Best Cheap Fishing Kayak Under $400 (Year 2018)

So you want to start fishing from a kayak on the cheap? Understandable! Many people do. Fishing from the dock can get bored, plus you do not get the best fishing spots.

Using a kayak to fish in rather than a boat can provide a more secret and quieter fishing adventure. Plus, using a kayak is so much easier to transport than a boat! Sometimes you can even fit it in your car, so you sometimes do not have to worry about buying a rack for your car or a trailer.

Product

Ranking

Our Rating

Price

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Best Overall

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-in Kayak

2nd Choice

Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak

3rd Choice

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

4th Choice

Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak

5th Choice

Buyer’s Guide

What separates a fishing kayak from a regular kayak?

To be honest, you can use any type of kayak to fish in. If you feel comfortable fishing from the kayak then that means it is okay to use as a fishing kayak. Considering the topic of this article, inexpensive kayaks, we can’t be too picky with our kayaks. If you try it out and like it then you may try and then buy a more expensive one.

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

What are some of the things I should keep in mind considering I want to fish in my kayak?

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-in Kayak

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-in Kayak

Space! You need a ton of space for your equipment. Make sure the kayak you are searching for has cargo space in the front and rear. Keep in mind how big your tackle box is and look up the measurements for the kayak you’re thinking about buying.

What it’s made of. We’ll answer this question below but the material it’s made of is very important.

The stability of the kayak. Is it wide? Then that is a good thing. Most people who fish from kayaks do not opt to get a skinny fast one, they get a slower wide one.  

This helps for a few reasons- a wider kayak will make it more stable. When you are fishing you do not want to risk tipping over at all. That means you get wet when you do not want to be and it means you lose your fishing supplies if it is not strapped down tightly.

The type of water you are going to be on when fishing. When you are on still water short, lightweight, kayaks with a lot of stability are best. If you are going to be on moving water like streams or even whitewater rapids then short, wide, sit in kayaks with a high degree of rocker are the best.

The most important thing you should keep in mind when purchasing a kayak is what you are going to use it for! There is no such thing as a perfect fishing boat. It does not exist. But your perfect fishing boat does exist.

What kind of shape should my fishing kayak be?

The last popular shape is V-shaped hulls. These are the fastest but obviously these are also the least stable. Though if it does flip you can easily flip it back over to get back in it.

What are the different components of a kayak?

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

  1. Seats: Seats are extremely important, obviously. Make sure you get one that is at least slightly comfortable because you will want to be fishing for a long time!
  2.  Hatches: This is the fancy term for the storage compartments at the front and back of the kayak, if they happen to be on that specific kayak. This is very important for fishing kayaks, as mentioned above.
  3. Rudder: This Is on the back of the kayak to help it move around better and easier. Not all kayaks have a rudder so if you are wanting one you should look into it.

4. Cockpit: This is where you sit. A sit-on kayak does not have a kayak where you are actually “in” the cockpit and kayak. Not being totally surrounded by the cockpit is a good idea and allows you to easily reach your things in the front and back of your kayak.

5. Hull Rocker: As mentioned above- this is the shape of the bottom of your kayak. The bigger the curve, the easier it is to turn.

What should my kayak be made of?

A lot of the kayaks below will be made of plastic, but it is worth noting the different kinds of materials used to make kayaks.

Overall, there are two types of plastic kayaks which are polyethylene and thermoformed ABS. Polyethylene is very inexpensive and impact resistant. The lifespan is shorter than other materials, but it is a good beginner material. Thermoformed ABS is lighter and durable, but it’s more expensive.

Composite kayaks are made from high-end materials like fiberglass and Kevlar. These kayaks can be damaged but they are much stronger than plastic kayaks.

Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak

Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak

Soft shell kayaks are the inflatable kayaks you see. These are not incredibly safe for fishing but they can be used, you just have to be extra careful!

What things should I look for when purchasing a fishing kayak?

For a quality fishing kayak, one needs to consider many important factors aside from just the cost.  Speed, weight capacity, stability and durability are all important to consider.  It also depends on your needs. If you plan on spending most of your time standing up fishing, then stability will be more of a consideration for you than speed.  You may have to compromise one in order to have the other. You aren’t going to want a kayak that is going to flip over easily while standing.  The wider the kayak, the more stable it will be.  Likewise, the longer the kayak, the faster it becomes.

Another consideration is the ‘sit in’ variety or the ‘sit on top’ version.  Most anglers enjoy the type that lets them sit on top to have more freedom of movement especially if one is wrangling in large fish.  You would want that freedom to be able to move around quickly and efficiently without losing your grasp on that beautiful fish you just caught.

You need to think about whether or not your kayak has pedal power with or without paddle power. There are two basic types of pedals; push pedals and rotational pedals.

How do I decide if I want more stability or more speed?

You will first need to determine what kind of fishing you will be doing as well as what kinds of waters you will be launching your kayak.  If the waters are mostly calm where you will be fishing, then a narrower kayak might be best for you, which in turn will have more speed.  If however, the waters in which you will be fishing are choppy, then obviously you will need a wider kayak, which will be a little slower.

Also, if you are a standing fisherman, which many people prefer, then obviously, you are going to need more stability.  You can’t catch those fish if you flip over and wind up in the water more often than not.  It basically boils down to the type of fisherman you are and your basic needs.

Related Post:  Best value fishing kayak under $500 (Year 2018)

What are the differences in the types of pedals?

Push pedals don’t use a lot of space in your kayak.  They are basically just pedals that you push with your feet. You do need to push them constantly because if you take a break it’s just harder and more difficult to get them going again.   This in turn can cause leg, foot and back pain and fatigue.

Rotational pedals move with your legs the same as if you were walking. Unlike push pedals the power and energy your legs are using is distributed evenly throughout your legs and thighs.  You would not get as fatigued nor experience fatigue as early.  There is also no interrupted motion with rotational pedals.  It’s just smooth, constant movement and if you lose momentum you are able to get yourself back on track more quickly.

However, rotational pedals do take up more space in a kayak and therefore make the kayak heavier.  You need to weigh the pros and cons of the final weight of the kayak and how much gear you plan on taking with you.

Best Cheap Fishing Kayak Under $400 Reviews

1. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle Review

This beast of a kayak is made from UV-protected high-density polyethylene material. It has footprints in the kayak so many different heights work.

There are front and rear cord straps to help keep things in the kayak. The seat is padded, which makes it great for fishing. This kayak also has fishing pole holders. Don’t forget the paddle cradles!

Pros

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    Big and cushy padded seat
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    Adjustable seat
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    UV-protected material to help make it last longer
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    Front and back storage
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    Holders for fishing poles
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    Great for taller people

Cons

  • The clips for the storage can be a little iffy
  • This kayak is a little slow, which can be a con or pro depending on what you’re using it for

This kayak is great for taller people who want to fit comfortable in a kayak. It is a slower kayak so if you want to use it for fishing then this could be the perfect kayak for you. If you want to do some more cruising in your future kayak then you might want to go for a leaner one. This kayak also has storage compartments which makes it even better for fishing.

2. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak1-Person) Review

This extremely nimble and durable kayak is made of durable material. That design on the side makes it easier to spot on the water making it that much safer. The cockpit is designed for comfort and maximized space.

There is a cargo net at the front to easily store materials. It also comes with a paddle. This kayak is great for fishing if you are careful not to puncture the kayak.

Pros

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    Comes with a paddle
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    Inflatable seat
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    Nimble and moves quickly
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    Bright design to help make it safer
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    Comes with a repair kit
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    Has two separate air chambers
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    Boston valves for quick inflation/deflation

Cons

  • Directs aren’t very clear

This is a nice and inexpensive kayak. It is different from the other three we have looked at so far because this one inflates. That is why it is so much less expensive.  But just because you can inflate it does not mean that it isn’t a good kayak. It’s a great one. If you are looking for a quick and nimble kayak then this is totally for you.

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-in Kayak Review

Pros

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    This kayak is only 40 pounds which makes it ideal to carry
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    The seat material is foam making it very comfortable
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    The length is 10 feet, which is a good starter length
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    Large cockpit to fit most body types
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    Has a water bottle holder and carrying handles
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    Has adjustable foot braces to make anyone of any height comfortable
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    Carrying handles to easily transport it

Cons

  • The hooks are a little weak. They can break fairly easily

This is a good standard kayak. There is not anything incredibly fancy about it, but it is a good, basic model. The colors can be entertaining for kids (or even adults). This kayak is extremely maneuverable, so if you are a bit more sporty then this one would be a very safe bet! If you are not that athletically inclined, then you might want to go for a more stable model to be safer.

4. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak Review

This recreational kayak is great for riding on lakes, ponds, and slow moving rivers. It is made from polyethylene. The seat is adjustable and padded so long trips in the kayak are totally doable.

The rim of the cockpit is padded for your arms and paddle, which makes it that much more comfortable. You can easily get access to your storage via the Stern Day Well so you don’t have to store them in a place that you can’t easily reach. Great for fishing!

Pros

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    Adjustable seat that is also padded
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    Padded cockpit
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    Easily accessible storage
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    Huge cockpit for most almost any size
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    Tracks well
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    Very stable

Cons

  • Cockpit is so big it can be easy for water to get in
  • The backrest has no pad

This is a great kayak if you have a dog. The cockpit is simply massive so you can easily take a large dog on your trips. It is wide so it’s especially stable. The way the storage is made it is hard to store a decent amount of things. You can easily store some things but it isn’t entirely big. If the plastic backrest is scary you can simply buy a cheap pad for it to make it much more comfortable. You can easily fit a bigger tackle box in this kayak.

5. Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak Review

This kayak is made of plastic but has a 21-gauage PVC construction making it rugged enough for fishing if you are careful. Multiple air chambers allow this kayak to stay inflated just in case one gets punctured. It has two points for inflation and deflation making it super easy to get on the water or get it packed up.

Pros

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    Two places to inflate/deflate
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    Made from strong material even though it is plastic
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    Fast and easy to maneuver
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    Two seats
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    Comfortable

Cons

  • It is plastic so it could be easy to puncture if you aren’t careful

If you need a two-person kayak then this is the one for you.  It can be a good fishing kayak if you are careful. If you have kids you want to take fishing then this might not be the one for you. This kayak is a quick one and it was designed that way. This kayak can handle not only sitting water, but water that is fairly choppy.

To Conclude:

If you are on an extreme budget for a fishing kayak then you should be satisfied after reading this article. We listed what makes a good fishing kayak and what to look for when looking for one to buy. We also mentioned that there is no such thing as a perfect fishing kayak because it all depends on what you want to get out of it. We then gave you some good products that fit really well under the fishing category, especially considering the light budget.