The 8 Best Fishing Kayaks under $800 (Don’t Break the Bank!)

There’s this feeling of utter joy when you discover a beautiful new fishing kayak.

Which quickly turns to despair when you read the price tag.

Some fishing kayaks can cost exorbitant amounts of money, which can discourage beginners from getting into the sport.

But kayak fishing isn’t only reserved for elites, and there are plenty of options out there to suit every purse and pocket.

Which is why I’ve compiled this review of the best fishing kayaks under $800 – with some great mid-range options, as well as some super cheap kayaks thrown in for good measure.

Are you ready to save some money? Then read on!

Of course, prices are subject to change, and you should strike while the iron is hot to get the best deals at the time of writing.

TOP 8 Best Fishing Kayaks under $800

Vibe Yellowfin 100 Fishing Kayak

Vibe Yellowfin 100 Fishing Kayak

Coming in just under the wire is the Vibe Yellowfin 100 fishing kayak, that has been designed to be the ultimate pack-up-and-go hardshell there is.

At 10 feet long and 57 lbs, it’s super compact and lightweight, without scrimping on the features for a successful fishing adventure.

It comes with the comfortable Vibe Hero seat, four flush mounted rod holders, foot braces, bow and midsection storage hatches, and a rear cargo storage well with bungee tie-down.

The high density polyethylene makes it extremely durable, and easily one of the best sit on top fishing kayaks under $800 there is. But only just – so, get it before it goes up in price!


  • Top loading gear tracks.
  • Fishing tackle holders and toss tray.
  • Molded in cup holder.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Shock cord deck rigging.


  • Might be too small for some.


It’s difficult to fault anything coming out of Vibe Kayaks, and the Yellowfin is a great addition to their outstanding range of recreational and fishing craft – particularly if you’re on a budget. Probably the best fishing kayak for the money.

Perception Pescador 10 Fishing Kayak

Perception Kayaks are known for their affordable quality, and the Pescador 10 is a prime example.

Designed as a hybrid recreational fishing kayak, it’s perfect for playtime on the water, or for the more serious business of catching fish!

Made from one-piece, high-density polyethylene, the leakproof construction offers additional buoyancy for peace of mind on the water.

It features a comfort seating system with ventilated padding, gear tracks on the gunwales, and a large bow storage hatch for extra fishing gear.

Ideal for use in calm waters, the Pescador 10 is a great all-round fishing kayak for the whole family.


  • Large stern tank well with bungee cord.
  • Adjustable foot rests.
  • Two molded in rod holders.
  • Molded in drinks holder.
  • Reinforced plastic carry handles.
  • Choice of colors available.


  • The footrests could be stronger.


If you’re looking for a sit on top kayak that’s good for fishing and general recreation, then the Pescador 10 from Perception is a great choice. As a hybrid, it’s probably the best fishing kayak for versatile use.

Riot Escape 12 Fishing Kayak

Riot Escape 12 Angler Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

The Riot Escape 12 is another recreational/fishing kayak that’s built for fun days out on the water, and it manages to pack in plenty of attractive features.

Not least of these is the rudder tracking system, which is a superb addition to help improve performance at this price point.

It offers no less than four flush mount rod holders, and one swivel rod holder, while the high-density polyethylene construction provides overall durability, and improves stability in the water.

And there’s even an anchor trolley system, so you can add your favorite kayak anchor to your setup.


  • Great price point for what you get.
  • Improved tracking and performance.
  • New Flex padded seat.
  • Molded cup holder.
  • Large stern storage hatch.
  • Rear tank well with bungee cord.
  • Adjustable foot braces.


  • No gear tracks.


Altogether there’s a lot to like with this fishing kayak from Riot, and with the inclusion of that rudder (something you don’t see often at this price), this could be one of the best fishing kayaks out there. At least when it comes to performance, anyway.

Perception Hook Angler Fishing Kayak

Perception Hook Angler Fishing Kayak

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Perception Hook is that it’s a sit in kayak – which isn’t a typical choice for inclusion as a best fishing kayak, and yet, it still has enough elements of a sit on top kayak that one could consider it a hybrid.

This includes a roomy cockpit, and a wider, well-balanced hull for maximum stability. And so, you have the best of both worlds, with a super fun fishing kayak that can handle a more peppy waterway, as well as calmer lakes and rivers.

Lightweight and compact, the Hook is a great get-up-and-go fishing kayak for easy transport, with three rod holders, and a lot of additional features to keep many anglers happy.


