Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 – Great Yet Affordable Models!
Fishing using a kayak has become more popular these days, and that’s probably understandable if you think about it. Kayaks are comparatively affordable, after all. If you’re going to splurge and try to find the best fishing kayaks under $1000, you’ll have plenty of undeniably terrific options.
With a fishing kayak, you have a boat that’s easy to bring to the water. The kayak can access spots in the water that other boats can’t get too. You can also sneak up on the fish much better since you’re paddling and not using a motor.
Table of Contents
- Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 - Comparisons
- Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 - Our Top Picks!
- How to Buy Budget Fishing Kayak
- Final Verdict
Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 - Comparisons
Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 - Our Top Picks!
To help you find the best fishing kayaks under $1000, we’ve already compiled a list of some of your most suitable options:
1. Ocean Kayak 13 Angler Fishing Kayak
No credible list of the best fishing kayaks is probably credible if it doesn’t include the Ocean Kayak Prowler.
It is one of the first commercially produced kayaks that were designed specifically just for fishing. Its design is a classic, and it’s still very popular to this day. It’s like the Camaro of the fishing kayak niche.
This Prowler 13 is a single-user kayak sit-on-top kayak that measures 13 feet and 28 inches wide. The seat is 17 inches wide, and the design can accommodate a leg length of up to 52 inches. This weighs just 56 pounds, so it shouldn’t be too heavy. Some people can handle this alone by pulling it to and from the water.
It has a retractable handle at the bow and at the stern, and there’s a skid plate at the bottom so you don’t damage it too much when you scrape it on the ground as you pull it. But it’s properly better if 2 people carry this, and in addition you also have 2 handles on the sides of the cockpit.
This comes with a maximum weight capacity of 475 pounds, so you can be a big guy and you can still bring lots of equipment safely. For your fishing gear, you have a watertight “click seal” hatch that you can open and lock with just one click and it measures 16.5 by 10 inches.
There are also a 6-inch cam lock hatch system and a huge tank well that’s secured with bungee. If you need to, you can also put some stuff on the deck as it also features bungee cording. The paddle keepers at the side of the kayak also hold the paddle securely.
There are also 2 flush mounted fishing rod holders and 2 molded-in cup holders. There are also scupper holes that aren’t just for draining the water. It’s been modified so that it can take in the transducers that work with a fish finder. You can also put in an anchor system if you want.
The water performance of this kayak is a pleasant surprise. As you can see from pictures of the Prowler 13, it doesn’t have a rudder. If you do see a rudder in the picture, then that means the rudder kit has been installed and this is just an option.
However, as is the Prowler preforms remarkably well, especially when it comes to tracking. This kayak can handle gusts of up to 25 or even 30 mph, as well as somewhat choppy waters. But this tracked the water easily enough even under such circumstances.
The design and the slimness of the kayak also make this a fast kayak, compared to other (cheaper) fishing kayaks out there. Of course, it’s also very stable, which is a “must-have” feature in a fishing kayak. Some people even claim that you can stand on this, although personally I’ve never tried.
This features a molded-in seat well where you can find the “Comfort Plus” seat. It comes with a backrest that’s made from tough UV-resistant nylon. It also offers 4-way adjustment.
- There are lots of storage compartments for all your gear and personal items. The tank well is huge and the front dry hatch works very well. You can also put in more accessories such as transducers more easily.
- The weight capacity is ample enough at 325 pounds, and this may even be a conservative estimate.
- The seat can be adjusted so you’re more comfortable, and there’s lots of leg room.
- Its performance is terrific. It’s extremely stable, quite fast, and the tracking is even excellent without the rudder.
- It even looks good, as the “angler graphics” look unique and it can even reflect the heat on a sunny day.
- You will have to use a water proof bag for the center dry hatch, which does let some water in.
- The seat is only 17 inches wide, and for some large people it’s too small.
2. Useful UH-TK181 12.5 foot Fishing Kayak
Perhaps the most obvious feature you can find in a fishing kayak is the presence of rod holders.
Most of the time, you have 2 flush mounted holders, while other have a 3rd holder in the center of the kayak.
But with the Useful UH-TK181, you have 4 flush mount fishing rod holders plus another 3 adjustable rod holders. You really can’t get enough of these things. Since this a tandem kayak, it offers an excellent weight capacity. It can handle up to 450 pounds of weight.
However, it’s also a bit heavy at 68 pounds. You may need to have another person to help you carry this thing to the water. For that, you have carrying handles at the front and rear as well as on both sides.
For storage, you have a huge basin at the rear of the kayak which can be secured by the bungee tie down system. In addition, you also have 2 hatches on the boat as well. There are 2 paddle rests that can also be secured by bungee cords.
The seats are large enough for most people, and they have an adjustable back rest. Each person also has several foot braces to choose from. The hull is nicely balanced, which gives it the stability you need for fishing. But it can also track very well, and it’s even easy to maneuver.
- You have more than enough fishing rod holders.
- The storage is ample as well. The rear tank well is very large and there’s a dry hatch in front of each seat for personal items. If you’re alone, then you even have more room.
- The paddle rests can hold the paddles securely.
- The performance of the kayak is remarkable. It is very stable, it tracks well, and it’s easy to maneuver.
- It’s a bit heavy for a single person to handle alone.
- Some of the adjustable rod holders may interfere with the paddling.
3. Future Beach Fishing Kayak (Angler 160)
The Future Beach Angler 160 is the largest and most expensive fishing kayak on the Future Beach lineup.
It measures 160 inches long, which translate to 13 feet and 4 inches. It also weighs a lot at 74 pounds, but it does offer a stunning weight capacity of 300 pounds.
Despite these specs, this is a kayak for just a single user, and there isn’t any space for you to add an extra seat. This offers 2 flush mount rod holders, 2 paddle rests with tie down systems for a more secure hold, and a molded-in cup holder. There are also carry handles at the front and rear as well as the sides.
This comes with a molded seat in an open cockpit, so you may have to add your own padding if that’s not too comfy for you. But it does offer an adjustable seat back along with graduated foot wells.
It employs a dihedral hull design that helps with both stability and tracking, and its width is just right at 30 inches. The tough plastic can also endure submerged rocks and concrete bulkheads than other materials (like fiberglass). It has integrated drain plus and a self-bailing design.
With the Angler 160, the storage solutions are superb. The tank well at the stern is large enough to hold a 5-gallon pail and your equipment is secured with bungees. There’s another elliptical hatch at the bow which measures 12 by 20 inches. You also have two round storage hatches at the center and the stern that measures 6 inches across.
- There are lots of storage space and hatches for your equipment and personal items. Future Beach really made sure of this by building a kayak big enough for 2 yet using the extra space for storage and a single user.
- It can accommodate even large people, and the weight capacity is outstanding at 420 pounds.
- The back rest is surprisingly comfy despite its seeming simplicity.
- This is extremely stable, and it feels as if the only way to tip it over is to intentionally do so.
- It also tracks well and it can be maneuvered quite easily.
- The kayak is quite tough.
- The paddle rests can hold the paddle securely.
- It’s not exactly a fast boat, but then again fishing kayaks aren’t built for racing.
- There’s no padding for your seat.
- It’s extremely heavy for a single person to carry.
4. Perception R15 Pescadors 120 Kayak
As is, the Perception R15 Pescador 12.0 is a versatile kayak which you can use for a variety of purposes.
However, Perception Kayaks offer their Angler Package for their 10 and 12-foot kayaks, which transform these versatile kayaks into a full-fledged fishing kayak.
This package installs 2 flush mount rod holders, an adjustable rod holder, and a 3.5-pound anchor kit with trolley onto the Pescador 12.0.
Even without the Angler Package, the features of the Pescador 12 are impressive enough for any angler. First of all, this is a seamless one-piece kayak, built with varied thicknesses so that some areas are reinforced. The tough plastic used here is resistant to impact, abrasion, and UV rays.
Despite the 12-foot length and the tough plastic, this kayak isn’t really heavy at 60 pounds. It has carry handles at the sides and at the front and rear. Yet it can handle a weight of up to 350 pounds.
It can accommodate the size of even large guys, and the seat is adjustable and very comfortable with its padding and the special Comfort Seating System. There are foot rests that you can detach if you’re too tall, and you can use the molded foot stops instead.
This comes with a nice paddle holder, and you do have plenty of storage. You have a large tank well at the rear which is secured by bungee cording. There’s a big oval hatch at the stern, as well as day hatches in the center and behind seat.
This performs very well on the water, and even beginners can make use of this confidently. It offers a nice balance between stability, tracking, and maneuverability.
- It’s a very tough kayak.
- It offers more than enough storage space.
- It’s very comfy to sit on for the whole day, even for big users.
- It’s stable yet it also tracks well and maneuvers easily.
- It’s not too heavy.
- The Angler Package is a separate purchase, and you have to put the accessories in yourself.
- For long trips, you may want to add extra bottom padding.
5. Feelfree Moken 12.5 Fishing Kayak
FeelFree US is fast gaining a lot of fans with their kayaks, and the new Moken 12.5 is sure to add more.
The company emphasizes the use of cool colors that match their cool innovative features. The Moken 12.5 is a good example of their unique philosophy.
This kayak measures 12 feet and 8 inches for better performance on the water, while the 32-inch width offers sufficient stability without too much impact on the tracking and maneuverability. Its weight capacity is at 419 pounds. You can be heavy and bring lots of equipment, and the kayak can accommodate the weight.
It is a bit heavy at 72 pounds (especially for a single-user kayak) but it’s actually not a problem to bring this into the water. If there are two of you, then you can use the molded in side handles to carry it. If you’re alone, then you can just pull the kayak with the front handle. There’s an actual wheel in the keel so you’re not dragging the keel along the ground.
This comes with the “Kingfisher” seat, which offers lots of padding for the seat and for the back rest. It also has adjustable foot rests and legroom of up to 49 inches. It has a drain plug too. Here you have lots of storage options that any angler can appreciate.
The molded in rear storage is big enough for a bait tank or a storage crate, and it’s secured by bungee cording. At the front, you have a large oval hinge hatch plus a smaller dry hatch behind the seat. Then there’s also a center console in the middle of the cockpit placed right between your legs, and here you have extra space for your lures and other items.
If these compartments aren’t enough, you even have side pockets plus a cup holder. It has 2 built-in rod holders situated behind the seat, and you can even add more rod holders. This comes with their Uni-Track quick-release track system that lets you add all sorts of accessories.
This performs very well in the water, with good tracking and maneuverability. But it is also extremely stable and you can stand on it. In fact, it even has a standing pad as well as stand up leash!
- It can handle a lot of weight.
- It’s an understatement to say that it has lots of storage. It comes with a sizeable center console and side pockets in addition to the rear tank well, front oval hatch and day hatch.
- It’s very stable, and it even has a built-in standing pad.
- The wheel in the keel makes it easy to pull alongside you without scraping the bottom of the kayak.
- This can be customized very easily.
- There are lots of “camo” colors to choose from.
- The weight can still be a problem when you need to put this on top of your vehicle.
- You can improve the tracking with a rudder, but that’s a separate purchase.
How to Buy Budget Fishing Kayak
So how do you pick the best fishing kayak? They’re not all the same after all. But they should be able to satisfy your particular requirements, and these requirements are generally the same for most kayak anglers:
Space for equipment
Without exception, every angler knows that they’re going to need lots of space for their equipment. That means there ought to be rod holders tank wells for various tools that you need to be able to reach to right away, as well as hatches for items you want to secure.
This is the maximum number of pounds that your kayak can safely handle on the water. This means you need to keep the total weight (your weight + the weight of your equipment) within the specified limit. With so many people weighing much more these days, you will probably want the highest weight capacity you can get.
Fishing is an activity that’s not done in a hurry. This means you must have a kayak that’s comfy to sit on for hours on end. This requirement usually means that you need to have a well-padded seat, and a backrest is a must. The seat should be comfortable too. The kayak should also be able to accommodate your legs regardless of how long they are. Otherwise you don't get the health benefits of kayaking.
Kayaks come in 2 basic types, and they offer different choices for your comfort. The “sit in” kayak hides your lower body from the wind. The “sit-on-top” kayak is easier for beginners to handle, and you general have more room.
For best fishing kayaks under 1000 dollars, perhaps the most important factor here is the stability. You need a kayak that won’t easily tip over, and it’s great if they can take swells as well. Some kayaks are even so stable that you can sit on the side of the kayak or stand on the kayak and it won’t tip over.
However, if you’re going beyond the budget price point, you should also get a kayak that offers excellent maneuverability and tracking.
You should be able to change directions easily if you’re going into tight fishing spots that bigger boats can’t handle. With good tracking, you can maintain the direction you want and the direction is easily altered by the wind.
Kayaks are inherently more portable than other types of watercraft, since you can just put them on your vehicle roof. But it can be a problem to carry or drag them to and from the water. You need a kayak that you (or two of you) can carry easily enough.
When the price of an item approaches 4 digits, you can no longer consider it a trivial purchase. So you will want a kayak that lasts for several years to make your investment worthwhile. You need a kayak that can take the sun all day long and which can also withstand hitting or scraping over rocks.
So at the very least you should check the warranty of the kayak you’re looking at. Some people like to buy newer models on the belief that newer is better and longer-lasting, but that’s not always true. With kayaks that were released several years ago, at least you can read reviews from owners who can report on how long their kayaks lasted.
This deserves to be on the very bottom of the factors you need to consider. It’s not really a crucial factor, to be honest. Yet if you’re going to spend almost $1000 on a kayak, it should at least look good. You want a kayak that’s impressive to look at, so that you’re excited at the sight of it every time you go out to fish on your kayak.
All these factors were considered when we compiled this list of the best fishing kayaks under $1000. These kayaks may not be very cheap, but they offer superb features for the enthusiastic kayak angler. Any of the kayaks on this list represent very good value for your money.
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