Kayaks are a great way to navigate the waters whether they be rough or calm. Not to mention, there are several activities you can do while kayaking – one of which is fishing.
As someone who enjoys fishing, I decided to invest in a kayak to help me fish in a more comfortable and enjoyable fashion. However, most high-end kayaks tend to be quite pricey, and as such, I have compiled my list of affordable kayaks for fishing.
My top 8 best fishing kayaks under $1,000 are not only affordable but also do well in both performance, stability, and durability. Let’s get started.
In a hurry? Check the bestseller top fishing kayaks under $1,000 from Amazon.
Top 8 Fishing Kayaks Under 1000
- Brooklyn Kayak Sit-on-Top
- Perception R15 Pescadors 120
- Ocean Kayak Prowler 13
- Lifetime Sports Fisher
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado
- Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100
- Sun Dolphin Excursion
- Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost
My Top Picks of the Best Budget-Friendly Kayaks Designed for Fishing
If you just want to have a relaxing fishing trip, the Brooklyn sit-on-top is your choice. With its seven rod holders, you can be sure to get a catch even when you’re just laying back and enjoying the breeze around you. It’s also easy to carry on land with its four carrying handles.
The waterproof storage hatches also make sure that you can have a relaxing adventure as this is where you can store your valuables while you’re fishing on the water. They’re conveniently located in between where your legs.
The Brooklyn kayak makes sure that everything you have on board is safe and secure with its paddle holders and the bungee tie-down system.
Wins & Fails
- Comes with seven-rod holders for a sure catch
- Features storage hatches for item safekeeping
- Can only be used on calm waters
The Pescadores 120 is great for tall paddlers who also like to fish. It offers many adjustments to meet your needs when it comes to utility and comfort while fishing. The comfortable seating plus the spacious legroom is perfect for sitting in the waters while waiting for a fish to catch.
When all you want to do is focus on getting a bite at the end of the line, this would be a great kayak as it doesn’t have that many rod holders. As a result, you really have to get into the fishing spirit and watch the line. This is ideal if you know that there would be a lot of fish in your target fishing area.
If you’re looking for a nice balance of tracking, stability, and maneuverability, then the Pescadors won’t disappoint you.
Wins & Fails
- Comes with a lot of legroom
- Not too heavy
- Features a comfortable seating
- Great for a solo fishing trip only
- Accessories need to be purchased separately
As the name entails, this kayak works very well on the open ocean. The design of the kayak itself is made to tread the unpredictable winds of the ocean. Rest assured, this kayak will keep you afloat no matter how much the waves rock your boat.
It is well equipped with a large tank, so you can be sure that you can take a few beers with you on the trip and relax. It also comes with huge storage space for securing your stuff and extra gears.
If you have enough experience with kayaking and want a more appropriate option for an advanced paddler, the Prowler 13 is the ideal choice.
Wins & Fails
- Great for different kinds of water
- Big compartment for storing fishing tools and gears
- Comes with exceptional stability and tracking
- Uncomfortable seating due to its small size
The Lifetime Sports Fisher is a great kayak if you like to go fishing with your companions. Its design can accommodate up to 3 persons and can hold up to 500 pounds, making it the ideal choice if you want to fish in a group.
It is made of durable UV-protected polyethylene HDPE (high-density polyethylene) which makes it resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling.
It comes with a comfortable standing area to make your fishing activity a lot more comfortable and enjoyable. It also has bungee straps to help secure your items and gears without having to worry about them falling into the water while fishing.
Wins & Fails
- Made of a durable material
- Ideal for fishing in a group
- Comes with rod holders for holding your fishing poles
- Ideal only for use in lakes
- Seating might be a bit uncomfortable
If you plan to go on a fishing trip without bringing a lot of gears, the Coleman Colorado could be a perfect choice. It’s lightweight and very easy to carry weighing only 41 pounds. However, it lacks the right amount of stability, thus making it ideal for use only on calm waters.
As it’s inflatable, it’s more comfortable than other kayaks. The body is made of PVC and has a 1000D tarpaulin bottom with an 840D nylon cover. The Coleman Colorado is an affordable fishing kayak option, so if you only fish in a lake, this would be a great choice.
Wins & Fails
- Lightweight and portable
- Comes with enough space for carrying two adults
- Allows you to attach a trolling motor
- No pump or paddle included
- Not an ideal choice if speed is a major concern
The Tarpon 100 offers great stability and is ideal for those who are new to kayaking. It has a wide surface area unlike other kayaks, thus making it pretty easy to maneuver on the water. This is also great if you like standing on your kayak for a better grip on your line.
It also comes with a large tank well where you can store your catch. Its wide surface area allows you to bring some other things such as a lunch bag or a small bag with your personal belongings in it. However, you have to make sure that they are waterproof.
It also offers a Phase 3 Air Pro seating system to ensure comfortable seating while catching some fish. Lastly, it comes in four different colors to choose from.
