In the modern world, a lot of the activities that were considered viable hobbies have been replaced by technology. However, it is important to mention that certain activities are still widely favored and it is being argued as well that many of these activities are actually coming back, as people gradually grow out of the same old gadgets and machines that they were once fascinated by.
Fishing is one such activity that was celebrated in antiquity and is gradually becoming more and more desirable again, as individuals look to restore the spiritual relationship between themselves and nature to what it once was. The fishing kayak has seen a resurgence in sales as a combined result of all these factors, and it is easy to see why.
Not only is fishing a great relaxing activity and an opportunity to clear your mind from the hustle and bustle of daily life, but it also acts as a great chance to get some form of mild physical activity. In more recent times, the fishing kayak has become an extremely in-demand outdoor gear for many as they are now found across various tackle shops, sporting goods stores, or even online forums.
The increase in sales of kayaks and the subsequent expansion of fishing and kayaking as an activity makes sense from a number of different perspectives. For instance, kayaks are more favorable when we think of it form the aspect of portability when compared to canoes for instance.
Another important factor that has contributed to the expansion of sales of fishing kayaks is the fact that they are a lot cheaper and financially viable as an option when compared to traditionally powered boats for fishing. In addition to these two factors, kayaks are a great choice for someone looking to venture into shallow waters.
As a fundamental law of economics and finance, we know that an expansion of demand in a free market is bound to create a surge in supply, and that is exactly what has happened in the case of the kayak industry. It has witnessed a dynamic explosion in production and sales, as numerous companies have entered the market to exploit the increasing demand to produce various kinds of fishing kayaks for different kinds of environments starting from shallow creeks to open oceans.
For you as a consumer, a part of this, constitutes great news, as you will have a broader base to choose from and you can really focus on the details while making comparative judgments as to what the best budget fishing kayak is for you.
On the other hand, expanding choices mean that you are a lot more susceptible to misunderstanding and falling prey to sophisticated marketing strategies, as you will have to work harder to understand the deeper implications of the product you are considering and whether it is worth spending your hard-earned money on.
This is where we come in. Our team of expert researchers have spent hours trying to decipher the best determinants which justify the worthiness of a product, and we have also made concerted efforts to help you take the best foot forward by attempting to help you understand your own unique requirements and ultimately empowering you to make the best choice.
Factors To Consider While Choosing the Best Budget Fishing Kayak
A very crucial and defining aspect of the degree of functionality and efficiency you can expect from a fishing kayak is determined by the length of the kayak. The expectation of performance on water is to be gauged to a certain degree from the length of the kayak itself. Your first thought should be to consider the type of waters you are looking to venture into using the kayak and then consider what kind of length will be best suited for this type of a kayak.
As a general rule, kayaks which are comparatively shorter in length (11 feet or less) are better in terms of maneuverability, as compared to longer ones which are greater than 12 feet in length. Longer kayaks though, are capable of moving faster and acquiring more speed. It should be mentioned that, if you’re looking to use the kayak to venture into shallow creeks, small ponds, and backwaters, you are obviously better off getting a kayak that is more flexible and gives you better maneuverability as compared to speed.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to fish in deep waters and big lakes, you are advised to get a kayak longer in length as that will help you traverse extensive distances in short periods of time.
Another important factor that should go into your decision-making process is the size of your own body and how you want to fit yourself in the kayak. It is important to mention that in a kayak, the body and the vessel become one and therefore it is crucial to consider this in the overall equation. For instance, if you’re well above 6 feet and 250 pounds, you’d probably be much better off with a kayak at least 11 feet in length.
Stability Of The Kayak Is Crucial
Kayaks of the old days were infamous for their wobbly nature. The numerous accidents encountered by individuals in kayaks gave them a notorious reputation. However, most of the ones found today are a lot more firm and stable in comparison to their tippy historical counterparts. Stability is great for any kind of fishing activity, and although you would be better off getting a stable kayak, too much stability can impose restrictions on other avenues.
For instance, considerations of movement and ease of maneuverability are also important alongside stability and a well-structured foundation. You don’t want to be in a position that leaves you wanting in terms of paddling efficiency. Here, you should factor in your body type with considerations of height and weight.
If you have a big frame, you will be well advised to opt for a wider kayak. This is also crucial if you want to venture into the shallow backwaters and creeks along with small rivers. Models which are narrower, on the other hand, give you better paddling capability and would be an ideal choice for trollers, and anglers that cover lots of water in a day.
Maximizing The Storage Capacity
One of the qualms of being a fisherman is that there are a host of different types of equipment and gears that you are required to carry, and this aspect should also be considered while making the choice of the best budget fishing kayak. It is therefore important to buy a kayak that is suitable to fit all your equipment and storage requirements, so that you can have all the room you require for various necessary items and tools.
You can either go with the models that have integrated storage capacity or even live wells. Others have areas molded for external storage in which you can store a host of different items starting from milk crates to fish food, coolers and everything in between. Sit on top models often have molded internal hatches, as opposed to sit-in variants which feature greater open spaces on the hull for storing various kinds of equipment.
The best way to approach this, is to consider a mental image of all essential tools that you might require while embarking on your fishing expeditions, and try and think about where you would place all of them in the kayak that you are considering for purchase.
Keel Or No-Leel
For those who are unaware of what a keel is, it is a “fin” shaped piece of plastic that sticks down into the water from a kayak’s hull and is responsible for improving tracking and speed of your kayak. There are certain kayaks which have integrated keels, while others have retractable keels. There are still others which have no keels whatsoever. You are advised to opt for a keeled model if you’re fishing in open waters, strolling or even if you expect to stay in deep water for an extended duration of time.
That will ultimately lead to your paddling efficiency becoming more pronounced. Conversely, you should have no problems with a kayak without keels, if you expect to venture into shallow waters and creeks or even rocky rivers where you are required to tackle rapids, fish in close quarters or required to stand up while fishing.
Requirement Of Room For Electronics
As we mentioned right at the outset, the modern technology has transformed nearly everything – starting from the nature of electronic appliances themselves, to products which ordinarily would have nothing to do with electronics. The same case applies for fishing kayaks.
Nowadays, you will find models of kayaks such as the Lifetime Angler Kayak that is built keeping the mind, space and accommodation requirements for storing exclusively electronic products alongside other accessories. In case you plan to undertake a number of fishing expeditions in lakes and rivers, you might want to consider such a model. Again, on the other hand, if you’re primarily going to venture into shallow creeks and backwaters, then this something you can easily do without.
Portability Of Your Fishing Kayak
The aspect of portability is extremely crucial nowadays with literally any product you are looking for, and it is no different with the fishing kayaks. There are certain models which are designed bearing in mind this criterion.
If you’re looking for kayaks that can be easily transported depending upon you’re requirements of mobility – look no further. Kayaks nowadays have a host of different features that have aided in numerous different aspects of fishing, stability and storage considerations.
This, however, has come at a cost and that cost is the weight of the kayaks and their consequent potential for maneuverability. Kayaks these days have become a lot heavier, thanks to these additional qualifications and you need to consider how these aspects affect movement and transportability, with respect to how you are planning to use it.
In case you have plans to frequently transport your kayak to new places and locations, you would be better served to get one that’s light and easy to drag down a dirt path to the lake.
On the other hand, if you are not bothered that much about having to regularly transport your kayak to different places, you can afford to not worry about the weight of the kayak. It has been observed over time that sit-on-top models are much heavier than sit-in models. If you think you can easily get your kayak on the water from your truck directly.
Anchor or Drift
Anchoring is important for any type of water vessel. Anchoring systems such as the Power Pole Micro can be a great tool for people who expect to take out their fishing kayak in a whole range of environments, including shallow creeks and backwaters, alongside large lakes and meandering rivers. In certain conditions, it is better if you have the opportunity to anchor your vessel to a fixed spot and then proceed with your fishing expedition.
In such cases, an impressive anchoring system is crucial, and its consequent importance should be acknowledged. The downside of course to having a good, strong powerful anchor is that it ends up adding significant weight to your kayak, which in certain cases might prove to be a hindrance to ideal operations.
Even for anglers, who prefer the aspect of drifting with the current while fishing, you might want to consider the downsides of having a steady anchoring system. It should, however, be mentioned, that anchors can be of vastly different make-ups and builds as a result of, which you are actually in a position to choose what suits you and your purposes to the best possible extent.
Top 10 Best Budget Fishing Kayaks 2020
1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
We kick off this list of the best budget fishing kayaks with this uber cool model from Intex Explorer, which has already made a significant name in the market for its large-scale reception and impressive reviews. The selling point for this kayak has been its fantastic comfort and ease of operation.
An example of this is found in the adjustable inflatable seat with a backrest, which ensures that you are in a decent position to command control of your kayak in tricky water currents, without having to worry about injury relating to the spinal cord and overall security of the back.
The cockpit of this marvelous kayak has been designed keeping in mind the best conditions for our river dwellers, so that their safety and comfort is not compromised under any circumstances whatsoever. As far as the dimensions of this kayak go, it comes to measure at 20 x 36 x 123 inches with a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. From an operational aspect, this is quite satisfactory, as it gives you a well-balanced position.
You do not have to make any significant compromise on movement and transportability with this kayak, while also being able to use it to store products which you may require for fishing in different environments. In order to improve on the aspect of directional stability, you will get a removable skeg with this kayak, that will help you in achieving greater precision while directing your kayak through waters as per your requirements.
Furthermore, the bright yellow color of the body is easily visible from a distance and can be used as a way to attract attention in case of emergency situations. Considering all of the factors mentioned above, we should also be clear to state to you that the Explorer K2 is essentially a kayak that has built for comparatively smaller bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds and may not ideally be suited for heavy-duty river rafting along with fishing in hostile waters.
Nonetheless, at this price, we are convinced of the effectiveness of this product and its potential for performance and so we are easily able to recommend this to you as one of our best picks.
2. Sun Dolphin Journey
Our second addition on this list represents another marvel of modern technology that will leave you spellbound and excited at the same time. When it comes to design and the class and style of construction, this kayak has been the go-to choice for many seasoned individuals.
This kayak has been primarily designed keeping in mind the basic requirements of navigation and movement in lakes and rivers with a sturdy frame. Often there are places and spots on many water bodies which prove difficult to access.
This kayak mitigates that problem for you to a great degree, as it can easily allow you to creep into difficult areas with relative ease so that you don’t have to compromise regarding geographical flexibility.
The defining aspects of this smooth vessel are that it is extremely lightweight, and that adds to it sleek design to ultimately complement maneuvering capacity and augment the ability of the handler to make difficult choices with supreme confidence and assurance.
It is extremely easy to carry as well because of its light structure and the retractable carrying handles add another feather to its cap as far as transportability is concerned. If you are worried about the stability of this kayak based upon its stylish and sleek design, then you’re making an error of judgment based upon a false assumption. This vessel leaves no stone unturned when it comes to giving you the stability and functional capacity that you require to extend in long hours of uninterrupted fishing.
It has also been reported to track and paddle with increased efficiency without sacrificing any other aspect of usage. It also comes with a portable accessory carrier of about 250 pounds approximately that will allow you to carry essential articles and pieces of equipment.
Moreover, to sweeten this deal further, you will also get along with the kayak, two flush mounts, and one swivel fishing rod holders to have you covered for different kinds of fishing requirements.
From these above discussions, it should come as no surprise to you as to why this kayak has been lighting the market on fire consistently and why we recommend this as one of the best budget fishing kayaks of 2019.
3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
Fishing kayaks of today are sleek in design and high functioning and efficiency in terms of performance standards. The Tamarack Angler 100 form Lifetime is nothing but an example of the modern variants of fishing kayaks that have the dual aspects of aesthetic quality as well functional efficiency.
The material with which the body of this kayak is constructed is UV-protected high-density Polyethylene, which is responsible for giving you the best kind of flexibility and sturdiness that you might want for extended durability.
Questions of ease of usage and comfort levels have been somewhat addressed by the multiple floors rests provided for people of different heights and lengths of feet. The bottom is stable and flat that allows you to exert a higher level of control.
The adjustable padded seat back and seat pad allow for a much higher degree of comfort than usually expected for kayaks of this price range and also the two flushes mounted fishing rod holders ensure that you have a strong base to set off on any kind of fishing expedition in any kind of shallow or deep water body. Along with this, you will also get one top mount fishing rod holder to complement your efforts.
Furthermore, you will get the added benefits of having two 6’’ storage compartments in rear and center along with one paddle keeper and one adult paddle. If you’re worried about not being able to carry your fishing equipment and related accessories with enough convenience, then you need to think again.
The factor of transportability has also been effectively addressed with this kayak as the front and rear T-handles allow you to move the vessel easily without much hassle when you’re not in water along with the added advantage of having deep hull tracking channels.
The durable high-intensity Polyethylene (HDPE) body is a marvel in itself when it comes to strength and power. After these detailed discussions, we hope that you are convinced of the value for money this kayak brings and also that you will be in a position to make the best use of it upon purchase.
4. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-Foot
This next product coming in at number 4 on our list from Vibe Kayaks continues the high standards set prior.
Coming in at a length of nine feet, it is ideal for people of different sizes and is also flexible enough to be carried and transported through to various locations. The portability aspect is also augmented for this kayak as it relatively light compared to many of its market counterparts.
This 1-person sit on top fishing kayak is also fitted with a deluxe seat that is great for securing maximum stability. If you’re looking for a kayak that will allow you to store essential items then this is the ideal one, as it comes with a 5 capped flush mount rod holders and mounting point for a whole range of other complementary accessories.
For those who have some experience kayaking, you would know that one of the major and persisting problems relating to this activity is the issue of your paddles going overboard. This conundrum has also been addressed by this kayak as it comes with two paddle parks which will allow you to secure your paddle either side and ultimately reduce the chance of it getting lost.
Additionally, you can also store non-essential items in your kayak as well thanks to the 3 sealed hatches with bag inserts and large bungeed rear tank well, that has been designed to secure your belongings in the best way possible.
Other alluring features include 5 easy-grip handles that will enable you to carry the kayak around with supreme ease and comfort so that you can transport it to different places. All of these factors collectively have made this product the giant that it is in the market and considering the modest price at which it is available, it is easy to see why.
5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado
The evolution of fishing kayaks over the last two or three decades has been nothing short of spectacular. Sevylor has been steadily expanding its customer base and has acquired a significant position in the market because of its high-quality kayaks and fishing accessories.
This kayak by its very design is a hustler and will give you great service through thick and thin irrespective of where you expect to conduct your expeditions.
For starters, the Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is a fantastic option for people who wish to engage in perilous waters and need a kayak that can take the heavy turmoil without getting easily damaged. The 18-gauge PVC construction is ideal for rugged and rough use, especially in rivers and lakes with strong currents and rapids.
The operational aspect of this feature is the added protection from damage that is carried out by a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover that is great for preventing unwanted punctures.
The technical know-how that has gone into the creation of this product is exemplified by its double air chamber that keeps you safe and afloat even if one of the chambers gets punctured and starts leaking in water. The other chamber, in that case, holds the air securely to keep your buoyancy intact.
This advanced airtight system is tried and tested and is sure to keep its word and give you the added protection when required. As far as conveniences of fishing are concerned, this kayak is equipped with Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders that are extremely adjustable for enhanced hands-free fishing.
Additionally, the Sevylor trolling motor fittings broaden your capacities for fishing and allow you to approach it in a number of interesting ways. Finally, it also comes with stable paddle hoarders that prevent your paddles from going overboard. By now, you should be convinced of the efficiency of this fine kayak and if you’re wondering whether it is worth your money, we can assure you that it is worth every penny you spend on it.
6. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181
Coming in at number 6 on our illustrious list of the best budget fishing kayaks is this one from the Brooklyn Kayak Company. The BKC UH-TK181 is a great choice for anyone who enjoys fishing and engages in the activity regularly. This kayak comes with the key feature of having 3 articulated fishing rod holders and 4 flush-mounted rod holders.
By virtue of this, you are able to get multiple lines in the water all at once with relative ease. There is also a very useful storage hatch located in between the space where the paddler’s legs would be, to store any kind of important tools and accessories such as a wallet, keys, snacks, and more in the twin watertight storage compartments.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 is also known to feature two secure paddle rests, so that you can conveniently free up your hands and not have to worry about losing your paddles every now and then. Moreover, this super-efficient kayak has also made space for the existence of a uses a secure bungee tie-down system that makes it incredibly convenient for you to stash gear and other equipment or clothing with supreme ease.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak is provided with four carrying handles, that make transporting it over land very much simple and hassle-free. Considering all that has been said above coupled with the pocket-friendly price, it is easy to understand why and how this kayak has been favored by many and has enjoyed an unbridled reputation ever since its release.
7. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130
The Sea Ghost 130 is our second product on this list from Vibe Kayaks. It has been widely acclaimed by all sections of the market for its delicate capacity to strike the perfect balance between efficiency and durability.
This stylish 1-person sit-on kayak is supremely comfortable for venturing into different kinds of water bodies. Its size of 13 feet ensures that it gives the best comfort and functionality to the user without compromising on portability and convenience of movement.
A weight of 75 pounds makes this kayak a great choice for someone looking for the right trade-off between speed and stability. This fine kayak comes with 2 flush-mount rod holders and 4 integrated gear tracks which give you a great deal of freedom and flexibility in customizing your rig.
A pre-installed toe controlled rubber system has also been supplied with this kayak which allows you to save your energy and resist fatigue in case of long extended hours of activity.
With this kayak, you will also get multiple storage options with one large central console along with a 20’’ front oval and finally a rear hatch and large bungeed rear tank well. Furthermore, this kayak gives you a great degree of additional stability by virtue of the dual position Vibe Hero seat that takes your overall comfort levels up by a few notches.
8. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-RA220
Brooklyn Kayak Company has by now become a very much established and trustworthy producer of some of the best budget kayaks found in the market. The BKC UH-RA220 11-Foot 6-inch Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak is only another fine addition to a long list of impressive well-crafted kayaks. Coming in at a length if 11 feet and 6 inches, this all-around flexible and hardened budget fishing kayak is great for allowing you to position yourself comfortably on your seat.
The degree of detailed control you can exercise with this kayak has made it a great option for many, and the rudder control feature exemplifies how well designed this vessel really is. Featuring a foot pedal-operated rudder for ultimate control, this kayak ensures that you can have the best experience in all kinds of water bodies without having to paddle excessively to steer the vessel.
Furthermore, twin flush-mount rod holders keep fishing poles out of the way during paddling giving you a lot more leeway when it comes to steer this kayak. It also gives an improved sense of stability as you can effectively trust this kayak to hold you still even if you are standing on top of it without any worries of going overboard. Moreover, it gives you added protection against leaks and great waterproof capacity with a large cargo area as well to store your essential belongings and tools.
9. Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot
Perception kayaks have been known to produce impressive highly functional vessels that can give you great performance in the whole host of different and challenging environments. The Pescador Pilot is designed in such a way so that you can expand and stretch the limits of your fishing and exploration ventures to whole new level.
This kayak gives you great pedal driven performance at a really good price while also making sure that you have enough flexibility to transport the vessel to different places.
As far as storage considerations go, this kayak has spent all its technical prowess to give you the chance of storing your essential fishing accessories and goods with absolutely no hassle whatsoever. Users have reported great performance of this model in flat, slow-moving as well as coastal waters. A length of 12 feet and 5 inches with a depth of 16 inches makes this kayak an easy ride and also ensures that you have the right amount of stability in water.
A weight of 85 pounds also contributes to its overall stability without making it too heavy to transport effectively. Available at a very modest price and with a diverse range of features, this kayak is really a must-buy for enthusiastic paddlers and proponents of fishing.
10. BKC UH-TK219 12 foot
Our final product on this list is this stylish sit-on-top type kayak from BKC that has seen a surge in sales and has been widely well received by nearly all of the people who have purchased it. The highlighting factor for this kayak is that it can accomodate 3 individuals together and its 12.3 feet length is ideally suited for allowing 3 people to sit comfortably without hassle.
Coming in at weight of 70 pounds, this multi-person kayak is not only ideal for fishing but also for travel and a fun outing with your friends and family. It can endure a total weight of around 450 pounds so you are in safe hands.
It also has a combined number of 6 rod holders with 4 flush-mount kayak fishing rod holders and 2 adjustable rod holders that allow you to keep multiple lines in the water at the same time.
Moreover, it comes with a dual watertight storage compartment where you can easily store all your valuables and additional gear while it also gives you a rear cargo area with bungee tie-down straps for larger gear. Paddles going overboard will not be a worry anymore with this kayak as it has fixed paddle parks that can secure the paddles effectively when not in use.
Finally, 4 carrying handles make this kayak easy to carry and transport. If we were to give you an example of an ideal budget fishing kayak, then this would be it for all of the reasons mentioned above.
Now that we have covered all the relevant information related to the best budget fishing kayaks, you are well equipped to make a buying decision. We hope that our buyer guide helps you in some way to make a choice.