The popularity of kayak fishing is on the rise and with new fishing kayaks coming out each year, there are a lot of options spanning a wide price range. While there are many premium kayaks available, the price points are often too high for someone looking to get into the sport. To respond to this growing need for affordable, entry-level boats, we’ve put together this list of the best fishing kayaks under $500.
Cheap kayaks offer a more simplistic experience, but allow beginner kayak anglers to get out on the water without a large financial commitment. It is important to remember these cheaper kayaks are not meant to provide the same performance as higher-end kayaks. The key is to stick close to shore, stay on flatwater, only go paddling in fair weather, and always wear a PFD.
These fishing kayaks from Pelican, Perception Kayaks, Sun Dolphin, Feelfree Kayaks, Sea Eagle and more offer basic features for a price point that can’t be beat, so you can get out on the water with your rod and work on your skills.
Here are the best fishing kayaks under $500 on the market today:
- Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler
- Perception Kayaks Sound 9.5
- Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
- Sevylor Colorado
- Feelfree Kayaks Move Angler
- Lifetime Hydros Angler 85
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- Sea Eagle Sport Kayak SE370
- Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
- Ascend 10T Sit-On Kayak
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks For 2021. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Sentinel 100X Angler from Pelican is part of their recreational sit-on-top collection and is ideal for the paddler looking to enjoy a stable and relaxing kayaking experience during the warm season on calm or slow-moving waters. The Sentinel 100X Angler is specifically designed for the experienced fisherman looking to try kayak fishing. Measuring 9’6″ and weighing only 44 pounds, this kayak is incredibly easy to transport and store. A multi-chine flat bottom hull ensures the stability needed when casting lines.
View all Pelican fishing kayaks under $500.
The Sound 9.5 from Perception Kayaks is affordable, easy to transport and full of features, making it a great sit-in kayak for all of your adventures. A refresh on this model aligns it with the Sound family of kayaks, adding more features and room for gear. The redesigned dashboard features a molded-in area for a tackle box and gear, plus two molded-in rod holders behind the seat for easy access. A deeper, wider rear stern tankwell provides more storage and the RAM Solo Mount.
View all Perception fishing kayaks under $500.
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 Colorado from Sevylor is an inflatable tandem kayak that combines a great mix of maneuverability, stability and comfort. Thanks to the Boston valves on the boat, inflation and deflation are extremely simple. It also features an Easy Inflation Manometer so paddlers can easily achieve the correct pressure—of the utmost importance when it comes to performance. This kayak is best used for recreational paddling and fishing on lakes and rivers. At 33 pounds, it’s easy to take the Colorado anywhere you want to go. And with well-placed D-rings and bungees, is a cinch to outfit just the way you want for a day on the water.
The Move Angler from Feelfree Kayaks is the perfect kayak for kids and smaller paddlers getting into the sport of kayak fishing. It is based off the popular Move kayak, which has been a favorite among paddlers for years, with a full arrangement of features specific to fishing including two rod holders with security rod leashes, as well as Feelfree۪’s Kingfisher seat. In addition, the kayak features the patented Wheel in the Keel, making it easy for youngsters to haul the kayak around.
The Hydros Angler 85 from Lifetime is a sit-on-top kayak designed for stability. The kayak is constructed out of blow-molded, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) making it durable, UV-protected and impact-resistant. The lightweight, 41-pound design, front and rear T-handle, and convenient center carry handle make it easy to transport to and from the waterfront. With shock cord straps and multiple foot rest positions, this kayak has plenty of extras to enhance your fishing experience.
The Excursion Pro Kayak from Intex is made with features like adjustable seats and built-in foot rests to keep you comfortable. Fishing rod holders on each side allow for hands-free fishing, and a waterproof bag latches into the front for anything you need to carry out on the water with you. Since it’s inflatable, the Excursion Pro is easy to stow in a car. Even when inflated, handles on the front and back provide an easy way to carry it over land or onto a beach. Packaged with a pair of aluminum oars and an air pump, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak has everything you need to start enjoying your day on the lake, river or inshore ocean.
The Sport Kayak SE370 from Sea Eagle is one of the most lightweight, rugged, versatile, budget-friendly and portable kayaks for anyone looking to hit the rapids (class III), ocean surf, fish or explore. This inflatable kayak is great for lakes, rivers, bays, ocean surf and more. Just 32 pounds, it can hold up to three people or 650 pounds. It’s a lot of fun for beginners and experienced paddlers alike, with a lightweight design that can be carried almost anywhere and set up in less than 10 minutes.
View all Sea Eagle fishing kayaks under $500.
Angler Bay Inflatable Boats from Airhead are designed to give you all the components you need to have a great fishing adventure. There are two rod holders, multiple molded drink holders, four drain plugs, a battery storage bag and a ditty bag. It’s lightweight, portable and ideal for lakes and slow-moving streams. The Angler Bay is constructed of heavy-duty vinyl with electronically welded seams. Comfort features include an inflatable floor and a movable seat.
Ascend 10T Sit-On Kayak
The 10T Sit-On Kayak from Ascend has a unique tunnel hull design that results in impressive maneuverability and a stable standing-and-fishing platform. On-deck, the 10T is just as impressive with an open design that’s optimized for accessory customization and unique storage opportunities. In addition, you’ll experience the ultimate in all-day comfort, thanks to the removable, suspended seating system that can also be used onshore. Wrapping the entire package is an integrated weathertight storage area, quick-connect D-ring bow and stern attachments, and three rails that will accept virtually all aftermarket rail-mounted accessories.
How we chose the best fishing kayaks under $500
We consider several factors when choosing the best fishing kayaks under $500. 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 budget-friendly fishing kayak
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 2021.