Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400 | 2020 Guide & Reviews
There’s nothing like a kayak to help you reach the top spots for fishing! The good news is, it’s possible to buy some of the best fishing kayaks for under $400.
What you’re looking for in a fishing kayak is stability and enough room to store your equipment, not to mention your catch.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular, budget-friendly fishing kayaks on the market today.
Table of Contents
4 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400 in 2020
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
|9.66 feet||41 pounds||250 pounds||Check Current Price|
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak
|10 feet||47 pounds||325 pounds||Check Current Price|
Elkton Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayak
|10 feet||27 pounds||450 pounds||Check Current Price|
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
|10 feet||52 pounds||275 pounds||Check Current Price|
When buying a fishing kayak, there are a few things to consider. The first is where you’ll most often use it. Many fishermen and women like to paddle out on lakes or slow-moving rivers. For stronger currents, you need to ensure the beam is narrow enough to keep control while paddling.
Secondly, fishing is generally something we love to do all day. Therefore, make sure the best fishing kayaks under $400 are also the most comfortable ones for you.
Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400
1. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10-foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak has a wide beam of 30 inches, so it’s best for calm water fishing on lakes.
With a large cockpit, this is a kayak that fits everyone, including taller kayakers.
The Excursion has adjustable seating and adjustable foot braces for added comfort. Additionally, it offers protective thigh pads, allowing for extra support throughout the day.
In terms of weight capacity, the Excursion can hold up to 250 pounds. While this isn’t a great deal of extra weight for the kayak, it has some good equipment features to make up for it.
Rod holders are a necessary part of fishing kayaks and this kayak offers three. Two of them are flush mounted just behind the main seat. Another swivel mounted rod holder is found in the front of the cockpit.
A paddle holder ensures you won’t be chasing after it after hauling in a big catch.
Further Review of the Sun Dolphin Excursion
The Excursion offers a small storage hatch in the rear of the boat. The hatch is 10 inches by 12 inches and approximately 6 inches deep.
There’s also bungee deck rigging and a water bottle holder.
- Great for lake use
- Comfortable for larger kayakers
- Two Flush Mount Rod Holders
- One Swivel Mount Rod Holder
- Large cockpit opening
- Adjustable seat and foot braces
- Stable on the water
- Only holds 250 pounds
- Not good for rough water
2. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak
The Old Town Canoe and Kayaks Vapor 10 is a recreational kayak, rather than a fishing kayak. While this may be a disadvantage to some, the Vapor provides a little more versatility than the Excursion does.
This kayak is heavier, longer, and a little more narrow than the Excursion. The deck height is also 17 inches, as opposed to 13. This means the Vapor can handle much more difficult waters than the Excursion.
Feel free to take the Vapor out on rapids as high as class 2. It certainly can withstand the current and waves.
As far as comfort goes, the first thing to note on the Vapor is how large the cockpit is. Coming in at 48 inches by 20 inches, it’s absolutely huge. For many fishing enthusiasts, this is a major plus.
You can store gear in the cockpit with you, instead of having to get it out of storage areas. Additionally, if you plan on using this kayak for more than fishing, it’s easy to take a pet or small child in the cockpit with you.
Another advantage with the Vapor is the adjustable foot braces and seat. As is to be expected, these are very easy to adjust. The Vapor also has both knee and thigh braces, making it comfortable while kayaking.
More on the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10
A storage well is in the stern of this kayak, meaning it’s easy to access. While this is a benefit, it is only a day well.
Unfortunately, this kayak has no fishing rod holders. However, kayakers looking for more of an all-purpose boat won’t really mind, with so much room in the cockpit.
- Paddle Rest
- Thigh Pads
- Knee Pads
- Adjustable Foot Braces
- Adjustable Padded Seat
- Stern storage is easy to access
- Large cockpit (big enough for gear or a pet)
- Day well does not have shock cords; not waterproof
- No rod holders
3. Elkton Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayak
If you love inflatable kayaks and fishing, the Elkton Outdoors 10 Inflatable Kayak might be the one for you.
Plus, you won’t believe the amazing accessories included with this yak.
Everything you need comes with it, including two vertical and four trolling rod holders. Additionally, there’s a quality foot pump and a repair kit.
However, you might not ever need to repair it. This kayak is very durable, as it’s made out of 18-Gauge rip resistant 1000D PVC. So, if you happen to hook your kayak instead of a fish, it’ll most likely survive.
One of the best features of this kayak is its weight capacity, which is a huge 450 pounds. That’s certainly enough for you, your equipment and a successful catch.
Further information on the Elkton Outdoors Inflatable Fishing Kayak
It might have a huge weight capacity, but this kayak is also very lightweight and easy to store. In just 10 minutes, it inflates into a full-size kayak, ready to get out on the water. For comfort, you’ll find two adjustable seats and room to move.
- Six rod holders
- Durable and rip resistant
- 450-pound weight capacity
- Quick to inflate
- Double-sided oars
- Not for use in rougher water
4. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is one of the best fishing kayaks under $400 as it’s decked out with lots of additional features. Starting with the fishing rod holders, all the way down to the hull, this kayak is built for anglers.
To begin with, this kayak is another sit-on-top. Therefore, there’s extra room for taller kayakers and it’s easy to get in and out of.
The Lifetime Angler also has a wide beam and a short deck. It’s not particularly wise to take this kayak on rough rivers or rough ocean water. Although, it can handle decent currents and waves due to hull tracking channels.
As far as comfort goes, this kayak is about as good as they come. To begin with, it offers molded footrests. While this means there are varying heights for kayakers, the leg lengths are predetermined and not as flexible as adjustable foot braces, or foot braces on a track.
The kayak also has an adjustable seat back. So, though there aren’t as many options with the leg lengths, the seat back does give kayakers some flexibility.
There are two storage compartments each of approximately 6 inches. One is located at the rear of the kayak. The other is located in the center of the cockpit.
Reviewing the Lifetime Angler Further
Just like the Excursion, this kayak has two flush mounted rod holders behind the main seat. Plus, there’s a top mounted fishing rod holder to the right of the cockpit.
The Lifetime Angler has two paddle holders and they’re covered with shock cord to secure them. Additionally, the paddle is included for this kayak, which is a great bonus if you’re hoping to save even more money.
- Molded foot rests
- Two 6 inch storage compartments
- Two paddle cradles
- Shock Cord Straps on front and rear for extra storage
- Two flush mounted fishing rod holders
- One top mount fishing rod holder
- Paddle included
- Adjustable seat back
- Top Mount FIshing Rod Holder can get in the way of paddling
How to Buy the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400
Ultimately, purchasing the best fishing kayaks under $400 comes down to several key features. The first is what body of water the kayak can be used on.
The second is the amount of comfort the kayak affords, as you’ll be spending a long period of time in the kayak.
Finally, storage is crucial as you usually need a fair bit of equipment for fishing, such as food, water, bait, and other fishing gear.
For many fishermen being able to take your kayak out on the lake is all that’s required. However, some people prefer to use a kayak for river fishing.
If this is the case, any of these kayaks can work for river fishing, it’s just essential to make sure waters will be relatively calm, to avoid tipping.
Comfort is determined by the kayaker, but typically the more features a kayak has, the more comfortable it will be.
Perhaps the most important features as far as comfort goes are adjustable foot braces and seat backs. Though molded footrests do provide a certain level of comfort, they also limit the leg length which could be a concern.
Other features that are important for comfort are knee and thigh braces. This is especially true if you know you’ll be leaning in your kayak, perhaps against the pull of a strong fish.
Knee and thigh braces are also important if you like to sit at all sorts of different angles. Some kayakers like to sit with their knees propped out of the cockpit opening. If this is the case, thigh braces are crucial.
Finally, storage is essential on a fishing kayak. You must have room and weight capacity for all of your bait, food, water, and fishing pole needs.
This means you want to make sure your kayak either has fishing rod mounts or has enough room in the cockpit for your rods.
You also want to ensure your kayak has adequate storage areas, either in the cockpit or in the rear storage unit for bait or a tackle box.
It’s also important to make sure you have paddle rests. When fishing, your hands are taken up completely by your rod. You want to ensure you have a safe place to set your paddle down, so you don’t lose it.
Our Final Review for Best Fishing Kayaks Under $400
Fishing and kayaking are two of the most peaceful activities in nature. Combining the two only seems natural. However, many issues can arise if your kayak is not set up to handle fishing properly.
Make sure you have the best possible fishing experience by researching your kayak and knowing it’s suitable for your individual fishing preferences.
If you decide you can spend more than $400, check out fishing kayaks under $600.