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Welcome to the Chicagoland Canoe Base, one of the midwest's largest canoe and kayak specialty shops. We have been outfitting paddlers for over 50 years and carry a wide selection of equipment. Stop on by and learn about what makes us, "The most unusual canoe shop in the U.S."

How to Select the Best Fishing Kayak

Nothing beats the feeling of going to an adventure in the middle of the sea to catch the biggest fish under the waters. Surely, kayak fishing is fun, but it can be very challenging too. For a more exciting experience, you must have the best fishing kayak that fits your needs. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to select a fishing kayak:

Identify your fishing goals

Before selecting a kayak, you must first identify your main fishing goals. You must consider the location where you want to fish (large lakes, farm ponds, offshore, on the shoreline, dockside, or moving waters) and the type of water in the location (warm water, cold water, freshwater, salt water, etc.).

You must also consider the number of people that will aboard your kayak. If you fish solo, choose a 1-person kayak. If you fish with a family, choose a 2-person kayak.

Choose a boat design that works best for you

One of the most difficult parts of selecting a fishing kayak is identifying which boat design works best for you. Longer kayaks usually provide faster speed compared to shorter ones. Wider kayaks, on the other hand, provide greater stability compared to narrower ones. Basically, boat designs are about speed and stability.

Selecting Sit-In Vs Sit-On-Top

There are two types of kayaks: Sit-in and Sit-on-top. Sit-in kayaks allow you to sit inside while sit-on-top kayaks allow you to sit on top. Sit-in kayaks provide anglers with wider cockpits where the driver can fish from. They provide better stability. Sit-on-top kayaks, on the other hand, provide easier anglers where you can easily attach accessories. They allow you to more easily wade through the water.

Consider the kayak's portability and storage

Portability and storage are two of the most important things that you must consider when choosing a kayak to buy. For easier storage, choose a lightweight kayak which you can easily move around to and from its storage.

Measure the kayak's convenience

As you head out onto the water, you will face many different challenges. To lessen the risks, you must at least ensure the convenience of the kayak. Choose a kayak with enough space to store water, food, extra clothes, fishing gear, and emergency equipment.


It's difficult to make a decision from a guide that is merely based on specifications. If possible, find a kayak dealer, ask permission to rent out a couple of kayaks and test them out first before finally selecting the one to buy.

Chicagoland Canoe Base, Inc.
4019 N. Narragansett Ave.
Chicago IL, 60634
(773) 777-1489
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