ne of the most exciting advancements in fishing kayaks comes at the low-end of the price range. In the last few years, major brands have released value-priced kayaks with the fishing features and paddling performance of their higher-end models.
Using their design experience, existing accessories and rigging, companies have found efficiencies to save you money while maintaining the features you like. Fishing kayaks in the sub-$1,000 category are made from all manner of materials, offer a range of propulsion methods, and weigh and measure in at many different sizes, offering you plenty of options to choose from. There are even fishing paddleboards that present another unique option for anglers.
These fishing kayaks from Pelican, Vibe, Wilderness Systems, Native Watercraft, Old Town, Bonafide Kayaks, NuCanoe, Perception, Kaku Kayak, Sea Eagle, Advanced Elements, Feelfree, Sun Dolphin and more are fully capable of supporting your angling endeavors, while coming in at an affordable price.
Here are the best fishing kayaks under $1,000 on the market today:
- Pelican The Catch 100
- Vibe Sea Ghost 110
- Wilderness Systems Tarpon
- Native Watercraft Slayer 12
- Old Town Topwater 106
- Bonafide RS117
- NuCanoe Flint
- Perception Outlaw 11.5
- Kaku Kahuna
- Sea Eagle 350FX Fishing Explorer
- Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler
- Feelfree Moken 12.5
- Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
- Lifetime Stealth Pro Angler 118
- Riot Escape 12 Angler
- BKC RA220
- Evoke Navigator 100
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks For 2022. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Catch 100 from Pelican is specially designed for those looking for an easy-to-store option. At 10 feet long and 54 pounds, this boat is ideal for the smaller angler who only needs a 350-pound total weight capacity. It features Pelican’s Ergocast G2 Dual Position Seating System—change your seat from paddling height to fishing height by simply slipping it into the higher slot. When you’re ready to stand, you can flip the seat backward to give yourself even more deck space. Other features include a front quick-lock hatch, two rigging tracks, two accessory eyelets, four flush mount rod holders and more.
View all Pelican fishing kayaks under $1,000.
The Sea Ghost 110 from Vibe was built for adventure. This kayak provides the best of speed and stability so you can maneuver flatwater, rivers and tight quarters with ease. The well-balanced hull provides unparalleled performance while the included rudder system saves you energy during long paddles, windy days and strong currents. The Vibe Hero seat provides comfort and support for long days on the water.
How do you improve upon a legend? Introducing the new Tarpon. Retaining everything paddlers loved from the celebrated original with improved comfort, stability, speed and paddler interface, the new Tarpon is easily the most versatile boat in the Wilderness Systems lineup that is equally at home on rivers, lakes or oceans. Every detail is carefully crafted and executed flawlessly to bring you boundless paddling perfection. Two sizes available.
The Slayer 12 from Native Watercraft provides simplicity, easy customization and rock-solid stability to anglers. It features high/low seating positions for out-of-the-wind paddling and comfortable, ergonomic fishing. Fish and depth finders are a cinch to mount. A clean, open cockpit makes it perfect for stripping line while fly fishing, and allows baitcasters freedom of movement when snatching that big bass. Other features include two flush mount rod holders, a tackle box keeper with bungee, a removable square dashboard with a groove track for accessory mounting and more.
The Topwater 106 from Old Town offers large fishing kayak performance in a compact, nimble package. A marriage of stability and performance, the Topwater—with the all-new ultra-stable DoubleU Hull—quietly glides through any water condition while providing a stable, comfortable standup fishing platform. Equipped with thoughtful onboard tackle and rod management, and a revolutionary universal transducer mount, even the saltiest of anglers will be impressed by the overall fishability of the Topwater series.
The RS117 from Bonafide is all about comfort and organization. The Stadium Seat is lightweight, easy to adjust and has two seating positions, allowing all-day comfort to make those long days on the water possible. A wide array of features such as a YakAttack MightyMountXL track, centralized storage pod, Shield Frontwell Cover with integrated Paddle Pouch, and forward transducer scupper make the RS117 one of the most fully featured values in kayak fishing.
The Flint from NuCanoe brings unprecedented performance, features and quality to the sub-$1,000 fishing kayak market. The Flint has rock-solid stability, while being fast and nimble. Featuring a clean open deck and all the features an angler would need—rod storage, tackle storage, gear mounting, paddler holders, and a Pinnacle Seat providing all-day comfort—this ‘yak rocks on choppy surf and cruises on calm days.
The Outlaw 11.5 from Perception Kayaks boasts a wide-open deck, an expansive standing platform, seriously elevated seating, and intuitive features throughout, disrupting the notion that an incredibly unique angling platform needs to break the bank. The Outlaw also integrates industry-firsts including a stowaway seat for complete deck walkability and space for up to a 35-L cooler. Don’t forget about the two “double-barrel” rod holders, ergonomic seat, three solo mount recesses, traction pads and more.
The Kahuna from Kaku Kayak has proven to be one of the best fishing paddleboards on the market. It features a rugged rotomold design and Kaku’s modified V-hull bottom, making it very stable for easy paddling. Also included are 18 inches of recessed, aluminum, top-load gear tracks; a chair and cooler mounting; and an 8-inch storage hatch. It’s also the first paddleboard with integrated micro Power-Pole mounting.
A robust, accessorized version of the Explorer from Sea Eagle, the new inflatable 350FX Fishing Explorer features double-layered, 1,000-denier-reinforced PVC, six built-in rod holders, sprayskirts with accessory belts to hold lures and tools, a 36-inch fish ruler, and anchor trolly D-rings. It also features a fully adjustable and easy-to-use FlexBrace foot brace, and a removable, high-pressure, drop-stitch floor with non-slip EVA pad for superior stability. This boat accepts a 34-pound electric motor.
View all Sea Eagle fishing kayaks under $1,000.
Designed for the kayak angler, the StraitEdge Angler from Advanced Elements has great stability, multi-layer material, and multiple air chambers, providing maximum durability for aggressive conditions. Its removable Accessory Frame allows anglers to customize the kayak with aftermarket accessories. This inflatable kayak also features a high-back lumbar seat with rod holders, D-rings, deck lacing, paddle holders and a patented aluminum rib-frame technology for superior tracking and performance.
The Moken 12.5 from Feelfree is stable and fast enough to handle larger lakes and coastal waters, while being just as comfortable on rivers. This boat is packed with features, including the Uni-Track system for unlimited outfitting configurations, flush mount rod holders, molded-in handles, a Kingfisher seat, a large tankwell and the patented Wheel in the Keel.
View all Feelfree fishing kayaks under $1,000.
The Journey 10 SS from Sun Dolphin is affordable and offers many features to enhance your fishing experience. Features include one swivel and two flush mount rod holders, recessed tackle holders, a unique and removable P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) that can be used as extra storage, large comfortable seating, adjustable foot braces, a storage compartment, shock cord deck rigging, ditty trays, a paddle holder and a beverage holder. It’s made from extremely durable, dent-resistant, high-density polyethylene that will last for years to come.
The Stealth Pro Angler 118 from Lifetime is an affordable, yet fully loaded fishing kayak that’s been designed for the serious angler. Enjoy an adjustable seating system that has three settings: high for active fishing, low for paddling, and reclined for relaxing. The tunnel hull provides great speed and tracking, while also being stable enough for confident standup casting. Other features include two flush mount rod holders, two Flambeau Tackle Boxes, two angled rod storage cradles with a bungee rod tip protector, and more.
The Escape 12 Angler from Riot Kayaks is designed for fishing-minded kayakers and equipped with features for serious anglers. This boat provides a great combination of stability and performance, making it appropriate for many different fishing environments. Features include a Pilot Rudder system, four flush mount and one swivel mount rod holders, an anchor trolley system and more.
The RA220 from BKC has everything an angler needs for a fishing adventure—minus the reel, bait and a bit of luck (just make use of the fish finder cutout in the hull to help with that). This solo sit-on-top features four storage areas (three of which are watertight), multiple drain ports, a deluxe upright kayak seat, paddle rests and two flush mount rod holders. The RA220 provides both speed on open water and responsive control when heading downriver. Bring all your gear along, as it has a carrying capacity of 550 pounds.
The Navigator 100 from Evoke has everything an angler needs to have a relaxing day on the water. Experience the comfortable seating system with high-back support and no-shift bottom. At 55 pounds, you can get this sit-on-top to the water yourself. Fish lakes, rivers and streams with ease and peace of mind thanks to this boat’s effortless maneuverability and stability. Features include large storage hatches with removable bags, Trac Universal accessory mounts, two flush mount rod holders, paddle holders, a self-bailing system and more.
How we chose the best fishing kayaks under $1,000
We consider several factors when choosing the best fishing kayaks under $1,000. From ensuring we judge kayak according to its intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the kayak in each category:
- Purpose. Comparing apples to apples.
- Performance. How well does it do its job?
- Features. Sometimes we’re all about bells and whistles, sometimes not.
- Real-world testing. We put them to the test on the water.
- Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
- Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason.
- Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it.
- Designer and brand interviews. We ask the people who made it why.
Let’s find you the perfect fishing kayak under $1,000
Use the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide‘s reviews, specs and expert rankings to help you find the right kayak at the right price. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations in The Best Fishing Kayaks For 2022.