Best Fishing Kayak2019-03-17T12:07:48-04:00

Best Fishing Kayak Reviews – Under $800

Best Fishing Kayak Reviews - Rustic Pursuits

When it comes to fishing, the best fishing kayak is the one that performs for your needs. Regardless of your angling style, fishing kayaks provide great features to all anglers throughout the wonderful sport of fishing.

Today’s fishing kayaks are designed specifically to provide anglers with functional tools that make using them enjoyable.

Anglers need a boat that can carry all their essential gear and get them where the fish are.

Of course, staying comfortable when you are on the water is super important as well. But how can you know which kayak will perform for your fishing needs?

Below we review 5 of the best fishing kayaks that come in at a variety of prices below the $800 price point.

We want you to find the right kayak that works for you. Which fishing kayak will get the job done for you will depend on how you intend to use it.

Fishing Kayak Features To Consider

Today’s fishing kayaks have features focused on the needs of anglers. Long-gone are the days of having to sit on a stiff plastic seat all day. And beyond fishing friendly features, manufacturers have fine-tuned their boats with super comfortable seating and state of the art designs that add to their overall stability.

  • Fishing Features – If you are a serious angler then you’ll want the best fishing kayak you can afford so you get all the features you need. Covered hatches are ideal for storing your fishing gear and keeping equipment dry during a long day on the water. Of course, rod holders are a necessity, but mounting surfaces for fish finders or Scotty Mounts allow for customization that will benefit your specific fishing preferences.
  • Transportation – Smaller kayaks can be lighter and a lot easier to load on a vehicle when compared to big kayaks. They’ll take up less storage space as well. Though there are benefits to owning a smaller kayak, there are also some downsides that may limit the versatility of your fishing kayak.
  • Stability – This is one of the downsides of smaller fishing kayaks. A longer and wider fishing kayak will generally be more stable than a small boat.  If you intend to use your fishing kayak in the ocean, we recommend buying the biggest kayak you can handle, transport, and store.
  • Storage Space – If you just don’t have enough space for storing a big kayak, you might be pleasantly surprised that inflatable kayaks can pack away in very small spaces. And transportation really becomes a non-issue since inflatable kayaks can easily fit in a compact car.
  • Comfort – A long day on the water is only going to happen if you can remain comfortable. A comfortable seat is going to be a big necessity, but the ability to temporarily stand and stretch your legs and back is a great benefit as well.

Top Fishing Kayak Comparison Chart

Preview
Top Choice Fishing Kayak
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Feet Angler Sit On Top Kayak 1 Person Fishing Kayak with Journey Paddle & Hero Seat
Most Stable Fishing Kayak
BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Riptide Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Sky Blue)
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler
Best Budget Fishing Kayak
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak, Tan, 120"
Length
10 feet
11-Foot 6-inch
9-foot 8-inch
10 feet
Width
32 inches
34 inches
35 inches
31 inches
Weight Capacity
375 lbs.
450 lbs.
300 lbs.
275 lbs.
Rudder System
Customer Rating
Price
from $778.99
from $797.00
$699.00
from $980.00
Top Choice Fishing Kayak
Preview
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Feet Angler Sit On Top Kayak 1 Person Fishing Kayak with Journey Paddle & Hero Seat
Length
10 feet
Width
32 inches
Weight Capacity
375 lbs.
Rudder System
Customer Rating
Price
from $778.99
Details
Most Stable Fishing Kayak
Preview
BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Riptide Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Sky Blue)
Length
11-Foot 6-inch
Width
34 inches
Weight Capacity
450 lbs.
Rudder System
Customer Rating
Price
from $797.00
Details
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Preview
Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler
Length
9-foot 8-inch
Width
35 inches
Weight Capacity
300 lbs.
Rudder System
Customer Rating
Price
$699.00
Details
Best Budget Fishing Kayak
Preview
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak, Tan, 120"
Length
10 feet
Width
31 inches
Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Rudder System
Customer Rating
Price
from $980.00
Details

Best Fishing Kayak

1. Best Fishing Kayak – Vibe Yellowfin 100

At the very top of our list of best fishing kayaks is the Vibe Yellowfin 100.  This fishing kayak packs useful fishing features into a versatile and maneuverable 10 foot design.

With four flush-mount rod holders you won’t have any trouble finding a good place to stash an extra rod or two.  If you like to troll or drift a line the Yellowfin fishing kayak has exactly what you need.

One huge plus of this fishing kayak is that the Hero seat is tremendously comfortable.  Forget those hard plastic seats, this seat is adjustable and can even flip up out of the way entirely.

Stability is worth considering with any kayak. Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin features a width of 32 inches which provides good stability without being so wide as to make distance paddling a exhausting task. Footrests are also included and are easily adjustable for paddlers of all sizes.

The stern of the boat features a large tank-well providing spacious open storage. While the bow hosts a 9-inch covered and hinged hatch for dry storage below deck. Immediately in front of the seat is another 9-inch covered hatch that keeps gear close at hand. Both hatches come standard with bag inserts.

