Kayak fishing has gained popularity in recent years and it’s not difficult to see why. Compared to other fishing boats, kayaks have a very low cost of entry. Many of the fishing kayaks on the market have a design that caters to every aspect of fishing, from rod holders to built in coolers. They are also easier to use and transport than motorized boats, and are also more eco-friendly. Although fishing kayaks usually tend to be a budget-friendly fishing boat option,  it can often be hard to determine which is the best fishing kayak for the money. 

Choosing the best kayak for fishing can be difficult, whether it’s your first one, or you have been kayak fishing for years. It can be especially difficult if you are on a budget, because all of the available features that fishing kayaks can offer start to add up. This can turn what first seems like an inexpensive hobby, into quite a spendy one.

Fortunately, there are fishing kayaks out there that you can buy without breaking the bank. Here are ten of the best fishing kayaks under 1000, with fishing kayak reviews to help you on your search for the best cheap fishing kayak.

  WeightLengthCapacityRating    
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 57 pounds10 feet375 pounds
BKC UH-FK184 44 pounds9 feet
250 pounds
Sevylor Coleman Colorado41.2 pounds10.75 feet470 pounds
Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak77 pounds12 feet650 pounds
BKC UH-TK21970 pounds12.3 feet440 pounds
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 9046 pounds9 feet300 pounds
Lifetime Tamarack 52 pounds10 feet275 pounds
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 62 pounds11 feet425 pounds
Sun Dolphin Excursion41 pounds10 feet250 pounds
Perception Kayak Pescador Pro 57 / 64 pounds10 or 12 feet325 / 375 pounds

Best Fishing Kayak for the Money Countdown

#1 Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
57 lbs. 10 feet 375 lbs. 1 person Sit on Top

FEATURES

The Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 gives you a lot for what you pay for this 1 person kayak. It is equipped with 4 flush mount rod holders placed on all sides of the kayak to enable you to fish from all angles, although it would be nice if it included some deck mount rod holders as well. But there is a mounting point that is compatible with Scotty, RAM and Vibe mount accessories, so that you can further customize your kayak with accessories such as an additional rod holder or a transducer mount.

For storage, there are  two 9″ sealed hatches that include bag inserts for storing things that you want to keep dry, such as your phone and keys.There are also two tackle tray holders, one on either side of the seat, for easy access to your tackle box. A tankwell in the rear of the kayak with adjustable bungee cords is perfect for storing an ice chest or milk crate for your gear. There are also bungee paddle parks on either side of the kayak, so you don’t have to worry about losing your paddles when you stop to fish.

Other features that make the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 a good buy are its built in cup holder for easy access to your beverage, and included scupper plugs, for when your kayak is heavily loaded causing water to come through the scupper holes. Paddles are also included with this kayak, and there are two paddle options, so you can choose the one that’s best for you based on your needs and budget. There are also three fun color patterns to choose from.

COMFORT

The adjustable foot braces on this model not only allow the kayak to be customized to the individual, but also add comfort and allow the paddler to maneuver more efficiently. There are also 4 carrying handles, to add ease to the transportation of the kayak. More added comfort comes from the Vibe Hero seat, featuring a backrest so you can stay relaxed all day long.

PERFORMANCE

If you like to stand while you fish, this is a great option as it is very stable, even though it does not feature a casting deck specifically designed for standing and casting. It is also very easy to maneuver, and tracks decently in calm water, but it may be hard to keep straight in currents or windy weather, especially without a rudder. Another concern is that it is somewhat heavy for a one person kayak, and since there is no skid plate to protect the keel, it may be difficult for one person to transport it by themselves.

