Best Fishing Kayaks Under $600 in 2018 | Reviewed by Pros!

Kayaks are a very versatile type of boat. While they are normally for solo riders, they can also be used for tandem kayakers, can be inflatable, can be sit on top kayaks, etc. One of those best kayak types is a fishing kayak.

Fishing kayaks allow for fishermen to carry all of their poles, tackle boxes, bait, and food with them in the kayak. They are often equipped with pole mounts, letting you rest your poles as you fish.

These kayaks should have a high weight capacity, but a low weight as they are solo fishing kayaks. It is also important to note your beam width depending on the type of water you plan on fishing in.

If the beam is wide, it is meant for lake fishing. If the beam is narrow it is more inclined toward river fishing.

5 Top Fishing Kayaks Under $600

Image

Product Name

Kayak Weight

Weight Capacity

Price

Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle, Tan, 120"

275 pounds

52 pounds 

Emotion 90259 Renegade XT Fishing Kayak, Forest Green

49 pounds 

275-325 pounds

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

47 pounds

395 pounds

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak

49 pounds

325 pounds

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

52 pounds

325 pounds

There are several features which are crucial for fishing kayaks. The first is the ability to haul the appropriate gear; this means the kayak must have a high weight capacity and must have appropriate fishing mounts.

Second, a fishing kayak must have a good beam width. For some kayaks, a wide beam means the tracking is not as good--when fishing, it is crucial that you can get to the difficult fishing spots. Finally, a fishing kayak must be stable in the water.

Best Fishing Kayaks Under $600

1. Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle, Tan, 120"

The Lifetime Muskie Angler is a sit on top kayak and is 10 feet in length. A major perk of this kayak is that it is a sit on top kayak.

The benefit of the Muskie being a sit on top is that taller kayakers can fit comfortable on it. They are not confined inside of the kayak.​

To explain, the traditional kayak has a cavity in which the kayaker sits. For sit on tops, there is no internal cavity.

Instead, there is a seat on the top of the kayak. This can allow taller kayakers more leg room and can make it easier to right the kayak if it capsizes.

Also, this kayak has multiple foot rests for kayakers of varying heights. This is not an adjustable foot rest, it is several different foot rests molded into the kayak.

The seat back is adjustable, as is the seat base. The seats are easy to adjust while you are inside the kayak.

All of these adjustable features allow for many different heights of people to use this kayak comfortably, which means a family could use this kayak interchangeably.

Next, this kayak has amazing storage. Though the weight capacity is only 275 pounds, it has two 6 inch storage compartments and three fishing rod holders.

More on the Lifetime Muskie Angler

The fishing rod holders are placed very well, as they do not cause any issues with paddling. Additionally, two of the fishing rod holders are flush mount just behind the seat. The other rod holder is in front of the main seat in the kayak.

These rod holders allow for easy bobber fishing in the front of the kayak and trolling or stationary fishing in the rear.

In order to fish, your hands have to be free--this means that paddle cradles are of extreme importance. This kayak does have paddle cradles, so you do not have to worry about losing your kayak paddle in the water when reeling in a big catch.

Finally, this kayak has a beam of 31 inches. This is not too wide for a fishing kayak and it does not cause much resistance for speed or turning.

The tracking, or turning, on this boat is decent. The hull has tracking channels in it, which allow it to turn more sharply in the water.

This can allow fishermen using this boat to get to more difficult fishing locations--this is a major perk.

Pros

  • Multiple foot rests
  • Adjustable seat back and seat
  • ​Adjustable seat back and seat
  • ​Two flush mount fishing rod holders
  • One top mount fishing rod holder
  • Two 6” storage compartments in rear and center
  • ​Paddle cradles
  • ​Sit On Top Kayak
  • ​Comfortable Handles
  • ​Good Beam Width
  • ​275 Pound Weight Capacity
  • Tracks well

Cons

  • No swivel mounts
  • Heavy for one person to haul

2. Emotion 90259 Renegade XT Fishing Kayak, Forest Green

The Emotion Renegade is another sit on top kayak. Just like the Muskie, it is an excellent fishing kayak for taller kayakers.

Another benefit for kayakers of varying heights is the adjustable seat and multiple foot rests.

Even though this kayak is only 10 feet in length, it fits those over 6 foot just as well as those under 6 feet.​

This kayak has a very unique storage compartment. Behind the kayak seat is a wide, flat storage area. It is very safe to store your normal gear on this rear well. The kayak comes equipped with a mesh cover which helps protect your equipment in case of the boat tipping over.

However, this storage well also is a great place to allow pets or children to sit. Just ensure the children are old enough and pets and children have lifejackets. As the weight limit is 275-350 pounds, kayakers have plenty of extra weight for gear or companions.

There are two flush mount rod holders behind the main seat of this kayak. There is also a small storage compartment in the main seating area of this kayak. This kayak has a beam of 36 inches and is flat bottomed--so this kayak is very stable in the water.

What You Should Know about the Emotion Renegade XT

There have been some reports of the kayak being difficult to steer due to this wide beam. However, the width of the beam does mean that it is difficult to tip over. The beam width, combined with the rear well, makes this a good kayak for family use. The beam width, combined with the rear well, makes this a good kayak for family use.

The Renegade is also heavy for a solo kayaker to carry a long distance, so be cautious if you hope to carry this kayak a long way. As far as handles go, there is one on the front of the kayak and one on the rear. This makes it easier to carry, but also makes it more difficult to load on and off your vehicle.

Finally, the Renegade is not known for tracking very well. That means this boat can be difficult to turn and difficult to get to the perfect fishing spot. Take note of what species of fish you hope to catch and where you need to go to get to them--it may affect your purchase of this boat.

Pros

  • Sit on top
  • Rear well allows for a child or pet companion
  • ​3 year warranty on hull
  • ​Adjustable seat
  • ​Multiple foot rests
  • ​Sit on top kayak
  • ​Great for larger kayakers
  • ​Difficult to tip
  • Two flush mount rod holders

Cons

  • Heavy for a solo kayaker
  • Wide beam for fishing kayaks
  • ​Does not track well
  • No third rod holder

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12-Foot Sit-in Kayak

The Sun Dolphin Aruba is an excellent kayak for an excellent price.

Weighing in at 47 pounds with a weight capacity of 395 pounds, this kayak is excellent for solo kayakers and a lot of gear.

This kayak comes with several extra features. It has thigh pads, adjustable foot rests and an adjustable seats. All of these details mean it is great for kayakers of varying heights.

It also comes with a Portable Accessory Carrier or P.A.C. A P.A.C. allows kayakers extra storage space on the kayak. You can wear the P.A.C as a backpack or haul it behind your boat.

Another perk for storage on this kayak is the road mounts. There are three flush rod mounts, two behind the main seat and one in front of the main seat. This rod mounts do not obstruct the paddling at all.

The Aruba SS also has a beam width of 30 inches. This is not too wide, which means it tracks, or turns, well. However, it also means this kayak is not meant for oceans.

Though it is not ocean friendly, the Aruba SS is very stable in river and lake environments.

With a weight of 47 pounds, it still may be too heavy for a solo kayaker to haul very far. Be cautious in choosing this kayak unless you are sure you can haul it on your own. It does have retractable handles, which is a perk for some kayakers.

The weight capacity on this kayak is 395 pounds--this is VERY high for a fishing kayak or a solo kayak. If you hope to have a lot of gear in your kayak, this is a great kayak for you.

Pros

  • Thigh pads
  • Adjustable foot rests
  • ​Portable Accessory Carrier included
  • ​Lake friendly
  • ​River friendly
  • ​High weight capacity
  • ​Great beam width
  • ​Very stable
  • Rod mounts are not in the way
  • 3 flush rod mounts
  • 12 foot length is great for tall kayakers

Cons

  • Heavy for a single kayaker
  • Not ocean friendly
  • No swivel rod mounts

4. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak

The Old Town Kayak Vapor 10 is fairly different from the other kayaks on this list. It has features that the others simply do not have.

For instance, one of the best features of this kayak is its extremely large cockpit. The Vapor is a perfect fit for kayakers over 6 feet in height.​

Another feature good for tall kayakers is the adjustable seat, adjustable thigh pads and adjustable foot braces. Most of the other kayaks listed here have two out of the three on the previous list.

This kayak is also outfitted with a paddle rest, like many of the other kayaks here, but it has a cupholder in the cockpit as well. These two features promise fishermen an experience mostly hands free.

Additionally, this kayak has a well storage in the rear, just like the Emotion kayak. This storage is more of a cavity than the flat bed of the Emotion.

However, this storage unit does not have any cover for it, so it is not waterproof. As previously recommended, make sure you have a dry bag of your own for storing valuables.

For storing your fishing poles, there are two flush mounted fishing rod holders behind the seat of the kayak. This kayak also has a small place inside the cavity where you can rest your pole while you fish, but it is not a rod holder.

The Ultimate Old Town Vapor 10 Review

This boat tracks very well, taking turns and getting into difficult to reach fishing spots. It also has a smaller beam, which will make it an excellent boat for choppier waters.

On the same note, the vapor weighs in at 49 pounds which can be difficult for a solo kayaker to haul a long way. It has a handle on the front and rear of the yak, which makes it easier to carry on your own.The placement of the handles, can make it very difficult to load on and off your car.

It does, however, have a weight limit for 325 pounds. This is a very nice weight limit for a ten foot fishing kayak, and should allow fishermen of all sizes to bring quite a bit of gear with them.

Finally, an extra perk for this kayak that the other kayaks do not have is an anchor with a pulley system. Fishing can be very difficult in a kayak, as you are regularly being blown around and having to fight the waves.

The anchor system on this boat saves you from fighting to hold your kayak in one position and the is extremely easy to use as it is installed as a part of the boat.