Vibe Yellowfin 100 Specs:

Length: 10 feet

Width: 32 inches

Weight Capacity: 375 pounds

Kayak Weight: 57 pounds

Paddlers: Single Person

Tackle boxes are accommodated by tray holders on each side of the seat, which fit plano 3600 trays perfectly. The center console has a molded drink holder, as well as a mounting station for Scotty®, RAM® and Vibe® mount accessories. Fishing kayak enthusiasts typically use this mount for a fish finder but its also a great place to mount a fishing camera.

The roto-molded body is rugged and features a molded skeg, or tracking fin, which helps with straight tracking rather than zig-zagging through the water. The boat also features 8 scupper holes for drainage purposes if water gets into the boat.  Scupper plugs are included to close off whichever holes you want.

Coming in at 57 pounds, this 10 foot fishing kayak is somewhat of a mid-weight.  To help with transport, four carry handles on front, rear, and sides help when moving and loading the boat.

Considering the features, comfort, and build quality of this fishing kayak, it was no surprise that it topped our list for best fishing kayak.  Keeping with our sub-$800 mark – you can expect to pay a little over $700 for this fishing kayak and it is absolutely worth the price.

Vibe Yellowfin 100 Pros

  • Very Rugged
  • Mid-weight boat
  • Self-bailing (pass-through scupper holes)
  • Very Stable

Vibe Yellowfin 100 Cons

  • May need kayak trolley for distance walking
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Feet Angler Sit On Top Kayak 1 Person Fishing Kayak with Journey Paddle & Hero Seat
40 Reviews
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Feet Angler Sit On Top Kayak 1 Person Fishing Kayak with Journey Paddle & Hero Seat
  • 1-person sit on top fishing kayak: 10-foot 57-pound fishing kayak with Hero Seat offers best of comfort and portability
  • 4 capped flush mount rod holders and mounting point for Scotty, RAM and Vibe mount accessories
  • Adjustable foot rests for customized comfort
  • Multiple storage options - 2 9" sealed hatches with bag inserts, 2 tackle tray holders: Fits PLANO 3600 tackle tray, and large bungeed rear tank well
  • 4 easy-grip carry handles for transport and portability

Here is a video going over features and some fishing mods on the Vibe Yellowfin 100 Fishing Kayak:

 

2. Most Stable Fishing Kayak – BKC Kayak Riptide Angler

For our top choice of most stable fishing kayak under $800, we look at an 11-foot 6-inch fishing kayak from Brooklyn Kayak Company.  This fishing kayak has a lot of features you’ll only find in more expensive kayaks.

You’ll immediately notice that this fishing kayak has a wide beam, or width, which to provides a huge amount of stability. BKC Kayak highlights that the Riptide Angler is standup-stable due to the convergence of exceptional width and hull design. Get on your feet, because long casts are well within reach with this fishing kayak.

In front of the seat are three watertight hinged storage hatches with bag inserts to protect your gear from the elements an keep in withing reach. The rear tank well provides ample space and a bungee tie-down system for securing larger gear. This fishing kayak can really carry a lot of gear with a 450 pound carrying capacity and plenty of storage space.

BKC Riptide Angler Specs:

Length: 11.5 feet

Width: 34 inches

Weight Capacity: 450 pounds

Kayak Weight: 68 pounds

Paddlers: Single Person

Included Items: 86″ aluminum paddle, kayak rudder kit

Behind the seat-back are two flush-mount rod holders for safe storage or even keeping your lines in the water while paddling or drifting. Bungee paddle parks are included along the side to retain your paddle when you need to keep a rod in hand. After all, lets not forget this is a fishing kayak.

If you are in the market for a capable kayak that comes outfitted with a rudder system, then the BKC Riptide Angler is a really good choice. You can flip it up when its not needed, or use the rudder to keep a straight track even in a good cross-wind or chop.

This is the largest of our fishing kayaks and it comes in just slightly under $800.  If you are considering a boat that you might take in the ocean or large lakes at some point, then we suggest buying this fishing kayak over smaller models.  The larger size will really help with stability in choppy water.

BKC Riptide Angler Pros

  • Solid Stability
  • Terrific features
  • Free shipping

BKC Riptide Angler Cons

  • Fairly awkward for one person to load/unload
  • May need kayak trolley for walking

Sale
BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Riptide Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Sky Blue)
37 Reviews
BKC UH-RA220 11.5 foot Riptide Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak with Paddles and Upright Chair and Rudder System Included (Sky Blue)
  • Rudder Control: Features a foot pedal-operated rudder for ultimate control in all water conditions and without paddle steering required
  • Rod Holders: Twin flush-mount rod holders keep fishing poles out of the way during paddling or keep lines in the water for trolling or still fishing
  • Standup Stability: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC RA220 Angler sit on top fishing kayak is such a stable platform that you can stand up in the kayak for long casts, without falling overboard, either
  • Waterproof Storage: The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC RA220 Angler sit on top fishing kayak features ample watertight storage space and a large cargo area. Bring along enough supplies for a multiple-day adventure Paddle Parks: Secure your paddle to the hull with bungee paddle rests whenever you're actively fishing or just taking a break. You'll never find yourself up the creek.
  • Hull Weight (empty): 68 lbs ,Max Load Capacity: 450 lbs, Hull Length: 11-foot 6-inch (138 inches) , Width: 34 inches , Height: 20 inches , Seating Capacity: 1 , UV Protection

 

3. Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Advanced Elements Straight Edge Angler

For anglers looking for a fishing kayak that can store away in limited space, an inflatable kayak is the perfect choice.  Of course, an inflatable kayak created with fishing in mind sweetens the pot, and the the Straightedge Angler from Advanced Elements is definitely a sweet fishing kayak.

