tandem kayak in water

TOP 12 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks Reviewed 2019 for Fishing in Couples

Casting a fishing rod out and into a tranquil lake on a beautiful day is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

But it’s even better if you’ve got someone there to enjoy it with you.

And while it’s nice to each have your own individual, awesome recreational kayaks (follow the link to find some), it’s a true bonding experience to be able to share.

So, to help bring you closer to your:

Mom/dad/husband/wife/partner/son/daughter/brother/sister/aunt/uncle/best bud/boss/parole officer

Here are twelve of the best tandem fishing kayaks of 2019. A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.

This could be the start of something special.

TOP 12 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks 2019

Intex Excursion Professional Series Inflatable Kayak

Review: Kicking us off is this budget-friendly inflatable tandem kayak that is made from a super-tough laminated PVC with polyester core, making it lightweight but durable.

It has high-pressure valves for fast inflation and deflation and is packed with features like two removable skews for deep and shallow water, two floor-mounted footrests, two integrated recessed fishing rod holders and two adjustable bucket seats.

It also has a removable bracket for additional hardware such as fish finders and GPS. The total weight capacity is 400 lbs.

Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Great features for what you get.
  • Paddles and pump included.

Cons

  • While still tough, it’s not going to be as durable as a hard-shell kayak.

Takeaway

A superb inflatable at an excellent price – ideal for fishing calmer waters and not hard on your finances at all.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Review: We have another inflatable tandem kayak next up, a rugged model that is built to take a beating.

Made from 18-gauge PVC and NMMA certified (National Marine Manufacturers Association), it has a 1000 denier tarpaulin bottom and 840 denier nylon cover which offers highly durable protection from punctures.

There are paddle and adjustable rod holders available, and the option of adding a trolling motor if you so desire.

It has mesh storage pockets and D-rings to help with organization, as well as offering a Boston valve for fast inflation and deflation in an airtight system that is guaranteed not to leak.

Pros

  • Great price.
  • Solid construction.
  • Adjustable rod holders.
  • Multiple air chambers.

Cons

  • The hardware and fittings might impede.

Takeaway

A tough and durable inflatable kayak for a great price.

This is a great tandem fishing kayak if you’re just starting out or on a budget.

Lifetime Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak

Review: This Lifetime fishing kayak is a really good entry option that also comes in a single version.

Its rock-solid construction of blow-molded from high-density polyethylene ensures superior strength and durability.

It’s very stable in the water with a flat hull that still offers decent tracking.

There are multiple footrests for each paddler’s comfort, and it has a 6-inch storage hatch to the stern.

Three fishing pole holders and two padded backrests are also incorporated. It has a massive weight capacity of 500 lbs to ensure it’ll hold you, your partner and all your gear.

Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Simple but practical design.
  • Two paddles included.

Cons

  • Storage options aren’t the best.

Takeaway

Sturdy, stable and rugged, this is a great tandem fishing kayak considering the price.

You’ll also find it listed in the best fishing kayaks for dogs review, so check those out, If you don’t have a partner – take a dog instead!

BKC UH-TK181 Sit-On-Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

Review: The Brooklyn Kayak Company produce some outstanding kayaks and this is the first of their entries here.

It’s a 12 foot model with a 440 lbs load capacity, although it can be used just as easily if you’re solo and need a bit more room.

It has a ton of features, including seven-rod holders – 3 articulated fishing and 4 flush-mounted.

There are two, waterproof storage hatches located with easy access between the legs of each paddler, while there’s stern storage well with shock cord for a cooler or tackle.

Altogether, it’s got a good shot at being the best tandem kayak for fishing at this price.

Pros

  • Great price for what you get.
  • Paddles included.
  • Good choice of color designs.

Cons

  • Might sit a little low in the water for some.

Takeaway

Packed with features, this is a great tandem kayak for a very affordable price.

I love the choice of funky colors, too.

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Angler Kayak

Review: Vibe Kayaks enter the fray with this Skipjack model which they claim can sit 2-3 people.

Perhaps another excellent dog kayak option with its hefty 500 lbs weight capacity. It offers two flush mount rod holders with caps and four mounting points for Scotty, RAM, or Railblaza mount rod holders – giving you plenty of options to pimp it out with additional hardware.

Two storage hatches are accessible between each paddler’s legs, with a further tank well to the stern with bungee cord. It’s a solidly built kayak with some great features.

Pros

  • Child/Pooch seat at midship.
  • Paddles included.
  • Good price for what you get.

Cons

  • On the heavy side.

Takeaway

A great kayak to take the family out on the water with you – the midship child/animal seat is a great addition.

Of course, you should just get your kid their own kayak so they don’t bother you that much…

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak

Review: Also offering a child/pooch seat in the midship section is this Elkton Outdoors tandem kayak.

It’s a very similar design at just over 12 feet long and packs in plenty of features for your money.

With a stern and bow cargo wells, two dry storage hatches, scupper plugs, paddle and rod holders and adjustable seats, there’s plenty going on here to make your fishing trip as comfortable as possible.

