Are you looking to take your fishing to the next level? A great way to do this is by investing in a fishing kayak, making it easier to catch those fish! Finding the right kayak can be tricky, but we’ve found the best fishing kayaks out there! Here are our fishing kayak reviews, so you can get more out of your fishing.
How to choose a fishing kayak
There are so many different fly fishing kayaks out there. Narrowing down which is the right option for you can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. We understand!
With so many options out there, how do you know if the one you eventually go for is a great quality kayak that will last you for years, or a dud that just wastes your cash?
Don’t worry – we’ve sought out the best fishing kayaks on the market right now. This guide will walk you through the key points of what to look for when you’re shopping for the best fishing kayak.
You can also check our full review on pelican kayaks here.
Sit-on-top or sit-in fishing kayak?
The main two types of kayaks available are the sit in fishing kayak and the sit on top fishing kayaks. Most fishers go for the sit in fishing kayaks, as you can add accessories, get in out easily and wade if you wish. However, with the sit in kayaks you are more likely to get a bit wet which can be particularly unpleasant in cold temperatures.
If staying dry is important to you, consider a sit on top kayak, which also have the benefit of a lower center of gravity for better stability. The learning curve can be steeper with a sit on top kayak, so take it slowly and get used to your kayak in shallower waters first.
What to Look For When Choosing a Fishing Kayak
A good starting point is to consider what your budget is. Do you have $600 to spend, or are you looking for something cheaper? Whatever your budget, there are some great cheap fishing kayaks out there. A perfect price doesn’t always mean lower quality when it comes to getting a great fishing kayak that will do the job well.
Weight & Length
You’ll also want to have a think about where you’ll use your fishing kayak most. Will you use it in just one locaton, or do you intend to transport it to different fishing spots frequently? If you like to visit new areas often, it will be important for you to have a kayak that is both lightweight and easy to transport. Remember, you’re going to have to carry your kayak from the car to the water.
Your method of transport might also affect the length of kayak you can feasibly get – an 8 ft kayak is obviously easier to transport from place to place than a heavy 12′ kayak! An inflatable kayak is another option if you have limited space to store and transport your kayak.
Your own size and height is another factor to consider when deciding which length kayak to go for. If you’re over 6 ft, you’d be best looking at longer kayaks, from 10 foot kayaks right up to 12 ft kayaks.
Take a look at the storage space available. If you take a lot of gear, snacks or other items with you, you’ll need somewhere to keep it all. Not all kayaks have space for a milk crate container, so if that’s what you like to use while fishing, be sure to check first.
Having a waterproof storage compartment is also essential if you’ll have your phone, camera or other gadgets with you while you fish. Having a place to mount attachments is also important. We have underwater fishing camera reviews here if you’re looking for a great kayak accessory.
Construction & Durability
You want to invest in a kayak that will last you years, if not decades. Technological advances have meant that most modern kayaks are made from strong, durable materials which also provide UV protection from the sun, but make sure you check any model you’re interested in for this.
Some kayaks come with great added features like a padded back rest or adjustable footrests for each support during long days of fishing. It can become uncomfortable and even painful sitting in the same position on end, so check out how comfy you’ll be in your chosen kayak after several hours of sitting.
This is a key factor in choosing your kayak. You want to stay safe and avoiding having a dip in the water while fishing.
Best Fishing Kayak Under 600 Reviews
So let’s get onto the fishing kayak reviews! We’ve pulled together all the top kayaks for fishing, so you can easily compare them and decide which is the best option for you.
We’ve considered all the important features of a stable fishing kayak, like storage space, stability, comfort and durability. You’ll learn the pros and cons and specific details of each kayak, and we’ve got recommendations for awesome, cheap fishing kayaks if you’re on a tight budget too.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Kayak
This lightweight, portable kayak is one of the best sit-on-top kayaks on the market for under $600. It’s been designed with close attention to detail which makes this kayak stand out from the competition.
The Skipjack 90 weighs just 46lbs, and the grippy handles make it simple and easy to carry from your car to the river. It’s got loads of storage space for all of your essentials, with 2 sealed hatches and a rear storage compartment, too. The only tiny complaint we could find was that you can’t fit a crate on this kayak – but this is something you could work around.
You won’t need to worry about comfort with the Skipjack 90, even after a whole day of fishing. The deluxe seat has been designed to be comfortable even for long periods of sitting, which makes all the difference if you take your fly fishing seriously!
We’d recommend the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 for anyone from beginners to pro. It’s easy to set up and maneuver on the water, and it ticks all the boxes for a great fly fishing kayak. It tracks reasonably well and is very safe and stable – you can even stand up in it for extra casting accuracy!
Brooklyn Kayak Company 9′ Sit on Top Kayak
This 9-foot angler kayak by the Brooklyn Kayak Company is another top fishing kayak under $600. It’s sure to meet all your needs, from storage to comfort and stability.
Specially designed for fishermen, it’s a notch above the generic kayaks. You’ll love that there are 5 rod holders on this kayak, allowing you to have several rods set up at any one time – take things to the next level and catch even more fish!
There’s plenty of space to store all your fishing supplies, gear, snacks, and drinks! You can take safely take your gadgets out with you and store them in either of the 2 waterproof compartments – so why not pack your GoPro camera to capture those epic fishing moments?
When you’re not paddling, you can store your paddles safely with the elastic bungee cords and paddle parks. This way, you won’t risk losing your paddles and you can keep your hands free to focus on your fishing!
When it comes to comfort, the Deluxe seat is amazing and even has a bottle holder so you can keep a cool drink at hand (or a hot beverage depending on the temperature!). There’s lots of leg room and footrests provide added comfort.
Most importantly, this kayak boasts great stability even in fast-flowing water or moderate waves. Thanks to the generous width, you are extremely unlikely to tip over.
We think that this angling kayak by the Brooklyn Kayak Company is one of the best options out there for under $600. It’s specifically designed with fly fishermen in mind, with cool features like rod holders, waterproof compartments, and paddle parks for a smooth and successful fishing trip!
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a superb, highly-rated fishing kayak which is suitable for 2 people. You can have a great solo fishing trip, but sometimes you just want to share the experience, and the Coleman Colorado makes this possible.
Because the Coleman Colorado is an inflatable fishing kayak, it’s so easy to transport and you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to store it between uses, too. This makes it ideal if you don’t have a truck or trailer to transport a solid kayak around, or if your storage space at home is limited.
It’s very hard-wearing and durable, made from strong 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover, and it’s also completely leak-proof and airtight. The way it’s been designed with multiple air chambers ensures that even if one gets punctured, you’ll stay afloat. This fishing kayak should last you for several years, even with frequent use, but most importantly, you’ll feel safe at all times.
Added bonuses include rod holders and paddle holders and you can even add a trolling motor if you like. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado stands out as one of the best fishing kayaks for two people due to its durability, faultless stability, transportability, and clever design.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
While the Tamarack Angler 100 fishing kayak may look a little basic at first glance, there’s a lot more to this kayak than meets the eye.
Firstly, it’s constructed from UV-protected high-density Polyethylene, so the kayak will stand up to plenty of use in the sun without fading, cracking or other UV damage. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is designed to be sturdy, stand up to regular use, and last an avid angler years, if not decades.
A lot of thought has been put into both the comfort of the user and the storage capacity. Both the seat pad and the adjustable seat back are padded, giving you a greater level of comfort for long days out on the water.
With multiple footrest positions, you can get into an optimal position and avoid aches and pains, making your days on the river or lake much more enjoyable. It’s also very easy to get in and out of.
The Lifetime Tamarack has paddle keepers to hold your paddles securely when not in use, and 2 storage compartments under the deck for all your gear. For hands-free fishing, there are both mounted and adjustable rod holders, allowing you to have more than one rod on the go at any one time.
The Tamarack 100 is incredibly stable, with a flip-resistant design. Lifetime has used chine rails and deep hull channels on this model to make sure that it tracks well on rivers and lakes and stands up to fast currents and large waves with no problem
Airhead Montana Two-Person Inflatable Kayak
If you want to get out on the water and share your fishing experience with a friend or family member, the Airhead Montana Kayak is an excellent choice.
Not only does it comfortably hold two people and your gear, but it’s inflatable, making it very easy to transport from place to place. It’s a much more practical option as you’ll be able to travel to different fishing destinations without having to think about a trailer or roof rack to transport your kayak – it all folds down into one small, handy package!
The Airhead Montana is made from very durable 840-denier nylon that can stand up to a lot of hard wear – and it needs to be, as this kayak is even suitable to white water and rapids! The Airhead Montana tracks well and is easy to get the hang of. You can use this kayak safely on anything up to a Class 3 river, allowing you to get out to even more remote or tricky fishing locations.
The construction is solid, although there have been reports of minor flaws in the stitching on some boats. This shouldn’t be a major factor, but it’s worth mentioning. You’ll also need to buy paddles and possibly an electric air pump for quick inflation, as these items aren’t included.
While this kayak doesn’t have some of the optional extras such as rod holders which can be so helpful, there’s plenty of space to store your fishing gear. You can attach your gear to D-rings and there’s a stretch net to make sure that your supplies stay safe throughout your fishing trip.
So there you have our roundup of the best kayaks for fishing under 600. Whether you’re looking for an 8 ft kayak or a 10 foot kayak, a single kayak or a tandem kayak, there are some excellent, stable fishing kayaks out there.
You’ll do well with any of these tried and tested angler kayaks on our list. We think they combine the necessary factors for a good fishing kayak – they’re stable, lightweight, durable and pretty easy to manoeuvre on the water. Just remember to think through your specific needs before buying, to make sure you get the best kayak for you.
Then you can get on out there and start using your new angler kayak, to take your fishing experience to the next level!
Hey, I’m Ben, a fly fisherman for over 20 years and also an aspiring blogger. I’ve been into fly fishing since my graduation from spin fishing when I was 12 years old. I started flyfisherpro.com to help introduce as many people into this amazing sport. Tight lines everyone!
You can read more on our about page here.
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