Whether you’re an avid fishermen looking to expand your experience or a novice that’s just starting out, kayak fishing is a great way to have some fun new fishing adventures.
There is a lot to consider before buying a kayak. What features should you be looking for? What should you be expecting? How much does it cost?
If you’re new to this sport, you might be wondering where to start, and you might be concerned about how expensive kayaks can be. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the top five fishing kayaks under $600.
There is no reason you can’t have a high quality fishing kayak for an affordable price. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of some of the best fishing kayaks on the market, so you can make the right decision for you.
Why buy a fishing kayak?
Like any other sport, fishing has plenty of options. You don’t have to stand still on a dock or boat casting a line into the water forever. Fishing kayaks provide a refreshing alternative to all anglers. If you are on the fence about buying a fishing kayak, consider the following:
- Accessibility: Although boats can cover larger areas of water, fishing kayaks are much easier to maneuver in smaller bodies of water. They can be launched from almost anywhere with water access, and for the most part, are very easy to transport with the right vehicle and racks.
- Noise: Kayaks are quieter than boats, allowing fishermen to sneak up on fish more easily and stay in one area for a longer period of time. Boats often spook fish away with engine noise, forcing fishermen to move more often and cover a larger area of water.
- Storage: If you’re new to fishing kayaks, you might be concerned over the storage. Will you have enough space for your gear? No need to worry. There is a kayak for almost every set up, most with multiple storage compartments for your gear and valuables.
Top 5 Fishing Kayaks Under $600
If you’re trying to stick to a budget and looking to get the most bang for your buck, you’re in luck! Here is a list of the top five fishing kayaks under $600. These kayaks were chosen based on their features, price, and overall user experience, so you can easily compare and choose the kayak that’s right for you.
|Lifetime Sport Tandem Kayak|
|Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak|
|Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak|
|Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak|
1. Lifetime Sport Tandem Kayak – Most Versatile
Riders can use this kayak seated, standing, or riding side saddle, offering plenty of variation depending on your fishing style. The Lifetime Sport Kayak has a very durable UV protected hull made of low density polyethelene, meaning it won’t fade, peel, or crack if left in the sun.
There are multiple foot rest positions, and the padded backrests can be adjusted to fit a variety of riders. Also included is a 6” storage hatch in deck of the kayak as well as shock cord straps in the front for added storage.
There are three flush-mounted fishing rod holders, so you can work hands-free. The Lifetime Sport comes with two kayak paddles along with paddle holders so you never have to worry about losing them in the water. Coming in under $600, this fishing kayak is one of the best values out there.
2. Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak – Most Storage
This sit-in kayak is ideal for calmer water like lakes and rivers. It’s 12 feet long and weighs 47 pounds. It has a durable UV-stabilized high-density polyethelene hull and can hold up to 395 pounds.
The Aruba has a very spacious seating area with adjustable foot rests and thigh pads for maximum comfort. There is a large storage hatch in the rear of the kayak as well as a small storage space in the front. The Sun Dolphin also includes a Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) that can be towed separately and used as extra storage.
This kayak has several flush-mounted rod holders as well as a paddle holder. Riders can easily transport this kayak with the retractable carry handles. For riders looking for a sit-in fishing kayak with plenty of storage, the Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak is a great option.
3. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package – Most Portable and Compact
It packs down small enough to fit into the trunk of your car and only takes six minutes to inflate. It can hold 2 people or up to 500 pounds.
This kayak has a 33mm polykrylar hull for durability and two skegs on the bottom of the kayak for optimum tracking and stability. The padded seats, foot rests, and thigh pads are all adjustable to give you ideal comfort. There is plenty of space for all of your gear with the molded in-tray and stern day well.
There are two flush-mounted rod holders as well as two paddle holders on board. The Sea Eagle comes with two paddles, a foot pump, and a carry bag, so you can bring everything together in a compact size.
4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado™ 2-Person Fishing Kayak – Most Durable
This kayak is built to last with an 18-gauge construction, tarpaulin bottom, and nylon cover to protect against damage and punctures.
The Colorado™’s Airtight System™ guarantees the kayak won’t leak. It comes equipped with multiple air chambers, so if one is punctured, the others will stay inflated. The Colorado™ is 10 feet long, weighs 40 pounds, and can hold up to 470 pounds.
Riders can store their gear in the multiple mesh pockets that line the kayak or attach additional equipment using the D-rings. This kayak comes with adjustable rod holders and paddle holders as well.
5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak – Best Performance
The hull is made from UV-protected high density polyethylene. It has a flat bottom with deep tracking channels and stability chine rails to give riders the best riding experience.
Both the foot rests and padded seats are adjustable for comfort. Two hatches (one in the middle and one in the rear) along with two sets of shock cords provide plenty of storage for the solo angler.
There is even room for your water bottle in front of the seat. Also included are two flush-mounted rod holders, one adjustable rod holder, and paddle holders. T handles in the front and back allow users to easily transport this 52 pound kayak to the water.
Things You Should Know Before Buying A Fishing Kayak
There are a lot of things to consider before buying a fishing kayak. Although we recommend the five kayaks above, your needs, abilities, and wants might lead you in a different direction. Do your homework and be sure to think about the following before purchasing:
- Portability and Weight
You should be able to carry and transport your kayak without much difficulty. Take a look at the kayak’s weight and handle options to make sure you’re capable of getting the kayak from its storage space to the water.
- Weight Capacity
The weight capacity varies widely among fishing kayaks. Whether you have a lot of gear or are just a bigger person, take note of each one so you can be comfortable and secure during your outings.
- Comfortable Seating Area
Some kayaks are designed to be comfortable for an entire day’s journey, some are not. Depending on where and how long you plan to ride, you may need better adjustment options to make sure you’re not sore for days after your ride.
- Storage Space
The amount of storage you need will depend on the amount of gear you have. Any fishing kayak you purchase should have rod and paddle holders, so you can move around hands-free. Ideally, the kayak will also have waterproof compartments and shock cords to hold your valuables, bait, tackle, and whatever else you bring with you.
- Sit-On or Sit-In
There are two types of fishing kayaks that offer different features and benefits. Sit-On kayaks are easy to get in and out of, have good stability, and are great for warmer climates where riders don’t mind getting wet.
Sit-In kayaks offer a drier experience and are better for cooler climates. They are trickier to move around in though, so if you’re looking to transition from sitting to standing to wadding, a sit-on kayak might be better for you.
Most importantly, you want your kayak to last! Be sure the hull is made from durable materials with UV protection to guard it against fading and cracking in the sun. This is even more critical when shopping for an inflatable kayak as the material is more susceptible to damage and punctures.
Once you make your purchase, take a look at the manufacturers’ recommendations and stick to them. If your kayak is made for calmer water like lakes and rivers, don’t test your luck in the open ocean. You might end up with severe damage to your boat that it wasn’t made to handle.
How much room do you have at home or in the car to store your kayak once you take it off the water? If you’re crunched for space, you might want to consider an inflatable option so you can pack it away in a small carry bag until you need it again.
Fishing Kayak FAQ
- How do I start kayak fishing?
Assuming you already know how to fish, all you need is a kayak and a paddle. We recommend starting in a calmer body of water like a lake, river, or stream until you get the hang of maneuvering your kayak. From there, you can expand and take it anywhere you want to go!
- What kayak is right for me?
Unfortunately, there is no way to answer that for you. Luckily, with product breakdowns like the one above, you can make better decisions keeping in mind your skill level, location, and fishing goals.
- How long should my kayak last?
A well maintained and well constructed kayak can last for decades. However, it all depends on the material it was made from and how well you take care of it. Generally speaking, inflatable kayaks tend to have shorter lifespans because they are more susceptible to punctures and wear and tear.
- What type of maintenance should I do on my fishing kayak?
Keep your kayak out of the sun if possible. UV rays can damage the color, shape, and rigging. Always keep an eye on the hull for punctures or damage so you can fix them before you get out on the water.
It’s usually a good idea to rinse your kayak off after each outing to get rid of salt, seaweed, and dirt that can eat away at the hull with time. You can even use a kayak cart to keep your boat off the ground while you’re getting it to the water.
Lastly, be sure to cover the cockpit. Dirt, water, and critters can find their way inside and cause more damage.
- Is it hard to sit in a kayak all day?
This is where you will need to evaluate your threshold for comfort as well as the seating comfort in your kayak. If you have a bad back or have trouble sitting in one place for long, be sure to get a fishing kayak with padded seats, padded backrests, and adjustable everything so you can make it’s the way you need it to be.
- Should I get a single or tandem kayak?
This all depends on your preference. A solo kayak allows you more freedom in the water, and you can also take it out whenever you want instead of depending on another person to go with you. Tandem kayaks are great to bring kids along or partners that are committed to splitting the work with you.
Our Final Take on the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $600
Fishing kayaks are a great way to expand your fishing experience whether you’re just starting out or have been fishing for years. The five kayaks we reviewed here offer a wide variety of options for any angler at a great price. All that’s left is for you to decide which kayak is best for you and enjoy the ride!