Fishing kayak is more stable than a float tube and has a larger load capacity. Thanks to their maneuverability, they can reach places where larger boats cannot maneuver. You’ll also benefit from easy transportation, comfortable padded seats, and a myriad of storage options that won’t leave anything behind on dry land.
Fishing kayak is also a great way to enjoy soothing wonders on the water which provides the safest balance whether you want to sit, stand or squat, and makes it easier than ever to get the grip you’ve been dreaming of since you were a child.
The various manufacturers have already offered special fishing kayaks and necessary accessories. Some models of kayaks have the necessary equipment to add this type of device, for others it will be necessary to adapt. In this article, we have present the top ten best fishing kayaks under 500 dollars, starting from the most accessible ones.
Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 in 2021
A good fishing kayak gives you access to small lakes, shallow bays, and rivers. However, before making your purchase decision you should consider where you want to catch fish. We researched and evaluated the best-selling products on the market and compiled a list of the 10 best sea fishing kayaks under 500 dollars for 2021. In the next part, you will find more detailed reviews.
Checkout: our comparison table of best fishing Kayaks under $500 in 2021.
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1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak – Top Pick
There were a lot of reviews on youtube and various websites on this fishing kayak, and finally, we choose the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 on the first position of our list because of its stable flat bottom, huge storage and beautiful design. But not that all, it built with high-density polyethylene and UV protected which means you will get a durable and reliable fishing kayak that won’t crack if you expose yourself to the sun most of the year.
This lightweight fishing kayak provides everything a novice or experienced angler needs while coming at an excellent and affordable price to further sweeten the deal.
It also offers comfort in its adjustable padded seats and multiple foot holes to suit different age paddlers. And allows you to be completely autonomous, going out for a fishing trip alone, or even with friends.
It is stable in water and secure, so you won’t feel like you are ten seconds away from getting soaked to the bone. The good stability also makes it easy to stand up when needed and large enough to carry all your equipment. Good maneuverability on the rivers and included paddle is not cheap.
However, the model feels cramped while keeping everything at an easily accessible distance. But this case will happen when 2-person sit on. Despite this, Lifetime Tamarack is still a premium best kayak for fishing under $500 that you would be wrong to overlook if you need a basic but reliable kayak.
The only improvement we would recommend is that Lifetime engineer that the Tamarac for a better seat like their Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak. You can add an extra cushion for more comfort.
2. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
The SUNDOLPHIN Stand on Top Angler Kayak offers versatile fishing options for those who don’t like to sit all day. It made in USA that means the quality is world-class and offers excellent balance and stability even when the water becomes a little too rough for our taste.
The first thing I would like to point out, you can’t find a better fishing kayak at the same price. Secondly, it comes with paddle holders on either side which is a huge plus for advanced paddlers. This fishing kayak also built-in a lightweight design with the ability to bring a good amount of fishing gear.
It has 200 lbs weight capacity, making it great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots. There is a large bottle holder in the middle (between your legs) and side pockets(can hold small bottles or cans). It is also equipped with a large pump with elastic straps, which allow you to carry even a small backpack.
The hull of the catamaran has a stable and reliable platform, which offers greater reliability thanks to non-slip pads and a strap that prevents falls. But it is not compulsory if you think you can overcome the ocean. The compartments on the kayak are not 100% waterproof, so you should carry any electronics device or important documents inside of a dry bag.
Whether you want to get started in kayaking fishing or it is an activity that you have loved for a long time, you can bet on Sun Dolphin Fishing Kayak. It is a versatile kayak under $500 that will flawlessly suit both beginners and experienced paddlers.
3. BKC FK184 9′ Single Sit On Top Premium Fishing Kayak
Whether you want to get started in kayaking or it is already an activity that you have enjoyed for a long time, you can bet on the BKC Fishing Kayak. Its TST thermoformed hull has been designed to ensure perfect gliding on the water without compromise stability.
You don’t need to worry about quality because the hull of UH-FK184 kayak is made out of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). It comes with an adjustable seat which is definitely great for different people to use. Plus when transporting the kayak, the seat can be unclipped and stored.
The design of this model makes sailing very fast and stable, and allows you to reach your favorite fishing areas in no time. You can fish in remote places that traditional boats cannot reach.
There are also two dry storage spaces in the front that work well in the rainy season. Your legs extend almost all the way to the second dry storage space at the top of the kayak so there’s no place to put an additional seat. For a person that has owned other kayaks, this is by far one of the best!
It ensures good fishing times, even for an adult accompanied by a child. You can use this fishing kayak in the ocean and it holds a max weight of 330 lbs. It is a wider boat so the handling is pretty simple. BKC FK184 is wide enough and stable in optimal water conditions.
4. Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle
We already mentioned that Lifetime is a top-grade fishing kayak manufacturer designed and manufactured in USA. This model has a very hydrodynamic and streamlined design, ideal for fast navigation. You will not have to fear any scream, nor the tearing of the hull.
It is equipped with stern storage areas, a spacious seat, a rod holder and a paddle stand. This is a perfect kayak for expert fishermen as well as for those who want to get serious about kayaking fishing. This fishing kayak is also compact but wide enough to ensure comfort.
The width of the kayak is 30 inches and can hold up to 250 lbs. The kayak only weighs 38 pounds so one person should be able to lift it easily. It is very easy to use, carry, and functional. This unit is also very steady in the water and comes with paddles, which are suitable.
The blue color prevents it from having good camouflage, and this is indeed the case. However, there are several types of fishing, and it is not always necessary to be equipped with a kayak allowing good camouflage. The total weight is 38 pounds and the paddle shaft is 2.9 cm.
It is a versatile fishing kayak under $500 and would be fine for the open ocean because of the width which will give you the stability you are looking for. If kayaking is an activity that you rarely do, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on it.
5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
If you are looking for a slightly more affordable solution, the Sevylor Coleman 2-person fishing kayak is the best choice for you. It is sturdy and durable and has several independent compartments (Boston van) that can easily accommodate two people. With an 18 gauge PVC construction, it ideal for use on lakes because it is able to slide comfortably on more restricted roads.
Inside, there are multiple air chambers that provide security and keep you afloat in case some of the air is punctured. The airtight anti-leak system will make you feel safe and dry no matter how busy the water is.
Sevylor Coleman has a nylon shell that protects the inner tubes from damage. This is a good idea because the nylon shell is stronger than PVC. In addition, the nylon coating makes the boat feel like a real canoe. Paddling is also made more efficient by footrests, which you can remove.
It comes in a bag, so you can easily carry it as a backpack. Sevylor inflatable fishing kayak is also great for both relaxing and fishing. You just need to be careful of the hooks inside the boat. It works excellent but if you don’t put enough air into it you will get a little water leakage.
For hands-free fishing, you can take advantage of the fishing rod holders. If you’re still on the fence, think about its inflatable nature, which makes it easy to store and transport compared to other solid models. And there is enough space to store your tackle box.
6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak for Fishing
Ocean Kayak is the most popular tandem sit-on-top kayak in the world. With a high comfort level, the stock seats are fairly nice for the average person. This fishing kayak with several independent chambers can accommodate two people without difficulty.
It is able to carry up to 425 lbs and allows fishing in the river, on a lake, or at sea, as long as the water is calm. It is easy to prepare with a simple foot pump. Ocean Kayak Malibu comes with an amazing stackable design that makes them easy to transport.
It built-in durable construction, and equipped with easy handling accessories. The basic design provides a stable platform, a versatile deck, and a hull that tracks true and helps handle the wind. The kayak is really solidly built and a bit heavy compared to others.
It is an exclusive model for the price and suitable for those who practice fishing at a semi-professional level. Only takes a few minutes to inflate this kayak and start looking for freshwater or saltwater fish.
The width of the hull will allow you to easily mount your fishing rods. It two’s triple-layer polyethylene hull delivers an ultra-stable ride even on ocean swells.
7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-Foot Sit-on top Kayak
Another mid-range option is the Sun Dolphin Sit-on-top Kayak, which brings a real triple threat of features that distinguish it from similarly priced options. It is the perfect Sit-on-top kayak for beginners or experienced kayakers.
The sit-on-top kayak built in an open cockpit for easy entry and exit and able to hold up to 395 lbs. It has adjustable foot braces, a dry storage compartment, protective thigh pads, and a paddle holder.
There is a rod holder and a small table between your legs which is nice for small items. Two-rod holders right behind the cockpit. The seat is also quite nice, adjustable and stays dry. The rear dry store is large and removable. The shell and floor withstand high-pressure thanks to their highly efficient shape.
With 144 x 29.6 x 14 inches dimensions, it will give exceptional stability. And comfortable carrying handles allow you to easily get from the car to the water without damaging your hands. Kayak tracks and paddles also offer maximum stability out on the water.
8. Perception Pescador 10 – Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
With Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak, you can take your fishing experience to a new level. There is a remarkable amount of storage options for fishing gear, fishing lures, fishing gear and the ever-present beer cooler.
The pedal drive function gives you a simple and hassle-free movement, while the four molded rod holders offer you another possibility of hands-free. This allows you to sip a drink, have lunch or take cool pictures of your surroundings while you wait for a bite.
There’s also a one-hand rudder control so you can steer while fishing, and gives you a 360-degree turning radius, that feature is perfect for those who struggle with the controls and get stuck in a rocky corner infested with crabs.
It comes with leak-proof one-piece construction with built-in buoyancy for added safety. This fishing kayak also includes a convenient drink holder to keeps your favorite beverage from spilling. It is extremely safe, as well as perfect for a more demanding fisherman.
You can take off the chairs and pedals to give yourself more space so you’re ready for anything. If you want to stay somewhere or take a break, you can lock the pedals in place, but they are not as reliable as we would like and there can be problems if they stay where you want.
9. SUN DOLPHIN Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak
If you’re looking for a fishing kayak with more features, but aren’t too keen on spending too much money, the Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Kayak is a great option for you. It has a redesigned and ergonomic handle that makes it more comfortable.
This evolution continues with the seat which is equipped with additional padding to improve comfort when sitting all day and could make all these hours of waiting for a bite a little more bearable.
Accessory pockets can make it even more bearable, as you can store all the snacks and extra equipment you need close at hand. The kayak is stable enough to support you or your children standing without tipping you in the water.
The footrests are adjustable to fit and keep young kayakers safe. And if they want to take a stand, they can. There is also a bulkhead located in the nose of the model and a piece of foam on either side of the seat. It is wide, stable, and slower than other models from Sun Dolphin.
10. Pelican Sit-on-top Best Lightweight Fishing Kayak
The last catch of the day is the Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak which is equipped with a swivel rod holder, an Angler ruler and two flush mount rod holders. The ERGOFIT seating system includes a padded seat cushion and an adjustable backrest which gives you extra comfort.
Its weight only 50 lbs weight. With ergonomic carrying handles, you can easily carry around, transport and store. It is also an ideal choice for those looking for good speed and maximum return of effort.
It can travel more than 5 miles an hour. The seat is also breathable and adjustable that adapt to your body. It allows hassle-free maneuverability to make your fishing trip enjoyable. This is a perfect kayak for both more experienced paddlers and those who want to start kayaking seriously.
The design of this unit also makes navigation very fast and stable and allows you to access your favorite fishing areas in no time. The Pelican is a compact but wide kayak model perfect for outings for two. You will not have to fear any impact or perforation of the shell.
If you have never used a fishing kayak, you may wonder what characteristics this type of boat should have. Here is a list of the main points to consider before choosing:
Types of fishing kayaks
Unlike standard kayaks, fishing kayaks come in three different types:
- Sit-In – These seats are larger in the cockpit and are better for fishing in cold water as they offer more protection from the elements and stability is improved so that you are less likely to tip back.
- Sit-On – The favorite type of anglers because they can easily add accessories while allowing them to go out and wade in the water.
- Motorized and pedal-powered – Great for saving energy and eliminating the need to paddle all the time. But additional features may mean more maintenance. You can adapt some standard kayaks by installing motors if they have the appropriate components.
- Inflatable kayak: In ultra-resistant PVC, the inflatable kayak only needs a foot pump and a few minutes to take shape. It requires less storage space when rinsed, dried and folded. Its purchase price is also less expensive than rigid models.
No one wants to fall into the water in a kayak, so stability is a huge thing especially if you like to stand on your kayak while fishing. You can check the stability by looking at the loin they are using, which ranges from soft U-shaped loin to hard V-shaped loin.
Sit-in or sit-on
A seated kayak provides protection from the elements and is great for kayaking in cold water due to its more closed design. It comes with self-draining features that drain water for your profit.
Seated kayaks are better for beginners because they are easier to get on and off and more breathable. They’re also perfect in hot weather. You won’t be afraid of the small amount of water that will eventually seep through the waves or splash of the paddle.
If you sit in a kayak all day, you want to be comfortable. So consider the padding and adjustability of the seat. You can further improve this comfort with the available footrests, or you can just put your feet on your side and relax. You must pay attention to the hungry fish that bite your toes, though.
Kayaks have many excellent storage options under the hull and around the side walls. This gives you enough space to bring all the accessories and equipment you need for your fishing day. Enough storage capacity not only gives you the chance to over-prepared but also makes sure you have everything that you need when you’re on the water including snacks and first aid.
Length & width
Keep in mind that longer kayaks will be faster than shorter kayaks. So if you like to explore as much as possible while fishing, a long kayak is your best choice. However, if you prefer to relax, take it easy and enjoy a little moment of relaxation short model is suit your need.
The weight of the kayak will have an impact on its ease of transport. If you prefer solo fishing, look for something light because it will be difficult to transport it from the surface and to the water. It will also determine the buoyancy of your kayak on the water and its impact on your top speed.
Pedals can make your fishing trip easier, but they are not essential. If you want to fish hands-free, the pedals are a great solution, because you only have to use the rudder to steer which is much easier than paddling. You won’t have as much exercise for your arms, but we’re sure you don’t mind.
Rudders determine how easy it is to steer your kayak, but the effectiveness of the rudder varies by brand and price range. You want to find a rudder that offers 360-degree movement as close as possible to the east. Because it allows you to get out of any difficult situation easier, no matter where you are fishing.
Accessories include motors, which go even further than standard pedals and provide the most efficient kayaking experience you’ve ever seen and make it easier to get around in the scorching sun. If you’ve already tried kayaking in the hottest summer, you know how exhausting it can be after just a few minutes, then an engine will be a welcome addition to your kayak.
You can also invest in a kayak cart, which makes it easier to transport your boat to the water and prevents it from damaging by protecting it from rocks and debris.
Number of people
This criterion is obviously important because once you have chosen your kayak, it is not expandable. Some only accommodate one person, others two up to a certain weight. Finally, others allow you to take two adults and a child. Do not go beyond the supported weight, otherwise you will damage your boat and put yourself in danger.
Fishing kayak FAQs:
Are sit-in kayaks better than sit-on-top kayaks?
We don’t like to say that anything is better than anything else, because it depends on your preferences or needs. Seated kayaks protect you from the wind and keep your body dry and best if you kayak in cold waters.
Seated kayaks are more user-friendly because they make it easier to get on and off. They also flow by themselves through a process known as self-rescue. Seated kayaks may be better for beginners, but they are not suitable for all situations.
How much storage space do I need?
You need enough storage space to carry everything you need. Fishing kayaks provide more space than you need for gear, accessories, refreshments and fishing gear so that shouldn’t be a problem. There are mesh pockets on the sides, and you’ll also have front and center hatches for other storage options.
Best models also offer removable parts like pedals or seats, which provide even more storage space. If you are fishing with a buddy in the same kayak, you will need more space than if you were doing it alone.
What should I take with me when kayak fishing?
When you go kayaking, take everything you think you need with you. This includes food, refreshments, equipment, tackles and all the emergency equipment you deem necessary. Having and not needing is always better than having and not having. So it’s up to you to decide which accessories you deem essential.
The more you practice kayaking, the more you will become familiar with the essentials. And eventually, you will know what you will always need to take with you for an easy experience.
For a more complete experience, you can buy fishing shirts and other similar items, which is good to have. Because they will give you additional storage options for gear and accessories.
How to maintain my fishing kayak?
You don’t want to damage your kayak especially when you buy it for the first time. Because we all know that it is not cheap. However, if you want your kayak to last as long as possible, follow these steps for all year round care to ensure longevity and the pleasure of carefree fishing after the season is over.
Are fishing kayaks safe?
Fishing kayaks are as safe as you make them. This means that as long as you stay reasonable and recognize your limits on water status and know when to give up a tap, then you should be safe.
They are designed to be as safe as possible, but you cannot always guarantee that everything will be fine. What you can do is prepare for the worst. Hopefully you will end up being over-prepared, but we can all agree that it’s better than being under-prepared.
Fishing helps you earn income and be entertained in your free time. Of course, it is possible to find a fishing kayak for less than 200 bucks. But what about the quality? If you want to go fishing on your own, opt for a lightweight kayak, with seats on the top. If you are going fishing as a family, a full size kayak with 2 or more seats is a good choice.