7 Best Budget Fishing Kayaks: Stay Afloat Without Breaking the Bank

by | Last updated Jul 15, 2024

Best Overall Tamarack Angler 100
Tamarack Angler 100

Stable, durable, and affordable, this 10-foot kayak boasts 275 lbs capacity, multiple storage compartments, and 3 rod holders.

Best Value Intex Excursion Pro
Intex Excursion Pro

This inflatable kayak offers incredible portability, a 400 lb capacity, and is surprisingly stable. It’s a very good deal for everyone.

Most Featured Pescador Pro 10
Pescador Pro 10

This 10-foot kayak packs a punch with a 375 lb capacity, 5 rod holders, a comfortable stadium seat, and ample storage for gear.

Best Budget Fishing kayak

Dream of peaceful mornings on the water, reeling in the big one from your kayak? Fishing kayaks open a world of angling opportunities, but high-end models can be pricey.

The good news? You don’t need to break the bank for great kayak fishing.

This guide reveals the best budget fishing kayaks, balancing performance and value. Whether you are a seasoned angler or casting your first line, discover the perfect kayak that will satisfy your budget.

What is the Best Budget Fishing Kayak?

Choosing a budget-friendly fishing kayak doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or features. Plenty of excellent options deliver stability, storage, and comfort without the hefty price tag. We’ve researched and tested various models to compile a list of the best budget fishing kayaks, considering factors like performance, durability, and value.

1. Tamarack Angler 100

This kayak is a classic for a reason. Affordable and reliable, it’s a fantastic entry point into kayak fishing. It’s no-frills but gets the job done with surprising comfort and stability.

Tamarack Angler 100

Our Take

0out of 10

It's an excellent value for the price, offering stability, durability, and essential features for anglers. It may not be the most lightweight or have the fanciest features, but it's a reliable workhorse that gets you on the water without breaking the bank.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: The wide, flat-bottom design makes it super stable, even for beginners or standing casts.
  • Weight Capacity: A generous 275 lb capacity leaves plenty of room for you, your gear, and hopefully, a big catch.
  • Storage: Multiple compartments and bungee cords keep your gear secure. Plus, three-rod holders (two flush-mounted, one top-mount) keep your lines in the water.
  • Comfort: The adjustable backrest and multiple footrest positions ensure a comfortable ride, even on long trips.
  • Durability: Built from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), it can take a beating and resist UV damage.
  • Portability: Weighing in at 52 lbs, it's not the lightest but still manageable for one person to transport.
  • Additional Features: Includes a paddle keeper, front and rear T-handles for easy carrying, and scupper holes for drainage.
  • Warranty: Lifetime's 5-year limited warranty offers peace of mind.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $639.99
Tamarack Angler 100

Pros

  • Unbeatable price for the quality
  • Extremely stable and tracks well in calm waters
  • Ample storage for a 10-foot kayak
  • Comfortable for longer fishing trips
  • Durable construction
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Not the lightest kayak to transport
  • Seat could be more cushioned
  • Tracking can be challenging in windy conditions

2. Sentinel 100X Angler

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler is a solid upgrade from the Tamarack, offering more features and comfort without a massive price jump.

Sentinel 100X Angler

Our Take

0out of 10

It offers a good balance of features, comfort, and durability at a reasonable price. It's a versatile option for anglers looking for a step up from the most basic models.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: The twin-arched multi-chine hull provides excellent stability for both sitting and standing.
  • Weight Capacity: It can handle up to 325 lbs, giving you extra carrying capacity for gear and catch.
  • Storage: A large tank well with bungee cords, plus a front hatch for dry storage, provides ample space for your gear. It also includes two flush-mounted rod holders and one swivel rod holder.
  • Comfort: The ERGOLOUNGE seating system is surprisingly comfortable, with adjustable padding and a raised seat back for added support.
  • Durability: Built from RAM-X™ impact-resistant material, it's designed to withstand rough conditions.
  • Portability: Weighing 54 lbs, it's comparable to the Tamarack in terms of portability.
  • Additional Features: Includes paddle and rod tie-downs, carrying handles, and bottle holders.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on the hull.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $608.19
Sentinel 100X Angler

Pros

  • Very stable and tracks well
  • Comfortable ERGOLOUNGE seat
  • More storage space than the Tamarack
  • Durable construction
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than the Tamarack
  • Swivel rod holder feels a bit flimsy
  • Could use more accessory mounting points

3. Intex Excursion Pro

This inflatable kayak is a game-changer for budget-minded anglers who prioritize portability.

Intex Excursion Pro

Our Take

0out of 10

It's an excellent choice for anglers who value portability and convenience above all else. While it may not be the most rugged or high-performance kayak, it's a fun and affordable way to get on the water.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: High-pressure inflatable I-beam floor provides decent stability for an inflatable kayak.
  • Weight Capacity: Supports up to 400 lbs, perfect for two anglers or solo trips with plenty of gear.
  • Storage: Removable and adjustable mounting bracket for accessories like GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc.
  • Comfort: High-backed inflatable seats with backrests are surprisingly comfortable and adjustable.
  • Durability: Constructed from SUPER-TOUGH™ PVC, it's puncture and UV-damage-resistant.
  • Portability: Deflated, it packs down into a carry bag for easy transport and storage. It also inflates quickly with the included high-output pump.
  • Additional Features: Includes two 86-inch aluminum oars, a high-output pump, a pressure gauge, a repair patch kit, and a carry bag.
  • Warranty: 90-day limited warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $207.69
Intex Excursion Pro

Pros

  • Incredibly portable and easy to store
  • Spacious and comfortable for two anglers
  • Surprisingly stable for an inflatable
  • Affordable price
  • Includes everything you need to get started

Cons

4. Journey 10 SS

If you're looking for a stable and user-friendly sit-on-top kayak, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is a reliable option.

Journey 10 SS

Our Take

0out of 10

It's a solid all-around kayak that's well-suited for beginners and recreational anglers. It offers good stability, comfort, and value for the price.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: The wide, flat-bottom hull offers excellent primary and secondary stability, making it easy to stand and cast.
  • Weight Capacity: With a 250 lb capacity, it can handle most anglers and their gear comfortably.
  • Storage: Features a large open cockpit area with bungee cords, plus a dry storage hatch in the back. It also includes two flush-mounted rod holders and a swivel rod holder.
  • Comfort: The padded seat is adjustable and offers decent support for longer trips.
  • Durability: Constructed from rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® high-density polyethylene, it's built to last.
  • Portability: Weighing 44 lbs, it's relatively easy to transport and carry.
  • Additional Features: Includes paddle holders, carrying handles, and adjustable foot braces.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on the hull.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $472.04
Journey 10 SS

Pros

  • Stable and easy to maneuver
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Decent storage space
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Limited legroom for taller anglers
  • Seatback could be higher for more support
  • Could use more accessory mounting points

5. Pescador Pro 10

The Perception Pescador Pro 10 is a popular choice among seasoned anglers due to its performance-driven design and thoughtful features.

Pescador Pro 10

Our Take

0out of 10

It's a fantastic fishing kayak that offers excellent performance, comfort, and versatility. While it's a bit pricier than other options, it's worth the investment for serious anglers.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: The wide, stable hull design allows for confident standing and casting, even in choppy conditions.
  • Weight Capacity: It boasts a 375 lb capacity, plenty of room for your gear, and a big catch.
  • Storage: A large rear tank well with bungee cords, a center console with a tackle box, and a bow hatch provide plenty of storage options. It also comes with four flush-mounted rod holders and a central swivel rod holder.
  • Comfort: The stadium-style seat is comfortable and supportive, even during long fishing trips.
  • Durability: Constructed from rotomolded polyethylene, it's incredibly durable and can handle rough use.
  • Portability: At 64 lbs, it's a bit heavier but still manageable for one person to transport.
  • Additional Features: Includes paddle holders, carrying handles, gear tracks for mounting accessories, and a replaceable skid plate.
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $1,326.11
Pescador Pro 10

Pros

  • Excellent stability and tracking
  • Comfortable seat
  • Ample storage space
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile design for different fishing styles

Cons

  • Heavier than other budget options
  • Price is at the higher end of the budget range
  • Seat could use more padding

6. Coleman Colorado

This inflatable kayak is a popular choice for casual anglers looking for a fun and affordable way to get on the water.

Coleman Colorado

Our Take

0out of 10

It's a great entry-level option for casual anglers who want a fun and affordable kayak for calm waters. While it may not be the most durable or high-performance kayak, it's a good way to get started with kayak fishing.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: The 18-gauge PVC construction with a tarpaulin bottom and an inflatable I-beam floor provides decent stability for calm waters.
  • Weight Capacity: It can support up to 470 lbs, making it a good option for tandem fishing or solo trips with lots of gear.
  • Storage: Mesh storage pockets, D-rings for attaching gear, and bungee cords at the front provide ample storage.
  • Comfort: Inflatable seats with backrests offer decent comfort for shorter trips.
  • Durability: Made from 18-gauge PVC with a tarpaulin bottom, it's fairly puncture-resistant.
  • Portability: Deflates and packs into a carry bag for easy transport and storage. It also inflates quickly with the included pump.
  • Additional Features: Includes two paddles, a pump, a pressure gauge, and a carry bag.
  • Warranty: Limited 1-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $389.60
Coleman Colorado

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Spacious and comfortable for two anglers
  • Decent stability for calm waters

Cons

  • Not as durable as hard-shell kayaks
  • Can be affected by wind and currents
  • Not ideal for standing and casting
  • Seats could be more comfortable for longer trips

7. Skipjack 90

The Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 is a compact and versatile fishing kayak that's perfect for anglers who fish in smaller bodies of water or need a kayak that's easy to transport.

Skipjack 90

Our Take

0out of 10

It's a fantastic fishing kayak that offers a great combination of portability, performance, and features. It's an excellent choice for anglers who fish in smaller bodies of water or want a kayak that's easy to transport and store.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: The wide, flat-bottom hull offers good stability for its size, making it easier to stand and cast.
  • Weight Capacity: It can support up to 300 lbs, enough for most anglers and their gear.
  • Storage: A large rear tank well with bungee cords, a center console with tackle tray storage, and two sealed hatches provide ample storage. It also comes with two flush-mounted rod holders and four integrated gear tracks for mounting accessories.
  • Comfort: The HERO seat is comfortable and supportive, with adjustable height and backrest.
  • Durability: Constructed from single-piece rotomolded polyethylene, it's built to last.
  • Portability: Weighing in at 46 lbs, it's one of the lightest fishing kayaks on the market.
  • Additional Features: Includes paddle holders, carrying handles, and a rudder-ready design.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on the hull.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $649.99
Skipjack 90

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Stable and maneuverable
  • Comfortable HERO seat
  • Ample storage space
  • Durable construction
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Could use more accessory mounting points
  • Not ideal for very rough or choppy water
  • Not as much legroom as larger kayaks

What to Look for in a Budget Fishing Kayak?

How Can Budget Fishing Kayaks Benefit You?

Budget fishing kayaks open a world of angling adventures without the hefty price tag of high-end models. They're perfect for beginners who want to try kayak fishing without a major investment.

A lady is fishing on a kayak

You'll find surprisingly stable fishing kayaks with ample storage for your gear, ensuring comfort and convenience on the water.

Inflatable fishing kayaks, like the Intex Excursion Pro, offer exceptional portability, making them ideal for anglers with limited storage or those who frequently travel to different fishing spots.

Even on a budget, you can find kayaks built with durable materials to withstand regular use.

Remember, the best fishing kayak is the one that best suits your needs and budget, and plenty of affordable options deliver exceptional value.

Buyer's Guide

When doing our research to find the best fishing kayaks, we determined our picks using these factors:

A man is fishing on a kayak

Pricing: We analyzed the cost of each kayak, considering its features and overall value.

Features: We compared the different features offered by each kayak, such as stability, storage capacity, comfort, durability, and portability. We also looked for additional features like rod holders, paddle holders, and gear tracks.

Negatives: We identified any potential drawbacks of each kayak, such as limited legroom, lack of accessory mounting points, or tracking issues.

Support or Refund: We looked into the manufacturer's warranty and customer support options to ensure buyers have recourse if they encounter issues with their kayak.

Reviews: We scoured online reviews and forums to gather feedback from real users about their experiences with each kayak. This helped us get a better understanding of the kayaks' performance in real-world conditions.

Hands-on Testing: We tested some of the best fishing kayaks ourselves to assess their stability, tracking, comfort, and overall performance on the water. This allowed us to make more informed recommendations.

Expert Opinions: We consulted with experienced kayak anglers and industry experts to get their insights and opinions on the top-budget fishing kayaks.

By considering all of these factors, we were able to compile a comprehensive list of the best budget fishing kayaks that offer excellent value for the price.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned angler, you're sure to find a kayak on our list that meets your needs and budget.

We did not include pedal kayaks or sit-on-top kayaks in this guide, as they tend to be more expensive than traditional paddle kayaks. However, we may cover these types of kayaks in a future article.

Wrapping Up

Finding the perfect fishing kayak doesn't have to mean emptying your wallet.

Whether you're drawn to the portability of inflatable kayaks, the stability of wider models, or the simplicity of a paddle kayak, there's a budget-friendly option for every

Angler.

Fishing kayak

Remember, choosing a kayak is a personal decision. Consider your fishing style, budget, and the features that matter most to you.

Research test the paddle if possible, and don't hesitate to ask for advice.

With so many great cheap fishing kayaks available, you'll be out on the water, reeling in your next catch before you know it. And remember to pack your essential fishing tackle!

Ultimately, the best budget fishing kayak is the one that gets you on the water, enjoying your passion without the stress of overspending. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are inflatable fishing kayaks as good as hard-shell kayaks?

Inflatable fishing kayak offer excellent portability and affordability. While they may not be as durable or track as well as hard-shell kayaks, advancements in technology have made them surprisingly stable and suitable for calm waters.

What is the most stable fishing kayak for beginners?

For beginners, a wider kayak with a flat bottom generally offers the best stability. Kayaks like the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 and Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler are known for their stability and are great options for those new to kayak fishing.

What should I look for when buying a fishing kayak?

Consider stability, weight capacity, storage options, comfort, durability, and portability. Think about the type of water you'll be fishing in and the features that are important to you, such as rod holders, paddle holders, and gear tracks.

Are high-end fishing kayaks worth the extra money?

High-end fishing kayaks often offer superior performance, materials, and features. However, many budget-friendly options provide excellent value for the price. It ultimately depends on your budget and specific needs as an angler.

Can I stand up and fish in a budget fishing kayak?

Yes, several budget fishing kayaks offer enough stability for standing and casting. Look for wider kayaks with a flat bottom, like the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 or Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS.