If so, then you might be aware of some of the advantages of inflatable fishing kayaks. Not only are they lightweight, easy to transport, and space-saving to store, but they also perform well on the water. To really add to the convenience you can even get yourself a motor for your inflatable kayak if you don't feel like paddling.
However, before you take the dive and invest in an inflatable fishing kayak, it's important to know some of the basic safety principles and best practices involved with inflatable kayaks.
I know that safety lectures may not be the most enjoyable, but they are necessary. Otherwise, you might end up a) damaging your kayak, or b) in the drink.
To avoid these outcomes, keep reading and find out our '8 Top Tips for Using Inflatable Fishing Kayaks.'
1. Make a Kayak Packing List
One of the first tips when it comes to inflatable fishing kayaks is to make a packing list. This way, you'll reduce the chance of leaving a vital component at home which could compromise your trip or your safety.
You know that feeling you get when you realize that you left something important behind? We want to avoid that at all costs!
Some essentials to include on your list are:
Emergency Drinking Water
Plenty of Battery Power (if you are using an electric kayak motor)
2. Inflate Your Kayak Evenly
Another top tip for using inflatable fishing kayaks is to always inflate all the air chambers fully and evenly. You can "eyeball" this by feeling each pontoon and compartment with your hand and manually gauging the pressure. Some inflatable fishing kayaks also come with special gauges that will tell you the exact pressure in each air chamber.
Whichever method you use, just make sure that the air is evenly distributed and that all the chambers are well pumped. If the air pressure isn't even, or high enough, it can make your kayak difficult to handle and maneuver.
If you are packing heavier objects, like a cooler, an anchor, or anunderwater scooter, then make sure you distribute the weight evenly as well. This will aid in performance and give you a more enjoyable experience.
3. Practice Paddling
Have you ever used a kayak before? If not, you might want to practice the paddling strokes at home or on dry land. If you know someone who can paddle well, you can ask them for pointers on technique.
Already adept at paddling? Even if you're comfortable paddling a kayak, it might be a good idea to take your new inflatable out in some calm water to get accustomed to the way it handles before you gear up for your first angling trip.
4. Keep an Eye on the Conditions
Inflatable fishing kayaks are built to be sturdy and endure harsher conditions than a purely recreational inflatable kayak. However, they are still smaller craft, and as such are relatively vulnerable to strong weather conditions.
What's more, unless you've got an inflatable fishing kayak with a motor, you'll be relying on your own two arms (or legs in the case of an pedal fishing kayak) to get you back to shore. Should the weather whip up into a storm, strong winds, waves, or currents can easily pull you off course and drag you further away from land.
Therefore, always make it a point to check the weather forecast before heading out for a day's worth of fishing in your inflatable kayak.
5. Alert Someone to Your Location
Make it a habit to inform someone of where you're going fishing so that if you don't come back on time, they know where to start looking. While you should always bring a cellphone or radio along, your cellphone and radio signal can get patchy if you're far out or if there's bad weather underway. An emergency flair is never a bad idea.
6. Get Familiar with the Water
Another good safety tip is to get to know your water body as best as you can. If you're kayak fishing at a new lake, bay, ocean, or river, try to hug the shore as much as possible in the beginning.
Once you get the "lay of the water" and have a little more insight into the current and wind patterns, you can venture a little further out if you're after deeper water fish species.
7. Vet for Durability in Inflatable Fishing Kayak
To make sure you stay safe out on the water, it's important that you vet for durability and get yourself one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks.
Inflatable kayaks are built to varying standards of quality and durability. If you want to use yours for fishing, then it's essential that the material can stand up to long hours in the sun and exposure to the elements. It must also be tough enough that it won't bust a leak if it comes into contact with a fishing hook or a dropped fishing knife.
Not sure where to start in choosing an inflatable kayak for fishing? Check out this list of thebest inflatable fishing kayak options. To see just how durable some of these inflatable fishing kayaks are, take a look at this video showing the durability of Sea Eagle fishing kayaks.
8. Take Care of Your Fishing Kayak
No matter how durable your inflatable fishing kayak model is, if you leave it out in the elements for extended lengths of time, it will start to diminish in quality at some point. Therefore, make it a habit to always store your kayak out of the sun and out of extremely cold temperatures when it's not in use.
You can either deflate it completely and roll it up for easy storage, or you can simply store it in a boathouse, garage, or undercover.
If you have been using your inflatable kayak in salty water, then you should also give it a quick rinse down before deflating or storing. If you are storing your kayak for an extended period of time, then you should clean it thoroughly, deflate it, and roll it up. Ideally you will have it in a storage bag and in temperatures above freezing.
When folding up your kayak for storage, try to roll it up loosely and slightly differently each time. The reason for this is that if you fold it up tight and in the same places each time, it can crease that area and create weak points in the material.
We Stock Some of the Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks on the Market
Inflatable fishing kayaks are a great option if you want an affordable, lightweight, easy-to-maneuver craft that will get you to where the best fish are. They are always ready for an adventure at a moments notice. No need for a trailer, you can put it in the backseat or trunk of a car and be on your way.