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100

Pros

Pros
  • Very stable
  • Mounting point for accessories
  • Lots of storage
  • Easy to maneuver

Cons

Cons
  • No skid plate
  • Lack of rudder
  • heavy

#2 BKC UH-FK184 

BKC UH-FK184  Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
44 lbs. 9 feet 250 lbs. 1 person Sit on Top

FEATURES

This kayak is compact, but not short on features, making it a top contender for the best fishing kayak for the money. There are four flush mount rod holders on all sides of the seat, and one deck mount rod holder directly in front. There is also plenty of storage, with two sealed storage hatches, as well as a rear bungeed tankwell that can fit a cooler, crate, or other gear. But when packing the kayak, keep in mind that the capacity is only 250 lbs., so although there is plenty of room for storage, if you pack it full with heavy items it may be too heavy to stay afloat.

There are paddle parks on either side of the vessel, so you have the option to secure your paddle on either side of you while you fish. There are four carrying handles, so transportation is extremely easy, especially since this kayak is also very lightweight. Scupper plugs are included, as well as a paddle. There are also five color options to choose from.

COMFORT

Multiple footrest positions allow paddlers of different heights to be comfortable, and an adjustable, padded seat and backrest add comfort as well. The seat also includes a bottle holder, but it isn’t very effective, as it is just straps on the back of seat. If you do use it, your beverage must be something with a lid, and it is somewhat awkward to reach behind you to access the drink.

PERFORMANCE

The width of the UH-FK184 makes it stable enough to stand on for those with decent balance. However there is no casting platform, and this model wasn’t designed for standing, so if you are looking for a kayak primarily for standing, I wouldn’t recommend this model. The short length makes this kayak easy maneuverable, and tracks decently as well, so it is not an issue that there is no rudder.

BKC UH-FK184

Pros

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Lots of storage
  • Plenty of rod holders
  • Stable

Cons

Cons
  • Low capacity
  • Flimsy bottle holder

The BKC UH-FK184 is a great compact kayak that is lightweight, but still has lots of features. This is really a great kayak for the money, and the only major concern is the low capacity if you or your supplies weigh more than the kayak can handle.

#3 Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
41.2 lbs. 10 feet 9 inches 470 lbs. 1 or 2 people Inflatable

This is a great fishing kayak for the money for those of you who don’t have a trailer, roof rack, or other means for transporting your kayak. This inflatable kayak comes with a carry bag that keeps the kayak compact, and is light enough that it is easy for one person to carry. There are also carrying handles on the kayak once it is deflated, for easy transport from land to water. The 18-gauge PVC construction, 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover, make the boat durable and protect it from getting punctured.

FEATURES

There are two deck mount rod holders included, with four placement options, so you have the ability to add an additional two rod holders if you wish. However the rod holders are placed poorly and tend to get in the way when paddling. Fortunately there are paddle parks for you to get your paddles out of the way so you can just focus on fishing.

Each seat has a storage pouch on the back of it, and there are mesh pockets on the inside of the kayak as well, but that is as far as it goes as far as storage. The high weight capacity is a big plus, but there is not much room for supplies if the boat is being used by two paddlers. There are no watertight hatches, or bungeed areas for storing things. However there is some room behind the back seat, so you would be able to store any extra equipment there, just be sure that it is secure. If you are using it solo, then you will have plenty of space for all of your gear, and won’t have to worry about weighing the kayak down.

One great feature is that there is a mounting point for a trolling motor. It’s not a very fast kayak without the motor, and since the rod holders get in the way of paddling I would recommend purchasing the trolling motor to help with propulsion, especially since this is one of the lower cost kayak options.

There is only one color option, and it includes a pressure gauge and the carrying bag. However there are no paddles included and no air pump.

COMFORT

The inflatable seats and bottom of the kayak make it very comfortable to sit it, so this is a great choice if you will be out for long periods of time.

PERFORMANCE

Although this kayak is extremely stable for paddling, its not designed to be stood on. Unfortunately it doesn’t track very well either, and the bulky sides make it susceptible to being pushed around from the wind.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Pros

Pros
  • High capacity
  • Very stable
  • Easy to transport
  • Can seat multiple people
  • Capability of adding trolling motor

Cons

Cons
  • Not a lot of storage space
  • Poorly placed rod holders
  • Not able to be stood on
  • No paddles or pump included

For an easy to transport kayak, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado really can’t be beat. It is more of a hassle to set up once you have reached your destination, but it is a good trade off when considering the comfort and stability you get with this model, and for a really good price. You will have to add to the price though for the paddles and pump, so if you are more concerned about having a ready-to-go kayak than one that is easy to transport, I would consider another option.

