Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 – Top Models Reviewed

Choosing the best kayak for fishing is a difficult task, especially when there are so many models on the market. 

Fishing kayaks come in sit-on-top (SOT) or sit-in styles with different construction types and hull designs. Knowing which one you need is daunting for a first-time kayak owner.

Our best fishing kayak under $1,000 guide will help you choose the best one suited for your intended use. 

7 Top Fishing Kayaks Under $1,000


Product Name

Weight Capacity



Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler 

475 Pounds

13 Feet

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BKC UH-TK181 SOT Tandem 

450 Pounds

12.5 Feet

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Perception R15 Pescador 12.0 

350 Pounds

12 Feet

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FeelFree Moken 12.5 SOT

419 Pounds

12 Feet, 8 Inches

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Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In 12-Foot 

395 Pounds

12 Feet

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Lifetime Sport Fisher 10-Foot Tandem 

500 Pounds

10 Feet

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Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10

325 Pounds

10 Feet

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We listed kayaks for every budget including inflatable, freshwater, and saltwater fishing kayaks. 

 This ultimate guide reviews fishing kayaks with the top features and best quality at a low price.

We highlight all the aspects to consider before investing in a new fishing kayak. We want you to find the best fishing kayak for the money that can give you the most enjoyment from your excursion.

Even though the price is an important consideration, we also look at other qualities. As fishing is normally the main use, chances are you’ll use your kayaks for other water adventures.

When using a longer kayak for recreational use, you get faster speed and more stability. Other considerations for choosing a kayak include ease of use, storage space, and weight capacity.

Let’s get started.

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

1. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler

Our number one pick and the priciest is the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 fishing kayak.

The first specifically designed for fishing, the Prowler 13 remains a top-rated fishing kayak today.​

The single-user SOT kayak has a 13-foot length and 28-inch width with a 17-inch wide seat. The kayak length accommodates leg lengths of 52-inches or less. A 475-pound maximum weight load allows for a larger paddler and extra gear and equipment.

Store fishing equipment in the 16.5 x 10-inch click seal, a watertight hatch that opens and closes with a single click. Extra storage comes in the bungee secured, extra-large tank well and a cam locking hatch system. Bungee cord deck connectors and side mounted paddle keepers securely lock paddling equipment in place.

Added features for your fishing enjoyment include two flush mount rod holders and two molded in bottle or cup holders. The scupper holes not only drain water but can hold fish finder transducers or an anchoring system.

The Prowler 13 Angler doesn’t include a rudder, but has great performance and tracking, easily handling 30 mph wind gusts. Install an additional rudder kit, and the Prowler 13 takes on the choppiest waters.

With a slim lined design, this best-rated fishing kayak is fast yet stable, a must for any fishing kayak. Made from durable UV-resistant nylon, the Comfort Plus seat has a high backrest and four position adjustment for comfort.

A little on the heavy side at 56-pounds, the Prowler 13 might require help moving it to and from the water. The two handles on the side of the cockpit and the retractable handles on the bow and stern help with transporting the kayak.


  • Specifically designed for fishing.
  • Stable, fast, and quiet design for calm and rough water.
  • ​Good tracking with or without the optional rudder kit.
  • ​Large 475-pound weight capacity.
  • ​Click-seal watertight 6-inch hatch with storage bucket.
  • ​Bungee deck connectors, tank well, and cam locking hatch system.
  • ​Easy to access large front hatch and below deck storage.
  • ​Oversized rear tank well.
  • ​Two built-in rod holders and paddle keeps.
  • ​Built-in cup holders.
  • ​Compatible with fish finder transducer.
  • ​Includes skid plate.
  • ​Four-way adjustable Comfort Plus seat and leg room up to 52-inches.
  • Unique angler graphics that reflect sunlight.


  • The 56-pound weight makes carrying difficult for some.
  • The 17-inch wide seat may be too small for some paddlers.
  • Center dry hatch leaks.
  • ​Rudder not included, must buy as an optional accessory.
  • Takes on water with larger kayakers.

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2. BKC UH-TK181 SOT Tandem 

When looking for the best fishing kayaks, the top consideration is ease of maneuverability and excellent tracking. The UH-TK181 fishing kayak has a unique design with handling features not normally found in a tandem kayak.

