There are different ways to relax in these stressful times we live in. One of the best ways to do this is by kayaking. Almost nothing beats the feeling of kayaking. It relaxes the mind and body; it is very healthy.
To enjoy kayaking, or even to participate, you will need a kayak. There are so many models on the market right now. Some come at really high prices that you might find difficult to afford.
In this post, we will consider 10 best fishing kayaks under 500 that you can buy in 2020.
While you do not want to spend too much on a kayak, you should be careful not to buy a cheap model that will disappoint after just months of use. The budget-level options that we discuss in this article are excellent entry points for anyone interested in kayaking.
They are easy to maintain, portable, and relatively durable. Choose from the ten options below and get started on your kayaking ‘journey’.
Before we jump into the ten best fishing kayaks under 500 that you can buy in 2020, let us first discuss the essential factors to consider before buying one. Here’s our buyers’ guide below:
Since there are several models on the market, it can be difficult to choose an excellent option within your budget. This section contains the parameters that can assist you in making the right choice.
Features to consider while choosing Fishing Kayak (Buying Tips)
One of the main advantages of a kayak over a typical boat is its weight and portability. Therefore, when choosing a kayak, you should ensure that it is lightweight and easy to carry around. The kayak will need to be carried to and from the water.
You should note that an advanced fishing kayak is heavier than a simple model. Therefore, if you are just taking kayaking as a hobby, you should look out for lightweight models.
If you buy a heavy model, it won’t be pleasant lugging it around with you.
In most cases, the more accessories that your kayak comes with, the heavier it is.
Therefore, it is up to you to compromise between the portability and the accessories that come with the kayak.
This factor is largely dependent on the number of people that will use the kayak. If it is just you using the kayak, you’ll just need a small one. For example, a kayak around 10 feet in length should be enough.
Furthermore, the length depends on the type of water you’ll use the kayak. If you kayak on a large water surface, you should buy a long kayak. If kayaking is mainly on small water bodies, a shorter length will serve you. The short kayak is easier to control while the longer models are faster.
Before you buy, if it is possible, sit in the kayak to get a feel. Some models have adjustable foot positions, while others have fixed positions.
Aside from the length, you also need to consider how wide the kayak is. If you are kayak fishing, remember that you might stand several times as you cast. Therefore, you will require a wide kayak that offers you stability. A kayak around 30” width should be just enough for your needs.
As you head over to the water, you will likely take along several gears. Therefore, before heading out, make a list of what you will be taking a long and the space required for each piece of gear.
Some models on the market feature storage spaces that make it easier to keep your important stuff.
4. Carrying Capacity:
Since the kayak will carry the angler and equipment, you have to get a model that will safely carry you and your gear. Different models feature different carrying capacities, hence you should know how much you and your equipment weigh and compare it with what the kayak can safely carry.
5. Water Body:
The kayaks on the market are suited for different types of waters. Some are excellent for slow-moving flat-water fishing, while others are great for deep-sea fishing. Depending on the type of water body, you need to choose an effective and safe option.
6. Type of Kayak:
There are two main types of kayaks on the market today. These are the sit-in kayak and sit-on-top kayak.
The sit-in kayak comes with a cockpit and you are bound to the kayak seat. They usually have a small storage space. Therefore, if you will have plenty of equipment for kayaking, you might find it cumbersome maneuvering this type of kayak.
However, if you need a lightweight model, you will find this type to be excellent.
This type of kayak comes with an open cockpit with raised seats. It features double hulls that reduce the sinking factor. It also ensures water runs off as you surf. They are very easy to maneuver and are stable. The downside of this model is that it is heavier than other models.
10 Best Fishing Kayaks of 2020
The first unit on our lineup is an excellent option that will serve you well over fishing waters. It is a 10-feet long kayak that comes for less than 500.
The 10-feet length might be somewhat limited, but considering the price and the other features that it comes with; it is quite a bargain. It is a sit-on-top kayak.
- Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene. Stable Flat Bottom. Deep Hull Tracking Channels. Stability Chine Rails
Therefore, while it is slightly heavier than the other types of kayaks (sit-in), it is good for more types of water bodies. It is made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is quite durable and ensures the stability of the kayak.
This material is buoyant and is one of the reasons why the kayak can carry a weight of 200 pounds. There are spaces for the water to enter while surfing to pass through. The maximum carriage of 275 pounds is quite adequate to carry you and any fishing equipment you might bring along.
It weighs 52 pounds. Therefore, while many sit-in kayaks are lighter than others, it can still be carried to and from the water with some ease. The footrest positions are adjustable. Thus, different sizes of users can sit in.
There is enough storage space too as it has an expanded bow and stern. It also provides users with dedicated compartments for devices like smartphones and tablets.
As a fishing kayak, it comes with 3-rod holders. Although it isn’t very fast, it offers lots of stability.
- Tough HDPE material;
- Up to 3-rod holders;
- Excellent stability;
- Plenty of storage space;
- Adjustable footrest positions;
- Relatively light.
- It is slow;
- Seats are poorly padded.
Up next is this inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements. It is a double-seated kayak that allows more than one person at a time to kayak. It is also quite versatile and adjustable. Due to the design, you can convert this double-seated kayak to a Single deck or Double deck.
It is made from high-quality materials and feels really comfortable for two users. Despite the comfort and versatility, it comes at a low price and offers excellent value for money.
- Built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern and improve tracking
The kayak itself is made with three rubber layers. This triple protection ensures that it doesn’t puncture and leak easily.
Seating is comfortable as well. The seating arrangement allows you to enjoy solo paddling.
While the first reviewed option on this roundup features hard seats, this model comes with padded seats that allow you to sit for extended periods without feeling uncomfortable. Additionally, the seats are fully adjustable. Hence, you can shift it to a position that you feel most comfortable with.
- Comes at an affordable price;
- Paddling is very convenient;
- Triple rubber casing reduces the risk of puncture;
- Comfortable seats and seating positions.
- Difficult to disassemble;
- Has poor draining options.
The sit-on-top unit from Sun Dolphin is hands down one of the best fishing kayaks under 500 that you can find on the market today. It comes with a plethora of excellent features that will catch your attention and come in very useful.
Sun Dolphin has different types of fishing kayaks on the market, but this model comes with some features that differentiate it from the rest.
- Great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots
One such feature is the portable accessory carrier. This feature allows you to carry more equipment than usual. The kayak itself has a maximum load limit of 250 pounds. If you will exceed that weight, you can just put the equipment in the accessory carrier and tow it behind you.
Aside from that feature, it comes with all the other features found in most products from the manufacturer. For example, it has a UV-stabilize high-density polyethylene body. This is quite floatable and durable.
You will also get adjustable seats and adjustable footrests.
Since it is a fishing kayak, it doesn’t lack rod holders and comes with a pair of these useful design features.
As a sit-on-top kayak, you can rest assured that you have plenty of space and comfort as you kayak on the water. You will not feel cramped either by the kayak or your equipment.
- Super –comfortable kayak;
- Plenty of storage space;
- Rod and paddle holders;
- Portable carrier accessory;
- Excellent stability.
- Lacks scupper plugs;
- Poor tracking;
- Relatively low weight capacity.
The Perception Pescador was created and designed with functionality in mind. It is a very useful kayak that comes with adequate storage and plenty of room for you and your equipment.
There are two models in the Pescador series. The first one measures 10 feet, while the other, which we are reviewing now, has a length of up to 12 feet.
- Comfortable stadium-style seat with 2 seating positions
This sit-on-top kayak is great for fishing. Due to the design, you have more space to move around in the kayak as well as more space for your fishing equipment. The hull of this model is relatively wide, which offers certain advantages.
First, it is stable. It also reduces the claustrophobic feeling that many folks get when sitting in a kayak.
Despite the relatively large proportions, it is still lightweight. Thus, carrying it from your shed or car to the water and back is quite easy. You can, therefore, have fun on water bodies that heavier units won’t allow.
The polyethylene construction of the kayak’s hull is very durable. Therefore, you will use the unit for extended periods without any problems.
Comfort is a big deal for many kayak users, and fortunately, it is high on the list of benefits of this fishing kayak. The seat is padded and offers plenty of support. There is a backrest that offers plenty of support as you spend hours on the water.
- Tough and durable construction;
- Comfortable seat;
- Beautiful design;
- Impressive stability;
- Great tracking performance.
- Just a pair of rod holders;
- Limited dry storage area.
The next option is another sit-on-top model that prioritizes ease of use. Hence, it is one of the easiest models to use on this roundup.
Emotion has primarily made it for those just starting out in kayaking. It is no wonder, therefore, that it is very stable and comfortable.
- Constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability
While others on the market might make getting in and out rather difficult, it isn’t so with this model. It is very easy to slip in and out of. As a sit-on-top model, it allows water in, but all this water drains away via the scupper holes.
We believe you will appreciate its durability and quality of construction. This unit is made from high-density polyethylene. Therefore, it floats well and reduces the chances of a puncture.
It has a length of 10 feet, which allows for greater maneuverability. Tracking might be an issue here, but thankfully its Hull helps to correct course. If you will stand as you fish, you will definitely find the 36” width quite reassuring.
It weighs 49 pounds, which is lighter than the options discussed so far. Hence, a solo angler can put it in and out of the water easily.
Comfort is guaranteed here as well. There is a removable seat with a comfortable backrest; you can kayak for long periods without aches and pains at the end of the day.
There is a pair of rod holders as well.
It has a good weight capacity with a maximum of 300 pounds. All of these features make this model one of the best fishing kayaks under 500.
- High durability;
- Stable in water;
- Very comfortable;
- Disappointing tracking performance;
- Susceptible to strong winds.
The 2-person Coleman fishing kayak is one of the best 2 person fishing kayaks on the market right now.
The frame of this kayak is made of 18-gauge PVC pipe. Therefore, it is relatively strong and lightweight. The bottom of the kayak is made from 100-D tarpaulin and 840 nylon cover.
These combine to give a lightweight, stable, and reliable kayak.
- 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use , NMMA certified
Despite your best efforts, punctures are liable to occur in the kayak’s body. To mitigate this, the manufacturer has added multiple air chambers.
This kayak has the ability to hold up to 470 pounds; the most impressive capacity so far. This means you, along with your partner, can bring along equipment for kayak fishing. To complement the carrying capacity, it has several pockets. You will also find carrying handles in the kayak.
- Very durable;
- Comfortable fishing;
- Plenty of storage space;
- Plenty of space to stretch your legs.
- Poor quality rod holders;
- Lacks pump and paddle;
- Not good for water racing.
Although kayaking is a great activity to bring people together, not many models on the market can carry more than one person at a time. However, if you buy the BKC
TK219 fishing kayak, you can have a great time with your friends or family.
- Paddle Parks - Free your hands without the risk of losing your paddle thanks to the Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC TK219's secure paddle parks. Elastic bungee cords keep the paddle firmly in place, so you...
This spacious fishing kayak has the ability to safely carry up to three people. It is one of the best 3-person fishing kayaks on the market right now. It comes with 12 feet length, which ensures speed and plenty of space. The 34” width also makes it very stable as you stand to cast fishing lines.
The build quality is really impressive. It is made with some of the best quality materials available. It will last for a long time and can, as said earlier, sit up to three people at a go. The polyethylene material that the hull is made from is very durable.
Therefore, as you kayak, you will not have serious punctures even if you scrap against river rocks.
There are plenty of compartments in this excellent kayak. You can keep the equipment safely and comfortably. It is big enough to accommodate backpacks, coolers, and tanks.
The adjustable seats are quite comfortable, although they aren’t as comfortable as those found on some of the models reviewed on this roundup.
- Highly durable;
- Plenty of space;
- Can seat up to three people.
- Stability issues;
- Poor maneuverability.
The main distinction between this kayak and others on this roundup is that it is a pedal drive. This means that it leaves your hands free and you do not have to paddle. You can enjoy fishing even more. It is quiet (great when fishing as it won’t scare fish away).
However, since it is a new innovation, it might take time to master. Made of polyethylene plastic, it is quite durable and will prevent leakages over time.
- Pedal-driven performance at an unbelievable price - Made in USA
Storage capacity is decent, especially for a unit of this size. The model features a pair of inkwells. You can keep your belongings in either one, but note that the one in front is meant for belongings that you want to keep dry.
The 12’5” length is one of the longest on this roundup. This affords you plenty of speed. It has a 33.5” width that allows you to stand. It is quite stable and performs well in different conditions.
The seat is removable and comfortable when used. There is a quartet of rod holders on this kayak. These come in handy, helping you hold the rods and even your cameras.
Overall, it is truly an excellent option that offers excellent value for money.
- Good maneuverability;
- Decent storage capacity;
- Removable seat and pedal drive;
- Four-rod holders.
- The rudder is somewhat difficult to use.
The Sun Dolphin brand is one of the best brands in the kayaking industry, and it is no surprise that it has more than one model on this roundup of the best fishing kayaks under 500 today.
Aruba 10 is an impressive offering from the company. It is made of durable UV stabilized high-density polyethylene material.
- Large open cockpit with adjustable padded seat with high back support
This material will last for long and despite scraps from rocks and other stuff; it won’t puncture or tear easily.
It is tip-resistant, which is required if you are going on troubled waterways. Therefore, if you are just starting out, you will find it to be an excellent starting fishing kayak. Coupled with all the aforementioned features, it is also lightweight.
Therefore, it is easy for you to take it from your car to the water.
The build quality contributes to the overall appeal. As it is a single piece, it is stronger than other units that are joined together. You can enjoy this recreational kayak at a low price.
- High-quality materials;
- Impressive overall maneuverability.
- Lacks a paddle.
The 3-layer construction of the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is one of the reasons why it is so highly rated. The top and bottom of the kayak come with high-grade PVC and a polyester core.
This combination results in a kayak that is lightweight yet very durable. It is designed to repel UV radiation and survive abrasions.
- Super tough laminate PVC with polyester core: light weight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight
As an inflatable option, it does require more care than usual. However, when this is done, you can rest assured that it will last as long as the other non-inflatable models on the market.
It is a two-person seater. There is enough legroom for either partner to stretch their legs during kayaking. With an 18” height, it is high enough to keep out water.
Weighing 17.6 kg, it is one of the lightest to carry. It also comes with a storage bag that helps with portability.
As a fishing kayak, the rod holders come in very handy. It is placed in a comfortable place so you can reach it whenever you need it. Furthermore, these holders are designed out of the way of your paddle.
There is a pair of inflatable seats that you can adjust to enjoy a comfortable fishing experience. Storage is rather small compared with other options on the market.
- Removable and adjustable seats;
- Rod handles are easy to reach;
- Deflates after some time.