Which tandem kayak is best for fishing?

Hello fellow yaks,

I am new to the tandem world and trying to find out which tandem kayak is best and your feedback as well. Here are the tandem kayaks I have been looking into:

Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 XL: http://www.oceankayak.com/kayaks/tandem_kayaks/malibu_two_xl/

Ocean Kayak Zest Two Exp: http://www.oceankayak.com/kayaks/tandem_kayaks/zest_two_exp/

Malibu Kayaks Pro 2 Tandem: http://www.malibukayaks.com/kayaks/pro-2-tandem/

I am really interested in the Ocean Kayak Zest.

My uses would include fishing the ocean and lakes and an all around family fun boat that will hopefully last a lifetime. What is your opinions? Thank you very much!


In my opinion, no tandem kayak is good for fishing. The occupants are way too close together for safe casting. You’re just asking for trips to the ER to remove hooks from ears and eyelids.

Gotta agree w Natalie
I use an Ocean Kayak Frenzy for fishing on the Gulf side for sharks, mackerel, jacks, bull reds, etc, because my canoe would get swamped in the surf, but no way I’d try to fish with another person from a tandem SOT, you’re just too close to each other and there is also not nearly enough room for gear for two people. If you and your partner are insistent on fishing from kayaks, which are an inferior fishing craft to canoes, then at least get two kayaks.

Not everyone casts when fishing. The tandems are very popular when dropping baits or jigging. I thing the Crescant two is some of the best quality and dry unlike the Ocean kayak brand which all flood from the scuppers and you sit in a puddle.

Best tandem fishing kayaks
I know this is an older thread but I thought I’d post anyway in case anyone is still interested.

As per the OPs choices, the Malibu is a decent option. It’s better as an all-around kayak rather than a dedicated fishing kayak. Kind of a jack of all trades master of none kayak but if you want a kayak that can perform for multi-uses and waters, it will be a good choice.

I don’t know as much about the others but I’ve listed a few other good options for tandem fishing kayaks in a blog I wrote recently.


Hobie PA 17T
You can of course buy the “Godzilla” of kayaks. It does not work well as a solo kayak though. And you will need a special trailer for it.

No trailer
Ive sold a couple pa 17’s and I don’t recommend them because they are long, heavy, and expensive but we deliver them in the back of a 6 foot bed pickup using a bed extender bar. No trailer needed to move them around.

Which is the best tandem kayak?
Lots of good replies here. I just thought I’d add my two cents. For tandem kayaks, I really like the Native 12.5 for it’s excellent tracking, stability and cool fishing features. It’s built tough and will probably be the last kayak you’ll ever buy.

There’s a review here which could help you out:


Tandem ain’t good.
All the replies have recommended one or the other kayak but I’d say that tandem kayaks are not at all good for fishing. You should go for a proper fishing kayak, compounded with the range of kayak fishing accessories you can find for a better experience. You should definitely not compromise when it comes to fishing, or any other adventure for that matter.

Hobie or nothing
If that’s your point of view then the only proper fishing kayak is the Hobie mirage drive. All kayaks using paddles have drawbacks when trying to fish. Only the Hobie is a pure fishing kayak. Show me a video of someone fishing and paddling at the same time and I might change my view.