Kayak fishing has gained popularity over the past decades. This high demand could be attributed to its importance to every angler’s fishing trip.
Unlike shore fishing, kayak fishing enables anglers to access waterways and deep bodies of water easily. Kayaks can easily move around, allowing anglers to travel across the waters and find the best spot for angling.
Choose a kayak that best suits your angling skills. Also, find one with ample weight capacity, especially if you plan to haul gear. Most importantly, assess the materials used in manufacturing the kayak as it would determine its durability. For example, a trolling motor and airtight system could be good extras for a kayak.
Finding the perfect kayak that fits your taste and needs could be a time-consuming job. Hence, we’ll make things easier for you by reviewing the top kayak products in the market.
Furthermore, I will discuss the qualities you should look for when buying the best fishing kayak under 500. So, keep reading as this guide will help you make a wise and informed buying decision.
Our Top Picks
Best Fishing Kayak Under 500
- Best Sit-on-Top for Beginners –Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak
- Best Sit-in for Water Sports-Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak
- Best Recreational for Easy-Going Anglers-Pelican Recreational Sit-in Kayak – Argo 100XR Cosmos
- Best Kayak for Water Sports-Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak
- Best Use for Lakes and Rivers-Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
- Best Performance for Kids and Adults-Emotion 90245 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak
- Best for Intermediate Anglers-Perception Access 9.5
- Best Tandem for Expert Anglers-Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- Best Inflatable Sport Kayak-Sea Eagle Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat
- Best Budget for Starters-AIRHEAD Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
- Best Design and Usability-Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars
1. Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak
Best Sit-on-Top for Beginners
- A multi chine flat bottom hull ensures the stability needed…
- Measuring 9’6″” and weighing only 44 lb, the SENTINEL 100X…
- Made using our patented Ram-X materials, the SENTINEL 100X…
- EXOPAK removable compartment with flush mount rod holders
- Features adjustable foot braces, shaped carrying handles, and drain plug
- Manufactured using Twin Arched Multi Chine Hull for exceptional stability
- Includes fishing accessories such as flush-mounted fishing rod holders, rod tie-downs, and fish finders
The Pelican Sit on Top kayaks contains EXOPAK removable compartment that allows anglers to haul fishing gear. Space is not a problem since it perfectly fits in the tank with extra paddle holders.
It highlights a versatile footrest, shaped carrying handles, and drain plug that allows you to use it easily. Additionally, its exceptional feature is the Twin Arched Multi Chine Hull that provides anglers with exceptional stability.
2. Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak
Best Sit-in for Water Sports
- Combination Tunnel hull design provides great stability and…
- Multiple Footrest positions for different size paddlers
- Molded-in swim-up deck with bungee lacing for storage
- Designed with Combination Tunnel Hull for astounding stability
- Allows various footrest positions with a swim-up deck and ample storage space
- Adjustable seats with front T-handle for comfort and ease of use
Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak ensures stability with its Combination Tunnel Hull design. Furthermore, this design allows different footrest positions, which vary based on anglers’ size.
Also, you can enjoy kayaking all day with its adjustable quick-release seatback with the front T-handle.
3. Pelican Recreational Sit-in Kayak – Argo 100XR Cosmos
Best Recreational for Easy-Going Anglers
- Comfortable: The premium quality Ergocoast seating system…
- Premium Features: Includes one back quick lock hatch with…
- Safe: Added floating blocks on each side of the kayak along…
- Well-manufactured through optimized hydrodynamic efficiency
- Designed with Twin Arched Multi Chine Hull containing spacious cockpits
- Combines ergonomic handles with ERGOCOAST portable seating system for ease of use
- Made of multi-layer RAM-X that ensures durability
If you’re an angler who wants a stable recreational kayaking experience, then Argo 100XR Cosmos could be the best choice. Pelican has invested in its R&D to ensure that the design allows maximum stability, speed, and maneuverability.
Recreational kayaks are devised using the Twin Arched Multi Chine Hull, allowing for spacious cockpits. You can maximize its useful life through the RAM-X, which ensures that the kayak is extremely durable.
4. Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak
Best Kayak for Water Sports
- Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene….
- Adjustable Padded Seat Back and Seat Pad for Comfort. Stable…
- Two Flush Mounted Fishing Rod Holders. One Top Mount Fishing…
- Manufactured using UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene
- Provides comfort with its multiple footrest positions, movable seatback and seat pad
- Includes three fishing rod holders, and two 6″ compartments
- Features two paddle cradles with shock cords and t-handles for easy transport
Lifetime Tamarack Angler Kayak is protected from UV-rays with its HDPE material. In addition, it provides comfort for anglers of different sizes with its multiple footrest positions, movable seatback and seat pad. You can also benefit from the three fishing rod holders: two flush-mounted fishing rods and a top mount.
There are two 6-inch compartments built in the rear and center where you can store your gears. Additionally, the two paddle cradles with shock cord deck rigging and t-handles provide ease of use and transport.
5. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Best Use for Lakes and Rivers
- Great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded…
- Lightweight, easy to carry.Retractable carrying handles
- Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum…
- Lightweight and easy to convey with its retractable carrying handles
- Provides maximum stability and comfort with its large padded seat
- Allows easy entry and exit with its open cockpit
- Exceptionally spacious storage compartment with additional Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC)
If you love rivers and lakes, then this single-person kayak could be your best choice. It allows easy access to these areas, and you can easily carry this lightweight kayak through its retractable handles.
With rapidly flowing water, you could benefit from its maximum stability while comfortably sitting on a padded seat.
6. Emotion 90245 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak
Best Performance for Kids and Adults
- Constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior…
- ST Performance Hull offers execptional stability and…
- Front, rear, and side carry handles for easy transport
- Short yet exhibits an extraordinary amount of speed and tracking without compromising stability.
- Includes padded seatback and spacious tank well exclusively found on luxurious kayaks
- Highlights molded-in footwells to secure foot placement
- Ample weight capacity makes it perfect for kids and adults under 24 pounds
The Emotion Spitfire Kayak is designed with ST Performance Hull that ensures stability despite the extra speed. You can enjoy this kayak as if it’s an expensive one with the spacious tank well and adjustable padded seat. Also, secure yourself with protective thigh pads and molded-in footwells and high capacity.
7. Perception Access 9.5
Best for Intermediate Anglers
- Constructed with Roto Molded Hull to ensure stability and excellent performance
- Designed with a high ergonomic backseat for comfort and support
- Spacious storage compartments, molded-in holders, and handles in the rear and front
- Lightweight and easy to carry for only 50 pounds
Perception Access Kayak is ideal for fishing on level or sluggish waters. It lets everybody feel like an expert by offering extraordinary dependability, comfort, and control.
Furthermore, the Access incorporates a particularly ergonomic seat with additional padding for a regular body. Intermediate anglers will see the value in the various storage choices and adjustable bucket seats.
8. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Best Tandem for Expert Anglers
- Super tough laminate PVC with polyester core: Light weight…
- High pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and…
- Includes 2 removable skegs for deep and shallow water, 2…
- Made of PVC with a polyester core to ensure high quality and durability
- High-pressure inflation offers supplementary stability and rigidity
- Features detachable seat booster, versatile footrest, and mounting bracket
- Includes paddles, high-output pump, carry bag, repair kit and pressure gauge
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak has maintained its portability without sacrificing quality through its PVC material with polyester core. Its high-pressure inflation intensifies this rigidity.
Anglers could enjoy a hands-free fishing escapade with its detachable seat booster, adjustable footrests and mounting bracket for fishing accessories. Also, you can benefit from the two paddles, pump, storage bag, and pressure gauge.
9. Sea Eagle Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe Boat
Best Inflatable Sport Kayak
- 3 person/650 lb capacity, weighs 32 lbs, suitable for up to…
- 370 Deluxe Kayak Package features two movable, super…
- 2 AB30 7’10″” 4 Part Paddles with asymmetrical blade and…
- Excellent kayak for three persons or up to 650-pound capacity
- Contains excellent back support, movable seat, paddles, carry bag, and foot pump
- Performs well in up to Class III whitewater
This kayak is a tough kayak appraised to hold three individuals or 650 lbs. This kayak packs to a small portion of its inflatable size can be easily carried and set up in under 10 minutes! With a lightweight design and productive body shape, this Sport Kayak is a fast rowing boat and simple to deal with.
10. AIRHEAD Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
Best Budget for Starters
- Features a movable seat and inflatable floor
- Made of high-quality vinyl
- Designed with grab lines for anglers’ safety
- Includes paddle holder and molded drink compartment
Suppose you’re looking forward to a rapid-moving water adventure. In that case, this choice could be the best, especially if you’re a starter. For a good price, you get durable and high-quality vinyl with electronically welded seams. You can sit comfortably in its movable seat and grasp the grab lines when the water is roaring.
11. Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable Set with Aluminum Oars
Best Design and Usability
- Nimble, durable kayak is made of durable welded material…
- Cockpit is designed for comfort and maximized space, and…
- Cargo net to store extra gear, and grab line on both ends of…
- Made of welded materials for extra safety on slow-moving shallow water
- Includes cargo net for additional gear storage
- Inflatable I-beam floor with multiple air chambers
- Features Boston valves for easy inflation or deflation
You can enjoy cruising on slow-moving water as this kayak ensures your safety with its welded vinyl. Since most anglers love gearing up, this product includes a cargo net for extra storage. You can easily inflate, deflate, carry, and store this lightweight kayak.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Fishing Kayak?
Which of the best fishing kayaks above did you like?
If you’re still wondering which one is the best. Let me help you! Here are a few things you should consider when choosing:
We always equate price with quality. However, considering your budget is important, too. As anglers, we have gears and fishing accessories to prioritize. Hence, if we splurge our money on an expensive kayak, we could end up compromising our fishing gears.
Inflatable vs. Hard Kayaks
Whether inflatable kayaks or hard kayaks, safety should be your top priority when navigating different waterways. A hard kayak is good for river rapids, while the inflatable kayak is meant for slow-moving waters. If you use an inflatable fishing kayak in a river, you might not ensure your safety.
Check out our best inflatable fishing kayak article to help you choose.
Features justify the kayak’s durability, performance, and quality. It’s always important to consider the features since this is what you’re paying for. You may assess these kayak features and see if it fits your needs. For example, you are planning to fish with a friend; then, you may need one that features a huge capacity.
Size matters, especially if you are fond of fully gearing up. The kayak’s size may affect the weight capacity and the amount of gear you can bring. Hence, you should buy one that fits your size and needs. Also, if you prefer going high speed, a short, lightweight kayak is mostly recommended.
Fishing waters could impact your kayak’s performance. For instance, you brought a hard kayak on slow-moving water. You can’t expect it to move well since it is designed for rapids. Hence, you should choose the kayak that fits your water preference.
The best fishing kayaks have been popular for their usefulness in fishing. Kayak fishing became more preferred than shore fishing since they allow anglers to roam and find the best spot. Since you have landed on this blog, you may be planning to buy the best fishing kayak under 500 for your fishing escapade.
The list above contains the top choice in the market, and I made sure it’s within your $500 budget. Also, consider the buying guide I prepared to help you make wise and informed buying decisions.
Premium Fishing Kayaks We Also Like and Recommend:
Ascend D10 Sit-In Red Kayak offers excellent performance out on the water at an augmented worth. Intended to address the issues of all kayakers, the D10 begins with a high-level passage design for the most extreme security and simplicity of rowing.