Kayaking is quickly rising in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Its affordability and simplicity make it an easy pastime to pick up. Getting started in kayak fishing can be expensive if you choose he wrong kayaks. We’ll go over some affordable options to help you get started in this great sport for less than a few hundred dollars.
Most people are addicted to this hobby from the first time they feel their kayak gliding over the water. There’s something very serene and meditative about being so close to the water in such a natural vessel. There’s no motor, no noise; just you, your paddle, and the depths below.
For those who enjoy fishing, a kayak is almost a no-brainer. It doesn’t have any of the hassle or expense that taking a boat out does, and it doesn’t require any kind of license. You simply find a body of water, paddle out, and cast your line.
One of the greatest benefits of kayak fishing is the low price point. For those who don’t want to commit to a boat, kayaking provides a reasonable alternative. However, they can also become expensive in their own right as you begin to tack on features and equipment. Finding an affordable solution is easy. We’ve looked at some of the best beginner fishing kayaks below to help you get into this amazing sport.
In this article, we’ll cover the best fishing kayaks for under $200 so that anyone, regardless of budget, can partake in what is becoming a favorite pastime of fishermen.
Who Should Buy A Fishing Kayak For Under $200?
Truthfully, just about anyone. Unless you already have a kayak that you’re perfectly happy with, a budget kayak is a great option for most fishermen. The low entry cost also helps you to not regret the decision to buy a kayak if later you decide it wasn’t for you.
Be aware that when shopping on the more affordable end of any product, sacrifices are going to have to be made somewhere and that includes some kayaks. Fortunately, because kayaks are such simple vessels, you can sacrifice a lot without seriously compromising your kayak’s integrity. One thing that you should not sacrifice on when choosing a beginner kayak is safety. All of the kayaks we’ve included here should be used with the proper kayaking safety equipment including a life vest.
Affordable Kayaks that are under $200 are best suited for total or near beginners although these kayaks can be used by experts, they work better for beginners. If you’re just curious about trying it out, or have rented a kayak before and have the itch to own one, then the items on our list will give you a good starting point for your kayaking adventure. They’re also great for more casual kayakers; if you only plan to hit the water a few times a year, there’s no need to buy the biggest and baddest kayak available.
Things To Consider
When deciding on which kayak to purchase, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Learning more about when you should look for in the best beginner fishing kayak can help you make a better buying decision. Everyone has different needs. The kind of water you plan to fish on, how far you’ll paddle out, what size fish you want to catch, how many you’ll catch, if you’ll keep them or throw them back; all of these things and more should be factored in when making a final decision.
Kayaking differs from standard fishing in a few key ways, but the primary one is space management. On a boat or on land, you have plenty of space to keep equipment and your catches. But in a kayak, you have limited space and a paddle to wrangle with.
Some are also better suited for paddling long distances, while others can remain stable in choppy waters. It helps to detail out exactly what you need to fish and where you’ll be before purchasing a kayak; that way you don’t end up with one that leaves you wanting more.
Type of Kayak
Fishing kayaks can be broken up into two primary categories: sit on top and sit in. Sit on top kayaks are better suited for saltwater fishing since they give the paddler more control in choppier waters. They’re also easier to bail on if needed and to climb back on when you capsize. Make sure you test our your kayak on still waters when you’re just starting to kayak. Learn all the steps you’ll need to take in the kayak and what you should do that pertains to the type of kayak you have. For instance, an inflatable kayak is different than a sit-on-top kayak.
Sit in kayaks have a cockpit of sorts that the paddler, well, sits in. These are better for colder, calmer waters. They’ll keep you dry and warm while you get your fishing done. They also offer a little more storage than sit on top kayaks. However, they can be difficult to recover in the event of a capsize and could fill with water, making for a problematic situation.
The price of a kayak is mainly determined by its features. Even the lower end kayaks that are the best beginner fishing kayak can be much less than you might imagine. Buying nothing more than a standard kayak is the most affordable option; however, you may find yourself disappointed by the amount of flexibility it offers. On the other hand, you can quickly jack the price of a kayak up with abundant features that might never get used.
You can strike the perfect balance by being realistic about what you need and not neglecting those needs. No, you probably don’t need eight rod holders, but a space for a tackle box would probably come in handy. $200 is just enough to get the features you need without going overboard on your kayak. And the great thing about a fishing kayak is that you can add to it as time goes on, so there’s no reason you can’t start out with a more minimal good fishing kayak rig and add to it as your fishing trips add up.
Features are what will turn “a kayak” into *your kayak*. You can get the bare minimum kayak that will get you from one side of the lake to the other, or you can go all out and pick up an amphibious kayak (ok, I may have made that one up…).
The most common features on fishing kayaks are rod holders, transducers, and fish finders. These can all be purchased with a stock kayak, or you can purchase aftermarket options that attach to your kayak. The only thing to keep in mind when opting for aftermarket accessories is compatibility. No two kayaks are exactly alike, so make sure that you can mount that Turbo Deluxe Fish Finder Extravaganza before you add it to your cart.
The build quality of your kayak will be the deciding factor in how far you are able to stretch that $200. Kayaks primarily come in four kinds of materials: fiberglass, rotomolded, thermoformed, and inflatable.
Fiberglass kayaks is the most durable, lightweight, and responsive when out on the water. They are also the most expensive, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Rotomolded kayaks are made from molded plastic. They’re typically the heaviest, making them a little trickier to manage. However, they perform nearly as well as their counterparts and are offered at a much lower price. Thee types of kayaks may not be best for beginners.
Thermoformed kayaks are a little more expensive than rotomolded kayaks. However, they are much lighter and equally durable. These are a good compromise between a fiberglass kayak and a rotomolded one.
Inflatable kayaks are the cheapest of them all, but don’t let that fool you into writing them off completely. Yes, there are some that are simply inner tubes in the shape of a kayak. But there are also plenty that have fiberglass skeletons and hulls. Plus, they’re super easy to transport. Just be prepared to wait for the kayak it to inflate.
And last but not least is design. While aesthetics are important, we’re talking more so about shape. The shape of your kayak will play a big role in its ability to handle different kinds of water, store your equipment, and navigate long distances.
The wider your kayak, the more stable it will be. For the most part, kayak fishermen should opt for a wider body style. They will be less likely to capsize, making it easier to sit in place, reel fish in, and most importantly, not have all of your equipment sink to the bottom of a lake. Wide body kayaks are also easier to steer, so it’s a definite recommend for smaller bodies of water.
The only real advantage that narrow kayaks will have for fishermen is their ability to quickly go long distances. If you are going to be fishing on a large, calm body of water, and your favorite fishing spot is on the other side of the lake, then it might be to your advantage to get a longer vessel.[table id=1 /]
Making The Most Of An Affordable $200 or Less Beginner Kayak
As we touched upon briefly before, don’t look at buying a budget kayak as locking yourself into a limited vessel; in fact, it’s just the opposite.
Kayaks are incredibly versatile. You can add to them nearly as much as you want, and because they are increasing in popularity, there’s plenty of accessories out there to make it the kayak of your dreams. Start small, then build it out. So long as you get the right body style for your needs, one that has enough storage, you should be good to use it for a long time.
If you’re unsure what body style you’ll want, find a local kayak store that will let you rent different styles of kayaks. This way you can try them out without any serious commitments. Just make sure that the body of water that you test them out on is comparable to where you’ll do the majority of your fishing or kayaking.
8 Top Beginner Fishing Kayaks Under $200 To Help You Get Started in the Sport of Fishing and Kayaking
Without further adieu, here are our top beginner kayaks under $200:
The Rave Sports Rave Sea Rebel inflatable kayak is a super lightweight, affordable option for those who don’t need much in the way of storage. It does have storage in the back for your gear, though it can be a little cumbersome to get to. This is well suited for someone with a tight budget, limited storage space for the kayak itself, and willing to make limited storage on the water work.
This kayak is a sit on top option with a lot of stability. It has a square stern design that’ll help it handle choppier waters. It’s a hard shell model as well, so you can leave the air pump at home. It also has plenty of places to keep your fishing rod, which is pretty convenient.
The Sevylor Quikpak kayak is a statement on efficient, smart design. It starts out as a wearable backpack that inflates into a storage-packed, super durable kayak. It’s made from 21-gauge PVC, and the bottom is reinforced with tarpaulin to make it last as long as possible. It’s a sit on top kayak, with bungee nets across the top that give you room to keep your equipment while on the water in the kayak.
The Blue Wave Sports Nomad Kayak is best suited for casual fishermen who prioritize durability. Made from a 24-gauge PVC material, this thing will conquer water like a beast. However, it’s pretty tight on storage options and doesn’t come with any rod holders. So it’s best for light fishing and heavy paddling.
In the event that you plan on fishing with a partner, the Solstice Rogue Kayak will get you and your buddy on the water. It’s an inflatable kayak and comes with two seats and two kayak paddles. It’s ten feet long, but with two people you should be able to navigate just as easily as normal in spite of the length. It’s a little spare on storage, so it works better for a catch and release operation.
The Index Challenger Kayak is another two-person, inflatable kayak that trades a bit of sturdiness for extra storage. It’s also one of the most affordable options, especially considering the fact that it can hold two people. It comes with two aluminum paddles, a patching kit, and a pump.
This is an extremely durable, two-seater kayak intended for fishing on the lake. One of the best aspects of this kayak is the ability to remove seats that aren’t being used, giving you more storage and flexibility when you want to use it solo. It’s wide set, so you and your partner can take it out and enjoy your day without fear of capsizing the kayak.
Wrapping Up the Affordable Beginners Kayak and Conclusion
The nice thing about buying a $200 beginner kayak is that it doesn’t have to be your last; if you end up not liking it, you can always learn from the experience and buy one that is better suited to your needs! Feel free to look around in stores and at kayak shops to get the best idea possible of what you’re looking for.
Stay Safe During Your Kayaking Adventure
As with any outdoor adventure it’s best to always make sure you have all the safety equipment needed. Before you strike out on the water in your kayak be sure you have the proper kayaking safety equipment with you. This includes things like a personal flotation device or life vest. Plus, other essential safety items like a first aid kit and reflective clothing. Stay safe on the water and enjoy your kayaking adventure!
Tell Us What You Think Below…
Have a personal favorite when you got started kayaking? Be sure to share your story below in the comments section. We love hearing from our readers here at MikeD Fishing!