Digging into the details, you’ll find that this inflatable fishing kayak is the lightest and widest of our choices at 35 inches wide and 41 pounds.  Inflatable fishing kayaks handle differently than heavier molded kayaks, but nonetheless that 35 inch width provides excellent stability.

The seat back features features two rod holders so you stay rigged and ready for action.  For anglers that need fish finders, extra rod holders, or accessories, the Straight Edge Angler includes an accessory mounting bar near the bow for aftermarket fishing equipment.

Inflatable boats need to be rugged for obvious reasons, and Advanced Elements made this fishing kayak tough with abrasion padding in high wear areas to stand up to hard use.  For added security and safety, the Straight Edge Angler is designed with multiple air bladders in the sides, front, back, and floor.

Advanced Elements Straightedge Angler Specs:

Length: 9 feet 8 inches

Overall Width: 35 inches

Kayak Weight: 41 lbs

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Air Chambers: 5

Folded Size: 30″ X 17″ X 10″

Paddlers: Single Person

No one likes to have their day on the water cut short because they’re uncomfortable.  With that in mind, Advanced Elements designed the seat in the Straight Edge Angler with solid adjustable straps that don’t slip, so you can find a setting you like.  If that isn’t adequate, the seat features an inflatable lumbar support bladder to really raise the bar on comfort.

Overall the Straight Edge Angler slips through the water nicely.  For such a lightweight fishing kayak, the tracking fins do a remarkable job at keeping the kayak from zig-zagging when paddling.  And the substantial width of this inflatable fishing kayak allows allows it to slip through shallow water that would be completely inaccessible by other boats.

Advanced Elements Straightedge Angler Pros:

  • Small Storage Requirements
  • Lightweight and Portable

Advanced Elements Straightedge Angler Cons:

  • Limited Gear Capacity
Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler
13 Reviews
Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler
  • Inflatable kayak; designed for anglers; features multi-layer material and patented aluminum rib frame
  • Abrasion pads offer maximum durability; wide beam increases kayak's stability
  • High-back seat with two rod holders and inflatable lumbar support; removable mounting rail
  • Measures 9 feet 8 inches by 35 inches; weighs 41 pounds; has 300 pound weight capacity
  • Covered by one-year manufacturer warranty

Here is a video showing how easy it is to set up the Straight Edge Angler:

4. Best Budget Fishing Kayak – Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

The Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak from Lifetime took our top spot for best budget fishing kayak. If you need a good fishing kayak but just can’t afford anything close to $800, the Tamarack Angler 100 has you covered.

We’re not going to pretend that the Tamarack Angler will provide the same level of performance or comfort as our previous choices.  But for a budget fishing kayak the Tamarack Angler has many of the fishing features and comforts that anglers need.

Beside the seat back you will find two flush-mount rod holders to keep your rods ready to pick up and cast at a moments notice.  And if you need to put a rod down to paddle or release a fish, the Tamarack Angler comes with an additional top-mount rod hold for quick and easy access.

Padding on the seat bottom and back provides sufficient comfort for long stretches on the water, and is much better than the old-school hard plastic seats.  The seat back is fairly firm but does have some flex that brawny anglers might not appreciate.

Scupper plugs are included

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Specs:

Length: 10 feet

Overall Width: 31 inches

Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

Kayak Weight: 52 pounds

Hatches: 6 inches

Paddlers: Single Person

The center console features a molded drink holder as well as one of the two 6-inch storage ports that keep your gear out of the weather.  The second of the 6-inch storage ports is located behind the seat in the large storage tank well.

Shock cord is included on the front and rear to secure any extra gear that can be stored above deck.  High density polyethylene construction provides for a durable fishing kayak and molded foot rests to accommodate a variety of anglers.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Pros

  • Amazing stability
  • Loaded with fishing features

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Cons

  • Fairly heavy
  • Higher price
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak, Tan, 120'
164 Reviews
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak, Tan, 120"
  • Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene. Stable Flat Bottom. Deep Hull Tracking Channels. Stability Chine Rails
  • Multiple Footrest Positions for Different Size Riders. Adjustable Padded Seat Back and Seat Pad for Comfort. Front and Rear Shock Cord Straps
  • Two Flush Mounted Fishing Rod Holders. One Top Mount Fishing Rod Holder
  • Two 6" Storage Compartments in Rear and Center. One Paddle Keeper with Shock Cords. Front and Rear T-Handles for Easy Transport
  • Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Construction. 5-Year Limited Warranty

Here is a great video showing a full-blown setup for the Tamarack Angler Fishing Kayak: