Best Fishing Kayaks For Beginners On A Budget

best fishing kayaks for beginners under $200

Let’s face it. Not all of us have the money to throw down on a new fishing kayak as a beginner.

When it comes to buying a fishing kayak, some of the best-fitted kayaks for fishing are quite expensive.

Those kinds of fishing kayaks offer all the bells and whistles that anyone could want and are out on the water looking like a creature from the deep with as many rods that they can hold.

What if though, you are just a regular Joe who wants to get out on the water but doesn’t want to throw down the cash for expensive fishing kayaks?

There is a solution.

Believe it or not, there are kayaks out there on the market that are inexpensive and will get the job done.

After all, it isn’t the size of the vessel you have that catch the fish now, is it? No.

It is the skill you have as an angler and the bait you use blended with a bit of luck and determination.

When it comes to the end of the day, it is all about the fish you landed, not how expensive the boat was or the size of your toy.

And, when you are just a beginner, you would want something that will make you feel complete when you are out in the water.

You want to enjoy your day out in the water and catch some fish without any difficulty. There are some fishing kayaks for beginners on a budget that just do the same.

Check out:

Best Fishing Kayaks For Beginners On A Budget

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Are cheap kayaks good for beginners?

Being in the phase when you want to learn kayak fishing, you do want to save some money and learn with as little spending as possible.

I understand.

Everyone is a savvy shopper as a beginner.

But, as a beginner we also want to have all the qualities that we require in a fishing kayak, don’t we?

You don’t want one that is poorly made or designed.

You want one that won’t puncture if you stick your hook in it.

And, you definitely don’t want one that will bust on you out in the middle of the water leaving you soaked and your gear lost.

You want a kayak that will do its job so you can do yours.

Yes, there are some fishing kayaks on a budget that also rank as some of the best fishing kayaks anyone can have.

Things to consider​

So how do you choose the right fishing kayak on a budget? 

You surely don’t want to flip over and get hurt or buy a kayak that is not stable.

While the budget is what sets a major distinction in the quality of kayaks you purchase, there are kayaks that are affordable and are worth every penny you spend for.​

Here are a few details you need to be concerned about.​


After you see a few that you like you should consider what the material is made from.

Many inflatable kayaks will be affordable on a budget and provide you will a paddle and a pump to go along with it, but what about the material?

You should look for kayaks that provide you with multiple air chambers in case you hook or the bladder bursts.

Also, make sure that the PVC material is of a high grade of 20-gauge PVC or higher.

The higher the grade the more resistant the material is to punctures that can occur not just from hooks, but from tree branches and other debris under the water you can’t see.

Style and design

When you are buying a kayak for yourself, you want it to be durable and sturdy. You also don’t want to compromise on the quality and overall design.

You want space for your gear and you want it to be able to carry not only you but all the stuff you are bringing along on your trip.

But that is where it becomes a bit tricky.

You can get a kayak on a budget that will provide you with the space you need, but lack other essentials like the paddle and pump.

Usually, tandem kayaks won’t come with all the extras, but what you are paying for is the real estate of the kayak and the space required for all your gear.

Next, you may want to look at hard-shell versus inflatable kayaks. Many people get the sense that if it is hard-shell then it is better.

However, you should also think about what the military uses. You don’t see them using hard-shell kayaks or rescue boats that are hard, they are all inflatable.

There are many reasons for this, and one believes it or not is because inflatable kayaks are more stable.

Inflatable kayaks are designed with tubes that wrap around the entire boat and keep it buoyant which makes it more difficult to tip or capsize.

If you get a hard-shell kayak they offer you the ability to stand up in some but are too easy to tip or become unbalanced.

With inflatable kayaks, you don’t have that issue as the air pressure within the air chambers shifts and adjusts to where the weight leans.

So, don’t underestimate inflatable kayaks, they aren’t as cheaply made as you would suspect them to be.

But, if you don’t particularly fancy inflatable kayaks, you can also go and hunt for the sit-in or sit-on top kayaks that also have some models that you can afford on a budget.​

10 Best Fishing Kayaks For Beginners

Having an inexpensive kayak might come with a few downsides. You might not have that extra paddle or a good kayak seat or the space inside the vessel might be small to adjust your gear. 

However, not all kayaks are created equal. Each kayak on the list has its qualities and disadvantages. 

ou will have to think hard about what you want from your fishing kayak and be willing to sacrifice space for comfort or maneuverability and your fishing strategy.​

Here are the best fishing kayaks for beginners on a budget.

1. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

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The Sevylor Quickpak K1 kayak is an inflatable kayak that takes but a few minutes for you to inflate before you are out on the water and having a great time.

The K1 comes with a pump and a backpack so you can easily take this kayak with you anywhere you find water.

The material is made with 21-gauge PVC that is rugged and reliable should you brush up against debris in the water or onto a rocky beach.

The tarpaulin bottom gives this kayak added durability from punctures.

This kayak offers multiple air chambers so that if the vessel is punctured you don’t have to worry about going down as the others will keep the kayak buoyant.

The K1 provides several foot rests so you can get comfortable on long trips and the seat is adjustable to those with back issues.

One of the nicer features of this kayak is the cup holder to keep your drink close at hand instead of buried in your pack at your feet.

The K1 can hold up to 400 pounds and includes a paddle and the pump. It is an 8-foot kayak that is a good bang for your buck with everything you need to get out on the water.

It is not rigged for fishing but is perfect for a single line out on the water and for beginners who would rather relax and fish casually.

Features I like​

  • Good design and durable construction.
  • Comes with pump, backpack and paddles.
  • Cup holders and foot rests for comfortability.
  • Good loading.
  • Inexpensive.

2. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

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If you are tight on funds, then look no further than the single paddler Intex Challenger K1 Kayak.

The Challenger is one of the cheapest kayaks you can get that comes with a paddle and pump. 

The Challenger is nimble and will suit your families needs for a day out on the water.

You will have no issues with this kayak as it is constructed of PVC material that is sturdy and reliable.

The Challenger can hold up to 220 pounds and is just over 9 feet with plenty of room for a bag or other gear.

While it may not look like much the Challenger is designed with bright colors so others can easily spot you on the water.

This fishing kayak for beginners is easy to lift and carry to the water as it only weighs 27 pounds when fully inflated.

The only issue is the seat. The seat is inflatable but is attached to the kayak making less adjustable than some of the other inflatable kayaks on the market.

But since it is inflatable, you can easily dry it out and pack it up into a small area of your closet or garage.

You really couldn’t ask for anything more.

This is a perfect kayak for those just getting into the sport and want to try it out as it won’t break the bank.

There is more than enough storage for your tackle and gear, but the kayak is not rigged for fishing rods. However, adding a few accessories like rod holders won’t be a challenge.

Features I like​

  • Comes with a paddle and a pump.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Inflatable and easily dries out.
  • Enough storage for tackles and gear.

3. Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak

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The Tahiti is constructed of 21-gauge PVC and is built for lakes.

This kayak features multiple air chambers so that if one gets punctured, the kayak will remain buoyant.

The Tahiti is a tandem kayak with removable seats so you can store all your fishing gear. 

The plus side is that this 10-foot kayak can hold up to 360 pounds.

Even though the kayak is inflatable, it is strong and resilient against pokes from sharp objects, including hooks and unseen debris under the water. 

Unfortunately, you would think that the Tahiti would include a pump and paddles, but it does not.

On the other side, you are paying for extra space, and that is exactly what the Tahiti provides; comfort and stability.

Features I like​

  • Durable construction.
  • Inflatable but protects against sharp objects.
  • Comes with a paddle and a pump.
  • Extremely comfortable and stable.

4. Rave Sea Rebel Inflatable Kayak

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The Rave Sea Rebel is an inflatable kayak that offers anglers an all inclusive package; a paddle as well as a pump.

The Sea Rebel fishing kayak is constructed from heavy duty nylon and PVC tarpaulin bottom that will slice through the water.

As for storage, space is limited to the back of the kayak behind the seat..

The unique feature is the paddles as they are constructed with foam that allows the paddles to float.

This kayak when fully inflated weighs 22 pounds making it super easy to get in and out of the water.

The Rebel is a sit on top kayak that gives you a full range of motion but is constructed more as a sitting paddle board.

It is best used for a single rod as it also comes with rod holders, something that beginners would want to have.

Features I like​

  • Limited storage but comfortable.
  • Foamed paddles that float.
  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Includes rod holders.

5. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

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The Challenger K2 inflatable kayak is constructed of heavy-duty PVC that will provide you with the durability you need for a day of fishing out on calm waters.

The seats are inflatable as well as adjustable.

So, if you are looking for a kayak that provides you with loads of room for your gear, then the K2 will provide you with up to 400 pounds.

The difference between the Challenger K1 and K2 is the that the K1 is for a single person while the K2 is tandem and provides you with more space.

Both kayaks are made of the exact same material so all you will need to decide is how much space you need.

The K2 will hold more weight and is recommended for longer fishing trips so you can bring all your favorite fishing gear.

Unfortunately, both K1 and K2 don’t have rod holders and you will need to rig the kayak before going out to fish. If however, you just like to bring one rod, this kayak is just fine.

Features I like​

  • Heavy duty construction.
  • Adjustable and inflatable seats.
  • Good space to store gear for longer fishing trips.
  • Great speed and stability.

6. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

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The Explorer is an inflatable kayak that comes standard with paddles and a pump.

The Explorer is made with rugged vinyl and has an inflatable I-beam floor for your comfort and provides a sturdy footing.

The Explorer K2 weighs 30.4 pounds with comfortable seats that can be adjusted to suit all body types.

Because this kayak is tandem you will have more than enough space for all your fishing gear.

Like many other inflatable kayaks, this one doesn’t come with rod holders and you will have to rig the kayak according to your fishing needs.

However, it does come with paddles and a pump so you won’t need to worry about purchasing those separately.

Additionally, the K2 Explorer comes with a repair kit should something happen out on the water and you need to repair the kayak quickly.

Features I like​

  • Sturdy footing.
  • Good space availability.
  • Comfortability is a plus.
  • Comes with a repair kit.

7. Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Kayak

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The Sevylor is an inflatable sit-on-top kayak that will provide you with a full range of motion so you can cast the perfect line every time.

This single person kayak doesn’t offer much for space, but it will do great for a few hours out on the water to get away from it all.

The Coverless comes with a paddle and a pump and can hold up to 400 pounds.

That means that you if you can fit it, you can bring it.

There are foot placements to give you the powerful strokes you need to get to your favorite spot, and you will sit high on this inflatable vessel in a comfortable seat while out on the lake or other calm water.

This kayak is constructed of heavy-duty polyethylene that is rugged and dependable. You can easily fit your tackle box or backpack in between your legs for easy access.

With this kayak, you might want to consider getting a life vest that is designed for fishing to keep all your favorite lures close at hand and free up some space by leaving the tackle box on shore.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any rod holders, so going with one will have to do with this 8-foot kayak. Just don’t forget the sunscreen as your legs are exposed to the elements.

Features I like​

  • Foot placements for powerful strokes.
  • Heavy duty and durable construction.
  • Enough space to fit a tackle box or backpack.
  • Inexpensive and durable.

The Verdict

As you can see, there is a wide range to pick from, you don’t have to settle for something that is made poorly, you can get a decent fishing kayak on a budget.

As always make sure you keep a spare paddle with you when you go out. Tell someone where you are going and when you will return and keep a compass with you in case bad weather rolls in unexpectedly.

Kayaking can open up new worlds and adventures especially when you go out fishing.

They are easy vessels to maintain and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just remember to budget in other accessories like rod holders or a better seat if the one that comes standard with the kayak is uncomfortable.

No matter what kayak you pick or how you rig it to suit your fishing needs, the important thing is to have fun and be safe.

Last update on 2024-07-13 at 02:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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