Best Fishing Kayak under $500
Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 Comparison Chart
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Fishing Kayak under $500
- 1.1 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 Comparison Chart
- 1.2 How We Chose the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500
- 1.3 The Best Fishing Kayaks Under 500
- 1.4 What to Look For When Buying a Fishing Kayak for Under 500?
- 1.5 Benefits of Kayaking with a Dog
- 1.6 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
So you’ve decided to buy your own fishing kayak but are not yet ready to spend more than $500 for one? Well then, you have come to the right place. We have rounded up the best fishing kayaks under 500 that will surely give you the best catch and fishing experience at an affordable price.
Here at CampAndCanoe.com, we know that choosing a fishing kayak is no easy feat. You have to consider where you will be catching fish, what you need in a fishing vessel, and what other activities you plan to use the kayak for. You will then have to research and compare many different kayak types and brands according to their features, benefits, and if they’re a good match for your needs.
All these can be very time consuming and challenging, especially if you don’t know what to look for. It will then get even harder when you have a tight budget to work around. So to help you out, we made a guide on how to find the right kayak for you. We also did the job of finding all the best fishing kayak under $500 to make your search easier.
How We Chose the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500
We have spent dozens of hours researching and comparing fishing kayaks that are available on Amazon. We looked at different types and brands, and from there, we were able to shortlist the ones with the highest ratings and most recommended by those who love kayak fishing.
But we didn’t stop there. We then narrowed down our list to the final 5 best fishing kayaks under $500, considering each product’s key features, durability, quality, and value for money. That said, all the fishing kayaks you see on this list are guaranteed only the highest quality and most affordable kayak that you can use for fishing.
The Best Fishing Kayaks Under 500
- Best Overall and Best Hardshell Fishing Kayak for Under 500: Pelican Sentinel Kayak
- Best for Bang for the Buck: Explorer K2 Kayak
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado Kayak
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler Kayak
- Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak Under 500: Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Why we love it:
- Multiple rod holders
- Multi chine flat bottom hull
- Adjustable footrests
- Lighter than many hardshell fishing kayaks
What it is best for:
- Small bodies of water
- Beginners and experience anglers
Our top pick for the best fishing kayak under 500 is the Pelican Sentinel 100X Kayak. It’s a hardshell sit-on-top kayak, so it’s not only very durable and stable but also provides a more open seating area. This means that you are more able to move around freely.
Weighing just 44 lbs and 9’6” long, this kayak is easier to handle and transport than many hardshell fishing kayaks. It’s designed specifically for fishing, too. It has a multi-chine flat bottom hull, which is perfect for reeling in fish and casting lines. It has 2 flush mount rod holders as well and another 2 vertical rod holders on the removable storage compartment that it comes with.
We also like that this kayak has adjustable footrests, has 2 accessory eyelets, and an on-deck storage area at the back with bungee cords. In front, there’s a storage platform with a deck cover, too. For more storage space, it has a center console with compartments and accessory holders. Plus, there’s a dedicated place to put your phone.
For some, however, the seat could be better. But all in all, the Pelican Sentinel 100X Kayak is a great fishing kayak and a good place to start if you are on a budget.
- ZEasy to transport and store
- ZSolid and durable
- ZGreat tracking and easy to maneuver
- QThe seat is a bit uncomfortable for some
Why we love it:
- Quick and easy to inflate and deflate
- Plenty of room and weight capacity for all your fishing gear
- Has a removable skeg for directional stability
What it is best for:
- Smaller bodies of water like mild rivers and lakes
For its price and quality, the Explorer K2 Kayak is a great deal. While it’s not necessarily designed as a fishing kayak, it will get the work done at a fraction of the cost.
What’s great about this kayak is that it’s incredibly easy to inflate and get ready, and also easy to deflate and put in storage. Plus, it weighs only 30.60 lbs. So you’ll have no problem carrying it around wherever and whenever.
This inflatable kayak is made with heavy-duty vinyl that’s resistant to punctures. It also has a rigid I-beam floor and an impressive 400-lb maximum weight capacity. So it’s more than capable to hold two people plus your fishing necessities. The inflatable seats with backrests are adjustable, too. Thus, you can head out in the water on your own with plenty of storage space to spare.
On the downside, the Explorer K2 Kayak does not have fishing rod holders. So you’ll have to hold your rod while fishing.
- ZVery easy to handle, transport, and store
- ZInflatable seats with backrests are adjustable
- ZCan fit two people
- QNo fishing rod holders
Why we love it:
- Multiple footrest positions
- Adjustable and padded seat and seat back
- Fishing rod holder and 2 additional rod storage
- Easy to maneuver
What it is best for:
- Small lakes, creeks, ponds, and backwaters
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler is easily one of the best fishing kayak under 500. It is a solid and durable hardshell kayak that won’t cost you a fortune to own. It’s designed for anglers too, with fishing rod holders and two 6-inch compartments in the middle. So you’re sure to have a more comfortable and better fishing experience.
This fishing kayak offers multiple footrest positions, thus, it’s able to accommodate any size of rider. It has a padded seat with an adjustable padded seat back, too. So while you won’t be able to stand on it, you’re sure to have ample room to change positions and prevent aches and discomfort.
As a fishing kayak that’s under $500, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler offers almost everything you need to make your next fishing trip a success. It has storage spaces at the front and rear, both with bungee shock cords. It also has a 275 lbs weight capacity, which is more than enough to hold you and all your fishing gear.
At 52 lbs, this kayak isn’t exactly the easiest to transport and handle. That said, it is lighter than many hardshell fishing kayaks. So you can still manage to put it on top of your car or in your truck’s bed on your own.
- ZGreat for any rider size
- ZAmple space for storage and fishing gear
- ZDurable and stable
- QNot so easy to handle and transport
Why we love it:
- Made with tough materials
- Lots of storage places
- Plenty of rod holders
- Great stability
What it is best for:
- Lakes, ponds, and other small bodies of water
What’s great about the Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is that it is designed for exactly that – fishing! It has Berkley Quick Set Rod Holder that allows you to adjust your pole angle and be completely hands-free. There are also several mesh pockets in different areas in the cockpit where you can store tackles and other small tools. Plus, there are a few D-rings where you can attach your other fishing gear.
This fishing kayak has adjustable seats and is easy to control. Even better, it can be added with a Sevylor trolling motor if you want to move around easier. It can also carry a lot of weight with its 470 lbs capacity and can fit two average-sized riders comfortably.
For an inflatable kayak, the Sevylor Colorado is incredibly tough and rugged. Made with 18-gauge PVC and a 1000D tarpaulin bottom with an 840D nylon cover, this kayak is resistant to punctures. This also means that you can take it in the lake. Sure, it doesn’t come with paddles or a pump, unlike other inflatable kayaks. But it’s easy to inflate and deflate, and you’ll have no problems hauling it around.
- ZRugged and very durable
- ZDesigned for fishing
- ZCan be added with a trolling motor
- ZEasy to use and store
- QDoes not come with paddles and a pump
Why we love it:
- Comes in a complete set
- Made with tougher and more durable materials
- Removable and adjustable mounting bracket
- Has two mounted footrests
What it is best for:
- Lake, river, and even ocean
Our top pick for the best inflatable fishing kayak under 500 is the Intex Excursion Pro. With its 3-ply laminate PVC construction, this is tougher and more durable than most inflatable kayaks. It is resistant to damage from impact, sunlight, and abrasion. Plus, it’s unaffected by oil, salt water, and gasoline. All these while staying lightweight and easy to handle and transport.
What’s great about this kayak is that it is designed especially for fishing. It has 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders on each side plus a removable and adjustable mounting bracket where you can add your other fishing accessories, such as a fish finder, GPS, swivel fishing rod holder, and others.
This kayak offers enough room for 2 people. But with its adjustable seats, you can paddle it alone, too, and have plenty of space for your fishing gear. It has storage spaces in the bow and stern as well as D-rings where you can tie down your dry bags and other essentials.
Yes, the Intex Excursion Pro 2-Person Kayak could have better seats for more comfort. But for what it is and what it offers, this a great fishing kayak for its price.
- ZVersatile with lots of options to add accessories
- ZGreat fishing-specific features
- ZReady to use
- ZDurable and stable
- QSeats can be better
What to Look For When Buying a Fishing Kayak for Under 500?
Here are the things you need to look out for when choosing what kayak for dogs to buy:
Type or Design
There are many different types of kayaks in the market. The two main categories of kayaks are flatwater and whitewater. Then there are 5 types of flatwater kayaks and 4 types of whitewater kayaks. So it can be very confusing to know which one to get.
But when it comes to kayaking with your dog, flatwater kayaks are the best. This is because they are designed for relatively calm water, which is better for your furry friend. You can use them in slow-moving rivers and stable lakes, ponds, harbors, and ocean inlets.
For the design or type, sit-on-top is the best dog kayak. It’s basically an open vessel with no walled sides and an open cockpit. So it is easier to get in and out of, especially for your dog. It is wider than most types of kayaks, so it has good stability, too.
Now, if you’re not ready to get a full-size kayak for you and your dog, you can also settle for inflatable kayaks. They are easier and more convenient to carry and travel with. Well-made inflatable kayaks also have good balance and are easy to maneuver. Plus, they’re not as prone to popping as you may think. Just make sure your dog’s nails are short.
When choosing a kayak for you and your dog, look for those on the wider side. Generally, the wider it is, the more stable it is on the water and the less likely it is to flip over. This also means that it will be safer for you both. As a guide, choose those with a width of 34 inches or wider.
You want to look for a kayak that has enough room for the two of you to sit comfortably. Usually, a tandem kayak or double kayak will do the trick. It can fit two people, or in this case, you and your dog easily. It also offers plenty of space for dogs to sit, stand, or lay down.
On the other hand, paddling a large kayak on your own can be challenging. So if you’re not quite up to the task yet, then you may also try single-person kayaks. Some have enough surface space for your dog, especially if they’re not really all that big.
Here’s another important factor to look out for when choosing good kayaks for dogs. You need something that can hold both of your weights plus all of your gear. If you have a rather large dog or you’re planning to go on the water with another person, then you’ll need a kayak with a higher max weight capacity.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to weight capacity is that you should not go over 70% of the kayak’s maximum weight limit. This will give you the most stable ride. So if the weight limit is 500 pounds, try not to exceed 350 pounds.
You should also consider a kayak’s durability before deciding to buy it. See, the more durable it is, the longer it can last – which also means the more value for money you’ll get. More importantly, the safer it will be for you and your pet.
That said, look for dog-friendly kayaks that are made with very sturdy materials. Hard-shell kayaks hold up pretty well and they are exceptionally durable. But inflatable kayaks work great too if they’re made from strong materials. Higher-quality inflatable kayaks are usually made of polyurethane compounds and elastic fibers. They are also made in layers. This keeps them rock and dog-nail-proof.
You also want a kayak with foam or rubber cushioned floor or surface area. Without it, the surface will be too slippery and hard to grip, making it difficult for your dog to stay put.
There are, however, deck pads and traction pads that you can buy online and install later on. If you have a dedicated spot on your watercraft, you can also try kayaking with dog seats. There is a wide variety of doggy kayak seats available in the market.
Benefits of Kayaking with a Dog
When choosing what fishing kayak to buy, you have to consider the following factors:
For fishing kayaks, you have 3 options: traditional sit-in kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, or inflatable kayaks. Sit-in kayaks have an enclosed cockpit. They allow you to climb inside the hull with your legs protected under the deck, sheltering your lower body from the elements. So you’ll be drier and warmer, making them great for windier and cooler days as well as in colder water.
Aside from that, sit-in kayaks have a lower center of gravity. You can lean them on their sides and make turns better. They are also narrower and thus, faster. They require less effort to move forward, too.
On the downside, sit-in kayaks offer limited space for your fishing gear and equipment. Not to mention that they are more challenging to get in and out of. So it’s harder and more dangerous in the event of a capsize. The hull will also flood, and there’s just no way for you to continue fishing without bailing out your kayak or draining it on the shore.
On the other hand, sit-on-top kayaks have an open cockpit. So they are easier to get in and out of, especially if you capsize. They are also wider and thus, more stable than sit-in kayaks. This also means you’ll have more room for your things.
Sit-on-top kayaks have scupper holes in the bottom. So you don’t have to worry about water from a flopping fish or waves as they can be drained out quickly. Furthermore, their open design provides you more space to access storage and to mount fishing accessories like electronics and rod holders.
Then there are inflatable kayaks, which are a great and cheaper alternative to traditional hardshell fishing kayaks. They are easier to carry from one point to another, and they are a great choice if you have limited storage. Some inflatables that are designed for fishing even have mounting bases for your fishing accessories.
Another important factor you have to consider is where you are going. Where you fish will determine the right length of kayak that you should choose. If you’re going to mainly small creeks, backwaters, and ponds, then shorter kayaks are best (less than 11’ in length). Shorter kayaks are easier to turn and maneuver.
For bigger open bodies of water like the ocean or large lakes and rivers, you are better of with longer and slender kayaks. You will want to look for models that are longer than 12’. This is because they are faster and more able to cut through the water more smoother.
Aside from that, you should also consider your body size. If you’re around 6’5” and 290 lbs, then you’ll want to go with a kayak that’s at least 11’ long.
Aside from the length, you should also check the width. For fishing kayaks, the minimum width should be 30 inches. The wider it is, the more stable it is on the water. This means that you’ll be more able to fish while standing. On the downside, however, the wider the kayak is, the slower it will be.
You will also have to consider your weight, plus all the gear and accessories you will be carrying while fishing. Once you’ve got that down, choose a kayak that can accommodate all that weight.
Handling and Transporting
Here’s another important thing you should consider when choosing a fishing kayak. See, you have to think about how you will handle and transport your kayak. Are you prepared to carry a huge hardshell watercraft from the shore to the top of your car or truck bed and vice versa? Or would you rather get an inflatable kayak that you can inflate, deflate, and shove in a bag once you’re done fishing?
Storage and Extras
You should also think about the amount of storage you need when fishing with your kayak. Are you going to keep your catch? Are you planning on kayak-camping trips? Do you need live bait storage? The best fishing kayak for you is something that not only matches your budget but also meets your storage needs.
You will probably be sitting in your kayak for hours and hours. That said, you’ll want a kayak that you’ll be comfortable staying in for an extended time. So if possible, check the seats and find those with back support and cushion. Some kayaks with seats that can be removed or adjusted are also a great choice.
Speaking of seats, you should also consider if you’re fishing solo or with another person. If you rarely take anyone with you, then choose a single kayak. If you’re planning to take another person or even your furry friend with you while fishing, then best go with a double or tandem kayak.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What type of kayak is best for fishing?
A: Sit-on-top hardshell kayaks are the best type of kayaks for fishing. They are easy to get in and out of, self-bailing, and offer more access to your storage. More importantly, they are generally more stable and many of them allow standing up. This is an incredibly useful feature if you’re reeling in a big fish or casting.
Q: Are fishing kayaks hard to flip?
A: Yes, fishing kayaks are hard to flip with their wider hulls, tougher materials, and more stable-focused designs. But this does not mean that it can’t happen. Wind, weight distribution, current, surf, and human error can all play a part in your kayak flipping.
Q: Does kayak color matter for fishing?
A: No, the color of your kayak does not matter for fishing. Fishes get spooked by movement and shadows from above. So rather than focusing on the color of a kayak, you should keep the noise down and make sure to approach fish quietly.
Q: Are kayaks worth it for fishing?
A: Yes, kayaks are worth it for fishing. They offer new angling opportunities to access waterways that large or powerboats can’t go to. They are also versatile, allowing you to fish in different bodies of water. Plus, they are more affordable and easier to transport than motorized boats.