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Best Fishing Kayak under $1000 of 2020 | Expert Advice

If you quickly want to find out which is the best Fishing Kayak under $1000, I'd recommend the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak.

It’s summer and it’s nice and warm outside. Want to go fish kayaking but worried that the Kayaks cost a fortune?

We get you.

It is a myth that Fishing Kayaks cost more. In this article, we have narrowed down the best 5 Fishing Kayaks under $1000 by not compromising on the quality, comfort, or stability.

Our Top 5 Fishing Kayaks under $1000 in 2020

4.3

Type: Sit on top

Seat: 1 seat

  • Leak-proof one-piece construction
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Good leg space and back-friendly seats
4.3

Type: Sit on top

Seat: 1 seat

  • Excellent stability
  • 3 Rod Holders for mounting
  • Multiple footrest positions
5

Type: Sit on top

Seat: 1 seat

  • Dog friendly fishing kayak
  • Extra large space for foot rest & Adjustable seat setting
  • 3 vibrant color options to choose from
4.5

Type: Sit Inside

Seat: 1 seat

  • Highest Max Capacity of 400 lbs
  • Widest fishing kayak with a width of 39.5 inches
  • Has a rich accessories set
4.2

Type: Sit Inside

Seat: 2 seat

  • The only kayak with 2-person seat
  • Longest kayak of 12'7'' feet length
  • Best budget pick

We've created a comprehensive Fishing Kayaks Buying Guide for you below!

Fishing Kayaks vs Touring Kayaks

Why do we need a Fishing Kayak? Can’t we just use the regular touring Kayak for fishing?

First, Fishing Kayaks are specifically designed for fishing, due to which they offer more stability whereas touring Kayaks excel in performance. 

Fishing Kayaks are built like tanks; wider width and longer length providing more stability. It is built in a way that you can even stand and fish. They are also designed to accommodate fishing accessories like rods, bottle holders, sunglass holders, etc. A comfortable and stable Fishing Kayak goes a long way to ensure you have the best kayak fishing experience.

How to choose the Best Fishing Kayak?

Types of Fishing Kayaks

Sit on Top

Sit on top Kayaks are more preferred as they have better visibility and are more stable.

Water can be easily drained through the holes. It has more cargo space and accessibility is good as well. 

You get a better view of the water with these Kayaks, and you are also able to stand up comfortably inside the Kayak.

A man fish kayaking with his dog on a fishing kayak

Sit Inside

As the name suggests, Sit inside Kayaks allow a person to sit inside the Kayak that is on the water level or below. The water stays inside until emptied. If it flips, it becomes a little difficult to bring it back to its original position. 

Speaking of storage, cargo space is limited. The view of the water isn’t excellent as well due to the seat positioning inside the Kayak.

Angler vs Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable Kayaks are the ones that are filled with air using a pump or so. It is stable, sturdy and safe as the traditional Kayaks. Most of the Fishing Kayaks under $1000 are inflatable ones.

Generally designed for use by a single person, most angler Kayaks have a wider beam (the Kayak’s widest side-to-side measurement,) as compared to recreational or racing Kayaks. This increased width contributes to the Kayak’s stability, which is a critical consideration.

Load Capacity

It's very important to look for the load that the Kayak can carry. It varies from product to product, so choose the one that suits your needs. Make sure to include your weight, your companion's weight and the other things that you plan to carry. One ground rule to go by is - it should be atleast 100lbs more than your body weight.

Color

Does it really matter? 

Yes. It's important if you go Ocean Kayaking. You will have to pick a color which is visible unlike the blue in the ocean; dull colors are not recommended, whereas colors like yellow and orange are good options. Sand colored Kayaks are best suited for stealth mode.

To sum it up, bright colored Kayaks are best suited for safety.

A bright colored kayak

Size

Length

Longer the Kayak, the faster it is. The length of the Kayak is generally between 8 to 13 feet. You also have to consider height while choosing a Kayak. 

Smaller ones do not suit a tall person. For example, if your height is 6-feet, a 12 to 13-feet Kayak or a 14-feet sea Kayak would be the best option for you. A 8-feet long will suit a kid or a short person.