While most fishing excursions happen in calm water, sometimes you encounter rougher currents when paddling to your perfect fishing spot. The design of the UH-TK181 keeps this in mind with its balanced hull for maximum stability. The UH-TK181’s supreme stability and excellent tracking ensure easy maneuverability and interruption free fishing.​

Further Review of the BKC UH-TK181 Kayak

With a maximum weight capacity of 450-pounds, the UH-TK181 fishing kayak easily handles two adults plus fishing equipment and gear. Two boat hatches and a large gear compartment with bungee system gives enough room for fishing equipment and supplies. The seat back storage adds extra room for the paddler’s personal belongings.

Storage isn’t the only consideration in this well thought out fishing kayak design. When it comes to comfort and ergonomics, this boat has high-quality comfort for those long fishing expeditions.

With a generous size, large enough for most paddlers, the included seats come with fully adjustable backrests. The kayak comes with footrests for both paddlers; two bungee paddle rests three adjustable rod holder mounts and four flush mount rod holders. This best fishing kayak for the money gives the die-hard angler the perfect kayak fishing features and accessories.


  • The 450-pound weight capacity carries two adults plus equipment.
  • Includes two lightweight aluminum paddles.
  • Two bungee secured paddle rests.
  • ​Extra-large rear tank well.
  • ​Dry hatch in each seat back for personal items.
  • ​Three adjustable rod holders and four flush mount rod holders.
  • ​High back adjustable seats with a generous width.
  • ​A variety of foot rests for added comfort.
  • ​Easy maneuverability with excellent tracking and stability.
  • ​Rear scupper holes for use with a kayak cart.


  • At 68 pounds, may be too heavy for one person to carry.
  • The heavier weight reduces speed.
  • The adjustable rod holders might interfere with paddling.

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3. Perception R15 Pescador 12.0 

The versatile Perception R15 Pescador 12.0 is high on performance. With the separate angler package, you get enough accessories and gear for a complete fishing kayak package.

Twelve feet in length, the Pescador 12.0 has a one piece, seamless design with varied thickness for reinforcement where needed. The UV-protected, high-grade polyethylene plastic hull gives this best-rated fishing kayak resistance to scrapes and dents.

Long channels cut into the underside of the hull improves tracking while the hull profile provides stability. The excellent maneuverability and the good stability of the Pescador 12.0 easily support the standing angler. With the exceptional maneuvering, tracking, and stability, even beginners can confidently use this best kayak for fishing.

At 64 pounds, the Pescador 12.0 weighs less than its competitors in the same class. A slimline hull saves on weight without losing function or form. Carry handles on each side and at the rear and front helps you move it to and from the water.

Further Reviewing the Perception R15 Kayak

The 350-pound weight capacity, adjustable Comfort Seating System, and detachable foot rest comfortably accommodate tall and large paddlers and equipment. Stadium-style frame seating has light-weight aluminum tubing and stretchy mesh, keeping the overall kayak weight light. The back rest adjusts from low to high and secures with two bungee cords for moving from sitting to standing.

For fishing gear, the Pescador 12.0 adds one adjustable holder for fishing rods and two flush mount holders. The molded-in rod holders are too shallow for securely holding poles, but there’s room for installing flush mount rod holders.

A bow hatch gear well lets you store gear or your catch from the day. The stern has another tank well and bungees for securing and scuppers for draining water. Extra storage comes from the five-inch stern well deck hatch and day hatches behind the seat and in the center.

At less than $1,000, the Pescador 12.0 comes in as a best cheap fishing kayak.


  • Generous 350-pound weight capacity.
  • Durable and long lasting.
  • ​One-piece seamless design.
  • ​UV, abrasion, and impact resistant polyethylene composition.
  • ​Comfortable seating for the larger kayak paddler.
  • ​Keepers foot brace system.
  • ​Lighter weight than other fishing kayak models.
  • ​Underside channels offer good tracking.
  • ​Good stability for standing anglers.
  • ​Great maneuverability.
  • ​Excellent pricing for this high-quality kayak.


  • Angler package is an additional cost.
  • Accessories from the angler package don’t come pre-installed.
  • Molded-in fishing rod holders too shallow for securely holding rods.
  • The seat bottom is too thin and needs extra padding for long fishing trips.

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4. FeelFree Moken 12.5 

The ultimate fishing kayak, the Moken 12.5 takes on smooth waters, yet has the stability for large lakes and coastal waterways. This dual-purpose watercraft takes you fishing in hard-to-reach inlets or on a recreational excursion.

