Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Kayak fishing is a great sport that relaxes your mind. Many people get delusional, thinking that the size of the fish that they catch equates to the amount of fun they have, but that is not true.

Kayak fishing is a sport that requires you to relax yourself and your senses completely. Another aspect of kayak fishing is that it demands you to take a trip to the shores. And just as you all know, any experience of traveling helps you release unwanted stress and keeps you healthy both mentally and physically.

However, as fun and adventurous as it sounds, kayak fishing offers a lot of challenges and risks. If you have any boating experience, it is well and good. But if you are thinking of trying something stupendous, kayak fishing as a first time experience requires a lot of safety measures and presence of mind. Here is a basic understanding of how kayak fishing work.

Firstly, you have to understand that kayaks are a kind of boat that does not have an engine or propeller. A kayak only helps you to sit on the water that is a few feet deep. It is safer than other boats with a propeller, as chances remain that weeds get stuck to the propeller of the boat, creating tremendous harm or a severe accident.

Boats with engines too are unfit for fishing as they create vibrations in the water. This vibration may alert all the fishes, and they might just hide so deep that you’d never get to catch even a single one of them after a whole day. Kayak boats are featured with pedals. The advice is to always pedal through the water as slowly as possible, so as not to scare off the fishes.

Secondly, fishing amidst the water can mean that you have to face a lot of challenges. It is advised that you carry with yourself some safety gear, like a first aid kit, dry clothes, umbrella, sunscreen, etc. But most importantly, you should make sure the kayak that you will purchase for this fantastic experience is reliable enough to ensure you a safe fishing trip.

There are different types of kayaks available in the market. Kayaks generally come in different sizes for different types of water. You can purchase the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars for your trip. But before you choose the right kind of kayak, here is a list of things you have to keep in your mind.

The Best Fishing Kayaks under $500

Find below the best fishing kayaks under 500 dollars:

1. Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak

Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak

It is an inflatable kayak for two people. It is easy to carry and great for lakes and moderate white waters. It is ideal for camping, vacationing, and exploring remote areas with your special one. It comes in bright colors to ensure you and your partner’s safety on the water.


It is made up of semi-rigid heavy gauge PVC construction. It is 12 feet long, and it weighs 36.3 pounds. It can accommodate two people. It has two Boston valves that make it easier to inflate and deflate every time. It comes with a Neoprene elbow guard for your safety. It offers a lot of space for two people.


  • It is portable and light, therefore easy to carry even on long trips.
  • It will offer you and your special one an adventurous water experience.
  • The seats of this kayak are portable and hence very comfortable.


  • The length of this kayak is considered to be small for two people.
  • The product is extremely lightweight, so it is not very stable.
  • The kayak may go in circles in windy weather.


It is an average product. But if you are looking for an adventurous experience with your special one within a tight budget, then this is the item that will suit you the best. On the plus side, you won’t get exhausted carrying it around in the course of your journey.

2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Super affordable and super flexible, this item is a two-seater inflatable kayak. It is fast and offers excellent stability on the water. It is another fishing kayak that allows you and your partner, a great fishing experience. It is also effortless to carry around.


It is made up of super-tough laminate material with a Polyester core construction. Its dimensions are 151x37x18 inches, and it weighs 43.6 pounds. Its 3-ply super robust construction makes it resistant towards gasoline, oil, and salt water .

It has two removable skews; two floors mounted footrests, two integrated fishing rod holders, and two adjustable bucket seats. It offers a lot of storage space in the bow and the stern of the kayak.


  • The product is highly damage-resistant, so you do not have to work hard for its maintenance.
  • The kayak is super lightweight so you can carry it easily to different locations.
  • It is extra rigid to keep you safe and afloat.
  • The product has high-pressure inflation that provides it with extra stability.
  • The material of the kayak makes it even more durable.
  • It comes with removable and adjustable mounting brackets for you to carry extra accessories like a GPS, fish finder, swivel fishing rods.
  • It also allows a lot of space for your safety accessories and fishing gear.


  • You have to be a bit cautious while using the boat as after using it a few times, the product starts to leak.
  • One of the major drawbacks is that it does not have any cup holders.
  • The paddles of this kayak are too short to use even for short people.


It is a very affordable item with a lot of unique features. We would recommend you go for detail if you are under a tight budget. Otherwise, you can get a better model for a higher price. However, for this particular model, its damage resistance is something you can completely count on. So, for long term use, you can invest in this product without any regrets.

3. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-person Inflatable Kayak Set With Aluminum Oars And High Output In Air Pumps

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-person Inflatable Kayak Set With Aluminum Oars And High Output In Air Pumps

It is a two-seater kayak for those who have got a sporting spirit in them. It is designed for easy paddling in lakes and mild rivers. It is easy to assemble, is lightweight, and compact, so that you can carry it with you to places. It also comes with a lot of unimaginable accessories.


It is made up of rugged vinyl construction. Its dimensions are 123x36x20 inches, and it weighs 30.4 pounds. The product is extremely affordable, stable, and safe for two people. It has inflatable and adjustable seats for entirely your comfort. It also comes with a removable skeg that provides directional stability.


  • Its bright yellow color makes its visible which adds to your safety on the waters.
  • It has a lot of other safety features like grab handles at each end of the kayak.
  • It comes with sturdy aluminum oars, making the kayak extremely maneuverable in the water.
  • You can always invite a friend to accompany you on a fishing trip in this kayak.
  • It offers excellent directional stability as well.


  • There have been issues with the product being unable to hold air for long.
  • The kayak takes up a lot of time to be inflated before the trip
  • Even in a deflated form, the kayak takes up a lot of space to be stored.


Except for the problem of inflation and issues with holding air, this kayak is a beautiful product. The removable skeg offers a lot of stability and safety to you and your partner. It is an attractive product to be bought as it also comes with strong aluminum oars. Most users are happy with the product and have marked it five stars!

4. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-person Inflatable Kayak Set With Aluminium Oars And High Output Air Pump

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-person Inflatable Kayak Set With Aluminium Oars And High Output Air Pump

It is another sporty and fun streamline designed one-seater kayak. It is ideal for solo fishing trips in the lake or mild rivers. The product is lightweight and compact; it can be easily carried to places. It is sturdy and easy to inflate and deflate, both before and after the trip. Here are its other specifications:


It is made up of rugged vinyl construction that gives it enough rigidity. Its dimensions are 108x30x13 inches, and its weight is 27.2 pounds. It has grab lines on both ends of the kayak and a cargo net to store extra equipment and gear. It also has an inflatable floor and backrest for your comfort.


  • The kayak is a heavy-duty puncture-resistant model, so you would not get wet while riding it.
  • This product offers maximized space with a cargo net that will hold all your accessories
  • The seat that this product provides is inflatable with backrest for the comfort of the user.
  • The product comes with a manual hand pump, which makes it very easy to inflate.
  • The kayak has I-beam floors that ensures high-level stability.


  • The product is delicate, so it requires a lot of maintenance.
  • If you are tall and heavy, it might be a problem for you to get in and out of the kayak.
  • The removable skeg of this product can be faulty, check it before buying.
  • The product does not feature a cup holder or a rod holder, so you have to hold your fishing rod throughout the trip.


It is another affordable kayak for solo trippers. It is advised that you use the kayak on calm lake water. It is an excellent product as it is easy to inflate with the manual hand pump. But if you buy this product, know that it will last for only one summer or spring.

5. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

This product has an innovative backpack-unpack system of a kayak. It takes only 5-minutes to set up before you go fishing. It is a rigid kayak that can take the vigorous of a lake. The backpack system makes the kayak fold out into the kayak’s seat.


It is made up of 21-gauge PVC construction with a tarpaulin bottom. Its dimensions are 103x36x30 inches, and it weighs only 18 pounds. It has a flat base and three-chamber design that helps the kayak to remain stable even in rushing waters. It is a Sit-on-Top model of a kayak that includes a paddle and enough space for storage and stretching your legs.


  • This product is supremely lightweight that folds into a seat, which makes it very convenient to carry around.
  • The material of this kayak ensures that it does not leak while you are riding it on the water.
  • The kayak takes only a few minutes to inflate before any fishing trips, so you do not lose any extra time.
  • There is enough space for you to relax in the kayak while carrying food, pieces of equipment, and gears with you on the trip.


  • The handle of the pump of this kayak can be delicate, so it is suggested that you use it cautiously.
  • It is advised that the paddles of the item are handled with care.
  • The kayak has been complained about taking up a lot of space to store in the house.


It is an innovative inflatable kayak that is suitable for calm to moderately choppy water. It is the right quality product, considering the safety and stability that it offers. Also, it is one of the best kayaks under 500 dollars that is very travel-friendly for those who like to explore various parts of the world. So, if you have a wanderlust, this is just the product that you are looking for.

How to Choose a Fishing Kayaks Under $500

Kayak fishing is an excellent way of enjoyment, whether you are on a fishing trip alone or with your partner. These boats are less expensive than any other fancy fishing boats and will cost you only a few hundred dollars. They offer decent seats, comfortable cockpits, and adequate weight capacity. However, choosing the right kayak for you just does not end there. Here are some more factors that you should consider before buying anything.

1. Passenger Size

Kayaks are light-weight boats. Thus, it is crucial that you check the weight capacity of the kayaks. A good quality kayak is supposed to accommodate you and your partner’s weight, along with all the gears that you will carry with you.

It should allow you enough space to adjust your foot positions and balances accurately with your height. All the best fishing kayaks under 500 dollars will provide you with more space and adjustability.

2. Portability Of Kayak

This feature is the second most crucial factor that you should consider before buying a kayak. Kayaks are supposed to be light-weight and easily transportable. Otherwise, in the water, it would take up a lot of your physical stamina to move the boat, and you will be exhausted half-way to the beautiful fishing trip.

3. Type Of Kayak

Kayaks are either inflatable or solid. It also comes as either a sit-inside or sit-on-top model. Here is a little information about these kinds of models.

  • Inflatable Kayaks

This type of kayak is made of the cheapest polyethylene plastic. This is why they are usually effortless to carry and are very durable. They can bounce off the rocks without any harm caused to it. But it is also true that you have to inflate or deflate the kayaks before and after every trip.

  • Solid Or Hardshell Kayaks

Unlike the inflatable ones, these are heavy to carry. On the plus side, this type of kayak is more stable and easy to control.

  • Sit-inside Kayaks

Sit-inside kayaks generally will ensure you with speed. People who prefer their boats to be speedy, usually go for this model. They also offer spacious cargo compartments with large open cockpits. It can be said, though, that this model of kayaks is also a little challenging to maneuver on testy waters. But once you master the techniques, it is easy to go.

  • Sit-on-top Kayaks (SOT)

Sit-on-top kayaks are recreational and easy-going on water bodies like rivers and lakes. It gives you more freedom to maneuver and navigate through water. The only flip-side is that unlike the sit-inside kayaks, this model does not offer you much cargo space.

4. Type Of Water

Kayaks are mainly fit for slow-moving flat water fishing. If it is a fishing trip to your local lake, a SOT kayak would be just appropriate. If you want a little more adventure on the coast, the advice would be to go for a sit-inside kayak.

5. Stability Of Kayak

It is essential to test the stability of the kayak before you purchase one. A perfect balance of body weight and the kayak ensures the stability of the ride on the waters. If your body type falls on the heavier side, go for a kayak that offers a lot of space. If you are slimmer, make sure your kayak is a narrow one that can be paddled easily.

6. Storage Facility

To understand the storage capacity of a kayak, first, make a list of all the things you want to carry with yourself on the trip. Make sure that the kayak you want to purchase has built-in storage spaces in it. Some SOT kayaks also provide hatches that allow you to store things.

7. Length Of Kayak

The length of a kayak also determines its stability. Narrow and long kayaks might be easy to maneuver, but may not offer as much security as the short and wider ones. However, for calm waters like easy-flowing rivers or lakes, 8 to 13 feet long kayaks are recommended. For unstable waters like huge rivers or the sea, 14 to 18 feet long kayaks are ideal.

8. Weight Of Kayak

The suggestion is that you select a kayak according to the number of people going along with you. For more than one and less than four people, a kayak of 500 pounds would suffice. Otherwise, if you are going for a solo trip, you can take a kayak for a single person only.

9. Some Other Important Features

Apart from the mentioned factors, there are some extra features that you should look for before making any decision.

  • Footrests

A typically ideal kayak would allow enough room for your foot. Make sure that your kayak is spacious enough or has movable pegs or molded footrests. This way, you to brace your feet while paddling.

  • Nose

The front of the kayak is often called the nose. Check the shape of the nose before you buy one as it affects how the boat enters the water.

  • Stern

The back of the kayak is called the stern. The stern determines the maneuverability and stability of the boat.

  • Hull

The bottom of the kayak is called the hull. Flat-based hulls are generally very stable on the water. Whereas, V-shaped hulls provide you with speed.

  • Chine

The angle in which the hull joins with the side of the boat is called chine. Chine provides you with a balance of stability and speed.

  • Skeg

The skeg is like a small fin that is attached to the bottom of the kayak so that it does not get pushed away by the wind. It helps the kayak to move forward even in the winds.

After long hours of research, our team has been able to make a list of the best kayaks under 500 dollars. The list is as follows:

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 – Final Thoughts

Kayaks are generally of better quality if you are willing to spend more on it. Some of the products in this list will prove that that rule does not apply all the time. All you have to keep in mind before buying a kayak is to check its specifications.

Do not just choose by the appearance of the boat or its price. Set a budget, plan a trip, and only after that should you go for kayak shopping. However, if it comes to the quality of kayaks, we will rank BKC UH-TK181 as the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars.

It has the required amount of stability and speed to make fishing more adventurous. And it also comes under an affordable price, which makes the kayak even more purchasable.

Buying a faulty kayak can prove to be a risk to you or your loved ones too. Amidst the water, if your kayak gets leaked or your seats get detached or somehow an imbalance is caused, it can cause unwanted accidents.

Many a time due to inequality, the kayak might just flip with you and all your belongings. Sometimes due to bad weather, wind and rain, the kayaks might get affected or broken down. It is advised that you always choose the model that is tough in any water and weather type.

Secondly, always check the functioning ability of the equipment that you will be carrying with you on the fishing trip — many times faulty equipment results in unwanted inconveniences. Like, for example, it is ubiquitous for beginners to get lost in the waters quickly.

Moving waters tend to push you away from the shores. You mustn’t row further away along the currents. Keeping your bearing in the water is very important. Otherwise, you might just get lost and get discovered on a beach 50 miles away.

Make sure all your equipment is functioning correctly and that you carry a compass with yourself. These tips are essential for you to know before you go for kayak fishing trips.