Fishing kayaks are compact boats that enhance the efficiency and the overall productivity of fishing. Casting your line from a fishing kayak is quite rewarding. Fishing kayak aids you in the process of fishing. These kayaks stand out from the standard kayaks because they are designed to accommodate all your fishing requirements.
Now, there is a widespread misconception that these super flexible kayaks only come in a hefty price such as fishing kayak that cost up to 1000 dollars. However, if you search well, you can find these kayaks at a price as low as $400. You get great functionality of these budget kayaks at a fraction of the price of a premium kayak.
There are many factors to consider before buying the best fishing kayak under $400. The weight, length, storage capacity, weight capacity are some of the most important factors to consider. Other features like fishing accessories, rod holders, paddle holders, are other essential factors to consider.
You can reach your favorite fishing spot with ease in these kayaks, and it is much better to cast from the kayaks than to cast from the shore. After much research, I have listed the five best fishing kayaks under $400. I have also provided the detailed review of each product and the final verdict.
Best Fishing Kayak Under $400 – [Top 5 Review]
1. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak– Best Sit In Fishing Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak is a great fishing kayak under the price range of $400. The kayak has a sit inside design that protects you from water getting inside the kayak. The kayak is perfect for calm waters like lakes and also ideal for white water rivers.
The lightweight kayak is extremely portable weighing just 41 pounds. There are two T-handles on the kayak’s end for portability and efficiency. The 10 feet kayak is excellent for storage, and there is high-density polyethylene material, which makes the kayak sturdy and capable of taking abuses.
Moreover, there are two flush mount rod holders along with one swivel rod holder, and this feature makes it able to hook three different fishing poles simultaneously. The padded seats that lean against the rim of the kayak’s cockpit, provide a significant amount of back support. The Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak has a comfortable padding, which allows you to fish all day long.
Furthermore, there is a storage compartment in the stern of the boat, along with a single water bottle holder. You can stow your paddle in the paddle holder and relax when not paddling or while fishing. There are adjustable seats and foot braces. Two protective thigh pads help you to rest your legs inside the cockpit. Overall, the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Kayak is an outstanding fishing kayak under the price of $400.
- Sit-in design protects you from water getting inside the kayak
- The kayak is lightweight and portable at 41 pounds
- High-density polyethylene material makes the kayak sturdy and durable
- Two flush mount rod holders along with one swivel rod holder
- Padded seats that lean against the rim of the kayak’s cockpit
- Storage compartment in the stern of the boat
- Adjustable seats and foot braces
- Two protective thigh pads
- Some users complained about the build quality
2. Sun Dolphin SS 10 Foot Bali Sit On Top Kayak– Best Lightweight Youth Kayak
The Sun Dolphin SS 10 Foot Bali Sit On Top Kayak has a sit on top design is that gives you ample space for movement while fishing. The 12-foot kayaks models are the best in the range, but the 10-foot Bali SS offers more maneuverability and sharp turns. The kayak is ideal for beginners and youth.
The Bali SS has a unique Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) which gets located in the back of the kayak to offer dry storage, and you can pull it out and tow it if required. You can store your fishing gears and accessories without weighing down the kayak.
Moreover, the only downside is that there are no fishing mounts, so you will need to hold onto your rods manually. There are water bottle holder and a paddle holder that gives you more freedom of movement and keeps the fishing rods accessible. The bungee cords on the edge of the kayaks and the side pocket provide ample storage.
Furthermore, there is a thick padding on the sides for the comfortable position of the legs well placed for most anglers. There is an adjustable seat pad that adds to the comfort of the kayak. The lightweight kayak comes in a variety of color options. There are two corded handles for portability options on the front and the back. Overall, the Sun Dolphin SS 10 Foot Bali Sit On Top Kayak is the best compact kayak with the maximum weight of 250 pounds.
- Dry storage compartment with stretch cord riggings
- Front and rear handles for carrying
- The open cockpit is more comfortable to get in and out
- Protective thigh pads for comfort
- Side mesh compartments for additional storage
- Adjustable foot braces
- Multiple colors available
- Removable portable accessory carrier
- Soft seat padding
- Some users complained about the quality control
3. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak– Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is another excellent sit-on-top fishing kayak under $400. The kayak is extremely portable at 52 pounds. There are two carrying handles for easy carrying the kayak. It measures 10 feet in length, which is less than average but adds to the ease of transportation factor of the kayak.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is exceptionally stable and durable. The kayak is impact-resistant and lasts you a lifetime. There is a flat bottom in the kayak which makes the kayak stable, but you need to practice before you start your stand up fishing adventures. There are paddle keeper and accessory storage under the two deck hatches.
Moreover, this kayak is ideal for still waters but not suitable for choppy waters. It has two carved stability channels that help to balance the kayak in the water. There are two flush-mounted fishing rod holders along with one adjustable holder for your fishing expedition. These three hands-free rods help you in fishing a lot.
Furthermore, for keeping your catch, there is a bow or stern gear storage location that comes with incorporated shock chords. The kayak comes with a five-year limited warranty which assures durable construction. Overall, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is the best sit on top fishing kayaks available in the market.
- Two carrying handles for easy carrying
- Extremely stable and durable
- Impact-resistant and lasts you a lifetime
- Two carved stability channels that help to balance the kayak
- Two flushes mounted fishing rod holders along with one adjustable holder
- A bow or stern gear storage location with incorporated shock chords
- Five-year limited warranty
- Need practice before you start your stand up fishing adventures
- Not suitable for choppy waters
4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-person Fishing Kayak– Best Tandem Fishing Kayak
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-person Fishing Kayak is an excellent kayak for fishing with a companion, and it also comes to the reasonable price range of $400. This inflatable kayak has ample storage options and is quite portable. The primary material used in the kayak is Tough nylon and PVC, which assures the durability.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado Kayak has multiple air chambers that prevent the kayak from deflation completely. Even if one section of the kayak deflates, the kayak remains inflated and assures maximum safety. The Sevylor Kayak has a maximum load capacity of 470 pounds and has ample storage requirement.
Moreover, the seats are comfortable, padded, and adjustable; you can personalize the seat as per your wish. There are paddle holders on the side which frees up space inside the cockpit and allows you to move freely while casting and retrieving. There are Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders that allow hands-off fishing experience.
Furthermore, you can keep your lunch or snacks in the built-in mesh pockets inside the kayak. If you get tired by paddling all day, you can connect a trolling motor to push the kayak automatically. Overall, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado Kayak 2-Person Fishing Kayak is an ideal family fishing kayak for all family fishing adventures.
- Ample storage options and is quite portable
- Robust nylon and PVC which assures the durability
- Multiple air chambers that prevent the kayak from completely deflating
- Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders allow a hands-off fishing experience
- Built-in mesh pockets inside the kayak
- Can connect a trolling motor to push the kayak automatically
- Comfortable, padded, and adjustable seats
- Paddle holders on the side which frees up space inside the cockpit
- Some users complained about the leak in the kayak
5. Sevylor Big Basin 3-person Kayak– Best Family Kayak
The Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is an inflatable, lightweight, and portable kayak perfect for family trips. The kayak weighs only 35 pounds but is 12 feet long, which is excellent for a family outing.
The maximum load capacity of the kayak is 490 pounds. The kayak is highly durable as it gets made from heavy-duty PVC. There are multiple air chambers to avoid full deflation in case of an accidental puncture. The rugged bottom of the kayak and can handle light scraping, but excessive abuse might puncture the kayak.
Moreover, the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak has adjustable seats which allow you to remove the extra seats if not necessary and put your seat wherever you want. The kayak is perfect for calm waters, lakes, and rivers, but you might need some practice before you set out on a sea fishing adventure.
Furthermore, there is a spray skirt on the kayak which keeps you and your family protected from water splashes and keeps you dry. The only downside of the kayak is that there are no fishing pole holders for hands-free fishing. The storage capacity is quite limited as compared to other kayaks. Overall, the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is ideal for a family fishing adventure.
- The maximum load capacity of 490 pounds
- Heavy-duty PVC construction makes it highly durable
- Multiple air chambers to prevent accidental puncture
- The rugged bottom can handle light scraping
- Adjustable seats which allow you to remove the extra seats
- The kayak is perfect for calm waters, lakes, and rivers
- The spray skirt keeps you and your family dry
- No fishing pole holders for hands-free fishing
- Limited storage capacity as compared to other kayaks
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Fishing Kayak Under $400
Weight of the kayak
The weight of the kayak is essential as you can carry a lightweight kayak and you don’t need a trailer or another hand to carry them. This feature is quite essential for solo kayakers. The lightweight kayaks are less stable in comparison to their more substantial competitors.
The heavier kayaks can withstand bigger waves in the waters. However, these kayaks are hard to turn over and more burdensome to handle in water. These kayaks are best for more than one person or tandem kayaking with a companion or a pet.
Length of the kayak
The ideal size of a good kayak is between 10 to 12 feet. Shorter kayaks are easy to maneuver and are more suitable for calmer waters, lakes, and rivers. The long kayaks are ideal for marine waters for long day paddling adventure.
These kayaks move at higher speeds because of their narrow hulls. You might require more effort in these kayaks to keep it in a straight line and overall tracking. A short, versatile kayak might not provide you with maximum speed, but they are portable and best suited for casual kayaking.
The primary material used in the construction of kayaks includes carbon fibre, fibreglass, or hard-wearing plastics. Some manufacturers also use polyethylene plastic. Fiberglass and carbon fibre materials constructed kayak gives a higher overall performance as they are stiffer in comparison.
You can find no warps, dents, or scratches as these materials can hold themselves well. Plastic kayaks are heavy and less responsive than composite materials made a kayak. They are damage proof and sturdy.
The weight capacity of the kayak is an essential factor to consider which primarily depends upon the kayaker’s weight, the weight of your companion if any, and the amount of the fishing and other gears. A kayak with the load capacity of over 300-400 pounds is enough for a solo kayaker.
Features for fishing
Kayak fishing is one of the primary functions of these kayaks; therefore, you should consider kayaks with additional features that are ideal for fishing. The features like fishing pole rod holders, paddle holders, and extra cargo storage are quite crucial for fishing.
You can have a hands-free fishing experience with the help of paddle holders. Extra cargo storage is ideal for anglers to hold their bait and tackle. You can also place your coolers and other gears in the storage compartment.
Paddle holders keep your paddle safe and secure while casting a line or retrieving your catch. It is easy to hook up the paddle inside. The Extra padded seats are great if you want to take a long day out in the water.
A kayak with sturdy back support is quite essential if you plan on spending long hours on your kayak. There are kayaks with extra padding, especially if you’re planning to take a long fishing day out in the water. You can find various sit on top kayak seats in the market.
You can lean back while paddling and stretch your feet comfortably. If you are a casual kayaker that likes to take short trips, then you might not find this feature necessary. However, if you love to fish all day long, then you must get the kayak with this exceptional feature
The behavior of the kayak in the water depends upon the beam’s width. The extensive beam kayak creator drag, which in turn increases the overall stability of the kayak. It will be tough to maneuver these kayaks in the water.
Narrow beam kayaks are fast because there is no resistance. The kayak becomes more responsive and is easier to maneuver. However, narrow beams can flip over more quickly due to less stability.
Kayaks that have 30 inches or broader beams are ideal for anglers because it allows them to stand up while casting or retrieving. On the other hand, narrower kayaks ensure no drag and are perfect for racing.
A reasonable Warranty period issued by the manufacturer ensures protection against any product issues that may arise during the period. The most extended warranty period assures excellent build quality. This feature is a must-have for kayakers who seek their kayak as a long term investment.
The Final Verdict
The kayaks listed above are of exceptional quality and provide great functionality. It is a challenging task to choose the best one from the list. However, if I had to choose one, I would choose the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak. The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Fishing Kayak comes with a sit-in design that protects you from water getting inside the kayak.
The lightweight kayak is extremely portable and made from high-density polyethylene material, which makes the kayak tough. There are two flush mount rod holders, one swivel rod holder, storage compartment and other fishing features. Overall, the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Kayak is an outstanding fishing kayak under the price of $400.