Best Tandem Fishing Kayak: 15 Factors and Questions Answered

If you are in a rush, the best tandem fishing kayak is the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T.

Why drift apart from your loved ones when you can angling alongside them? Tandem kayaks offer two-times the fun in one condensed package. With a two-person kayak, you can pair up with a partner, friend, child, or pet to enjoy a safe, affordable, and shared experience. With two paddlers, you can also do more multitasking and relaxing. Tandem boats are often twice as nice as their solo substitutes.

We set out to find the top five tandem kayaks and couldn’t be happier with our discoveries. We’re excited to share our honest opinions of these pair-worthy paddle boats! Check out the reviews and our comprehensive buying guide in the section below!

The Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks goes as Follows:

  1. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T     >>Check Price on Amazon<<
  2. Brooklyn Kayak Company’s TK122    >>Check Price on Amazon<<
  3. Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak      >>Check Price on Water Outfiters<<
  4. Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe      >>Check Price on Amazon<<
  5. Sevylor Colorado        >>Check Price on Amazon<<

What to Look for in a Tandem Fishing Kayak

Two People fishing off a tandem fishing kayak
Photo by: Best Fishing Kayak . Net

Type

Many consumers don’t realize how many options they have when it comes to tandem kayaks. These paddle boats are just as versatile as most solo fishing kayaks.

Sit-In or Sit-On-Top

Tandem kayaks are available as both sit-in and sit-on-top options. Most sit-on-top tandem kayaks feature an airtight hull with a shallow seating area. These kayaks are perfect for recreational excursions. Sit-on-top tandems are easy to mount after a capsize. They also feature more flexible seating arrangements for which you can stand and move around. The shallow decks of sit-on-top kayaks often offer room for a third passenger or bulky cooler. Many sit-on-top kayaks even boast molded seats in addition to two dominant paddling stations.

On the other hand, tandem sit-in kayaks offer ample protection from the elements. These boats feature two recessed seating areas. The deck on sit-in kayaks is typically arched, leaving no room for an extra passenger. You have less flexibility in a sit-in kayak. Still, sit-ins keep you warmer and drier than the sit-on-top alternatives.

For more information on the differences between sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks, check out Chad Hoover’s informative video. While Hoover favors sit-on-tops for fishing, he offers an honest take on the two options.

Hardshell or Inflatable

You’ll also need to decide whether you want an inflatable or hard-shelled kayak. Inflatable tandems make transportation and storage a non-issue. Most inflatable kayaks are incredibly durable. As such, they can often withstand more abuse than the hard-shelled alternatives. With that said, some paddlers don’t enjoy having to inflate their boats before every excursion. Hardshell tandems require little to no maintenance. They also tend to track better, offer more energy return with each paddle.

Weight and Passenger Capacity

Most tandem kayaks have higher weight limits than solo kayaks. After all, these boats are engineered to hold the combined weight of two or more passengers. Of course, it is never a good idea to take a kayak’s weight capacity at face value. A weight capacity must include you, your prospective passenger(s), your gear, and any boat customizations. Weight distribution also plays into a boat’s stability. Uneven or excess weight could cause a boat to tip or capsizes.

Comfort

There’s no question that tandem kayaks offer unmatched comfort for a pair of paddlers. First off, these boats offer two designated seating areas. Most tandem kayaks feature seats with padded bottoms and adjustable backrests. Many tandem kayaks also offer adjustable or notched footrests. Elements such as these provide paddlers with head-to-toe support and comfort.

While synchronized paddling will speed up any tandem kayak, these boats can also accommodate a non-participating passenger. As such, tandem kayaks enabling young, inexperienced, or impaired crew members to sit back and enjoy the water. Teamwork is dreamwork, especially when it comes to floating! Still, a single paddler is capable of controlling most two-person kayaks!

Tracking

Tandem kayakers often struggle to paddle in unison. This can make it hard for kayakers to travel in a straight line. While practice will help you iron out issues, there are also a few kayak accessories that can boost your boating experience.

Skegs and rudders can help tandem kayakers navigate the water. Rudders are controlled by foot pedals located on top of or inside a kayak hull. Meanwhile, skegs are small fins located on the base of a kayak. They help fight against adverse winds and currents.

If you are concerned about navigation, opt for a kayak that has one of these steering elements.

Stability

Tandem kayaks are typically larger than solo kayaks. As such, they tend to be more stable. Distribute passenger and storage weight evenly to reduce your kayak’s chances of becoming tippy. What’s more, avoid destabilizing behaviors, such as leaning or standing. If you want the option to go solo, opt for a tandem kayak that can be converted into a solo watercraft. Convertible kayaks feature movable seats. Elements such as these help solo kayakers achieve a solid center of gravity on a boat designed for two.

Onboard Storage

Most tandem kayaks feature ample onboard storage. Storage may consist of airtight hatches, recessed platforms, bungee riggings, molded holders, or accessory mounts. Make sure that your kayak offers enough space for you and a passenger’s belongings.

Keep an eye out for storage that is tailored toward specific water recreation. Rod and fish tracker mounts are angling essentials. Still, some passengers may not want these niche elements crowding their boat deck.

Why Should You Consider a Tandem Fishing Kayak?

Are you torn between solo and tandem kayaks? Let us share some of the key benefits of partnering up on the water.

Shared Experiences

We all wish that we could spend more time with our loved ones. Tandem kayaks put you and your partner in the same boat. This enables you to share your paddling experience. What’s more, it translates to shared memories and taggable photo ops.

Tandem kayaking is a great way to stay connected while on the water. Tandem paddling requires plenty of communication and patience. Syncronized paddle demands presence and mindfulness of all crew members. With ample cooperation and understanding, shared kayaks can lead to emotional and physical growth.

Tandem kayaks are also an excellent way to teach beginners the basics of paddling. Young children can sit alongside their caregivers, getting a taste of the paddle experience without having to commandeer their own boat. Paddlers can also use tandem kayaks as an excuse to bring along their furry friends. Who says your passenger has to be human? Experienced paddlers may even use their tandem kayaks to share paddling experienced with impaired or disabled passengers.

In most scenarios, at least one paddler needs to be skilled in water safety and boating. An experienced boater contributes to safer, more productive paddle sessions.

Budget

What if we told you that you could have two boats for the price of one? Tandem kayaks enable paddlers to get twice the fun out of a single purchase. Two-person boats are an economical option for families on a tight budget. They’re also a strategic choice when it comes to transportation. After all, vehicle roofs and truck beds can only accommodate two kayaks. This puts a family of four in hot water. With tandem kayaks, you can store two people’s gear in half the space. If you’re tight on space, inflatable tandem kayaks offer the utmost convenience and versatility.

Tandem Kayak Frequently Asked Questions

Tandem Fishing Kayakers catching Marlin

Q:Can I paddle a tandem kayak by myself?

A: Yes! Most tandem kayaks only require a single paddler. Allow the more experienced paddler to sit in the back. The rear paddler has a greater impact on a kayak’s speed and direction. A tandem kayak can even be ridden solo. Most tandem kayaks can be converted into solo watercrafts. Enabling boat owners to change their setup regularly.

With that said, most hard-shelled tandem kayaks are bulky and cumbersome. Many exceed 12 feet in length and weight over 70 pounds. Without a second set of hands, you may not be able to mount or unmount a tandem kayak from a vehicle. What’s more, you may struggle to transport it to and from a waterway.

Q: Can a tandem kayak accommodate more than two people?

A: While tandem kayaks are intended for two paddlers, some can accommodate even more passengers. Many sit-on-top tandem kayaks feature a wide midsection that can be converted into a third seat. Extra seating is typically meant for small children and/or dogs. If you want to accommodate a third passenger, make sure that you and your fellow paddlers do not exceed your kayak’s maximum weight capacity.

Q: I’ve never tried a tandem kayak. How do I know it is right for me?

A: The better question is, is tandem paddling right for your partner? Two-person paddle boats require a tremendous amount of cooperation. While many people see them as excellent learning tools, they can also be very frustrating to newbie paddlers. Make sure you and your prospective paddling partner have good chemistry and a solid track record. You don’t want to be up a creek without a second paddler!

Q: How to paddle a tandem kayak?

A: Inexperienced paddlers may struggle to synchronize with their fellow paddlers. Check out thisPaddleTV video for tips and tricks for paddling tandem kayaks. Most tandem kayaks move more efficiently with the help of two paddlers. However, a single paddler should be able to control a tandem kayak without any assistance.

