Best Fishing Kayak Under $800
Kayaks have been used as a means for transportation and fishing since prehistoric times. Needless to say, the ones used by the indigenous people living in the Arctic regions were not as safe, maneuverable, and fast as they are today.
For the past two decades, kayak fishing has been gaining popularity. Advanced equipment such as fish finders, GPS navigation systems, and improved fishing rods make kayak fishing a lot of fun.
Having said that, not every angler can afford the latest kayak. In this post, I have reviewed the best fishing kayaks under 800 bucks. In the latter part, I have also discussed the best way to choose a fishing kayak for your unique needs.
Best Fishing Kayak Under $800
1. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90
For the last seven years, Vibe has been at the apex of the paddling industry in the United States. This company is founded and run by Joshua and John, massive fans of kayaking. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 comes in an exciting color combination. The sky blue, white, and green colors appear majestic in the middle of an ocean.
The Skipjack 90 is a one-person kayak for fishermen and recreational users. It is 9 feet long and weighs 46 lbs. The top seat may not be ergonomically designed, but it sure does offer the freedom of movement one needs for paddling. Further, it also comes with a mount point for keeping your accessories.
The vessel has enough space in the rear end to protect all your kayaking necessities. You can take a breather in the middle of a ride by placing the paddle on the two trusty paddle parks.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 is Suitable For:If your goal is to find the best fishing kayak under $800, congratulations, you've found one. This hunting vessel is ideally suited for both lakes and oceans. If you are into catching big game fish in the sea, this kayak will provide enough stability against moderately sized waves.
2. Perception Pescador
Perception kayaks are designed, molded, and assembled in Greenville, South Carolina. This US-made kayak is one of the most comfortable and safe hunting vessels out there. The Pescador Tandem is 13 feet long and 34 inches wide. The boat weighs about 69 lbs and capable of carrying a maximum load up to 500 lbs.
This is one of the best fishing kayaks under $800 for those looking for a versatile (recreational+fishing) small boat. This sit-on-top tandem kayak can accommodate two medium-sized adults and small children or a pet.
For unsurpassed comfort, Perception Pescador offers a thick ventilated padded seat. Also, the seat can be adjusted according to the body size and personal preference of the paddler. Plus, items like a cooler or fishing gear can be tied on the open storage (front and rear).
Perception Pescador is Suitable For:This is a perfect kayak for a small family. You, your spouse, and a kid/pet can use this boat during a weekend getaway or a vacation. This kayak is designed for speed. Even with three people and luggage, riding a boat feels like floating on a puffy cloud.
3. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 is a perfect kayak for those looking for a heavy-duty recreational vessel. This one-person kayak is 10 feet long and weighs about 55 lbs. It is wide enough (30.5-inches) to accommodate a well-built person. According to the manufacturer, it can carry a maximum load of 325 lbs.
This kayak comes with a standard phase 3 AirPro sit-on-top seat, although it is not adjustable. It might appear slim (and it is by design), but the manufacturer has equipped this small and versatile vessel with enough accessories to weigh 55 lbs. Also, it should be noted that the body is made from Polyethylene.
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 is Suitable For:
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 is made specifically for recreational purposes. You can ride it in lakes, rivers, and also seas. The structure of this kayak is a bit unusual. There are two hatches— both in front of the seat.
You can keep valuable items such as phones or wallets in the hatch and a cooler on the rear end's open storage space.
4. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 With Paddle
Lifetime is a US-based fishing equipment manufacturer. When it comes to product design, it is known to be big on looks. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is an eye-catching kayak with a well-proportioned body. With a flat bottom hull, it sits nicely on the water, giving you the stability you need in calm and rough conditions.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a 10 feet long kayak. It is not easy to paddle such a lengthy kayak in the forward direction. This is why it comes with a tracking skeg. The skeg gives you the freedom to match strokes on both sides, so the kayak effortlessly moves forward.
Further, it can accommodate one well-built person and some accessories/gear like a cooler and fishing equipment. The body is made with high-density and lightweight polyethylene material.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler With Paddle is Suitable For:Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is an all-purpose kayak. It is well-suited for fishing and recreational purposes. The hull of the boat is precision-engineered to keep the kayak stable in all types of water bodies. You can even stand up and cast.
5. Ocean Kayak Frenzy
Are you looking for a fishing and recreational kayak with a tri-form hull? Frenzy by Ocean Kayak is 9 feet long and weighs 43 lbs. It does not have the same weight-bearing capacity as the Perception Pescador, but it can carry one well-built person along with some luggage (like water bottles and fishing rod).
Why should one consider the shape of the hull before buying a kayak? Experts agree that the shape of the hull affects the performance of the kayak. A tri-form hull provides both primary and secondary stability. Meaning, it stays stable in both calm and rough weather conditions.
The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is also equipped with a long center keel. Hence, the kayak keeps on going straight as long as you guide the water in its opposite direction. Also, when taking a quick turn, the two shoulders keep the vessel stable.
Ocean Kayak Frenzy is Suitable For:Although this kayak is marketed for saltwater paddlers, the boat rides fine in freshwaters. However, make sure the river is calm or at least has moderately sized waves. You want to be careful while paddling this kayak in a river with class 2 or 3.
6. Driftsun Voyager
Are you looking for an inflatable kayak with high load-carrying capacity? Driftsun Voyager has all the features you need to search for inside the best fishing kayak under $800.
How is an inflatable kayak advantageous for an angler? Anglers with health issues like osteoporosis, muscle pain, back pain, etc. find it easy to get in and out of a wide inflatable kayak. Moreover, an inflatable kayak offers greater freedom of movement than a polyethylene or fiberglass kayak.
Needless to say, this kayak is portable. When deflated, it measures 26" (L) x 16" (W) x 8" (H) and fits nicely into a carry bag (included in the product package). Furthermore, the package includes a hull, two EVA-padded adjustable seats, two paddles, an action hand pump, a removable tracking skeg, and a carry bag.
Driftsun Voyager is Suitable For:
It is a two-person kayak with a load-carrying capacity of 400 lbs. The kayak itself weighs 27 lbs.
7. Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181
The UH-TK181 from Brooklyn Kayak Company (BKC) is a single-piece high-density polyethylene kayak. This uniquely-designed kayak comes with a lot of features and accessories. It is a two-person seater kayak and can be used either for fishing or recreation. The manufacturer has also facilitated the mounting of a fish finder device at the bow.
Furthermore, the BKC UH-TK181 is equipped with three articulated fishing rod holders and four flush-mounted rod holders. Let the fishing rod do its job while you enjoy the surroundings. You don't need to watch the line the entire time. You and your partner can both fish with multiple lines at the same time.
For those who desire effortless control over the kayak can attach a rudder. BKC has made provisions for the user to attach a rudder in the kayak's stern (rear end).
Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 is Suitable For:This kayak is custom-designed to be used in an inland lake. In lake-rich areas like Michigan, the state has prohibited the use of motorized boats. This rule benefits the fish as they get to breed and keep the population up. This is where UH-TK181 from BKC comes into the picture.
Buyer's Guide - Things to Look for When Choosing a Kayak
Choosing a kayak may not be that difficult if you plan to use it only a few times per year. Kayaking is fun. A lot of people get into it during the summers. If this sounds like you, simply go for an affordable kayak. Cheap kayaks are made with Polyethylene and can last long with proper maintenance and care.
On the other hand, if you have a decent amount of kayaking experience, you would want to go for a premium feature-rich kayak. Fortunately, manufacturers like Vibe, Perception, and BKC have introduced some premium models under $800.
Here are the factors you need to consider before buying a fishing or recreational kayak
1. Hull Type
The bottom portion of a kayak is known as hull. The performance of a kayak is directly impacted by the shape of the hull. Make sure you choose the right hull, depending on what you are planning to use the kayak for.
Hull Types in a Kayak
Rounded: As you see from the picture above, a rounded hull has a smooth curvature and no sharp edges on its surface. This is the most common type of hull used in the construction of fishing and recreational kayaks. It improves the maneuverability and keeps the boat stable all along.
V-Shaped: V-Shaped hulls have a sharper (v-shaped) edge in the central part. Although this type of hull is less-common, they are used extensively in kayaks designed for speed. They offer more secondary stability and less primary stability. Getting in and out of a kayak with a v-shaped hull is quite challenging as it rolls over due to uneven weight.
Flat: As the name suggests, the central portion in a flat hull is leveled and has no sharp edges. The flat portion is outstretched along the width of the kayak. As you would have guessed, flat hulls offer better primary stability.
Pontoon: Pontoon type hulls have a depression in the central portion. This type of hull was invented to combine the characteristics of a flat hull and a rounded hull. It offers both primary and secondary stability.
2. Seat Type
Irrespective of what purpose you use a kayak for, comfortable seating is always a desired feature. Below I have mentioned the two common seating arrangements in a kayak.
Sit-On-Top: These are the most popular seats used in modern say kayaks. This design makes it easy for paddlers to get in and out of the kayak. Seats are generally made with high-density EVA material.
A seat made with a sit-on-top design can prevent you from getting wet, especially if the kayak has scupper holes at the base. On the other hand, you are more likely to get soaking wet in a sea with medium to large-sized waves.
Sit-Inside: Kayak seats made with the sit-inside model have no or shorter legs. This type of seating arrangement is much-needed when paddling in icy-cold water. They also keep you safe from winds.
If you are an average-sized person with no physical ailments, you would not be much concerned about the dimension of a kayak. When designing a kayak for fishing or recreational purposes, manufacturers take well-built and taller-than-average paddlers into account. Still, it would be wise to check the length, width, and height of the kayak.
4. Load Bearing Capacity
Depending on the load-bearing capacity of a kayak, it can accommodate one or more people. According to a report by Healthline, an average American man 20 years old and up weighs 197.9 pounds— women weigh 20-30 pounds less.
Given that he/she will carry fishing gear, cooler, and other accessories, a one-person kayak should be able to bear 250-300 pounds weight. Make sure to check the load-bearing capacity of a kayak before you choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Cheap Fishing Kayak?
Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 is one of the cheapest kayaks on the market. There is no questioning that you can get a fishing kayak even less expensive than this one.
But it is important to realize that a kayak is a mini boat. When you are in the water with your spouse and kid, you don't want things to go wrong due to a low-quality fault-prone kayak.
Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 is not only affordable but also a reliable product. Brooklyn Kayak Company has been around in the fish equipment market for decades.
What is the Best Size Kayak for Fishing?
Generally speaking, the best size of a kayak is determined by the application you plan to use it for. Next, you should also take into account the type of water.
For fishing in a small freshwater body such as a pond, a mangrove with a dense plantation, and a lake, a 10 feet kayak should be ideal. Further, for large water bodies such as open river and ocean, a 10+ feet kayak would suffice.
Whether you are planning to go out fishing once in a while or on a regular basis, you must take into account the points mentioned in the buyer's guide earlier in the post. The kayaks mentioned in this post are capable of sailing at a wind speed below 15mph.From the fishing kayaks discussed in this post, I would pick Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 as the best fishing kayak under 800 bucks. This mini boat is designed to be used in both freshwater and saltwater bodies. It has ample storage space for your fishing equipment.
Last Updated on December 4th, 2020