The 10 best fishing kayak under 1000 - Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

best fishing kayaks under 1000

Hey, kayak anglers, Steve here from Outdoor Stuff Guides!

Since you are reading this article, you are definitely interested in the best fishing kayak under 1000. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most requested topics because there are many kayaks on the market under 1000 and it was really hard to pick up ten of them.

First of all, I would like to make some things clear. There is a huge difference between cheap and inexpensive. A cheap product is not gonna be durable or last you many years and you might end up spending twice as much for cheap products.

On the other hand, inexpensive products are usually made of quality materials and that’s why we tried to do good research to find the best inexpensive kayaks for you.

I bought my first kayak some years ago and like most people, I went out and did research before making such a big purchase. I asked some friends, visited hundreds of forums, and watched many videos on Youtube to find the best kayak for my needs.

There is no doubt that they were helpful, but most people will tell you about the accessories and upgrades you can do. However, they forget the most important thing. A fishing kayak must be durable to withstand harsh weather conditions and make your life easier on the water. Let’s get into it!

How to select the best fishing kayak under 1000 – Tips and Tricks you Should Know

If you are tired of shore fishing and need a fishing kayak, we are here to help! Before we start reviewing our top picks, we will give you some handy tips.

There are five major points that you should keep in mind. Stability, pedal-paddle, features, kayak seat, and transportation.


Table of Contents

Wide Kayak VS Narrow

Obviously, most kayak anglers look for a stable kayak. Therefore, you should choose a wide kayak, but you should know that stability is a skill, which you will develop with time. Standing on your kayak while casting flies is not easy!

However, you should know that if you select a wide kayak, there is a big drawback and that’s speed.

  • Stable
  • More storage 
  • Perform long casts


  • Slow kayak
  • More difficult to transport

Paddle VS Pedal

paddle vs pedal

You will have to make a decision before you start looking for a kayak. Do you want to pedal or to paddle? A pedal kayak will give you a hands-free fishing experience, but they are quite expensive. Most anglers do not prefer them because a common kayak with a paddle has more space for your stuff like a bait tank or cooler.

Undoubtedly, a hands-free fishing experience translates into more casting ability and you can move from point A to point B easily. There is a great debate out there. Personally, I started fishing with a pedal kayak but I came to the conclusion that traditional paddle kayaks are better.

A pedal kayak needs good maintenance after some fishing trips and this might cost much money. Firstly, you can’t approach shallow waters with a pedal kayak! For me, the avid bass angler, it was a disaster when I tried to fish in small depths.

The price gap between a pedal kayak and a paddle kayak is almost 500$.

Handy Fishing Features You Should Look For

We can spend hours talking about kayak features. Every kayak has some things that make it different from other kayaks. Overall, you should look for features that are applicable to your fishing style.

For example, when I am fishing, I like to visit different spots and leave my paddle to grab my spinning rod. So, I needed something like a paddle leash that will secure my paddle to the kayak.

You could install many accessories in your kayak like a fish finder mount, cup holder or rod holder. Whether you will do a permanent install or not, you should know that some kayaks have a track system where you can mount different things. In the following video, you can see a guy installing a DIY kayak track if you don’t want to make permanent mounts. I think this is the best customization option

Another thing that you should look for before buying a kayak is the rod holder. To my way of thinking, it is the most important feature if you are a fishing enthusiast like me. You can just place your rod there, move around, and try some trolling.

Additionally, you should focus on is the layout of the deck. If you are a fly angler, you need a “clean” deck so that your fly does not get stuck everywhere.

On the other hand, if you want to carry a lot of stuff like a fish finder battery or live bait tank you definitely need a roomy cockpit. Some kayaks feature lot of pockets where you can store your fishing gear.

Kayak Seat

best inexpensive kayak

Most fishing kayaks utilize and adjustable seat that are way more comfortable than what we used to see 6-7 years ago. Modern kayaks have seats, which you can move from high to low position or just adjust back and forward.

Before you hit the water, you will have to adjust your center of gravity and check the seat many times. However, if you fishing kayak does not feature a comfortable seat, you can just put a rest pillow between your back and backrest like this angler in the following video. 


kayak fishing

How are you gonna get your fishing kayak from your house to the water? Good question! You should know the specifics of the kayak and more specifically the weight of your vessel.

Whether you have a track, sedan, or SUV you should know that there are two options to transport it. The most convenient option is a transportation trailer, but it can be quite expensive and there might be additional paperwork in some states.

In addition, there is another option to transport your vessel. You can install special racks systems on your car roof, but keep in mind that you must be able to lift your kayak on the top of your car.

Lastly, if you want to avoid kayaks racks and trailers, an inflatable kayak would be the wisest option! 

Kayak Length

Let’s talk about kayak length. Long kayaks tend to track better and hold more gear. If you want speed and you have good balance, choosing a shorter and thinner will not affect your fishing performance. However, you will have to pack lighter. Before buying a kayak, you should make sure, if it offers enough area to secure all the equipment you need.

Sit in Kayak or Sit on Top?

Just to make things clear, a sit on top kayak is an “open” type kayak where the paddler sits on the kayak’s deck. On the other hand, sit-in kayaks have a cockpit and actually you sit in the kayak as its name implies. Therefore, your legs are inside the hull.

Sit on Top Kayak

best sit on top kayak


Undoubtedly, you will not any help to climb on your sit on top kayak. They are wide, stable, and, have a roomy deck for ease of entry and exit. In addition, they are extremely stable to the point that you can stand in the vessel and throw your lure far away. There is no chance that it will hold water if you tip over.

Almost all sit on top kayaks are specialized for fishing and come with different features like rod holders, fish finder mounts etc.


Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to fish during the winter because you will definitely freeze. Speed is also an important issue as they are not able to cut through the water, but it is not a big deal for anglers.

Sit-in Kayak

best sit-in kayak


On the other hand, if you have a sit-in kayak, you can keep yourself dry, especially during the winter. You can use special kayak “skirts” which you can fasten around the cockpit just like whitewater kayakers. Moreover, they are more efficient in moving through the water due to their sharper bow.

Another advantage is that you feel safe between the sit-in kayak’s walls and you can paddle more efficiently.


It is more difficult to get in and out, because you have to get your legs down. If you are a beginner kayak angler, you should know that you would not be able to get in without some sort of help. Another thing you should consider is that the hull generates a lot of heat and you might feel uncomfortable during the summer.

The biggest disadvantage for every angler is that there is not enough capacity to store your fishing gear. It is almost impossible to take your live bait tank or cooler.


Final Verdict Lastly, I have tried both, owned both and I probably have owned a sit on top longer than I owned a sit-in kayak. The only reason why I prefer the sit on top kayak is that it gives you more freedom while you are fishing. Honest confession, I feel claustrophobic in an enclosed cockpit!
rick from florida
Alex Winter
Kayak Angler

Tandem Kayak or Solo? The Angler’s Opinion

Overall, a tandem kayak is a vessel for two paddlers, also called double kayak. Although, there are some kayak models on the market with removable seats. Some years ago, it was really hard to fish with another person on the kayak.

However, modern kayaks are well-equipped and super stable so you can fish with your fishing buddy. Enjoying a nice fishing trip with someone else is definitely better than fishing alone.

On the other hand, if you are a solo angler, you should better choose a solo (one-seat) yak.


Believe it or not, kayaking is one of the safest watersports and it is remarkably user-friendly. However, you should know that if you do some things wrong, the fact that you are on the water can become very serious. This is why it is so important that you realize the risks and hazards involved with kayaking or kayak fishing. 

As a result, you should assume a conservative and safety-conscious attitude when making decisions on the water. Avoiding dangerous situations on the water is surprisingly easy if you follow a few safety rules and make a small safety checklist. We prepared a small checklist for you before you hit the water! 

Just save the picture and print it out. 

RULE 1 #

Don’t drink alcohol and paddle


Always wear a lifejacket. One of the biggest reasons why people take their jacket off is, because they find it uncomfortable to kayak with it on. This is why it is worth investing in a kayaking-specific jacket. 


Always dress for the current weather conditions. Cold water represents the biggest hazard because being immersed in cold water can quickly result in hypothermia. 


The fourth and final rule that we are going to look at is to practice re-entering your kayak from the water before you ever need to do it for real. Undoubtedly, re-entering a sit on top kayak is a lot easier than re-entering a sit-in kayak. 

safety list

How to choose the perfect fishing paddle – If The Kayak Package Does Not Include One

The right paddle can make all the difference while you are searching for the perfect fishing spot. Some fishing kayaks come with a paddle in the package, but sometimes it is not good enough to fulfill your needs. Consequently, you will have to get an extra paddle. 

Shaft Length

There is no doubt that it is really important to pick the right shaft length. It will give you the appropriate power. The shaft length depends on your kayak width. For instance, if you have a wide sit on top fishing kayak you will definitely need a 90.5 inches paddle. There are ample options on the market and you can even get a telescopic paddle if you can’t decide which length workd for you.