Wins & Fails
- Offers great stability and a comfortable seating
- Durable and lightweight design
- Features an adjustable foot brace system
- Not ideal for long kayaking trips
The Excursion by Sun Dolphin is a sit-in kayak which means that your safety while fishing is definitely ensured. It is rugged with a UV-stabilized fortiflex HDPE which is great when you’re out on a sunny day. It’s also designed to offer great stability while on the water.
This is a single-person kayak that is great for lake and river fishing trips in some secluded spots. It comes with three-rod holders: two flush-mounted holders and one swivel rod holder. One of the best features of the Excursion kayak is its raised seat, adjustable foot pedals, and padded through braces.
These features alone make it one of the most popular options for paddlers, particularly taller people as they can have enough legroom to remain comfortable while fishing.
Wins & Fails
- Comes with adequate space for storing gears and stuff
- Ideal for taller people
- Excellent tracking in calm waters
- The paddle is not included in the package
- Not as durable as the other kayaks on this list
8. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost
This sit-on-top kayak features 2 flush-mount rod holders but is only good for one person. Its storage space is very expansive and comes with a 20” front oval hatch and another rear hatch. If you’re confident to get a pretty large catch, this is the kayak you should take.
It comes complete with a paddle, rudder, and an adjustable frame. It measures 13 feet long and 33 inches wide. Though not as lightweight as the other products in this list (weighing 80 pounds), the Sea Ghost is no doubt an excellent fishing kayak that ensures enough stability while fishing.
Comfort-wise, it comes with the Vibe Hero seat which allows you to take on long fishing trips. Overall, it’s a great choice of a kayak for both novice and advanced paddlers.
Wins & Fails
- Excellent tracking and stability
- Large storage space in both front and rear hatches
- Comes with a number of essential fishing accessories
- A bit expensive
- Quite heavy to carry by yourself
How to Buy a Kayak for Fishing While on a Budget
A new kayak for fishing will definitely cost you. However, there are a few factors you can consider if you want to strike a sweet kayak deal that will only cost you a thousand bucks or even less. Therefore, if you’re on a tight budget but still want to enjoy fishing on a kayak, these factors are what you should take into account:
The type of kayak you want to buy will have a direct impact on your budget. Your preferred type of kayak should be related to where you’re going to fish and your experience in kayaking and fishing.
Generally, kayaks are categorized into sit-in and sit-on-top. We’ll talk more about them below.
To be absolutely prepared for your fishing trip, your kayak needs to have all the essential accessories for fishing. Most will have their own accessories included in the package. However, some of the best fishing kayaks under 1000 might require you to buy accessories separately.
While this might be counterproductive, it can actually mean that the manufacturer has focused only on the production and build quality of their product.
Fishing is a nice hobby, but it can also take a toll on your kayak. Therefore, it is ideal to go for a kayak that’s made of a quality and durable material to keep maintenance to a minimum. Most kayaks are made from plastic reinforced by some other materials. While to gives you a lightweight option, plastic kayaks are more prone to damage and wear and tear.
You also need to consider how often you are going to use your kayak. Is it just for a few trips a month? Or are you going to use it for some serious fishing activity? While some kayaks can last for a long period of time, frequent use can quickly deteriorate their quality.
As such, it’s only ideal to go for a product that’s made of quality material. The least expensive option is plastic while the most expensive is Kevlar. If you only plan to use your kayak occasionally, a plastic kayak will suit you just fine. However, if you’re a regular angler, going for a more solid choice of material is recommended.
What to Consider Before You Get a Kayak for Fishing
Fishing is not a fun activity, yet it doesn’t come easy. It becomes even harder if you fish on a kayak. As such, you need to consider the following first:
When looking to buy a kayak for fishing, you’re going to need the means to transport it to where you’re going to fish (unless you live by a lake or a river). Fortunately, some kayaks are lightweight and easier to carry. However, some are pretty bulky and more difficult to bring to the water. It becomes harder if your fishing spot is a few miles away. As such, you need to make sure you have a mode of transportation to allow easy transport of your stuff.
Experience is yet another important factor to consider before you purchase your first kayak for fishing. If you’re a beginner, then you need to choose a kayak that’s beginner-friendly since balancing one isn’t all that easy.
Fishing could have already been a hobby of yours; however, fishing on a boat is way different than fishing on a kayak. If you don’t have enough experience, you might want to ask for help from someone who knows how to do it right. Or, you might want to start fishing in calmer and smaller bodies of water first.
- Fishing Location
Where you will go fishing is also an important aspect before you choose your kayak for fishing purposes. Some kayaks are only ideal for use on calm waters, while some have the shape and build to take on more challenging waters.
Do you like going fishing alone? Or do you plan to do it with a friend or family? Whether you choose solo fishing or with someone else is also another important factor to make sure that there’s enough space while on the kayak.
- Extra Gears and Stuff
Any extra gears and stuff you bring on a fishing trip also matters since some kayaks only have little storage space. Kayaks that are intended for fishing purposes always have space for your bounty and fishing equipment, but some people also like bringing other personal belongings. For example, if you want to bring a gadget or extra food while fishing, you may want to invest in a kayak with a larger storage area.
Different Types of Kayak for Fishing
Kayaks are basically categorized into two according to type. They are as follows:
- SOT kayaks are open, spacious, and don’t offer much security. They are best used on calm waters which doesn’t require much effort to keep your balance. If you are not a seasoned kayaker, you may need to welcome a little bit of water in the kayak since the top is very open.
- A sit-on-top kayak also gives you more legroom, so if you want to stretch or bend your knees, this would be a great kayak to use. They also have very spacious compartments for your equipment.
Transporting these kayaks may be somewhat of a problem though since they tend to be bulky and heavy. They are best used when you go fishing on a lake on a nice day when the waters are calm.
- These kayaks are more secure and enclose your legs. There is a little compartment where your legs should go to make sure that the kayak is attached to you at all times. Sit-in kayaks are best used on waters that give you quite a challenge when it comes to the water condition, thus making them best for use on a river or the ocean. Additionally, they have specific compartments where you can put your fishing gear and also some personal belongings.
- Sit-in kayaks have a lot of similar features to a sit-on-top with the exception of an enclosed place to sit known as the cockpit. While it does give you a warmer ride, it will be a lot harder to drain the water in the event your kayak flips.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Fishing Kayak
1. Keep your fishing kayak clean. Clean your kayak with soap and water each time after use. Dirt can build up on your boat if it is not cleaned after every use – this can cause scratches on the surface of your kayak.
2. Use protective covers to keep your fishing kayak dry during the off-season.
3. Check your fishing kayak’s stability periodically and adjust as necessary.
4. Make sure you have the proper safety gear before going out on the water, including a life jacket, a PFD, and a well-fitted hat that will provide sun protection and keep your head from getting too hot. Check your gear regularly and replace broken or worn-out items.
5) Inspect the kayak’s hull for damage to the hull, scratches, rough spots, or cracks. If you notice any areas that are showing wear and tear, carefully sand down the rough spot to bring it up to a smooth finish. If there are any cracks in the hull of your kayak, you will need to have them patched up right away before they worsen.
How much weight can a fishing kayak hold?
Fishing kayaks can hold a lot of weight. Some fishing kayaks are designed to be used as dories and can hold up to 1500 lbs.
However, it is not recommended that you carry more than 500 pounds in your fishing kayak. You should always use the lightest weight gear possible. This ensures that you have the most flexibility for activities on the water and will result in a more enjoyable day.
What’s the difference between a fishing kayak and a regular kayak?
There is a big difference between a fishing kayak and a regular kayak. A fishing kayak has features that are specifically designed for fishers, from the shape of the hull to the position of the seat, and plenty in between. Most importantly, the hull of a fishing kayak is built so that it won’t easily tip over when you’re fighting a fish.
A normal kayak will tip over very quickly if you fight a fish, whereas this is less likely to happen on a fishing kayak. Fishing Kayaks are also durable and more comfortable to use because they have been made with fishing in mind.
Are there limitations for returning a fishing kayak?
The return policy on fishing kayaks can vary depending on the retailer. Some do not have a return policy at all, whereas others may offer a refund or an exchange if you are not satisfied with the product. Another option is to simply purchase a returnable fishing kayak from the start.
What is the size of the average fishing kayak?
Fishing kayaks come in a variety of sizes: from 12-footers to 16-footers, and even longer.
The length and width of fishing kayaks depend on the intended use. If you primarily fish in shallow waters, then you will want a shorter kayak with less width. If you are fishing in rougher waters, then your kayak will need to be broader and longer to provide stability.
You will also want to take into account the weight of the person using the boat. Fishing for hours at a time is exhausting! A lighter weight design is needed if one might be carrying it for long distances or paddling it frequently over rough terrain or obstacles within the water such as rocks or reefs.
What are the benefits of kayak fishing?
There are 7 Reasons to Try Kayak Fishing:
1. It’s a Great Way to Get Close to Nature
2. You’ll Feel the Adrenaline Rush of Paddling in Rough Waters
3. You’ll Meet New People with Similar Interests
4. You’ll Find Peace in Solitude on the Water
5. You Won’t Have to Deal with Parking Hassles or Traffic Jams
6. It’s Fun and Low-Cost Alternative for Outdoor Activity
7. It Provides Valuable Mental Health Benefits through Relaxation and Meditation
A lot of people who are interested in kayaking are also interested in fishing, and the two can go together very well. Fishing from a kayak can be done for many different types of fish, ranging from catfish to salmon, and even sharks.
You don’t have to know how to swim well in order to do this activity as kayaks are self-bailing; when you need air, just let water out through scuppers or dump it over the side with your paddle.
Kayak fishing offers many benefits including exercise, an opportunity for solitary contemplation while on the water, and even some relief from stress.
Aside from that, kayak fishing is also a great way to get a little exercise while potentially bringing home a trophy fish (or even dinner).
Fishing while on a kayak is a fun and rewarding experience. The best part is, you can get to enjoy the activity without having to spend thousands of cash just to do so.
With this list of the best fishing kayaks under $1,000, you can surely find the product you’re looking for.
Do you also have experience fishing in a kayak? Let us hear your thoughts below. Also, don’t forget to share this with your friends. Thanks for reading!
Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API