Paddle length

Longer the paddle, the more difficult it is to paddle. If it's too short, that’s an issue as well; you cannot get to the water easily. Also, heavy paddles make it difficult to paddle. Check for the paddle length that suits your height. 

Width

This is a key factor as you don't want to end up in a narrow Kayak, which can be quite unstable when you stand up or move. Fishing Kayaks with a wider bottom are more stable and easier to turn.

Weight

Fishing Kayaks are usually heavier than the touring Kayaks, and hence portability is an important factor. Most of the Fishing Kayaks that we have reviewed are between 50 and 100 pounds. Also, you would want to ensure that the Fishing Kayak can be carried in your vehicle.

Storage

Storage bags or cabins should have enough space to store your accessories like coolers, cameras, etc. If you have a limited storage option, you will find yourself limited to taking the things that you actually want. 

Look for a mounter in which you can easily fit fish finders, cameras, gear, cup holders, rod holders, tools, etc. 

Comfort

The key comfort features you should be looking for are legroom and seat comfort, as you will be sitting in the Fishing Kayak for hours.

You should choose one which has more legroom. When it comes to seat comfort, sit-on-top Kayaks are generally more comfortable than the sit-in Kayaks.

Stability

Tunnel or flat bottom hulls work best for stability. They don’t get easily tossed by waves such as the V-shaped hulls.

Skid plate

A skid plate is an abrasion-resistant material fixed to the underside of a boat to prevent damage to the underside when you hit the ground. It comes with some Kayaks, like the Perception Pescador in our article; otherwise this can be installed separately as well.

Maintenance

  • Clean the Kayak regularly, ideally once in a month
  • Inspect for any hull damage frequently
  • Shield it from the sun when not in use, as more exposure will affect the color and body of the Kayak
  • Don’t ignore any aging parts in the Kayak - replace them with new ones
  • Check out the emergency gear
  • Lube the moving parts for smoother Kayaking

Storage of the Kayak when not in use

Don’t store in a place where there is direct exposure to sun or harsh weather. Store it flat and upside down.

Here is an video on tips for Kayak Fishing that we found informative:

The 5 Best Fishing Kayaks under $1000

Specifications

  • Type - Sit on top
  • Seat - One person
  • Length - 12 feet
  • Width - 32.5 inches
  • Weight - 57 lbs
  • Max Capacity - 325 lbs
  • Water types - Lakes, Ponds, Slow moving rivers, Calm coast

Pros

  • Comes with a skid plate
  • Leak-proof one-piece construction
  • Excellent seat comfort
  • Can be used in calm coast as well
  • Made of high-quality polyethylene
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Good leg space and back-friendly seats

Cons

  • Rear hatch storage it difficult to access
  • A tad bit heavy

Short Review

The Perception Kayak is easily the best Fishing Kayak under 1000, for the features it provides and the value for money. It is a Sit-on top Kayak with a stable design and easy accessibility to accessories while Kayaking.

It offers a whole day comfort for any rider with features such as back-friendly seats, more leg space, 2-level seat adjustment and breathable mesh. Also, the seat can be removed separately and used during campfire.

The storage compartment has a drink holder, and a dry front storage compartment that is easily accessible with hinged hatches. It also has bungee lashings for storing coolers, cameras, speakers, etc. 

You have multiple gear tracks for mounting, and a fish-finder console which makes it ready to fish out the box. Along with it also comes two molded-in rod holders that can be used hands-free. It stands steady on water, and is easy as well to get in and out as well.

It’s made of the best materials such as high-density polyethylene which make it a durable product. Not only that, it also has wear-proof graphics and colors. With the highest UV, impact and abrasion resistance, this Fishing Kayak is built to last. It is leak-proof, owing to its one piece construction, and also comes with built-in buoyancy.

There are 2 things that could have made this product better - its weight and rear hatch storage. The Kayak is heavy and though it works best for stability, you will have to make sure that it can be carried in your vehicle. The rear hatch storage is slightly difficult to access from the seat, which can be improved. 

Bottomline

A feature-rich Kayak that excels in performance and is a great value for money. 

