7 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks (2023 Reviews and Guide)

It can be challenging to choose the best tandem fishing kayak. There are a lot of choices and a wide variety of price points. You want to make sure you get the best kayak for your needs.

There are many options, but not all tandem fishing kayaks are created equal. Some are built better than others, some have features that will be useful for what you need them for, and some don’t even come with everything they need to paddle in the first place!

We’ve researched the best tandem fishing kayak models available today so we can help you pick which is right for your needs before you plan your next outing.

If you are in a hurry, here are our favorites:

Best Tandem Fishing Kayak

There are many tandem fishing kayaks out there, and finding the one that’s right for you can be hard when you have so many choices. That goes for deciding on the price point and features and what type is best for your needs! We’ve researched the best models to help make things easier.

Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak

Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Kayak - 2 Person Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak Package with 2 EVA Padded Seats, 2 Aluminum Paddles and Fishing Rod Holder Mounts (Green/Blue)
  • Recreational Kayak – 12’ Foot Two Person Tandem Kayak is Perfect for Fishing,...
  • Tough and Rugged Design – Hull is constructed from Single Piece Rotomolded UV...
  • Adventure Ready – 4 Flush Mount Capped Rod Holders and 2 Mounting Points for Scotty...
  • Fully Outfitted – 4 Fixed Carry Handles for Easy Transportation, Two Paddle Park...
  • Package Includes – (2) Adjustable EVA padded seats w/ High Back Support, (2)...

Features:

  • UV Resistant High-Density Polyethylene
  • Weight: 72 lbs
  • Paddles included
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs

Review:

The Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak is made for fishing.

The hull is constructed from single-piece rotomolded UV Resistant High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) that resists scratches, scuffs, and peeling in any environment. This hull design makes the kayak sturdy and stable in rough water.

The Teton 120 has two mounting points to carry rods and two waterproof hatches that will hold all the gear you could ever need. In addition, the rear hatch comes with a bungee cord to secure your gear. 

The cockpit has plenty of legroom for both paddlers, which means comfortable trips for two people of any size. In addition, a 500-pound weight capacity leaves plenty of room for two paddlers and lots of equipment.

This feature-rich kayak has four flush mount rod holders, 2 Scotty accessory mounting points, and two watertight storage hatches, perfect for keeping your belongings safe as you get on the water.

This tandem kayak also comes with adjustable EVA seats and high back support, making fishing easy. So if you are a fishing enthusiast, the Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak is perfect for your needs.

PROS

Lots of rod holders
Adjustable seats
Plenty of legroom
Stable
Robust weight capacity
Paddles are included

CONS

It’s pretty heavy, especially if you are by yourself
They might not be able to stand up in it like other kayaks

BKC TK219 12.2′ Tandem Fishing Kayak

BKC TK219 12.2' Tandem Fishing Kayak W/Soft Padded Seats, Paddles,6 Rod Holders Included 2-3 Person Angler Kayak (Blue)
  • THE PERFECT KAYAK FOR OUTDOOR FUN: Our Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC TK219K tandem kayak...
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with 2 soft padded seats, 2...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High density polyethylene...
  • BUILT-IN FISHING ROD HOLDERS: 4 flush-mount rod holders and 2 articulating rod...
  • WATERPROOF STORAGE: Keep all your valuables dry inside the BKC TK219K's dual...

Features:

  • Rotomolded High-Density Polyethylene
  • Two watertight hatches
  • Paddles included
  • Weight capacity: 595 lbs

Review:

The BKC TK219 is the ultimate fishing kayak for the avid fisherman who needs enough space and storage for gear and wants a stable ride. This kayak’s size allows you to easily store items and has plenty of room to fish comfortably in choppy waters and swift currents.

This tandem kayak has two soft padded adjustable seats and six built-in rod holders for easy access.

Four flush mount rod holders on the sides so there are no tangles or needed adjustments after casting, and dual waterproof hatches to secure your bait boxes (or anything else). These features work together to create a comfortable, smooth ride for two people and all their gear.

This tandem fishing kayak is made of UV-protected high-density polyethylene. Its hull design allows it to be stable enough to fish efficiently and maneuver quickly.

