When buying a fishing kayak, there are a lot of decisions you’ll need to make to narrow down your options. Do you want a sit-inside or sit-on-top? Do you want to pedal, paddle or both? Do you want an inflatable or hard-shell? The answers to these questions are usually influenced by personal preference, as well as intended use.
One other decision to be made, is what length of kayak to get. You might think preference and use are less relevant in this deliberation—that your own height and weight will be main factors in deciding what size kayak is best. In most cases, however, the length of boat you should get depends on what you want to be able to do with it.
There are, of course, exceptions. A heavier individual will be more comfortable in a bigger boat, and a smaller individual better able to control a smaller boat. But modern fishing kayaks with a wide hull and hard chine are plenty stable for the average klutz. For most, the size consideration comes down to what body of water you’ll be paddling, how much storage space you want, and desired speed.
When it comes to solo kayaks, 10-foot models exist on the short end of the spectrum, with 15-foot kayaks on the long end and 12-foot kayaks falling in the middle. On average, 10-foot kayaks are going to be more maneuverable on the water. These kayaks perform best on smaller flatwater lakes, right down to small and tight rivers. They also provide less storage space, tend to be slower, and are lighter weight.
A shorter, lighter kayak is easier to store and transport. Cutting two feet off the length can cut 20 or more pounds from the weight. Smaller boats are easier to lift onto a cartop carrier and cart to the water. At home, just drag a 10-foot kayak across the yard and store it in the garage. You can even get a pocket boat in the house and up the stairs!
Anglers interested in river fishing or carrying into hard-to-reach lakes, and who aren’t particular about having vast amounts of storage space will find what they’re looking for in these 10-foot fishing kayaks from Wilderness Systems, Perception Kayaks, Pelican, Vibe Kayaks, Old Town, Native Watercraft, NuCanoe, Feelfree Kayaks, Advanced Elements, Hobie, Sun Dolphin and others.
Here are the best 10-foot kayaks for fishing on the market today:
- Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100
- Perception Crank 10.0
- Pelican Sentinel 100XR Angler
- Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100
- Old Town Sportsman 106
- Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10
- NuCanoe F10
- Feelfree Kayaks Lure 10
- Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO
- Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5
- Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2021. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Tarpon 100 from Wilderness Systems is a perfectly balanced performance sit-on-top kayak that was designed to handle a variety of paddling environments. The revered Tarpon was engineered with a unique hull flare that allows for unparalleled stability and tracking while still maintaining speed and responsive handling. The ergonomically designed Phase 3 AirPro seating system offers quick and easy back and leg support, making the Tarpon one of the most comfortable sit-on-top kayak on the market.
The Crank 10.0 from Perception is an easy-to-use, fast-and-fun pedal kayak. This boat incorporates a fresh design with incredibly comfortable ergonomics for powerful-yet-easy pedaling, while providing ample surfaces for rigging accessories within easy reach. The Crank’s new-and-improved pedal drive is perfect for pedaling effortlessly and covering lots of water, and provides the ability to move forward and reverse without removing the drive from the boat. Other features include folding, adjustable and removable seating, one-handed rudder control, front and rear storage areas, a side paddle park and more.
The Sentinel 100XR Angler from Pelican is tailored to the angler looking for exceptional comfort and quality features that will make their experience more enjoyable. At only 50 pounds and with its ergonomic carrying handles, the Sentinel 100XR is easy to carry around, transport and store. This kayak comes equipped with Pelican’s Ergocast SB Seating System—an extremely comfortable chair that allows you to adjust seat tension to make sure you get the support you need.
View all Pelican 10-foot fishing kayaks.
The Yellowfin 100 from Vibe is ready to help you escape. Comfort and portability come together in this fully equipped, lightweight kayak. The Yellowfin 100 is the perfect throw-and-go vessel and features the Vibe Hero seat, providing comfort and support for long days on the water. The Yellowfin 100 has all the features anglers demand like extra rod holders, a large rear tank well, adjustable foot braces, front and center hatches, tackle tray holders and mounting points.
View all Vibe 10-foot fishing kayaks.
The Sportsman 106 from Old Town marries stability and performance in a compact fishing kayak that’s light enough to cartop. Sneak up on fish in one of the quietest pontoon-style hulls on the market. Features include two tracks on the forward hull for easy on/off accessory mounting, one forward-facing and two rear-facing flush mounted rod holders, non-slip EVA foam deck pads for traction and comfort while standing, under-seat tackle box storage and more. Stand with confidence, sit comfortably, and fish to your heart’s content with this boat.
