Table of Contents
Tandem kayak fishing offers a lot of advantages over traditional boating – it’s much easier to transport a kayak, cheaper to afford and still offers you a way to fish with friends. But looking for the best tandem kayak can be tricky, so we went ahead and compared the most popular kayaks on the market based on a range of criteria from price and quality to accessories and ease of transport.
Before we begin the comparisons it’s worth pointing out the clear advantages to tandem kayaks over traditional ones:
- Stability – Reeling in a fish can cause a single-person kayak to shift under the occupant and possibly capsize. Two person kayaks are much more stable since the second person can paddle while the other is reeling in a fish.
- Maneuverability – Having a second rower in your kayak can save you quite a bit of fatigue, assuming they’re willing to put in the work.
- Social – Kayak fishing is much more active than traditional fishing which makes it perfect for two people.
If these advantages pique your interest in tandem kayaks then lets jump right in to the recommendations:
Perception Rambler Tandem Kayak
- Seats for two people.
- Length: 13 feet 6 inches long.
- Weight: 75 pounds.
- Removable padded seat w/backrest adjustable support.
- Multiple footrest options.
- Perfect for lakes and light surf.
The Perception Rambler is a great base kayak for most people. Keep in mind that it doesn’t come with any extra frills or accessories and even the few external pieces it does come with probably should be replaced. The seat backrest, for example, is unlikely to sustain a persons full weight while paddling and should probably be replaced. It doesn’t even come with oars so be sure to order a couple when picking this up.
It’s also a bit on the heavy side at 75 pounds but for it’s size that really isn’t that bad. Some modifications are recommend, especially to add storage, but that shouldn’t be too difficult.
- Easily supports two adults.
- Very sturdy construction.
- Doesn’t come with any accessories – must buy paddle separately.
- Will probably want to upgrade to a more comfortable seating pad.
- No dry storage compartments.
- A bit heavy to handle alone.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
- Sits up to three people.
- Length: 13.5 feet long.
- Weight: 70 pounds.
- Three covered storage compartments.
- Adjustable seats w/back support.
The Sun Dolphin Bali tandem kayak is alot like the Perception Rambler with the big exception that it has three storage slots and an extra seat in the middle. Keep in mind, though, that the storage slots are not waterproof and the weight limit of 500 lbs means it’s unlikely you’ll be able to comfortably fit three adults at once.
Still, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a stable kayak at a cheap price. Remember that it doesn’t come with oars so you’ll need to order them separately and you’ll likely want to upgrade the seats for better comfort.
- Perfect for an adult + two kids.
- Three non-dry storage compartments.
- Very sturdy.
- Seats can tear very easily.
- Too much weight in the kayak can cause it to leak through the scupper holes.
BKC TK122Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Seats 2-3 people.
- Length: 12.9ft
- Weight: 77 pounds
- Built-in molded handle for easy transport.
- Premium fully padded memory foam seats & back rest.
- Dry storage available.
- Built-in fishing rod holders.
The BKC TK122 tandem kayak should come with pretty much everything you need: waterproof storage, built-in fishing rod holders, very comfortable seating and handles for easy transport. Even it’s maximum weight limit is better at 770 pounds.
But all of these premium extras come at a cost: it’s easily the most expensive of the three recommended kayaks but at least it doesn’t need any extra addons to be purchased to make it more comfortable – it’s perfect out of the box.
- 4 fishing rod holders.
- Comes with paddles.
- Very comfortable seating.
- Premium quality construction.
- The most expensive of the kayaks compared.
Keep in mind that depending on which kayak you choose to purchase you may need to pick up some additional accessories. Rather than send you off unsure of what to get, we went ahead and did the research for you starting with paddles:
Pelican Kayak Paddles
- Comes with two aluminum kayak paddles.
- Length: 89 inches.
- Lightweight and high quality construction.
The kayak paddle itself offers advantages over other types of watercraft. Since a kayak paddle has two blades, one paddler can operate a kayak with great maneuverability and speed. The design of a kayak paddle makes paddling efficient since every part of the rowing motion adds speed to the boat since one blade of a kayak paddle is always in the water. Kayak paddles also make it possible for two paddlers to paddle in tandem without giving up maneuverability.
If you order the BKC TK122 you won’t need this, but if you order either of the other kayaks you’re going to need to pick up some kayak paddles and they don’t get any better than this. The handles are made of aluminum while the blade is made of a impact resistant fiberglass which ensures it’s both lightweight and strong enough to handle whatever abuse the water might throw at it.
- Highest quality construction.
- Comes with two paddles.
- There are cheaper options but for the quality it can’t be beat.
Advantages of Tandem Kayaks
Though the materials have changed, the design of modern kayaks highlights the benefits of kayaks over other boats. First, the hull offers many advantages. The first of these is its size and shape. Kayaks are low-profile and simple in design. They allow for advantages like maneuverability in rough waters, access to shallow waters and areas that are tough or impossible for other boats to reach, and allow for close interaction with wildlife because of their simple shape and design.
Kayaks are narrow yet stable, allowing for a boater to use a double-sided kayak paddle. The stability of the hull is achieved by its flat shape, and its shape and balance makes it ideal for rough waters, waves on the oceans, or strong currents. It is also difficult to sink by taking on water since the cockpit and spraydeck are the most recognizeable characteristics of a kayak. The cockpit is often small and tightly fitted to the paddler with a spraydeck that makes the boat almost watertight, allowing it to be fully tipped over and still able to resurface and continue. This also makes it great for rough waters since it is difficult to sink.
Kayaks use an extremely simple design to give adventurers a proven and reliable way to encounter nature on any kind of water. Kayaks are the best way to experience the widest range of bodies of water, and are incredibly easy to learn and operate by any boater.