While specs, features and performance are important aspects of what makes a fishing kayak “right” for you, at some point, price also has to enter the equation. Fortunately, today there are fishing kayaks available at almost every price point, making the sport that much more accessible.
The kayaks available in the sub-$500 market are understandably base models with few bells and whistles, and performance matched to calm bodies of water and weather. Bump up your budget to the sub-$1,000 range and you’ll have far more specialized options at your fingertips with features to satisfy most any angler. Enter the sub-$2000 range, though, and you’ll find fully rigged and ready boats with every modern amenity available.
You generally get what you pay for when it comes to fishing kayaks—if you’re able to spend a little more, you’ll enjoy greater comfort, higher quality materials, and features specific to the type of fishing you want to do and the bodies of water you most often fish.
These kayaks from NuCanoe, Bonafide Kayaks, Vibe Kayaks, Old Town, Pelican, Feelfree Kayaks, Ocean Kayak, Jackson Adventures, Wilderness Systems, Hobie, Kaku Kayak, Eddyline Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Viking Kayaks and Sea Eagle are ready for any water and any application.
Here are the best fishing kayaks under $2,000 on the market today:
- NuCanoe Frontier 12
- Bonafide Kayaks SS127
- Vibe Kayaks Shearwater 125
- Old Town Predator 13
- Pelican The Catch 130HDII
- Feelfree Kayaks Lure 13.5
- Ocean Kayak Trident 13
- Jackson Adventures Coosa HD
- Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. 120
- Hobie Quest 13
- Kaku Kayak Zulu
- Eddyline Kayaks Caribbean 12 Angler
- Native Watercraft Slayer 12 Pro
- Viking Kayaks Tempo Fisherman 2
- Sea Eagle FastTrack Angler 385fta
[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 Frontier 12 from NuCanoe provides exceptional stability and a completely customizable wide, open deck, allowing you to truly fish without limits. Whether you fish solo or tandem, seated or standing, rivers or lakes, paddling or trolling, the Frontier’s remarkable stability and 360 Pinnacle Seat will keep you confident and comfortable on the water.
The SS127 from Bonafide Kayaks is hard to beat when it comes to fishability from a kayak. Every feature was designed from the ground up to create an amazing angling experience. Featuring a hybrid catamaran hull design that provides uncompromised stability in various conditions, this boat is not kind-of-stable, it’s crazy-stable (at only 33.5 inches wide!). This allows for the comfortable HiRise seating system to raise to an ultra-high position for improved sight casting and to relieve pressure on your lower back.
The Shearwater 125 by Vibe Kayaks was designed with speed and stability in mind. It has many options for angling customization including offering the choice of pedal, power, or paddle acceleration in the form of the Vibe X-Drive pedal system, Bixpy Jet motor and Vibe Evolve paddle—or the unique combo of all three. Plus this kayak comes at a price that allows you to build the fishing kayak of your dreams while fitting any budget.
The Predator 13 from Old Town was engineered—both below and above the waterline—to deliver the perfect platform for fishing and on-water sporting. Old Town’s Pro Staff examined seating, rod placement, paddle holders and total “fish-ability” and incorporated it all into this revolutionary boat. This boat features Old Town’s Element Seating System, which provides high/low seating options and an adjustable backrest. Also included are rod tip holders and rod retainer bungees, side-mount paddle storage and a molded paddle rest, a slip-resistant deck, a stand-up assist strap and more.
View all Old Town fishing kayaks under $2,000.
The Catch 130 HyDryve II by Pelican brings pedal drive technology within grasp on this 12’6” rudder-controlled fishing kayak. It’s made with Pelican’s proprietary RAM-X Premium, a multi-layer polyethylene with an advanced resin in the top layer imparting a glossy finish and providing significantly more rigidity than standard polyethylene. The Catch 130HDII remains light, stiff, strong, and easy to transport. At only 78 pounds, you won’t need any help to load or unload this kayak.
The Lure 13.5 from Feelfree Kayaks provides a new level in stability, comfort and versatility. The 13.5 is longer, faster, extremely stable and capable of bigger water, featuring a front multi-use console, and a removable sonar and electronic pod. The Lure’s super-stable 34-inch-wide hull paired with an extra-large padded standing platform gives you the option to paddle or cast in sitting or standing position. The Lure 13.5 is also available with the Overdrive Pedal & Motor System.
The Trident 13 from Ocean Kayak is the ideal size for inshore and inland angling, with the Trident’s legendary ease of paddling. The Trident 13 Angler balances size with agility, making it the most versatile kayak in the fleet. The Trident 13 performs well in almost any water application, but you’ll notice the superb performance in breaking surf and rough seas.
The Coosa HD from Jackson Adventures is a heavy duty fishing craft that boasts amped up specs and features, and is slightly longer and wider than the original Coosa. This makes it even more stable and a perfect fit for anglers of all sizes or those who are really looking for a standup fishing kayak. The hull is still river-friendly, but the HD will track truer on the flat waters of lakes or inshore saltwater. If you’re into comfort, you’ll love the new Ergo seat with built-in lumbar support, padded deck and soft coated foot pegs. Also on the HD, anglers will have the option to sit high or low, as well as trim the seat into five different positions.
The A.T.A.K. 120 from Wilderness Systems strikes the elusive balance between speed and agility with its long waterline, highly walkable surface, and wind-shedding hull. The open deck design is optimized for accessory customization with storage opportunities intelligently located throughout. The AirPro MAX high/low seat delivers comfort and visibility, while the Flex Pod OS console provides electronics integration and compatibility with the Helix MD Motor Drive (sold separately).
Read Kayak Angler‘s news release about the Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. 120. Watch our video walk-through of A.T.A.K. specs and features. View all Wilderness Systems fishing kayaks under $2,000.
The Quest 13 is Hobie‘s swiftest solo paddle kayak, with a sleek, swell-eating stride. It has the sea legs for light touring, and excels for fishing. The rotomolded polyethylene hull features generous below-deck storage, ample space for tackle boxes or tents, plus molded rod holders for trolling. A large, bungee-secured stern cargo area accommodates everything from optional tackle to a Hobie Livewell, and an optional Twist and Stow rudder with foot steering control.
The new Zulu from Kaku Kayak allows you to paddle it, pedal it or motorize it. It’s designed with stability, speed and versatility in mind, and features an open, roomy deck that is great for standing and fishing. The unique sight casting chair that was introduced on the Voodoo allows you to get an elevated view of the water. The Zulu can carry tons of gear and there are gear tracks allowing for lots of different rigging options. It’s also fully integrated with a Micro Power Pole mount.
The Caribbean 12 Angler from Eddyline Kayaks is a fisherman’s dream both on and off the water, the three main highlights being its light 45-pound weight, overall stability and comfort. The unique Gull Wing hull configuration retains efficiency and tracking while maximizing stability and maneuverability. The Caribbean 12 includes a luxurious Cloud 10 seat, balanced carry handles, paddle holders, traction pads, rod holders and much more.
View all Eddyline fishing kayaks under $2,000.
The Slayer 12 Pro from Native Watercraft 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 bait casters freedom of movement when snatching that big bass. This boat includes cam-lok paddle holders, three pocket tool holders, a bow hatch cover, anti-slip pads, an anchor trolley and a tag-a-long wheel.
The Tempo Fisherman 2 from Viking Kayaks double answers the long-awaited call for a stable, roomy, fishing and expedition double kayak. It features comfortable moulded seats, backrest, and large front and rear wells for fish and gear. These kayaks are super stable and have been designed to be powered by an electric motor. Paddle or motor, you will enjoy many happy hours in your Tempo 2 kayak, whether you are fishing, diving, free diving or on an expedition.
View all Viking fishing kayaks under $2,000.
The FastTrack Angler 385fta from Sea Eagle is a lightweight, one- to two-person inflatable fishing kayak made to get you where the fish are quietly and quickly. The patented external NeedleKnife keel cuts through water and the sprayskirts are customized with two rod holders and cutouts for hooks and tools, keeping your trusted gear an arm’s length away.
How we chose the best fishing kayaks under $2,000
We consider several factors when choosing the best fishing kayaks under $2,000. 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 $2,000
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.