View all Old Town 10-foot fishing kayaks.
The Slayer Propel 10 from Native Watercraft is powered by their hands-free forward to reverse Propel Pedal Drive System, keeping you on the fish and providing an aid landing the catch of the day. With an armchair-comfortable, hand-sewn seat and rock-solid stability, the design of this kayak empowers the angler to easily stand to sight cast. Add these features to the fact that the Slayer Propel 10 is easy to lift and transport and you have one incredibly versatile kayak fishing machine.
The F10 from NuCanoe is super maneuverable and remarkably stable, making it ideal for fishing rivers, streams and small lakes. Boasting first-rate versatility with its clean, open and customizable deck, the F10 gives you complete control of your gear and layout. The F10 features the 360 Pinnacle Seat for all-day comfort and 360-degree mobility, so you can always face the action. Its compact size makes getting it to and from the water a breeze.
View all NuCanoe 10-foot fishing kayaks.
The Lure 10 from Feelfree Kayaks is the smaller, more compact brother of the Lure 11.5 and is excellent for shorter trips on rivers and lakes without compromising features. The kayak also comes with a variety of unique patented comfort features seen on the Lure series, including the removable multi-height adjustable Gravity Seat, Wheel in the Keel and sturdy molded-in handles. The Lure 10.5 comes with everything you need to get out and go fish in a smaller, more manageable size.
View all Feelfree 10-foot fishing kayaks.
Designed for the kayak angler, the StraitEdge Angler PRO from Advanced Elements has great stability, multi-layer material, and multiple air chambers, providing maximum durability. Its removable Accessory Frame System allows anglers to customize the kayak with aftermarket accessories. It also features a drop-stitch floor for rigidity and standup capability, as well as Advanced Element’s ultra-comfortable AirFrame PRO seat.
Read Kayak Angler’s full review of the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO. Watch our video review of the StraitEdge Angler PRO specs and features. View all Advanced Elements 10-foot fishing kayaks.
The Mirage Passport 10.5 from Hobie is a pedal kayak that is both fun and functional. With the tried-and-true MirageDrive Classic with ST Fins, Hobie makes it possible to reach isolated beaches and remote waters. Every feature is designed with your entertainment in mind. Sail open water or fish the flats, thanks to the vertical accessory tube and molded in rod holders. Dual mounting tracks keep your accessories within reach, while the 8-inch Twist-n-Seal Hatch keeps them dry. The easy-to-use steering system and simplified version of Hobie’s twist-and-stow rudder puts navigation at your fingertips.
The Journey 10 SS from Sun Dolphin is affordable and offers many features to enhance your fishing experience. Features include one swivel and two flush mount rod holders, recessed tackle holders, a unique and removable P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) that can be used as extra storage, large comfortable seating, adjustable foot braces, a storage compartment, shock cord deck rigging, ditty trays, a paddle holder and a beverage holder. It’s made from extremely durable, dent-resistant, high-density polyethylene that will last for years to come.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a sit-on-top fishing kayak that has a comfortable padded seat and back rest for your long paddling and fishing adventures. Designed for extreme safety and stability, the Tamarack Angler has a stable, flat bottom with deep tracking channels and stability chine rails. The kayak is constructed of blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) making it durable, UV-protected and impact-resistant. The 52-pound design and front and rear carry handles make it easy to transport to and from the waterfront. With fishing rod holders, shock cord straps, multiple foot rest positions, and two storage hatches, this kayak has plenty of extras to enhance your paddling and fishing experience.
How we chose the best 10-foot fishing kayaks
We consider several factors when choosing the best 10-foot fishing kayaks. From ensuring we judge the kayak according to its intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the kayak in each category:
- Purpose. Comparing apples to apples.
- Performance. How well does it do its job?
- Features. Sometimes we’re all about bells and whistles, sometimes not.
- Real-world testing. We put them to the test on the water.
- Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
- Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason.
- Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it.
- Designer and brand interviews. We ask the people who made it why.
Let’s find you the perfect 10-foot fishing kayak
Use the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide‘s reviews, specs and expert rankings to help you find the right kayak at the right price. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations in The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2021.