and at times it can become overwhelming, and the lack of physical kayak stores often forces buyers to go online and order one for delivery. Below we are going to cover the main features of the best tandem fishing kayak so you can make a more informed purchase online.

Sit on top vs Sit inside kayak

One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you opt for a sit on top or sit inside fishing kayak. 90% of the time, fishing kayaks are going to be sit on top, this is largely down to the amount of extra room you get, which makes storing gear, carrying your fishing and just overall general mobility for casting and rigging up your tackle a lot easier.

The only downside to a sit on top kayak, is that they can be cold, as you are essentially opening yourself up to the elements. If you only plan on kayak fishing through spring and summer, this won't be much of an issue. 

Sit inside kayaks allow you to keep your lower have protected from the wind and rain, as well as the ability to add a spray deck or splash cover which keeps your lower half completely dry and prevents any water from entering the kayak. 

As mentioned above, the biggest downside with a sit inside kayak, is that there is a lack of storage room for all of your fishing gear. 

Whatever you decide to choose, you will still need to understand the basics on what to wear kayaking.

Kayak Dimensions

The kayaks dimensions will be responsible for the speed, manoeuvrability, and stability in the water. Generally speaking a wider, kayak will be more stable. Where as a thin, longer kayak will be much quicker through the water.

If you plan on solely using your kayak for fishing, then a dedicated fishing kayak which is wide will be the best choice as it will offer the most stability whilst you are casting. They will also be able to carry more gear which is great with a tandem fishing kayak as there will be extra fishing gear on board.

Rod holder vs No rod holer

It goes without saying that having a rod holder is a useful addition to a 2 person fishing kayak. It allows you to free up your hands for other activities, wether than be paddling whilst your line is in the water, baiting up the next hook or changing the settings on your kayak fish finder.

However if there is a kayak that you love but no rod holder is putting you off, don't let it be the deciding factor, you can always buy a rod holder separately and with a little bit of DIY, attach it to the kayak yourself.

Kayak seat

We would always recommend paying particular  attention to the seat that comes with your kayak. After all, your comfort will play a big part in how long you can stay out on the water and fish for. You will be mainly sat in an upright position so it is important that your seat has good lower back support to prevent any injury.

Foam padding is also a bonus and will drastically improve the comfort of the seat. However, most kayak seats are removable and replaceable. If you don't like the way yours feels or is described, you can always purchase a better kayak seat separately and add it yourself.

Storage space

Storage on a kayak comes in many forms, it can be as simple as a groove in the kayak which will hold a tackle box or bag, a bungee chord rigging system on the deck which is great for pinning objects down or a completely dry deck hatch which will protect your valuables from getting wet.

Whilst fishing, storage is a key factor in how well your kayak performs. Remember you are going to have a whole bunch of fishing equipment with you, from reels and fishing line to rods and lures. So you will need enough storage space to accommodate, at least your fishing basics. 

Fish finder attachment point

Fish finders aren't a fishing necessity, however they can help you catch more fish and save the time it takes to hunt the fish down. Some of the best tandem fishing kayaks will come with a built in attachment point that is designed to hold a fish finder. However, similar to the rod holders, you can always add your own in when you need it.  

Trolling Motor

It's rare to find a kayak that comes with a trolling motor included in the price, however many do have attachments points for one. Usually if a manufacturer is selling a kayak with a trolling motor mounting point, they also sell the motor separately, if not, a standard sized motor will most likely fit.

Tandem Fishing Kayak - FAQs

Who is likely to use a tandem fishing kayak?

The answer to this one is fairly straightforward... Anyone who wants to go kayak fishing, and sometimes take a buddy along with them.

A tandem kayak can just as easily be used solo as well, the benefit of purchasing a tandem fishing kayak for solo use, is that the weight capacity will be drastically increased so you can take a lot more gear - perfect if you are doing overnight trips and taking camping gear with you.

Are tandem kayaks safe?

Yes! Almost all kayaks from reputable manufacturers are safe and your safety mainly comes down to the way you act on the water. Make sure always wear a personal flotation device! There are certain life jackets that are specifically produced to be a fishing life jacket.

If you are worried about the kayak tipping over, take comfort in knowing that tandem fishing kayaks are more stable than your average recreational kayak.  

Do you need a specific kind of kayak paddle for fishing? 

Any standard kayak paddle will serve you well, even if you are fishing. You can however, buy kayak paddles which have a built in groove in the end which allow you to easily grab and lift your fishing line out the water without you getting wet. 

Conclusion

Kayak fishing is an extremely fun way to go after trophy fish. Being able to cast your line from the middle of the water adds a completely new dynamic to fishing whether you are in a river, lake, pond or the sea. The best tandem fishing kayak will allow you to take along someone else with you, which can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.

We truly hope that this guide has helped you choose the best 2 person fishing kayak, and helped you understand the requirements and key features you should consider before buying a tandem fishing kayak. 

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