  • Articulated Scotty rod holder.
  • Two rod holders molded in.
  • Large tank well with bungee.
  • Water bottle holder.
  • Tri-keel hull for stability.
  • Molded dashboard.
  • Convenient tackle box storage.


  • No extra gear tracks.
  • A paddle holder would have been nice.
  • No storage compartment or dry hatch.


If you’re looking to try the challenge of sit in kayak fishing, then this could well be the best option for you.

Feature rich, and offering a great balance when it comes to performance, as a fishing kayak under $800, this is up there with the very best. Of course, as with any sit inside kayak, the trade-off is going to be more limited storage space.

Lifetime Teton 100 Angler Kayak

Lifetime Teton 100 Angler Kayak

Regular readers will know that the Lifetime Teton 100 is another great kayak that I can’t help but include in budget-friendly kayak reviews.

At this price, it’s hard to fault – especially considering it comes with that super-comfortable lawn-chair style seat that you would expect on a kayak that’s double the money.

There’s also loads of storage space, with a spacious deck, and bow and stern tank wells with bungee webbing.

Made from high density polyethylene, you’ll find scupper holes in the deck to keep you from getting swamped in rough water, and two flush mounted rod holders for your fishing rods.

Easily one of the most affordable angler kayaks under $800, and it looks really smart, too.


  • Great price for what you get.
  • Durable construction.
  • Rugged carry handles.
  • Paddle holders.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Gear tracks for fishing accessories.
  • Choice of attractive colors.


  • A little lacking when it comes to performance.


Probably the best sit on top kayak for a reliable, no-frills, budget fishing experience on the water, the Lifetime Teton 100 continues to impress.

It makes a great first kayak for budding anglers, and I believe it’s one of the cheapest kayaks out there that can boast the revered lawn chair style seating.

Pelican Basscreek 100 Fishing Kayak

From an aesthetic point of view, the aptly named Basscreek 100 looks the business – ready to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for bass.

The attractive green livery gives this craft a pro look, and it’s got the features to back it up. Compact and lightweight, the multi-chine hull offers unbeatable stability on the water, so you can enjoy confident casts and reels.

An articulated rod holder is to be found in a convenient location in the mid-section, and the quick lock hatch at the bow is perfect for storing gear.

Two, flush mount rod holders are positioned behind the adjustable, comfortable seat, and there’s a paddle tie-down to keep your hands free when you need them.


  • Great price for what you get.
  • Durable, solid construction.
  • Multiple storage hatches.
  • Scupper holes.
  • Angler ruler – prove those tall fishing tales!
  • Accessory eyelets.


  • No gear tracks.
  • Reports that the rod holder mount isn’t the best.


The olive camo design of the Basscreek 100 from Pelican ensures this is a head-turning kayak that’s going to look great out on the water. And the amount of useful fishing features confirms this is simply a really good kayak all round.

Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak

I’m not ashamed to say I’ve included the Intex Excursion Pro in so many of the best fishing kayak reviews, it’s almost unreal.

That’s because you’re getting a tough, durable, highly portable craft that’s packed with fishing features for a truly outstanding price.

And for the money alone, it’s easy to see why it’s featured in articles like the best sit on top fishing kayaks, and the best inflatable fishing kayaks, and the best budget fishing kayaks on the market! It’s a triple threat!

In my eyes, this thing can do no wrong, and for a fishing kayak under $800, this is the best cheap fishing kayak there is.


  • Removable accessory bar.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
  • Multiple air chambers.
  • Super tough PVC construction.
  • D-rings for lashing fishing gear.
  • Removable skegs.
  • Detachable fishing rod holders.
  • Paddles, pump, and carry bag included – easy transport.


  • Not the most comfortable seating.
  • Performance leaves a lot to be desired.
  • No storage compartment.


I dare you to find a better inflatable kayak for the price! While it might not be the best inflatable kayak out there (certainly not compared with a Sea Eagle), it will get the job done in a pinch, and is better than most kayaks in this review on rough water.

Lifetime Epic International Stealth 11 Angler Kayak

Lifetime Yukon Angler Fishing Kayak

Here we have another product from Lifetime, the Yukon Angler kayak, that improves significantly on the more basic Teton 100 model.

The Yukon is a little longer at 11 feet six inches, and features an adjustable frame seating that offers two positions – for paddling/fishing, and for relaxing.

There are two flush rod holders just behind, and two gear tracks on each gunwale. A large rear tank well is bungee-tie protected, and the flat-bottomed hull offers maximum stability and allows you to enjoy standing casts and reels with complete peace of mind.


  • Great price point.
  • Luggage-style handles.
  • Adjustable foot braces.
  • Tracking skeg.
  • Durable construction.
  • Drain plug.
  • Comfortable seat.


