Best Cheap Fishing Kayaks

Discover affordable fishing kayaks that don’t skimp on features. From the versatile Perception Pescador 10 to the lightweight Intex Excursion Pro K1.

Best Cheap Fishing Kayaks

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Why trust us?

For the kayak anglers among us, there are few better ways to spend a sunny day than out on the water with your rods in tow, hauling in a record catch. But kayaking and fishing can be pretty pricey pursuits, so finding ways to cut costs on some big-ticket items like your kayak can be a challenge.

The good news? There are plenty of affordable fishing kayaks out there—so long as you know where to look.

In this article, we will introduce you to the best cheap fishing kayaks on the market. We’ll discuss what makes each model unique and investigate each boat’s pros and cons. As an added bonus, we’ve also included a buyer’s guide, so you have the knowledge you need to get the perfect boat for your angling adventures.

Our Top Picks

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best Overall: Perception Pescador 10

Length: 10′6″ | Width: 32″ | Weight: 57 lbs | Capacity: 325 lbs

Perception Pescador 10

Offering the best overall performance in its class, the Perception Pescador 10 is a solid choice for all-around kayak angling adventures. 

Perception built the Pescador 10 using its rugged roto-molded high-density polyethylene, which is both UV, impact, and abrasion-resistant for added durability. This boat also features a wide, mostly flat hull that provides superior stability on the water for all your fishing and paddling needs.

The Pescador 10 certainly doesn’t slouch when it comes to extra features. It boasts a fully adjustable and padded Comfort Seating System and a large open cockpit so you can relax on the water. It also has a set of fully adjustable foot braces to give you more control as you maneuver through tricky terrain.

We particularly like that this kayak comes with ample gear storage, including a dry front hatch and a large rear tankwell. It even has a set of flush-mounted fishing rod holders, a paddle holder, a cup holder, and built-in gear tracks for all your accessories.

Unfortunately, the Pescador 10 is heavy for a solo boat and the most expensive kayak on this list. But if you’re willing to pay just a little more for a comfortable, stable, and uber-functional boat, this kayak is sure to impress.

  • Made with very durable roto-molded plastic
  • Comes with adjustable foot braces and a padded seat
  • Includes lots of gear storage space
  • Offers built-in gear tracks, paddle holders, and fishing rod holders
  • Very stable hull design for casting lines
  • Heavy for a solo kayak
  • On the pricier end of the affordability spectrum

Cheaper Alternative: Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler

Length: 9′6″ | Width: 30″ | Weight: 44 lbs | Capacity: 275 lbs

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler provides everything you need to fish with confidence but without a high price tag.

The Sentinel 100X Angler is made using Pelican’s proprietary Ram-X material, which is durable enough for years of use in rocky waters. At the same time, this kayak is still an entirely respectable 44 lbs. Making it a durable, affordable, and relatively lightweight fishing kayak.

Out on the water, the Sentinel 100X Angler provides ample stability, thanks to its wide twin-arched multi-chine hull. It also comes with Perception’s ERGOLOUNGE seating system, which features an extra thick layer of padding and a taller backrest for ample lumbar support.

Features-wise, this kayak includes two fishing rod holders, a rear tankwell, and a forward set of deck bungees for all your gear storage needs. It also has fully adjustable footrests to give you more control over the boat as you paddle. It even comes with a paddle holder for when you want to cast lines.

There are only two notable drawbacks with the Sentinel 100X Angler. First, this kayak has a relatively low weight capacity (275 lbs) for a fishing-specific boat. It also doesn’t track as well as other kayaks due to its relatively short length. Nevertheless, if cutting costs without sacrificing quality is important, this kayak is tough to beat.

  • Built using durable and impact-resistant RAM-X plastic
  • Features a super comfortable seat with an extra high backrest
  • Includes lots of gear storage space for a shorter kayak
  • Fully outfitted with additional features like rod holders and adjustable footrests
  • Relatively lightweight for a fishing kayak
  • Low maximum weight capacity
  • Doesn’t track as well as longer kayaks

Best on a Tight Budget: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Length: 10′ | Width: 31″ | Weight: 51 lbs | Capacity: 275 lbs

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

For those of us on a particularly tight budget, the no-nonsense Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 offers everything you need to get out and paddle.

