5 Best Fishing Kayaks for the Money

Fishing kayaks are a great way to get out on the water if you want to go fishing. These kayaks are designed specifically for fishing and they have plenty of room for you to move around (well they are a little bigger than standard kayaks.

These kayaks also come with some great features that make them an awesome addition to your boat arsenal. Some of these features include rod holders, fish finders, etc.

This article will help you find one of the best fishing kayaks for your needs and budget, based on your preferences.

What is a fishing kayak?

A fishing kayak is a type of kayak that is specifically designed for fishing, whether it is for leisure or sports competitions. Fishing kayaks are normally wider and shorter than other types of kayaks, which means they are easier to paddle.

They have more storage space for your fishing equipment, so you don’t have to carry all your stuff on your back. This type of kayak has specially designed seats that are fitted with footrests so you don’t have to sit on the hard bottom.

In the case that you are a fan of fishing and exercising, then you are at luck as you can have both. With the best fishing kayak, you can effortlessly go ou there on the water while fishing for your favorite fish.

So, for those of you who are new to the sport, kayak fishing is simply a method for fishing where you use a kayak.

Can you fish out of a kayak?

best fishing kayaks

The simple answer is yes you can fish out of a kayak. While many people might say that fishing can only be done from a boat, there are some who disagree. And the ones who disagree think that kayaks are pretty good for fishing on lakes, at sea and in rivers too.

Advantages:

  • Some fishermen advocate kayaks because they are less expensive than boats. This is a kayak fishing best advantage – Money is why many would go for using a kayak for going out there and catching some nice fish.

  • They are much cheaper than buying a boat. In fact, you may be able to buy a kayak for every member of your family for the price of a boat. You’ll also be able to buy the gears and the means to transport the kayaks around for your fishing trip. It is a no-brainer really. While the best fishing kayak is still not cheap, it is much less of an investment than a motorized boat.
  • Kayaks are more agile in shallow waters and easier to maneuver.

  • With a kayak, you can access some areas that boats are not able to reach. In essence, it allows you to get to places you wouldn’t be able to get to with a boat.  This is great for swamps and marshes where there is lots of junk in the water that could damage your motor.

  • Although kayaks cannot carry as much cargo or passengers as a boat, their lightweight is an asset when it comes to portaging around locations with difficult access.

  • Kayaks are definitely more environmentally friendly than your average gas-guzzling motorboat.
  • Since kayaks are just much quieter than motorboats, it lets you be stealthy and creep up on fish like cobia or flounder, which can be easily spooked.
  • You also have much better casting angles on a fishing kayak, which translates into a much higher catch rate.
  • You get a lot more exercise with a fishing kayak, which is pretty self-explanatory.
  • If you ever get bored of fishing, you can always just go kayaking. The possibilities are endless.

Disadvantages of kayak fishing:

  • Kayaks are not ideal vessels when it comes to fish and hunting.

  • Kayaks may be stable but they lack the storage space of a typical boat which means you will have to pack in all your gear in order to go out on the water.

What’s the difference between a fishing kayak and a regular kayak?

A regular kayak is usually made of aluminum or fiberglass, which is not very buoyant. The fishing kayak has a slightly different design, it is made of plastic and usually has a flat bottom. This makes it more buoyant and better suited for fishing.

Why is kayak fishing so popular?

Kayak Fishing at the lake

The popularity of kayak fishing is due to the fact that it provides a challenging and fun way to fish in a relatively safe environment. It allows you to fish but also practice your favorite sport.

In essence, you can combine two sports, the first being kayaking and the second being fishing. And you’ll be outdoor for quite some time away from the stress of the cities and work, which will provide your brain a well-deserved rest.

Kayaks in general are light and also very maneuverable, which makes them a great choice for this type of activity. Fishing from a kayak is not difficult, but it does require some skill and knowledge about fishing and kayaking techniques in general.

If you use the right kayak setup, you’ll be able to get just about anywhere you want on the water quickly and easily.

Which is better kayak or canoe?

Kayaks are better than canoes because they are less bulky and they have higher capacity. Here is a quick comparison snapshot (not exhaustive).

Advantages of kayaks when compared to canoes:

  • Kayaks are less bulky and can be carried easily to the water.
  • They require the paddler to be fit and strong as they sometimes need to paddle quite a lot.
  • Kayakers have better speed and maneuverability.

Advantages of canoes when compared to kayaks:

  • Canoes are more stable which makes them more suitable for beginners as well as inexperienced paddlers.
  • They have more capacity which means that they can carry more people or heavier items with them on water.

Is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?

best kayaks for fishing

Many people on the internet debate on whether or not it is worth buying a kayak for fishing. Some of the arguments include the high cost of a kayak, lack of storage space, and how difficult it is to transport.

However, there are many benefits to owning a kayak that is not addressed by either side of the debate. These include being able to explore rivers, lakes, and oceans without any worry about getting pulled out into deep water.

Some fishermen use kayaks as their main mode of transportation when they are fishing in specific locations that are not accessible by car or boat.

What are the types of fishing kayaks?

When searching for the best fishing kayak, you really have four different types to choose from:

  1. Sit on top.
  2. Open design
  3. Sit-in design.
  4. Closed design

The sit-on-top/open design fishing kayaks are probably the most common type because they are simply easier to get in and out of. They are also easy to move around in, have easy access to lots of equipment and accessories, and are easier to bring in fish.

You won’t feel confined in a sit-on-top kayak and you’ll have a great field of vision. The downside is you will probably get wet, you’ll be less warm (cold at times, but fun and you can wear a jumper), and you may be more nervous paddling so high up.

Sit-in kayaks are great for fishermen who paddling in cooler weather and want to stay dry and warm due to the enclosed design of the cockpit.

They are more suited for more experienced professional paddlers who have more control over the kayak and its maneuverability.

Since you have a lower center of gravity, you can go faster in the sit-in fishing kayak, all less being equal.  The trade-off is that movement is restricted and it is rather difficult to enter and exit.

What do you need to know before buying a kayak?

Once you have decided on a sit-in or sit-on-top design, you then have to pick a boat length, material, and the type of fishing kayak you want.

Finding the best fishing kayak is really up to your preferences here. In terms of boat length, in general, the longer and more narrow kayaks will go faster, but the trade-off is that it is less stable.

Shorter and wider fishing kayaks will be slower but also be a lot more stable. Many sit on top fishing kayaks are wider because they are designed for recreational purposes and need stability.

You should also consider the material type when picking the best fishing kayak. The most common type of material is a hardshell polyurethane plastic that can come in one of the multiple layers.

If you want something more lightweight and more expensive, you should go for fiberglass, even Kevlar carbon which is the ultimate fishing kayak material. There are also inflatable fishing kayaks, made of rubber fabric.

They are usually dirt cheap and portable enough to stuff into a backpack. However, they are generally pretty slow and risk getting punctured.

You can also have a pedal kayak. The paddle is operated by moving your feet, which frees your hands and allows you to fish and move at the same time. The trade-off is that they are usually pretty expensive and heavy, so difficult to transport.

So there you have it: all the different ways you can arrange a fishing kayak. Before diving into an expensive kayak you need to ask yourself some basic questions. Will you be using the fishing kayak for the open sea or freshwater lakes?

Will you be in a warm or cold environment? How are you going to get the kayak back home? What kind of fish is your catching?

The answer to these questions will help you determine the best fishing kayak for your needs. After countless hours of field research and testing, we have put together some reviews of what we think are the top fishing kayaks on the market today. Please see our recommendations below.

What are the best fishing kayaks?

Here are four fishing kayaks that we have tested. We have used other gear such are rods, bags, nets, to ensure these can take the load and are still stable. Here are The Best Fishing Kayak Reviews:

    1. Sevylor Coleman Colorado, 10-Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak (Inflatable, $$)
    2. Sun Dolphin Excursion, 10-Foot Solo Fishing Kayak (Sit-In, $$)
    3. Lifetime Sport Fisher, 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak (Sit-On-Top, $$$)
    4. Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle (Sit-On-Top, $$$$$)
    5. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak ($$)

1. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 10-Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak (Inflatable, $$)

best fishing kayakThe Sevylor Coleman Colorado is the best fishing kayak if you are looking for something inflatable and extremely durable. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this kayak is inflatable: it is built like a tank.

It is ok to use an inflatable kayak – even the Navy Seals use inflatable crafts. This fishing kayak is made from 18 gauge PVC construction and features two comfortable seats.

There is enough room for both people to fit comfortably with ample space for equipment.

It can handle about 470 pounds of weight. The seats are adjustable and definitely don’t feel stiff so you can pretty much sit in them all day.

There are also multiple air chamber, so if one just so happens to break, you fishing kayak won’t just sink.

To add to the durability, there is a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover. This makes the inflatable portion nice and thick. Basically what we are saying it is going to take a lot more than a scratch to puncture this thing.

You have to want to make a dent in it to actually do it any harm.

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado comes with built-in rod holders so you can row while fishing and paddle holders in case you get tired of paddling. You can even fit a trolling motor and a marine battery in this craft.

In terms of storage, there are nice mesh pockets along the side to put gear.

There is no wasted space: every piece of gear on the Sevylor Coleman Colorado was designed to fit its purpose. Pump and paddles are not included, but you do get a nice carrying bag and a pressure gauge.

With an inflatable fishing kayak, you can easily go on fishing trips without a giant truck to tow your kayak.

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2. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Solo Fishing Kayak (Sit-In, $$$)

best fishing kayakThe Sun Dolphin Excursion is the best fishing kayak if you want to do some lone wolf fishing. This is a one-man sit-on fishing kayak.

It is designed for speed and a bit of stability. The kayak is really fun for professionals and wells as and those who have some basic experience with paddling and balance.

But let us just warn you, this kayak is not one of those speed demons.

It is really designed as an entry-level sit-in fishing kayak.  It holds lots of gear with two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder. The seat is really comfortable and has lots of padding, which is always helpful for your back.

The Sun Dolphin Excursion is made of polyurethane plastic, so pretty durable and tough, but obviously not fiberglass or Kevlar.

There is a large storage hatch in the back to store things like bait, food, and beverages.

And since it is only 40 pounds, it is extremely lightweight and you can just throw this on your shoulders and carry it out the open waters. It makes transporting super easy as well. It has easy carry handles and you can toss it onto a rack in your truck by yourself.

Overall, this is a great entry-level kayak for a solo fisherman who wants the convenience of being able to transport this easily, the durability to survive out all day in the waters, and a nice balance between speed and stability.

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3. Lifetime Sport Fisher, 10 Foot Tandem Kayak (Sit-On-Top, $$$)

best fishing kayakIf you want the best fishing kayak as a tandem, we think you should consider the Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak.

It is so popular in the sporting industry for budget fishing kayakers that it has become iconic. This sit-on-top fishing kayak is designed to fit up to 3 people and 500 pounds.

Realistically, you can only squeeze 2 people in this kayak since it only comes with 2 padded backrests.

It is made of durable high-density polyurethane plastic and weighs 66 pounds, a bit of a struggle to transport solo, but definitely doable.

We really like the stability of the Lifetime Sport Fisher.

It is stable enough for you to even stand on it, so for those moments when you need some extra leverage to reel in a fish, this really comes in handy.

This kayak comes loaded with accessories and functionality: it has three fishing rod holders, an interior storage hatch, trays for holding things, cup holders, plugs to drain the cockpit area, and a front cargo area with straps.

The only thing we have to complain about the Lifetime Sport Fisher is that it doesn’t have a bottom cushion and it’s rather slow and heavy. But for the price, versatility, and features, you cannot find a better tandem fishing kayak than the Lifetime Sport Fisher.

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4. Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle, Sandstone, 101″( $$$$)

Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with PaddleLifetime makes an incredible line of top-end kayaks and we were lucky enough to test drive one of their top models: the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle, Sandstone, 101″ which is a sit-on-top kayak.

This is the best fishing kayak if you are dead serious about the sport and want to paddle with your feet. Everything about this kayak wrecks seasoned veteran and professional hunter.

It comes with two nice huge 6″ storage sot that you can store your fish, gear, cooler with ice, beverages, food, and whatnot. It has a lot of storage for angling, including vertical and horizontal rod holders potential and a bunch of mounts for installing accessories like a fish finder.

Everything geared towards fishing is right at your fingertips. The fishing tackle is right in front of you in a compartment. There is a nice standing bar and a standing platform, which gives you extra stability when you are standing to fish.

The seat is nice but not too comfortable so you stay awake. It feels like one of those high-tech chairs found in fancy offices.

All we have to say is that the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle is decked out. As long as you have to funds to pay for it, we say this is the best fishing kayak if you want a pro model.

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5. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak ($$)

Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle
The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is the perfect boat for fishing enthusiasts who are looking for a lightweight, durable, and easy-to-launch kayak.

This kayak has a high-pressure inflation that provides extra rigidity and stability, with high-pressure spring-loaded valves for easy inflation and fast deflation.

The removable skews provide deep water stability, while the two removable floor-mounted footrests provide shallow water stability.

This boat also includes 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, 2 adjustable bucket seats, a removable mounting bracket for additional accessories, storage space in bow and stern with stainless steel d rings to tie down dry bags and gear.

With a total weight capacity of 400 pounds, this kayak can easily accommodate heavy gear without being too cumbersome to handle.

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak comes with an 86 inch aluminum oars and high output pump.

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How to find a good cheap fishing kayak?

A good cheap fishing kayak is one that is not only affordable but also has an adequate amount of storage space for all your fishing gear.

However, there are some pitfalls to watch out for when you are looking for a budget-friendly fishing kayak.

Some factors that can affect the quality of cheap kayaks are manufacturing quality, customer reviews, and warranty.

It is important to do research before buying the “best inexpensive fishing kayak” so you can avoid purchasing one that will fall apart after just a few outings.

Among the many best hobie fishing kayaks available on the market today, some stand out by being more durable than others.

To summarize, while you are looking for a fishing kayak’s best value, ensure that it has, as a minimum two main things: (a) good reviews and (b) warranties.

What do you need to look for when buying a paddle for your fishing kayak?

When you’re looking for the perfect fishing kayak paddle, there are a few key things to understand.

The first is that different kayak paddles serve different purposes and may be designed to row in different ways.

A general rule of thumb is that a longer paddle will give you more power and speed, while a shorter one will be more agile and easy to maneuver.

However, it’s always best to test out paddles at your local kayak retailer because each person may have a different preference.

What are some things to consider when choosing a lightweight fishing kayak?

The first thing to consider is the size of the kayak. You want to find the best rated fishing kayak that is at least 16 feet long, but one that is also not too wide, neither too narrow.

A wider kayak will be difficult for you to control and maneuver on the water. The length of the kayak will determine how stable it is on the water. The longer it is, the more stable it will be.

As you can see, it is not as easy as it seems. Too large is not good, too short or too long neither.

The main thing to remember is that you definitely need a wider kayak so that you can carry your fishing gear. You also need a little longer kayak so that you have more stability.

Note that some fishing kayaks are made with shallow bottoms. This means they are designed for use in warm waters where waves are low and slow-moving or calm water where there are no waves at all.

These offer more stability because they have lower centers of gravity than other types of fishing kayaks. However, these types of kayaks are not as easy to maneuver on rougher waters or rivers.

Can I use a fishing kayak for recreational use?

Yes, of course, you can. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before you decide on the type of kayak you want to purchase.

It is important to consider what kind of water you will be fishing in. The type of water will determine the features that should be considered for your kayak.

The first thing you should decide upon is whether or not you plan on fishing out in open water or near shallow waters.

This decision will clarify if the kayak needs to be wide or narrow, how many rod holders there should be, and what type of seats it should have (for example, if you want a kayak with back support).

What is the best rod holder for a fishing kayak and why should I use it?

Fishing kayaks often have limited space for storing rods and fishing gear.

There is usually a rod holder on the front of the kayak, but that is, in most of the cases used for the life jacket (people misuse it, instead of wearing the jacket, they put it on the rod holder – that’s wrong!).

There are several other types of rod holders that can be installed on a fishing kayak, including ones in the cockpit, rear deck, and bow.

The one you pick should depend on your needs and preferences, but it’s important to note that all rod holders take up space when not in use.

A rod holder in the cockpit allows you to store your rods while keeping them easily accessible by simply leaning them against the side of your kayak.

They also take up a lot less space when in use because they don’t protrude in front of you like a standard front-mounted rod holder does.

What is a good fishing kayak length?

Fishing kayaks are used for fishing in lakes, oceans, and rivers. They are designed to be stable while standing up and to provide the best fishing experience.

The length of a kayak will depend on your specific needs. They can range from 17 feet to 30 feet.

The shorter the kayak, the more maneuverable it will be but it also has a smaller storage capacity for your gear. A longer kayak will have more storage capacity but less maneuverability.

As a rule of thumb, a kayak’s length should correlate with your paddling skill.

The shorter the length, the better for beginners. For expert paddlers, you should go for a longer kayak so that you can go faster and cover more distance in less time.

What equipment and gear do I need for kayak fishing?

Kayak fishing is a great and fun way to spend your time and catch fish. To make sure that you have the best trip, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment and gear.

Basically, you can’t just go out on the water with nothing but a fishing rod. Kayaking presents many dangers as well as challenges such as capsizing, waves, and wind.

You need to protect yourself from these dangers by wearing a life vest and having the proper gear such as paddles, PFDs (personal flotation devices), and an anchor system for your kayak if it’s needed.”

In addition to the above gears, you need to add a rod and some bait. There are many fishing rods and reels available, but there is a lot to consider when buying.

The best kayak fishing rod will have a strong backbone, enough power to cast out the line, and a sensitive tip that can feel the bite as well as help you land fish. You finally may need some rod holder too.

Where do you store fish on a kayak?

People who are new to kayaking often ask what is the best way to store fish on a kayak. The answer to this question is that there are no best ways to store fish on a kayak.

There are many different ways you can store your catch while paddling, and each person has their own preference.

Answers to this question are always dependent on the size of the fish.

The general rule of thumb is that if the fish is too large, it cannot be stored on a kayak. If it is too small, it can be stored in any bag or container. However, the likelihood for the fish to be too big is near “zero”.

Carrying a bag is not the best, neither is a container. What we have done in the past, and it does work like a charm, is to use a small closed fish net.

We attach these to the kayak. When we catch a fish we add it to the net, and back into the water. As the net is attached to the kayak, there’s no problem and we can still move from one spot to another one.

Can I stand up and fish from a kayak?

This question has been answered by a variety of people with different backgrounds and experiences, but the general consensus is that standing up and fishing from a kayak is not an easy task.

Stand-up fishing requires balance, agility, strength, good balance, and good coordination.

This combination of skills might be too difficult for some people to achieve if they are not used to sitting in an upright position for long periods of time.

It also takes time to learn how to stand up on a kayak which can be challenging for those who are not at ease with the idea of being on the water.

Finally, it’s important to note that many kayaks don’t have enough foot space for their users which makes the task even more difficult.

Do I need a fish finder on a kayak?

A fish finder is not really necessary for kayak fishing. However, it is important to have a fish finder on a kayak for anyone who is interested in identifying where the fish is for some serious fishing.

In essence, these devices are essential to catch a large number of fish and they can be found in many places.

To be more precise, a fish finder helps people spot the fish below the water’s surface so that they can cast their lines and catch them. If you are an angler, you will need a device like this to help you with your hobby.

There are many types of devices available in the market, but it is best to get one that has dual scanning sonar technology for better results.

Final words

Kayaking is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy nature. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby that can be enjoyed by just about anyone.

Fishing kayaks are excellent for getting to your favorite fishing spot without the hassle of a boat. These kayaks are usually easy to carry and transport, making them an ideal choice for anglers in urban environments.

They’re also great for fly fishermen who want to get out on the water but don’t want to buy an expensive boat that is not environmentally friendly (emissions from the engine).

There are many types of fishing kayaks available, so it can be hard to find the one that’s right for you.

And if you are like me a couple of years ago, you may be looking for the best fishing kayaks for the money, but you might not know where to start.

From stability to comfort and features, there are many options available and it can be hard to know which ones matter most to you.

In this article, we discussed some of the best kayaks on the market, including what they’re designed for and why they’re worth considering. We also gave you some tips and tricks for purchasing a kayak that’s perfect for you.

References:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/251801430_A_Kayak_Method_for_Tracking_Fish_in_Very_Shallow_Habitats 

https://imr.brage.unit.no/imr-xmlui/handle/11250/2686812

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