The 5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

The 5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 6/23/2022

The most popular types of recreational kayaks you can buy are fishing kayaks. Kayaks, however, are often very expensive to purchase and can cost thousands of dollars. Beginner paddlers are discouraged from taking up the sport, making it difficult for advanced paddlers to replace or upgrade their kayaks.

Even though you may think that a cheaper kayak won't have as many features as a higher-end one, today's brands are making more budget kayaks that offer everything you need for a great fishing experience. We've put together a list of the best recreational fishing kayaks under $1000 based on that criteria. A buyer's guide has been added to the bottom to show you all the things you need to consider when buying a kayak.

Sea Ghost 110, Vibe

Fishing and adventure go hand in hand with the Sea Ghost. A 1 person's sit-on-top kayak, the Sea Ghost, is 11 feet long. Whether you're a beginning angler or a seasoned pro, it would be beneficial to have this app. Stability is one of the most significant selling points of the Sea Ghost. In addition to being made from a single-piece polyethylene material, the kayak's weight (62lbs) and length provide incredible stability while fishing. It will be impossible for you to fall off when reeling in tough fish. The slip-resistant deck platform of the kayak allows you to stand up without any worries. 

Vibe Sea Ghost Has Some Snazzy Features

Thanks to its sleek design, this kayak is not only stable but also fast and agile. Sea Ghost's toe-controlled rudder system means you won't get tired paddling quickly. As a result, you will save energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents. Due to its hull design, this kayak paddles very quietly in the water, ensuring that you won't scare away any fish.

It can be very inconvenient if you don't have anywhere to put your gear while you're paddling. However, you will have many spaces to store your equipment on the Sea Ghost. Two flush-mounted fishing rod holders, a universal mount for attaching a fish finder transducer or other accessories, and two side bungee paddle parks on this kayak. Additionally, the Sea Ghost comes with six top-loading gear tracks for ultimate kayak customization.

Storage options are another essential aspect of any fishing kayak, and the Sea Ghost has several storage options. There are waterproof cargo bags in the hull, two tackle tray holders, a massive front storage area with bungee cord tie-downs, and a tackle toss tray, but that's not all. This kayak proves that you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a fishing kayak when cheaper models can do the job just as well or even better. 

Pros And Cons


  • Sea Ghost's adjustable foot and back braces, dual-position seat, and toe-controlled rudder ensure that you won't be sore or stiff after a long day of paddling.
  • Anglers can customize this kayak according to their fishing style.


  • Even though the weight of the boat helps it maintain stability, it can be challenging to transport to and from the water and store.

Tarpon 120 By Wilderness Systems

Kayakers in the kayaking community know and trust Wilderness Systems for making high-quality kayaks. It's no different with this budget sit-on-top fishing kayak. Whether fishing in rivers, lakes, or oceans, the Tarpon is an excellent choice for anglers who enjoy fishing in various places. Designed for ease of use and comfort on the water, the Tarpon is fast, efficient, and has excellent tracking capabilities. With Tarpon, you won't have to worry about being sore or aching after spending a long time on the water.

Comfort Is The Hallmark Of The Tarpon 120

The AirPro seat is marketed as "the most comfortable kayak seat out there" with a fully adjustable kayak seat. Furthermore, the mesh fabric covers and ergonomic 3D foam help keep you cool while supporting your lower back. The kayak also has large padded adjustable footrests for support and comfort, making it suitable for any height paddlers.

Tarpon offers many storage spaces to meet all of your needs. You can store crates, coolers, fishing equipment, and other items in the rear storage well. The front of the boat has a dry storage hatch. You can use the dry Tec removable dry box to store wallets, phones, keys, and valuables. Organize smaller items like sunscreen, fishing lures, and snacks on the sectioned storage tray. At the back of the kayak is a fishing rod holder.

Anglers may also find some customization on the Tarpon appealing. To enhance your kayaking experience, you can add sidetrack accessory rails to add more fishing gear. Even though the Tarpon has fewer features than some of the other kayaks on this list, it is still a very sturdy and quality kayak that will meet your fishing needs.

Pros And Cons


  • The Tarpon is very maneuverable in the water, tracking well and pivoting quickly.
  • Whether you are on the water for a short or long time, a comfortable ride awaits.


  • The heavyweight of 62 pounds makes it challenging to transport and carry.

Kayak Old Town Topwater 106 Angler Fishing

Kayaks from Old Town are also very popular. They offer a wide range of high-quality and affordable kayak options, so it's easy to see why. The Topwater 106 fishing kayak is lightweight and agile with fantastic fishing performance. With over 10ft in length, the boat's sleek design allows you to glide quietly through the water without disturbing the fish below.

Furthermore, the DoubleU hull design offers a great deal of stability and precise handling. So, even when you're standing up, the kayak won't tip over. Deck pads made of EVA foam offer supreme traction and comfort. The Topwater also has a few other standout features. Three-rod holders and tackle storage complete the package. Its innovative universal transducer mounting system makes mounting your favorite fish finder more straightforward.

Topwater 106 Storage Galore

In addition, the Topwater has a plethora of storage options to meet your needs. It has a sizeable stern tank well and a large hull to maximize storage. A large amount of bungee cord storage is also available on the rear of the kayak. Additionally, there is onboard tackle and rod storage, so you can easily take four or more rods.

With an Element Air seat constructed of breathable mesh, the Topwater offers high and low positioning for maximum comfort while paddling, pedaling, or angling. At ten feet long, this kayak should be comfortable for paddlers of any height. With the Topwater kayak, you'll have an easy and comfortable ride on the water, no matter how long you're on the water.

Pros And Cons


  • Whether standing up or sitting down, the kayak is very stable, so you won't have to worry about tipping over or falling off.
  • Despite its good handling in rough waters, this kayak is still very maneuverable.


  • Buyers who purchase kayaks may not realize that paddles are sold separately.

Outlaw Perception 11.5

Beginner paddlers will find perception kayaks to be the easiest to use. The products of this company are incredibly high-quality and durable, but they're also straightforward to use, which makes them a big draw to people who are just starting kayaking.

Many of their products are very affordable, making them accessible to almost everyone. Perception describes the Outlaw as the ultimate sit-on-top fishing kayak, considering all the features specifically designed for anglers.

Perception Outlaw Offers Plenty Of Room For Fishing

It's easy to stand up or sit in this kayak while fishing, making it very appealing. You can remove the seat if you prefer to stand while you fish, while the expansive deck and large platform ensure that you remain stable while reeling in your catch. It is possible to adjust the seat height to a very high level to sit high above the water and have a better view of the kayak.

You can mount various fishing accessories on this kayak in several places. The double-barrel rod holders can hold up to four fishing rods, and they are convenient for quick access when you need them and keep them out of the way when you're paddling. The mounts and accessory holders are sold separately, but the three solo mount recesses make mounting easy.

If you remove the seat, you can add a 35-liter cooler for storage, serving as a seat. Outlaw kayaks feature rear bungee cord storage and a covered front storage area for bungee cords.

The molded-in trays can accommodate all of your smaller items and valuables and cup holders so that they are easily accessible. The Outlaw is a great all-around fishing kayak, and while paddlers of all abilities will appreciate its ease of use and maneuverability, beginners may particularly enjoy it. 

Pros And Cons


  • Thanks to a replaceable skid plate, dragging the kayak on the ground will not damage it.
  • There is even more standing room on the deck with a removable seat.


  • This kayak is a bit slower than other kayaks because of the hull's shape, which has been designed for stability. As a result, it cannot paddle very fast, which may not be an issue for beginners.

Fishing Explorer Sea Eagle 350FX

It is different from others on this list as an inflatable kayak , but that does not mean that it lacks performance, durability, or stability. There are several reasons why some paddlers prefer to buy inflatable kayaks because they offer several advantages over hard-bodied kayaks.

The most significant advantage of inflatable kayak s is that they are accessible to transport and store. The 350FX kayak is 11ft long when inflated, but it fits into a large bag included with the purchase when deflated. The kayak proliferates, and it will take just 7 minutes to grow fully, so you'll be out on the water in no time. 

Strong And Sturdy, The Sea Eagle 350FX

In many cases, people who have never used an inflatable kayak before may be concerned about how durable they are since they fill with air. Inflatable kayaks, however, are often as stable as their hard-bodied counterparts in terms of durability.

The 350FX features a removable inner inflatable floor reinforced with a top layer of 1000 denier fabric that protects against sharp hooks, fins, and abrasions and the non-slip EVA foam padding. You can store some items under these skirts. Additionally, Sea Eagle allows you to stow rods, hooks, and lures.

You can adjust the footrests for maximum comfort. Additionally, the seat is inflatable and offers sufficient back support while you fish. The 350FX may be the best choice for you if you're considering inflatable kayak s for the first time or looking for an upgrade to your existing kayak.

Pros And Cons


  • You can use this if you don't have the space to store a large, hard-bodied kayak in your home. Inflatable kayaks are extremely easy to store and transport.
  • With the built-in 40-inch fish ruler, you can measure all your catches right away.


  • When you take your gear out on the water, you might want to consider investing in some waterproof bags if there is any gear that you want to keep dry while you are out on the water.

The Buyer's Guide

It would be best to look for some features when purchasing a kayak for fishing. 

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of all kayaks varies, but fishing kayaks will have a lot more weight on them when out on the water. For this reason, you will want one that can hold a lot of weight. When calculating what you can store on your kayak, remember to include your weight. You should never exceed the maximum weight capacity, and even reaching it should be avoided if possible. Heavier kayaks will be more challenging to control on the water, and even buoyant objects can submerge if they are too heavy. 


You will most likely be carrying a lot of gear out onto the water when you go fishing, and remember that you will bring even more back to shore if you keep your catches. Therefore, you should make sure the kayak you buy has plenty of storage areas where you can store your cooler, rods, and other equipment. In addition, not all kayaks come with dry storage areas, so this is also an important consideration. 


Anglers spend hours or even all day on the water. Therefore, you should choose a kayak that is comfortable to sit, stand, and paddle in for hours. A fishing kayak typically has several features that make it more comfortable to ride. Take a look at these and see if they can help you before buying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Kayak Is The Most Stable?

Kayak hulls with pontoons are the most stable. This hull type can be found most often in calm waters in sit-on-top recreational kayaks. However, they have the disadvantage of making the kayak slower and harder to maneuver.

Do Shorter Kayaks Work Better?

What you want your kayak to do depends on what you want it to do. A longer kayak cruises more efficiently and offers more storage space, but a shorter kayak provides more maneuverability and is more responsive in the water.

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