It’s a bit painful to admit, but summer is really over. It was cold this morning (only in Texas would 67° be considered cold) and while that may have some thinking it’s time to retire their kayaks for the season, this is not at all the case!  When looking for a Sit on Top kayak, you just need to be a bit more strategic and find one with a high seat and maximum stability so you won’t have to worry as much about getting wet or the potential for flipping. I asked one of our kayak fishing experts for his top picks and here’s what we came up with:

57668_7001. Feelfree Lure 13.5

The Feelfree Lure 13.5 Kayak is the widest kayak with a built in seat we offer. With its 36 inch width you’ll find maximum stability. There is a larger deck and wide open standing platform so you won’t feel restricted when you’re standing up to cast. The Feelfree Lure 13.5 provides versatility and easy customization with features like the removable multi-level, multi-position extra wide Gravity seat. The patent-pending Gravity seat design allows you to sit flush on the deck of the kayak when you’re in need of more stability or an increase in paddling efficiency when going longer distances. If speed and long distance open water runs are a high priority, this kayak does go a bit slower because of its weight, however once you get your momentum going, you’ll find it glides very well so you won’t have any issues keping your pace while cruising. Overall, you’ll receive ultimate stability, comfort, and versatility on the Feelfree Lure 13.5.


74023_7002. Hobie Mirage Outback

The Hobie Mirage Outback caters towards every angler’s need for stability, speed, comfort, and maneuverability. One of the coolest options of this kayak in regards to comfort and stability is Hobie’s Vantage CT Seating. It offers four way adjustability for maximum comfort including the ability to recline and adjustable lumbar support. It’s worth mentioning that at 99 pounds, this is the heaviest of the kayaks on this list and can be a bit cumbersome to car top. If you have a trailer, it’s much easier to take with you. The weight could also be challenging if you find yourself in an area requiring a lot of portaging. There are plenty of useful features built in like molded-in rod holders and trays, handy storage compartments, Lowrance-Ready capability and a gear bucket feature that fits in the round hatch. There are even two molded in drink holders on the Hobie Mirage Outback inviting you recline that Vantage CT seat so you can sit back and enjoy a beer as you reflect on your glorious day of fishing.

59258_7003. Wilderness Ride 135 Max Seat Kayak

Wilderness Systems Ride 135 Max was designed to meet paddlers’ desire for advancements in performance and comfort. When engineering this remarkable kayak, Wilderness Systems prioritized capacity and stability. The hull features a much wider, flatter standing platform than previous models. This kayak is great for day-long excursions with the Phase 3 AirPro MAX high/low seating system. Its patent-pending design provides more breathability and many options for adjustment allowing paddlers to position their seat in a high, low, or recline position without any clipping or loosening of straps which is extremely convenient when you’re on the water. Some paddlers find that while the self-bailing scuppers drain quickly, they can be noisy. This doesn’t impact the performance at all, just something to note if your’e the type to be bothered by some sloshing or spitting sounds when you’re paddling quickly. Personally, I’d say it’s not much of an issue and a mild annoyance at most. Overall the pontoon style hull and wider, flatter standing platform make this a great stable kayak as the streamlined design minimizes your risk of flipping. When you’re standing up to cast further or increase visibility you’ll so you’ll feel very secure on this kayak.

38229_7004. Old Town Predator 13 Kayak 

When creating the  Old Town Predator 13 Kayak, Old Town Pro Staff Anglers were a huge part of the manufacturing process. The end result is an extremely well thought out design maximizing “fishability”. Innovations that came from this process include the Exo-Ridge deck and unique Tri-Hull design. These factors contribute towards an extremely stable ride and meeting angler’s needs for configurability and easy customization. The unique seat on the Old Town Predator 13 really caters towards functionality without compromising your comfort. It converts into three positions each with specific purpose in mind. The Travel position offers a lower center of gravity proving you with more stability as you paddle. The Attack position allows you to elevate the seat for fishing. When you’re poling, sighting, and casting you can completely flip the seat out of the way and into Stand Up position. It’s important to note this kayak was designed for use in areas like lakes, bays, and coastal waters where resistance to rolling in high waves or wakes is a high priority so you’ll feel very secure taking it out on larger bodies of water.

