If you’re looking for an easier and more enjoyable fishing experience, then you should definitely consider owning a fishing kayak. The benefits are obvious. A kayak is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment: you can use it to fish in a pond, river, or ocean. You can catch trout, bluegill, or larger fish. You also don’t even have to use it just for fishing. Kayaking by itself is quite enjoyable.
Picking the right kayak for you can be a challenge. We’ve reviewed three of the top brands, and sorted them into separate categories. Below you will find our fishing kayak reviews. They are sorted in terms of affordability, value, and overall performance.
You don’t have many choices when choosing a budget fishing kayak. You need something designed for fishing and so you can’t just buy a cheap inflatable model. Fortunately, there is the Sun Dolphin Excursion. It’s by far the number one choice in this price range. No other discount kayak even comes close to matching the quality of this sit-in model.
Features Specifications Overview:
- Width: 30″
- Weight: 40 lbs
- Length: 10′
- Capacity: 250 lbs
- Storage Hatch
- Large Open Cockpit
- Adjustable Foot Braces
Maneuverability is one feature that should be at the top of anyone’s list. With the Sun Dolphin, you get tremendous maneuverability since it has a sturdy hull made of polyethylene. This allows for superb tracking on the water and will allow you to turn with ease. You can get to your top fishing spots and then jet off when you need to find a new spot.
Even though it’s the cheapest on our list, it’s still the best when it comes to portability. It’s the lightest out of our three choices at only 40 lbs. This makes it easy and hassle-free for anyone to carry. Even a child could reasonably expect to carry it a short distance.
It also has the best warranty on our list. It comes with a two year warranty, which is top of the market. You never know what could happen so it’s always great to have a long warranty. You also know that Sun Dolphin is confident in their product, otherwise they couldn’t afford to offer such a long warranty.
Overall this is a great choice for those starting out, or for those on a budget. While affordable, this model is still not cheap at $350. But at the same time, you can’t expect to get anything better for less money. Ultimately you get a quality brand at an affordable price.
The Lifetime Sport Fisher is an incredible value for just under $600. In our opinion, this is the best fishing kayak for the money. This kayak is made for fishing. As you probably know, stability is a huge factor when it comes to maximizing your fishing performance. This model has a tunnel-hill design which makes in incredibly stable. You can sidestaddle, stand-up, or even jump up and down if you have to. Whatever you do, this kayak will not tip over. This gives you peace of mind so you can focus on your fishing.
Features Specifications Overview:
- Width: 36″
- Weight: 60 lbs
- Length: 10′
- Capacity: 500 lbs
- Warranty: 1 Year Limited
- Draft: 6″
- 6″ Storage Hatch
- 4 Fishing Pole Holders
- Scupper Holes
Comfort is a an underrated factor when picking a brand. Comfort is not a big deal until you start feeling uncomfortable. Fortunately, you never have to worry about being uncomfortable with the Lifetime Sport Fisher. The seats are ergonomically designed and feature soft backrests. They keep you “high and dry”, as you will be above the kayak floor. There are also different footrest positions to accommodate people of all sizes. All of this comfort allows you to fish longer. It allows better concentration to keep you mind on fishing.
Versatility is another strong selling point. It’s much better to buy one quality kayak then multiple kayaks that don’t perform as well. This model can fit three people comfortably. You can take it out solo, with a friend, or maybe even with your small family. It’s also versatile in the sense that it’s lightweight, and easy to carry and store.
As far as value goes, you simply can’t beat this model. It gives you everything you need to get the most out of your fishing experience. From the casual fisherman to the experienced angler, this is a kayak well-worth considering.
Meet the Old Town Predator 13. This custom-designed fishing platform represents the best in kayak fishing technology and innovation is available on Amazon at a price that is surprisingly affordable. We think it is clearly the best fishing kayak under $2000. Product developers and engineers at Old Town thought of everything when they designed the Predator 13. Are there any downsides to the Predator 13? Sure, it’s a bit heavy and it is pretty long. Still, this is a full-featured monster that can handle any type of fishing. It’s particularly suited to stand-up fishermen.
The Predator is comfortable, innovative, and the design features are extraordinarily intuitive. At under $1300 it is one of the most value-conscious choices if you need a full-featured kayak. Kayaks with similar features sell for almost twice the price. The Predator matches up and, in many cases, surpasses the features of the best fishing kayaks you can buy.
Features Specifications Overview:
- Width: 33.5″
- Weight: 86 lbs
- Length: 13’2″
- Capacity: 425 lbs
- Element Seating System
- Tri-Hull Performance Hull
- 8 Scupper Holes
- Removable Mounting Places (6)
- Dual-Tip Rod Holders
- Rod Retainer Bungees
- Exo-Ridge Tank Well
- Mod Pod Cover
- Side-Mount Paddle Storage
You can tell that the Predator was made by anglers. It’s a comfortable and stable platform that can go just about anywhere.
It all starts with the Element Seating System which offers form, function and comfort. There are three seat positions that easily adjust. The TRAVEL position is perfect for paddling. It lowers the center of gravity for increased stability. The ATTACK seating position is a raised position designed for fishing. A STAND-UP position provides a stable standing platform for sighting and casting.
The performance of the Tri-Hull is exceptional. The kayak is one of the most stable platforms on the market. A Slip-Resistant Exo-Ridge Deck offers a slip-free surface for fishing while standing up. The Predator also has a level floor that runs the length of the boat with no obstructions. This provides a better stand-up platform and more options to suit your fishing style. In the STAND-UP position, the seat folds backward and the kayak transforms with an impressive amount of floor space.
A large bow hatch with Click Seal cover protects your gear from water. Inside the hatch is an elevated battery bag that can hold battery components above the water line. A recessed scupper port offers built-in mounting for side imaging transducers.
Few kayaks in this price range offer the customization and flexibility of the Old Town Predator 13. You won’t find yourself drilling any holes in the Predator to attach your gear. There are six (6) mounting areas on the middle rails of the boat. There is also a center console with the popular mod pod cover.
Many aftermarket options are available to improve function including a Steady-Stand Bar and Scotty Outriggers for additional stability. There are also mounts for a Minn Kota Trolling Motor.
Is there anything bad about this Kayak? We could only think of two downsides. We already mentioned that it’s heavy. By the time you add some gear to the boat, it’s going to be over 100 pounds. At 86 pounds “off the shelf”, it’s difficult to move around. The sides are also high. They keep you dry in rough conditions, but when it gets windy they catch some of the breeze.
Purchasing a fishing kayak is a great way to get out on the water and over to the best areas to catch fish. In addition to the lower price, they offer several advantages over traditional boats. Simplicity, near silent operation and stealth come into play. You can also get a kayak into many locations that a boat, or even a full-sized canoe would never go. The best part? Kayaks don’t require the maintenance and effort of a power boat. If you are looking for the absolute best fishing kayaks, then take a close look at the three brands we mentioned.