Paddle Blade Design

The are two types of blades. The low-angle and the high-angle blade. The low-angle blade has a long shape and it will not give you many power to move through the water. You can use such a blade for lake fishing and generally speaking for “flat waters”. Consequently, if you are fishing for bass or walleye you should better choose this blade type.

On the other hand, the high-angle blade is perfect for rivers and mainly fast waters. You will move faster and most fishing anglers select this type. 

Remember that if you move “X” miles with a low-angle blade paddle with 3 strokes, with a high-angle paddle you will move “X+X” miles. 


The 10 best fishing kayak under 1000 - Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

Enhance your kayak fishing experience by unleashing the power of fishing offshore with a fishing kayak. You are probably looking for the best fishing kayak under 1000. Well, today is your lucky day! A kayak is a handy tool when it comes to fishing. 

I get in the comment sections, email, messages like hey Steve, I don’t have a lot of money, I’m on a budget, what’s the best fishing kayak you would recommend? Personally, I am not a big fan of “cheap”, but there are super kayak models on the market, which are really value-for-money products.

After testing 29 kayaks, we managed to compile this helpful guide and list out 10 of the best fishing kayaks under 1000. Let’s dive into the details!



1. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack First of all, we are going to start our top ten with a kayak specially created for avid anglers. If you are looking for a durable kayak, you should definitely take a closer look at the Lifetime Tamarack Kayak. It is made of high-density Polyethylene and utilizes a cutting-edge technology bow and hull design. There is no doubt that you will not regret your purchase with this wonderful kayak. Many people believe that a sit on top kayak cannot be fast as a sit-in kayak. This kayak will prove you wrong! The hull is flat to make the kayak stable and the bow is quite sharp to cut through the water. What is not to love? There are two storage hatches where you can store your bait, water tank, tackle, and other accessories. As a fishing enthusiast, I like this one because it was created with innovation in mind. You can place three rods (one in the top-mounted holder and two in the flush-mounted holders). It offers great fishing performance in a compact and lightweight package. The roomy deck provides extra stability if you are performing standing casts. Lastly, the stealthy color blends in with the environment and there front and rear bungees to keep your clothes or lure box safe. Tamarack means Larch (it is a tree that inhabits in North America).
  • High-quality hull
  • Fast kayak
  • Lightweight
  • Camouflage Color
  • Could have a better quality paddle
  • Too thin backrest
Perception Pescador

The Perception Pescador Pro is the best all around kayak designed for convenient transitions between standing and sitting. It is a “made in USA” vessel with the most comfortable seat you have ever seen. You can adjust the seat in 2 levels and it is also a mesh seat, so it will not get wet.

As the name implies, pesca means fish in Italian, it is the best option for every fishing style.

My favorite thing about this fishing kayak is that it has much storage space to bring along many things! You can bring a bucket, live bait tank, cooler, and even a fish finder battery.

Undoubtedly, it is a heavy-duty yak made of polyethylene and features a roto-molded design. If you are fishing in shallow waters and rock bottom terrains, you should definitely choose this masterpiece. If you drag your kayak out of the water, you will not face any issues because it features a replaceable skid plate.

  • Incredible Stability
  • Excellent floatation
  • Ample storage space
  • Excellent for difficult conditions
  • Rigid Hull
  • Perfect Fishing Kayak
  • This color scares the fish
  • Slightly expensive for the weekend angler

The BKC TK219 is the best fishing tandem kayak and it is perfectly equipped from bow to stern. This two-person fishing kayak is the best option to enjoy a nice day on the water with your friend or family.

When it comes to quality kayaks, Brooklyn Kayak Company is always the leader. One of the first things you will notice about this kayak is the beautiful design pattern and even though it is beautiful, the manufacturers had another thing in mind. According to the designers, it will help kayakers blend in any environment in the wild and keep the fish calm and relaxed!

Believe it or not, bright colors can make the fish swim away and never come back! The reason why we selected this 2 seater fishing kayak is that it encompasses everything a true fishing angler should be.

Thanks to the secure paddle parks, you will never worry about your paddles! The max load capacity is 440 lbs. so we figured out that it can carry two adults and one child. The rod holders are placed in good positions to keep the rod lines out of your way.