It’s lighter than some tandems at 60 lbs and yet can take a weighty 650 lbs as its maximum capacity.

This has clearly been built with anglers in mind.

Pros

  • Solid construction.
  • Paddles included.
  • Loads of features.
  • Lightweight for a tandem kayak.

Cons

  • Seats could be better.

Takeaway

Rivaling the Vibe kayak, this is another good option for a family day out. Altogether a decent effort from Elkton Outdoors.

BKC TK122 Tandem Fishing Kayak

Review: A second slice of the pie for the Brooklyn Kayak Company, this time with their 12 foot tandem kayak with the additional aluminum-framed cockpit seating.

Anyone who has been out on the water a long time will know that these kinds of seats really make a difference to your comfort.

This kayak can hold a whopping 770 lbs of weight as maximum, offering generous storage options in front of each paddler and tank wells bow and stern.

With eight scupper plugs, four flush-mounted rod holders and two articulated holders, this kayak has got plenty of useful features and hardware.

Pros

  • Excellent seating positions.
  • Paddles included.
  • Plenty of storage.
  • Great choice of colors.

Cons

  • Heavy.

Takeaway

Offering loads of features and excellent storage, along with those top-notch aluminium framed seats, this is easily the best tandem fishing kayak under $1000.

Old Town Twin Heron Angler Tandem Kayak

Review: The oldest kayak company in the world has their say with this tandem angler “Twin Heron” model.

It’s specially built to prevent the bow raising if someone is sitting solo in the stern – making it a versatile tandem for one or more people/animals.

It has a 500 lbs maximum weight capacity, a removable front seat for added tackle/storage/doggy, and a glide track foot brace system which creates a comfortable, stable platform to help you maneuver through rough waters. It’s another beautifully designed and practical kayak from Old Town.

Pros

  • Extremely versatile.
  • Loads of onboard space.
  • Removable front seat.

Cons

  • Limited storage with two occupants.

Takeaway

Gorgeous lines, stunning to look at, Old Town kayaks are real head turners. The Twin Heron is no exception.

Riot Kayaks Escape Duo DLX Angler

Review: With two, aluminum fisherman seats, four recessed and two adjustable rod holders, this model from Riot Kayaks is an angler’s best friend.

Like the Old Town, it too is a versatile craft that is suited to be piloted by one or two paddlers, while it offers four-deck plates and compartments as well as tracks for accessories.

Molded footrests for users of various heights, stern and bow storage wells with bungee cords, and all in a solid, agile hull that offers great performance and stability.

Riot have made a top-quality tandem kayak, here.

Pros

  • Versatile.
  • Smart, beautiful design.
  • Excellent seating.

Cons

  • Storage looks on the minimal side.

Takeaway

An eye-catching design with some excellent features, this is a versatile and super-stable kayak that is ideal for one or two people.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler

Review: Ocean Kayak has cornered the market with sit-on-top kayaks, developing some of the very best of this type in the world.

As they make such excellent fishing versions, they’ve developed the Malibu Two model.

It’s loaded with awesome features, including four-deck mounts and two Scotty rod holders, a cross lock center hatch, two paddle holders, molded-in side handles and bow and stern toggle handles, deck bungee and a screw-in drain plate.

It’ll take a 500 lbs load as its maximum capacity across this 13-foot beauty.

Pros

  • Solid build.
  • Super stable.
  • Loads of features.
  • Sit-on-top kayak specialists.

Cons

  • Paddles sold separately – a minor gripe, really.

Takeaway

Another rock-solid entry into the Ocean Kayak range. This could be the best tandem kayak for ocean fishing – certainly for this price.

BKC PK14 Tandem Sit-On-Top Pedal Drive Kayak

Review: Sporting a duel pedal drive system, rudder and the option to fit a trolling motor, you’ll be flying across the water in this bad boy from the Brooklyn Kayak Company.

At 14 feet long and with the rudder-assisted steering, it’s great for keeping you on course in choppier swells, or for easier tracking on calmer waters while you’re trying to chase the fish.

It’s got a ridiculous amount of features too, including those all-important aluminum-framed seats, bow storage compartment, stern shock cord and flush-mounted rod holders.

There’s plenty of scope for adding more accessories here, too.

Pros

  • Packed with quality features.
  • Rudder and pedal system.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Customizable.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Very heavy.

Takeaway

Pedal and rudder kayaks are excellent for fishing – especially in rougher waters. This BKC offering is top quality.

Hobie Mirage Compass Duo Tandem Kayak

Review: The best two-person fishing kayak? It had to be Hobie.

They make some seriously top-of-the-range stuff that few companies can even come close to.

This Compass model has its famous Mirage Drive system that cuts through the water with ease, as silent as the grave.

The breathable mesh seats have room for storage underneath, and there’s a large tank well with bungee cord to the stern.

The Compass will keep you going in the right direction, with a sleek hull design that maximizes stability and speed while reducing drag.

This is simply on another level.

Pros

  • The best company in the business.
  • Top-quality design and construction.

Cons

  • Outlandishly expensive.

Takeaway

A lifetime investment kinda kayak – this Hobie model is probably the best tandem kayak for ocean fishing there is.

Go on – splash that cash!

Choosing the Best Tandem Fishing Kayak

With so much to consider when it comes to tandem kayaks, it would be nice if there was a little bit of a guide to help you with your choice.

Thankfully, there is one below – and an FAQ section will follow it.

Rigged for Fishing

One of the main differences you’ll notice between fishing kayaks and ordinary recreational kayaks is that the former nearly always comes with fishing pole hardware.

This includes fishing pole holders – either flush-mounted on the sides of the kayak so you can rest your rods in there.

And/or top-mounted where you can have quick access to your lines in the water.

Of course, it is possible to kit out a non-fishing kayak this way – but that’ll have to be a project you do on your own time and at your expense.

In my experience of reviewing kayaks – no matter the model – there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find the fishing version of it, anyway.

tandem kayak in water

Maximum Weight Capacity

Different kayaks have different weight capacities, and even with tandem kayaks this can vary quite dramatically.

You have to take into account not just the weight of you and your partner, but also the weight of any gear you’re traveling with – AND anything you might catch – even if you’re putting it back in the water.

A decent tandem fishing kayak is going to have a high maximum weight capacity, so you have peace of mind when it comes to loading it up with everything you need for the day.

But if you do happen to have an accident while on the water an essential piece of kit is a kayak fishing PFD – which you should never leave home without.

So check out that link for the best personal floatation devices for fishing on the market.

Weight of the Kayak

Like all kayaks, weight can often be a deciding factor in choosing the right model for you.

Tandem fishing kayaks tend to be heavier than most, due to the added hardware, ability to hold two or more people, improved seating and pedal options.

Consider how much you and your partner can handle when it comes to the overall weight – and how you’re going to transport it.

Storage

Fishing kayaks have some of the best storage options from any recreational kayaks out there. Only touring kayaks really come close.

This is because you’ll need plenty of space to keep tackle, gear and provisions for a full day’s fishing – or maybe even longer.

Not only that, you’re going to need a place to keep your catch if you’re not returning it to the water.

Every fishing kayak should – at the very least – have one storage well to hold a cooler.

But different kayaks offer different amounts of storage – and the quality of each can vary.

two people in a kayak

Other Features

Fishing kayaks will always come with those all-important (or sometimes not so important) extra bells and whistles to tempt you into a purchase.

Somethings you might need, others you might not.

Having the option to mount additional accessories for example – such as GPS or fish finders for kayaks – is a nice touch if you’re that way inclined and getting a little more serious about your kayak angling.

Being able to attach a trolling motor is also something to consider. Do you need that? Would you ever use such a feature in the future?

Weigh your options and decide what you think will be beneficial to you – both now and in the long run.

Cost

As with all kayaks (and indeed all products, ever), cost will nearly always play a major factor in your choice. Unless you have more money than sense that is.

I always say to go for the best you can afford – but be sensible about it. Buying that top-of-the-range Hobie isn’t a good move if you’ve never even used a paddle before.

Or cast a rod for that matter.

There’s no shame in purchasing a cheaper model – they will still get the job done – and you’ll have some leftover cash to show for it.

man kayaking with lifejacket on

FAQs

What Makes a Good Tandem Fishing Kayak?

I think that the best tandem fishing kayak will be able to balance practical features in useful locations, a decent amount of storage for two people, and comfortable seating with plenty of legroom.

Perhaps with the option to customize the kayak in the future – if you want to add fish finders, GPS or a trolling motor or pedal drive.

But this isn’t absolutely necessary.

You also need the space for two people to be able to cast a fishing pole without hooking ear other’s ears – which can and does happen!

In short – fishing hardware, space, comfortable seating and good storage are paramount.

Can I Use a Tandem Kayak Solo?

Yes, is the short answer.

A decent tandem kayak will be perfectly suitable for solo users, who can benefit from the added space and storage options without a partner on board.

You also have the choice to take your family pet with you to enjoy a day out on the water.

Some tandem kayaks are better at solo use than others, however – and include specially adapted hulls that ensure the kayak doesn’t rise up out of the water with one paddler on board.

While all tandem kayaks can be piloted by one person, If you think you’ll use a tandem kayak solo more often than not – make sure you go for one that is specifically adapted for solo use.

How Do You Fish From a Kayak?

A very good question deserves a detailed answer, so rather than write a long-winded explanation, I suggest you check out these excellent videos below.

For stability in your kayak:

Gear and accessories you might need:

General beginners tips for kayak fishing:

Summary

Tandem kayak fishing is a really great pastime that you can enjoy with family, friends or anyone who could do with chilling out on the water.

I hope this review and the advice that followed will help you find your best tandem fishing kayak for 2019.

Let me know in the comments which one you’re thinking of and why!

But if you’d prefer something a little check out these awesome lake kayaks, too – some of which you can still fish from!

Happy kayaking and happy kayak fishing!