Best Fishing Kayaks under $1000

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 Comparison Chart

Max Capacity
Seat Capacity
Ideal for
Bottom line
Best Overall
Best Sit-on-Top
Perception Outlaw 11.5 Kayak
77 lbs
11 ft 6 inches
35 inches
425 lbs
Slow-moving rivers, flat-water lakes and ponds, coastal waters with light waves
Allow standing position while fishing, is very stable, has lots of space, and is customizable
Quite heavy
Offering plenty of space for your gear, comfortable even while standing, durable and stable, and with fishing-specific features, this is a top fishing kayak at an affordable price.
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
44 lbs
12 ft 6 inches
39 inches
600 lbs
Calm water and whitewater (Up to class III rapids)
Allows stand-up casting, is solid and durable, easy to handle and transport
Short paddles
This is the most durable, stable, and best fishing-specific inflatable kayak available in the market at a price that’s hard to beat.
Best Pedal Fishing Kayak
Pelican Getaway 110 HDII Kayak
59 lbs
10 ft 5 inches
33 inches
300 lbs
Slow-moving rivers, lakes, and other calm bodies of water
Easier to go around, has lots of space for gear, and can be added with fishing accessories
The seat cannot be adjusted
If you’re looking for an affordable pedal kayak for your fishing needs that’s under a grand, then this is your best and only option.
Best Bang for the Buck
Best Sit-In Fishing Kayak
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak
41 lbs
10 ft
30 inches
250 lbs
Sit in
Lakes and rivers
Lightweight, easy to carry, has fishing rod holders, and is very stable
The seat can be more comfortable
Here’s an affordable, lightweight, stable, and easy-to-transport kayak that you can take on your quick fishing trips.
Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103
57.5 lbs
10 ft 3 inches
31 inches
300 lbs
Slow-moving rivers and flat water lakes
Designed for fishing, comfortable, very stable,
The tackle box under the seat is not accessible
A comfortable, stable, and durable kayak with a lot of “extras” to make your fishing game a success.

If you’re into kayak fishing, your choice of a kayak can greatly affect your game. It will set the tone for all your trips to the water, you can either have a great time or the worst time. So it’s important that you get the right one according to your needs and budget. 

But with the hundreds of different fishing kayaks in the market, how do you choose the right one for you? Well, if you’ve set out to spend not more than a thousand dollars, then you have come to the right place. With our expertise and love for kayaks, we were able to put together the 5 top fishing kayaks under 1000. We also made a list of all the things you need to consider when buying a kayak for fishing.

How We Chose the Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000?

To find the best kayaks under 1000, we scoured through different kayak types and models on the leading online marketplace in the country. After hours of extensive research, we were then able to shortlist the highest-rated and most recommended fishing kayaks available today. 

We then narrowed it down by comparing each kayak to one another. We considered their features, durability, quality, practicality, and value for money. We then decided among ourselves which ones to cut and what to include in the final top 5. 

That said, all the products included in this list are guaranteed only the best kayaks under 1000 for a safe, comfortable, and successful fishing game. 

The Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000

Why we love it: 

  • Can accommodate small to extra large paddlers
  • Can hold up to 4 fishing rods
  • Comfortable and elevated seating

What it is best for:

  • Lakes and ponds, slow-moving rivers, and calm coastal

Our top pick for the best fishing kayak for under 1000 is the Perception Outlaw 11.5 Kayak. With two double-barrel rod holders, this watercraft can hold up to 4 fishing rods. It also has 3 solo mount recesses where you can easily add mounts and other holders without drilling. So you can add all your other essential fishing accessories and catch more fish. 

When it comes to space, this fishing kayak has plenty to offer. It has large bow and stern tank wells, providing you with enough storage for your fishing gear and crates. There are also molded-in trays and cup holders where you can keep your essential items and drinks within reach. Moreover, you can remove the seat and put in a 35-liter cooler. Not only will this give you more storage, but you can also sit on it. 

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 has a foldable, removable, and elevated seat. Plus, it’s comfortable, too. We also love that you can stand on this kayak while fishing. This is a hard feature to find for kayaks under $1000. Sure, it’s on the heavy and bulky side. But for its price, this fishing kayak is a great steal. 


  • ZLots of space and storage
  • ZEasy to customize
  • ZAllows standing position
  • ZVery stable and durable


  • QHeavy and bulky

Why we love it: 

  • Easier to handle and transport
  • Allows stand-up casting
  • Has all you need to start kayaking

What it is best for:

  • Calm water
  • Up to class III rapids

Inflatable and fishing? Yes! It’s very possible with the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead. Compared to most inflatable fishing kayaks around, it is extremely sturdy and durable. It’s so solid that it will not tear or rip when you encounter underwater obstacles.

We also love this kayak’s rigid drop stitch floor, which you can use while sitting or even standing when casting. For a kayak that’s under $1000 – and an inflatable, at that – the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead is indeed something else. Not to mention its 7 hard mounting points where you can add rod holders, a fish finder, a bait tray, and other fishing accessories. 

On top of that, this is a tandem kayak. So it can accommodate two people. It has an extra storage area at the bow and stern, plus a large bungee cargo area. The seats are adjustable as well and can accommodate different rider builts. 

If there’s anything we’d like to change with the kayak, it’s the paddles as they can be quite short. But aside from that, this is certainly one of the best fishing kayak under 1000. 


  • ZVery tough and durable
  • ZBuilt for anglers and fishers
  • ZAmple space for two people plus gear


  • QThe paddles included are quite short

Why we love it: 

  • Very stable
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable pedal system kayak
  • 2 in-handle rigging tracks for accessories

What it is best for:

  • Solo, tandem, or tandem with a child or pet

Pedal kayaks are usually expensive – or at least pricier than $1000. But that’s not the case with the Pelican Getaway 110 HDII. Just a dime short of a thousand, this kayak allows you to go around the water with your legs. With it, you can easily maneuver your way in shallow water and around aquatic plants. It also weighs only 65 lbs, which is a lot lighter than most pedal kayaks. So it’s easier to transport. 

Now, while this kayak doesn’t have as many fishing-specific features, you can use it to catch some fish. Besides, it has 2 in-handle rigging tracks where you can install the accessories you want for fishing. There’s enough space for you to store all your gear too. There is a stern storage platform with bungee rigging, accessory eyelets, and 2 bottle holders. 

As for the seat, unfortunately, it can’t be adjusted. So it may not be so comfortable for very tall riders. But overall, this is a great kayak if you want to go for long distances without getting tired.


  • ZEasy to maneuver
  • ZVery stable
  • ZEnough room for your fishing gear
  • ZEasy to transport


  • QSeats can’t be adjusted

Why we love it: 

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Can hold 3 rods at the same time
  • Very durable and stable

What it is best for:

  • Lakes and rivers

Here’s a sit-in fishing kayak that’s way below your budget. The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 is affordable, lightweight, easy to carry, and has an incredibly stable body. With it, you can go to lakes, rivers, and excluded fishing spots easier and faster. 

This sit-in kayak has a few fishing-specific features, which can be useful while you’re in the water. There’s a swivel rod holder in the front and two flush-mount rod holders at the back. Its storage area at the back is also spacious and great for your gear. 

What’s great about the Sun Dolphin Excursion is that you’ll stay dry even in rough water, unlike sit-on-top types. However, you might want to add some padding on the seat for more comfort while fishing. 


  • ZEasy to handle and transport
  • ZAffordable
  • ZUseful fishing-specific features


  • QSeats can be more comfortable

Why we love it: 

  • Lots of fishing-specific features
  • Adjustable footrests and seat
  • Plenty of space for fishing gear

What it is best for:

  • Slow-moving rivers and flat water lakes

Our last pick for the best fishing kayak under $1000 is the Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103. It is specially designed for fishing with 1 adjustable rod holder, 2 flush-mounted rod holders, and a universal track to add your other fishing gadgets. It also has a tackle box storage under the seat and even a ruler to measure your catch. 

This kayak offers ample storage as well. There’s a storage hatch with a bucket in the middle to keep your small items dry and large areas at the front and rear where you can put buckets or boxes and secure them with bungee. 

We also liked that the Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103 has an adjustable framed seat and adjustable footrests. So it’s comfortable no matter what size you are. Now, if there’s one thing that can be improved in this kayak, it’s the tackle box underneath the seat as it’s hard to reach. But other than that, this is a great choice for a kayak that’s under $1000. 


  • ZEquipped for fishing
  • ZComfortable
  • ZEasy to get in and out of
  • ZVery stable


  • QThe tackle box under the seat is hard to access

What to Look For When Buying a Fishing Kayak Under 1000?

With so many different types and models of kayaks in the market, choosing which one to buy can be challenging. So to help you make an informed decision, here’s our guide on what to look for in a fishing kayak. 


When it comes to fishing kayaks, you have a variety of different types to choose from, including sit-on-top, sit-in, and inflatable. Each type of kayak has its benefits and disadvantages. Here’s a quick summary to help you understand better:

  1. Sit-on-top: This is a kayak with an open cockpit. You’ll be sitting on top of a deck as opposed to inside a cockpit. This means everything is on top, so your legs won’t be enclosed inside the vessel.  

With a wide and open design, sit-on-top kayaks are more comfortable, user-friendly, and easier to get in and out of. This is especially important in case you capsize. It is also designed to be wider, thus, more stable. Some models even allow standing up while casting. Furthermore, an open deck offers more space and options for setting up your gear and accessories. 

On the other hand, you are more likely to get wet and splashed by water on a sit-on-top kayak. You’re also more exposed to the elements. All these can be a problem when you’re fishing during colder and windier days. They are also heavier, and thus, harder to transport. 

  1. Sit-in: This type of kayak has a cockpit that you need to enter. It has high walls and your legs will be enclosed. This gives you and your gear more protection from the elements, which is why it’s highly recommended for fishing in cold-weather areas. This type of kayak is lighter and easier to carry than sit-on-top. It’s also faster and easier to maneuver. Since there’s less surface area that is exposed, it won’t get blown around as much. 

On the downside, sit-in kayaks don’t have as much storage as sit-on-top. They are also harder to exit and reenter. You’ll also be seated lower, which can be difficult if you’re trying to catch some fish. 

  1. Inflatable: Inflatable kayaks have multiple layers of PVC and are designed with air chambers to make them float. They are similar to hard shell kayaks, having a bow and stern, a seat, and paddles. The difference is, they need to be inflated.

What’s great about inflatable kayaks is that they are lighter and more compact, thus, a lot easier to handle and transport. You can quickly inflate them, deflate them, and pack them away. However, compared to sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks, they are slower and less durable. 

Now, the more popular type of kayak for fishing is sit-on-top. This is because it is wider, more stable, and can support more weight. It also has holes in the bottom, quickly draining water from waves or flopping fish. But that said, the best type of kayak still depends on your needs. 

For instance, if you want a fishing kayak but don’t have the space at home for a heavy and bulky one, then an inflatable is better for you. If you tend to fish in colder months or waters, then you might want a sit-in. 


Aside from the type, you can also choose the method of propulsion or the way you want your kayak to move forward. The more traditional and cheaper method is paddling. But for a more hands-free fishing experience, there’s the pedal system or motor. 

As the name suggests, you’ll need paddles for paddling. This is slower and simpler. If you want to go to your fishing spot faster and have the option to go forward and back completely hands-free, then you can use your legs with a pedal drive. On the other hand, if you want to get from point A to point B in the fastest way possible, then a motor-powered kayak is a great choice.

However, considering your $1000 budget, your options are limited, with motor systems out of the question. There aren’t so many pedal fishing kayaks around, too, under that price range. But we did find one, which is the Pelican Getaway 110 HDII. 

Take note that some paddle-driven kayaks can be rigged with an electric motor later on. So that’s also something that you might want to consider.  

Weight Capacity

You also want to look at a kayak’s weight capacity. You need something that can hold you and all your gear, including your catch. If you tend to go fishing with a buddy or a significant other, then you may need a kayak with a higher maximum weight capacity. 

Aside from that, you have to stay within 70% of the yak’s max capacity. This will ensure the best paddling performance. So if the boat’s weight capacity is 300 lbs, try not to exceed 210 lbs.


You’ll be staying in your kayak for a very long time. So it’s important to factor in comfort, too. That said, check the seats. Ideally, they should be padded or, at least, soft enough with a backrest. There should also be adjustable footrests, which will help you keep upright without hurting your back. The space on the deck or in the cockpit matter as well. You’ll want to be able to move more freely and reach your things when you need them. 


Storage is another key feature to look out for in a fishing kayak since you’ll be needing all the space you can get, especially if you are planning to keep all your catch on board.


Since you will be twisting and turning while casting and landing a fish, you’ll need an incredibly stable kayak. More so if you’re planning to stand up while fishing. Now, the minimum width for a fishing kayak to be stable is 30 inches. The wider it is, the more stable it will be. Take note, however, that as you go wider, the slower you’ll be in the water. 


Before you buy a fishing kayak, make sure that you’ve already planned how to move it. Do you have a truck or big car that can accommodate a huge kayak? Do you always have someone with you when you go out fishing? Only choose something that you can handle and transport from your home to the water (and vice versa) safely. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What type of kayak is best for a fisherman?

A: A sit-on-top kayak is the best type of kayak for a fisherman. Not only is it easier to get in and off, but it is also more stable. Some models even allow you to stand up while fishing, which will come in handy when casting.

Q: What size kayak is best for fishing?

A: The best size of kayak for fishing depends on your height and weight as well as the type of water you’ll be going to. For instance, if you are under 200 lbs, you’ll want a kayak that’s around 10 to 12 ft. If you’re bigger, you may want a longer kayak. On the other hand, for small backwaters, ponds, and creeks a shorter kayak is ideal (less than 11 ft long). For larger open bodies of water, look for those longer than 12 ft.