#4 Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
77 lbs. 12 feet 650 lbs. 2 people Sit on top

FEATURES

The Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak is the best best fishing kayak for the money if you want a kayak that can hold a lot of weight. With a capacity of 650 lbs., you can bring along a friend and still have plenty of room for all your gear. There are two adjustable deck mount rod holders, as well as four flush mount rod holders. Two paddles are included with this model, and there are paddle parks on the kayak to secure them while you fish. The only available color it comes in is camo.

There is also plenty of storage space, with two tankwells, two sealed storage hatches, cup holders, and a center platform for a cooler or other supplies. The center platform can also be used as a seating position if you decide to use the kayak solo. The only downfall is that the front tankwell is not bungeed, so there is not a lot you can put up there without worrying about it staying secure.

COMFORT

The removable seats are adjustable and cushioned, but not very comfortable for long periods of time. There are multiple foot rest positions though, to help make the ride more comfortable and stable. There are also carrying handles to aid in transportation, which can be difficult since this is a heavy kayak. So if you plan on using it solo, keep the weight in mind and make sure you have a plan for transferring it between the vehicle and water.

PERFORMANCE

This model t is stable enough to be stood on and tracks well, but is somewhat lacking in maneuverability, especially if you are paddling solo.

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak

Pros

Pros
  • High capacity
  • Lots of room for storage
  • Plenty of rod holders
  • Can seat multiple paddlers
  • Can be stood on

Cons

Cons
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Poor maneuverability

The Elkton Outdoors Tandem is the best option for a kayak with tons of storage, and the ability to hold it all without getting weighed down. This is a great option if you plan on staying in open waters and standing while you fish. However if you want a kayak that is comfortable to sit for long periods of time and maneuver in and out of smaller areas, I would recommend looking in a different direction.


#5
BKC UH-TK219 

BKC UH-TK219  Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
70 lbs. 12 feet 3 inches 440 lbs. 1, 2, or 3 people Sit on top

FEATURES

This is a good option for a fishing kayak that can seat multiple people. It can be used solo, or with up to three people, although it only includes two paddles and two padded seats. Also, since there is a weight capacity of 440 lbs., using this as only a tandem kayak is ideal, and I would recommend only using the third seat for a child, dog, or lightweight adult.

If you do decide to use the BKC UH-TK219 for three people, there will still be plenty of rod holders to go around. It comes with 4 flush mount rod holders, as well as 2 deck mount adjustable rod holders, so each paddler can have multiple lines in the water at a time. There are six color options to choose from, so you are sure to find something you like.

For storage, there are two water tight hatches, one in front and one in the back. There is also a rear bungee tankwell, but unfortunately it is too small for a crate or cooler unless you have a really small one. If you are only kayaking with two people though, you could easily fit a crate or cooler where the third seat is. There are paddle parks on either side of the boat, so you don’t have to worry about losing your paddles while they aren’t in use.

COMFORT

The padded seats aren’t very high quality, and don’t always stay in place. The third seat is a small, hard seat in the middle of the kayak. The front and back seat each have multiple footrest positions for added comfort. There are also four carrying handles, so two or three people will have no issues transporting the kayak between car and water. But if you are planning on paddling solo, keep in mind that this is one of the heavier options, and you will need to consider how easy it will be for you to transport.

PERFORMANCE

Although this kayak is stable enough to stand on for those who are experienced, it is not recommended, and not the best option if you are looking to stand while you fish. It tracks well even though it lacks a rudder and maneuvers fairly well also, but wouldn’t be a top choice if you are looking for a highly maneuverable kayak.

BKC UH-TK219

Pros

Pros
  • Can seat up to three people
  • Plenty of rod holders
  • Lots of storage

Cons

Cons
  • Low capacity relative to size
  • Low quality seats
  • Heavy

The BKC UH-TK219 is a good option for a multiple seat kayak with plenty of storage and rod holders. However if you need a tandem kayak that can hold a lot of weight, there are some better options.


#6
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
46 lbs. 9 feet 300 lbs. 1 person Sit on top

FEATURES

For how small and lightweight it is, the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 packs in a lot of features. Similar to the The Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100, it is equipped with 4 flush mount rod holders, as well as a mounting point for Scotty, RAM and Vibe mount accessories, and 4 carrying handles for easy transport.

For storage, the Skipjack 90 has two 8” sealed storage hatches with bag inserts, as well as a bungee tankwell in the rear that can be used for a milk crate or small ice chest. It also had a cup holder, and paddle parks to secure your paddles when not in use. There are two paddle options to choose from, with varying prices. Scupper plugs are included as well, so you don’t have to worry about your boat filling with water if you have a lot of weight on board. There are three colors to choose from.

COMFORT

There are multiple foot rest positions on this model, so it is convenient for anyone to use. It also comes with an adjustable seat, however the seat is not as comfortable as those on some other models, and the straps do not always hold it in place well, which can be frustrating if your seat is sliding around and you are constantly having to adjust it.

PERFORMANCE

When it comes to performance, the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 is extremely easy to maneuver due to its compact size. Although it is very stable, it is a little bit too wobbly to stand on, unless you have really good balance and lots of practice. Tracking is decent in calm water, but I would recommend installing a rudder system if you will frequently be in currents or wind.

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Pros

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great maneuverability
  • Lots of storage
  • Mounting point for accessories

Cons

Cons
  • Seat slides around
  • No rudder system

The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 is definitely a top choice for the best fishing kayak for the money for those who want a compact, lightweight kayak with lots of features to add to your fishing experience. However the compact size does take away from the comfort and ability to track well, so if you are more concerned about comfort, a larger fishing kayak will likely be a better option for you.


#7 Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Lifetime Tamarack Angler Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
52 lbs. 10 feet 275 lbs. 1 person Sit on top

FEATURES

This solo kayak comes with two flush mounted rod holders, and one adjustable deck mount rod holder, so you have options for fishing with different rods at different angles. There are two storage hatches, one that is easily accessible right in front of the seat next to the built in cup holder, and the other is behind the seat. There are also bungee tankwells in the front and rear for additional storage. The rear one is large enough to fit a cooler or crate.

This model comes with a paddle cradle to store your paddle when not in use, however it does not come with the paddle itself, so it will need to be purchased separately unless you already have one. It also only comes in one color, olive.

COMFORT

The tamarack angler has a padded seat with a backrest. It is comfortable enough, but not the most comfortable seat for extended periods of time. Carrying handles on the front and rear of the kayak make it easier to transport. There are also multiple foot rest positions, to accommodate different sized paddlers.

PERFORMANCE

Thanks to its flat bottom hull, the tamarack angler is very stable, and is able to be stood on if you have decent balance. It is not excellent at either tracking or maneuverability, but it is decent at both. It is also not the fastest kayak, so if you are going long distances it will require more paddling.

Lifetime Tamarack

Pros

Pros
  • All the necessary features for fishing
  • As affordable as recreational models

Cons

Cons
  • Performance weight limit is closer to 200 pounds
  • Not quite stable enough for stand-up fishing

This is a good option if you are on a tight budget but want a decent fishing kayak that you can stand on while you fish. Unfortunately it does not include paddles though, so that will at to the cost if you do not already have some.


#8
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
62 lbs. 11 feet 425 lbs. 1 person Sit on top

FEATURES

The Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 is the largest and heaviest of the Vibe kayaks that made it on our list for the best fishing kayak for the money, but the large size comes with a large range of features. The best feature of this kayak is the pre-installed, toe controlled rudder system, that will help you keep the kayak going straight if you plan to be paddling in water that is exposed to wind or waves. The foot braces are also adjustable, so the system can be used by people of all heights.

