When it comes to fishing kayak, we can ask for quite a few things. These range from specially designed hatches, rod holders, GPS receiver to equipment mounts to name a few. However, everything comes at a cost and it is not unusual for fishing kayaks to cost upwards of $2000.
But who has that much money lain around to be spent? My guess is not many. Here comes the compromise, you get a kayak which is lower in price but does not have some of the high-end features.
Around $1000 is the mark where you begin to get some decent feature-rich fishing kayaks. Below that, it is finding a kayak which caters to your needs somewhat and gives you the best value for your bucks. Plus, in the future, you always have the chance to rig your kayak for accessories to make it a better fishing machine.
Budget fishing kayaks are everywhere. You put a search on Google and hundreds of options pop up. And that can be confusing for most people, especially if you are a beginner. This is where this piece will help you.
We have put efforts to come with a list of fishing kayaks that are not only inexpensive but also give the best value for your bucks.
Capable Yet Inexpensive – 12 Best Fishing Kayaks under $700
|Perception Pescador 12||Solo/SOT||Two||375 lbs.|
|Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable||Tandem/SOT||Two||400 lbs.|
|Ocean Kayak Malibu Two||Tandem/SOT||Zero||425 lbs.|
|Pelican Saber 100x Angler||Solo/SOT||Three||325 lbs.|
|Emotion Stealth 11'||Solo/SOT||Three||300 lbs.|
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame||Tandem/Sit-in||Zero||550 lbs.|
|Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100||Solo/SOT||Three||275 lbs.|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado||Tandem/Sit-in||Two||470 lbs.|
|Perception Sound 10.5||Solo/Sit-in||Two||335 lbs.|
|Brooklyn Kayak Company Kayak||Solo/SOT||Five||250 lbs.|
|Sea Eagle 370 Pro Inflatable||Tandem/Sit-in||Zero||650 lbs.|
|Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot||Solo/SOT||Zero||250 lbs.|
1. Perception Pescador 12 – Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Perception Kayaks need no introduction. They have been in business for over forty years now and have been producing some class-leading kayaks. The Perception kayak which fits our budget of under $700 is the Pescador 12. The Pescador series has Perception’s best-selling fishing kayaks and honestly, they deserve all the accolades.
Pescador Pro and Pescador Pilot represent more advanced kayaks as opposed to basic Pescador configuration. You can get the basic configuration in sizes of 10, 12, and 13 feet. The 13 feet Pescador is a tandem kayak and I would have loved to include in this list, but it is just above our threshold of $700.
However, it is noteworthy that both Pescador Pro and Pescador Pilot come in only 12 feet size.
As far as our pick is concerned, Perception Pescador 12, it is a sit-on-top kayak that has a solid polyethylene construction. It is 32” wide and weighs 64 lbs. By the way, polyethylene is the material you are going to see in most entry to intermediate level kayaks. It is durable and provides high impact resistance. However, most polyethylene kayaks don’t have the smoothest of finishes but I am impressed by the smooth finish of Pescador.
As far as storage is concerned, we have a large hatch at the front which is not watertight. Therefore, you would need to place your water-sensitive belongings in a plastic bag to be safe. In the middle, we have a standard bottle holder. And in the rear, we have an open storage area that is secured by a bungee cord. Here, you can place your crate or cooler. Here, you can place your camping gear as well but it will be exposed to splashes from water. However, this area does have scupper holes, so it keeps the water flushed.
So, on the whole, Pescador 12 has good storage options and that combined with an above-average weight capacity of 375 lbs makes us give it a big tick on storage. Although we can be critical of the front latch not being watertight, this is something we can workaround.
When we talk about the performance of Perception Pescador, we see that it has a relatively wide and flat hull design which makes it quite stable. However, it does not have much of a rocker or a streamlined finish which renders almost incapable of handling choppy waters.
So, we can conclude that it is good for calm lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers, but not best for the mainstream river or ocean.
When we talk about its suitability for fishing, Pescador 12 comes with only two flush-mounted rod holders which are at the back of your seat. However, we have two gear tracks on each side of the kayak and that would give you plenty of options to mount your fish finders and other rod holders. That would add to your ultimate cost but it would give you a ton of versatility.
2. Intex Excursion Pro – Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Intex needs no introduction in inflatables. It is the company that has made inflatables trust-worthy in terms of quality and durability. In boats and kayaks, Intex makes quite a few models, some of which start from unbelievably under $50 in its Challenger series.
Our pick, Excursion Pro, is easily Intex’s finest kayak. It is a tandem kayak, so you can have a partner on board with you and if you are a college student you can have a contributing partner and that would divide your cost further.
The best thing about Intex kayaks, and as is the case with our pick, you get everything you need to get started. From seats to pump, and from pedals to even a PSI gauge and a puncture patch. You get everything you need to be out in the water.
The first concern that anybody would naturally have with inflatable kayaks is their durability. However, with the advancement in technology, we have inflatable kayaks that are more durable than ever. The Excursion Pro has a PVC laminated polyester core. The best thing about this material is its higher tensile strength and that translates into higher resistance to punctures. This material also has higher impact resistance.
Inflatable kayaks also tend to bounce off rocks or other surfaces rather than having a solid impact like a hard-shell kayak. Still skeptical? Excursion Pro is made up of three chambers and even if one loses air for any reason, you would still have two chambers that would take you to safety.
The inflation and deflation of Intex Excursion Pro are easy with a high-output pump and spring-loaded valves. The good thing about these valves is that they either allow the air to get in or out at one time. Thus, if you have set them to inflate, whether you are pumping in or out they will only let air get in and not out. The total inflation time is less than 10 minutes and even around 5 minutes if you are quick about it.
From the comfort side of things, this kayak is not the best one around. The seats are not very rigid and sink into the kayak. However, you do get a seat booster that would lift you somewhat. You also get adjustable footrests which you can also place at three different positions according to your liking.
Performance-wise, Excursion Pro is fine for slow-moving rivers, ponds, and bays. It is stable with its I-beam floor and tracks reasonably well for an inflatable kayak with its removable skegs.
Nonetheless, if you would use this kayak for one person only, then it does give you good weight capacity to add your camping or fishing gear and better storage options.
3. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two – Best Tandem Fishing Kayak
Ocean Kayak makes quite a few budget kayaks and the thing I like the most about them is their attractive color combination. They are eye-catching and cool to look at. The vibrant colors in kayaks are a good safety option as the kayaks can be seen from a distance.
The Malibu Two is a 12-foot two-person sit-on-top kayak and has a width of 34 inches. It has good standard construction which we see in most budget kayaks these days and that is high-density polyethylene. This construction not only makes it lightweight but also gives it high corrosion and impact resistance.
It has a wide cockpit and a tri-form hull design which makes it handle different water conditions easily. I have used it in oceans and lakes and it performed seamlessly on most days. Let me say it performs even better when solo, so you can easily move between tandem and solo kayaking.
If you are a beginner or elderly, you will love its wide cockpit, which makes it easy to get in and out of it. The comfort side of things is made better by its four-way adjustable seats and grooved in footrests. The seats have good padding on them and provide a comfortable time fishing and kayaking.
4. Pelican Saber 100x Angler – Best Fishing Kayak Under 600
This next entry on our list of the best fishing kayaks under $700 is my personal favorite for a small budget fishing kayak. The construction, storage options, and fish-ability of this kayak are too good to be true for a 10-foot kayak.
Pelican, the brand, has been in business for over fifty years and nowadays they use the RAM-X materials for their kayaks. The thing to admire about this construction is that it is recyclable. Yes, we are not dealing with a plastic that would remain in the world for 1000 years and won’t decompose.
Pelican produces quite a few fishing kayaks with different names and there are some subtle differences among them. However, the overall construction and design are almost the same. For example, you would see an almost similar kayak in its Icon, Catch, Saber, or Basscreek lines of their fishing kayaks. We will be talking about the Saber 100x Angler in more detail and that should give you a clear idea about others as well.
As said, Pelican uses the patented RAM-X construction which is different from most of the budget kayaks. This is ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) which is more rigid than the standard polyethylene.
