Choosing a good fishing kayak in itself is a pretty daunting task so when one reader emailed me to ask my opinion on what I thought was the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars, it got me seriously thinking! Now angler kayaks should not be chosen on the basis of price only (you need to factor in quality, manufacturer reputation, accessories etc) but I thought this would be a useful resource for those people whose primary constraint might be a big budget.
So I set about researching and researching about the top fishing kayaks that can be bought for under $500 and finally narrowed down my choice to 3 yaks. I’ve had the good fortune of trying out all 3 of them so yes, my recommendation does come with first-hand experience plus I’ve made sure that despite the price constraint, none of these fishing kayaks compromise on the quality factor (which is very important for me).
In case some of you are still confused between my final 3 list, then I highly recommend that you go ahead with my #1 choice for the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars and I guarantee, you’ll be a happy angler!
Note – There might be a possibility that the price for some of these fishing kayaks may have changed just a little bit (due to promotions, discounts, price increase etc) so in case you see a major deviation, do let me know via the comments section at the end of the post.
1. Old Town Vapor 10 Angler 10-Feet Recreational and Fishing Kayak
Among the different canoe manufacturers in the USA, Old Town happens to be the largest one, being established back in 1898.
For a newbie or beginner, the Vapor 10 is perhaps the best fishing kayak under $500 and because of its low weight; it is easy for maneuvering and tracking. Moreover, transportation is quite hassle-free too. The lightweight 44 lbs design makes moving it a simple task and the two carrying handles on side aid the job even further.
The boat features a unique-styled crossed-line variety of bungee that helps holding the paddle at times when you end up sliding it. It is helpful at stopping points too, especially when deciding to stay put in order to do the required thing. The presence of bungee not only gives the angler more space, but it also makes fishing convenient and organized. In case you love to spend quiet time on rivers or lakes, this particular model will be able to help you achieve tranquility.
In order to carry fishing materials and other luggage, the kayak provides a great deal of storage. It rides quite efficiently and the stability is great. Moreover, the large cockpit ensures comfort at its best by allowing kayakers to spread legs when in firm position.
The kayak’s relaxing seat makes it possible to sit back for longer periods of time when waiting for fish to arrive. The comfortable adjustable seat features nice padding and adjusting sitting position by pulling backward and forward is very easy to do.
It has a glide track bracing system that allows a kayaker to keep foot very comfortably. It has a position indicator setting too, which is especially helpful when trying to adjust length on any of the sides. Additionally, it features flush built as well as a mounted rod holder that enables the angler to perform different things while attaching the rod to the boat, waiting for the perfect opportunity.
Equipped with enough power to deal with different situations adroitly, this kayak has the ability to stand its ground even when the water current seems quite strong. All things considered, the Vapor 10 kayak can be regarded as a great option, not only just for beginners, but also for intermediates. More often than not, this kayak can prove to be a totally satisfying partner for professionals or advanced anglers as well.
2. Sea Eagle Inflatable SE370 Kayak
One of the finest all-purpose sport kayaks of the inflatable variety in the market is Sea Eagle’s SE370 and also one of the most affordable fishing kayak. Among different kayaks, it has been recognized as the second highest in terms of popularity in the USA. The kayak can be either used by one person or by two persons. It has a very low weight of about 26 lbs, and this inflatable boat is, therefore, very easy to transport. It has five valves that are one-way type which make sure that air remains inside the kayak. The inflating material is not only resistant to sunlight, but is also protected against salt.
There are add-on packages which make customization a breeze. The boat can be bought along with any of the three packages of accessories offered. Each of the packages comes with standard repair kit, carry bag, oars, foot pump and seats. However, differences between the packages do exist. While the Deluxe or basic package is equipped with two seats of basic variety along with the previously mentioned standard accessories for a cost of close to $329, the Pro package is sold with deluxe seats, costing about $379. On the other hand, accessorized with deluxe seats as well as a sail in order to enhance the speed of the kayak, the Quick Sail package demands a price of close to $529.
Note: I own the Pro version so this does fall under the $500 fishing kayak category. In fact, it can be termed as the best fishing kayak under 400 dollars as well!
Most inflatable kayaks are not highly maneuverable, but this one is exceptionally different. Not only is the SE370 great for maneuvering, but it is also very durable for an inflatable. The underside has two skegs, so tracking in straight line is absolutely easy for this model. Moreover, paddling does not require much effort, so it is very suitable for elderly people and those who are not much physically fit.
The versatility factor is also really admirable in this kayak. The polykrylar hull that has been used to make the craft has a style that is extra thick, and that is the reason why the SE370 can perform well in even demanding situations. Whether it is about dealing with whitewater rapids or it is about withstanding ocean water like a pro, this kayak can do it all. It can be regarded as a great fishing kayak overall, since it can move smoothly with quietness, without requiring much effort on a kayaker’s part. Besides, when combined with its sail, it becomes truly fun to cover huge distances in low duration of time
3. Pursuit Deluxe 80 from Pelican Kayaks
My #3 choice when it comes to picking out the best fishing kayak under $500 is the Pursuit Deluxe 80 from Pelican Kayaks. Pelicans have always proved to be great in terms of versatility and usability, and the Pursuit 80 is no different.
Even though the 80X Deluxe model is quite basic for a sit-in kayak, yet for single paddlers who love portable, small yet totally functional kayaks, this model is an absolute show-stealer. Astonishingly enough, it has a mere width of 28 lbs, and moreover, the length is only 8 feet. That is the reason why it can be managed easily by a single person. Mostly manufacturing vessels to provide comfort while completing journeys that last for several hours, Pelican has always successfully made recreational boats that provide good speed and tracking. Moreover, most Pelicans are truly stable too. The Pelican 80’s versatility is what attracts most people, although its storage capacity and performance do not disappoint either. Most Pelicans are great for intermediates, and even for beginners, and this one has been able to continue that trend.
Having owned this kayak for more than 2 years, I can say this with conviction that whether you are alone or with your kids, floating in this vessel is going to be a truly awesome experience. Note that since this model is a sit-in type, when capsized, it will get filled with water. When that happens, you may find it quite troublesome to flip it back. Make sure that you note this down well, and not end up learning it the hard way (which I did)
As far as turning is concerned, it provides easy turns due to the 8 feet body. However, the tracking experience is not the great with this model, because each stroke seems to get the boat a bit turned. So basically, frequent adjustment of your route is quite necessary if travelling straight. It is even more difficult to move too straight if you are paddling fast. When going slow though, that problem will not be encountered. Also, even though its seat has plastic as the main material, yet its foam fitting makes it comfortable. That said, it may be helpful to use high back type of foam topper when making long trips.
The 80 Deluxe is available in white marble color and sky blue color. Since the finish is UV protected and quite durable, the boat will provide good service for many years to come. The hull is great for holding up to abrasions or bumps, and should work even when the 2 years warranty ends.
Having features such as padded backrest that is adjustable, elastic bungee, stern and bow carrying handles etc. this model is overall a great buy for the price.
More Fishing Kayaks Under $500?
Well, by now you should have a pretty good idea which yak you would want to go for under the 500 dollars price range. Also, since newer models do keep coming out from time to time, I’ll try my best to keep this list updated and make sure you don’t have a hard time figuring out the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars!