10 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 – Buyer’s Guide

Fishing Kayaks Reviews

The best fishing kayak is the only way to enjoy soothing wonders on the water so that you don’t feel like you are about to tip over and ruin your favorite fishing shirt. These kayaks provide the safest balance, whether you want to sit, stand or squat, and make it easier than ever to get the grip you’ve been dreaming of since you were a child.

But it’s not just about stability and balance. You’ll also benefit from easy transportation, padded seats for added comfort and a myriad of storage options to make sure you don’t leave anything behind on dry land.

The various manufacturers have already offered special kayaks and necessary accessories for fishermen. In this article, we have present the top ten best fishing kayak models under 500 dollars, starting from the most accessible ones and the best quality/price ratio, to conclude with the models for real pros.

Best Fishing Kayak Under $500 in 2020

A kayak gives you access to small lakes, shallow bays, and rivers. However, before making your purchase decision you should consider where you fishing. Our recommendation best kayaks for fishing under $500 for every fisherman, whether it’s something you’ve enjoyed all your life or something you’re just getting started on.

Checkout: our comparison table of best fishing Kayak under 500 dollars in 2020.


  • Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Length: 10-foot
  • Weight: 54 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years
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  • Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Length: 10-foot
  • Weight: 108 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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  • Capacity: 330 lbs
  • Length: 9-foot
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Warranty: No
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  • Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Length: 8-foot
  • Weight: 38 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years
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  • Capacity: 470 lbs
  • Length: 10-foot
  • Weight: 40.5 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited
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  • Capacity: 425 lbs
  • Length: 12-foot
  • Weight: 57 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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  • Capacity: 395 lbs
  • Length: 12-foot
  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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  • Capacity: 325 lbs
  • Length: 10-foot
  • Weight: 57 lbs
  • Warranty: No
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  • Capacity: 395 lbs
  • Length: 12-foot
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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  • Capacity: 325 lbs
  • Length: 10-foot
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Warranty: No
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1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Kayak for Fishing Under 500

There were a lot of reviews on youtube and various website, we choose the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 on the first position of our list. Because it built with dense polyethylene and UV protected and you will get a durable and reliable kayak that will not crack if you expose yourself to the sun most of the year.

It also offers comfort in its adjustable padded seats and multiple foot holes to suit kayakers of all ages. This fishing kayak provides everything a novice or experienced angler needs while coming at an excellent and affordable price to further sweeten the deal.

It is stable and secure, so you won’t feel like you are ten seconds away from getting soaked to the bone. This stability also makes it easy to stand up when needed and large enough to carry all your equipment. The kayak feeling cramped while keeping everything at an easily accessible distance.

Despite this, it is still a premium best kayak for fishing under $500 that you would be wrong to overlook if you need a basic but reliable boat. It allows you to be completely autonomous, going out for a fishing trip alone, or even with friends, always keeping all your gear at hand.

The holes in the rear scupper will explode the water behind your back if you are not careful, but barely enough to sink in and ruin the day. So just put on a pair of swimsuits or buy caps scupper to stay comfortable.
Why I Like It
  • Adjustable padded seat for added comfort
  • Stability rails for chines
  • Front and rear handles
  • Several colors choice available
  • Multiple footrest positions
Why I don't Like It
  • Does not come with the plugs
  • Not designed to accommodate a trolling motor

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2. Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Sun Dolphin Kayak for Fishing under 500The SUNDOLPHIN Stand on Top Angler Kayak offers versatile fishing options for those who don’t like to sit all day. It made in USA and offers excellent balance and excellent 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. This kayak built-in a lightweight design with the ability to bring a good amount of fishing gear.

It has 200 lbs weight capacity which is 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 also side pockets that 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 or valuable inside of a dry bag.

However, there is a downside to its size, it is seen with the size of the oars, which given the length feel a little on the short size and therefore does not offer the rowing as precise as you would like to.
Why I Like It
  • Self-bailing and storage compartments
  • It’s very stable & comfortable
  • Very cheap price for the quality
  • Lightweight & easy to carry
  • Comfortable seating area
Why I don't Like It
  • It does not come with an anchor
  • Only 200 lbs weight capacity

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3. BKC FK184 9′ Single Sit On Top Premium Fishing Kayak

Best 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 great for different height people. Plus when transporting the kayak, the seat can be unclipped and stored. The design of this kayak makes sailing very fast and stable and allows you to reach your favorite fishing areas in no time.

There are also the two dry storage spaces in the front that work great. 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 in the ocean and it holds a max weight of 330 lbs. It is a wider boat so it handles pretty well. BKC FK184 kayak is very wide and stable you can stand and fish in optimal water conditions.

The kayak itself does not have a cup or bottle holder. However, the black seat has a bottle holder behind. There is a bottle holder attached to the Deluxe seat.
Why I Like It
  • Suitable for beginners as confirmed
  • Maximum authorized load is 330 lbs
  • Lightweight but super tough and sturdy
  • Scupper plugs are excellent
  • Waterproof storage area
Why I don't Like It
  • It does not have a cup or bottle holder

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4. Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle

Fishing Kayak Under 500Lifetime is a top-grade fishing kayak which designed and manufactured in USA. This kayak has a very hydrodynamic and streamlined design for them, 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, the Lifetime is a perfect kayak for expert fishermen as well as for those who want to get serious about kayaking fishing. This fishing kayak is 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, sturdy, and very functional. This unit is also very stable in the water and comes with paddles, which are suitable.

Its blue color prevents 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 very versatile and would be fine for open ocean because of the width which will give you the stability you are looking for. It does not come with any type of locking mechanism, but you could secure it with the use of a cable/chain lock.

Why I Like It
  • Center carry handle for easy Transport
  • Very functional & professional
  • Multiple Footrest positions
  • Well built construction
  • Easy to maneuver
Why I don't Like It
  • Seats could be a little more comfortable
  • Only 250 lbs weight capacity

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5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Sevylor Kayak for Fishing under 500If 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. 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. Paddling is also made more efficient by footrests, which you can remove.

It comes with a bag, so you can easily carry like a backpack. Sevylor fishing kayak is also great for relaxing and fishing. You just need to be careful of the hooks inside the boat. It working excellent but if you don’t put enough air into it you will get a little water leakage in your kayak.

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.

You can also add a trolling motor to save energy on these long adventures. But if you still want to feel like you’ve done a bit of work, you can grab the paddles from the practical supports. If you need equipment, you can take it instantly in one of the many mesh storage pockets located there.

Why I Like It
  • Airtight anti-leak system
  • Adjustable rod holders
  • Mesh pockets for easy storage
  • Light and easy to inflate
  • Super portable design
Why I don't Like It
  • Trolling motor is not included
  • Size a little bit small

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6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak for Fishing

Ocean Kayak MalibuOcean 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 kayak with several independent chambers can accommodate two people without difficulty.

This kayak for fishing is able to carry up to 425 lbs. It 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 handles. 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 solid built and heavy compared to others.

It is an exclusive model, for those who practice fishing at a semi-professional level. 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.

If you embark with two, the kayak evolves more slowly. It seats are a little flimsy, but this is a great recreational kayak.
Why I Like It
  • Comfort plus seats
  • Very easy to paddle
  • The kayak is very stable
  • 425 lbs load capacity
  • Lifetime warranty on the hull
Why I don't Like It
  • It doesn’t dry storage space
  • A little bit heavy

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7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12-Foot Sit-on top Kayak

12-Foot Sit-on top Kayak for FishingAnother 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 small table between your legs which is nice for small items. Two-rod holders right behind the cockpit. The seat is also quite nice it’s adjustable and stays dry. The rear dry store is large and removable.

With 144 x 29.6 x 14 inches dimensions, it will give exceptional stability. Its 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.

The one thing I don’t like, there is no seat pad on the bottom, which is ridiculous since. It’s the low point and you will get a wet butt if you take in water plan to spend extra for a suitable seat dollars.
Why I Like It
  • Lightweight & easy to carry
  • Comfortable seating area
  • 12-foot allow easy tracking
  • Very stable on the water
  • Looks very beautiful
Why I don't Like It
  • Does not come with a paddle

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8. Perception Pescador 10 – Sit on Top Fishing Kayak

Best Kayak for Fishing under 500With Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak, you can easily take your fishing to a whole 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 it 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. It also includes a convenient drink holder to keeps your favorite beverage from spilling. This kayak 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.

Why I Like It
  • Easy open front hatch
  • Comfort seating system
  • Large rear open storage
  • Easy to transport
  • Well constructed for the price
Why I don't Like It
  • Would be nice if they had a few rings to clip things to

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9. SUNDOLPHIN Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak

SUNDOLPHINIf you’re looking for awesome fishing 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 kayak and a piece of foam on either side of the seat. This is one of the best budget kayaks for fishing. It is wide, stable and slower than other kayaks.

The opening is larger than many kayaks. This is a heavy kayak though. The only complaint is that it’s a bit heavy to hoist up to a cartop carrier without help.
Why I Like It
  • Very stable flat bottom
  • Strong but not too heavy
  • Comfortable & tracks well
  • Handles are very well built
  • Storage and shock cord deck rigging
Why I don't Like It
  • This is an entry-level kayak
  • Seat pad is a little thin

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10. Pelican Sit-on-top Best Lightweight Fishing Kayak

Pelican Fishing Kayak for Fishing under 500The 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. It is also ideal 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. Pelican is a perfect kayak for both more experienced fishermen, and who want to start kayaking seriously.

The design of this kayak 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. 

This unit is not built to hold that additional weight, it can take only up to 325 lbs. However normally 10 foot sit on top kayaks are not meant to accommodate trolling motors.
Why I Like It
  • Two retractable carrying handles
  • Multi-Chine flat bottom hull Design
  • Specially design for fishing
  • Ergofit seating system
  • Lots of features
Why I don't Like It
  • Does not have a cupholder

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Features to Look for in Fishing Kayaks

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 your kayak for fishing:

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.

The stability

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 they are 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.

The comfort

If you sit in a kayak all day, you want to be comfortable. So consider the padding and adjustability of the seat when looking for your best fishing kayak. 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.

Storage space

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 of 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

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.

The wider the kayak, the more stable you will be, which will keep you dry while fishing. If you like to stand up, then a wide kayak is the best option for you because you will have more space to balance and stabilize if you start to swing.

The weight

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 and to the water. It will also determine the buoyancy of your kayak on the water and its impact on your top speed.

The pedals

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.

The rudders

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.

The accessories

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 it by protecting it from rocks and debris.

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 of your kayak, and you’ll also have front and center hatches for other storage options.

Better kayaks also offer removable parts like pedals or seats, which provides 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. 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.

Out of season
  • Check that the hull is not damaged
  • Inspect the rigging
  • Replace the old part or accessories
  • Restock emergency equipment
In season
  • Invest in a kayak cart
  • Clean it often
  • Keep it out of the sun
  • Cover the seating area

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.

Fishing kayaks 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.

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