With the Moken’s 12-foot 8-inch length and 32-inch width, you get good stability without the feeling of tipping. The wide width gives a stable platform for standing while casting your fishing line. 

An included standing leash and built-in standing pad makes standing and returning to the sitting position easy.​ Even with the wider width, tracking and maneuverability remain good. The FeelFree Moken has the maneuvering ability to handle both coastal waters and large lakes with speed and paddling ease.

Weighing in at 72-pounds, the FeelFree Moken comes in on the heavy side, making moving difficult for just one person. But, with the molded-in bow handles and built-in keel wheel, two can pull the kayak without right or left pitching.

More on the FeelFree Moken Kayak

With a weight capacity of 419-pounds, the Moken easily accommodates larger paddlers and extra equipment. Adjustable footrests allow a maximum leg length of 49-inches and the included Kingfisher seat has good padding in the backrest.

Lots of added mounting features like the Uni Track railing system give you extra gadget mounting ability. The tie down rail system lets you place your fish finder, GPS, or cell phone, all within easy reach.

A large oval hinge front hatch and small dry hatch behind the seat hold personal items and gear. The large molded-in, bungee secured rear storage has the space for a bait tank or storage crate. Add to this a center console in the cockpit, and you have storage space appreciated by any angler.

While the storage space makes the Moken one of the best kayaks for fishing, this water vessel offers even more. Built-in rod holders behind the seat with space for adding more, side pockets, and a cup holder makes the perfect fishing kayak.


  • Generous 419-pound total weight capacity.
  • 32-inch width for good stability.
  • ​Includes standing leash and built-in standing pad.
  • ​Center console cockpit storage space.
  • ​Large front oval hinge hatch.
  • ​Behind the seat dry hatch.
  • ​Large rear molded-in, bungee secured storage.
  • ​Behind seat built-in rod holders, side pockets, and cup holder.
  • ​Uni-Track railing system for attaching additional mounting ability.
  • ​Easily customized.
  • ​Attached keel wheel helps with moving without scraping the kayak bottom.


  • 72-pound weight makes moving difficult for one person.
  • Rudder not included, must buy separately.
  • Limited adjustability on the seat.

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5. Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In 12-Foot

If you’re looking for a top-rated fishing kayak, The Sun Dolphin Excursion comes to the rescue. An innovative design with the angler in mind, this sit-in kayak takes you where the fish are biting.

Ruggedly built, the Excursion goes with you for years with its hull made of Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene that’s UV-resistant.

This single person watercraft offers stability with great tracking and excellent portability. With retractable carry handles and weighing only 47 pounds, the Dolphin Excursion easily moves to and from the water.

A large open cockpit holds a seat with adjustable and padded backrest, covered console, and protective thigh pads. The generously sized cockpit with its adjustable foot braces accommodates paddlers of most sizes.

The Excursion’s 12-foot length gives you a fishing kayak that tracks well with exceptional handling and great maneuverability. Just put this kayak on the lake or river and point it wherever you want to go.

Known for their state of the art kayaks, KL Industries added great features and accessories, perfect for the kayak angler. One swivel fishing pole holder and two flush mount pole holders give the fishing enthusiast different placement options.

You get sufficient storage in the Excursion with a standard storage compartment and accessory carrier that’s waterproof, convenient and portable. Shock cord deck rigging stores extra gear or secures paddle blades while a built-in water bottle holder keeps your drink close.


  • Easily portable with a light carrying weight of only 47-pounds.
  • Retractable carry handles.
  • ​Good tracking on rivers or lakes.
  • ​Exceptional point and go maneuverability.
  • ​Great stability for the standing angler.
  • ​Hull made of durable Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene.
  • ​Low maintenance, UV-resistant hull.
  • ​Covered console.
  • ​One swivel fishing pole holder and two flush mount holders.
  • ​Built-in water bottle holder.
  • ​Standard storage compartment and portable accessory carrier that’s waterproof.
  • ​Includes shock cord deck rigging for additional storage space.
  • ​Padded backrest and protective thigh pads.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
  • Excellent price for the included features and durable build.


  • The Excursion does not handle well in choppy or rapid waters.

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6. Lifetime Sport Fisher 10-Foot 

The Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak is a supreme fishing kayak as reported by all the satisfied owners. With its balanced and sturdy design, the Lifetime Sport Fisher makes our list for the best cheap fishing kayak.

An intelligently designed hull gives this fishing kayak amazing tracking with great stability for stand up fishing. Generous 10-foot size seats three anglers yet this kayak is light and easy enough to use by yourself. 

Adjustable footrest positions accommodate any size paddler.​ The durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) construction is UV-protected for resisting fading, peeling, and cracking.

The Lifetime Sport Fisher makes transporting easy with its light 60-pound weight and built-in carry handles. Whether you’re by yourself or with a buddy, moving this vessel to and from the water is easy.

With the amazing accessory bundle included with the Lifetime Sport Fishing kayak, you have more money for fishing rods and tackle. Rear storage hatch helps keep your gear dry while included shock ropes straps secure gear to the kayak hull.

The Lifetime Sport includes four built in fishing rod holders, padded backrests, paddle holders, and paddles, everything the angler needs. You also get an accessory mount to attach a trolling motor or rudder and scupper holes for draining the cockpit.


  • Versatile design for tandem or solo paddling.
  • Inventive hull design for added tracking and stability.
  • ​Long lasting with durable Linear Low-density Polyethylene (LLDPE) hull.
  • ​Rotationally molded construction hull is UV-protected.
  • ​The 10-foot length and light 60-pound weight make transportation easy.
  • ​Molded-in rear and front carry handles.
  • ​Padded backrests and adjustable footrests for ergonomic seating.
  • ​500-pound total weight capacity.
  • ​Four built-in fishing rod holders.
  • ​Molded paddle cradles in the rear and front.
  • ​Includes paddle and paddle clips.
  • ​Includes rear storage hatch, shock cord straps, and ditty trays.
  • An accessory mount for trolling motor or rudder.
  • ​Self-bailing scupper holes for draining water from cockpit area.
  • 5-year limited warranty.
  • Low price for the number of features making it a good value.


  • Customers consider the color a safety issue. It blends in with the surroundings.
  • Does not have cushioned seats.
  • ​Tracking issues and difficult to maneuver in windy conditions.
  • The short length makes kayak speed slow.

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7. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 

The Old Town Vapor 10 is the perfect kayak for anglers looking for spacious comfort in a compact kayak.

Lightweight at only 49 pounds and built-in carrying handles at the front and back makes this kayak easy to transport.

Once the Vapor 10 is on the water, you never worry about getting to your favorite fishing spot. The inventive design of this fishing kayak delivers easy maneuverability and excellent speed and tracking in a small size.

Constructed of a single layer of durable polyethylene, the Vapor 10 has a strong hull capable of handling almost anything. By providing regular maintenance and care, the craftsmanship of this fishing kayak will keep you paddling for years.

The cockpit is roomy and holds several accessories and features like molded in cup/bottle holder, paddle rest, and dashboard. A padded and adjustable Comfort Flex seat, glide track bracing system for your feet, and thigh pads add extra comfort. These special features add to optimal kayak control and comfort for long fishing excursions.

Located at the back of the cockpit are two fishing rod holders, a drain plug, and a day well on the stern. While the Vapor 10 lacks a storage compartment up front, it does include bungee straps for storing your gear.

What the Vapor 10 lacks in compartment storage space, it delivers in cockpit space compared to 10-foot kayaks in the same category. Plus, all these features come at an amazingly low price making it the best fishing kayak for the money.


  • Light weight at only 49 pounds.
  • Compact at only 10-feet long.
  • Front and back built-in carry handles for easy transportation.
  • 48-inch long by 19.5-inch wide spacious cockpit.
  • 325-pound total weight capacity.
  • Extremely stable on the water.
  • The seat is adjustable and has padding for extra comfort.
  • Thigh pads located along the cockpit sides.
  • A glide track bracing system for foot rests.
  • Included skid plate and anchor trolley system.


  • Lacks good padding in the seat back.
  • Hull scratches easily.

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Our Final Review for Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

The fishing enthusiast has several considerations for choosing the perfect fishing kayak. Comfort, space, and efficiency are a must for any water vessel.

You need a stable kayak with decent tracking which is easy to paddle into those hard-to-reach fishing spots.

Keep in mind, no fishing kayak is complete without a design that sports features with the angler in mind.

KayakBest is among the largest and most dedicated kayak review sites. We aim to help enthusiasts discover the best tips and products for an enjoyable paddling experience.

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