The primary paddler should always sit in the back seat. This way, they can control the speed and direction of the boat without depending on the front seat passenger. If a less experienced paddler opts to participate, they should be allowed to set the boat’s pace.

Q: How well can you fish from a tandem kayak?

A: Tandem kayaks are an excellent option for on-the-water fishing excursions. Tandem kayaks enable one passenger to fish while the other paddles. They also offer more space for fishing essentials, such as tackle boxes and bait. Of course, a good friend has a way of making a slow, unproductive fishing excursion much more entertaining.

Q: Is it hard to paddle a tandem kayak?

A: No! However, there are a few rules you can use to make tandem paddling easier. First off, always position the stronger paddler in the back. The rear paddler can dominate a boat’s navigation or let the front paddler choose the pace.

Many first-time tandem paddlers may find it difficult to turn a two-person kayak. IF you experience this, enable the rear paddler to make momentary corrections. When paddlers are constantly vying for control of a boat, they are easily exhausted. Synchronized paddling isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes an ample amount of practice. If you take the time to find your partner’s rhythm, all your hard work will pay off!

Top 5 Best Tandem Fishing Kayak Reviews 

 

1. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T is a 12-foot rotomolded polyethylene kayak with a 500-pound weight capacity and a lofty sit-on-top hull. The boat features plenty of accessories, including several gear mounts and lofty storage spaces.

The package includes four flush-mount fishing rod holders and two universal mounts for aftermarket accessories. There is also a set of a quick-access paddle rests and a pair of bungee-based paddle parks, making for secure rests between paddling. The boat’s front and rear 2.6-inch V-wave deck platforms come equipped with waterproof cargo bags. Meanwhile, there are also front and rear storage platforms with bungees deckside rigging.

Not only is the boat leak-proof, but it also comes with built-in buoyancy aids. A set of four scupper holes makes it easy to drain away any water that accumulates on the deck. Of course, the sit-on-top design makes for a spacious and accessible deck. Many of the storage spaces and holders are molded into the hull. Ergonomic backrests and cushioned seats make lengthy paddle sessions more comfortable. Molded foot braces offer ample lower body relief.

Customers love the look and feel of this oversized watercraft. It is 12 feet long and nearly 4 feet wide. That’s enough room to accommodate two or three passengers and plenty of fishing gear! The Vibe’s third seat is a molded area that serves as an excellent spot for a young or furry third wheel. The center seat also enables paddlers to convert this into a stable solo craft.

Newbie paddlers will find comfort in this boat’s unmatched stability and smooth tracking. Its single-piece polyethylene hull cuts through the water with the utmost efficiency. The boat weighs a mere 72 pounds. Not to mention, it boasts front and rear molded handles for less troublesome transportation. At such a low price, this member of the Vibe Tribe is one of the most affordable shared paddling experiences.

The Skipjack comes with a pair of durable Journey paddles. These incredible accessories make the Skipjack the ultimate tandem kayak package. While you’ll need a roof rack or trailer to transport this oversized boat, built-in padded handles make it easier for paddlers to drag the boat in and out of the water. At 72 pounds, you’ll need two paddlers to do the heavy lifting. Of course, the boat’s weight provides it with enhanced stability in the water.

>>What Customers Think<<

We recommend this boat for rivers, lakes, and ponds. While it fairs alright in the surf, it isn’t the best ocean kayak. Still, it’s a solid boat for tidal rivers and gentle waves. Naturally, it offers a safe, stable platform for fishermen, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Did we mention the Skipjack comes in three fabulous colorways, including Moss Camo, Wildfire, and Carribean Blue? While aesthetics are an afterthought, the Vibe is highly photogenic! Snap a picture of your boat along with your catch of the day!

Pros

  • 500-pound weight capacity
  • Includes two paddles
  • 12-feet long
  • Two airtight hatches for gear
  • Two padded, adjustable seats
  • Sit-on-top style
  • Bungee rig
  • Six rod holders
  • Padded carrying handles
  • Made from durable

Cons

  • Seats are difficult to attach

 

2. Brooklyn Kayak Company’s TK122 Tandem Fishing Kayak

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Brooklyn Kayak Company’s 12.9-foot tandem kayak offers one of the smoothest two-person rides on the market. This 77-pound kayak features a wide, flat bottom that fairs well in most waterways. It’s an incredibly well-built boat, offering up to 770 pounds of weight capacity and hull that can handle harsh weather.

The TK122 features durable upright seating that’s perfect for fish finding. The boat’s seats boast durable aluminum frames with padded backrests for extended comfort and support. There’s also an ample amount of onboard storage. Each passenger has a watertight storage hatch that’s perfect for fish, bait, and other angling essentials.

The kayak also boasts a recessed rear storage platform with bungee rigging and a recessed front storage area with a mesh cover. A set of four flush-mounted rod mounts and two paddle holders make for easy hands-free fishing. Paddlers can easily pack the boat with their fishing poles and other adventure essentials.

We love that this boat comes with a pair of collapsible aluminum paddles. With one less thing to buy, paddlers can loosen the restraints of their tandem kayak budget. We also love that the boat features plenty of watertight storage. Modern-day kayakers need a place to put their smartphones, cameras, and other electronics. The TK122’s watertight hatches and recessed cargo areas help evenly distribute gear weight while providing ample security and protection.

Keep in mind that the TK122 is made from high-density polyethylene. Not only is this material resistant to impacts and punctures, but it is also designed to fend off UV rays. As such, you can park this boat outside for an entire summer without having to worry about the hull fading.

>>What Customers Think<<

Most customers are highly satisfied with their tandem TK122s. Most people agree that the boat is well suited for tandem and solo adventures. The TK122 tracks well and is very stable. Each stroke of the paddle offers plenty of return movement. What’s more, most paddlers say that the paddle seats are good for several hours of water time.

This boat features a wide, flat bottom that glides across the surface of the water. However, it is also engineered to move well outside the water. A pair of molded handles enables two passengers to effortlessly lift and carry the 77-pound vessel. While this hard-shell kayak isn’t going to collapse into a carry bag, it can be mounted on a car roof or vehicle trailer. Just speak with your paddle partner before settling on one of nine unique colorways!

Pros

  • Four flush mounted and two articulated rod holders
  • Two watertight storage hatches
  • Front and rear storage platforms with bungee and mesh riggings
  • Paddle parks
  • D-rings for DIY deck riggings
  • Three unique colorways
  • Suitable for two or three passengers (one molded seat)
  • Rotomolded handles and accessory holders
  • 770-pound weight capacity
  • Includes two collapsible aluminum paddles

Cons

  • Some inferior hatch locks reported

 

3. Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

The Hobie Mirage Oasis Kayak offers a premium tandem boating experience. This kayak is perfect for experienced anglers looking to take their partner paddling to the next level. The Mirage Oasis offers enough space and accessories for a multi-day, multi-person expedition. The boat’s Vantage CT seating offers ultimate outdoor comfort and fishing finding potential.

This boat is made from high-density rotomolded polyethylene. It is 14 feet and 6 inches long and 33 inches wide. It’s a sit-on-top kayak with built-in pedal power. Despite its hands-free propulsion system, the boat only weighs 127 when fully rigged. It also has a 550-pound weight capacity, offering plenty of room for you, your fishing gear, and a second paddler. However, we do suggest limiting onboard storage when pairing up for a day of fishing.

The Mirage Oasis a generous amount of control and power. A twist-and-stow rudder offers professional-level steering. An up-down rudder control enables the rear paddler to take control of the rig. There is even a built-in sail mount for wind-based water navigation.

>>What Customers Think<<

While the Mirage Oasis is very graceful, it has a surprising amount of onboard storage. Molded cup holders provide paddlers with quick access to cold beverages. There are even bottle openers built into each of the boat’s three twist-and-seal hatches. An oversized bow hatch offers enough watertight storage for multiple smartphones, cameras, and more. A large rear cargo platform provides space for any overflow, including bulky fishing tackle and coolers. Meanwhile, a set of rod holders enable anglers to paddle their way to their next catch.

Most die hard fishing customers are willing to pay top dollar for this stylish and top-performing boat. By combining pedal and paddle power, the Hobie offers the utmost speed and versatility. We recommend this boat for freshwater and saltwater adventures!

Pros

  • Two premium raised seats
  • Large bow hatch for watertight storage
  • Twist-and-stow rudder for exceptional navigation
  • Pedal propulsion with premium MirageStrive fins
  • Mesh storage pockets
  • Rudder control
  • Rod holders
  • 550-pound weight capacity

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Weighs a lot

 

4. Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Two-Person Kayak

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

If you’re looking for the ultimate family kayak, check out the Vankhunks Voyager Deluxe. This incredible tandem kayak is made from durable rotomolded polyethylene. At just over 70 pounds, the boat is sort of awkward to carry. Still, the boat’s lifetime guarantee makes up for its subtle clumsiness outside the water. Not to mention, it comes with a full setup of accessories and gear staples.

The Voyager offers enough storage space to accommodate overnight kayak adventures. There are two oversized storage hatches for bait, fish, and other essentials. Meanwhile, deck-top bungee rigs and molded accessory holders provide passengers with easy access to the essentials. There are even a total of six fishing rod holders, including two swiveling elements that move in every direction. Even the boat’s simplest add-ons, such as its molded cup holders, do not go unappreciated.

You can sip, steer, paddle, and relax without having to leave your seat.

>>What Customers Think<<

We love that this kayak comes with a set of deluxe seats. The seats feature durable aluminum frames with breathable mesh inserts for extended comfort. The seats lift boaters off the deck, keeping them away from pooling water. The Voyager’s sit-on-top design also allows boaters to stretch their legs or make room for a bulky cooler. The deck is recessed in the middle, making it a great place to secure a third passenger or bulky accessories.

Customers say that the Voyager is an excellent investment for families. It is the perfect vessel for extended journeys and other outdoor adventures. The Voyager’s generous capacity and ample amenities make in excellent option for paddlers of all skill levels. We see this affordable watercraft as a great base for angling, water recreation, and extended adventures.

Pros

  • 551-pound capacity
  • Includes a set of two-piece aluminum paddles
  • Features durable aluminum seats
  • Two swiveling and four molded fishing rod holders
  • Storage hatches, bungees, and compartments for gear
  • 12-month warranty and lifetime guarantee
  • Three unique colorways
  • 12-foot fishing vessel
  • Padded carrying handles
  • Sit-on-top style
  • Stable

Cons

  • Awkward to carry

 

5. Sevylor Colorado Two-Person Fishing Kayak

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

This two-person Colorado Kayak enables fishing enthusiasts to pair up for a day of water-top trolling. The boat’s 18-gauge PVC hull is reinforced by a durable (1000D) tarpaulin bottom and puncture-resistant (840D) nylon top. It has multiple air chambers, meaning a single puncture won’t send you and your friend to the bottom of a lake.

There’s no question that the Colorado was built for fishing. It features four Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders for easy hands-free fishing. What’s more, it is equipped with a Seylor trolling motor fitting, making it easier for anglers to expand their footprint. On top of that, its set of adjustable seats allows for all-day comfort and relaxation.

We approached this inflatable vessel with the same expectations we bring to hard-hulled boats. We are happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. The top of the boat is equipped with paddle holders, D-rings, and carry handles. There’s also room for two people or 470 pounds. It is backed by a 1-year warranty and includes a carry case and pressure gauge.

>>What Customers Think<<

Customers agree that the Sevylor is super easy to transport. It comes with a backpack-like carry case. Not to mention, it inflates and deflates in seconds. The boat is also exceptionally roomy, with enough capacity for two or more passengers. What’s more, it is equipped with plenty of storage. On the downside, the boat does not track as well as expected.

Pros

  • 18-gauge PCV construction is extremely rugged
  • Tarpaulin bottom and nylon top
  • Multiple air chambers and proprietary airtight system
  • Berkley Rod holders and trolling motor fitting
  • Mesh pockets and D-rings for optimal storage
  • 470-pound capacity
  • Includes carry bag and pressure gauge

Cons

  • Does not track well

 

Final Thoughts

After exploring several tandem fishing kayaks, we are happy to announce that theVibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T is the clear winner of our roundup. This incredible water vessel can accommodate two to three passengers. What’s more, it features plenty of fishing accessories, including flush-mount rod holders and universal mounts for aftermarket accessories. There’s also plenty of storage, padded carrying handles, and a set of luxurious aluminum seats. Of course, the Skipjack’s roomy cockpit lets you spread out and enjoy a bird’s eye view of water without having to worry about tracking or stability issues. It’s hard to believe that Vibe Kayaks could squish so much angling excellence into 12 feet! Still, this magnificent two-person boat offers a comfortable paddling and fishing experience for two.

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