Surf to Summit GTS Expedition Seat
Perhaps the most important aspect to an enjoyable day of kayak fishing is a comfortable seat. An uncomfortable seat can make for a long and almost unbearable day in a kayak, but the right seat will allow for hours of kayak fishing without the slightest discomfort. Theres a variety of kayak seats available on the market and they all work generally the same way. If you have a sit on top kayak it will have four eyelets located in positions where the seat will clip onto. All aftermarket seats simply clip onto the eyelets of the kayak and have adjustable straps to make sure it fits right. Within the available options are a few features to consider for kayak fishing.
Back support is a large factor in seat selection, generally the higher the better. A high enough back rest will allow the paddler to lean into the seat with full support, allowing him to push off the foot pegs and transfer the most amount of power to the paddle stroke. When fishing, the paddler can lean back and relax with a high back seat instead of holding himself up while fishing. By and large, most kayak fishermen prefer the highest back possible.
Danuu Pacific Angler Seat (Front) Danuu Pacific Angler (Back)
Equally important, or maybe even more so, is the padding in the seat. The padding in the back rest portion is not important, but the part that the paddler sits on must have adequate cushioning to be sat on for more than an hour or two. Basic canvas seats will not suffice for kayak fishing, there must be some sort of foam padding, the thicker the better. After a few hours sitting in a kayak, a nice thick foam cushion will become worth its weight in gold!
Of course there are a few other options out there. Wilderness Systems has designed 2 different seating systems. One is built into all of their Tarpon series kayaks. It is unique in that the height of the backrest is adjustable, and it also includes the only adjustable thigh support. All of the adjustments can be made while on the water, there is no need to get out of the kayak in order to adjust any part of the seat. These seats dont have the thickest padding youll find out there, but they dont need it because of the thigh support. Buy supporting the underside of the thighs it relieves pressure on other areas which reduces the need for thick padding. Think of it like a wood or stone chair that is conformed properly and remains comfortable even though its a hard surface. These seats are only available on Wilderness Systems kayaks and cannot be adapted or added to an existing kayak. The second on is a three postion adjustable seat. It has a high/low position as well as a reclined position. This seat is called the Air Pro Max. It was designed to fit into the Ride series of kayaks by Widerness Systems. It is not compatible with any other manufactures kayaks.
WS Air Pro Max Seat
Jackson Kayak and Native Watercraft have been using another style seat all together. These companies have incorporated a "Lawn chair" style seat in the kayak designs. The Jackson Kayak seat comes in a couple differnet models that are designed to fit particular models including the Big Rig, Big Tuna, Coosa, Cuda, and the Kraken. The Native Watercraft seat are made to fit the Slayer and the slayer Propel series kayaks. These seats are very comfortable with a mesh fabric that is able to drain water so you are not in a wet seat and also help to keep you cool on hotter days. These seats can also be taken out and used as an actual "lawn chair".
Various bells and whistles are available such as storage bags, rodholders, water bottle holders and other accessories that can either be built into the back of the seat or added on with quick release clips. These can be helpful on kayaks with limited storage, or for a kayak fisherman who wants to simplify the amount of gear he brings. Additionally, supplemental pads are also available if you need something to add to an existing seat. Inflatable, foam and gel versions are all on the market.
Before putting all that money into the latest and greatest kayak fishing gizmo, make sure to cover the basics, your body will thank you later. Its amazing how a light paddle and a comfortable seat can transform the entire experience of kayak fishing and make your kayak seem like a completely different model.