One downside of this kayak is that there are only 2 pre-installed flush mount rod holders. However there are several accessory mounting points on top of a large sealed center console, as well as 4 integrated gear tracks, so you have the ability to add as many additional rod holders, as well as other accessories, as you desire. You also have the ability to add a fish finder with the built in fish finder transducer port that includes a protective lid.

A feature that that the Sea Ghost 110 does not fall short on is storage. In addition to the center console, there is a 20″ front oval hatch, a rear hatch and a large bungeed tankwell in the rear. There are also two tackle tray storage compartments, as well as a built in cup holder.

Some additional features that make this kayak a great buy are the three bungee paddle parks (two on the sides and one for fast access on the bow), scupper holes with plugs included, and the replaceable skid plate to protect the keel during transport. Like the other Vibe models, the Sea Ghost 110 comes in a variety of colors and paddle options, which vary the price depending on your selection.

COMFORT

The Sea Ghost 110 is equipped with the Vibe Hero seat. It is adjustable, and can be shifted between a lower position for paddling, and a higher position for casting and fishing. There are also 4 carrying handles for added comfort while transporting the boat.

PERFORMANCE

This is a very stable kayak, and is able to be stood on if you have good balance and are experienced. It also tracks well and is easy to maneuver, however it is not the fastest moving kayak, and therefore requires slightly more paddling.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110

Pros

Pros
  • Built in rudder system
  • Integrated gear tracks
  • Lots of storage

Cons

Cons
  • On the more expensive side
  • Slow
  • Heavy

The Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 is a great option for those who are willing to pay a higher price for a high quality kayak with the ability to customize with accessories. The built in rudder system is a great feature that you won’t find on many budget kayaks, but it does add to the weight, so this isn’t a great choice if you are looking for a basic fishing kayak that is easy to transport. If you want an even more in-depth assessment of this model, check out our comprehensive review.


#9 Sun Dolphin Excursion

Sun Dolphin Excursion Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
41 lbs. 10 feet 250 lbs. 1 person Sit inside

FEATURES

The Sun Dolphin Excursion is a 1 person sit inside kayak. This is a good option if you will be kayaking in places where the temperatures are cold, or if you would just prefer to stay dry. The sit inside kayak keeps the lower portion of your body protected from the wind, and keeps water from getting splashed on you. Unfortunately paddles are not included with this model, so keep in mind that you will have to purchase them separately. There are three color options, but prices vary between them.

The downside of this model being a sit inside is that it is not able to be stood on, and there is less room on the deck of the kayak for accessories. The storage is also less accessible, as it is all below deck. This model has a sealed storage hatch in the rear for items that do not need to be accessed easily. For items that you need access to, there is some room in the cockpit by your feet, and a handy bungee water bottle holder on the bow.

Although the kayak is somewhat lacking in storage and work space, it still has some great features. There are three built in rod holders, a swivel deck mount in front that can be removed to add other accessories, and two flush mounts directly behind the seat. There is also a paddle park for storing your paddle. At only 41 pounds, this is the most lightweight option on the list, and two carrying handles make it extremely easy to transport

COMFORT

To add comfort, there are protective thigh pads and an adjustable padded seat back. Unfortunately only the back of the seat is padded, and the seat bottom is just hard plastic. Surprisingly it is not that uncomfortable, but would probably start to cause some discomfort if paddling for extended periods of time.

PERFORMANCE

Sit inside kayaks tend to be less stable, but adjustable foot braces add stability to the Sun Dolphin Excursion and also make it easy to maneuver. It tracks decently as well, and is faster than most sit on top models.

Sun Dolphin Excursion

Pros

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Keeps you dry
  • Fast
  • Maneuvers well
  • Most budget friendly option

Cons

Cons
  • Paddles not included
  • Seat bottom is not cushioned
  • Limited storage and work space

The Sun Dolphin Excursion is the best option for a very lightweight fishing kayak that’s easy on your wallet. It is fast and easy to maneuver, but lacks the storage and workspace of sit-on-top fishing kayaks.


#10 Perception Kayak Pescador Pro

Perception Kayak Pescador Pro Weight Length Capacity Seats Style
57 lbs. or 64 lbs. 10 feet 6 inches or 12 feet 325 lbs. or 375 lbs. 1 person Sit on top

This one person, sit on top kayak comes in two sizes, with varying prices, so you can select the size that best fits your needs, as well as choose from 3 different color options. The only difference between the two sizes are the weight and capacity, which only vary slightly.

FEATURES

The Pescador Pro is packed with features that make it a top pick for best fishing kayak for the money. One unique feature is the gear track system on either side that allows you to add accessories, without having to drill holes. This is a great feature, especially since there are only two built in rod holders. More so, the built in rod holders are just molded in basins for storing your rods. They are much wider than a fishing rod, so the rods shift around, and although unlikely, I would worry about them being jolted out if a big wave or gust of wind came along. They would be much better put to use as mounting zones for other accessories or rod holders.

Another great feature of the Perception Pescador Pro is the front console designed specifically to hold a fish finder, and the mounting point on the deck so that you don’t have to drill a hole for the fish finder display unit.

There is also a molded in cup holder, as well as room for tackle box storage under the seat. Another nice feature is the paddle park on the side of the boat. Unfortunately the paddle itself is not included though, and neither are scupper plugs, but fortunately the latter are inexpensive if you decide you need them, and if you need a paddle you can find one here.

STORAGE

For storage, there are both front and rear tankwells. The back tankwell is bungeed, and large enough for a cooler or crate. The front tankwell has a removable, mesh storage cover. Unfortunately, there are no sealed storages hatches, other than the fish finder console, which isn’t big enough to fit anything more than perhaps your phone and keys. If you have larger items you don’t want to get wet, I would recommend putting them in a dry bag in one of the tankwells, which still offer plenty of storage between the two.

COMFORT

For comfort, there are adjustable foot braces, as well as an adjustable seat that you can move between a lower position for paddling, and a higher position for fishing. There are 4 carrying handles, as well as a replaceable skid plate, to help aid in transportation. Since this kayak is somewhat on the heavier side, it is nice to know that you can drag the kayak on the skid plate, without having to worry about damaging the keel.

PERFORMANCE

Both the 10 foot and 12 foot models are very stable kayaks for sitting, but they are not designed to be stood on and it is not recommended to do so. If you prefer a kayak that tracks well compared to maneuverability, I would go with the 10 foot model. But if maneuverability is more important to you, the 12 foot model would be the better choice, and you can always add a rudder if you like.

Perception Kayak Pescador Pro

Pros

Pros
  • Skid plate
  • Fish finder console
  • Lots of capabilities for mounting accessories
  • Two size options

Cons

Cons
  • Lack of decent built in rod holders
  • No sealed storage hatches
  • Does not include a paddle

All in all, this is a great option if you want a high quality kayak that has lots of capabilities for adding accessories. The lack of decent rod holders and paddles is the main downside, but allows you to really customize the boat how you want to. If you have the extra cash for a paddle and some quality rod holders than this is a great buy, but if you are looking for a lower cost option that is ready to go, I would suggest reviewing some other models.

Fishing Kayak Features

Before choosing your new fishing kayak, you may have some questions on which specific features will fit your needs. It is important to understand the characteristics of fishing kayaks, so you can determine which features you will need to have the best fishing experience. That way, you are not only getting the best fishing kayak for the money, but also the best fishing kayak for your needs.

Rod Holders

There are two types of rod holders that your kayak may come equipped with. Flush mount rod holders are mounted even with the deck, so that the handle is below. Deck mount rod holders are mounted above deck, so that the handle is still visible. Flush mount holders give a cleaner look and won’t get in the way of paddling or during transportation, but deck mount holders have the benefit of being adjustable.

When shopping for a fishing kayak, you should also consider how many fishing rods you will want to bring out with you. If you prefer to have multiple lines cast at once, then you should look for options with a higher quantity of rod holders, so that you will not have to make modifications to the boat later on.

Accessory Friendly

There are many possibilities for customizing your kayak, such as adding fish finders, trolling motors, a rudder system, and more. These features are either preinstalled, capable of being installed, or have no installation capabilities, depending on the kayak. Something to consider is how much work you are willing to put into your kayak, in relation to what accessories you want now, or may want in the future. Sometimes it is best to spend the extra money now to get all of the features you want, but you may also find it beneficial to get a more basic fishing kayak to start, and have the ability to customize it how you want it later down the road.

Paddles Included

Obviously you need a paddle in order to kayak, so something to consider is whether or not the paddles are included with the kayak. If you do not already have a paddle, then taking into consideration whether paddles are included, as well as the quality of the paddles is important. Paddles are not something that you should skimp on when buying a kayak, as a good paddle will help you move through the water more efficiently, and not leave you sore at the end of the day.

If you are planning on only using your fishing kayak in small ponds or lakes where you will not be traveling long distances, then the paddle is not as important and you will most likely be okay purchasing a paddle that isn’t as expensive or keeping the paddle that the kayak comes with. However if you are planning on going on long, strenuous trips with your kayak, then you want to be sure to invest in a good paddle. So if the kayak you are purchasing comes with a paddle, it is wise to evaluate if it is a good paddle, or if you will need to purchase another one.

If the kayak you want does not come with a paddle or the paddle is not a good one, you should make sure to consider how much you are planning on spending on a paddle, so that you can factor that into your budget on what you can spend on the kayak and paddle in total.

Sit Inside vs. Sit on Top

One thing to consider is whether you prefer a sit inside or a sit on top kayak. The sit on top style is the more popular style for fisherman, but there are benefits to both. Some factors to consider when determining which style you want are where you will be using the kayak, as well as your experience.

Since sit inside kayaks protect you more from the water, they are usually preferable in places where the water or outside temperatures are cold, because they keep you drier. However they are not self bailing, which means if they do fill with water it can be a difficult process to drain it. However sit inside kayaks are also good because they shelter you from the wind and water. Sit inside kayaks also tend to be more lightweight. Unfortunately, you can’t stand up in sit inside kayaks.

The benefits of sit on top kayaks are that they are more stable, easier to get in and out of, and self bailing. The only downside is that water will almost always get on you. Sit on top kayaks also typically have more modifications that are specified towards fisherman. These modifications can be things such as rod holders, paddle parks, and tackle tray holders. Since they are flat on top, there is more room for these additions. Accessing your equipment from a sit inside kayak is more difficult because they do not have as much space on the deck.

Do you want to stand on it?

If you want to stand while you fish, wider kayaks are preferable because they offer more stability. Also consider the hull type. Flat hulls or pontoon (aka tunnel) hulls are the most stable. Avoid v-shaped or rounded hulls if you want to stand. If you’re dead set on having a stand up fishing kayak, you can check out our favorites here.

How heavy is it?

You should also consider the weight of the the kayak. This is an important factor when it comes to transportation. Consider how you will be transporting the kayak, and how much weight you will be able to handle. Will you be unloading it by yourself, or will you have help? Make sure you will be able to load and transport the kayak, and that it won’t be too heavy.

How much weight can it hold?

This is an important factor to consider because if you try to load more weight onto the kayak than it can handle then it may end up starting to sink. To determine your required capacity, add together the weight of all the gear you will need, plus your body weight.

By considering these factors and determining what specifications you need for the optimal kayak fishing experience, you can begin to narrow down the options on your search for the best budget fishing kayak. Now you are ready to evaluate your options and make a decision on which is the best fishing kayak for the money based on your needs. 

Please follow and like us: