Best Fishing Kayak Under $600 – Top 10 Models Compared!
For those on a strict budget for the best fishing kayak, there’s a great sample of selections to pick from that all cost less than $500. However, there are some terrific fishing kayaks that didn’t make that list because their prices went just a little bit over $500 and less than $1000.
So if you have a hundred bucks or so to spare, you can avail the following options and get the best fishing kayak under 600 dollars budget range.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Fishing Kayak Comparisons
- 5 Best Fishing Kayak Under 600 Dollars
- Buying Guide - Best Fishing Kayak Under 600
- Final Verdict
Top 5 Fishing Kayak Comparisons
5 Best Fishing Kayak Under 600 Dollars
1. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Fishing Kayak
This is the Journey fishing kayak that comes with a budget version at 10 feet. For a few bucks more, you can get a slightly longer model that can accommodate slightly larger users.
At first glance at the specs sheet, you may think that the Journey is just the same as the Aruba SS.
They’re both 12 feet long and 29.5 inches wide with a height of 13.5 inches. They even have the same 395-pound weight capacity.
However, this is sit-on-top fishing kayak, while the Aruba is a sit-in model. This makes the Journey more suited for beginners. Also, Sun Dolphin classifies the Journey specifically as a fishing kayak. In contrast, the Aruba is more geared towards better performance though it also offers features for anglers.
With this kayak, you get the 2 flush mount rod holders plus an extra fishing rod holder that swivels. You get a nice deep deck space at the front which is open, unlike the enclosed front of the Aruba. The deck is secured by rigging.
Behind you, there’s another deck space with more shock cord rigging, and you have the portable accessory carrier which you can tow behind the kayak. When you tow the PAC, you get the floating storage compartment behind the kayak plus extra space behind the seat.
This is also lightweight, and it’s only a little bit heavier at 48 pounds. You have retractable handles at the front and back so you can drag this to and from the water. Don’t mind dragging this around since it’s made of the special “Fortiflex” high density polyethylene. The material is even resistant to UV due to UV stabilizers.
This comes with a nice enough seat, although for some the padding may not be enough. That’s probably true for the bigger guys who bought this because it offers more legroom than the 10-foot model. The backrest does work great, and the adjustable foot braces can accommodate the legs of even tall guys.
- This offers 3 rod holders, with one of them a swivel rod holder.
- It has lots of storage compartments for all your equipment.
- The weight capacity is great at 395 pounds.
- It’s very stable, it tracks well, and it isn’t too slow.
- The seating is very comfortable overall.
- It’s lightweight and very portable.
- There’s no cup holder.
- There aren’t any side handles either.
- It’s only 29 inches wide, so it’s not very stable when you need to get on or off (although it’s very stable once you get in).
2. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Tandem Kayak
This Lifetime kayak is a great example of how much more you can get with just a few dollars more for your fishing kayak budget.
Many 10-footer fishing kayaks cost less than $500, so what makes this particular kayak worth a few dollars more?
Well, one main benefit you get for your money is the extra weight capacity.
That’s because this comes with 2 padded seats, so its weight capacity is greater than that of a solo kayak. In fact, it’s actually designed to seat up to 3 people though you will have to get the extra seat as a separate purchase. You do have 3 contoured seats on the boat already. The weight capacity is a whopping limit of up to 500 pounds.
That means 2 people can go fishing comfortably on one of these, and you also have extra weight capacity to accommodate your fishing equipment. For these things, you do have lots of compartments and deck space.
First you have 3 fishing rod holders. These are 1.5 inches in diameter, and they have a depth of 9 inches. Then you have the front cargo area where you can put items in and secure them with the shock cord straps.
You also have a 6-inch interior storage hatch for items such as your smartphone. There’s even several “ditty trays” where you can put some of your knickknacks and other small items that usually accompany a fishing trip.
Since many anglers like to drink (water) while they’re waiting for the fish to bite, there’s also a holder for your cup or bottle. There are also cradles for your paddle, and for that you also have paddle clips so the paddles stay firmly in place.
This kayak is extremely stable. Part of the reason why that’s true is because it’s so wide at 36 inches. The tunnel hull also comes with a special design. It’s so stable that you can do your fishing while sitting sidesaddle on this kayak. In fact, it’s even possible for you to go fishing while standing on the kayak!
You can of course just sit on the seat, which is quite comfy enough. You also have lots of foot wells so you can get the leverage you need to reel in your stubborn catch.
This is made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene). The manufacturing involves “blow molding” the plastic into a single piece, with contours so smooth that you don’t have any protruding parts and sharp edges that you can scrape.
So as you can see, this kayak is extremely suitable for fishing. Yet it doesn’t cost too much more than the budget options. It’s also a sit-on-top model, so it’s much easier to use for newbies. You also shouldn’t get too wet on these, and you also have scupper holes where the water can drain from your boat.
- This offers a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds, so you can go solo or with a friend and still be able to bring lots of fishing equipment with you.
- You have lots of storage options for all your stuff, including “ditty trays” for various odds and ends.
- The paddle also has cradles that can secure the paddle with paddle clips.
- This is extremely stable, and that’s an undeniable fact. You can even stand up or sit sidesaddle on your kayak while you’re fishing.
- You even use this for up to 3 people if you just want to go on a leisurely ride.
- For its weight capacity, it’s probably light at 66 pounds. Still, that may be too much weight for some small people to handle alone.
- The tracking can be better with a fin, although the tracking does improve when you get a little bit of speed.
- This isn’t going to go very fast.
3. Emotion Kayaks Stealth Kayak
This kayak measures 10 feet 3 inches, and obviously the extra 3 inches isn’t enough to justify the extra expense.
However, you do get additional benefits with this kayak. One benefit is that this is designed for just a single person, so it’s quite light at 51 pounds.
That’s not too heavy that you can’t carry and drag this on your own to and from the water. You do have handles at the front and on the rear for that purpose.
You will find that Emotion Kayaks designed the seating system to be extremely comfortable. This comes with the vaunted Comfort Rest System, and the seat is molded in as well for greater comfort. For greater convenience in transporting the kayak, the seats also fold down.
This offers 3 fishing rod holders and they’re arranged in what they call the “Triple Threat” fishing configuration. You have 2 flush mount rod holders, plus 1 deck mount rod holder as well. You also have several molded foot wells that let you secure your foot bracing.
This comes with a contoured tank well where you can put easily accessible items such as your bait bucket, tackle box, or a milk crate. You can secure these items firmly with the “New Cargo Lacing System”.
For other items, you also have a sizable Solace Hatch where you can put items such as your smartphone. There are also Ledge Lock Paddle Keepers where you can rest your paddles securely. There’s also a cup holder.
This kayak features the “ST Performance Hull” so it’s very stable while it still offers acceptable speed and tracking. It’s actually a very versatile kayak, as you can just about use it for all but the wildest water conditions. It’s not good for huge ocean swells or scary whitewater conditions, but for everything else it should do just fine.
The kayak is built to last, as Emotion Kayaks used rotational molding for the polyethylene so that every spot in the kayak features the same thickness. It can handle a total weight of 275 pounds.
- This kayak can be used for ponds, bays, lakes, mild ocean waters, and slow-moving rivers.
- Its’ very light and easy to transport. A single person can handle this on their own, and with 2 people it’s even easier. There are side handles and it only weighs 51 pounds.
- You have 3 rod holders for hands-free fishing.
- The kayak offers lots of storage options to keep your stuff secure. Even the paddle holder offers a secure lock.
- This can easily be used by beginners, but even intermediate users can appreciate its performance. It’s very stable, yet the speed and tracking are acceptable.
- The kayak is quite tough, and it even has UV-protection.
- With its 30-inch width and 275-pound weight limit, you can’t be very heavy if you plan on using this.
- You can’t stand up on this kayak.
4. Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS
The 10-foot Aruba is great if you have a limited budget, but if your limit can be stretched just a bit farther you may want to go one size bigger and get the 12-foot version.
The extra length offers better tracking, and it also has a greater weight capacity at 395 pounds.
For a single user, that’s certainly more than enough for a fishing trip.
The weight capacity means that you can use this regardless of just how heavy you are. You will still have enough capacity for your fishing equipment, including a storage compartment plus decks at the bow and stern where your stuff can be secured by shock cord rigging.
Then you also have the portable accessory carrier which you can use as an extra compartment. If the stuff inside makes your boat too heavy, you can just tow the PAC behind the kayak. This is a very comfortable kayak to sit on. The cockpit is very roomy and it’s easy to get in and out.
The seat and the back rest are padded, very well-made, and adjustable. You also have adjustable food pegs for greater comfort and leverage. There are also thigh pads too.
There’s a paddle holder as well. For your rods, you have a couple of flush mount fishing rod holders. This is surprisingly compact, as it only weighs 47 pounds. You have retractable carrying handles if you need to drag it in and out of the water
- This is a sit-in kayak, so your lower body is protected from the wind.
- This is very light so it’s easy to carry and drag around.
- The boat tracks reasonably well and it’s quite stable.
- The 2 rod holders are nicely placed so they’re not in the way.
- The huge open cockpit offers a nice roomy space for you to move around comfortably.
- You have lots of storage options, including a dry hatch at the rear for smartphones.
- This is a tough kayak, and the weight capacity is terrific.
- This also works as an entry-level kayak for newbies.
- The rear PAC can be towed behind the kayak.
- Where’s the cup holder?
- If you’re not a fishing enthusiast, this is merely an entry level kayak that you may outgrow as you will then seek a more advanced kayak with better performance.
5. Pelican Sport Strike 100X Angler Kayak
This is another 10-foot sit-on-top kayak. While it is certainly easy for beginners to use, it’s also designed for anglers as well.
It offers an open cockpit so you’re not constricted and you’ve got lots of space for your items.
This is a single-user kayak, but the weight capacity is ample enough at 325 pounds.
Yet the kayak itself isn’t too heavy at 53 pounds. It’s also tough, as it’s made of special multilayer polyethylene.
It’s more rigid and stronger than standard polyethylene, and it’s lighter too. Perhaps the first feature that you’ll notice here is that you have lots of features here geared specifically for anglers.
You have 2 flush mount rod holders plus one more swivel rod holder. There’s even an angler ruler so you can immediately see just how big your catch will be.
Then you will appreciate the numerous storage options here on the 100X Sport Strike. You have a tank well where you can place various items and secure them with bungee.
There’s a hinged quick-lock hatch at the bow, along with an 8-inch day hatch that comes with a storage bag for items such as your smartphone. There are 6 eyelets for accessories, along with a bottle holder.
There are carrying handles along the sides as well as at the front and rear. You also have a paddle tie-down that holds your paddles very securely.
You will in all likelihood also feel comfortable sitting on this kayak all day long. This is equipped with the “Ergofit” seating system, while the footrests are adjustable. The seat is cushioned and the backrest is padded and adjustable.
You can even comfortably stand on this kayak as it’s so stable. However, you may want to practice this first, and you will need very calm waters.
- Despite its 10-foot length, it can accommodate larger users since it has a 325-pound weight limit. It’s also an open cockpit with a width of 30.5 inches.
- It’s amazing how a comparatively short kayak can offer so many superior storage options.
- You have a spacious tank well secured by bungees, an 8-inch dry hatch instead of just 6 inches (which you can use for your wallet and smartphone), and even 6 accessory eyelets.
- Aside from the 2 flush mount rod holders, you also have a swivel rod holder.
- The maneuverability and tracking is great for such a short kayak.
- You have handles on all sides.
- The kayak material is extremely tough yet light enough for a strong person to handle.
- The paddle holder is very secure.
- Someone forgot to put in a bottle holder.
- The seat may not be comfortable enough for some users.
- It’s not meant for the ocean.
Buying Guide - Best Fishing Kayak Under 600
Some of the factors that you need to consider before you can choose the best fishing kayak under $600 are the same regardless what kind of kayak you’re looking for. Most people want a very stable kayak, and that’s especially true for beginners and for anglers. If possible it should be able to travel on the water quickly enough.
Whatever type of kayak you get, you will want something that will last you for a long while. After all, buying a kayak shouldn’t be an annual ritual. Finally, it’s great if you have something that you can easily carry on your vehicle. It should also be light enough that you can also carry or drag the kayak to and from the water on your own.
But if you’re reading this list, then it stands to reason that you will want a kayak that’s specifically designed for anglers. Sure, there are plenty of perfectly versatile kayaks that can be used for recreation or fishing purposes. But those kayaks are mainly for recreation. What you need is a kayak that’s mainly for fishing, since they often can also be used easily enough for recreational trips on the water.
Here are the factors that are particularly relevant for fishing enthusiasts:
The presence of rod holders is probably the defining feature of a fishing kayak. Without these things, a kayak is simply a recreational or even a touring kayak that you may use for fishing. But these rod holders are a definite sign that a kayak is specifically for fishing first and foremost.
Of course, you also other equipment that you will need for your fishing adventure besides your fishing rods. These things need deck space where you can have your stuff easily available for you. You won’t have to take the time and effort to open a compartment.
You may also need other storage compartments for other pieces of equipment. This includes a tank well. Also, most people these days try to bring along their smartphones wherever they may go. So you need a compartment where you can keep such items securely.
With your weight and the weight of your equipment, the load can get very heavy very quickly. So you need a kayak that can handle the overall load. This means you need to check the weight capacity of the kayak to make sure that you and your equipment can be accommodated.
Usually, if you want to be comfortable then you need enough space to fit your body inside or in the kayak. The seat has to be well-padded and adjustable.
There should be a back rest, and it ought to be padded and adjustable too. Multiple foot braces can also help, especially if you have long legs. The width of the cockpit should also be able to let in your waist.
With these fishing kayaks, you can spend just a bit more money than the budget models and get a lot more features. You can enjoy more durable kayaks with greater stability and even tracking.
So if you have a bit more wiggle room on your budget, you really should think about getting the best fishing kayak under $600. Without a motor, you can even creep up to the fish! Just be mindful of safety precautions when you fish, and you’ll have a great time.