  • Difficult to fault, but the color won’t be for everyone.


Another affordable kayak with all the features you need for an enjoyable day fishing – or for recreational use. If it was available in a choice of colors, it would be a really top fishing kayak, but you’ll just have to make do with the green.

How to Choose Fishing Kayak Under $800

Researching the best fishing kayak for your needs can be confusing, so with that in mind, here’s an in-depth buyer’s guide to help you navigate these often muddy waters.

angler in a sit-on-top kayak fishing on the river

Cost and Quality

Perhaps the most important consideration when looking at a budget-friendly kayak, is how far does your money get you?

With one or two exceptions, fishing kayaks under $800 are going to offer a little more than the really cheap kayaks, but not as much as if you were to kick the nickel up over a grand.

A fishing kayak just under $800 will start to show signs of improved seating, more fishing-friendly features (see below), and will have had some extra thought put into design and performance.

It’s here that you’ll start to see lawn-chairs in the kayak cockpits, a selection of rod holder styles (rather than molded flush mounts), and some clever storage options.

Either way, these fishing kayaks are going to offer more than you’ll need to enjoy a successful fishing trip, and for most recreational anglers – you’ll want for nothing.

And if you do, you can always look for a kayak that’s fully customizable. It’s possible to turn even the cheapest craft into the perfect kayak with a few home modifications.

Just so long as you don’t expect top-of-the-line pedal technology under $800, and you’ll have a decent understanding of what to expect from a kayak at this price point.

fisherman in small sit-on-top fishing kayak on river

Type of Kayak

As mentioned, when looking for a fishing kayak under $800, the only types you’re pricing yourself out of are pedal fishing kayaks and motorized kayaks.

If that’s what you’re looking for, those two links will point you in the right direction.

As technology develops, perhaps the price for pedals will come down, but for the most part, finding a good one under $1000 is a challenge.

It might be worth considering a kayak that is pedal compatible – and then install this system at a later date.

And you can always check out this article on the best kayak trolling motors and add some extra power aftermarket if you so desire. Just make sure that your chosen fishing boat is compatible.

Regardless, you still have a choice between hardshell or inflatable kayaks, as well as sit-inside or sit-on-top versions.

But which do you choose? Here’s my superfast, at-a-glance guide to kayak types:

  • Hardshell fishing kayaks are the best choice for stability and performance. For speed and tracking, inflatables just don’t come close – unless you’re spending more on one with a metal frame.
  • Inflatable fishing kayaks are better for portability and storage – and most should come with a carry bag.

Surprisingly, inflatables can often stand more abuse than hardshells, which are more susceptible to scratches, dents, and dings.

Hit a rock with a hardshell – you’ll see the damage. Hit a rock with an inflatable – and it’ll bounce off. As such, quality inflatables are often the preferred choice for fishing faster rivers with rough water.

Once you’ve decided on what the kayak is going to be made from, you then have to decide how you’re sitting in it.

  • Sit on top kayaks are overwhelmingly the preferred choice for fishing, as they offer excellent primary stability (how stable the craft feels when you get into it), with more storage room, and space to move.
  • Sit-inside kayaks are really only popular for fishing on more peppy rivers, as they can handle whitewater better than sit on top kayaks thanks to their secondary stability.

A sit in kayak is also a great choice if you like a challenge, and this they will deliver in abundance when you’re trying to land a vigorous smallmouth that doesn’t want to be on your line!

fisherman with a fly rod in sit-in kayak fishing

Finally, you might be deciding between a solo or a tandem kayak. Tandem fishing kayaks can be useful even for lone anglers, as they offer much more on-board storage space – or room for a furry friend.

But a larger size kayak usually means a higher priced kayak, and it’s rare that this type of kayak will be less than $800 (that’s good quality, at least).

Still, you can always check this article on the best tandem fishing kayaks to find out.

Of course, there’s much more to it than that, and you can find more information at the links below:

Go here if you want to learn more about the best inflatable fishing kayaks.

Head to this article if you’re interested in the best sit-inside fishing kayaks – and why they’re worth a look.

This general piece explores the differences between sit inside and sit on top kayaks in more detail, to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

And if you’re still totally lost, go here for a catch-all guide to fishing kayaks, to help start your search off on the right foot!

fisherman on inflatable fishing kayak with fishing tackle

Size and Weight

A fishing kayak under $800 is likely to be on the smaller side, and most of the craft you’ll find here are around the 10-foot mark, or thereabouts.

And that’s perfectly fine, as a good fishing kayak should be somewhere between 10-14 feet in length, anyway.

Shorter kayaks tend to be more maneuverable, which makes them great as recreational play boats you can enjoy for more than fishing (because there is such a thing)!

Longer, slimmer kayaks will be better for traveling greater distances, with more speed.

And every cloud has a silver lining, as while these boats won’t come with pedals at this price point, they are going to be much lighter than their more expensive counterparts as a result.

And less weight equals easier to carry.

Of course, if you’re looking for the lightest kayak possible, then you should be in the market for an inflatable.

Either way, so long as you have enough space for you and your fishing gear; paddling, casting, and reeling isn’t restricted, and you have the confidence and skill to pilot the craft – then your kayak is going to be the right size for you.

Cockpit and Seating

Again, for a sub $800 fishing kayak, you’re not going to get the best possible fishing throne.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t be comfortable. Any good fishing kayak worth its salt will recognize that a happy and successful angler is a comfortable angler.

Fishing kayaks in this range will still come with an adjustable, padded seat, unless you’re looking at an inflatable kayak, of course.

But the very best fishing kayaks in this review (typically around the $600-$800 mark) actually come with lawn-chair style seating.

Sure, it might not be on a par with a $1000 + craft, but it will still be great for the old bones!

man kayak fishing in river

Stability and Performance

We’ve touched a little on these two points, but it’s worth mentioning them again when you’re looking at a kayak that’s under $800.

Don’t expect it to be a world-beater.

At this price, a kayak is going to track (move straight through the water) reasonably well, with an adequate amount of speed, and a comfortable level of stability.

They’re not going to win races, it will be a lot of effort to cross larger bodies of water, (particularly in an inflatable kayak) and I wouldn’t attempt to stand up in them (although some claim that is possible).

Check out this article on the best kayaks to stand in if that’s a priority for you. (Spoiler – you’re going to pay much more!)

Unfortunately, high-performance kayaks come with a higher price tag, but at the end of the day, a good angler will catch fish regardless of a kayak’s flashy specifications or otherwise.

It would be a different matter entirely if we were exploring the best touring kayaks – but we’re not!

Fishing Friendly Features

The main difference between the best fishing kayak and a recreational kayak, is the former should have one or two fishing-friendly features – as standard.

Typically, the more expensive the kayak, the better quality, and more useful fishing features it will have.

But that’s not to say you won’t find some great additions at lower price points. In fact, even the cheapest kayak in this review will with some or even all of the following features:

  • Flush mount rod holders.
  • Paddle holders for hands-free fishing.
  • Transducer holes/mount for a fish finder.
  • Gear tracks on the gunwales.
  • Scope for customization and extra fishing accessories.
  • Removable/portable accessory carrier.
  • Anchor trolley/anchor mounting point.
  • Trolling motor mount/compatibility.

Of these, the most basic features I’d be looking for would be rod holders, a paddle park, and gear tracks.

But remember, all these things can be added aftermarket, so looking for a kayak that you can customize at home.

The video below shows how you can turn even a cheap kayak into a fish-finding machine!

Storage Options

While the smaller kayaks you’ll commonly find in this price range tend to have more modest storage options, that’s not to say they don’t make great use of the deck space that they do have.

Look for kayaks with rear tank wells, so you can stash extra fishing gear, or even one of these awesome fishing coolers.

Bungee tie-downs are useful for securing your stuff, in case you happen to hit rough water or choppy conditions.

Underseat tackle storage is a great space-saving solution. You can also check out this article on the best tackle bags, boxes, and crates for kayak angling.

Remember, you should always pay attention to a kayak’s weight limit – even if you have all the storage space in the world.

Never be tempted to exceed this, as even if you (probably) won’t sink, you’ll still be overbalanced, which will cause significant performance issues.


I’ve tried to include a nice spread of prices under $800, but most entries in this article are going to come somewhere in between $600-$800.

If you’re looking for an even cheaper kayak selection, check out this review of the best fishing kayaks under $500.

And if you can afford to stretch a little more – but still without needing to remortgage the home – check out this article on the best fishing kayaks under $1000.

Top tip – as I always say, try to buy the best you can afford, within your budget, and relative to how much use it’s actually going to get.


Kayaks come in all shapes, sizes, and prices – and there’s enough of a selection out there for everyone to get involved – no matter your means.

I hope this article on the best fishing kayaks under $800 has helped point you in the right direction to get you started in this fantastic sport and pastime.

Let us know which model you’ve gone for and why – or if we’ve missed a killer fishing kayak off the list!

Stay safe out there, tight lines, and happy kayak fishing!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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