If you’ve ever looked into the hobby of fishing in a kayak, then your jaw might have dropped regarding the price point. Some of the top-of-the-range models come at really high prices, which might deter some of the most casual fishermen.
However, if you do not want to break the bank on your next kayak, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of models out there that will cost you less than $500.
This doesn’t mean they are of any lesser quality either - some of these kayaks have all the best features that will make your fishing experience second-to-none.
Whether it is how well they track through the water or how many accessories come with this boat, we’ll break down some of the best features so that you’ll have the very best kayak to catch all the fish that you’ll need.
You’ll also want a boat that is very sturdy, which will not pitch you into the drink if things get a little choppy.
So where can you find the best kayaks for less than $500? What features does a really good kayak need to have? What is the best material to keep your kayak waterproof and very durable?
How much would you have to pay for a decent kayak? Should your kayak be easy to transport on your car or truck?
Well, if you want the answers to all these questions and then some, we would suggest that you keep reading this article.
We have compiled a list of the 10 best kayaks, all of which thankfully fall under the $500 price tag. We’ll then end it with a buyer’s guide that will help you to decide which is the best kayak for your needs.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This first kayak is one that you can sit on top of, being a recreational kayak that you can use for fishing.
This is great for the summer weather when the waters are calm and you just want a boat you can kick back and relax on - introducing the Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak.
- This kayak measures at 9-feet long, which is perfect for any solo kayaker who wants to relax with a simple fishing rod and maybe some music.
- This has a solid plastic construction that will float really well and not result in you having any toppling issues.
- This kayak only weighs 44 pounds, so it will be very easy to drag up the shore and into a lake, river or pool.
- This has a flat-bottom hull, which is great for space-saving features and allowing you to move your legs and increase the circulation in your body.
- This boat might have a few simple features and does not possess some of the more intricate fishing features that the more die-hard fishers will want.
This next kayak is one of the cheapest on this list of already cheap kayaks, making it the perfect river companion for anyone who is looking to fish for the first time but is working to a strict budget - introducing the Perception Sound 9.5.
- This comes with a dashboard area that you can use to store plenty of fishing equipment, with a two-molded chair with rod holders.
- This has a few fishing accessories like rod holders and seats that you can adjust for the perfect relaxing environment.
- This kayak is very easy to sit in and operate, which will be very important for anyone who is fishing for the first time and wants their kayak to do a lot of the leg work.
- This has perfect storage space on the deck, ideally designed for a single fisherman or two fishers who are very, very light on the amount of gear they carry.
- This is a very long and heavy unit that might be difficult to carry for users who are suffering from mobility issues.
This next rod has two mount holders that you can use for your two-person fishing experience.
It also has a portable accessory carrier that you can use to store plenty of fishing gear or your personal items - introducing the Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak.
- This boat is built for both recreation and fishing, with both a holder for your rod and a holder for your fishing rod.
- This comes with plenty of accessories, such as a beverage holder and some deck rigging that will allow you to fish for long periods at a time.
- This is made from a dent-resistant plastic that you can be sure will increase the longevity of your kayak.
- This has comfortable seating and food braces that you can adjust to suit your legs, so you can have great circulation with your vessel.
- This might be a heavy-duty boat for some of the more inexperienced fishers. We would recommend you get this only if you have a few years of experience under your belt.
This next kayak is something a little bit different, coming in an inflatable model that will be easy to set up and pack away again.
The entry points of your kayak are very simple, allowing you to get it set up within an hour - introducing the Sevylor Colorado Inflatable Kayak.
- This kayak is one of the best when it comes to forward and reverse paddling. It has a hard nose that you can use for tracking.
- This kayak can be inflated and deflated very easily. This will make it great to store in your car when you are not using it.
- This comes with D-rings and bungee cords, which are very important if you are going to lash your equipment to the roof of your vehicle.
- This comes with plenty of room on the decking, which is great if you want to carry a moderate amount of fishing gear with you.
- This boat is inflatable and might not give professional fishers who carry a lot of gear the stability that they need from their boat.
This next kayak is great for small children or young adults who might be taking to the water for the very first time. This has plenty of rod holders and security leashes to keep you in your boat - introducing the Pelican Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak.
- This has security leashes that you can be sure will hold you tightly on the deck of your boat.
- This has easy steering and two aluminum oars that you can use to steer the boat either forwards or backward. This boat comes with amazing tracking.
- This is great for youngsters, it is not too heavy and is easy to navigate for people who might be relatively new to kayaking and fishing.
- This comes with plenty of safety features that can guarantee you a solid boating experience on smooth waters.
- This boat might have trouble if it hits choppy waters, which will be difficult for boaters who have less experience out on the water.
This next angler is a great medium-range boat, with a blow-molded design that will give you plenty of space on your decking. It also has UV protection and is highly durable when it comes to impacts - introducing the Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak.
- This has a lightweight design, so it will be easy to carry it from your truck to the shoreline.
- This comes with a 41-pound design and plenty of room on the decking. This is one of the most buoyant units that you can find on the market.
- The price - this is another very cheap unit, we would certainly recommend it for anyone who wants to pinch a few pennies.
- This comes with multiple foot positions, so you can stretch out and really relax your legs, which is important for staying out on the water and increasing circulation.
- This kayak might be a little much for beginners with little experience out on the water.
This next kayak comes with plenty of durable features as well as adjustable seats and built-in footrests and waterproof bag latches that will allow you to carry your personal possessions with you - introducing the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak.
- This comes with handles on the front that you can use to easily carry the inflatable up over land and into the water.
- This is an inflatable unit, so when it is not in use you can easily store it in the trunk of your truck or the back of your garage.
- This comes with a pair of aluminum oars, so you can be sure of a very durable and sturdy ride when you are out on the waves.
- This also comes with a sturdy air pump that you can use to get your inflatable kayak up and running in no time at all.
- This might not be sturdy enough for professional fishers who are going to be carrying a lot of fishing gear.
This kayak is very lightweight and versatile, coming in yet another inflatable design that you can be sure will give you everything that you need for a portable and space-saving vessel - introducing the Sea Eagle 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak.
- This kayak weighs only 32 pounds, so it will be very easy to drag it from one end of the beach to the other. This will definitely help younger users or people with mobility issues.
- This comes in a lightweight design and great deck space. This is good for anyone who is going to be bringing any amount of gear with them.
- This is great for both experienced fishers and people who are just hitting the water for the very first time.
- This can be inflated and ready to fish in just a few minutes. We would definitely recommend that you have this for your fishing needs.
- This is a two-person kayak, so it might not be suitable for anyone traveling solo without only a small amount of gear.
This angling boat comes with a host of great accessories that you can use to have a premium-level fishing experience.
We would certainly recommend that you choose this boat, as it’s lightweight, extremely portable and easy to use - introducing the Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat.
- This is great for use on the slow lakes, giving you everything that you need for a tranquil and wobble-free boating experience.
- This boat is made from vinyl that you can be sure will give you everything that you need for a very stable and durable ride.
- This comes with electronically-welded seams that you can be sure will keep your boat completely airtight and not take on water.
- This also comes with an inflatable floor and movable seats, both of which are very important if you need mobility when you are out on the water for longer than 2 hours.
- The price - although this kayak is still under $500, this is one of the more expensive models on this list.
Our final kayak is known for its great tunnel hull design and its ability to maneuver quickly and accurately. This has plenty of storage space and is completely waterproof.
This gives you plenty of comfort throughout the entire day - introducing the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle.
- As indicated by the name, this kayak comes with a sturdy paddle. This will help you navigate treacherous waters.
- This has very stable standing and fishing, when it comes to balance it will be very hard to beat this boat.
- This comes with an integrated waterproof design, so you won’t have to worry about your belongings getting wet.
- This has plenty of rail-mounted accessories, so you won’t have to concern yourself with having your belongings completely attached to the side of your boat.
- This boat is another one that is on the expensive side, but if you want all the state-of-the-art features, then you might have to spend a little more money.
Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 Buying Guide
When you are picking up your first kayak, there’ll be a few things that you’ll need to consider, including durability, reliability, longevity and how well it will be to navigate.
Here are a few things that you’ll be wanting to look for:
How Well Does It Track?
Tracking is how your boat moves through the water. Some boats have hardened noses and a more streamlined design that will help you better move through the water.
We would recommend that you get a plastic kayak, if that’s how you want to move through the waves, however, some inflatable boats are now just as sturdy.
What Is It Made From?
Your vessel should be made from plastic and some fabric materials. The plastic of the boat should prevent any water from leaking into the deck of your boat and damaging your personal possessions and your fishing equipment.
However, you can also get inflatable boats that are made from materials such as vinyl that will help you to coast through the water with a high level of ease. These inflatables are also quite resistant to punctures from stones and other materials.
Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 - FAQ's
Is An Inflatable Kayak Better Than A Plastic One?
This will all depend on whether you prefer durability or ease of setup. If you don’t want to lug a kayak for miles and miles on the hood of your truck and you have very little room when it comes to your living space, then we would suggest an inflatable kayak.
These inflatable kayaks are very easy to store and there won’t be that much difference in the construction of an inflatable with a solid plastic model.
However, if you have a lot of fishing gear, including your bait box, tackle and fish finder, then you might want to have the stability afforded you by a plastic model.
Why Get A Cheaper Kayak?
You should only get a less expensive model of kayak if you are on a budget. Sometimes a family will want to buy a kayak but they might not have the money to spend on something with all the bells and whistles.