What The Best Budget Fishing Kayak Offers Beginners And Experienced Yakkers Alike

If you have just started kayak fishing, you might be interested in investing in your own little kayak. After all, it would be more convenient especially if you started making a habit of getting out on the water on a weekly basis. Most people would consider kayak fishing to increase their skills and be able to land a better gamefish.

With this in mind, you would need to work within a budget without compromising good quality and function. In this article we will talk about the best budget kayak for fishing as well as the factors you should consider when you’re out buying your fishing kayak.

What To Look for When Buying a Fishing Kayak on a Budget?

best budget fishing kayak

When picking out from the best fishing kayaks in the market, the first thing you would notice is the price. Top-of-the-line kayaks cost a small fortune, and if you’re working on a budget, you may want to look at a more affordable option. Like we said, you don’t need to compromise quality and function to get the right fishing kayak for your need. Here are the things you need to consider when buying a fishing kayak on a budget.


The first thing you must figure out is what type of fishing kayak are you planning to get. There are many categories of fishing kayaks and before you get one, you must make a sound decision on which type you plan to stick with. You have options between:

  1. Solo Kayak – Which are good for those who plan to spend a quiet day fishing, and would like personal space when doing so.
  2. Two Person Kayak – Great for those who want to bring a friend or a partner along the trip. These kayaks can also be used as solo kayaks, but they may be a bit bulky to transport. A two person kayak is also great for big guys!
  3. Sit-in Kayak – When you’re looking for better stability and speed, sit-in kayaks should be your top pick. But if you are looking for a more functional fishing kayak, we would recommend otherwise.
  4. Sit On Top Kayak – More often than not, these are the most ideal types of kayaks for fishing. More experienced anglers would choose those with comfortable seating especially for long days on the water.

Once you have chosen from the specific type of kayak for your need, you can move on to the specifics. Be sure to be able to balance function and price when choosing.


When we talk about weight in the world of fishing kayaks we are talking about; the kayak’s actual weight and weight capacity or the maximum weight the kayak can carry.

When getting a kayak, be sure to pick one that is not too heavy. This way, it would be a lot easier to load up on your car and transport to the dock. If you happen to pick a heavy-set kayak, you can also attach accessories that will allow you to easily move it to the water.

Now, let’s talk about the weight capacity. When buying a kayak, be sure that it can carry your weight plus the weight of the gear you plan to bring and the fish you plan to catch. The last thing you would want is to be sinking in the middle of the water while you’re out fishing.


If you’re not planning to go kayak fishing as often, then maybe you would prefer having a kayak that you can easily store when it is not in use. Some of the best fishing kayaks aren’t as portable as you would think. There are dozens of foldable and inflatable options to choose from. 

Given that the inflatable option might not be as durable as the hard shell options, for many it won’t be the best budget fishing kayak, but there are those that do last long in spite of the material used. Now, if you do choose to get the hard shell fishing kayaks, be sure to allot space to store them properly.


Fishing on a kayak requires stability, and this is not just dependent on your ability to balance on the water, but the kayak’s ability to keep you stable even while angling. The key is to get kayaks that have a wider width and bigger hulls. While it is true that sit-inside kayaks are the most stable, they are not as convenient to use while fishing. Sit on top kayaks are the best option if you are planning to pursue this sport.

The most of the stable fishing kayaks in the market may be a bit too pricey, but there are budget-friendly options that can provide you with the stability you need.

Storage Space

One of the most important thing you need when you’re out fishing is to be prepared for anything. It’s better to have something and not need it, than to not have it when you need it. Being able to store your handy gadgets and other fishing equipment is vital.

Fishing kayaks have lots of storage space options. Most are equipped with dry storage where you can stow away your valuables without having to worry about them getting wet. Then you also have storage wells at both ends of your kayak that allows you to secure fishing gear with the help of a cord deck or shock cord. 

Some kayaks also have consoles to house fish finders and other gadgets. At the end of the day, be sure that you’re getting a fishing kayak that has enough storage space.


When choosing your fish kayak, speed would probably be the least of your concern. Although it would be nice to get from point A to B faster, this is a factor that you can trade off especially when we’re talking about stability and control. A stable and maneuverable kayak is the most ideal one for those who are planning to fish.

But if you are looking for a faster kayak to travel through longer distances or windier weather, you need a narrower sit-in kayak. But we all know that, sit-in kayaks are not ideal for fishing. There are no convenient placements for your rod holders and other necessary trinkets to make your day fishing an easier one.


If you are planning to fish in a calm lake or even the open sea, being able to control your kayak is quite important. When we talk about manoeuvrability we are pertaining to the regulated movement of your boat. Bulkier kayaks may not be easy to manoeuvre, which makes mid-sized kayaks more ideal especially if you are a beginner.


Hundreds of manufacturers market their kayaks according to the durability since this sets them apart from one another. Some would go as far as providing a warranty that could last a year or even more. The durability of the kayak depends on the material that was used in manufacturing. 

Rotomolded polyethylene is one of the most expensive material used and it is also the heaviest. It also impacts resistant due to the high flexibility. If you’re looking for a kayak that will truly last a lifetime, this should be your choice of material.

As mentioned, rotomolded polyethene is quite pricey, if you are working on a budget, there are other options like fibreglass or kevlar they last longer compared to wooden kayaks which you should steer far away from.


As a beginner, you may not be too keen on shelling out thousands of dollars on a kayak. Don’t worry, you can easily find quality kayaks to fish with at a fraction of the cost. At $500, you can find the best budget fishing kayak for you with the quality and function that would suit your skillset. 

Remember work within your budget but don’t sell yourself short on bad quality boats that are all promise but no performance.

The Best Budget Fishing Kayak

After much research, we have found the best fishing kayak that would cost you less than $500. Now that’s quite a steal, considering it’s a two-person kayak as well.

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak: Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak


Type: Two Person Kayak

Length: 12 feet 7 inches

Width: 3 feet 1 inch

Weight Capacity: 181 kg

The Intex Excursion Pro is one of the best inflatable fishing kayaks in the market today. It is made with laminate material made-up with a polyester core to ensure high durability in case of impact. It is also resistant to abrasion while treading through rougher water.

At first, you might be skeptical on how an inflatable kayak makes the cut compared to cheaper hardshell ones, but here’s why we chose this as the best fishing kayak under $500.

The Intex Excursion Pro is the complete package. It can be used as a solo or tandem kayak, it features an adjustable seat with movable footrests that can easily be taken out if you decide to go on a solo fishing trip instead. The kayak also come with an optional booster to elevate your seat as well.

In terms of storage, this kayak may not have as many options as hardshell kayaks but it does have plenty of space for your fishing gear. It features two flush mount rod holders that can hold any standard sized fishing rod. There are large storage spaces located at the bow and stern, large enough to hold your tackle box and other fishing gear.

 There are also D-rings on the sides which can be used to secure other gear using a shock cord. You can easily add extra rod holders on the mounting bracket and even install GPS systems, fish finders, or even your handy action camera. Though you cannot install rod holders into the kayak itself, those mounted on the bracket are quite stable.

If you’re worried about setting up an inflatable kayak, don’t be. It’s quite easy, just be sure to bring a pump with you. By hand, it will take you about 15 minutes to completely inflate the fishing kayak. The pressure gauge allows you decipher if you are properly inflating the chambers. 

The beauty of these kinds of kayaks are; they are easy to transport, and they are even easier to store when they aren’t in use. You don’t need to worry about installing a roof rack or allot space in your garage for storage. Just deflate the unit, let it dry, and fold it up after use.

There two major downsides of getting this inflatable kayak; one is the fact that you can go hands-free on them. Installing a pedal for this model is close to impossible, you would need to buy an inflatable with the pedals already installed. Hands-free kayaking is indeed much easier, but if you’re just starting out paddling is good practice. 

Two, weight capacity may not be as much even if it can hold two people, it wouldn’t be ideal if you plan on catching big and heavy game.

If you decide to buy this kayak, here’s what you will be getting in the box:

  • The Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak
  • Two Inflatable and adjustable seats
  • One Inflatable booster pad for your adjustable seat
  • Two Footrests
  • One Adjustable mounting bracket
  • Two Aluminum Oars (86 inches)
  • Two Removable Skegs
  • One Hand Pump
  • One Carrying Case with Handles
  • One Repair Patch
  • One Pressure Gauge

What This Kayak Offers Beginners?

In our expert opinion the Intex Excursion Pro is the best sit on top kayak for beginners. First of all, it does not cost as much as hardshell kayaks, so in the event you do not feel like fishing on a kayak is your sport, there will no buyer’s remorse. Plus the fact that it can easily be put in storage, you wouldn’t have a hard time getting it out of your way when it is not being used. 

Secondly, this kayak is easily convertible from a solo to a tandem, you can practically use it anywhere even when you’re not fishing. And lastly, the wide-set width of this kayak is great for beginners who are just about to go in the water. It has great stability and is one of the best kayaks for those who are looking to practice.

What Can It Offer Experience Yakkers?

If you’re a more experienced kayak fisher, the Intex Excursion Pro may not be the most impressive in the line, but if you are looking to have an extra fishing kayak ready at all times, this is definitely one of the best fishing kayaks you can choose from. 

From all the inflatable sit on top kayaks, the Intex Excursion Pro features a lot of handy gear that will definitely help when you’re out in the water. With the two flush mount, rod holders, and multiple storage options you’re definitely close to any of that hardshell sit on top kayaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Most Affordable Fishing Kayak for Big Guys?

Being a big guy does have its disadvantages, smaller inflatable solo kayaks may not be suitable for larger people which is why the Intex Excursion Pro is one of the best sit on top inflatable kayaks. Being that it can easily be convertible from two-person to solo and manage a capacity of 181 kilograms, you are very safe and comfortable in this kayak regardless of your height or weight.

What is the Most Affordable Kayak Paddle?

When choosing a kayak paddle you must take into consideration factors like material, length and durability. You may be spending less on a paddle now, but if you end up buying and re-buying the same one the costs add up. The Bending Branches is one of the most affordable kayak paddles in the market today that promises both quality and comfort. 

It’s great for calmer water. This 8-foot paddle is well constructed and lightweight, that it is quite easy to wade through water with them.

This paddle can easily be out away in storage by taking it apart, so you don’t have to worry about them cluttering your home. While fishing, all you need is a shock cord on the sides of your kayak to act as a paddle holder when you’re on the water. Storage is never a problem for ingenious products like this.

What is the Best Yet Affordable Kayak Fish Finder?

The Garmin Striker 4 is definitely the top pick for us. The Garmin brand, in particular, has been well-known for their top-notch GPS products, and they have been the forerunners in the fish finder category as well with their CHIRP technology. The color display of the Striker 4 is not too small at 3.5 inches despite the fact that the fish finder being quite compact.


If you’re out looking for one of the best fishing kayaks and you’ve just started out the hobby, you need to be practical about your purchase. Don’t go buying from the top-of-the-line yet when you are not a hundred per cent sure about the sport. After all, sit on top kayaks don’t come cheap. 

With the Intex Excursion Pro, you have all the necessary features of a hardshell kayak like rod holders for a standard-sized fishing rod, a cord deck, several storage options, adjustable seating, and other freebies included in the package. Best of all? It is easy to transport from your home to the shore, and easy to store when not in use. 

It’s very important to know a thing or two before buying a kayak, be sure to do your research well!

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