To all those fishing enthusiasts who’d love to explore more about the ways to fish, we give you fishing kayaks! Most people who love fishing and have experienced kayak fishing agree that kayaks have improved their fishing experience. For the main reason that a fishing kayak does not limit you to fish only in big bodies of water. When you use kayaks you can freely and even stealthily enjoy fishing on different and smaller bodies of water. Another reason is affordability. The best and most loved fishing kayaks priced under 400 dollars are quite affordable and easy to find too, you can even get one even on a tight budget.
Nowadays, many different brands and models of great fishing kayaks in the market. That is why it can be a challenge picking the best one for you. To help you with that, we’ve curated articles on fishing kayaks under different cost segments so you can deal so you can pick one that will best suit not only your needs and preferences but also your price range and budget. Talking about tight budget, this post will give you an outline of the best fishing kayaks under 400 dollars. In a different post, we will feature the best fishing kayaks under $300, $800 and under $1000.
What are fishing kayaks and why are they special
Fishing kayaks are basically kayaks that are used for fishing or hunting aquatic animals. This kind of kayak also has the necessary accessories and compartments for your fishing needs. These kayaks are characterized by wide beams, for stabilization, that is over a meter in length. They have soared and become popular during the recent years because of its affordability compared to the usual fishing motorboats. And are frequently seen to be used in both fresh and saltwater, especially in regions with warmer weather because of the ease of entry. Another thing that fishing lovers like about fishing kayaks is that they are super easy to customize and improve.
These fishing kayaks also have a low maintenance cost and can be stored easily and launched quickly. The most popular material used for the creation of fishing kayaks are polyethylene because of its durability and lower cost. Some are also made of fiberglass and composite. Fishing kayaks are made to be stable, durable, affordable and most especially, comfortable to fish with.
Best fishing kayaks under 400 dollars
Sun Dolphin is a good brand that creates affordable kayaks in the market. For those kayak anglers or fishers who prefer more movement while fishing, this one is a good choice. The Bali SS model by Sun Dolphin is a version that works well for almost every type of fishing and allows a good deal of movement. This 10ft fishing kayak is smaller so it offers better maneuverability and you will be able to work on tighter turns. If you have been using a larger kayak, this one can get some getting familiarized to.
An exciting and useful characteristic of this Bali SS kayak is its accessory carrier which is portable. It is located at the back or rear end of your kayak that offers dry and safe storage made for your belongings and valuables. You can totally take it and bring it out with you if needed or necessary. And since you take the PAC out, it lets you to carry and bring more stuff and gears with you on your angling and fishing activity without adding more weight to the kayak.
A downside of this kayak is that it tends to have lower stability resulting to difficult and wobbly steering. Another thing is that it lacks fishing mounts, because of this, you may need to manually hold your fishing mounts throughout the fishing journey. There is a water container or bottle holder and paddle holder located at the front so that you can avoid getting your hands full all the time. This fishing kayak is created and made of lightweight and very durable materials and is available in a good variety of other colors. Bringing from the car to the launching area and back is super easy since it has two easy-to-hold corded handles found at the front and the back.
Dimensions: 305 x 76 x 28 cm
Weight: 44 lbs.
Capacity: 250 lbs.
This model of the fishing kayak by Sun Dolphin looks like the older sibling of the Bali SS. Similar to the Bali SS, this is a sit-on-top type too. It physically looks the same too except that the Journey one has more fishing specific accessories. So if you truly are a fishing enthusiast who loves the comfort and considers fishing accessories of big importance, then this one will work for you.
Many anglers also claim that this model is a lot easier to use and work with too. One thing that we appreciate most about the Journey, similar to the PAC of Bali SS, is the inclusion of the an accessory storage compartment that is portable. It’s so useful and convenient since you will be able to store and keep all of your gadgets and belongings that need to stay dry into the pouch and take it behind you. This kayak truly has a number of holders and storage spaces for your water bottles and other items.
One noticeable and great step up of the Journey is that it already has fishing rod holders, not just one but three. Two flush-mounted options are located at the back of the seat, and one swivel-mounted holder found at the front. Many claimed that the tracking for this kayak may be a bit tricky for beginners. But you can definitely add a rudder to improve its tracking. Many fishers who also want to relax will totally love the swivel fishing rod holder so they can chill out while waiting for their next catch.
Dimensions: 305 x 76 x 28 cm
Weight: 44 lbs.
Capacity: 280 lbs.
The Excursion is a sit-in fishing kayak which does well for fishing and for regular kayaking. The shape and form of this version are also suitable for standing in water, so if you like to go out and fish on the lake, this is an awesome choice. This one is made out of Fortiflex polyethylene, that is lightweight and rugged. Making it easy to transport and carry because it is not very heavy. Similar to the above-mentioned models, this kayak also comes with a handle on each end. The placement allows you to drag and transfer the kayak by yourself.
This fishing kayak model has a few proprietary features that make the fishing process a lot more comfortable and enjoyable. These are the two rod holders that are flush-mount and located behind the seat. When you’re kayaking, your legs are usually placed in front. To make it comfier the footrests are easily adjustable depending on your height preference. There is also a large container for storage in the rear end of the kayak with bungee covers it so that it stays closed and shut.
Dimensions: 305 x 76 x 36 cm
Weight: 44 lbs.
Capacity: 280 lbs.
The Colorado-Sevylor Coleman is the most loved inflatable kayak which is exceptionally made of polymer and rubber. It features a rugged eighteen-gauge construction made of PVC for excellent and favorable usage in shallow water rivers and lakes. It also comes with multiple air chambers, so that a puncture won’t cause the entire kayak to deflate. Airtight® System can surely guarantee safety from possible leaks in its lifespan otherwise if intentionally made. This inflatable kayak is made with fishing rod holders and uniquely attached paddle holders. It has a unique and special Sevylor® trolling motor fittings that will diverse and ensure your fishing capabilities and locations.
This can be easily deflated and inflated using its double-threaded Boston valve. It is built with D-rings where you can attach any types of equipment necessary. Storage pockets which are made of mesh are also present for safekeeping of snacks and other small gears. This is a kayak is confidently built with comfort in mind, as the seats are some of the most comfortable you’ll find anywhere. The pack comes with a carrying bag and pressure gauge.
Dimensions: 10 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 3 in. (inflated)
Weight: 42 lbs.
Capacity: 470 lbs.
The two-seater Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish kayak are on the recommended list not only for fishing but also for recreational kayaking. This is an inflatable kayak made of rugged 21-gauge PVC construction and is very compatible for using the lake or slow-moving river. Unfortunately, this kayak does not have any storage area for the gears, so you might need to carry an additional box to store your stuff and other belongings. You never have to worry and think about it getting deflated immediately because of a puncture since it boasts numerous air chambers. That is why, you don’t need to worry if one area gets punctured as these air chambers will keep the kayak still inflated.
This comes with double sturdy lock valves that provide quick and easy inflation and deflation as well. It also has comfortable seats so that your fishing journey would be no less than optimum comfort. These adjustable fit seats along with backrest option will ensure and safe and no-strain riding. The spray covers will keep you dry when you pedal your way into the water. This fishing kayak is purchased with a carrying bag. But if you don’t want to use the bag, don’t worry cause this is still super easy to carry even when inflated, because of the attached handles.
Dimensions: 124.8 x 34.8 x 24 inches
Weight: 20 lbs.
Capacity: 360 lbs.
Fishing kayaks under $400 Runner-ups
Dimensions: 120 x 31 x 12.9 inches
Weight: 49 lbs.
Capacity: 275 lbs.
Dimensions: 101 x 29 x 10.5 inches
Weight: 41 lbs.
Capacity: 225 lbs.
Dimensions: 118 x 35 x 16 inches
Weight: 40 lbs.
Capacity: 420 lbs.
Tips on how to choose a fishing kayak
Fishing kayaks may come in different types, such as sit inside, sit-on-top, inflatable and tandem kayaks made for fishing.
Sit-on-top fishing kayak
This one is the most loved and a very popular type among fishermen or fishing enthusiasts in the world of kayaks. The SOT fishing kayaks are designed with a seat that is mounted above the hull instead of being inside it. This type of fishing kayak is suitable for first-timers or inexperienced people who are still trying to be familiar with kayak fishing. The structure of the hull of this kayak is solid with designed channels or holes to drain water from the kayak.
Sit-on-top fishing kayaks are also great for kayakers who carry a lot of gear for fishing, as the entire deck can be divided into different useful compartments as needed.
Sit inside fishing kayaks
This type of kayak carries more of the traditional design. It has a hollow hull and a large hole in the deck where the kayaker slides inside to sit. A spray skirt is utilized to cover the seat hole to keep water out and seals around the paddler’s torso. Today these type of kayaks are loved and used most of the time in whitewater, however, there are kayaks made for the users to sit inside which are great and are specifically designed for fishing.
Inflatable fishing kayak
This type of kayak for fishing is the lightest and the easiest to transport. As the name suggests, it is inflated to achieve a functional kayak. Yes, inflatable kayaks may be susceptible to puncture and damage but thanks to the advancement in the development of materials, many manufacturers have produced inflatables that are of high quality and premium construction. Inflatable fishing kayaks are usually more affordable, comfortable to fish with, offer superior portability and are super easy to maintain.
Tandem fishing kayak
This type of the many fishing kayaks is also called a double kayak. Tandem fishing kayaks are either versatile sit-in or sit-on-top double-designed with foot wells that overlap. This is to allow two persons to use the boat at the same time. Tandem fishing kayaks are usually heavier, more stable and longer to accommodate two adults. The tandem fishing kayak is ideal for those who don’t like to fish alone. Also perfect for those who like to enjoy the adventure with a spouse, friend or even a child. Moreover, if there are times that you want to go alone, a tandem kayak can still be easily used by one person sitting in the rear seat.
More kayak anglers or fishers have grown fond of kayaks that are powered by pedals. This is because they don’t need their hands to propel the kayak, so they can effortlessly fish and catch while propelling and moving around at the same time. Additionally, legs are much stronger than our arms, so pedal kayak anglers tend to go on farther and longer with a lesser chance of easily getting tired. You can also go faster with pedal-powered fishing kayaks.
Paddling is the traditional type of watercraft propulsion. The method is self-explanatory is commonly and widely used method of kayak propulsion. Anglers love that paddling is very practical and relatively cheaper. The simplicity of paddling is also a reason why it has super minimal maintenance and a lot quieter. This method is best for “super stealthy” fishing and best for shallow waters since nothing extends beneath the kayak.
Motorized or electric
Kayaks are normally powered through manual efforts. Though most fishing enthusiasts prefer kayaks nonmotorized for stealth treading, others may want to add electric power. Adding motors or electric power can significantly extend the speed and range of fishing. There are multiple options and choices available, from DIY installations of the traditional and basic electric trolling or powered motors to purpose-built kayak kits which are made specially for particular builds of kayaks.
When choosing your fishing kayak always mind its weight. Always consider the capacity of your car-top or what you will carry or transport your kayak with. Also, a heavier fishing kayak might need a cart with wheels or multiple persons to transport it down to the port or launch site.
Dimensions: length x width
Both the length and width are directly proportional to speed and stability, respectively. The longer the length of the fishing kayak, the faster it can move and the wider the width, the more stable it will be. So, you have to make sure that you get a kayak with the appropriate and enough length that will be proportionate to its width too. Also, make sure that you will have no problems manning the fishing kayak. If you are a smaller or petite person, you can get a kayak that is not too big. But if you have the height of a basketball player, it is better to choose a fishing kayak with dimensions that will be comfortable for you too. And remember, long and skinny kayaks are faster, but are also more tippy. The extra wide ones are super stable which allow the person to stand and sight-cast to fish in the shallows.
Seat, storage, and other accessories
Think about what you might need or you’ll tend to bring when you go fishing. Also, consider the storage would you want or need on your kayak. Consider if you want something where you can keep a set of extra clothes or a storage for your live-baits. When it comes to seats, the cheaper kayaks feature seats that are molded-in or the basic seating pads which are removable. More kayaks for fishing are now showcasing a “lawn chair” styled seats with great back support and comfort, which are also adjustable. There are also many accessories available such as anchors, chutes, trolleys, hardware mounts, rod holders, and extra storage. If you are interested in tons of accessories, might as well choose a fishing kayak that will be compatible with most gears and accessories.
Check the Mystery Tackle Box for more things to know before buying a fishing kayak