Best Fishing Kayak Under $500

Best fishing kayak under $500

Fellow Fishermen! Welcome to my best fishing kayak under $500 review.

I spent two days testing the nine fishing kayaks for under $500 that I could find from reputable manufacturers. Next, I ranked them based on stability, portability, weight, and fishing features (in this price range, you can only expect basic features – rod holders, paddle holders, and a scupper hole for a transducer).

The five fishing kayaks that made my list all have the features and dependability you need to get on the water and start fishing for less than $500.

You don’t need to break the bank to get out on the water and start reeling in some fish. Buy one of these fishing kayaks, which will provide you with what you need to paddle where no boat can go for a fraction of the cost.

Ready to get on the water and start catching fish?

Let’s get started!

Our Picks For Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500

The best fishing kayak under $500 is the Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle.

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500 Reviewed

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak – Our Pick For Best Fishing Kayak Under $500

Our Pick
Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle

It's more than just a kayak – it's a complete fishing machine with flush-mounted rod holders, ample storage, a paddle holder, and, oh yeah, a paddle, all for less than $500.

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Price: $

Length: 120 inches

Width: 31 inches

Weight: 51 pounds

Deck Height: 14 inches

Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

Warranty: 5 Years

Why buy the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak?

  • Complete fishing kayak with everything you need to get on the water and catch fish
  • The best beginner budget fishing kayak
  • Easy to lift into and out of the car and into the water
  • Enough leg room for even the tallest kayak anglers
  • Easy access to dry storage and cup holder
  • More stable than longer kayaks that are 5x the price

Up first is the most bang for your buck fishing kayak you can buy: The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100.

It’s more than just a kayak – it’s a complete fishing machine with flush-mounted rod holders, ample storage, a paddle holder, and, oh yeah, a paddle, all for less than $500. This is the only fishing kayak that has excellent stability, portability, and maneuverability for less than $500.

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is one of the best-selling fishing kayaks because it flat-out works.

Firstly, you have all the fishing features you need to get started, plus enough room on board to customize this affordable fishing kayak and make it exactly what you want.

Imagine yourself getting off the couch and onto the water with two rods behind you and one in your hand while you reel in a red drum from the flats. Then you paddle over to the local sandbar, reach into your cooler on the stern of this kayak, and pass out cold ones to your buddies.

All this can be yours for less than $500 and with a reliable 5-year warranty!

After paddling the Tamarack Angler 100 for two years while in college on the saltwater around Wilmington, NC, I can say this kayak is an INSANE VALUE.

I spent more time on the water than my buddies now, with their $80,000 center consoles sitting in their driveway.

Besides being able to fish on this kayak easily, I also spent many afternoons paddling over to Masonboro island with friends to explore. This kayak holds its own when it comes to speed and efficiency.

What You’ll Love About The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

  • It’s light enough to lift by yourself – No trailer or back surgery is needed with this fishing kayak. This means you can spend time on the water catching fish.
  • Enough room for even big guys and gals – I’m 6’4″ and still had an inch or two to spread my legs. This fishing kayak efficiently utilizes space so that even bigger anglers can feel comfortable on the water.
  • Simplicity – this fishing kayak has everything you need and nothing that you don’t. Isn’t fishing supposed to be about catching fish? Do you need pedals, nine fishing rod holders, 3 Go Pros, and a tablet on board?
  • More stable than kayaks that are 5x the price – For a 10′ kayak, the Tamarack was surprisingly stable, which is perfect for beginners who aren’t used to paddling or seasoned anglers simply looking to land that next big fish.

What You Won’t Love About the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

  • It’s not made for stand-up fishing – I took this kayak into our neighborhood pool and tested whether I could stand while fishing. This kayak was not made for stand-up fishing; although it is stable, it needs a designated area for anglers to stand and the required width to cast confidently while standing up.

If you’re looking for the best fishing kayak under $500, look at the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100. With enough room to fit even bigger anglers, plenty of features, and a 5-year warranty, you won’t be disappointed.

Keep reading if you want a fishing kayak, even below $500, or perhaps an inflatable fishing kayak. If you want a kayak that you can lift out of your vehicle alone, with everything you need to get you on the water and catch fish, buy the Tamarack Angler 100!

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak- Runner-Up For Best Fishing Kayak Under $500

Runner-Up
Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Kayak - Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

This kayak turns on a dime and can work effortlessly around docks, bridge pilings, and grass beds. So, targeting structures or grass lines that are staged up with Sheepshead or Striped Bass is a breeze with this kayak.

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Price: $

Length: 114 inches

Width: 30 inches

Weight: 44 pounds

Deck Height: 13’3″

Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

Why buy the Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak?

  • Even more lightweight than the Tamarack
  • A well-balanced combination of speed and stability
  • Made for anglers of all sizes with adjustable footrests
  • The most maneuverable kayak that we tested
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY

Next is Pelican’s answer to kayak anglers looking for the ultimate lightweight fishing kayak. The Sentinel 100X Angler is only 44 pounds (7 pounds lighter than the Tamarack) while offering just as good stability. Plus, with the limited lifetime warranty, you rest assured knowing you’ll have a craft to get you on the water catching fish for years to come.

You get all of this for less than $500!

Like the Tamarack, it is stable, durable, and provides all the fishing essentials you will need. The main difference is the speed and paddling efficiency on the Tamarack are superior, especially when paddling in choppy water.

The Tamaracks’ speed and efficiency are hard to beat in this price range. But the Sentinel’s speed is still excellent. I particularly love how easy it is to maneuver the Sentinel, especially in tight quarters and shallow water. And the adjustable footrests make it easy to be comfortable throughout the day by changing your leg positions to stay fresh.

So, let me sum it up for you: the Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler is just like the Lifetime Tamarack, except 7 pounds lighter but with less speed and efficiency.

What You’ll Love About ThePelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak

  • One of the lightest fishing kayaks I have ever carried: this means you have nothing stopping you from launching this kayak anywhere. Most fishing kayaks (especially the higher priced ones) are extremely heavy, requiring you to have a trailer or a helping hand, or else you can’t go fishing.
  • Excellent maneuverability: this kayak turns on a dime and can work effortlessly around docks, bridge pilings, and grass beds. So, targeting structures or grass lines that are staged up with Sheepshead or Striped Bass is a breeze with this kayak.
  • Well-engineered storage options: I quickly noticed that the compartment in front of the seat doubles its purpose with two cup holders and a good spot for phones or fish finders on top of the lid. Little features like this can make or break the overall experience on the water.

What You Won’t Love About the Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak

  • Not the best handles for lifting: when I went to grab this kayak out of the bed of my truck, it was awkward trying to get a good grip. The handles are recessed inside the kayak, which is great for carrying it once you have it in your hands, but it makes it harder to grab initially.

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler is the perfect budget fishing kayak that provides all the necessary features to get on the water.

The overall performance doesn’t stand up to the Lifetime Tamarack. Still, this kayak makes up for it with well-though of features, including adjustable footrests, efficient storage options, and lightweight.

If portability and a lifetime warranty are at the top of your list – look no further than the Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak.

Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle, Sandstone, 101″ – Budget Pick

Budget Pick
Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak with Paddle

Imagine sitting on the deck of a lake house and watching the kids fishing. They can launch these fishing kayaks into the water and load with bait and tackle while you take pictures or a video of them paddling in and yelling up to you that they caught the biggest fish of their life.

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  • Price: $
  • Length: 101 inches
  • Width: 29 inches
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Deck Height: 10.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 225 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 Years

Why buy the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak?

  • Most Comfortable seat out of all the fishing kayaks we tested
  • Easy for one person to load and unload
  • More stable than kayaks in a similar size range
  • It fits into vehicles that other fishing kayaks don’t stand a chance with
  • Includes a paddle

Next is the budget fishing kayak that includes everything you need to get on the water and start casting quickly. This Lifetime kayak brings along the outstanding customer service and product durability that Lifetime is known for – all for less than $350!

The Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak tracks surprisingly well for an 8.5 ft. kayak and is also stable enough for all of my 225 pounds to feel like I wasn’t going to tip it over when I was casting.

Being the lightest kayak on our list also means this is the easiest one to load and unload that isn’t an inflatable kayak.

Even older kids can get this to and from the water without a lending hand. This means more people get to enjoy this budget kayak, and more people will be catching fish.

Imagine sitting on the deck of a lake house and watching the kids fishing. They can launch these fishing kayaks into the water and load with bait and tackle while you take pictures or a video of them paddling in and yelling up to you that they caught the biggest fish of their life.

This is possible with the Lifetime Hydros – plus, it has a five-year warranty – meaning you don’t need to worry about the in-laws putting a few dings in them.

If you are looking for an affordable fishing kayak that will last, look no further than the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak. This is an excellent choice for anyone looking to save money while still getting out on the water and having fun.

Best of all, its small size makes it highly portable and easier to store when you are done using it.

Don’t let the small size fool you; this budget kayak comes with many of the same features as more expensive models and is perfect for beginners or experienced anglers alike.

What You’ll Love About the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak

  • Lightweight: Any teenager or adult can transport these to and from the water. These fishing kayaks are perfect for friends and family to enjoy.
  • The most comfortable seat: the included seat was EXTREMELY comfortable, meaning you don’t have to shell out any extra money for an upgraded chair.
  • A paddle is included: Once again, Lifetime saves you money by including the paddle, so you have everything you need to start fishing as soon as this package arrives.

What You Won’t Love About the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak

  • Slower than most: with this kayak only 8.5 feet, it loses a bit of speed. The shape of this kayak lends itself to being slower than the other ones I included on the list.
  • Not made for large adults: this kayak has a weight capacity of 225 pounds. I weigh about 210 pounds, so with my fishing rods, cooler, ice, bait, clothes, and myself, I’m sure I was over the weight limit and could tell. The Hydros felt like it was made for adults who were 6’0″.

If you are looking for lightweight and durable budget fishing kayaks while still saving A TON of money, the Lifetime Hydros is the kayak for you.

If you are bigger or need a kayak with more stability and speed, then go with one of the first two picks.

For an even more transportable option and a fishing kayak on sale, keep reading to see our last two choices for the best fishing kayaks under $500.

Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak – Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak Under $500

Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Introducing the most affordable inflatable fishing kayak - the Sevylor Colorado. This tandem fishing kayak makes it easy even for sedan owners living in 400 sqft apartments to get on the water catching fish.

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  • Price: $
  • Length: 10′ 9″
  • Width: 37″
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 470 pounds

Why buy the Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

  • Easy to inflate
  • You get to bring along a friend or partner
  • Durable and rugged for an inflatable
  • More storage, latch points, and paddle holders than some hard kayaks
  • It fits into any vehicle

Introducing the most affordable inflatable fishing kayak – the Sevylor Colorado. This tandem fishing kayak makes it easy even for sedan owners living in 400 sqft apartments to get on the water catching fish.

In addition to being lightweight and easy to transport, the Sevylor Colorado also has plenty of storage, latch points, and paddle holders so that you will get everything. Best of all, it’s perfect for those days when your buddy wants to join you – but only has the extra money for a second kayak.

The Sevylor, unfortunately, only delivers in some areas. I noticed that after a couple of hours, my back began to hurt as the seat was not providing enough support for extended fishing trips.

Also, the fishing rod holders are placed awkwardly, meaning you’ll have to deal with hitting them while paddling or have to move them into a different spot which is risky.

Besides these two shortcomings, the Sevylor Colorado was surprisingly a very reliable inflatable kayak at a budget-friendly price.

What You’ll Love About The Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak

  • Easy to transport: you can bring a friend, dog, or partner along or overload with gear if you are going for an extended solo trip. A single-person fishing kayak can’t offer these advantages.
  • Easy to store: as with most inflatable kayaks, you aren’t buying them for their pure fishing ability but rather for their benefits in storage and transportability. The Sevylor certainly delivers in these two areas.
  • Feels more durable than most inflatable kayaks: I’ve paddled on quite a few inflatable kayaks and SUPs, and most feel fragile. I am always hesitant to get anywhere near oyster shells or river rock, but the Sevylor feels a bit more durable and can withstand the occasional collision. These inflatable kayaks are more than just another cheap fishing kayak.

What You Won’t Love About the Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak

  • Uncomfortable: the seat is unsuitable for long trips on the water or bigger adults as the back support needs to be improved.
  •  Awkward rod holders: the fishing rod holders are placed in an awkward position which can get in the way of paddling. You will need to move them to a different spot if you want to access your fishing rods without any problems.

If you want to avoid committing to the hardshell models or need a fishing kayak, you can take it with them on a road trip; then the Sevylor Colorado is for you.

Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Kayak – Honorable Mention because, at the time of writing this, it is on sale for less than $500

Bonus Pick
Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Sit on Top Kayak

This is an honorable mention because, at the time of writing this, this fishing kayak is on sale for less than $500. It typically retails for over $600, so right away, you know you're getting tremendous value.

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  • Price: $$
  • Length: 10′
  • Width: 30″
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

Why buy the Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Kayak?

  • An incredible value
  • Fastest fishing kayak under $500
  • Handles chop like a Jon boat
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Ergonomic seat

Last but not least, this is an honorable mention because, at the time of writing this, this fishing kayak is on sale for less than $500. It typically retails for over $600, so right away, you know you’re getting tremendous value.

Now, I like this kayak – the Ascend FS10 handles chop better than the other fishing kayaks we tested.

The actual V-hull design allows it to cut through the boat wake and successfully maneuver in windy conditions. This means you can reach that far-away fishing spot with less paddling than other fishing kayaks, especially in this price range.

In addition, the adjustable foot braces and ergonomic seat make this an excellent option for those long days out on the water.

I was pleasantly surprised with how spacious this kayak is, especially since I am 6’4″ and still felt like I had room to spread out with a full load of fishing gear.

What You’ll Love About The Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Kayak

  • Great value for its price: Best handling kayak in this price range, and you tell right away that it is built to last.
  • Actual V Hull design: cuts through chop and windy conditions better than the competition.
  • Adjustable foot braces and an ergonomic seat: make it an excellent option for long days on the water, and it’s spacious enough to fit a 6’4″ man.
  • Durable and stable: you can easily handle rougher waters and take a beating down to the water if you have to drag it along for the ride.
  • Gear rails work great with after-market rod/accessory holders: customize this kayak for your needs. Plus, you won’t have to hold back at this price point to get the best fish finder for kayaks or extra rod holders.

What You Won’t Love About the Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Kayak

  • Heavy: Not an excellent choice for backcountry or long hauls.
  • Front tie on the bow: Makes it difficult to tow a boat behind another boat.

Overall, the Ascend FS10 Sit-In Angler Kayak is one of the best fishing kayaks under $500 because it is the complete package.

While it may not excel in just one regard, it is all around fishing kayak that comes in below $500.

If you’re looking for a good value and a kayak that can do it all, buy the Ascend FS10 sit-on-top fishing kayak.

Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $500

When shopping for fishing kayaks under $500, you should keep a few key considerations in mind. I’ll discuss what you should expect in this price range regarding stability, portability, the comfort of the seat(or lack thereof), and basic fishing features.

Stability

Stability is one of the most important factors when shopping for a kayak.

Most kayaks in this price range are shorter and thinner, so naturally, they won’t be as stable as more expensive and large fishing kayaks.

However, the five fishing kayaks on our list are our respectively stable, as this one is my number one criterion.

None of the fishing kayaks listed here are meant to be stood up while fishing, which is worth mentioning.

