Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak – Ultimate Fishing Platforms Of 2020

When you think about kayaking, your mind probably jumps to someone sitting inside a long and narrow watercraft and paddling across the water. 

And sure, that’s an accurate enough description. 

However, as kayak fishing started gaining recognition, a wider variety of vessels that would fit different fishing techniques began popping up, too. 

The best stand up fishing kayak is a perfect example of that. 

If you need help picking the most stable stand-up fishing platform – or merely wondering why you’d ever want one – stick around. I’ve got the answers for you! 

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In A Rush? The Winner After 45 Hours Of Research: 

Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 Kayak

Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 Kayak

Our Rating: 5/5 Stars
★★★★★

Why is it better?

  • The 34-inch beam, or width, adds to the kayak’s overall stability 
  • The reinforced standing platform with high-grade foam and the stand-up assist strap improve comfort and safety
  • The adjustable, multi-position, extra-wide Gravity Seat provides all-day comfort
  • Easy to manage despite the 87-pound weight due to “Wheel in the Keel” feature and four molded-in handles 
  • The 425-pound capacity and multiple onboard storage areas for a day on the water 
  • Multi-functional accessory-mounting points for ultimate customization 

Stand Up Fishing Kayak Benefits: Can You Stand Up In A Kayak & Why Would You?

Man in stand up fishing kayak

Why would anyone want to stand in a kayak, anyway? 

As many kayak anglers can confirm, stand-up kayak fishing has a few distinct benefits

  • Better View – Looking down instead of across the water makes it possible to see further and deeper in the water. It becomes much easier to find fish and spot potential obstacles. Plus, you won’t be as blinded by the sun reflecting off the surface. 
  • Improved Positioning And Maneuverability – Casting is so much easier when you’re standing as opposed to sitting. You’ll likely cast further, improve your accuracy, and have more success with pitching and flipping techniques when you get up on your feet. 
  • Easier Access To Fishing Gear – Standing on a kayak makes it easier to reach the kayak’s storage compartments and access your gear due to the more flexible positioning. 
  • Easier On The Back – It’s not uncommon for paddlers to experience backache or numbness in the legs, especially after sitting for a while. Standing up can take care of it and give your back a break. 

While there are many benefits to stand-up fishing, know that it takes some getting used to – especially if you’re a novice. 

Balance, core strength, and flexibility can help. Most importantly, you have to keep practicing your stand-up fishing skills, preferably in calm, shallow waters – and with a PFD on, of course. 

I can stress this enough, if you plan to stand up in a kayak please make sure you wear a life jacket – your chances of going over board dramatically increase if standing.

What Makes A Kayak Stable? 

The best stand up kayak needs to be stable enough for you to get up and maintain your balance correctly with minimal capsizing risk. 

But what makes a kayak stable? 

While this is not necessarily a given, the two main characteristics of an excellent stand-up kayak are the width and the flat hull. 

Width 

Lady In stand up fishing kayak

Wider kayaks are generally more stable than narrow ones. That’s one reason why stand-up fishing kayaks tend to be noticeably broader than “regular” ones. 

You should focus your attention on the kayak’s beam – another name for the kayak’s width – of at least 30 inches. Ideally, the width of a stand-up kayak should fall somewhere in the 32 to 35-inch range.

You won’t be winning races in the broader model. But you’re here to find the best stand up fishing kayaks; stability takes priority over speed. 

Flat Hull 

Men standing in stand up fishing kayak

The hull is pretty much the “skeleton” on which the rest of the kayak sits. 

Most regular kayaks will have either a semi-rounded or a V-shaped hull, which is more streamlined for speed. 

But as I said, with stand up kayaks, your goal is stability rather than velocity. 

As far as stand up fishing kayaks go; the most stable hull shape that you can go with if you want to turn a kayak into a firm and steady stand-up fishing platform is the flat hull. 

Pair a flat hull with a wide beam, and you’ll get a safe, stable, and spacious watercraft. 

Can You Stand In A Sit-In Kayak? 

Two sit-in and two sit-on-top kayaks on a pier

There are two basic styles of kayaks – sit-on-top (SOT) and sit-in kayaks (SIK)

You’ll find both types available as hard-shell and inflatable, as well as single and tandem versions. However, only one of the two makes for an excellent stand-up fishing platform – the sit-on-top kayak

Due to the hull’s overall shape, narrowness, and the enclosed cockpit, sit-inside kayaks don’t offer the same freedom of movement or stability as SOT options do. 

So, if you’re going for the top fishing kayaks which you can stand up in, a sit-on-top is your best – and possibly safest – bet.

Picking A Stand Up Fishing Kayak: Additional Features To Consider 

Stability is going to be a significant factor – but it’s not the only one. 

Here’s what else to consider when picking a stand up kayak for fishing! 

Comfort & Convenience 

man fishing from the kayak

Fishing isn’t exactly a fast-paced water sport. More often than not, a fishing trip will involve spending several hours on the water. 

The goal is to stay as comfortable as possible during that time – whether you’re standing up or sitting back and relaxing. 

But you can’t expect to do that in a kayak that isn’t designed with comfort and convenience in mind. 

It’s worth checking if the kayak features a spacious cockpit with adjustable footrests and thigh braces and a strapping system that can help with stand-up fishing. 

Even if you spend most of that time on your feet, you’ll need a break sooner or later. That’s where a well-cushioned, adjustable seat – preferably an elevated one – could come in handy. 

Onboard Storage & Optional Accessories 

Fishing Kayaks with Lawn Chair seat

The more time you spend on the water, the more gear you need on-hand. 

The good news is that stand-up fishing kayaks tend to be a lot more spacious than conventional kayaks – but you’re not out of the woods yet. 

That extra space won’t be of much use if you don’t have adequate storage space for your fishing gear and accessories and essential kayaking equipment. 

However, basic storage options and storage capacity found on other types of kayaks won’t cut it here: 

Stand up fishing kayaks should have the easy-to-access bow and stern storage compartments, bungee rigging, at least one hatch, and the ability to accommodate a wide variety of accessories. 

You’ll have to buy most fishing accessories separately as add-on kayak mod, but be sure to check for: 

And while we are on the topic of things to make your fishing trip more enjoyable, make sure you know where the best fishing spots are. Check our our free interface map of fishing spots near you for all the top spots.

Weight Capacity 

Man paddling down river in yellow fishingkayak for a fishing excursion

If you’re on the heavier side or tend to bring lots of gear – maybe even an extra passenger – along for the ride, the weight capacity will be a vital factor

This rating determines how much weight a kayak can handle before it turns into a safety hazard – and you want one that’s safe for you and everyone else on board. 

So, ask yourself: 

What’s the maximum weight that you plan to load your kayak with on your fishing trips? 

I don’t expect you to have exact numbers in mind, but get a rough idea of the type of load your kayak will be packing on average. That includes you, the gear, the fish you might catch – and a bit of wiggle room for any unpredictable scenarios. 

Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak Reviews & Recommendations (2020)

1. Perception Outlaw 11.5

Perception Outlaw 11.5
  • Award: Best Budget-Friendly Stand Up Fishing Kayak
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 5/5 Stars 

Perception’s Outlaw 11.5 is, well, 11.5 feet long – the name says it all. However, the name doesn’t imply that it boasts a 35-inch wide-open cockpit, offering a comprehensive standing platform complete with traction pads and elevated seating. 

It weighs 77 pounds, but that shouldn’t be an issue considering the molded bow and stern handles and side ones that double as gear tracks. 

The 425-pound capacity can accommodate paddlers of all sizes and the gear needed for a day of fishing. 

You’re also getting a bow and stern tank wells, double-barrel rod holders, three Solo Mount recesses – and lots of room to accessorize. The only thing that’s missing is a dry-storage hatch. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on kayak
  • Measures 11.5 x 2.9 feet 
  • Weighs 77 pounds 
  • 425-pound capacity 
Pros
  • A 35-inch open deck with traction pads 
  • The elevated seat is foldable and removable 
  • Double-barrel holders for multi-rod setups
  • Multiple attachment points for versatility 
Cons
  • Including at least one hatch for dry storage space would have beeen nice
  • You’ll have to buy a paddle separately 
  • It doesn’t come with scupper plugs 

Outlaw 11.5’s design emphasizes simplicity and ensures a hassle-free fishing experience by providing anglers with a stable fishing platform at a pretty good price point. 

2. Wilderness Systems Radar 115 

Wilderness Systems Radar 115
  • Award: Best Tri-Powered Stand-Up Fishing Kayak
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

Wilderness Systems took things in the pedal-powered market a step further by making one of the first tri-powered kayaks, the Radar 115: 

You can choose among three – paddle, pedal drive system, and motor – propulsion methods.  Which make the world of difference to your fishing experience.

The Radar 115 is one hefty kayak, clocking in at a not-so-light 85 pounds, but the 34.5-inch beam and flat deck provide a stable fishing platform to compensate. 

Onboard storage space – with a 450-pound capacity – includes a rear tank well with bungee rigging, two storage hatches, and molded-in tackle pockets. It doesn’t feature rod holders, though. 

Also, it’s highly customizable with multiple SlideTrax accessory systems, the FlexPod console system, a rear mounting plate, and an adjustable AirPro MAX seat. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Measures 11.7 x 2.9 feet 
  • Weighs 85 pounds 
  • 450-pound capacity 
Pros
  • Tri-powered kayak with three methods of propulsion 
  • Excellent stability and clutter-free deck  
  • Accommodates a variety of accessories 
  • Substantial load capacity and storage areas for fishing gear 
Cons
  • The weight of the Radar 115 might be a problem for some 
  • The additional costs add up pretty fast 
  • Doesn’t include any rod holders

If you can’t decide whether you want a paddle, pedal, or motor-driven kayak, do yourself a favor and go with the tri-powered Wilderness Systems Radar 115. 

3. Saturn FK396 Fishing Inflatable Kayak

Saturn FK396 Fishing Inflatable Kayak
  • Award: Best Budget Inflatable Stand Up Fishing Kayak 
  • Rating: 4/4 Stars 
  • Price: 5/5 Stars 

I wouldn’t blame you for getting skeptical regarding an inflatable model stand up fishing kayak. 

However, the FK396 kayak-canoe hybrid has a heavy-duty 1100 Dtex PVC construction, rigid tubes, and a high-pressure air deck. When coupled with the hull’s 3-foot width, that gives you enough space and stability for stand-up fishing. 

It’s a bit hefty for an inflatable, clocking in at 43 pounds. It has a 700-pound capacity, meaning that it can accommodate two adults – plus gear – comfortably. 

You don’t have any rod holders or dedicated storage space, save for the D-ring tie-downs, but the two removable aluminum benches could act as hardware-mounting locations. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • 2 person capacity
  • Measures 13 x 3 feet 
  • Weighs 43 pounds 
  • 700-pound capacity 
Pros
  • An inflatable tandem fishing hybrid with excellent capacity 
  • Enormous 700-pound weight capacity
  • High-pressure air deck and tubes for rigidity 
  • Two aluminum benches for setup versatility
  • Paddles and pump included 
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer any dedicated storage area except for D-ring tie-downs 
  • Doesn’t include any fishing rod holders 
  • The aluminum benches, although versatile, don’t do much for comfort 

Inflatables, like Saturn’s FK 396, can go places where hard-shells can’t. If you’re interested in budget-friendly inflatable tandem fishing kayaks, this one might be worth considering. 

4. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
  • Award: Best Lightweight Stand Up Fishing Kayak
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 5/5 Stars

Tamarack Angler 100’s flat-bottom, 10-foot hull weighs 52 pounds, which is lightweight for a hard-shell. Also, the 31-inch beam is wide enough to ensure stability, but the standing platform is somewhat limited due to the molded-in footrests.

There aren’t many bells and whistles, but you’re still getting enough storage. That includes bow and stern deck rigging, two 6-inch hatches, and two flush and one top-mounted rod holder.

However, the 275-pound capacity does limit how much stuff you can have on board, especially if you’re a bigger paddler. 

As for comfort, I wasn’t too thrilled about the bottom seat’s cushioning, but I do appreciate the backrest’s adjustability.  

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Measures 10 x 2.6 feet 
  • Weighs 52 pounds 
  • 275-pound capacity 
Pros
  • The flat hull improves stability 
  • Equipped with several fishing rod holders 
  • The onboard storage area includes two hatches and deck rigging 
  • Relatively lightweight for a hard-shell
Cons
  • The molded-in footrests don’t leave much room for standing up
  • The bottom seat cushion can get pretty uncomfortable 
  • The weight capacity is somewhat limited 

Lifetime’s Tamarack Angler 100 doesn’t have tons of fancy features, but it’s a well thought out hard-shell for anglers who want something lightweight, durable, and capable. 

5. SUNDOLPHIN Boss Stand Up Fishing Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Boss Stand Up Fishing Kayak
  • Award: Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak For Larger Paddlers 
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 5/5 Stars 

Sun Dolphin’s 12.3-foot and 78-pound hull is more than deserving of the name “Boss.” 

The beam is a little over 33 inches wide and, coupled with the Catamaran-style hull, and flat bottom, ensures exceptional stability. The deck picks up dents and scratches easily, but that’s mostly a matter of looks.

The elevated, multi-position seat makes for a comfortable fishing experience when sitting, while the stand-up assist strap and non-slip pads make standing up safe. It has a 500-pound capacity – one of the best stand up ‘yaks for larger paddlers – and easy-to-access storage: 

Bow and stern feature spacious tank wells with bungee rigging, one swiveling and four flush-mount rod holders, and two quick-lock hatches, although not waterproof ones. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Measures 12.3 x 2.8 feet 
  • Weighs 78 pounds 
  • 500-pound capacity 
Pros
  • A broad, Catamaran-style hull design with a flat bottom 
  • An elevated, multi-position seating system 
  • Excellent weight-bearing ability and storage capacity
  • A stand-up assist strap and non-slip pads
Cons
  • The 78-pound weight might be too much for some 
  • The deck picks up scratches and dents easily 
  • The storage hatches aren’t waterproof as advertised 

The Sun Dolphin Boss SS is a kayak geared toward stability, performance, and comfort – whether you’re sitting or getting up on your feet to fish. 

6. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead 150 Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead 150 Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Another inflatable alternative to a traditional hard-shell is the Elkton Outdoors’ Steelhead 150. But unlike the previous inflatable pick, this one looks – and is rigged – like proper hardshell stand-up fishing kayaks. 

It’s a 12.5-foot tandem, so the 44-pound weight and 600-pound capacity shouldn’t surprise you. It features seven hard-mount points for fishing rod holders and accessories, bow and stern storage compartments, and bungee rigging. 

It’s made of layered PVC, reinforced with plastic cones, and has a drop-stitch floor. With that rigidity and the 39-inch width, it’s suitable for stand-up casting. 

It’s somewhat costly for an inflatable, considering that you’ll have to replace the poorly-made paddles. 

Technical Specs 
  • 2 person capacity
  • Inflatable fishing kayak
  • Measures 12.5 x 3.3 feet 
  • Weighs 44 pounds 
  • 600-pound capacity 
Pros
  • A quality designed kayak that’s suitable for stand-up casting and Class III rapids 
  • Bow and stern cargo areas and bungee rigging
  • Superb 600-pound weight capacity 
  • Seven hard-mounting points for rod holders and fishing gear accessories 
Cons
  • It’s relatively pricey for an inflatable kayak 
  • The break-down paddles feel flimsy and poorly made
  • The initial setup can be confusing for inexperienced paddlers

The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead 150 is a fully-rigged kayak for angler duos that prefer the portability and convenience of inflatable kayaks for stand up fishing. 

7. Hobie 2019 Mirage Passport 10.5

Hobie 2019 Mirage Passport 10.5
  • Award: Best Pedal Stand Up Fishing Kayak
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

With the Hobie Mirage Drive Classic pedal system and ST fins, you can simultaneously control your vessel and fishing rods – which is a feature of real benefit to any angler.

The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5-foot kayak comes with a 34-inch beam, which makes for a stable stand-up fishing platform. The hull weighs 65 pounds, but you’re realistically looking at a substantial 75 pounds once it’s rigged. 

The 325-pound capacity allows for storage and accessories. It has an 8-inch twist-and-seal hatch, bow and stern compartments with deck rigging, two accessory mounting tracks, and fishing rod holders. Plus, there’s a vertical accessory tube for an additional sail. 

Hobie fishing kayaks are well known for not being easy on the wallet, and the Hobie Mirage is no exception for to this rule, but you’re getting quite a bang for the buck, nonetheless. 

Technical Specs 
  • Pedal Fishing Kayak
  • Measures 10.5 x 2.8 feet 
  • Weighs 65 pounds
  • 325-pound capacity 
Pros
  • A pedal-powered kayak with the Mirage Drive Classic system 
  • Multiple onboard storage options 
  • Has two accessory tracks for mountings fishing equipment and fishing rod holders 
  • Comes with a paddle
Cons
  • Weighs approximately 75 pounds when fully rigged
  • Weight capacity is a little be limited, especially for a fishing kayak 
  • The price tag isn’t exactly budget-friendly 
  • Although comfortable, it’s not possible to adjust the seat’s height at all 

Thanks to the pedal-drive system, the Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 stand-up fishing kayak gives anglers the ability to navigate waters and catch fish – at the same time!

8. Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
  • Award: Best Motor-Drive Stand-Up Fishing Kayak 
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

The original 14-foot advanced tactical angling kayak – or ATAK for short – was one pretty impressive vessel. The ATAK 120 offers the same benefits but in a more compact, 12.3 feet long, 35 inches wide hull. 

The 120 is still a massive 86-pound kayak, but it’s rigged for fishing and has a 400-pound capacity. 

Multiple SlideTrax accessory systems, bow, and stern compartments, a hatch, a removable console system, transducer scupper, AirPro MAX seat, stand-up assist strap; you name it, and ATAK has it. It’s hilarious that they forgot to include a single fishing rod holder, though. 

The compatibility with the Helix MD motor is excellent, considering that stand-up kayaks aren’t known for speed. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Measures 12.3 x 2.9 feet 
  • Weighs 86 pounds 
  • 400-pound capacity 
Pros
  • Well designed, built, with exceptional stability and customizable open-space deck 
  • Has a stand-up assist strap for safety 
  • Fully rigged for fishing and long periods on the water
  • AirPro MAX system makes for a very comfortable seat
  • Compatible with a Helix MD motor 
Cons
  • Among most cumbersome stand-up fishing kayaks on the list 
  • Doesn’t have built-in fishing rod holders
  • It’s nowhere near budget-friendly
  • The rudder system is sold separately 

If you want a stable fishing platform that can quickly navigate the water, the ATAK 120 may be the fishing kayaks for you. 

9. Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 Fishing Kayak

Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 Fishing Kayak
  • Award: Overall Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars 
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

I was initially worried about the kayak’s 11.5-foot length and 87-pound weight. It’s quite manageable, though, featuring four molded-in handles and Feelfree’s patented “Wheel in the Keel.” Unfortunately, it only works on hard surfaces.

The extra weight and the 34-inch beam make it hard to tip over, though. 

Moreover, the reinforced platform with high-grade foam and stand-up assist strap makes for an excellent standing surface. When it’s time to sit down, you have the extra-wide, easily adjustable Gravity Seat. 

The kayak’s 425-pound capacity doesn’t disappoint, either. You’ll find a sizable water-tight hatch, rear storage with deck rigging, fishing rod holders, Uni-Track accessory rails, and a multi-functional front console on the Lure 11.5. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Measures 11.5 x 2.8 feet 
  • Weighs 87 pounds
  • 425-pound capacity 
Pros
  • Easily adjustable, extra-wide, comfortable Gravity Seat
  • A reinforced deck and stand-up assist strap
  • “Wheel in the Keel” for convenient transportation
  • Excellent storage capacity and accessory-mounting options
Cons
  • The most cumbersome stand-up kayak I tested 
  • The wheel only works on hard surfaces 
  • May need a rudder system for areas with strong currents

Stable, spacious, mobile, comfortable, and good-looking, the Lure 11.5 V2 model offers a little bit of everything that the best stand up kayak should be. 

10. Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon

Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon
  • Award: Best Stand Up Fishing Pontoon
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars 

Okay, you got me; this one isn’t technically a kayak – but not everyone’s cut out for kayaking, anyway. 

And if it acts as a boat and floats like a boat, does it matter if it’s a proper kayak or an inflatable standing fishing pontoon? 

The U-shaped frameless hull weighs a mere 30 pounds but provides an incredibly stable and spacious fishing platform thanks to its 4-foot width. What’s more, it has a 450-pound capacity. 

The raft comes with oars, carrying bag, pump, two clip-on storage bags, 360-degree swiveling seat, motor mount, and Scotty mounts for fishing rods or accessories. 

It also includes a wooden floorboard for added stability – but this ups the weight to 42 pounds. 

Technical Specs 
  • Sit-on-top kayak
  • Measures 9 x 4 feet 
  • Weighs 30 pounds 
  • 450-pound capacity 
Pros
  • One of the most lightweight options on the list 
  • Well designed, paddled, levedated, comfortable seat 
  • Wide and spacious with a floorboard for stability 
  • Comes with a wide range of kayaking accessories 
Cons
  • It’s not an actual kayak 
  • It’s struggling with tracking on particularly windy days
  • Hard to carry alone due to the unusual shape and dimensions 

If you’re looking for a fishing boat that’s spacious but lightweight – even if it’s not a kayak – the Sea Eagle 285 inflatable boat is the right choice. 

Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak Of 2020: Conclusion 

The market for fishing kayaks has really developed over the past few years, this has lead to a number of specialise ‘yaks coming onto he scene – stand up fishing kayaks being a prime example of this.

The best stand up fishing kayak should be sturdy and stable, comfortable when needed – and, if possible, within your budget. 

In that sense, any of the kayaks you saw today would serve your needs well and help you reap the benefits of getting up on your feet while fishing. 

However, the Feelfree Lure 11.5 V2 Kayak still found a way to stand out in terms of design, quality stability, functionality, and might I add good looks. It features a spacious deck and cockpit, a highly adjustable and comfortable seat, lots of customization options and add-on features – and onboard storage space to match. 

I’d say that’s more than enough to keep even the pickiest angler happy!  Furthermore, most of the kayaks reviewed today would also make great hunting kayaks, and excellent platform from which to shoot duck or waterfowl.