Kayak fishing is by far the leading water sport in the world right now and shows no sign of slowing down. What makes a kayak a fishing kayak? A typical fishing kayak is of the sit-on-top (SOT) variety meaning that it self bails via scupper holes. They are also typically pre-outfitted with rod holders, and storage areas. Kayak manufactures are coming out of the woodwork to get in on the action. With that being said, the available kayak options that are available to the consumer are overwhelming. Prices for these trusty steeds can range anywhere from just a couple hundred dollars to several thousands. A huge reason behind these price differences comes from the material in which these kayaks are made from. Let’s take a look:
Your most common material used in today’s kayaks is what is called rotomolded polyethylene; plastic. It’s the cheapest and most durable of all the materials, but also the heaviest. You can expect kayaks made from polyethylene to weigh anywhere from 50 to 100+ pounds, depending on factors such as hull thickness, length and width. However, Polyethylene is highly impact resistant making it the ideal choice for fisherman that is a bit rough on their gear. It’s impact resistant because it is highly flexible, allowing it to flex when beat up and not crack. With that being said, it does scratch easy, but is also easily repaired by a process known as plastic welding. Check out Eddy-Gear kayaks for a great all around rotomolded polyethylene fishing kayak.
Next up on the list is polycarbonate or thermoformed plastics. This type of plastic is a step up from polyethylene is the fact that it is lighter weight. They are much smoother and have sheen much like fiberglass. This allows them to glide through the water much more efficiently that their rotomolded counterparts. They are more scratch resistant, but not as impact resistant. This material is great for the consumer who needs the lightness of fiberglass without the price. Although more expensive than rotomolded, their use shines in the way of lightweight and efficiency through the water.
The two mentioned above are the more common types of fishing kayak material, but there are many more out there. You may also find kayaks made out of fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon fiber, wood or even inflatable material. These materials are much lighter in weight but it’ll cost you. Sea kayaks are among the most common type of kayaks to be found using these materials. Although you may not find many SOT varieties made with these materials, they are still out there.