If you are interested in a fishing career, you might be wondering if you can find the best fishing kayak under $500. Fishing kayaks are ideal for fishing enthusiasts that do not have the luxury of time and money. When you compare this to a fishing pump boat, you do not have to worry about maintaining it frequently.
Moreover, you can start paddling almost immediately and the fish is less likely to be bothered by the noise. On top of that, it is considerably cheaper than a motor boat, too. This means that purchasing a fishing kayak is less likely to break the bank. Moreover, we have listed five of the best fishing kayaks for the money to provide you with more options.
- 1 Top 5 Best Fishing Kayak under $500 Reviews
- 1.1 1. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
- 1.2 2. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
- 1.3 3. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle
- 1.4 4. Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive Package Sit Inside Kayak
- 1.5 5. Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
- 2 Fishing Kayak under $500 Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
Top 5 Best Fishing Kayak under $500 Reviews
1. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Sun Dolphin has been known to create durable and affordable fishing kayaks and the Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak model has certainly proved why this brand has earned praises of fishing enthusiasts. In terms of features, this fishing kayak comes with two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder that is located in an accessible area for your convenience. If you are wondering about the compartment of this kayak, there is a dry storage compartment and shock cord deck rigging. There is also a Portable Accessory Carrier or the PAC that is meant to provide an additional storage space for your other items like your backpack.
Our Rating: (4.0 / 5)
The seating space is large enough to accommodate average size people as this fishing kayak can support a maximum weight of 250 pounds. You have to factor in the weight of your accessories and the weight of the fish that you will catch. For the pedal, you can adjust it based on the length of your leg. This is done so that you can be more comfortable as you pedal through the waters. On top of that, there is a retractable carrying handle and a paddle holder for easier access and convenience.
Structurally, this product has a total dimension that measures 13 x 30 x 120 inches and it weighs 44 pounds. The Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is made of polyethylene materials. You have the option to purchase a Drab Green colored model or a Sand colored fishing kayak. If you are over six feet tall, you may want to purchase a bigger model so that it can fit you comfortably.
There are times when it appears to be rather flimsy as it is made from a thin material. However, when it comes to performance, tracking might be pretty difficult and inaccurate. Another disadvantage to this product is that you have to purchase the paddle separately. Additionally, you still have to consider the size of the paddle holder before your purchase your paddle.
This does not mean that you cannot add in certain accessories to make your ride smoother. Adding in a rudder can help with the tracking difficulties that I dealt with in the beginning. I also plugged up the holes that were meant to let out water as they do not work well. Once this was done, my seat was dry through the entire ride.
Overall, this product provides great value for money and it was well worth the money that you will pay.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Easy entry
- Equipped with Portable Accessory Carrier
- Comes with two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder
- Dry storage compartment and shock cord deck rigging
- Paddle holder
- Retractable carrying handle
- Adjustable foot pedal
- Average Seating Area
- Weight capacity of only 250 pounds
- Not for larger people
- Made of thin material
- Does not track well
- Paddle has to be bought separately
2. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
The next fishing kayak still came from the Sun Dolphin line and it is called the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak. This model might be pricier, but it definitely performs better when it comes to tracking due to its hull design. At its price, it is constructed at a premium as this fishing kayak does not feel cheap. Additionally, it also allows you to turn better and that is attributed to the hull design, too. Similar to the previous model, Excursion is also equipped with two flush mount rod holder and one swivel rod holder. Due to this feature, this accounts for maximum accessibility and convenience of this unit. On the contrary, the Journey comes with a dry storage compartment, while the Excursion comes with a storage hatch. Both of these fishing kayaks’s storage units comes with shock cord deck rigging.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
The Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak is equipped with a larger open cockpit with an adjustable seat. Your seating area also comes with a high back support so as not to strain your back during long rides. The seat is cushioned with foam, but it is not as comfortable as you would wish. It might be better if you purchase a separate seat cushion for added comfort. You are also able to adjust the position of the foot pedal to keep you mobile when maneuvering your kayak. This is to ensure maximum comfort while you are on a fishing trip. It is 10 feet long, 30 inches wide, and has a height of 13 inches. When it comes to the structure of this model, it is made with polyethylene materials that have a hull shape. While it weighs 40 pounds, it is able to carry a total weight of 250 pounds. It is easy to transport, which makes it easier to take this fishing kayak anywhere.
This fishing kayak has a solid structure to ensure stability while you are on your fishing trip. It is best used on bodies of water that are flat like smaller lakes. This makes it the perfect fishing kayak for those who want to further fishing as a hobby. When you take this out on the waters, you will find it easy to steer away from any potential obstacles. On top of that, it does not tip over easily so you can be sure of your stability when you are fishing. However, it is also important to note that you should still consider the balance of the weight during your entire fishing expedition.
- Hull design for better turns and tracking
- Easy steering
- Light and portable
- Large seating area with back support
- Water rarely goes inside the kayak
- Adjustable foot pedal
- Storage hatch with stock cord deck rigging
- With structural integrity
- Equipped with two flush mount rod holder and one swivel rod holder
- Uncomfortable seating
- More expensive
- No paddle included
- Limited weight capacity of 250 pounds
3. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle
The next fishing kayak has been constructed to last for a long time. This fishing kayak has been designed to avoid wear and tear of its exterior from the effects of its exposure to sun rays. The Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak is made from high-density polyethylene. This model has also been treated to protect your kayak from the damage caused by harmful UV rays. This product is 10 feet long and it has an overall dimension of 14.1 x 31 x 120 inches. It weighs 57.5 pounds, which makes it a bit heavier when compared to other polyethylene fishing kayaks. Since it is a heavier model, the weight capacity is also bigger at 275 pounds. When you purchase this model, it comes with a padded seat back, along with front and rear shock cords.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
On top of that, there are also two 6-inch storage hatches that can be found in the rear and in the center, along with front and rear T-handles. Additionally, there are also two flush mounted fishing pole holders and a top mount rod holder. There is also two paddle cradles complete with shock cords. Moreover, there is also an adult black paddle that you can use on your fishing trip. This paddle is light and easy to control to ensure that you can use it to easily steer the direction of your sail.
In terms of this product’s quality, it is durable and it resistant to impact. Moreover, it allows for better stability and improved tracking. It comes with a flat bottom that allows for a more accurate maneuvering when you are fishing. Since this fishing kayak is constructed with a padded backseat, you can enjoy longer paddling sessions because you can be more comfortable during the ride. The seating area is also larger, which allows you to be mobile when you fish. Since this fishing kayak is on the bigger side, you cannot expect it to move as fast as the lighter fishing kayaks that you have.
- Padded Backseat
- Long lasting and impact resistant
- UV protected against damage
- Paddle included in the package
- Larger weight capacity of 275 pounds
- Adjustable footrest
- Wide seating area
- Improved stability
- Heavier than most fishing kayaks
- Slow speed due to weight
4. Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive Package Sit Inside Kayak
One of Malibu Kayaks most celebrated fishing kayak is the Malibu Kayaks Sierra 10 Pro Series Fish and Dive Package Sit Inside Kayak. It is equipped with several features that can help you in your fishing trip. It comes with front and rear bungee storage spaces for better organization of your items. There is also a drain plug to keep you dry while you fish that is located at the rear part. On the other hand, there is a bow and stern handle in the front of the kayak. You can also find a rod holder on the rear side of the kayak and a holder for your paddle located on the side. The great thing about this fishing kayak is that it comes with a compartment for your drinks. The cup holder is easily located between your legs for easy access.
Our Rating: (5.0 / 5)
Apart from the adjustable foot rest, there is also a part of this kayak where you can rest your legs. When it comes to the color options of this fishing kayak, you can choose from eight basic colors or the seven camo collection. In terms of the measurements of this kayak, the overall length comes in at ten feet. It is also 31 inches wide and has a depth of 15.25 inches. The cockpit, on one hand, has a length of 51.5 inches and a width of 23.5 inches. The hull weight of this product is only 45 pounds, but it has a larger weight capacity of 325 pounds. It carries the largest weight capacity for a ten-feet fishing kayak.
When it comes to performance of this fishing kayak, the tracking is great and it moves quicker. Since it is lighter, it is also easier to steer this kayak into the direction that you want. Moreover, since it also acts as a diving kayak, it is stable and constructed durably. Another great thing about this product is that the seating area is wide enough to allow for comfortable movement. In addition to this, the seat in itself is properly cushioned. You can spend hours on end in this fishing kayak.
- Large Weight Capacity of 325 pounds
- Ample Storage Space
- Built to last
- Improved stability, tracking, steering
- Comfortable seating area
- Functional features
- Easy to carry due to the light weight
- Cup holder
- Several color options
- With adjustable foot rest and added leg rest
- Rod holder is not easily accessible
- Not ideal for beginners
5. Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
The latest Excursion fishing kayak from the Sun Dolphin line is the Sun Dolphin Excursion SS 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak. What sets this fishing kayak apart? First, it comes with a hands-free electronics console. This electric console can come with a Bluetooth speaker and a dry bag, but that is optional. Next, it is also equipped with a detachable PAC. The Portable Accessory Carrier provides additional option for your storage area. Similar to most Sun Dolphin kayaks, the Excursion SS comes with a swivel rod holder and two flush mount rod holders. Your storage compartment also has a shock cord deck rigging to keep your items safe during impact. It is also designed with a paddle holder so that you can easily reach for your paddle in a safe location. There is also a carrying handle for easy loading of the unit. Moreover, your foot can rest on the adjustable foot brace, along with the thigh pads that have been integrated for your protection.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
In terms of measurement, this fishing kayak has a dimension of 11 x 30 x 120 inches. The cockpit size, on one hand, measures 79 cm. This accounts for the difficult entry to the cockpit. The seating area is also a bit uncomfortable, but you can simply add a seat and back cushion for your comfort and convenience. It also weighs 44 pounds, which makes it easy to transport and carry. This also allows for faster movements and better control of the kayak. Compared to other Sun Dolphin fishing kayaks, this model has a larger weight capacity of 280 pounds. The negative thing about the Excursion SS is that it appears to be flimsy and it can easily tip you over. There is a tendency to sink rather low in the water. It is also difficult to maintain stability when using this fishing kayak. However, it tracks really well, which makes up for some of its insufficiencies.
- Rod holders (One swivel, two flush mount)
- Hands-free electronics console
- Paddle Holder
- Great tracking and speed
- Portable Accessory Carrier
- Storage spaces with shock cord deck rigging
- Paddle holder
- Foot brace and padded thigh pads
- Larger weight capacity of 280 pounds
- Uncomfortable seating area
- No paddle included
- Limited color option
- Difficult entry to cockpit
Fishing Kayak under $500 Buying Guide
We have only reviewed five fishing kayaks on this article, but there are several other fishing kayaks on the market. If you are still confused on which is the best fishing kayak for you, we have compiled a list of things that you should consider.
Seating Position – Fishing kayaks can allow you to either sit on top of the kayak or sit inside the kayak. Each type of kayak works in a different way with varying types of advantage. A sit-in kayak moves quickly and you are more likely to be protected from the elements. When you use a sit-in kayak, you are able to have more control during strong gush of winds. On top of that, you have more control when you go through rough water.
When you go with a sit-on-top fishing kayak, you can easily enter the cockpit. Moreover, you have a wider seating space when you go with this type of kayak. Novice fishers also find it easier to maintain stability with a sit-on-top fishing kayak.
Materials Used – The most common materials used for fishing kayaks are wood, polyethylene, or composite. When it comes to the price, composite fishing kayaks are the most expensive. However, wood fishing kayaks are the cheapest. In terms of the weight, the heaviest fishing kayak is made of polyethylene materials. This is why it is also harder to shape them into a hull design. Composite materials, on the other hand, are lighter than polyethylene material. This type of fishing kayak is also the easiest to shape into the most efficient hull design. Finally, wood kayaks are made from the lightest materials. In addition to that, they have a stiffer hull design for quicker movements and easier paddling.
Skill of Fisher – Beginners are advised to use sit-on-top fishing kayaks. This is because it is easier to steer this type of fishing kayak. You are also able to maintain better stability when you use a sit-on-top fishing kayak. If you are new to using a fishing kayak for fishing, it is also advised that you begin your fishing expedition in bodies of water that are flat or still. This is to ensure that you have better control over your fishing kayak.
Fishing kayaks allow for a more productive fishing trip. However, you may associate fishing kayaks with an expensive price tag. However, some of the best fishing kayaks for the money can cost you less than $500. You do not always need to splurge when purchasing a fishing kayak. This is true especially when you are still new to this or you are a casual fisher.
We have a few reminders before you purchase a fishing kayak. You should always practice safety when going on a fishing trip. While you might be kayaking in shallow waters, it is also important to always carry a safety vest. It is also important that you have an easy access to all your accessories. You should also be able to ensure that you are comfortable during your entire trip so that you have enough strength to catch a fish.
Now, what are you waiting for? It is time to get you hand on the best fishing kayak under $500.