A fishing kayak and a trip to the water make every season better for an angler.
There are many pros and cons to kayak fishing, but I'd say the good outweighs the bad. There's less maintenance with a kayak fishing boat, they're easier to transport, and they tend to be far less expensive than most fishing boats.
We wanted to break down a list of great angling 'yaks for a variety of folks, depending on what they are looking to spend. Like with almost all outdoor gear, you get what you pay for, but we did our best to choose a list based on online purchase popularity, customer reviews, and fishing-specific features that are incorporated into the design.
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The Best Fishing Kayaks Under $300
There have been a bunch of five-star reviews left on this inexpensive kayak, and that's worth something. It's a stable kayak and light enough for younger kids to carry. One paddle-keeper is included with rear T-handles for easy transport. There's also a storage hatch under the deck. Kayakers love it.
To keep your budget low, you might have to go with an inflatable kayak. Intex kayaks are highly resistant to impact and sunlight for your protection. Amazon customers seem to prefer this inflatable kayak over the Advanced Elements fishing kayak. There's plenty of storage space, swivel fishing rod holders, and two removable skews for deep and shallow saltwater.
The seating system looks comfortable as well! A perk of an inflatable kayak is storage options. Just deflate it and store the recreational kayak in your shed or garage.
I love that this fits into a backpack and has everything it needs to inflate. It's great that it is truly meant for one person to assemble on their own in no time. The tarpaulin bottom protects it from punctures, and there are multiple air chambers in case one is deflated. Did I mention that the backpack also turns into a seat? A kayak paddle is also included.
For a kayak so inexpensive, the reviews on this one are great. Customers felt safe on the lake in this inflatable kayak. Manueverability seems impeccable. This maximum weight is 400 pounds, and it can fit two people. It's made of heavy-duty, puncture-resistant vinyl, and only takes minutes to set up.
The Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500
Any angler will enjoy this sit-inside kayak; it's extremely lightweight and easy to carry. If there's no official boat ramp or launch, you can easily walk down to the water with this in most cases. It has a dry storage space, one swivel rod holder, an adjustable padded seat, paddle holders, and two flush mount rod holders.
The hull design gives this kayak high-quality stability and tracking. There are an adjustable seat and padding on it for a comfortable backrest. There's also a skeg wheel and four carrying handles that make it easy to move around.
If portability is a huge buying factor for you, I recommend going with this one. Many customers said they were able to load this kayak on top of their car without assistance. It may not be entirely fishing-oriented, but we're cashing in on other features.
The Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1,000
The 12.9-foot-long fishing kayak has every spec you're looking for in a big fishing kayak under $1,000. It seats two people and supports up to 770 pounds. It has four total rod holders, two flush-mounted and two articulating, and the flat bottom can withstand multiple water conditions. Each memory foam seat has a storage hatch. It comes in nine colors.
This fishing kayak comes with plenty of accessories. Two paddles, rod holders, and bungee cords are standard. It can be used as a lake, river, or ocean kayak. It's 12.2-feet-long and has two padded high-back seats for back support. With 4.4 out of 5 stars, it seems like a good combo of high quality and heavy-duty construction.
This is a great single-angler kayak. Specs include a foot pedal-operated rudder to keep control under numerous conditions. There are rod holders, which is a big plus if you want to keep them out of your way while you paddle.
There's also standup stability, so you don't have to worry as much about falling over for stand up fishing. The load capacity is way less than a double fishing kayak but has enough capacity for one person and a lot of fishing gear and supplies.
The 2019 Skipjack upgrades include two phantom carry handles, two molded handles, and storage hatches. There is a 500-pound weight capacity. It has rod holders and built-in cup holders. You need all the extra storage you can get for when you need to paddle.
There's adjustable support track foot braces, fishing rod holders, storage areas, and a slip-resistant deck. A five-star review says this kayak is stable and tracks well. That means you won't use so much energy paddling! The customer even mentioned he got the best value for his money. That's something you really want to hear before making a kayak purchase!
This kayak isn't exactly budget-friendly, but if you're looking to splurge you should consider it. This kayak fits in the bed of most pickup trucks, has a rotomolded polyethylene hull construction, and dual steering. There's plenty of storage too. Pack up to six fishing rods!
A customer gave it a five-star review and said, "I have fished ocean and bay. I find it to be great for calm water."
Whether you're a pro angler or kayaking for the first time, you won't leave this list without a new kayak.
This post was originally published on July 20, 2019.