Fishing Kayaks have whole lot of advantages over boats when it comes to an involved fishing sport and are therefore highly preferred. The stealthy glide of kayaks over the water surface won’t let the fishes know you are there.
With the right kind of fittings and accessories, a thoughtfully chosen fishing kayak can give you hours of fun, bounteous catch and tons of entertainment.The modern fishing kayak of our time are designed for maximum comfort that won’t let you feel tired even after a long day’s hectic fishing sport.
Also, fishing kayaks facilitate a better casting angle and consequently better catch. The most convenient body structure of the fishing kayaks facilitate an intimate binding with the water and fish around making the whole game heart filling.
The fun assured by the best fishing kayak under $500 never ends even when the fish don’t bite. You have a lot of things to watch around the fishing spot and gaze at all the wild life moving around the waters in the marsh areas.
Besides the rare and exciting chance to glance the animals and birds, you also get to do some quality exercise once you are riding on the kayak.Kayak can enter the regions where other boats cannot get through. Areas inaccessible to the motorized boats can also be easily reached with best fishing kayak under $500.
People who are into kayak fishing are highly sportive and social and once you own a kayak, you are part of this fantastic club and can enjoy a plethora of opportunities for tournaments all year round.Fishing with kayaks is very cheap as you will have to take away the spending on fuel, insurance, storage and launch fees in addition the upfront cost of a motorized boat.
If you can still afford to keep a boat with you to carry you and your kayak to distances that you cannot paddle, then you have got the best of both the worlds.
About Different Types Of kayak Fishing
Kayak fishing is a highly alluring sport. Before you set out to choose the best fishing kayak, you must be thorough different kinds of kayak fishing. In the first place, know that all fishing kayaks are not created equal.
There are two distinct kinds of kayak fishing namely freshwater kayak fishing and salt water kayak fishing. The former is further subdivided into still water fishing and moving water fishing while the latter goes into two more categories namely inshore fishing and offshore fishing.
Every type of fishing mentioned above presents a typical paddling condition and would therefore demand the type of kayak that is suitable to the said condition.
Freshwater Kayak Fishing
For fishing in still water, you need to consider the size of the area of the water. For small ponds, small and light weight kayaks offering high range of initial stability and moderate range of rocker will best suit.
In this case, you will find both recreational and sit-on-top kayaks highly suitable. When you fish on larger water bodies, you will have to cover larger distances and therefore you will have to look for aspects like speed.
Therefore you will find long, slim, faster and sit-in kayaks featuring lower range of initial stability and lower degree of rocker the best choice.Talking of moving water fishing, there could be different kinds of scenarios you might come across.
However, the universal rule to choose the best fishing kayak is to look for shorter and wider sit in kayaks. This will feature good degree of secondary stability and high degree of rocker.
Saltwater Kayak Fishing
Inshore waters are those that are close to the shore line offering a depth of less than 70 feet. Since you will have to face a variety of atmosphere like estuaries, bays, creeks, inlets, flats and sounds and since you might encounter stiff winds and steep waves, you shall find longer kayaks with slimmer bodies with moderate rocker degree highly useful.
Sit on top kind of kayaks are more preferred for this type of fishing.Offshore waters refer to waters deeper than 70 feet. Once you are in such an atmosphere, you will have to face big waters and big skies and you will feel very tiny.
As you will have to face tough winds and steep waves at times and since you will have to cover significant distances, you will have to go for long and slim best fishing kayak under $500 with moderate degree of rocker. A longer kayak shall make you feel more secured. Most experienced kayakers choose sit on top type of kayaks for this purpose.
What You Must Consider While Choosing The Best Fishing Kayak Under $500
You need to consider a list of aspects when you choose the best fishing kayak under $500. This will help you make an informed decision, which will make benefitted in the long run.
This is the primary criteria to think of while choosing a fishing kayak. Novice paddlers will find sit on top and recreational fishing good choices when they learn the art in still water. If you have a considerable amount of proficiency, then go for slimmer and longer kayaks.
Sit-on-top or Sit-in Kayaks
Choosing between these two aspects could be tricky even for expert paddlers. However, today we find sit-on-top kayaks the most popular ones used by kayak fishermen of all skill levels.
If speed and ability to handle rough water is better than your preferences over sense of security, then you might go for sit in kayaks.
Polyethylene kayaks are the heaviest and the most suitable for rocky shorelines. However, they need more effort to paddle. Wooden best fishing kayak under $500 are faster and need less effort to paddle.
Stitch and glue plywood kayaks offer more secondary stability required to reach longer distances and fight big fish. Composite kayaks can be molded to any shape and therefore feature excellent hull designs. Falling midway between polyethylene kayaks and wooden kayaks in weight, these are more expensive.
Stability or Speed
Talking of stability, learners need more initial stability while expert paddlers expect high secondary stability. Wider kayaks are slower than the narrower ones. The former have more initial stability, while the latter have more secondary stability.
Usually, wide, slow kayaks are opted for still water fishing and narrow fast kayaks are preferred for inshore and offshore waters. Best fishing kayaks under $500 offering characteristics in between these two are the best for moving water fishing.
Most Suitable Kayak For Fly Fishing
Modern fishing kayak have become game changers in the fly fishing arena. There are some important considerations you need to think of when choosing the ideal kayak for fly fishing.
Overall Stability: fly fishing demands more movement. Therefore, stability needs to be on top of your agenda.
Stand Up Stability: This is an important consideration when you stand for fishing; you will be able to gain a higher vantage point and shall find it comfortable to make longer casts when needed.
Open Area: While fly fishing, you will need more room for standing in the cockpit that is free of clutters and objects. Therefore look for models that have foot pegs with simple locking mechanism and long track system enabling you to push the pegs forward out of your way when you fish.
Paddling Features: You need to get near to the fish to the perfect position to be able to catch while fly fishing. Therefore give top priority for aspects like tracking, speed and maneuverability.
Comfortable Seating: Irrespective of whether you stand or sit while fishing, you need to view the comfort enabled by the seating with top priority. If you can get a kayak with adjustable seating including low, high and kick back adjustments, you are with the best seating arrangement.
What Kind Of Fishing Kayak You Should Buy
Choosing the right fishing kayak can be a tricky decision even for expert fishing kayakers. Understanding the three major types of fishing kayaks will throw more light on which one to choose for your specific expectations and requirements.
The main difference between Sit-on-top or Sit-in kayaks is that the former lacks a closed cockpit. They also have drain holes for the water entering the cockpit to escape and also feature a double hull construction with enclosed airspace in between the two hulls. Therefore, they are unsinkable. The length of sit on top kayaks range between 10 feet to 16 feet and they have wide beams offering a greater initial stability.
The wider cockpits make them the most preferred choices by most kayakers. The downside is that they lack a rudder to assist in maintaining course. Therefore they are most suitable for calm waters. Though relatively inexpensive, tough and easy to exit and reenter, they are relatively slower and need more effort to paddle. The paddler is exposed to the elements.
Recreational kayaks feature a large sized closed cockpit and have soft-chinned hulls. Their rocker degree is moderate. It is also possible to find them being made of rotationally molded polyethylene plastic and in this case they are highly durable and heavy.
As they are characterized by single-hulls and do not have holds and bulk heads, they are suitable for calm water fishing. The extra large cockpits make it easy to enter and exit. Their secondary stability is more than the sit on top kayaks. Their downside is that they cannot suit rough seas and are relatively slower requiring more paddling effort due to their heaviness.
The longer and slimmer body makes touring kayaks different from the other types. Usually they measure between 14 and 18 feet and are therefore far more efficient in terms of hull design. The paddlers need less effort to paddle them and these types of kayaks have greater speed.
They are more advantageous in terms of protection from elements and for fishing on long distances both on still water and for onshore and offshore fishing on saltwater. The smaller cockpits mean easy to paddle.
The paddler can have more control over the fishing kayak under 500. They also aid tracking with a retractable skeg or a rudder. Their downsides include a limited space in the cockpit making some paddlers feel trapped, lesser initial stability and expensive price.
Understanding The Making Of The Best Fishing Kayak Under $500: Models And Materials
Fishing kayaks are made from several materials with the most common ones being single layered polyethylene, three layered polyethylene, fiberglass and Kevlar carbon. Each of these materials has their own advantage as well as disadvantage.
Single Layer Linear Polyethylene: Fishing kayaks made of this material are hard to withstand the actions of abrasion and weather. Since this material is more durable than the three layer polyethylene, it is very commonly used for making kayaks. Majority of the kayaks we find in the market are made of this material.
Three Layer Polyethylene: This material has three layers. The glossy and tough exterior layer ensures good slide. The thicker inside layer ensures better buoyancy and the inside layer is a non-slip one. Since the single layer polyethylene kayaks have a rugged finish and are robust, they are also more durable.
Fiberglass: This material is very light and weighs lesser than polyethylene. Therefore it ensures a great sliding experience on water surface. The downside of this material includes fragility against collisions and rods and the expensive cost. Usually this material is made from closed or cruise models of fishing kayaks.
Kevlar carbon: This is the lightest weighing material used for the construction of kayaks. This is also more resistant than fiberglass. It is but highly priced and is very easy to break. However, you can also mend it very easily.
The Right Outfits For Your Fishing Kayak
Expert fishing kayakers do not support pre-outfitted fishing kayaks. Depending on your need and situation, you need to customize the fittings and therefore learning about the various outfits is very useful.
A sit on top kayaks has a light seat. It is just an ergonomic molded depression for the posterior of the paddler and it does not have an integral backrest. These days, you can find in the market different types of sit on top kayak seats with different kinds of features and from different manufacturers. Therefore to make your cockpit more comfortable, you can go for aftermarket seats that match your taste well.
This is a plastic clip mounted to the deck or gunwale of the kayak and used to clip your paddle into it when you fish. It is easy to fetch it when you need.
Meant to hold your rod when you change your bait and lures or handle a fish. Usually they are placed at an arm’s reach near the paddler. There are models available to hold reels and bait casting, spinning, and fly rods.
This can help to carry more than one rod at once and you find them in horizontal or vertical models.
This is a loop of rope running through pad eyes or small pulleys at either end of the kayak and stretching to the full length of the kayak on both sides. The anchor can be secured to the small loop in the anchor trolley to ensure the right place and position for fishing.
Anchor and Drogue
Kayaks need no heavy anchors. It is advisable to go for collapsible anchors that will suit the kind of kayak you use. Drogues are used to slow down the drift of a kayak.
Casting net can help saving money with a fishing kayak since fishing kayak under $500 can stealthily go near schools of bait fish and capture them. You can also use it to capture shrimps.
A Global Positioning Satellite receiver can be a highly valuable tool for kayak fishing as it updates you about your current position and also lets you record any hotspots you might come across for future fishing there.
Also called as aka fish finders, they are of immense help in kayak fishing as the paddler gets a clear view of the bottom topography. It also helps to find the kind of structure that a given fish species prefers.
The Right Gears For Your Fishing kayak
Procuring the right kind of gears to serve different crucial purposes can make your fishing kayak complete in all regards.
You have the choice of single bladed or double bladed paddle for your fishing kayak. Usually, kayakers prefer double bladed paddles which are available in different models and various lengths to suit different sized paddlers. You must choose the right one depending on your height. Taller paddlers need shorter paddles and shorter ones need longer paddles. Also, longer paddles will suit a relaxed kind of paddling while the shorter ones are good for a vigorous kind of paddling.
This is necessary only when you go for a sit in best fishing kayak and would like to fish in rough water. As sit in kayaks sit low in water, they do not have much free board. Therefore they need a spray skirt. This is a cockpit cover made of nylon or neoprene featuring a tunnel for the paddler’s body and prevents big waves from entering the cockpit.
Expanded as Personal Floatation Device, this aids the paddler with the floatation during capsize and comes in different forms. While the choice of the model depends on your convenience and taste, a manual model need you to pull a rip cord to inflate it while an automatic model is self-inflating when they sense a particular amount of water pressure.
Rod & reel outfit and lures
The choice of a rod and reel outfit ranges over bait casting outfits, spinning outfits, or fly fishing outfits depending on which species of fish you target. You might procure as many as you wish and carry the right one with you on every voyage. With regard to a lure box, go for a one that can float which is a good thing if you drop it accidentally.
While storing live bait is a tough job on a best fishing kayak, several sit on top kayaks offer inbuilt cooler wells. You can also find self-contained and battery-operated live bait wells. However when you move in rough waters, it can become unstable due to water constantly sloshing around.
Useful Tips For Kayak Fishing
Go for at least a few paddling classes to familiarize yourself with paddling techniques, handling the kayak and dealing with tough situations. These classes enhance your confidence and let you stay relaxed on your fishing adventure.
It also pays to hire an expert guide during your first kayak fishing venture. It saves months of learning that you have to spend to master the useful kayaking techniques yourself.Learn rolling and self-rescue techniques and master the art of exiting and entering the cockpit easily to manage the event of capsize and always carry the necessary kayak safety gear to manage an emergency situation.
Never underestimate the use of a kayak anchor and use it to hold you in a firm position. The kayak anchor attached to an anchor trolley can help to maintain your prime position during fishing.
Drogue is highly useful when you move through a highly productive area. During some scenarios, drift fishing proves better than anchor fishing. Since the light weighing kayaks often drift faster than the kayaks would imagine, drogue can help slow down the kayak when you approach schools of fish.
10 Amazing Choice for Fishing Kayaks Under $500
1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
A skillfully built two person inflatable kayak and made from SUPER-TOUGH™ 30-guage vinyl for extra durability, The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, is intended for recreational purposes on lakes as well as mild rivers. However, users say the rigid body also works well with rapids and tough rivers.
The yellow body and streamline design allures the viewers. The product is easy to transport. An ideal choice for beginner and intermediate paddlers, you will find the inflatable seats, adjustable backrests, oars, Boston valves, hand pump, grab lines and puncture repair bags very useful.
- Excellent safety aspects and highly spacious
- Comes with all accessories and you can get going right away
- Light weight weighing only 30lbs
- Highly economical price and thus best value for your money
- Paddles are not adjustable and children might find it difficult
- Since the bottom is black, gets heated quickly leading to over inflation and tear in the exteriors
2. Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak
If you are looking for economical, dependable and stable kind of fishing kayak, Coleman Colorado(TM) 2-Person Fishing Kayak is the ideal choice for you. Does not take much time to inflate and deflate and features a sturdy construction.
Light in weight and can be carried in a bag. Has huge storage space to keep fish and gears. Highlights are hands-free handling and comfortable paddle holders.
- Made in excellent material and therefore durable and also easy to transport.
- Movable and adjustable seats.
- Lavish storage packets.
- Chambered inflation meaning there is no risk if one segment leaks.
- Boston valve not much reliable.
- No replacements available for seats if they wear out.
3. Sevylor Quikpak (TM) K1 1-Person Kayak
Sevylor Quikpak (TM) K1 1-Person Kayak
Featuring an excellent design, Sevylor Quikpak(TM) K1 1-Person Kayak assures hours of fun on water. The inflatable body makes transporting very easy. Features inbuilt high pressure hands pump and therefore you will not need any extra help.
You have less number of parts to assemble. Fully functional collapsible paddle ensures easy portability. You can even store it in your bike.
- Can be set up within five minutes
- Adequate leg space enabling you stretch your legs, arms and back for extra comfort
- Ideal for tall users as well and can accommodate up to 400lbs
- Can be carried easily as a backpack
- Tarpaulin bottom is highly durable and withstands tough impacts
- Water drips off the paddle into the kayak.
- Might not be stable amidst heavy waves and tough winds.
4. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak assures the most comfortable kayaking experience with its stability and agility combined. Children aboard are assured of safety during windy conditions. Spray cover ensures your legs and gears are dry and the sides are high to keep waves out.
Seats are adjustable to create more leg room. Though the kayak is large in size, it can be operated by one person. Very easy to set up and deflate making it convenient for a variety of uses.
- Sturdy and stable and can hold bouncy children and dogs safely
- Easy to set up and transport and therefore ideal for fishing, camping and hunting
- Performs well like a hard shelled fishing kayak
- The kayak package does not include a pump and skeg which you must buy separately
- Storage space is less and if two paddlers voyage, need to pack minimal gears
5. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
The excellent design of Intex Challenger K1 Kayak assures economy and an efficient kayaking experience. The ultimate features of this inflatable kayak have set the bar for the inflatable kayaks to follow besides carrying an amazingly lower price.
The I-beam support adds up to the natural buoyancy capabilities. Stability is assured even when you stand up to fish. The larger cockpit and the inflatable seat back for extra support are attractive features.
- Made from super tough vinyl that is known for its puncture and UV damage proof capabilities
- Extremely light weight, but can handle 220lbs easily.
- Extra safety features and brightly colored to be easily spotted
- Comes with aluminium oar, high output hand pump and a repair kit
- The inflatable build and the leisurely tracking space makes it only suitable for lakes and slow moving rivers and therefore not meant for open ocean and white water rapids.
- The oars are not so good and you need to purchase good ones additionally.
6. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak
Exclusively made for kids less than 5 years, the weight capacity of Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is 130lbs. easy to handle and even children can transport it easily as it weighs not more than 18lbs. the compact dimensions make it possible to store within a small space.
Body is made of tough quality HDPE plastic and is completely UV protected. Comes in several vibrant colors, the body does not peel or fade away for a very long time.
- The wide stance and reverse chine ensure more stability and minimizes the risk of tipping over.
- The sloped back and swim-up step facilitate easy exit and entry
- The built in scupper holes drain water quickly letting the kid remain as dry as possible.
- Enables a high degree of safety and control for your kid
- You need to purchase the seat for back support and some other accessories separately
7. Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle
Meant for kids aged 5 and above, Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak with Paddle has 130lb weight capacity. The molded finger handles on both sides aid easy transport. The sloped end and the swim up step facilitate easy exit and entry into the kayak.
The kayak is highly durable and sturdy due to its high density polyethylene construction. There are multiple footrest positions to suit different size riders. The durable HDPE construction ensures UV protection and the body does not peel or fade.
- Twin fin design facilitates tracking and surf riding
- The cockpit is designed ergonomically to assure balance and motor skills
- Light weight, easy to transport and suitable for all kids
- Easy to paddle, stable and easily maneuverable
- Can take into water easily if not handled properly
8. Sun Dolphin Bali 6-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak
Sun Dolphin Bali 6-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak
If you are looking for more stability for your kids kayaking for the first time, then this is the right product for you. Sun Dolphin Bali 6-Foot Sit-on-top Kayak specially aims to minimize the risk of tipping over and falling.
The seat area is very deep meaning that you will not need a separate seat back. The small size makes storing and portability very easy. It can withstand exposure to sunlight as the body is UV resistant.
- Built in great material and highly cost effective
- Paddles come included
- Tracks well and is highly stable
- Paddle quality might not be so good
9. Youth Wave Kayak (With Paddle)
Youth Wave Kayak (With Paddle)
Manufactured for kids aged 5 and over, Youth Wave Kayak coming with a paddle and is an excellent fishing kayak if you are looking for a sit on kayak for your kids that is light and sturdy. This is the best fishing kayak product if you are using this to teach kayaking for your kids.
Available in lime green and orange colors, you can opt between two vibrant colors. Made from HDPE material, the kayak is completely UV protected and can withstand the adverse effects of sun rays. Weighs 18 lbs and therefore very easy to transport.
- Flat end design makes it easy to store in small areas
- The rear swim up platform makes reentry easy for kids
- The inbuilt scupper holes drain out the water colleting in the cockpit
- The kayak does not come with a seat for back support and you need to purchase one if needed
After reading through this article and getting to know these 10 best fishing kayak under $500, you will realize that it is not an easy task. You really have to shop around.
What type of water you would be using them on, what type of paddle are available, seats, rod holder and GPS like features to be noticed. You may also need to find out whether these are meant only for children and recreational activities or can be used for adult kayaking.
Material, construction and size will also matter. If you are looking for fly fishing, you will need to know their construction better. It’s always good to read more about Kayaks and get to know what type will fit you the best.