If you are looking for the best stand-up fishing kayaks and still don’t want to spend a fortune, then you should look into the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 list.

If you are on the bigger side, take a close look at the weight capacity of each fishing kayak.

Your weight and the kayak’s weight capacity will play a big part in how stable it is while fishing.

Portability

The following key factor to consider when shopping for a kayak is portability.

All the kayaks on this list are relatively easy to carry, although some are heavier than others and may be difficult to move if you’re not physically fit.

If you plan on carrying your fishing, kayak a long distance, or often, go with either the Sentinel, Hydros, or the Sevylor (the inflatable kayak). These three affordable fishing kayaks are all lightweight and can be transported solo.

The comfort of the Seat

The comfort of the kayak seat is also worth considering when shopping for any kayak, especially if you plan on making extended fishing trips.

The seats on these fishing kayaks are generally less comfortable than more expensive models, but there are still some great options for anglers who want a comfortable ride.

The Lifetime Hydros has the most comfortable kayak seat on this list.

A comfortable vs. non-comfortable sit WILL make or break how much you enjoy your kayak.

You can always upgrade your seat or modify it to make it more comfortable.

Fishing Features

You can only expect basic fishing features and storage space for these affordable kayaks.

Two fishing rod holders are the standard, the minimum that these kayaks have on our list.

Also, consider if the rod holders are flush-mounted rod holders or not. Flush-mounted fishing rod holders not only look better, but they will keep your fishing rod from moving around.

Aside from rod holders and storage space, consider gear tracks, premounted areas, and storage space on the stern deck and the bow.

Gear tracks and premounted areas are necessary to customize your kayak.

Storage space on the bow and stern will allow you to bring along a cooler, bait buckets, extra fishing rods, and other fishing gear you will need.

Common Questions Related to Kayak Fishing

Below are my answers to some of the most common questions regarding kayak fishing.

What type of kayak is best for a fisherman?

A sit-on-top kayak.

A sit-on-top kayak is the only way to go when planning kayak fishing. There are many advantages of sit-on-top kayaks compared to sit-in kayaks, including:

  • You sit higher, giving you a better view of the water
  • More room for fishing gear on both the stern deck and bow
  • If you happen to fall out, sit-on-top kayaks are much easier to get in and out of
  • They are self-bailing, meaning water comes in and flows back out on its own
  • Easy to add accessories and customize
  • Come with fishing rod holders

What size kayak is suitable for kayak fishing?

The size of a kayak suitable for kayak fishing will depend on the type of fishing you plan to do.

I suggest using a shorter, more maneuverable model for smaller rivers and lakes. If you plan to fish in larger bodies of water or go out far, opt for a longer kayak with better stability and storage space.

My list includes short and longer models so that you can choose the best fit your needs.

Is kayak fishing worth it?

You bet it is!

Kayak fishing allows you to launch and paddle to water inaccessible by most fishing boats, which often means you are fishing in more plentiful areas.

Fishing kayaks are also much more affordable than powerboats (most of the time).

I also must mention that you don’t need gas. You are saving even more money with gas prices as high as they are these days.

One more before I let you go. You are also getting one heck of a workout while kayaking. Kayaking is a terrific way to stay fit or become fit.

Wrapping Up

Man on inflatable fishing kayak with fish in net

There you have it. I’ve included 5 of the best fishing kayaks under $500 in this article to give anglers an idea of what kind of affordable fishing kayaks are available, which ones I choose, and why.

Take a look at each one and do your research, then make sure to get out there and wet a line.

For all of you big guys out there, check out our best fishing kayaks for big guys review!

And if you are an avid fly angler, check out our list of the best fly fishing kayaks.

Captain Tyler Brady

Captain Tyler Brady

Hi, I'm Captain Tyler Brady, founder of A Fellow Fisherman. Thank you for reading this post and visiting my site. I strive to provide the best information when it comes to fishing, whether it is myself or A Fellow Fisherman that is part of my team. Now stop reading and GO fishing!

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