Pros

  • Great for tall kayakers
  • Large cockpit
  • ​Adjustable seat
  • ​Adjustable thigh pads
  • ​Adjustable foot braces
  • ​Paddle Rest
  • ​Cupholder in cockpit
  • ​Storage well in rear
  • Anchor system
  • ​Two flush mount fishing rod holders
  • ​Tracks well

Cons

  • No waterproof storage
  • No paddles

5. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Another great fishing kayak made by Sun Dolphin is the Journey.

This kayak comes in at 10 feet, which is shorter than the Aruba, but it is a sit on top, which makes it more comfortable for taller kayakers.

Again, sit on top kayaks do not have a cavity for the kayaker to sit inside of. Instead, the kayaker sits inside a molded out are on top of the boat. This provides kayakers the ability to have more storage and prevents them from having to do an eskimo roll if the kayak capsizes.

It also has adjustable foot braces and an adjustable seat, which helps tall kayakers ever more.

One word of warning: this kayak has a weight capacity of 250 pounds, which is not a very high weight limit. Be extremely cautious when loading your kayak and ensure it can haul you and your equipment.

Speaking of equipment, this kayak has two flush mount rod holders behind the main seat. It has a swivel mount rod holder in front of the seat. As state previously, this is ideal for bobber fishing in front of your kayak and trolling behind.

There is a decently large compartment in the rear of the kayak for storage. This is reportedly a waterproof compartment. For most kayak compartments however, dry bags are recommended.

This kayak also has paddle cradles, which mean you can be hands free in your kayak. Having your hands free is required for a successful fishing experience.

Also, the Journey has extra shock cord rigging, which allows for a little extra storage on your boat. This a great fishing kayak in terms of storage.

Those this kayak does not have an extremely wide beam, it does not track, or turn, extremely well. It is important to choose a stable kayak which tracks well for getting to those optimum fishing locations.

Pros

  • Solo kayakers
  • Lightweight
  • ​Two flush mount rod holders
  • ​One swivel mount rod holder
  • ​Portable Accessory Carrier
  • ​Thigh Pads
  • Adjustable Foot Braces
  • ​Paddle Holder
  • ​USA Made

Cons

  • Does not track very well
  • Be cautious with the 250 pounds weight limit

How to Buy the Best Fishing Kayak Under $600

When considering purchasing a fishing kayak under 600, there are several important features to consider. First, consider the amount of gear your kayak can haul. Good fishing kayaks have a minimum of two rod mounts, preferably three.

They should also be able to haul at least 300 pounds of equipment. If a kayak is much under this, make sure you are not bringing too much gear. It is also important that you are sure your kayak is stable and tracks well.

If your kayak can track well, it will make it easier to get to difficult fishing spots. Stability is important in any kayak, as the water currents can change quickly.

Rod Mounts

There are several different types of rod mounts your kayak can be equipped with.

First, flush rod mounts allow the rod to be stored flush with the deck of the kayak. This means the base of the rod is actually down inside the kayak.

Second, swivel rod mounts are technically a type of deck mount. They connect to the top of the kayak and can turn and twist.

Third, stable deck mounts also connect to the top of the kayak, but cannot turn and twist.

Most kayaks have two flush mounts just behind the main seat of the kayak. They can have an additional mount on top of the deck, , in front of the kayak or to the side of the seat.

If the kayak has additional mounts to the side of the main seat, this may obstruct paddling for the kayaker. This is one reason three fishing mounts are often ideal...but that can change depending on your expertise as a kayaker.

Weight Limit

Most fishing kayaks can carry 300 pounds in them. However some can only carry 250 pounds.

When fishing, the weight limit or weight capacity is very important to consider. Depending on the fish type you hope to catch or the gear you need with you, you may need extra weight capacity.

Beam Width and Stability

The beam of a kayak is crucial. If your beam is not wide enough, the boat can capsize very easily. If it is too wide is can capsize very easily.

If you plan on using your fishing kayak in rough waters, you want a more narrow beam. This allows your boat to rock back and forth a little bit more.

If you keep a wide, flat boat like the Emotion on rough waters, the boat will tip very quickly. Boats like the Emotion are better for calm lake water.

Unfortunately, none of the boats on this list are ideal for ocean fishing.

Tracking

Tracking involves a kayak’s ability to turn. For fishing, it can be important to get a kayak in tight spots--close to logs, in small creek beds, etc.

This means you want to have a kayak with good tracking, especially for pursuing more challenging fish. Depending on the time of year and the fish species you are trying to catch, tracking is important.

Our Final Review for Fishing Kayaks Under $600

When choosing a kayak for fishing, it is important to consider the fish species you will be catching. This can determine what sort of environment you may need to use your kayak in.

You may need excellent tracking or a more narrow beam. It is just as possible that you are not concerned about tracking and need a wide beam for calm water. Take note of what you need in a fishing kayak before purchasing.

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