Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 18:11

Fishing Kayaks for the Big Guys

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I have never been a small guy. I have to be careful to check the weight limits of any piece of equipment I purchase. It doesn’t matter what it is: camp chairs, tree stands, kayaks, whatever - I always have to see if I am going to overload it.

From my time spent on various outdoor forums, I can see that I am not alone in my size class. There are frequent questions about the perfect kayak for us larger paddlers. Even if the question isn’t phrased about weight, most paddlers will want to know the size of the person making the inquiry to give a more informed answer.

I did my homework to see if I could help narrow the search for the right boat for those that are in the 250lbs and above group. My search criteria were that the kayak had to have at least 500lbs of capacity and it had to be a used and recommended boat on multiple outdoor forums. These kayaks are ones either I have used or were recommended by active kayakers multiple times to people making a search about a kayak for larger folks.

The great news is that kayak manufacturers have heard the pleas of larger outdoorsmen, and several of them now produce boats that are capable of carrying us and our gear. These are not just “barges” that are meant to float a heavy load; they are serious fishing machines that will allow for a safe and enjoyable trip on the water.

Wilderness Systems: “Ride 115”, 500lbs. “Ride 135”, 550lbs.

Ride 115

Ocean Kayak: “Big Game”, 550-600lbs.

Ocean Kayak Big Game

Malibu Kayaks: “X -Factor”, 650lbs. “Stealth 14”, 550lbs.

Malibu X-Factor

Hobie: “Pro Angler 12”, 500lbs. “Pro Angler 14”, 600 lbs.

Hobie Pro Angler

Cobra Kayaks: “Fish ‘n’ Dive”, 600lbs.


NuCanoe: “Frontier 10”, 500lbs. “Frontier 12”, 650lbs.

NuCanoe Frontier

Jackson Kayak: “Big Tuna”, 500lbs.

Jackson Big Tuna

Any one of these would do a good job hauling a larger paddler and their gear on the water. If you have questioned whether or not a kayak is right for you due to your size, my recommendation would be to demo paddle one of these at a local dealer. It may surprise you just how well one of these well-designed boats will do for those of us in the larger-than-average class.

Last modified on Sunday, 14 July 2013 18:52
Chris Funk

Chris Funk is an avid outdoorsman and rabid photographer. He tells folks his life revolves around 6 "F"s, his Faith,Family,Fur,Fins,Feathers and Fotography. He paddles all over the Southeast with his bride Angie and son Ethan. They fish for any critter that will tighten a line and it doesn't matter if it is with conventional gear, fly gear or bowfishing gear. He and his son are on the Jackson kayak fishing team and the whole family helps with an awesome group called Paddle4Tomorrow that gets people with special needs out for a day of paddling.


# JFW3 2013-07-10 15:08
Very good information!!
# soccerdad 2013-07-16 09:35
Well done there Big Guy :-)
# Irish Fly 2013-08-02 00:32
Good article!!!

Got a Ride 115 tonight. After a lot of demos & research, it was obvious that is was the right yak for me.
# BigDfromTennessee 2013-08-02 21:54
I am a big guy too and I love my Jackson Big Tuna.
# Warrior Flyer 2013-10-02 01:14

Thanks for the article. A bigger guy myself, I was looking for an option to take my son fishing and I was recently able to demo and purchase the NuCanoe Frontier 12 here in Galveston, Texas. I found it at www.outbackkayaks.com and they were friendly and had a genuine interest in what my needs were. I have one complaint about the NuCanoe Frontier.... It doesn't come with autopilot. 8)

I was able to customize it they way I want it which is not always the option in other models. What I really like is the way it tracks in the coastal waters and I never have to worry about stability. Thanks NuCanoe for coming out with something us "Plus Size" fisherwomen can enjoy. I will be adding a 2.5 hp on mine for the spring. Watch out guys...Big Momma is stalking your waters.
# MichChef 2014-10-22 23:09
And now the Jackson "Big Rig"!
# Stephen Badger 2015-04-16 16:23
I'm 6'3" and 350lbs.

Looking at the Eagle Run Kayak by field and stream...capaci ty looks right...many good reviews but a couple of questionable ones...

Any advice? This will be my first kayak, I don't want to spend all that much money on cadill-yak...
# demetrius 2015-06-07 14:26
thx u: I was about to make a mistake buying for local sport store.275lb fisherman. :eek:
# Chris Fagin 2015-11-16 01:41
Thank you very much for this write up. I am getting ready to buy a kayak for fishing. I have been canoeing my whole life and have taken a few cheap, sit on kayaks on short float trips before. I am a serious fisherman but have always fished tournaments and such from a bass boat. Really want to get into the fresh and salt water kayak fishing but I'm 6'2 and weigh 300lbs. Also, do to an accident I have pretty bad back problems. You have definitely eased my worries of the weight factor, not I just need to address and figure out if I can stand from a sitting position while on the water and/or is there maybe something I can rig up to help me stand up and sit down without capsizing every time. I've seen a few pictures of kayaks with some sort of cross bar on them but I think it was maybe just something to lean on to keep your balance while standing and might break easily if used to get up and down from a seated position. I guess all I can do is buy one of the kayaks you suggest and try it out
# eredding 2015-12-03 06:55
Thank you your post and great information. I have recently been diagnose with parkinson's, I have always fished from a bass boat whic i can no longer handle, so I have been considering a kayak just to get back on the water. I have a limited budget and want something stable, I have been considering a sit in kayak and need to stay under $300.00 what would you suggest.

I like the Jackson Ultimate but out of my price range. I am getting back on the water if I have to use a inner tube...LOL. I miss fishing and being on the water!!! Thanks again for your website and keep up spreading the word and posting good information.

# wesleyp 2016-08-16 00:53
I have been in alot of kayaks . I'm 6'2" 265lb.the ride 115 says 500lb weight limit but I found with a small ice chest 20 lbs max and me and two rods and water was in the scupper holes. The kayak of my choice that truly has a 500lb capacity is a jackson big rig . Its easier to paddle then you would think. Only other kayak I have been in with no water is a wilderness systems ride 135 max angler. Hope this helps anyone out there. Tight lines

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