Lifetime engineered the Tamarack Angler 100 out of blow-molded high-density polyethylene, which offers UV resistance and impact protection over years of outdoor adventure. It also has a wide, primarily flat hull with chine rails to provide it with enhanced stability in calm conditions.

Other great aspects of the Tamarack Angler 100 include its large open cockpit, which boasts molded-in footrests and an adjustable, padded seat for comfort. It also has a paddle keeper system, one adjustable fishing rod holder, and two flush-mounted fishing rod holders for maximum on-water versatility.

Concerning gear storage, this boat brings its A-game, too. It features open deck space at the front and the rear of the kayak, where you can lash down a cooler or a couple of dry bags. It also has two 6” dry storage hatches for storing small bits of gear.

The Tamarack Angler 100 is fairly slow on the water, so it’s not your go-to if speed is a priority. Besides its three rod holders, it also doesn’t have that many fishing-specific features. As a result, this kayak is best for paddlers who enjoy the occasional fishing trip but who mostly want an affordable boat for all their water-based adventures.

  • Large open cockpit with a fully adjustable and padded seat
  • Includes molded-in footrests for comfort and on-water control
  • Provides a decent amount of gear storage space
  • Comes with 3 fishing rod holders
  • Offers lots of stability in calm conditions
  • Relatively few fishing-specific features
  • Fairy slow on the water

Best Sit-Inside: Perception Flash 9.5

Length: 9′6″ | Width: 28″ | Weight: 38 lbs | Capacity: 300 lbs

Perception Flash 9.5

Crafting a sit-inside kayak that blends affordability and functionality into one neat package isn’t easy. Still, Perception managed to do just that with the Flash 9.5.

The Flash 9.5 is one of the best cheap sit-inside fishing kayaks available for several reasons, including that it’s made from rugged roto-molded polyethylene. This boat also boasts a tri-keel hull that gives it more stability on flat water than other sit-inside kayaks of its size.

Additionally, the Flash 9.5 comes with a surprisingly spacious cockpit that’s fully outfitted with adjustable footrests and a padded, adjustable Zone seat. You also get a built-in cup holder, thigh pads, and a nifty gear storage compartment that can hold your snacks and other essentials in the cockpit.

We also like that this kayak includes a set of solo mount recesses for installing your favorite accessories. It also comes with two fishing rod holders and ample gear storage space in its easy-to-access rear tankwell.

The main drawback to the Flash 9.5 is that, while it is compatible with many great fishing accessories, you generally have to buy these separately, which can increase your long-term costs. This boat also isn’t as stable as many of the sit-on-top models in our review. However, the Flash 9.5 is a sure bet for a cheap sit-in fishing kayak.

  • Features a spacious cockpit with plenty of legroom
  • Fully adjustable and padded seat for comfort
  • Large rear tankwell for storing fishing cooler and other gear
  • Includes solo mount recess for easy accessory installation
  • Boasts two molded-in fishing rod holders
  • Not as stable on flat water as most sit-inside fishing kayaks
  • Many accessories need to be bought separately

Best Tandem: Lifetime Sport Fisher Angler 100

Length: 10′ | Width: 36″ | Weight: 73 lbs | Capacity: 500 lbs

Lifetime Sport Fisher Angler 100

Want a boat that can get you and your friends out on the water for some fishing fun without costing you a pretty penny? Check out the Lifetime Sport Fisher Angler 100.

This excellent addition to Lifetime’s superb collection of fishing kayaks is made with roto-molded UV-protected linear low-density polyethylene to provide you with impact and abrasion resistance throughout countless adventures. Its 10’ length, fully adjustable dual seating system, and impressive 500 lb weight capacity allow it to be paddled either solo or tandem.

As far as features go, we appreciate that Lifetime built the Sport Fisher Angler 100 with multiple footrests so that it can accommodate paddlers of different heights. This boat also comes with self-bailing scupper holes to quickly drain water out of the cockpit during your outings.

Furthermore, the Sport Fisher Angler 100 includes a set of three fishing rod holders and a paddle holder for added convenience on the water. If that wasn’t enough, it also has a wide tunnel hull design that provides you with improved stability as you cast lines and paddle.

That said, the seats on the Sport Fisher Angler 100 could be more comfortable, and this boat doesn’t offer much by way of gear storage when paddled as a tandem kayak. Yet, despite these shortcomings, it’s still one of the best tandem fishing kayaks for the budget-conscious paddler.

  • Can be paddled tandem or solo
  • Comes with three fishing rod holders and a paddle keeper
  • Very stable tunnel hull design
  • Includes multiple footrest positions for paddlers of different heights
  • Excellent 500 lbs maximum weight capacity
  • Seats could be more comfortable
  • Relatively little gear storage when paddled as a tandem kayak

Best Inflatable: Intex Excursion Pro K1

Length: 10′ | Width: 36″ | Weight: 37 lbs | Capacity: 220 lbs

Intex Excursion Pro K1

One of the most portable cheap fishing kayaks on the market, the Intex Excursion Pro K1 is a comfortable and versatile boat that’s a joy to have on the water.

The Excursion Pro K1 is made from a 3-ply high-molecular PVC fabric that’s abrasion and puncture-resistant. It also features three separate air chambers for an added layer of safety. And it packs down small for easy transport and storage.

On the water, the Excursion Pro K1 is about as comfortable as it gets in the realm of inflatable kayaks. It has a spacious open deck plan with an adjustable seat and footrests. It also includes some storage space in both the bow and the stern and stainless steel D rings for lashing down waterproof bags for kayaking.

For fishing, this kayak also comes with a set of rod holders located right next to your seat for easy access. It also has two removable skegs that improve tracking performance as you maneuver your way to and from your favorite fishing spots.

However, the Intex Excursion Pro K1 has a very low weight capacity (220 lbs), so it’s best for smaller paddlers or anglers who don’t usually bring a lot of gear on the water. It’s also not designed for use in choppy or windy conditions. That said, if you want an affordable and fun-to-paddle inflatable fishing kayak, this boat is definitely worthy of your consideration.

  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Includes two removable skegs for tracking
  • Spacious open deck with comfortable seating
  • Lots of gear storage space in the bow and stern
  • Provides conveniently placed fishing rod holders
  • Very low weight capacity
  • Not great for use in windy or choppy conditions

Best Inflatable Tandem: Intex Excursion Pro K2

Length: 12′7″ | Width: 37″ | Weight: 44 lbs | Capacity: 400 lbs

Intex Excursion Pro K2

The Intex Excursion Pro K2 combines the best of both worlds by taking a fully functional tandem fishing kayak and making it as light and portable as possible as you head to and from the put-in.

Like the solo version of this kayak, the Excursion Pro K2 is made from rugged 3-ply high-molecular PVC, which can withstand punctures, abrasions, and impacts. It also has three separate air chambers to provide you with an added layer of safety on the water. In addition, its high-pressure spring-loaded valves make the inflation process as easy as possible.

The Excursion Pro K2 also comes with two fully adjustable seats to provide much-needed lumbar support on the water. It even has floor-mounted footrests so you can get more control over the boat as you paddle.

Furthermore, this kayak comes with a set of fishing rod holders to maximize the number of lines you have in the water. If that wasn’t enough, Intex also built this boat with an included waterproof bag so you can store some of your smaller pieces of gear. It also packs down to a small size for storage and transport.

However, note that this kayak has a low weight capacity for a tandem boat and that it doesn’t offer that much gear storage. But if you need a tandem fishing kayak that’s a breeze to paddle and transport, the Intex Excursion Pro K2 is a great choice.

  • Lightweight and highly portable for a tandem kayak
  • Very comfortable adjustable seats
  • Includes floor-mounted footrests
  • Comes with two fishing rod holders
  • Easy to inflate and deflate for storage
  • Low weight capacity for a tandem kayak
  • Doesn’t offer very much gear storage

Cheap Fishing Kayak Buying Guide

2 Men Kayak Fishing

Finding the perfect fishing kayak is no walk in the park, especially when you’re working on a limited budget. Here’s what you need to know about shopping for an affordable fishing kayak, so you can spend less time researching your next boat and more time out on the water enjoying it.

Price vs. Quality: What Are The Trade-Offs?

When many people think of a cheap fishing kayak, they probably picture a low-quality boat that will fall apart after a few seasons. But the reality is that you don’t have to spend your life’s savings to get a reliable fishing kayak, so long as you know where to look.

The key to finding an affordable kayak, whether fishing-specific or otherwise, is to understand what you’re spending your money on. Some kayaks are expensive because they’re made with very high-end materials. But others are expensive because they have a flashy brand name or a bunch of features that you don’t actually need.

So how do you ensure that you end up with a good quality kayak that doesn’t have a massive price tag?

The first step in this process is to realize that buying a kayak is almost always a trade-off between affordability, performance, and extra features. You can typically get two of these three characteristics in one kayak but getting all three is a serious challenge (though it’s not impossible).

For those who are on a strict budget or simply don’t want to drain their bank accounts for a kayak, sacrificing affordability isn’t an option. As a result, you’ll have to decide if you’re going to compromise on either extra features or performance. 

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Some people would prefer to have a high-performing fishing kayak that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. In contrast, others don’t mind having a slow, heavy, or less durable boat with plenty of nifty accessories. 

Ultimately you have to decide what’s important to you so you can get an affordable fishing kayak that suits your specific paddling needs.

Intended Use & Paddling Style

Once you decide what you want to prioritize in your fishing kayak, it’s time to have an honest conversation about what you’re going to use your boat for.

While all fishing kayaks are designed for, well, fishing, not all fishing boats are precisely the same. Every fishing kayak is crafted with a specific type of paddler in mind. So you need to determine what your personal paddling style is and what your on-water adventures will actually look like before you start shopping.

For example, maybe you like to venture out for quick afternoon fishing trips with your children, but longer day trips aren’t really your thing. In this instance, a tandem kayak like the Lifetime Sport Fisher Angler 100 might be a good choice.

Alternatively, if you enjoy fishing, but it’s not something you do every time you’re on the water, a kayak like the Perception Flash 9.5 is somewhat light on built-in angling-specific features but reliable in terms of performance.

The trick here is not to get the ‘best’ cheap fishing kayak in the world because no such boat exists. Instead, it’s more important to find a kayak that’s best suited to your unique paddling style to maximize your time out on the water.


After you have a good idea of your priorities for the overall design and construction, you can start to look at the differences between various fishing kayaks, particularly concerning on-water performance.

Performance-wise, one of the most critical features in a fishing kayak, whether affordable or otherwise, is stability. You need to be confident that your boat will be stable enough on the water while you move around to reel in fish, grab gear from a hatch, or stand up to get a better angle as you cast your lines.

Assessing stability in a kayak is best done on the water. If you can’t take a boat out for a test paddle before buying, your best bet is to look at the kayak’s width and hull design.

All else being equal, a boat with a wider beam (that’s the width of a kayak at its widest point) will be more stable than one with a narrower beam. Additionally, kayaks with flatter hull designs will provide more stability on flat water than those with sharp chines (i.e., edges) or V-shaped hulls.

Keep in mind that the stability of a kayak is as much about the boat’s design as it is about the paddler’s abilities. But getting a cheap fishing kayak engineered with stability isn’t half bad either.

Maximum Weight Capacity & Gear Storage Options

Another critical consideration for any kayak, but especially for fishing kayaks, is the boat’s maximum weight capacity and its gear storage options.

A boat’s maximum weight capacity tells you how much weight you can load into that kayak without drastically affecting its performance or increasing its risk of capsizing. It’s generally best to give yourself some wiggle room by avoiding loading a kayak beyond 80% of its stated capacity for maximum performance.

For example, if you have a kayak with a 300 lb weight capacity, you probably don’t want to load more than 240 lbs of people and gear into that boat. 

This is particularly important to keep in mind for fishing kayaks as you’ll often need to bring a sizable amount of gear on your adventures. Therefore, it’s imperative that you know how much your equipment weighs (and how much your anticipated catch will weigh) so that you can get a kayak with a weight capacity that’s suitable for your needs.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider whether or not a given kayak offers enough gear storage for all of your equipment. Some boats don’t provide many gear storage options (perhaps just a set of deck bungees). In contrast, others offer multiple dry hatches, tankwells, and other methods for stashing your equipment.

But we can’t tell you precisely what your gear storage system should look like on your kayak as every paddler’s needs are different. So it’s up to you to decide what gear you plan to bring on your fishing outings so that whatever boat you end up with will be able to accommodate both you and your equipment.


Cheap fishing kayaks can be excellent boats for keen anglers who want a budget-friendly way to get out on the water. However, to keep costs down, manufacturers often skimp on portability when designing cheap kayaks for fishing.

In particular, many budget fishing kayaks are heavier than their pricier counterparts. This is often a result of the heavier materials used to build these kayaks, as cheaper boat materials tend to not offer much weight savings.

For some paddlers, having a solo kayak that weighs 50 lbs or even 60 lbs might not be a big deal, but for others, it can make getting to and from the put-in impractical. Therefore, you need to decide how heavy a kayak you can reasonably carry on your own before making an investment.

Suppose you think that you’ll have difficulty carrying your fishing kayak to and from the water. In that case, it might be worth considering an inflatable model like the Intex Excursion Pro K1 instead. 

Although inflatable kayaks generally require that you spend time pumping them up before you paddle, they are much easier to store and transport than their hard-sided counterparts. So they’re definitely worth checking out if portability or boat storage is a concern.

Fishing-Specific Features

Last but not least, you should also consider what fishing-specific features your future boat will have before you buy.

As every boat is slightly different, there is a wide range of angling-specific accessories and features that you can find on fishing kayaks. For example, you can often find the following accessories on kayaks that are built specifically for fishing:

  • Fishing Rod Holders – To help maximize the number of lines you have in the water.
  • Gear Tracks – Can be used to mount fish finders, GPS devices, GoPros, and other accessories.
  • Paddle Holders – Perfect for keeping track of your paddle while you fish.
  • Rear Tankwell – Useful to transport a large cooler for your catch.
  • Deck Padding – Provides grip and comfort if you stand up to cast lines.
  • Transducer Mounts – Makes it easier to install a transducer for your fishfinder.
  • Custom Tackle Box – Helps organize your bait and tackle while you paddle.
  • Adjustable Seat – Offers extra comfort for long days of fishing adventure.

Each of these features can help make your kayak fishing experience more pleasant. However, keep in mind that budget fishing kayaks often have to sacrifice at least a little bit on features to remain affordable, so it’s unlikely that you’ll end up with a boat with all the above accessories.

Our advice? Make a list of the features you think you want to have on your future fishing kayak. Then order them from most to least necessary so that you can have an easy reference guide for your boat shopping process. Then, as you shop for kayaks, you can use this list to quickly decide whether a boat will work for your fishing and paddling needs.

The Verdict

Fishing kayaks can be pretty darn expensive, but getting an affordable boat for all your angling needs is possible if you know where to look.

After reviewing the best cheap fishing kayaks available, it’s clear that the Perception Pescador 10 is a solid all-around choice for cruising around on your local lakes and streams.

What stood out to us about the Pescador 10 is that it’s durable, affordable, and fun to paddle. It also offers a lot of gear storage space, and it doesn’t skimp on fishing-related accessories. But it is on the pricier end of the affordability spectrum, so it’s not right for everyone.

Ultimately, the goal here is for you to end up with a fishing kayak that suits your paddling style and budget. We hope this article helped you understand your options and what to look for as you shop. See you on the water!