Fishing on a kayak is inherently more convenient and joyful than on canoes since its compact design can take you to a few narrow spots in the water. Not to say that investing in the best fishing kayak is more affordable than on other boats.
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With such huge advantages and a budget of fewer than 1000 dollars, here are some top-rated options from my experience for you:
Top 10 Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 Review 2020
Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sport Kayak Pro Package
The Sea Eagle SE330 boasts the highest weight capacity that can hold 1-3 people or 500 lbs. (However, I myself would highly recommend it for 2 persons for the best comfort.)
Regardless, its total weight is shocking – only 26 lbs. Compared to the lightest kayak in this collection that is 18 lbs. and a weight capacity of 130 lbs., Sea Eagle SE330 is truly a steal.
Since designed as an inflatable sport kayak, this product can be deflated for easier transportation. It’s measured 24 x 16 x 7 in to stay nicely in any car trunks.
If you start doubting at its durability then don’t! Sea Angle has been inherently a well-known brand specialized in inflatable kayaks since 1968. Their products highlight two biggest selling points – superior one-way valves and thick hull material.
In this case, it’s crafted from 33 mil Polykrylar with High-Frequency Welded seam and just within 6 minutes, the kayak is done with assembly as well as inflating.
It’s also NMMA certified for safety satisfaction that you can use for saltwater, Class III whitewater or dragging from/to the water.
Aside from two removable, comfortable seats, you also get 2 8-foot AB30 paddles, 1-foot pump, and 1 storage bag. Seem like not so many accessories, huh? But considering the price and the provided 3-year warranty, I think it’s the most well-worth kayak under $300 for fishing, skin-diving, and yacht tending.
Lifetime Youth Wave
(Best Small Fishing Kayak)
The Lifetime Youth Wave featured 18-pound weight and multiple footrest positions make a great choice as a small fishing kayak for a kid from 5 years old and up. (As long as they are under 130 lbs.)
The kayak also has two molded finger handles on each side so you can pack longer distance by hands.
Since it’s produced for kids and teenagers to practice fishing on a kayak, the hull shape now is widened a little bit and the swim-up deck allows kids to easier entry from its rear. Combined with a reverse chine, it enhances stability and tracking pretty well.
Material isn’t a concern either because it’s crafted from high-quality plastic. Though the product can’t be inflated, it’s light enough to drag around by kids or fit inside most SUV’s.
All-in-all, I appreciate this kid kayak since it not only drags my kids away from electronic devices but also enhances their motor skills and balance significantly. Highly recommended.
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak
(Best Ocean Fishing Kayak)
Priced under $250, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is the best bet for convenience.
Aside from a compact, inflatable kayak, you will also find in its full set:
- 2 adjustable seats
- 2 floor mounted footrests
- 2 removable skews for shallow and deep water
- 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders
The most outstanding feature is a mounting bracket where you can attach many kinds of additional accessories on. For example, fish finder, GPS systems, and swivel fishing rod holders.
Out of other commercially manufactured inflatable kayaks that are specifically designed for fishing only, I find this is the most professional.
Highlight with 3-ply laminate PVC with polyester core, 400-pound weight capacity, and NMMA certification, it’s safe and supportive for ocean fishing.
The product also excels its stability and rigidity through high-pressure inflation. On the other hand, equipped with pressure gauge, it prevents me from overinflating my boat, which is great. It’s something that lacks on the Explorer.
In the end, I would suggest this ocean kayak for those who intend to stick their life seriously to fishing. It’s perfect to carry to any fishing spots while helps you avoid wasting money renting the kayaks there.
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
(Best 1-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak)
Featured as a 1-person kayak, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 is super lightweight – 18 lbs. that even a female kayaker can carry in long distances by hands.
The boat is also easy and quick to set up. Just 5-6 minutes and everything is then readily on the water.
But what impresses me the most is its enormous 400-pound weight capacity and superior durability. Sevylor Quikpak K1 is crafted from 21-gauge PVC with rugged Tarpaulin bottom. It helps me a lot to deal with the rigors of the lake.
Even in the worst case (punctuation for example), its multiple air chambers prevent my boat from sunken.
On the other hand, the perfect combination of double lock valves and the airtight system ensures this inflatable kayak not to leak or pop open. Very secure!
Fans of the Sevylor Quikpak K1 also give compliments for its ultra-comfort, from the backrest, the storage area to the multiple footrest positions.
I love its drink holders the most since they keep my soft drink and water bottles easily accessible and stand neatly. Compared to other 1-person kayaks that I’ve tried, this is unbeatable.
Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
(Best Kayak On A Budget)
Another kid kayak options and in this case, it’s more budget-friendly for buyers.
Simple construction and efficiency are two highlights of the Lifetime Youth 6 Feet. And honestly, its short length is one of the biggest advantages since they are easier to maneuver and steer.
Differ from other short kayaks that kids might find difficult to paddle straightly because of its agile nature, this combines with a reverse chine.
The most wonderful benefit of this additional detail is to keep your kids stable when padding. Hence, avoid unwanted falling off, which I think no parents would like it to happen.
Compared to the previous sibling, there are many similarities, such as the high-density polyethylene material, the swim-up deck, the molded finger handles, and the weight capacity.
Two biggest differences are their paddle design and warranty. In this model, it’s up to a 5-year warranty while the price goes down. What a good deal!
So, I think this is the biggest proof for the saying “Good things don’t always have to cost a fortune”.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
(Best Comfortable Kayak)
Here comes the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100, which is integrated all needed features of the best fishing kayak under $500:
- Multiple footrest positions
- Comfortable seat back and seat pad
- Stable flat bottom, deep hull design
- Two mounted fishing rod holders
I bet they might remind you of the Intex Excursion Pro above, but the reason why I only picked this as the best for fishing is its polyethylene can be UV-protected. What does that mean?
It means after hours of fishing under harsh sunlight or even then, you sun dry it, the boat won’t be deformed or damaged. Therefore, years after years of abusing, not only it doesn’t discolor but also is durable.
The only gripe of this kayak is it’s a solid boat so transportable from A to B might be a bit difficult. In turns, there are some front and rear T-handles for easily drag it from or to water.
I also find its two 6” storage compartments keep everything better organized than inside an inflatable kayak. So, nothing is perfect! If you the tidiness of stuff placed inside your boat as well as its superior durability, choose this.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak
(Best Sit-In Kayak)
For water enthusiasts, the SUNDOLPHIN Aruba is a worth-considering option because of its perfect compromise of compactness and convenience.
It’s a solid one-person kayak sizing 120 x 30 x 13 inches. Despite the modest dimensions, its construction wise gives you 41” x 17” x 11” open cockpit with high back support and adjustable padded seat.
You will also find some foot pegs with several positions so when sitting in, you can adjust and bring them closer to the seat.
Material is another mentionable feature.
It’s crafted from UV-protected polyethylene (the same kind as Lifetime Tarmarack) but in comparison, is a bit thinner. Accordingly, it’s much lighter to carry around than other counterparts while boasting the same durability and strength.
I love the convenient gear storage that’s integrated right next to the backseat for easier access. It’s a small, dry compartment though. But with tie-down bungee and closure lid, it’s good at waterproof to keep my stuff safe and dry.
The only thing you need to remember is aligning the cord correctly to keep it watertight.
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100
(Best Lake Kayak)
Taking your kayak a small step above beginner, the Vibe Yellowfin 100 (with an array of additional built-in features) is good to go.
But the seat is what I want to talk firstly because of its incredible comfort. Instead of hard plastic bottoms, it features a soft plush-style mesh fabric that’s not only breathable but also supportive to your butt and back.
Sitting on this for 5-6-hour fishing gains no back pain like other sit-in kayaks would do. Don’t worry about accidentally jumping ship either since there are small straps equipped at the front side of the seat.
In terms of storage, aside from 2 29” water-sealed hatches there where you can put in 5-6 iced beer, soda, and soft drink, there’s another molded-in rear tank well.
Compared to the SUNDOLPHIN, this is much larger so you can put in a backpack, small tackle boxes or shoes.
Fans of the Vibe kayak also impresses by how durable it is and material is the key for that. It’s 100% high-density polyethylene that not only hold up to 375 pounds of weight but also emphasizes with lightness.
With an included paddle, it also allows you to try different paddling styles in slow or flat moving waters. The best thing is when not in need, you can easily bungee them on thanks to the built-in 2 side bungee paddle parks.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
(Best Tandem Kayak)
While 90% tandems are more about solo kayaks, the Ocean Malibu has tripled the footwell sets. Combined with high-density material and 425-pound capacity, you can take along a friend, a pet, or a kid without lacking in space or going slow.
But if you tend to enjoy your weekend fishing trip alone, the adjustable seat will allow you to put it in the middle to paddle solo.
Besides, it’s very lightweight – only 57 lbs. Compared to a normal tandem that’s usually 60-100 lbs. in weight, this one is manageable by one person to carry around.
Another highlight is its extra width (of 34 inches) that will help you track and keep balance better than other sit-on-top kayaks
The only pity is there’s little to no storage space if carrying two paddlers. If you go solo, there’s a small dry bag where you can put in some drinks.
But overall, the Ocean Malibu is the most worth-trying fishing kayak under $700.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
(Best Sit-On Top Kayak)
Compared to other fishing kayaks, this SUNDOLPHIN is a bit shorter.
But I appreciate here is that even at 10-foot length, it’s still packed with two storage hatches – one behind the seat and one at the bow. They are both completed with bungee cord rigging and sealed-watertight protection.
Additionally, is a smaller dry bag on the front of the seat and a standard kayak cup holder.
Though four of them aren’t as spacious as the Journey 12SS, the highlight is their easy access. That avoids you from jumping constantly around to pick what you want.
The same with its three-rod holder locations – two on both sides of the boat and one in front of the cup holder. They are convenient enough to adjust the reels without reaching far back or getting up.
Compared to other kayaks with the same fish-focused features, I find the Journey 10 SS is much more affordable, stability, and durability. Not to say that it’s also easy to transport and use as well.
If you’re a beginner kayaker who want to have a boat for fishing, this is the best bet.
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000
In case you’re wondering which factors were considered when I rounded up this collection of the best fishing kayaks under $1000, here they are:
Choosing the material for a fishing kayak is a bit different from when it’s for others. Since it will be exposed under harsh sunlight and used for storing fishing gear, the material should be rougher and better at scratch resistance.
From my experience, I highly recommend opting for the high-density polyethylene because of its superior durability and lightness.
It will be better if your boat’s material is UV stabilized as well. It helps to prolong the boat’s life while prevents discoloring efficiently.
Space for fishing gear
No fishers would go fishing without any gear. At least, there should be some lures, tackle box, fishing rods, water bucket, food, and drinks.
That’s why space for fishing gear is really essential.
To determine how much space that you need on a fishing kayak, list out all needed gear you’re going to carry along the trip. It’d better choose a boat featuring a cargo on the front, rear, and hatches. They are not only spacious but also keep your fishing gear neat.
Besides, some built-in fishing rod holders would be nice to keep your rods stable while waiting for fish.
A fishing trip would be a nightmare if your seat is too hard to sit on a whole day. Hence, consider some padded foam on the boat seat and if possible, an additional backrest is great.
Aside from the seat, leg braces are another worth-considering feature. No matter how long of your legs, there should be a suitable foot brace position to keep your comfort.
So, a kayak featuring multiple foot braces is a choice wise.
There are two major elements deciding how much weight capacity of a kayak should have:
- Your Bodyweight
- The total amount of your fishing gear
After listing out everything you need for the trip, don’t forget to map out their total weight. Combining with yours, the result is a key-core hint to find the most suitable weight capacity range for your boat.
There are two basic kinds of fishing kayaks: Solid and Inflatable.
Whichever you choose, it should be lightweight and easy to transport. Don’t go for a too bulky kayak because of many reasons:
- Hard to pack on your car to transport from A to B
- Difficult to drag to or from the water on your own
- Hard to handle capsizing
Though a fishing kayak is hardly tipping over, who knows if one day the bad luck smiles to you. So, let prepare for the worst.
Pick a portable, lightweight fishing kayak doesn’t just help for easier transportation but also better handling all situations.
1. What is the most stable fishing kayak?
The most stable fishing kayak should be at least constructed with two things:
- Deep hull design
- Flat wide bottom
Besides, reverse chine, open cockpit, and high-quality material are some other additional features affecting a boat’s stability.
From that point, my suggestions are:
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
- SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
2. What is the best cheap fishing kayak?
In my collection, the best cheap fishing kayaks that don’t sacrifice quality are:
- Lifetime Youth Wave
- Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
- SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
3. What is the best ocean fishing kayak?
A fishing kayak that’s considered the best for ocean should withstand the corrosion of sea water as well as withstand scratches from rock or debris. Inherently, it also should meet all needed features that I’ve listed out in the Buying Guide above.
That’s why my picks are:
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak
- Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
4. What is the best kayak brand?
From my experience, here are some best kayak brands that really worth a try:
Started in 1968 as a family owned business located near New York City, Sea Eagle has now been one of the Mr. Giants in the kayak industry.
I love their wide range of designs, most of which are 2-person inflatable kayaks that are very easy to transport. At the meantime, it doesn’t lack durability and roughness like other inflatable kayaks would perform.
Plus, very huge storage space.
Founded in 1986, Lifetime aims to provide the best durable lasting kayaks for customers and now, it’s one of the world’s largest company.
I appreciate their products for the user-friendly construction, whichever age range of paddlers they serve for. And besides, are the affordability, stability, and eye-catching colorways.
This USA-based brand has been established for over 40 years and their products are renowned for the highest quality while keeping a competitive price.
Particularly, they meet the all safety certification to keep your fishing trip not only joyful but also safe.
Sevylor is even older than the Sea Eagle – began in 1949. Their major product lines are recreational kayaks so if you’re finding a fishing kayak with decent performance in calm waters, this is a good consideration.
Like Sea Eagle, SUNDOLPHIN started as a family-owned business and in this case, it was in 1982, located in Michigan.
Their products are well-known for affordability. And also, innovative features and perfect customer service – something that hardly you can find in other family-owned brands.
Founded in 1971 in California, Ocean has been now a worldwide brand specialized in kayaks. They come in a massive range of designs for different aged paddlers and budgets.
What I love the most is their superior durability, performance, and practical construction to serve exactly demand of a group of people.
So, if you’re looking for the best Ocean fishing kayaks, I’m sure their fishing-focused features will satisfy your needs.
Might be Vibe Kayaks the youngest in this list. It’s founded in 2013 by John Ewald and Joshua Thomas. Their products aim to maximize the enjoyment of your nature-experience memories; hence, they provide a wide range for different skill levels.
Good outlook and affordability are other highlights of Vibe Kayaks.
Before ending up this article, I’d like to make clear that these fishing kayaks under 1000 aren’t the cheapest on the market. In turns, I assure you the best compromise of the highest quality products in that price range.
Whichever you choose, there are at least three things I confidently guarantee:
- Reliable warranty
Hope that my 10 suggestions meet your demand. Or the “Buying Guide” section helped you figure out which must-consider features to keep in mind. Thanks for reading!