The Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500

The best fishing kayak under $500 

Are you on a budget and you want to get a decent fishing kayak? Go ahead and get one, it is possible! Do not subscribe to the illusion that you have to spend a reasonable amount to get a reliable kayak. However, there are various things that you should consider when getting a decent but cheap fishing kayak. These include:


First and foremost, consider the stability of the kayak in relation to the kind of water you are going to venture into, you would not want your adventure to be spoilt by a capsizing kayak.  Stability is classified into either primary or secondary stability. Primary stability refers to the kayak’s stability in calm water and secondary stability refers to its stability in motion, in the waves and rapids. Surprisingly, the narrower the kayak is, the more the secondary stability. Sit-in and sit-on kayaks refer to the two ways the paddler is positioned. Sit-on kayaks are much wider and shorter than sit-ins. Narrow is the way to go! All of us want a kayak that is so stable that you can stand and fish (really epic! Right?)So go for a sit-in kayak; narrower, which gives it secondary stability for a memorable kayaking and fishing experience. Note that stability is not bought by paying some extra bucks, you can get a fishing kayak for under $500.


Speed is another factor to consider. The speed of your kayak depends as well on the kind of waters you are going to fish in. For calm waters, a wide sit-on kayak is fine. However, if you are more adventurous and you are looking forward to venturing into the windy and wavy waters on a longer distance, narrower kayaks will serve you best. Narrower sit-in kayaks are faster, you will not get overpowered by the furious waves that plot to slow down your activity and spoil your fishing experience. Remember to get yourself the kayak with higher rocker. Rocker is the amount of curve on the underside of the kayak. A higher rocker guarantees you of a faster kayak.


Durability is also an essential factor to consider when purchasing a kayak below $500. Most of the time, durability comes with increased weight. Yet, increased weight may make the kayak hard for one person to peddle around or to launch it into the water. All the same, don’t worry too much, there are a number of materials to choose from. These materials include: polyethylene, fiberglass and carbon composite. Wood, the last material on our list; although is light offers poor durability. Single-layer polyethylene is truck in one mold and it provides the most durability. The triple-layered kayak comes with a layer of foam which makes it a little bit lighter and buoyant. Fiberglass, which is more costly might not be reliable against rocks and logs which you may encounter in your fishing venture. The most expensive material in the market is carbon composite which snaps quite easily, but again easily repairable, is lighter than polyethylene and fiberglass.


Maneuverability is another factor and surprisingly, sit on kayaks are better in this sector than sit in kayaks. Sit-on kayaks make it comparatively easier to cast to the hard to reach spots because you will be seated on top. However, worry not for the choice to make, most kayaks come with a combination of both (not being at one extreme end or another) at a very affordable price.

All the above features would be meaningless without ample storage and reliable gear. For your fishing kayaking, go for the kayak with a special storage for tackle, paddles, rods, bait and also the fish you catch. Get the kayak with two rod holders, a stationary one and a swivel to hold the rod in any position whenever you need to paddle or you are trolling. Ensure that the storage is waterproof and has a lock tight lid. This will ensure that your phone, bait, tackle and the emergency equipment remain dry. Storage space depends with the type of fishing you intend to do. Do not overlook the paddle holder, it should be close to the cockpit. You can imagine a case whereby you are trolling along then you suddenly hook your wall hanger, you start fussing around with the paddle trying to secure it with the fish on the line! Quite annoying, right? For this reason, you definitely don’t want to go without a paddle holder.

With that said, let us now look at the best fishing kayaks under $500.

Top 5 Fishing Kayak under $500 Reviews

1).  Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10 Foot Sit in Kayak

This kayak is exclusively made for fishing, and it comes with an abundance of remarkable features. Firstly, this kayak is the perfect choice to maneuver in hard to access areas.  Sun Dolphin SS 10 is indeed agile in water. Its turning and tracking abilities are incredible and you will remain dry despite the turning and whirling thanks to its sit-in design. This kayak comes with a large cockpit with adjustable seating as well as high back-support (for the taller anglers) and adjustable foot-braces.

Near the cockpit, is a storage spot; though not too big, it is sizeable. For holding your fishing poles, are three rod holders: a swivel rod mounted on the front of the seat and two level rod holders behind the seat. However, even if having a variety is good, the flush holders may get in the way of your paddling. Paddles can as well be bought separately.

This kayak is made of polyethylene, making it much durable as it can withstand logs, rocks and more objects in the water. Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10 Foot Sit in Kayak is incredibly light, making it easy to carry around. With that description of Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10 Foot Sit in Kayak, let us now look at the most important pros and cons of this durable but affordable kayak.


  • Large and comfortable cockpit
  • Lightweight of only 40lbs
  • The kayak brings along with a storage hatch for electronics and emergency tools to keep dry. A console is as well available for electronics such as GPS and fish finder.
  • Its construction ensures great stability.


  • It can carry a maximum weight of only 280lbs
  • Paddles for this kayak are sold separately
  • The storage is not enough for the fish you catch

2).  Malibu Kayak Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive Sit-in kayak

This affordable fishing kayak brings with itself ample storage for a five-gallon bucket for bait and pump kit. The kayak’s cockpit has another storage space as well, that has bungees on rear and a front to allow you ample space for the fish you catch.

Apart from the extra space, this kayak has two flush rod holders with many other mounts for GPS and fish finders. The kayak is incredibly stable and it carries up to 325lbs. Malibu Kayak Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive boasts of adjustable seating as well as foot braces. The arms and leg rests come in handy when the arms are a bit fatigued; with extra fasteners for all the extra fastens you would want to add.

With those highlights on the kayak, let us now pass through the highlighted pros and cons of Malibu Kayak Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive.


  • The kayak is highly stable thanks to its customized shape,
  • It is durable (almost indestructible) because it is made of polyethylene.
  • It is reliable for storage and brings with it extra spots for mounting almost anything
  • The kayak has bungees on the front and back to create more space for cargo
  • It is easy to paddle for longer distances
  • It can hold more weight that many other fishing kayaks.


  • The kayak does not have a holder for swivel rod
  • The kayak’s rear storage remains open and it does not have a dry hatch storage
  • Paddles are sold separately.

3).  Sevylor Coleman Colorado kayak

This two-person fitting kayak that is indeed affordable is a real treat. The kayak is inflatable and it is not fragile at all because it is made of extremely thick nylon that is highly resistant. The kayak ensures your safety in case of a puncture because it has discrete air chambers. Thanks to these air chambers, when the puncture is encountered, you will be able to take your kayak back to the shore safely, because only one chamber will be affected.

The kayak comes with two paddle holders and it can hold up to 470 pounds. The kayak is approved by NMMA and it is highly stable at full load and its handling swells up to a height of 4 feet. However, because of its weight capacity, this kayak is not made for speed.

On the other hand, the kayak is comfortable with adjustable seats which are as well-padded that you can remove if you want to go kayaking solo. The kayak comes with an ample storage made of mesh

Having said that, let us now look at what we liked and what we didn’t like about this kayak.


  • The kayak is portable
  • The construction is made of nylon which is extremely tough
  • It is highly stable
  • A motor is installable for the kayak
  • The kayak comes with sufficient compartments for gears and adjustable holders
  • It is easy to inflate and deflate
  • The kayak comes with an airtight system to prevent the air from leaking
  • The kayak’s tracking is great because of its removable fin


  • The kayak is not made for speed, it is rather slow without the motor
  • The rod holder may get in the way when you are paddling

4).  Pelican Strike 100x Angler

Are you looking for the Angler kayak that will withstand choppy waters and it is affordable at the same time? You should try Pelican Strike 100x Angler, because it comes with a more solid construction of Ram-x material. Ram-x is known to be the toughest material for kayaks in the market. Due to the material this kayak is relatively heavier, weighing 57pounds but despite its weight, it guarantees quality tracking for a worthy maneuverability.

Pelican Strike 100x Angler has a paddle-tie down feature which is ideal for long ventures into the water fishing. The kayak can hold the capacity of up to 325lbs. let us now pinpoint the most highlighted pros and cons of this durable kayak.


  • It is indeed comfortable due to the Ergo-band seating system
  • The kayak has an immense storage with an 8”day hatch as well as an even larger hatch at the front for quicker entry and exit
  • The kayak has many mounts for all your gear and electronics.
  • It is comparably the best value fishing kayak in the market
  • The kayak has adjustable foot rests


  • The kayak is relatively heavier which makes it harder to carry it single handedly.

5).  Emotion 90259 Renegade XT kayak

Are you looking for the comfortable kayak for your baby or dog? The Emotion Renegade XT kayak is the best to go fishing with your baby or even pet without making them feel uncomfortable at all, thanks to its design that accommodates large peddlers for that extra-comfort.

This kayak comes with two rod holders, a spacious tank and a hatch storage in the deck.  This model is designed to brave all types of condition because of its versatility and speed.

In terms of its construction, this model measures 10ft length x 36 inches width, which guarantees the desired stability even on rocky areas.

The kayak only weighs 49pounds, suitable for only one person.

Let us now highlight the coveted features and the aspects we don’t like much about this kayak.


  • It comes with a padded low backrest for extra comfort
  • The kayak comes in a hull design for great tracking and extra stability
  • The rear handles and front are easily transportable
  • The kayak has side-carry handles and molded-in paddle ledges to ensure it is easily carried around.
  • The kayak has ample storage thanks to the rear tank well with a cargo net lacing.


  • This model does not contain skeg
  • In case of strong winds, the kayak may spin because the width is not very large.

Buying on a budget can be extremely tough. You are technically limiting your search and sometimes it makes the process harder. However, just because you are lowering your budget to five hundred or less, it doesn’t mean you are going to get rubbish. Some of the best fishing kayaks cost very little money and when you know how to find them, you can find the right kayak. So, what do you have to know about buying fishing kayaks and which is the best fishing kayak under 500?

Forget the Costly Fishing Kayaks

One thing most tend to believe is to have success with kayak fishing it means spending thousands of dollars. However, that isn’t exactly the case. Fishing kayaks can range from a few hundred to a few thousand and while you might be fooled into believing the most costly is the very best, that isn’t really true. There are many good kayaks which aren’t overly expensive and in fact, kayaks costing less than five hundred dollars can be perfect and something you should look into.

If you aren’t interested in fishing regularly then you’re wasting your money on a kayak that isn’t going to bring its value. When you use your fishing kayak regularly, most days in fact or at least a few times a month, you should be able to get quality from it. You need to think carefully about how much you feel comfortable spending and how often it will be used. If you don’t plan to use it often then five hundred dollars is probably too steep.

However, if you do plan to use the kayak on a regular basis then five hundred dollars or considerably less is a perfect range for you.

Always Look For Quality

When you are searching for the best fishing kayak under $500 you have to look at the quality of the kayak. Now, every kayak is made differently and that does mean some are much more reliable than others. What you need to do, is look at how the kayak is constructed; as well as what materials are being used and how strong it will be in the waters you plan to go fishing in. When you do this, you have the better chance of getting the best fishing kayak under 500.

KL Industries Sun Dolphin Journey Kayak

The Sun Dolphin Journey Kayak has to be the best fishing kayak under 500. If this is not the best, it certainly is one of the best fishing kayaks under the five hundred dollar price tag. The kayak has been around for a little while but despite this fact it still remains one of the more reliable fishing kayaks of today. The price is well under the five hundred dollar range which is perfect for those who want to save a little extra.

Though, there is a lot of quality to be had and the Sun Dolphin is very sturdy indeed. This is something which most will of course want and need because you don’t want to end up waist deep in freezing cold water. Now, everyone has their own opinions over inflatable kayaks for fishing but sometimes you are best sticking to solid kayaks. The reason why is simply because they are stronger and should you somehow manage to find some jagged rocks, you don’t have to worry about them tearing your kayak to shreds.

Anyway, back to the Sun Dolphin. The only real downside to the solid fishing kayaks has to be they are a little heavier than inflatable’s obviously. This can often mean they are considerably harder to transport. For instance, inflatable’s can be deflated when they aren’t being used which makes them a lot easier to transport. The solid fishing kayak on the other hand can’t be deflated so most find they are troublesome but they are actually reliable still. Putting that negativity behind, the KL Sun Dolphin Journey is the best fishing kayak under 500.

There is more space available with the KL; and the open design does allow most to get more comfort. Getting in and out of the kayak is a lot simpler and there is plenty of room to store your catches as well as your rods and reels. There are also more dry storage compartments available which is very useful especially if you want your items to remain dry and safe.