The kayak has a three-layer construction in which the outer layer is UV protected and that protects the kayak’s vibrant colors. The middle layer is HMWP and another layer of plastic adds to its rigidity and durability. Pelican had a bad reputation in terms of the durability of its kayaks, but not anymore. They are as durable as any other rotomolded kayak.
Easily the best thing about Pelican Saber 100x is its storage ability. In the front, we have an easy-latch hatch that you can make more useful by adding a basket. In the cockpit, we have a lie-flat bottle holder. Right behind the seat, we have a 4-inch hatch that does come with a storage bag. If these are not enough, you have a mesh-covered deck to stash your camping gear. All these storage options are remarkable for a small 10-foot kayak. What makes it better is a good max weight capacity of 325 pounds.
In terms of suitability for fishing, you have a swivel rod holder in the cockpit. Along with that, you get two flush-mounted rod holders right behind your seat. So, you have got a lot covered in terms of fish-ability of this Pelican sit-on-top kayak.
Performance-wise, because of its multi-chine flat hull, in the Pelican Saber 100x, we have a very stable kayak. Also, it tracks particularly well. However, because of its increased surface on the water, there is not much speed. Its small size, good stability, and not the best of speed make it suitable for lakes, ponds, and bays.
5. Emotion Stealth 11″ – Simple And Efficient Best Fishing Kayak Under 500
$500 is the non-official mark that separates the entry-level and intermediate-level fishing kayaks. Our next pick falls just at this mark, so we can expect a nice balance of cost and value.
Emotion Stealth is an 11-foot sit-on-top fishing kayak that has high-density polyethylene construction which makes it durable. However, it has been built using blow-molding which does not provide uniform thickness throughout the kayak. However, if the manufacturer pays attention to this fact and corrects any such areas, we have a tough-enough kayak to last you some time.
The thing to admire about this 11-foot kayak is the thoughtfulness of design. You have a lot of storage options onboard, but still, you feel the cockpit is spacious. The Stealth comes in different color options, but I like the Sandstone which has a matte finish but its understated look and relatively uncommon color do stand out.
Talking of storage options, in the front end, we have an open space that is secured by a bungee cord. Here, you can stash your camping gear and secure it with the bungee. In the cockpit, we have a hatch that essentially stores stuff in the hull, but you can add a basket to make it more useful. In the back, we have a mesh-secured area and it also has an open area where you can place your crate or cooler.
Performance-wise, you will love its stability. With its wide cockpit at 30 inches, I would say it is stable enough to stand and gives another dimension to your fishing. It does not have much of a rocker, so it is not suitable for rivers or oceans. However, it does track well with its easy-roll skeg.
This easy-roll skeg also helps in moving the kayak to and from the water. Also, we have grab handles, one each at bow and stern and one on each side. It is a bit heavy at 59 pounds but, as said, easy-roll skeg does help in easy transportation and you don’t need to carry it to and from water.
I am not a big fan of Emotion Stealth’s seat. This is because it does not have much padding and it can inhibit you from spending a long time fishing. However, the comfort side of things is improved by multiple grooved footrests.
6. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Tandem Inflatable Kayak – Best Sit-In Kayak
Advanced Elements began its operation in 2006 and over the years has made a name for itself with quality innovative kayaks. This next entry on our list is a 15-foot tandem inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements.
Easily the best thing about this kayak is its AdvancedFrame. This involves an aluminum rib which you will find at the back and the stern of the kayak. It keeps these areas rigid and keeps them from veering. Thus, you get tracking which is unseen in inflatables. This is further improved by a removable skeg in the base.
It does not end here, because it is a sit-in kayak, it naturally has better tracking than sit-on-top kayaks.
In terms of construction, we have PVC tarpaulin which makes the hull. It consists of three layers. We have the middle layer of polyester fabric sandwiched between two layers of vinyl. Tarp is resistant to impact and puncture and would withstand almost anything. I have to say this is one of the best constructions in today’s inflatable kayaks.
