What makes a seat a great kayak fishing seat compared to other kayak seats you may ask. I would have to say the kayak fishing seat must be comfortable and have additional storage with rings to hold additional items compared to other kayak seats. While fishing, we often have needs to have small fishing related hand tools close to us. A good fishing seat will have provisions for these, a regular kayak seat may not. More than just adequate back support is necessary for extended fishing days. Too short a back support on the seat will have your stretching after just a few hours to get comfortable. For comfort, a kayak seat must provide more than adequate padding on the bottom of the seat so your legs don't get their circulation cut-off, causing your legs to go asleep.

Quality of seats:
Just like anything else, you usually get what you pay for. The old adage of "A Seat Is A Seat Is A Seat" does not hold true when you're in the kayak fishing seat for an extended day of fishing. You need a good quality kayak seat that is made to not only withstand days on the water, but to excel while doing so. If a seat manufacturer has cut corners to reduce the seat quality while still remaining priced like the better quality seats, your seat just won't seem to last as long. Some seats are made in the USA, and some kayak seats are made overseas then imported. Just because kayak seats are made in the USA doesn't automatically make them a superior seat. But one thing does hold true for foreign made products from the lowest bidder, that is the components of a product often change little by little until after a few shipments, the product they are getting is not the one that they originally approved and received. Large le manufacturing companies will have people in house to look after products and keep tabs on foreign manufacturers. When little details start to get changed to make the product cheaper to make, they will often catch it and get the product quality back up. Some USA manufacturers don't have dedicated people to handle this, and their quality can and often does go down in short order.

Who makes these seats?:
The first company to make these fishing seats was Surf-To-Summit. I'm not sure at what point other manufacturing companies started making these seats, but Sea-Air-Sports and C.O.D. also make them. Other plain label fishing seats are distributed throughout kayak shops made by third parties. Which seat is better than the other one often ends up in the same question and answer arena like which kayak is better than the other.

Advantages of a kayak fishing seat:
I think one important virtue of a real kayak fishing seat is the advantage for the traveling angler. Because of the features these kayak seats have on them, you simply rent a kayak, connect the kayak seat and you're good to go. If the rental kayak has no rod holders, you already have two (usually) mounted on the seat back for your rod(s), nets and other fishing necessities. Combine a good kayak fishing seat with a folding portable powered bait tank and you can fish just about anywhere. The better fishing seats will also have additional pockets or attachment points sewn into the seat. Another point is that they are usually a tall back model of seat so you get good support while on the water.

What is the approx. cost?:
I would say between $100 and $175 for a top of the line model. While some paddlers do not need this type of kayak seat and don't want the additional expense, a good quality kayak seat will last for years and years if properly cared for. I rinse mine off thoroughly with freshwater after every fishing trip, and I also check the snaps before every outing to make sure they don't need to be cleaned or replaced. Checking your kayak seat just takes a minute of your time, and it's ALOT better to take care of potential problems before they become a problem when rigging your kayak.

pacific angler kayak fishing seat image On the left is the newest entry by Seairsports, their Pacific Angler kayak fishing seat. Developed with kayak anglers, this seat is full of storage and comfort. The bottom of the seat is actually one of their inflatable seat pads attached to the seat. Because the seat pad is attached to the seat back only, some anglers have put velcro on their seat and seat of their kayak to reduce the seat bottom from moving around when paddling. It has the most "D" Rings and holders/attachment points of any kayak seat currently in production.
On the right, is the original kayak fishing seat by Surf-To-Summit. This seat has seen more use than probably any other similar model, and with good reason. It was the first kayak seat specifically made for kayak fishing that I know of. Alot can be said for being the first do do something, and making a kayak seat is no different. This kayak seat is pure function in a economical fashion. The original model had both rod holders and the pouch which was sewn right onto the back of the seat making a solid mounting platform. The newest seats use clips to hold the rod holder/pouch assembly on the seat which isn't quite as solid, but makes it where you can have different pouches and swap them for what type of paddling you're going to be doing. surf to summit original kayak fishing seat image
kayak fishing seat image On the left, is Surf-To-Summit's GTS Airwave Kayak Seat , Inflating Thermoformed seat. The fishing seat product blurb from STS >> The GTS Airwave, a revolution in the kayaking industry, our new GTS Airwave puts you on a cushion of air for a level of long-range comfort and support heretofore unheard of in the sport. The self-inflating twist-valve is durable, effective and conveniently placed at the rear of the seat for easy access. We've designed the lower pad with a wider base, zero pressure points, and inflation thickness of up to 1.5". Regardless of your body type or skill level, the Airwave will guarantee you better comfort and extended performance. Signature GTS details include: Deep molded center back panels, contoured 18"- tall back (for maximum high back support) Polypropylene webbing and solid brass hardware. There are four detachable rear pack storage options:Standard pack, Water bottle pack, Fishing pack and the new Dry Bag Pack. <<

This is the seat we use here, and find it extremely comfortable after a days fishing, and plan to be using it for many years to come.