Specifications

  • Type - Sit on top
  • Seat - One person
  • Length -  10 feet
  • Width -  31 inches
  • Weight -  52 lbs
  • Max Capacity -  275 lbs
  • Water types - Calm water

Short Review

The Lifetime Angler Kayak has an adjustable and padded back seat and pad for giving you added comfort. It also has multiple footrest positions for paddlers of different sizes. Mounting options for the Lifetime Angler Kayak include 3 rod holders totally - two fishing rod holders that are flush mounted, and one fishing rod holder that is adjustable.

You have front and rear bungee storage with this Fishing Kayak, with two hatches on the rear. Two water bottle holders make it handy as compared to the other Kayaks in which there’s usually only one. 

Speaking of stability, this Fishing Kayak has added features built just to solve the purpose - the flat bottom hull with deep tracking channels and the added chine rails. It also comes with a tracking skeg for straight paddling and we found it easy to get in and out of the Kayak. 

One thing that customers found dissatisfactory was the water entering through the rear storage hatch, which takes several hours to drain.

It is also made of durable materials such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which makes it a good investment. It drains out water fast with the help of self-bailing Scupper holes.

Bottomline

The most stable fishing kayak and an excellent option for new Kayakers with a rich set of features. 

Specifications

  • Type - Sit on top
  • Seat - One person
  • Length -  12’3” feet
  • Width -  31 inches
  • Weight - 63 lbs
  • Max Capacity - 350 lbs
  • Water types - River, Lakes and Oceans

Pros

  • Dog-friendly Kayak
  • Rudder can be added to the Kayak
  • Extra large space for foot rest
  • Adjustable seat setting
  • Two length options
  • Convenient storage options - front and rear
  • Good for primary and secondary stability
  • 3 vibrant color options

Cons

  • Expensive among others
  • Heavy

Short Review

It is a Sit on top Kayak which is best for its speed, stability and an intuitive paddler interface. You can be assured of comfort with this Fishing Kayak, with its Phase 3 AirPro seat and the CoolTouch that ensures the seat stays cool. It also has an adjustable seat setting. 

The Wilderness Fishing Kayak has both front and rear storage which is quite convenient. The front storage has a removable dry hatch, and a sectioned storage tray. The rear storage is protected by a mesh cover, and can accommodate coolers, camping gear such as sleeping bags, and fishing tanks. There is also a magnetic bottle strap for keeping your water bottle. 

It’s the only dog-friendly Kayak which is great for dog lovers. 

When it comes to mounting options, the Kayak has a quick park paddle holder and a SlideTax accessory Rails that has a rod holder and a camera mount. Getting in and out of this Fishing Kayak is an easy job, and the Kayak also proves to be very stable in both primary and secondary stability. The leak-proof design of the Kayak makes it a safe option as well.

It comes with a Skid plate which can be replaced later when it gets damaged/old. It also comes with a shorter length of 10’6” long if you are looking for a smaller Kayak.

Bottomline

A Fishing Kayak for the dog-lovers with versatile options in color, length and storage options. 

Specifications

  • Type - Sit inside
  • Seat - One person
  • Length - 10’10” feet
  • Width -  39.5 inches
  • Weight - 40  lbs
  • Max Capacity - 400 lbs
  • Water types - Both shallow and deep waters

Pros

  • Excellent stability
  • Widest Fishing Kayak with a width of 39.5 inches
  • Easily inflatable
  • Highest Max Capacity of 400 lbs
  • Rigid Dropstitch floor for added grip on the Kayak
  • Padded High Back Adjustable EVA Seat
  • Rich accessories set

Cons

  • Manual only has details about inflation and deflation

Short Review

The Elkon Fishing Kayak is a feature-rich and inflatable stand up fishing kayak. It is equipped with a Rigid Drop Stitch floor that is a distinguishing feature of this product. It provides more grip when you stand or walk inside the Kayak. It also has adjustable high rise EVA seats which can be adjusted according to the leg comfort you prefer.

It has a bungee cargo area that you can use to store all your accessories. It also has an extra storage space at the bow and stern. Comes with 5 hard modular equipment mounts in which you can mount the fishing rods, rod holder, bait trays, downriggers and other such items.

It offers more stability as it has a greater width; it is the widest Fishing Kayak in this article with a width of 39.5 inches. It also has a long waterline and two skegs for long glides and good tracking. Speaking of durability, it is made up of a thick material made of Reinforced Layered PVC with a denier strength of 1000D, which is excellent. (Denier defines the strength of the material)

It also includes a 90 inches paddle, a removable skeg, a repair kit, a travel Bag with backpack straps, and a hand pump. 

The Elkon Fishing Kayak is also a safe Kayak, being made of leak proof material. It also provides better visibility with the Front Bow spray shield.

Bottomline

A well equipped, very stable and sturdy Kayak with great stability and good load capacity. 

Specifications

  • Type - Sit inside
  • Seat capacity - Two person
  • Length - 12’7” inches
  • Width - 31 inches
  • Weight - 39.5 lbs
  • Max Capacity - 400 lbs
  • Water types - Calm water

Pros

  • Light
  • Easily inflatable and deflatable
  • Spacious
  • Comes with a booster seat for height adjustment
  • Compact and portable
  • Can be used with an anchor

Cons

  • Footrest may not be comfortable for tall people
  • Can feel cramped with 2 people

Short Review

The Intex Pro Kayak is a comfortable Fishing Kayak that has adjustable footrests and removable & adjustable seats with backrest. It also has a removable seat booster for comfort. It is the only 2-person Kayak of this article which is great. However, it can feel crampy with 2 people aboard. 

It has an adjustable mounting bracket that can be used for storing your fishing accessories such as GPS systems, fish finders, swivel fishing rod holders, etc. You also have storage spaces in bow and stern with d-rings for tying down dry bags and gear.

Mounting options however, aren’t great in this Fishing Kayak, you get 2 fishing rod holders which isn’t sophisticated but still works good. It’s made of durable and strong materials such as Polyester core with tough laminations. Not only that, it is also protected from oil, salt water and gasoline, thanks to its 3-ply high impact and abrasion resistant material. 

The Intex Fishing Kayak is superb when it comes to stability. It has an I-beam floor for rigidity and stability inside the Kayak. It also has a one directional skeg and shallow water directional skeg that ensures optimal maneuverability in deep and shallow water. 

It has also been certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association for following the ABYC(American Boat and Yacht control) standard.

However, we weren’t too happy with the rod holders. They point inwards which means that they can cross each other when you mount the fishing rods. You need to take care of the rod holders by fixing a rail adapter or so.

Bottomline

A very lightweight and stable Kayak which is also the best budget pick of our article if you are looking for the best fishing kayaks under 400.

Conclusion

Now that we have broken down all that you need to consider before buying a Fishing Kayak, you have a fair idea of what to look for the next time you do Kayak-shopping. After carefully looking at the 5 best products in the category of Fishing Kayaks, it is time to announce the winner of the article. 

Our pick is the Perception Pescador Fishing Kayak. The reasons are many. Finding a Fishing Kayak within the $1000 budget, that satisfies all the key features wasn’t an easy task. But the Perception kayak is an exception. It has a stable design with comfort being its priority with features such as back-friendly seats and 2-level seat adjustment. Convenient storage options make your Kayaking sophisticated. 

It’s easy to get in and out of the Kayaks and with the help of mounting rods, Kayaking is seamless with the Perception Fishing Kayak. It’s durable, leak-proofed for safety and is a solid investment. Go for this Fishing Kayak and you won’t regret it; it provides the best value for money. 

That’s it for the article guys! I hope you found our article informative and that it helped you zero in on the Fishing Kayak of your choice. 

Which one did you pick? Let us know in the comments. Happy and safe Fish Kayaking!

Mark Bennett
 

I have a serious thing for travel, outdoors and wilderness. I grew up in Oregon and camping outdoors with my father was one of the fondest memories of childhood. I enjoy camping and hiking and love to share what I've learnt over these years.

Danny Shaw - July 19, 2020

Really enjoyed this fishing article. I’ve bookmarked your site for future reading. Keep up the good work!

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