Kayaks are one of the best ways to get away from the shore and out on the water to fish without taking on the expense and work of a large boat that requires gas, service and winter storage. Not only that, Kayaks are environmentally friendly, healthy, and allow you to keep the quiet natural peace of a day on the water without the noise of motorized boats. But they aren’t all cheap. We’ve looked at some of the best fishing kayak on a budget to help you get on the water fishing fast. Where do you start in shopping for the perfect kayak for fishing? There are so many options available that it’s difficult to know what the differences are, and which models would suit your personal needs best.
Here are the Best Fishing Kayak on a Budget in 2019
One of the first questions to be answered in your search for your personal best fishing kayak is. “do you want to sit inside the kayak and have your legs more protected or would you rather have a kayak that allows you to sit on top and have a little more freedom of movement?
Legs on Top or Legs Below?
In the kayak world there are two varieties to choose from. Sit on Top models, often referred to as SOT models, and Sit Inside models. While most people think of the sit inside models when they imagine anything called a kayak, the SOTs are extremely popular among anglers. Both styles come in single and double occupancy and both are made in hard shell and inflatable models. The two different styles offer the angler a different set of positives and negatives. Therefore, a good analysis of your personal fishing habits, likes and desires is the best starting point in determining which fishing kayak model you should look for to buy. Three crucial factors to consider first are:
- What is the water climate where you predominately fish?
- Is the area in which you want to go kayak fishing located in calm and protected waters, or is it a harsher environment?
- Which is more important to you, space or sport?
- Are you looking for fishing and kayaking as a solitary sport or do you always go with friends?
- Are you wanting to try to get into tight spaces and parts of the water that demands a higher level of durability?
Sit On Top Kayaks (SOT)
SOTs offer an open environment which is good for anyone who doesn’t like to be closed in. They are, by far, the more user-friendly type of kayak and because of their stability and ease of access, they make other activities, such as going for a quick swim to cool off, possible. The downside to the SOT is if you normally fish in cold areas or water. With water spray and exposed lower body, a SOT can be quite uncomfortable if you’re fishing in cold conditions, such as the upper lakes in Colorado. If you’re fishing for cold lake trout, try a sit in instead.
Sit Inside (Sit In)
Sit inside models of kayaks offer warmth and some degree of dryness. Many, if not most, come with other attachment areas for water skirts that can be fitted around the cockpit and the angler to keep even more water out of the boat. Sit insides appeal to the angler and kayaker that enjoys the boating as a hobby and sport as well as the fishing. These boats also are very stable, but the angler needs a little more skill in a sit inside because if the boat does flip or roll, it can be tricky to get yourself back upright and drain the boat while on water.
Whether you decide on a SOT or a Sit Inside kayak, length and width should also be considered. Anglers tend to enjoy the wider and shorter kayaks as they offer the most stability. The longer and sharper the nose on a kayak, the more suited it is to cutting through rapids, and not for a day of fishing.
Material and Weight Considerations
Kayaks come in three main types of materials, hard plastic, composite materials such as Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon, and heavy-duty plastics that are inflatable. The Hard plastic and the inflatables are both good options for anglers. The hard-plastic kayaks are very durable and usually light weight, which can be very important if you have to hike a bit to reach that perfect fishing spot. The inflatables are actually really tough and offer a kayak design that is easier to store and travel with. The carbon, fiberglass and Kevlar kayaks tend to be heavy and easily damaged are favored more by kayakers interested in speed and agility, not fishing.
So What Does “Budget Kayak” Mean Anyway?
Kayaks range in price from $100 to $2000, and most first-time buyers don’t know where to start. Here we’ve listed the best fishing kayak on a budget. Most of these kayaks are widely available and have been vetted by anglers from all walks of life. So, without further ado, below are the top fishing kayaks for this season.
List of the Best Fishing Kayak on a Budget
This list of some of the best fishing kayak on a budget is just a tip of the toe in the wide options available to get you away from the banks and on the water closer to the fish. Important points to always consider before buying your new kayak – what type of climate will you be fishing in? What is more important to you, the kayak’s weight and mobility or durability and carry capacity? Will you mostly be fishing alone or with someone? Do you like to get wet or stay dry? These are all good questions to answer before laying your money down for a new kayak.
Buying a slightly more expensive kayak will save you money in the long run if you are happy and satisfied with your first purchase instead of buying more than 1 kayak due to dissatisfaction and buyer’s remorse. In the world of kayaks, what’s best suited to you may not be the next person’s favorite kayak and that’s okay. Issues such as body size, length and your personal strength will influence your purchasing decision greatly. What type of fish you are angling for also makes a difference as to which kayak is best for you.
Other than analyzing your needs , make sure you buy a boat that offers durability, ease of use for whatever your personal capabilities are and pay attention that the kayak of your choice addresses your personal needs in regards to storage and water management. Once you’ve made your choice, get out there and get on the water!
Cast your line and enjoy the quiet and peace of fishing in a secluded personal fishing patch with tons of potential fish just waiting to be fed. Fishing away from the shore will give you a great peace found only in fishing. In the words of Doug Larson, “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles. See you out on the water.