How to Find the Best Fishing Kayak for the Money if You’re on a Budget
Fishing from a boat is a common past time for both young and old but fishing from a kayak seems like an exciting, fun-filled adventure. Many anglers have, in fact, begun customizing their respective kayaks solely for fishing. Kayaks were built for paddling downstream in rolling rivers or lakes as a means of transportation for Native Americans. But now kayaking is already considered a sport.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Our favorite budget tandem for 2016
Coleman Quikpak(TM) K1 1-Person Kayak
A great value option
Youth Wave Kayak (With Paddle) Color: Lime Green
A great youth kayak
It has become an integral part of a leisurely activity called fishing. Fishing kayaks are outfitted differently from kayaks used for sport. Most fishing kayaks are now accessorized with hatches, rod holders, equipment mounts, GPS receivers, and built-in coolers. Fishing kayaks with special designs have those similar to the ones on sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks used for recreation.
Choosing a good fishing kayak doesn’t depend entirely on a budget but on some factors such as sit-on versus sit-in type, paddle versus pedal, and fishing conditions and location. Most kayak fishermen or anglers prefer to sit on top of their kayaks because these allow them easier access to their gear as well as the convenience to get in and out of the water if necessary.
The downside of a sit-on-top kayak is that it can give the angler a very wet ride, something that can be uncomfortable or dangerous if the water is cold. A sit-in kayak is more appropriate for fishing with its large cockpit, albeit it could get hard to wade from it. Meanwhile, kayaks that are pedal-powered are less fatiguing to use when longer distances are traveled.
Pedal-powered kayaks are more expensive, though, than their paddle-powered siblings. Also, those who fish from pedal-powered kayaks bring spare paddles anyway in case a problem with the pedal drive occurs. Either pedal- or paddle-powered kayak can be used in fishing. As to fishing conditions and location, choose a kayak with features that you will need for at least 90% of all your fishing trips.
A kayak with a stern and upswept bow does better in currents and waves but is unable to track, or go straight, as effectively on flat water. Longer kayaks are known to faster in general than their shorter cousins just as wider kayaks are more stable, and therefore slower, than their narrower counterparts. After all that’s been said and done, the following are what really matter in buying a fishing kayak on a budget:
• Reasonable speed.
• Solid construction.
• Rigid design.
• Minimal but handy features such as console, tank well, etc.
• Sufficient storage space.
• Easy handling in and out of water.
• Good stability.
• Quiet hull slap.
• Turns wells enough.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak – The Explorer K2 Kayak has sporty graphics that are easily visible in inclement weather, and a removal skeg for use in directional stability and control. It has a rugged vinyl, 30-gauge, sturdy I-beam floor, and two fast-deflate and quick-fill Boston valves located on the main hull’s chamber.
With a streamline design that makes for relaxed and easy paddling on mild rivers or lakes, this kayak remains compact and lightweight even with a cockpit that has handles on both back and front, a grab line on both of its ends and two seats with backseats that are fully adjustable.
The purchase of this kayak is inclusive of two aluminum oars that measure 84 inches each and an air pump with high output. This kayak for two persons can easily transition from clearing white water rapids to sitting it out on a lake to stake out a sea bass. The Explorer two inflates and deflates easily and comes with a repair kit.
Coleman Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak – The Quikpak by Coleman requires no more than five minutes to be set up. Its 21-gauge construction of PVC material is fit for rugged use on lakes and its durable tarpaulin bottom is protected against punctures and with multiple air chambers, this kayak will remain inflated even if one of them is punctured.
Moreover, its Airtight System guarantees no leaks. This kayak has two locking points in its Double Lock valves for easy inflation and deflation. Its backpack system can easily be transformed into the kayak’s seat with a comfortable backrest to boot and a multi-position foot rest for your most convenient position for fishing.
It has a cup hold, a secure area for storage to put your accessories and gear in with bungees and if you have to carry your kayak in or out of the water, its carry handles can easily help you do that. NMMA certified to hold a capacity of up to a weight of 400 pounds. The purchase of a Quikpak comes with a paddle and hand pump.
Advanced Elements FireFly Inflatable Kayak – The bow and stern of the Firefly Inflatable Kayak by Advanced Elements are well defined by rigid panels that are built-in to help improve tracking and a lightweight design of its outer cover provides additional durability. For a quick setup, this kayak has a high flow Spring valves plus Twistlok valves.
A tracking fin and a landing plate make this inflatable kayak compact yet versatile with molded rubber for grip handles, bungee deck lacing, a tracking skeg, and accessory pocket made of mesh. With a length of seven feet 10 inches, a width of 35 inches, and a weight of 16 pounds, this kayak cuts through the water and steers with ease.
It has a splash diverter and 600D cover made of polyester to prevent wet rides, a seam perimeter that is durably welded, and a PVC main chamber that is heavy duty. Inclusive of the purchase of the Quikpak are a duffel carry bag, a repair kit and an instruction manual.
Youth Wave Kayak (With Paddle) – Kids can learn kayaking and kayak fishing safely with the Youth Wave Kayak by Lifetime. It has a reverse chine to enhance the kayak’s stability and twin fin design for surf riding and tracking. This sit-on-top kayak can be used by a beginner kayak angler for learning and fun at the same time.
With an overall dimension of 24 inches (width) by 72 inches (depth) and a weight of 18 pounds, this kayak is suitable for kids who are five years old and above and can accommodate a child’s weight of up to 130 pounds. Additionally, it comes in colorful lime green, pink, orange, and blue.
Made from durable material of lightweight polyethylene, the kayak has a blow-molded smooth design with no protrusion of sharp hardware. Entirely made in the U.S. from other imported parts, it comes with a limited one year warranty and a double-sided black paddle.
Buyers Guide – How to Find the Best Cheap Fishing Kayak
Ask questions and get some advice from experts on kayaks and kayak fishing in shops and do some research online. Although you may be at a disadvantage when you buy a fishing kayak online since you obviously can’t check it before buying, you can always rely on customer reviews. The best thing, though, is really to try one out for yourself. Rent out a fishing kayak for a whole afternoon and see how you take to it.
Or you can hire a guide to experience kayak fishing firsthand without having to fork out a lot of money. A guide can help put you in a kayak that has already been rigged to make kayak fishing easy for a beginner like you. A guide’s gear is normally used for a trip like this so your favorite reels need not be dunked. A guide will take the extra effort to help you as many fish as possible using the kayak since this is what you paid for.
But that is not to say you shouldn’t read customer reviews. Some of the best details about kayak fishing and kayaks are written by people who have bought certain models of fishing kayaks and while you don’t really have to base your purchase decision on personal opinions of other people, you will get a feel of each kayak model that has been reviewed to give you an idea of what the real thing is like.
You can also take test paddles in as many kayak models as you want including the ones you haven’t even taken a glimpse of on your internet searches. Remember to ask experts, not novices like yourself, about tips on how to get the best deals and where to go for them, fishing locations, additional gear which may be needed, etc.