  • Reliable Brand
  • Just perfect for fishing
  • Many rod holders
  • Not portable
  • Heavy vessel
Best Advanced Elements inflatable kayak Since we are reviewing the best fishing kayaks under 1000, we should not exclude the inflatable fishing kayak, Advanced Elements, from our list. For fishermen in search of a vessel that is easy-to-transport, the Advanced Elements kayak would be the best choice. It offers superb stability, speed and, it is constructed of a special anti-puncture material. Many people believe that inflatable kayaks are not safe for fishing. Admittedly, 80% of them are really not safe but luckily there are some companies who design these kayaks with safety in mind. This is the best sit in fishing kayak for beginners and experts. The aluminum rib frame design makes it rigid and able to withstand many conditions. To sum up, it is a semi-inflatable kayak, which looks like a hard-shell kayak. If you are still worried about accidental punctures, there is another feature that makes it absolutely safe. The construction utilizes two main air chambers. If you are out on the water and one chamber gets punctured, there is enough air in the second one to approach the shore quickly.

Waterproof Protection

Pair your kayak with a spray protection. Excellent for winter pike fishing!
Useful extra
  • Innovative 3 layer material
  • Best Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak
  • Convenient enclosed cockpit
  • Perfect for winter fishing
  • Heavy-duty design
  • Not enough storage for fishing tackle

If you are on a budget and looking for the best inflatable fishing kayak, the Intex Excursion Kayak is the most affordable option. It comes with a grey carry bag and it is easy to inflate and deflate the kayak. The inflation valves are spring-loaded so basically once you pull out the air hose and you can lock and unlock it.

There is also a pump and a PSI gauge that shows you how much air you have in there so you do not over inflate it. Moreover, it utilizes a small white button on the top to release some air. The air hose is super durable and easy to put in the valve. You have to twist it in, it snaps in, and you are ready to pump!

I managed to inflate it in less than 10 minutes! This kayak has three air chambers, so if you lose one due to an accident, there are two air chambers left. Although, it is almost impossible to puncture the three-layer PVC material.

You will be definitely not be stranded out in the middle of nowhere! Actually, the bottom is made of two PVC layers and one woven.

But what makes this tandem fishing kayak unique? The package includes footrests that you can place in three different positions and a special bar where you can mount different accessories.

  • Portable
  • Easy Inflate and Deflate
  • High-quality PVS material
  • Multiple air chambers
  • Too high seats
  • Hull bottom not reinforced
BKC Single Seat A relatively small kayak, only 9’, is the best one-person kayak if you are interested in a lightweight vessel. It is suitable for the weekend angler who needs a reliable kayak with lots of space. There are two waterproof storage areas where you can store your fishing lure box, smartphone, keys or snacks and it comes with a sturdy paddle. The carrying handles are comfortable when carrying the kayak and the rod holders are also a big plus for every angler. Thanks to the minimalistic design, it is able to cut through the water and get you to your favorite fishing spot in no time. Another thing that I love is that all BKC kayak have paddle parks! They know that when you are holding your rod, you must secure your paddle. BKC offers a 2-year protection plan at low cost, which makes sure that the company will replace your kayak if they cannot fix it.
  • Compact small fishing kayak
  • Everything an angler needs
  • Two hatches
  • Rod Holders
  • Lightweight
  • Features carrying handles for easy transport
  • Slightly expensive

Sevylor is a popular company amongst the kayak community. It was founded in 1948 and they construct high-quality kayaks. The Sevylor Coleman edible kayak has a great camouflage look and it is able to carry two people. The 18-gauge material and thick tarpaulin bottom are perfect for lake fishing.

There is no doubt that it is a popular choice when it comes to inflatable kayaks and for very good reason. With more than 20 million people living in apartments with no garage to store a kayak, we have to thank this company for bringing the joy of fishing to us.

You can just store it in your closet! If you don’t want to deal with trailers, this is probably the best option for you. It is so lightweight that everyone can carry it. I know these great getaways when you just want to throw your equipment on the back seat and hit the road!

If you like trolling, you should know that it is geared up with cellular trolling motor fittings. This tandem kayak is the best fishing kayak under 1000 for all fishing styles. The heavy-duty material protects the kayak from tree branches, hooks, and abrasions from your fishing line.

The air chambers are independent which translates into safety. If you have one damaged air chamber, the other will keep you afloat.

  • Nice color for lake fishing
  • Extra-reinforced material
  • Portable
  • Multiple D-Rings where you can attach different accessories
  • Rod holders or fishing net holders
  • Could have better seats
  • If you attach the trolling motor, it definitely affects the floatation of the vessel
Sea Eagle This inflatable kayak is not a special fishing kayak, but I used it for fishing and I can ensure you that it has the most comfortable seats you will see. It is actually a sport kayak almost 12 and a half-foot with lots of legroom! It comes with a convenient carry bag with a nice front handle and a shoulder strap and two inflatable seats. Additionally, there are three air chambers and a sturdy air pump that will help you to inflate the kayak in a few minutes. Another thing that you should take into consideration is that it is a sit-in kayak with spray skirts so you will not get wet. You know what surprised me the most. When I opened up the kayak and inflated it, I saw a printed inflation monitor section on the left wall. The package has a transparent plastic inflation monitor, which you will have to match up with the printed one. Simply place this template over on the printed and you can see how far to inflate as you pump. I didn’t know what it is so I over-inflated the kayak! Before deflating the kayak, please make sure that it is completely dry. I mentioned before that this kayak has the most comfortable seats. The deluxe seats give you better back support and almost 5 inches of lift off the bottom of the kayak. Moreover, the seats have two inflation chambers and nice blue heavy-duty straps. If you take a closer look, you will see that the seats have a back storage pouch where you can keep some lures or hooks.
  • Comfortable kayak
  • Extremely portable
  • The inflation indicator protects from over-inflation
  • Affordable kayak
  • Best quality seats
  • Unfortunately you cannot attach a rod holder
Perception This is another Perception kayak, specially designed for the avid angler. It is one of the best fishing kayaks under 1000 for many water conditions like ocean bays, lakes and slow waters. It is a big tandem kayak and there is ample storage space for your cooler, fishing reels, rods and other stuff. Additionally, I would like to emphasize this is an unsinkable vessel that will last a long time! There is also a 5-year warranty. If you need more information about the warranty just take a look here
  • Moves fast
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • High-quality hull
  • Lightweight for a hard-shell kayak
  • You can’t store anything dry
  • No storage hatches
  • Low quality seats
Intex Explorer K2 Lastly, we would like to include the best-rated inflatable kayak for the weekend angler! It is the best choice in this price range and comes with a pump, bag, and aluminum paddle. Although it is a quite small kayak, it can support up to 400 pounds. This compact little buddy is a good option for spinning lures from the kayak. This is the new “Explorer” edition and it has a taller profile on the sides so you sit higher. The curved front and back utilizes a special design so you can fish in rough waters. Moreover, the front side features a special cover that protects the kayak from crashes and keeps the water from flowing into the boat. Most low-cost kayaks come with bad quality paddles but this Intex yak has 84-inch long aluminum paddles with padded handles! The seats are attached with Velcro on the vessel’s bottom and have adjustable straps. I would look no further if I would like the best budget inflatable kayak. In addition, if you look closer at the kayak’s bottom you will notice that it has a special i-beam floor design and a skeg. This translates into smooth paddling and nice fishing experience.
  • Small all around vessel
  • Nice i-beam smooth paddling technology
  • Affordable for any wallet
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • Sturdy Paddle
  • Low quality PVC material
  • Could get punctured by rocks or branches


kayak fishing tips

Q: Is an inflatable kayak safe for fishing?

A: It goes without saying that modern kayaks are absolutely safe. First of all, the construction material is puncture-safe. Secondly, all kayaks have multiple air chambers, so if one fails, you have the other to approach the shore. Nevertheless,we tested our kayaks listed above and we could not puncture them even with a knife!

Q: Can I use the same vessel for all fishing techniques?

A: Undoubtedly, you can use it for spinning, baitcasting and trolling. We would not recommend these kayaks for bottom fishing or fly fishing. Generally speaking, if you want to use one kayak for almost all techniques, you should choose a stin-on-top boat.  Being able to get a higher vantage point to catch fish or get leverage when reeling in, makes a big difference.

Q: I use a fish finder which works with a 6v battery, but my kayak does not feature dry storage hatches what could I do?

A: I would like to give you a small tip. I saw a nice DIY solution on the ne, which I would like to share with you guys. Just take a small plastic box, drill some holes for the cables and that’s it! I’ve attached a short video!

Best Fishing Kayak Under 1000 - The final winner

Summarizing, you should figure out what works for you according to your fishing style, budget, and fishing spot. We checked 29 kayaks and the list above contains the 10 best of them. Just go out there, explore nature and fish! We hope that this guide helped you to make the right decision regardless if you are a beginner or an experienced angler. If you have a garage or a place to store your kayak, you should go for a hard-shell kayak and more specifically the BKC TK219 is a good selection. If you have any questions, please drop a comment in the comment box below!
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
Perception Pescador Pro 12
BKC TK219 12.2' Tandem Fishing Kayak
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak
BKC FK184 9' Single Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak
Perception Rambler 13.5 | Sit on Top Tandem Kayak
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak