Anyone who fishes regularly, or enjoys it sometimes, or is entirely new to it should own a kayak. It is great fun to be outdoors, in the water and have to access to fish comfortably. It’s even better if it’s all possible within your budget. Kayaking can make this a reality for you. This article is all about how you can buy the best kayak under 500.
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Before you read the full review of each of the products, take a look at the following information which will help you in making your decision.
6 Benefits of Fishing from a Kayak
Here are the benefits of fishing from a kayak:
There’s a certain romance in the whole idea of being surrounded by nature and its silence. There’s an element of grace involved in fishing from a kayak. An old-world feel makes the activity even more special. It’s a calming and relaxing experience.
Quietly sneak up on fish
Anglers can approach fish without the rumble and roar of a motor. The silent, swift movement of the kayak doesn’t disturb or scare the fish away. It helps make the fishing experience worthwhile.
A kayak is the best watercraft to purchase if you’re on a budget. Not only is buying a kayak inexpensive, but so is its maintenance. You save money on fuel, significant repairs, insurance, and storage also.
Whether your kayak is hard shell or inflatable, you can conveniently carry it in your car. You don’t even need to look for an available ramp to launch it. Simply drag it to the shore and get paddling.
You can also hang a kayak on the wall! That’s how easy it is to store a kayak. Storage is less of a problem if your kayak is inflatable.
Travels long distances smoothly
It is usually quite easy to paddle a kayak for long distances. And if used with the right accessories, a kayak can withstand all kinds of waters.
How to find the right kayak?
4 essential features you should look for when buying a kayak
- When you’re looking for a right fishing kayak, the sit-on-top kayak is the best choice. They can fulfil the purpose of recreational activities also. It is always easier to get in and off a sit-on-top model. It also has scupper holes that help drain water, reducing the chances of tipping over. It is best for warmer climates as riders easily get splashed on.
- Next, the stability of a kayak is a vital feature to consider. The hull of the kayak determines its stability. A flat hull is more likely to tip over in fast and deep waters, so think where you’ll be fishing. Since you’re not looking at kayaks for recreational purposes, it’s a good idea to get one with either a rounded hull or a V-shaped hull.
- The dimensions of a kayak are different for people of various sizes. A kayak dealer can provide the best guidance in this regard. While buying a kayak, keep your weight and the weight of your gear in mind. Your kayak should be able to bear the burden of both to give you its best performance.
- There are various accessories like seats, rod holders and cup holders available for kayaks. You may want some to suit your needs. So get yourself a kayak that can be fitted with accessories easily.
Let’s now explore the best fishing kayaks that you could get if you’re on a tight budget.
QUICK GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS
Below is a list of our favourite fishing gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.
- Best Fishing Reel: Penn Squell Level
- Baits For Rainbow Trout: Berkley Power Bait
- Best Indore Fishing Rod: Royale Legend
- Best Ultralight Fishing Rod: KastKing Perigee II
- Best Spinning Reel Under 100: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
- Best Walleye Trolling Lure: Original Floater Fishing Lure
- Best Pike Lure: Jerk Bait Fishing Lure from Rapala
- Best Fishing Kayak under 1000: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Best Fishing Kayak under 300: Sun Dolphin Journey 10
- Best Fishing Wader: HODGMAN H3 STOCKING FOOT CHEST WADER
- Best Fishing Gloves: BERKLEY FISHING GLOVES
- Best Fishing Cooler: AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler
- Best Portable Fish Finder: Reel Sonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar
- Best Inflatable Fishing Boat: Sea Eagle Green
- Best Fluorocarbon Line: KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line
Review of the 12 Best Fishing Kayak Under $500
This one-person inflatable beauty doesn’t only help save money but saves on storage also. The kayak feels like any traditional sit-on-top model. The integrated backpack helps quickly pack up once the journey is over. The lightweight watercraft takes only a few minutes to assemble. It comes equipped with DOUBLE LOCK VALVES that help inflate and deflate the boat quickly. The sturdy PVC construction with its firm bottom that is part of the Airtight System ensures a leak-proof structure.
Tall riders can also easily lean back on the padded seat and stretch their legs. It comes with a foldable paddle, but you may want to get another one as this one is a bit fragile. Keep your cargo, food, and drinks at arm’s length in a secure net holder and a cup holder. A lift handle on the kayak makes it easy to lift in and out of the water.
The lightweight of the kayak might not make it suitable for heavy currents and strong winds, but you can surely have a great time in calmer waters. You may also want to avoid shallow waters to protect the boat from hitting a snag.
- It can be set up quickly
- Tarpaulin bottom ensures durability
- Quite affordable
- Not meant for fast-moving water
- Punctures are always a threat
The Sun Dolphin Camino SS has a small size and a unique design. The exterior is a nice hard shell that gives it excellent stability. It can easily be transported because of its size. Getting in and out of the boat is comfortable with a roomy open cockpit. There’s an adjustable seat which lets the rider stretch their legs and sit comfortably. Scupper holes make sure water doesn’t collect in the boat. It tracks well in calm waters and has graduated footwells. Smooth tracking is possible because of the square stern.
The boat includes moulded in storage space and a cup holder. It’s generally an excellent kayak for beginners in their 50’s or who are very young. As compared to some other kayaks, it has less capacity for the weight, which could be a problem if you need to carry extra weight. Some fishers have added accessories like handles or an anchor to suit their needs. So be prepared to modify it to meet your requirements.
- Compact design
- Easy storage
- Provides comfortable seating
- Cannot handle water rapids
- Slightly ill-equipped
The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 is a spacious, sit-on-top kayak. It’s quite stable and fast being 10’ long and 30” wide.
It offers a weight capacity of 250 lbs. The kayak itself weighs about 44lbs, making it easily portable. Riders can carry it conveniently because of the retractable carry handles. Reaching difficult spots to find fish is easy because of its small size. There are two flush mount rod holders and a swivel rod holder too. You can enjoy a hands-free fishing experience. There is generous space for gear with a shock cord rigged deck, a water bottle holder and a storage compartment. Rest your feet on adjustable foot braces and your back against a padded backrest. It will not capsize easily but is most suitable for rivers and lakes.
- Comes with a Portable Accessory Carrier for extra storage
- Extremely budget-friendly
- Great stability
- Enough space for anglers to move freely
- Doesn’t allow much weight capacity
- Tracking isn’t very smooth
This inflatable sit-on-top watercraft comes with an innovative backpack. You’ll find yourself hitting the waters within a few minutes of unpacking. It is easy to store for obvious reasons. If it were to strike a snag, the multiple air chambers help it stay afloat. The tarpaulin structure is sturdy and reliable. The back can unfold into a comfortable backrest and a seat more comfortable than most hardshell kayaks offer. Double lock valves on both sides make inflating it super easy. Riders of all heights find seating very comfortable in it with great leg space and multi-position footrest. Cargo can easily be packed away into the front bungee storage area, and the drink holder is equally accessible. The kayak comes with a foldable, easy to store paddle and a high-pressure hand pump.
- Folds up easily
- Inflates easily
- Great storage and easy access to gear
- The kayak slightly sinks from the centre. Not suitable for someone with the heavier torso.
- Not suitable for open sea or fast-flowing water.
This kayak is perfect for anglers looking to fish in both sea and rivers.
Truly an all-in-one model, this kayak is easy to carry, inflate, and paddle It can seat two riders but can also be used for solo fishing. The seats can also be adjusted to allow solo fishing. The package includes four oars and a foot pump. The kayak has two skegs making tracking super smooth. It’s has been built using puncture-resistant, extra-thick k80 polykrylar hull material. It doesn’t puncture even if it grazes against gravel or sea rocks. It comes with a repair kit that will help fix tears if any. The sit-on-top, open cockpit yak has a sturdy I-beam construction floor.
- Easily manoeuvrable
- Easy to lift and transport
- Doesn’t offer excellent tracking despite two skegs
- Bulky to carry when packed
- The backpack doesn’t have comfortable straps
It is a lightweight, easy to carry and compact 1 person kayak best to use for camping or fishing trips in lake or moderate white water. The kaya is of inflatable type and has a length of about 9 meters. This one person kayak comes with adjustable backrest offering super comfort. The kayak is constructed with semi-rigid heavy gauge PVC and the the tracking of the kayak is of superior quality with 4 bottom fins. The kayak has 3 Air chambers that are completely enclosed with 840 denier nylon with UV and water resistant coating. This inflatable kayak comes includes 2 Boston valves that makes it super easier to inflate and deflate the kayak. The bottom of the kayak is secured by tri-laminate reinforcements ensuring that it gives you lifetime of use. The seats of the kayak are also removable and inflatable also it includes a mesh pocket too. The outer body is bright orange color for safety and high visibility. This Kayak offers great buoyancy and low drag and with great tracking. the kayak also include spray cover for front and back with elbow handle for comfort and grab handle for easy pull out and put in. The kayak has a threaded drain plug too and its stainless steel and nylon hardware is corrosion resistant.
- lightweight and compact
- easy to inflate and deflate
- premium quality comfort with tumbler I-beam floor and adjustable backrest
- durable tri laminated bottom reinforcement
- high safety and visibility
- superior tracking and buoyancy
- nylon and stainless steel hardware making it corrosion resistant
- neoprene elbow guards for comfort
- 6-D rings at bow and stern fore securing gear and grab handle for easy take out and put ins.
- removable and inflatable seats
- threaded drain hole and plug
- UV and water resistant coating
- the outer protective tape may come off
- seam is below the water line
- not very easy to deflate
- the kayaks don’t stand much upright
- less stable and difficult to paddle it in water
This one of the best sit on top kayak with a comfortable padded seat and backrest that is adjustable and is very good option to choose for long fishing sessions. With flat bottom and deep tracking channels and stability chain rails these sit on top kayaks offer extreme safety and stability. the kayak has a construction of high density polyethylene which makes it durable, impact resistant and UV protected. The lightweight compact design makes it highly portable and easy to transport to and from the water front . not only this the kayak has also many added extra features such as fishing rod holder, shock cord straps, storage hatches, multiple footrest positions, flush mounted fishing pole holders, front band rear t handle so that it can be easily carried and a paddle keeper to secure the paddle with the kayak. another star feature of this kayak is that it comes with paddle too. The kayak has padded adjustable seats to provide comfortable experience to different sized paddlers.
- compact and light weight
- hard stable and durable bottom
- high stability
- extreme tracking with deep hull channels
- `adjustable seat, backrest and footrest
- easy transport with front and rear t-handles
- included paddle and adjustable paddle holder
- sturdy construction offering maximum stability
- UV protected and impact resistant
- 2 storage hatches and fishing rod holder
- suitable in windy season too
- a good sitting space
- the seat is not much comfortable for longer sessions
- the plastic handle may broke off
- the screws in plastic body come off easily so not much durable
Sevylor comfortable 2 person kayaks are the best option to get when you are planning a fishing trip in the rough water. The kayak has two adjustable seats with padded backrest so you can paddle along for a long time comfortably. The kayak has handles to carry it in and out of the water easily also it comes with spray covers to keep you dry throughout.
To ensure the safety the Kayak consist of multiple air chambers so in case one gets punctured the others are inflated and you can kayak back to shore easily. The air tight system provide no leak guarantee and includes double lock valves for easy inflation and deflation.
The body of the kayak is constructed with 21-guage PVC providing strength to stand in multiple seasons in water and high stability.
- light weight and portable
- carry handles
- spray cover included
- adjustable seats and padded backrest
- stiff construction backed up by no leak airtight system
- multiple air chambers increasing safety
- suitable in rough water and multiple seasons
- double lock valves for easier deflation and inflation
- cant accommodate 2 persons of a bit bigger size
- hard to guide
- seats don’t stay in place
If you are in search of a good recreational kayak then this one is a suitable kayak for you. This kayak is suitable for sports, fishing, and recreational activities. The large opening cockpit and the single-layer polythene hull ensure a comfortable and safer ride.
It has an adjustable comfort flex seat with easy-grip thigh pads so that the anglers can ride it all day long without any discomfort in the water. The kayak is lightweight with good load capacity. the Vapor 10 glide track foot brace system provides great control and leverage offering efficient and stable ride.
The kayak includes many add on features such as a molded-in cockpit tray with cup holder, stern day well for gear storage , a molded-in paddle rest, skid plate, carry handles and a drain plug. The kayak has tough construction and provides maximum stability and safety along with extreme tracking.
- tough body suitable to use in rough weathers
- lightweight and compact
- extra added features
- great control with vapor 10 glide track foot brace system
- highly stable and safe
- storage space for gears and cup holder
- comfortable seat and backrest for all-day ride
- impressive load capacity
- great tracking
- difficult to turn
- not much preferable for recreational sports
- poor design drain plug
This sit on top kayak is user friendly and has enough space to accommodate large paddlers easily, also it includes a tank well that is spacious enough for a small kid or dog to sit or you can store your extra gear there too. the backrest is solid and supportive with the removable seat so that you can paddle all day long with comfort. the kayak has stern and side handle which makes it easier to carry and secure it .
This kayak model has molded-in footwells that are comfortable and secure, also it includes two flush mount rod holders and a Solace hatch for below deck storage. the kayak is constructed with high-density polyethylene offering great durability and strength. The ST performance hull provides exceptional tracking and stability.
- lightweight and compact
- high-density polyethylene construction offering great strength
- exceptional stability and tracking with ST performance hull
- good space for big size paddlers ensuring comfortable ride
- adjustable backrest and seat for all day long ride comfort
- rear tank well with a net lacing for storage and solace storage hatch for storage space below the deck
- flush mount rod holders and molded-in footwells
- perform well in all kinds of conditions
- rear and side handle for carrying the kayak in and out of the water
- spins if stop working on paddles
- track not up to the mark
This 8 ft compact and lightweight kayak comes with a paddle and has an impressive load capacity compared to its size. the kayak has adjustable hard tough backrest making your ride more comfortable. the kayak include a tank well with bungee cord to secure your items. The body of kayak is constructed from high density polyethylene providing great strength and UV protection.
The hull designs offer exceptional tracking and stability , also the kayak includes molded paddle cradle and multiple footrest positions for different size paddlers. The kayak has front and rear t-handles for easy transport and center carry handle for carrying to the waterfront. The kayak has a quick-release adjustable backrest for additional comfort for the paddler. The kayak is very convenient to carry and store also it has much storage option to store your additional gears . It has self bailing scupper holes to drain the water from the tank well and cockpit
- lightweight , compact and portable kayak
- includes a kayak paddle
- UV protected and don’t fade, peel or crack
- extra storage space in tankwell with bungee cord
- adjustable quick release backrest
- sturdy construction ensuring durability and strength
- hull design provides excellent tracking and stability
- scupper drain hole to keep the cockpit and tankwell dry
- molded in paddle cradle
- multiple footrest positions for different size paddlers
- rear and front t-handles for easy carrying
- center handle to pullout and put in water
- great load bearing capacity compared to size
- backrest adjusting hook straps may come off
- no plugs included for the scupper holes
This kayak is the professional level; kayak is lightweight, portable, and compact. The kayak is constructed with super-tough laminated material with polyester core providing high strength and durability, and ensure high impact and abrasion resistance.
High-pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability. The kayak comes with high-pressure spring-loaded valves for easy inflation and fast deflation. The 3-Ply super tough construction employs a high molecular PVC that is resistant to any effects from gasoline, oil or Saltwater. It is highly resistant to damage from abrasion, sunlight any impact For more rigidity the kayak also permits more air pressure, also it includes two specially designed removable skews for optimal maneuverability in deep and shallow waters, two integrated recessed fishing rod holders, and two floor-mounted footrests and adjustable bucket seats. The kayak has two adjustable and removable seats making it a more comfortable, removable, and adjustable mounting bracket for additional accessories, such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc. The kayak has extra storage space in bow and stern including stainless steel d-rings for tying down dry bags and gear.
The kayak has a great load-bearing capacity and includes 86 in aluminum oars and an output pump too. The kayak also has a carry bag and repair patch. The tracking and stability of the kayak are exceptional.
- the kayak is super sturdy and stable along with being compact and lightweight
- easier to carry and store
- easy inflation and deflation with pressure spring-loaded valves
- resistant to sunlight, impact, and abrasion
- includes bucket seats, fishing rod holders, footrests
- additional skews for good maneuver
- includes output pump and carry bag
- extra storage space in bow and stern
- great load-bearing capacity compared to the size
- excellent stability and tracking
- tracking is not much impressive in some conditions
- less legroom and balance between both seats
- paddles are very small
It is quite tricky to settle on a kayak that meets your budget and requirements. It may take some time and some exploring. This article has reviewed the best five kayaks under $500. To me the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 stands out for its many features and its affordability.
It guarantees a comfortable fishing experience with its padded backrest and a swivel rod holder. It comes with a lot of storage space and also has a Portable Accessory Carrier. It’s not very difficult to maintain the boat as the sturdy material doesn’t receive abrasions very quickly. It also offers a generally reasonable weight capacity that would suit most kayakers.
The boat is not known to tip over easily, which is an excellent feature. The retractable carry handles on the boat make for easy lifting and carrying for anybody. All in all, it is great for recreation and fishing.