As said, this is a tandem kayak, so you can take a friend or a family member with you. However, you can easily convert this kayak into a solo kayak. This is why it is called convertible
7. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 – Best Fishing Kayak For The Money
Lifetime Products is a name best known for its affordability. As far as our pick Tamarack is concerned, it has more to give than its price would suggest. It comes at around the $400-500 mark depending on the time of the year you get it. However, there are not any meaningful areas where it would disappoint you.
Starting from the construction, it has a solid build of high-density polyethylene which has further reinforcement that makes it UV resistant. It utilizes blow-molding and that makes it more rigid and impact resistant. In short, you are looking at years of service from this kayak.
At 10-foot long, Tamarack can be classified as a short kayak. What you get with short kayaks is good maneuverability. However, short kayaks are usually unstable. But, not Tamarack, it has a flat hull which makes it stable, but at the same time makes it unsuitable for any ocean waves. It has an integrated skeg which improves its tracking. Speed is not its strong suit, but it has got a sharp bow which gives it some push.
When we talk about the suitability of this kayak for fishing, we see that it has a swivel rod holder on the side. Plus, it has a couple of flush-mounted rod holders on each side of the back. However, if you would like to add a fish finder or a transducer, you will need to make some adjustments.
8. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Fishing Kayak – Best River Fishing Kayak
Sevylor has been in business since 1949 and they must be doing something right that is keeping them going. They manufacture different water sports equipment including kayaks, canoes, and other floatables. In kayaks, they have seven different models going on and our pick is one of them. It is essentially a tandem or two-person inflatable kayak, so you can take a companion on your fishing trip.
In terms of construction, Sevylor Coleman Colorado has the mainframe made up of 18-gauge PVC. Plus, it has a bottom built of 1000 Denier tarpaulin. Anything above 1000 Denier is generally considered durable, so you can expect good service from this kayak.
Like most inflatable kayaks these days, Sevylor Coleman has a multi-chamber built. What this means for you is that even if one chamber gets punctured, you would still have others to take you ashore
As far as the fish-ability of Sevylor Coleman is concerned, you have Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders on each side and that gives easy rod holding and essentially hands-free fishing.
Performance-wise, this kayak maneuvers easily and tracks well with its removable skeg. However, don’t expect it to win any speeding competition. With its high rocker, you can take into class II and III whitewater and it handles well.
As said earlier, this kayak is made for two persons, but you can also use it solo. This ability makes it versatile. In fact, with two persons on, you won’t have any space left for your gear. Talking about the storage space, there are pockets on board which does give you the ability to stash some of your gear and other snacks and drinks.
9. Perception Sound 10.5 Fishing Kayak – A Sound Performer With Solid Comfort
The next entry on our list for best fishing kayaks under $700 is a sit-in kayak. Sit-in kayaks are generally considered to be more stable and they are easy to maneuver. They are also good in cooler waters as you can add a spray skirt or a combing and they would prevent water splashes and would keep you warm.
As you can probably guess, Perception Sounds is 10 feet and 6 inches long. It has a high-density roto-molded polyethylene construction and this is one of the most durable constructions you are going to find in budget kayaks.
When we talk of storage, there is no dedicated dry storage compartment. However, you can stash some gear in the bow area. Nonetheless, there is a bungee-secured area in the rear end and you can use this to put a crate or a small tent if you are going on a camping tour. Also, it has a small dashboard that also has a cord to secure some of your items.
From a fishing point of view, Perception Sound does come with two built-in rod holders. These are just behind your seat on each side. However, in the front, you have square areas which are built to add Scotty mounts. You can use these mounts for attaching accessories like cup holders, rod holders, or a fish finder.
Performance-wise, because of its tri-hull design, it is stable of water. This is further helped by its being a sit-in kayak with its low center of gravity. It is also a relatively fast kayak because of its streamlined design which cuts through the water easily.
10. Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-FK184 Fishing Kayak – Compact and Max Fish-Ability
Brooklyn Kayak Company’s (BKC) model UH-FK 184 has all the potential to be your next favorite fishing kayak. It comes with all you need to fish all day long with all your tools and weapons easily accessible.
This 9-foot kayak has a solid HDPE construction and it has UV protection which gives it colorfastness. It has a good rocker at the front and that gives it good volume and the ability to punch through heavy waters. Moreover, it has a hull design which ensures good tracking and stability.
When it comes to storage, you will like that it comes with two dry hatches in the cockpit. The good thing about these hatches is that they come with net boxes that keep your stuff secure and dry. There is also a bungee-supported open area in the back. In the cockpit, you have a lay-flat bottle holder.
From a fishing standpoint, it has five-rod holders. Four of these are flush mounted and one top mounted. The flush-mounted rod holders have lids on them which ensure that they don’t get filled in with water when they do not have rods in them. Plus, you have paddle parks on the side to place your paddle when you are actively reeling or casting.
11. Sea Eagle 370 Pro – Best Fishing Kayak Under $400
Sea Eagle has made a name for itself in a short time and is producing some class-leading feature-rich kayaks. Sea Eagle 370 Pro is easily its best-selling kayak because of the value it has to offer.
First of all, it has a construction that would make any hard-shell kayak jealous. It utilizes 38 mm PolyKrylar which is K80 PVC which gives this kayak a uniform construction throughout. Plus, it is resistant to sun and saltwater and that makes it suitable for a variety of water conditions. Sea Eagle 370 Pro is National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) certified and is rated for Class III whitewater.
Sea Eagle says it can carry three persons which is true to some extent as it can carry two adults and a kid or a pet, but not three adults. However, it has a great capacity at 650 pounds to support quite heavy individuals and still would have the capacity to accommodate your camping and fishing gear. Although it does not have any dedicated storage areas, you can store some of your water-sensitive stuff under the sprayskirts.
Quick inflation of Sea Eagle 370 Pro is ensured by five one-way valves. This kayak comes with a foot pedal that you can use to set this up in around 10 mins. You can accelerate by employing another man or use an electric pump.
Sea Eagle 370 Pro consists of three air chambers and they inflate separately. This is an important safety feature which ensures that you get ashore even when one chamber gets punctured. You have pressure gauges for side chambers and that ensures you don’t over or under-inflate them. However, the floor does not have a gauge and use your best judgment for the floor.
From a performance point of view, it has two rear skegs made up of molded plastic which improve its tracking. From a stability point of view, it has a five-tube I-beam floor which makes it rigid and provides stability. Because of its length and large air chambers, Sea Eagle 370 Pro is not the best of performers in windy conditions as it gets pushed around.
When we talk about the comfort side of things, you will like its seats. It comes with two inflatable seats that provide good back and bottom support. These seats have pockets on the backside which you can use to put your cell phone or even a snack.
Sea Eagle does manufacture a storage box that gives you the ability to secure your stuff and has two-rod holders.
12. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 – Best Beginner Fishing Kayak
The next entry on our list is a 10-foot sit-on-top kayak and is beginner-friendly with its wide cockpit and stability. Moreover, it just weighs 44 pounds which makes it easy to carry. However, that’s not all to it.
Bali SS 10 has a rugged construction that utilizes high-density polyethylene (HDPE). I like HDPE for its high strength-to-density ratio and this translates into high impact resistance. Also, Bali SS 10 has Fortiflex reinforcement which gives it UV resistance and makes it more durable.
In terms of storage, this kayak has a hatch in the cockpit which is not big but you can keep your cellphone or some lures. You also have a bottle/cup holder in the cockpit. There are also a couple of shock rigging areas in the cockpit where you can place some easily accessible stuff.
There is a dry hatch in the stern and what Sun Dolphin calls the Portable Accessory Carrier which is essentially a bungee-supported area and you can place your camping gear. In short, Sun Dolphin has done a good job by coming up with such good storage options in a kayak of this size.
From the performance side of things, don’t expect it to be a speedster. It is stable with its wide hull and tracks reasonably okay. Plus, like any small kayak, it is easy to maneuver. It does not come with any rod holders, but you can customize it by adding any Scotty mounts.
Fishing Kayak vs Canoe – Which One Is For You
If you are looking for a difference between fishing kayak and canoe and which one you should choose, here is the explanation. It lies in the very essence of these two boats.
Canoes are generally larger and more in weight than kayaks. Canoes that we see today are more than 13 feet long. However, kayaks, on the other hand, are sleeker and shorter and it is not uncommon for kayaks to be below 10 feet.
While kayaks can be both sit-in meaning closed cockpit or sit-on-top meaning open cockpit, canoes have an open and wider cockpit.
Because of their wider frame, canoes are generally more stable. However, because of their sleeker design, kayaks are easy to paddle and have more speed.
Thus, from a fishing point of view, because canoes are more stable they are good for standing fishing. However, because of their increased size and weight, they are difficult to paddle. Fishing kayaks, on the other hand, are sleeker and they can take you to tight corners and are easy to paddle and are speedy.
Fishing Kayak Vs Recreational Kayak
As you can probably guess, a fishing kayak is used for fishing and these specifically designed kayaks are with accessories to help you in fishing. Recreational kayaks are you are exploring or touring kayaks. You don’t need any specific accessories, but there are a couple of things that you can ask like good storage.
In terms of design, recreational kayaks tend to have a wider hull design and that makes them more stable. Fishing kayaks, on the other hand, use skegs and have a sleeker design to make them reach specific points quickly and accurately.
You can use recreational kayaks to go on camping tours and that requires the kayak to have good storage capacity. Fishing kayaks are for fishing and you require rod holders, GPS receivers, and mounts to attach fish finders and other gadgets and sometimes a live tank for your lure and catch.
In terms of price, you can get your hand on a decent recreational kayak for around $500. However, if you are looking for a decent feature-rich fishing kayak, these may start more than $1000. Nonetheless, the good news is that you can customize a recreational kayak according to your fishing needs and make a budget fishing kayak.
Buyer’s Guide for Best Fishing Kayaks Under $700 – How We Select
We layout our picks and we hope you can find one for your next fishing excursion. However, we are not here to tell you what we like. The purpose is to make better choices and know what you are buying.
Next, we will explain what you need to see in a kayak to get the best out of your bucks. In this condition here, we have a couple of pre-set preferences, we want a fishing kayak that is under $700, right?
Let me clear one thing, this is a price point which is entry-level or at the best intermediate level in fishing kayaks. Thus, we should lower our expectations and find the one which has the best value.
Type of Kayak – An Important Consideration
The imminent question we would need to answer whenever going for a kayak is what type of kayak we want. Yes, we know, we are looking for a fishing kayak but that is not the only type. We can go for either a sit-in kayak or a sit-on-top kayak. This differentiation is based on your seating position in a kayak. And this determines a lot of factors when it comes to the performance of the kayak.
The sit-on-top kayaks generally have a wider cockpit and this provides an ease to movement. Plus, because of their wider hull, they are generally more stable. However, they are not the best when it comes to speed. Sit-on-top kayaks are good for people who would like the ease of movement because of whatever reason. It may be because they are nervous or just want a higher sitting position because of either bad knees or a bad back.
In sit-in kayaks, you are sitting in the cockpit. They have a narrower hull and this helps in tracking and because of their expected streamlined design they have more speed than sit-on-top kayaks.
Moreover, in sit-on-top kayaks, you are exposed to the environment, be it sun or water. So, if you have sensitive skin, sit-on-top kayaks may not be a good option. For such people, sit-in kayaks are better because they do provide a barrier between the environment and your skin.
Inflatable Vs Hard Kayaks
This is another battle that you need to decide on. From a performance on the water point of view, I would say they are almost the same. These are the out-of-water features that need a look at.
There is a general misconception that inflatable kayaks are cheap. But, if you are looking for a quality inflatable kayak, these do start more than $300. So, quality inflatable kayaks are not dirt cheap but in our range of under $700, we can find some decent options.
Coming back to inflatable vs hard kayaks, for inflatable kayaks, you need inflation and there is a whole routine that you need to follow before putting them on water. However, hard kayaks are ready to roar straight away and be put on water.
Inflatable kayaks are easy to store and this can be the one deciding point for many people. Yes, if you have cramped up living space or don’t have transport to carry hard-shell kayaks, inflatable kayaks can be life-savers. They deflate to a fraction of their size and you can simply carry them and store them underneath your bed. So, that is a big plus for inflatables.
However, no matter how rugged inflatable kayaks are built, they are prone to punctures and that is an inconvenience. Also, they can last you two to three seasons but they do degrade and are not that as durable as quality hard kayaks that can last you a lifetime.
Construction – Always Important
This needs no mentioning but the construction of the kayak is important. Most of the budget rigid kayaks are made up of plastic. However, different kayak companies use different techniques and some reinforce the construction with some other materials to make them more durable.
These budget kayaks use high-density polyethylene for their construction and they can be roto-molded or blow-molded. Both of these methods have their supporters and I do not really see major differences, so you can go with either of them.
Fish-Ability Of A Kayak
Fishing is a sport where we need tools and we need quite a lot of trickery to catch fish. So, we should preferably look for a kayak that is built for fishing.
As said earlier, a fishing kayak can come accessorized with rod holders, GPS receiver, storage for fishing gear, anchor, mounts for fishfinders, and even live-bait containers. However, at the price we are at $700, the best you can hope for are rod holders, gear mounts, and dry storage compartments. Open cut-outs for stashing your fishing and camping gear are also common in budget fishing kayaks.
However, a kayak can have a lot of these things but still of no use and that is because of the quality of these accessories. Therefore, always look for quality accessories because you can always customize your kayak.
Seating & Comfort
Seats are important in fishing kayaks because they let you spend time comfortably. However, this is an area that is usually compromised in budget kayaks. Nonetheless, if you look hard enough, there are budget options that have very good seats.
For example, Both Perception kayaks in our list have well-padded backrests and bottom supports.
However, if your kayak does not come with a good seat, you can always customize by adding a cushion or some other chair that you find comfortable. Other things from a comforting side of things include adjustable or grooved footrests.
How to outfit a kayak for fishing – A Simple Guide
We talked about customizing your kayak for your fishing needs. This is especially important in budget kayaks because they may or may not come with all the accessories you need. You can make your kayak an absolute fishing machine by attaching some basic and some advanced tools and gadgets. Here is how to set up a kayak for fishing.
First of all, you need to always put your flotation device (PFD) on. This is a must-have because, believe me, people lose their lives every single day because of not putting safety first.
In terms of fishing specifically, you need somewhere to store your tackle. It can be a specially designed storage compartment on the kayak or you can place your box to store on the kayak. I have a Yakattack BlackPak on my yak and the advantage I have with this is that it has three-rod holders. So, not only it enables me to store gear but also gives me three-rod holders, which are great to have on hand. This is your basic outfitting for a fishing kayak.
However, if you are a serious bass angler or participate in fishing tournaments, you would need some advanced rigging. First, you will need to rig a fishfinder. If you have a dry storage compartment in the cockpit, you can just simply use this to run your fishfinder. If you do not have a dedicated compartment, have a gear track on the side and mount your fish finder there.
Yes, your decision is right, $700 is the point where you can expect some quality fishing kayaks. They may not come with all the necessary accessories you need to win fishing tournaments, but they can still give you a nice fishing story to tell your grandkids.
The market for budget kayaks is huge. This mostly consists of people who have a season at their hand and want to spend quality nature time. Some students want to pick up kayak fishing as a hobby and are not open to spending extra.
This huge market brings many companies to try their luck and believe me this is something for everyone. However, if you are looking for a quality fishing kayak, you are asking for specialty and that requires better performing kayaks which are not only built right but also can help you with your fishing.
We spent quite a few hours and used our experience of kayaks to good use to come with this list of 12 best fishing kayaks under $700. Hopefully, it will help you to narrow down your choices. If you would ask me for my favorite, it would be Perception Pescador 12. Its solid construction is matched by its good storage options and built-in rod holders. What makes it even better is its well-padded seats to make your fishing trips hassle-free.
In the end, we lay out our buyer’s guide and that explains what you need to look for in budget fishing kayaks in general.
We do hope that the effort we put in to bring up this piece will help you decide your next favorite fishing kayak.