25307_7005. Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5

The Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 is especially great for fly fishers because there are minimal snag points. Its wide open, clean deck layout provides anglers with plenty of space for standing, rigging, and stripping line. You can easily stand up to sight cast and the foot pads along the deck increase traction while reducing noise which is a great thoughtful detail.  At 75 pounds this is also the lightest of all the kayaks on this list. If you’re looking for height in your seat, the Slayer definitely has it – the High/Low First Class Seat elevates the paddler 6 inches which makes the transition from sitting to standing much less “clunky”. Another nice bonus is the additional storage you get when the seat is raised to the high position. With this extra height, however, you might want to consider upping your paddle length 10 centimeters. 

I wanted to give a special shout out to Diablo Paddlesports too. These Sit on Top kayaks are worth mentioning, even though you’d have to purchase the Larry Chair kayak seat separately, they are really great for stability because they are a SUP and kayak hybrid. The Diablo boats are extremely wide (we’re talking 36 inches for their “narrowest” model) so you can stand up to paddle, scout, or fish but their innovative design also allows the option to sit down and paddle like any other traditional sit on top kayak. They also offer all the typical kayak fixings like dry storage, wet storage, and paddle and drink holders, so you’ll feel right at home. Be sure to check out our inventory of Bonafide Kayaks for high-quality sit on top fishing kayaks.

Devyn,
Social Media Coordinator 

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16 comments

  1. I wish you had given the weight and seat maximum height above ground level for each kayak. I donot fish but am considering a high-seat model due to arthritis in hip and knees.

    1. Linda, agreed, that would have been helpful. We can certainly measure for you. Is there a particular model you were interested in so we could request some measurements?

  2. The predictor is the exact kayak I’m looking for , but when your on a river with down trees across the river and tight turns 13 ft. would be very difficult to manage ! if you can make a 8 ft. preditor exactly like the 13 ft. I will buy one in a heartbeat ! my cell phone is 1 620 708 9311 ,THANKS ! I REALLY hope you will build one ! best kayak I have ever seen , you should be proud !!!

  3. I would definitely add Ocean Kayak’s Prowler Big Game 2 to the list. I am 5’11” 250 lbs, and that kayak is a BEAST in the water. Even when the seat is in the low setting it still is a super dry ride.

    1. I didn’t include the Hobie Pro Angler because this list was intended to compare similar style kayaks across a variety of brands. The Pro Angler is an amazing kayak and in a league of its own, because of this, it match up with the criteria used when making our list. The width and design specific to kayak fishing absolutely make it a great option for anglers looking for stability!

    1. These are all great options for kayak fishing! Do you have any other specific requirements? I’d be happy to help you narrow down your list – or you can chat with one of our Customer Service team members (888-828-3828) they’re all experts when it comes to this sort of thing

    1. Great question Stephen! At ACK we offer such a huge variety of kayaks that we all support and believe in, and because of this, when doing this style of blog we like to focus on one specific type of kayak. In this case, it was our staff and customers’ favorite high seat kayaks. The Ocean Kayak Trident Series is awesome, but not high seat so that’s why it didn’t make this list.

  4. I’ll write this for my fellow big guy paddlers. Im 6′ 3″ 275 pounds.

    Fantastic Article! I own the lure and my fishing buddy owns an outback. I’ve tested out everything on this list other than the Diablo. You absolutely did your homework putting this list together.

    The outback and wilderness are more maneuverable than anything on the list but I feel you lose some stability. The predator and lure are the most stable but they’re behemoths and take some arms to turn. The predator was just as stable as the lure however it was clunkier to turn IMO than the lure. On top of it, the lure has the wheel in the keel, ice chest and multiple storage areas that the predator while not falling short on, fell short compared to the lure.

    The lure is what I settled on based on storage and stability I can even throw an 8 foot cast net while standing on it.

    If you’re a smaller guy, the wilderness is awesome! It sacrificed some stability that being my size I needed. I’d put the moken 12.5 on this list as well for smaller guys. The new feel free moken 14.5 zips through the water but you lose some stability with its narrower base. If you’re under 180, I’d suggest testing one out.

    1. Thank you Billy – I did a lot of research when putting this list together and am glad you can appreciate it! You bring up some really good points with regards to some of the other features these kayaks offer. There are so many important considerations to take into account before investing in a kayak and hearing other’s opinions is always so valuable. Happy paddling