This is the perfect choice if you and your partner are looking for a stable watercraft for all conditions. Its 34-inch beam makes it stable for fishing on currents or choppy waters.

The rear cargo space can carry plenty of gear while ensuring an overall balance. The weight capacity of up to 595 pounds doesn’t hurt either.

PROS

Stable
Plenty of rod holders
Large carrying capacity
Durable construction
Adjustable backrest

CONS

Pretty heavy
Not a super fast kayak

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak

Sale
Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak, 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Kayak Package with 2 EVA Padded Seats, Includes 2 Aluminum Paddles and Fishing Rod Holders (Grey)
  • BUILT TO LAST: Constructed with a rotomold injected body to ensure your kayak will...
  • EASY TO TRANSPORT: Two carry handles allow for convenient transportation. Fits easily...
  • PLENTY OF STORAGE: An air tight compartment, two storage areas located on each end of...
  • ACCESSORIES: Includes everything you need to hit the water including two paddles, two...
  • DIMENSIONS: 12.2 feet in length and 3 feet wide; large enough for two people and all...

Features:

  • Rotomolded polyethylene injection
  • Sturdy, stable hull
  • 12’2″ feet long
  • Weight capacity: 650 lbs

Review:

Have more fun on the water! The Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak is a roto-molded injection kayak for two anglers. This sturdy design will keep you comfortable whether you paddle on the shores of a river or near shallow waters.

This large boat has a designated area for ice chests to keep lunch fresh and bait cold.

The airtight compartment keeps your gear safe, while four inset rod holders are mounted inside. There are two locking storage compartments and a designated platform on top to place your ice chest while fishing.

Two paddles and comfortable seats (included) make it easy to focus on catching fish. 

You don’t have to worry about running out of space in this tandem kayak. With 650 pounds worth of capacity, it’ll hold everything two anglers could want- rods and reels for hauling big fish back up to shore.

PROS

Durable rotomolded polyethylene construction
Includes paddles
Lots of rod holders
Bungee storage on the front and back
Adjustable backrest

CONS

Pretty heavy
Not a super fast kayak

BKC TK181 12.5′ Tandem Sit On Top Kayak

BKC TK181 12.5' Tandem Sit On Top Kayak W/ 2 Soft Padded Seats, Paddles,7 Rod Holders Included 2 Person Kayak (Desert, 12-Foot 5-inch)
  • Brand: Brooklyn kayak Company
  • 7 Rod Holders: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak features...
  • Waterproof Storage Hatches: Stash a wallet, keys, snacks, and more in the twin...
  • Hull Weight (empty): 68 lbs, Max Load Capacity: 440 lbs, Hull Length: 12-foot 5-inch,...
  • Ergonomic Seating: We want to be on the water as long as we can, so we designed it to...

Features:

  • Single piece roto-molded construction
  • Steady and stable
  • 12’8″ feet long
  • Weight capacity: 595 lbs

Review:

It’s simple. But, if you’re looking for a durable tandem kayak that can hold up to 2 people and keep your rods close by, then take a close look at the BKC TK181 12.5′ Sit On Top Kayak.

Single-piece roto-molded high-density polyethylene gives this yak UV protection and impact-resistant properties, so it can take a beating. 

Two secure paddle rests provide a safe place to set your paddle while freeing up your hands for fishing and keeping an eye on the horizon for possible big fish. Trying to paddle your kayak back through a fishing hole while holding your fishing rod is frustrating.

With three fixed fishing rod holders and four flush-mounted rod holders in strategic locations, you will get multiple lines in the water at once.

The secure bungee tie-down system keeps your gear safe as you paddle, while waterproof storage hatches allow you to keep your supplies close at hand. There’s plenty of room in the rear cargo area, and easy carrying handles add convenience on land too.

Multiple carrying handles and a large weight capacity of 595 pounds round out this tandem fishing kayak. The backrests and seats adjust so everyone, from teens to adults, can enjoy fishing adventures for years.

PROS

Robust construction
Excellent storage capacity
Comfortable, adjustable seats
Lots of rod holders
Flat bottom hull for stability

CONS

Heavy to transport
Can take on water depending on the conditions

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Sale
Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak
  • 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use
  • 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
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from...

Features:

  • S18 gauge PVC construction
  • Rod holders included
  • Multiple air chambers

Review:

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak is the perfect way for you and a partner to enjoy a great day of fishing. This robust kayak is constructed with 18-gauge PVC, so it’s durable and provides a comfortable fishing experience for two people.

Safety features include NMMA certification, 1000D tarpaulin bottom, and 840D nylon cover, providing durable puncture protection.

Multiple air chambers provide extra protection from punctures. Just in case something happens, you can paddle to shore. Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders are perfect for hands-free fishing so you can paddle or relax and wait for the big hit.

The Boston Valves make blowing up this inflatable fishing kayak a breeze. And the rod holders are positioned out of the way so you won’t hit them when you paddle.

Thanks to the four mesh pockets on each side and both bow and stern compartments, you’ll have plenty of storage options, perfect for all your fishing gear and snacks. Finally, there are D-Rings if you want to attach other equipment.

PROS

Easy to transport
Rod holders included
Plenty of room for two people and gear
Onboard storage
Adjustable seats

CONS

Seats don’t provide much back support
Rod holders poorly positioned

Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack™ Angler Series Inflatable Fishing Boat

Features:

  • Quadruple Overlapped Seams
  • Non-slip floor
  • Multiple air chambers
  • 635 pound weight capacity
Two men paddling Sea Eagle 385fta tandem fishing kayakPin

Review:

Fishing is hard enough, but not having the right equipment makes it downright difficult. Getting a big, bulky boat to the fishing location in one piece and figuring out what goes where is more trouble than you want to deal with.

Save yourself time and money by investing in an inflatable angler’s dream. The Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack™ Angler features quadruple overlapped seams for strength.

This 2-person fishing kayak has a patented needle knife keel designed to cut through waves and currents. It can hold up to any adventure with a 635-pound weight capacity and 1000-denier reinforced fabric.

This Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack™ Angler is built with a high-quality fabric and has multiple chambers for safety from punctures. The best thing about an inflatable is you can take it anywhere.

It also features a non-slip EVA foam floor protecting against slipping and puncturing. Fish hooks are no match for this inflatable. In addition, a Durable PVC Tarpaulin bottom helps protect the kayak from wear and tear.

>>Click for Sea Eagle 385fta pricing<<

Complete with built-in rod holders and tool holders, you’re always prepared for whatever comes your way when you are on the water. It also includes a removable high-pressure drop stitch floor and four air chambers: port, starboard, keel, and floor, making this boat even more versatile for those big catches!

Made with quality materials and designed for ultimate reliability, this tandem fishing kayak will be your most valuable partner on all those water adventures.

PROS

Easy to inflate and set up
Durable construction
Variety of customized packages to choose from
It comes with everything you need
Inflatable or padded backrest

CONS

More expensive than other options
Not a super fast kayak

380X Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Features:

  • Glued Quadruple Overlapped Seams
  • Drop stitch, removable floor
  • Multiple air chambers
  • 750 pound weight capacity

Review:

The Sea Eagle 380x inflatable tandem fishing kayak is made to bring the thrill of sport fishing up a level. The 12’6″ length and 750-pound weight capacity makes it great for taking on any paddling adventure, whether catching fish or touring for fun.

The included removable slide skeg keeps you on track. Extra D-rings to secure seats and gear and front and rear spray skirts give you everything you need to hit the water.

The 380X is built to be user-friendly from start to finish and tough enough to take you through class IV whitewater. This kayak is extremely versatile whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or just hitting the water for fun.

>>Click for Sea Eagle 380X Explorer pricing<<

While not a traditional fishing kayak, the Sea Eagle 380X can undoubtedly hold its own. There is plenty of storage, and you can add an adhesive rod holder should you need it. A fishing bucket works well if you are paddling solo.

This kayak is durable and stable enough to stand up for pinpoint casting accuracy.

Click here to read the complete Sea Eagle 380X review.

PROS

Easy to inflate
Removable skeg helps the kayak track well
Easy to transport
You don’t need a roof rack or a truck
Various packages available

CONS

No footrest
Doesn’t come with rod holders

How to Choose the Best Tandem Fishing Kayak

Tandem fishing kayaks are hard to choose because many look the same from the outside but have very different designs and features.

We want you to be excited about your new tandem fishing kayak, so we wrote this guide to help you pick one out. Here are some things to consider when buying your next tandem fishing kayak.

What is the best tandem fishing kayak for me? To find it, you need to answer these questions first:

How much storage do I need? How stable do I want my boat? Do I care if my rod holders will hold both spinning and fly rods? Finally, would other extras or accessories make my life easier while out on the water (like gear tracks)?

Stability

When you are fishing, you want a stable kayak so you can make a quick (and accurate) cast. In addition, you want to stand up, move around, and not worry about flipping overboard.

best tandem fishing kayak - man fishing with his sonPin
Photo by Jim Strasma on Unsplash

Fishing kayaks are generally very stable, but some are more stable than others. When you choose a tandem fishing kayak, think about the stability and know that your passengers will be standing or fishing from a seated position.

If your buddies like to stand up and move around, you may want a tandem fishing kayak with more stability. The best tandem fishing kayaks have great stability, especially with two people standing up.

Rod Holders

Fishing rod holders are critical to your fishing experience. You need them to hold your rods securely. It sucks to try to hold your fishing rod while paddling your way back through a school of fish.

Ideally, a tandem fishing kayak should have multiple rod holders. In addition, rod holders are the only way you will be able to hold a fishing rod or multiple rods securely while you paddle or take a break.

Tandem Fishing Kayak Storage

Storage on a tandem fishing kayak is critical, especially for multi-hour trips. If you don’t have a lot of storage, you won’t want to leave the shore with too much gear because it won’t all fit.

Check the kayak’s dimensions and compare that to where you want to store your gear.

You should check out the storage space and see whether there is room for your tackle box, cooler, lunch, and more. The more room you have, your fishing trip will be more comfortable.

Some tandem fishing kayaks have large open compartments in the front or rear, while some have plenty of smaller compartments. You can also consider buying a dry bag to store your gear if the storage area is too small.

If you are a serious angler, getting the right storage for all your gear is very important. You don’t want to head out on the water knowing there won’t be enough room for everything you need, so remember to check storage before making your purchase.

Comfort

When you check out tandem fishing kayaks, think about what makes the most sense. Consider your passengers, like how tall are they?

If your partner is much taller than you, you may need a tandem fishing kayak with more legroom. Also, if your fishing buddies have different comfort needs, consider getting one with adjustable seats. The best fishing kayaks come with adjustable seats.

Tandem fishing kayak - man kayakingPin
Photo by Mike Baker on Unsplash

When looking at tandem fishing kayaks, some are more comfortable than others.

Fishing for hours can be tiring, so you want to ensure your kayak has comfortable seats that won’t dig into your behind or lower back.

Finding one with adjustable seats might be a good idea if your passengers are tall, so everyone is comfortable on their terms.

Durability

You also want tandem fishing kayaks to remain in top shape even when you are transporting. The last thing you want is for your kayaks to spring a leak (inflatable) or crack when you are on the water, so durability should be something that you look for when finding the perfect fishing kayak.

The best fishing kayaks are made with top-quality construction and will stand the test of time.

You want to ensure you won’t have to replace your tandem fishing kayak anytime soon just because something small like a rod holder breaks or the floor starts leaking, so look for ones made from top-quality materials.

Gear Tracks

Gear tracks are great for tandem fishing kayaks. You can mount your rod holders, fishfinder, and other accessories on them and not worry about them falling off while reeling in a fish or trying to move the boat.

Some kayaks come with gear tracks, and others don’t. You can also install tracks yourself if the kayak doesn’t have them. This will make your fishing experience better.

Sit Inside or Sit-On-Top

Deciding on a sit-in or sit-on-top tandem fishing kayak? Most models are sit-on-top and give you more room to cast and stand up.

Sit-in tandem fishing kayaks are great for those who want to stay dry and don’t mind sitting in a confined area while they fish.

You can also find sit-on-top models that offer plenty of room, so you must decide what style is best for you.

You can check out this article for more information on the differences between sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks for fishing.

Rigging options

Consider the rigging options when looking at tandem fishing kayaks. You may want to mount a rod holder or something else to the kayak, so rigging is essential.

If you are new to kayaking, check out the rigging options before you buy. It will be easier for you if the kayak already has all the required riggings.

Tandem kayakersPin

You’ll find some fishing kayaks with everything installed and ready for use, or even better, others have rigging options, so you can choose what works best for you.

Tandem fishing kayaks come in different styles and sizes. Therefore, when shopping around, it is imperative to look at what the tandem kayak offers and how well each feature will work for you and your partner.

Accessories

Is your tandem kayak fishing ready? You will need a fish finder, anchor and anchor trolley, and more.

Before buying your tandem fishing kayak, ensure it is compatible with all the accessories you might need.

There are plenty of tandem fishing kayaks on the market that offers a variety of extras and accessories. It’s a good idea to ensure you have everything you need to get the most out of your fishing trip.

Price (budget)

How much are you willing to spend on a tandem fishing kayak? Having a specific budget in mind will help narrow down your choices and make it easier to decide which tandem fishing kayak is best for you.

You can find a cheap tandem fishing kayak for under $500, but you will want to ensure it is still of quality so that you don’t have to replace it.

Motor Mount

Adding a motor to a fishing kayak is a game-changer, especially if you are fishing in a busy area or large body of water. If you have a motor mount on your tandem kayak, it is much more versatile and will go farther than just fishing.

Pedal Drive

If your kayak has a pedal drive, you can control your speed and direction with pedals. This is important because it gives you more ability to maneuver the boat in any situation.

There is a lot of debate about pedal drive kayaks versus traditional paddle kayaks. Some people prefer paddles. Others prefer pedals. The choice is up to you.

Seating

Remember to think about how comfortable your seats are. Then, look for a tandem fishing kayak that offers you and your passengers the most comfort.

You’ll want your kayak seats made of material that won’t be hard on your butt, especially if you are going out on the water for long periods. You don’t want to be on the water for hours and feel like your seat is tearing you up.

Make sure the kayak seat has proper back support and is comfortable. Some have a cushion, and others don’t. It all depends on your preference, but as far as comfort goes, you should look for something with some padding or lumbar support.

It is a bonus if the seats are adjustable because you can customize the kayak to fit whoever is going out with you on the fishing trip. You can always upgrade or swap out the seat later if needed.

Weight capacity

The weight capacity for a tandem kayak will vary significantly from one model to another. You should make sure the kayak you choose has a high enough weight limit to handle two paddlers and all their gear.

A tandem fishing kayak with a low weight limit could cause issues while on the water. Depending on how much you and your passengers weigh, all the weight could be unevenly distributed. This can result in an uncomfortable ride out on the water or a man overboard.

You want to ensure that when you choose a fishing kayak, it has enough room for everyone using it out on the water with you. If you need an even larger kayak, check out this article for 3-person kayaks.

Get a Kayak Cart

Many tandem kayaks are very heavy to pick up and move, especially if you use the kayak alone. Just because it’s a tandem kayak doesn’t mean you have to go with a buddy 🙂

Even if you are fishing with a partner, by the time you add up all the gear, that’s a lot of weight in addition to the kayak. I recommend using a kayak cart to make the trek to the water as easy as possible.

There are a lot of kayak carts on the market. You can check out these articles for more information. Do yourself and your back a favor and invest in a kayak cart to move the monster boats around.

Best kayak carts

Here is our top pick:

C-tug kayak cart review

Conclusion

To find the best fishing kayak, you need to know what type of paddler and fisherman you are. Know which features matter most for your needs in a tandem fishing kayak. After that, narrowing down your choices and deciding on one that’s perfect for you becomes easier.

The right tandem fishing kayak will make all the difference when out on the water with friends or family members – whether novice anglers or experienced fishermen like yourself.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve is the owner of Paddle About, a blog that's all about helping people get out and enjoy nature. He loves to kayak, camp, hike and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not out exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.