Fishing is fun, sportive, and relaxing. Trying it from a kayak can take your game to the next level. Besides adding adventure, it increases novelty. If you are a novice at kayak fishing, there’s a lot more you need to know before investing in one.
The primary problem that scares aspiring kayak fishermen/women is how to choose the best one out there. I know how daunting this can be.
This article aims to provide you with all the basic information you need before spending a coin. Check out the best fishing kayak under 600 reviews and see the factors to look out for.
Quick Overview – Best Fishing Kayak under 600
- Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- Best Sit-In Fishing Kayak: Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 10-Foot Sit-In Kayak
- Best Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak: Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
Quick Comparison – Best Fishing Kayak under 600
How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayak
Here are a few pointers to have in mind when looking for a good fishing kayak.
Weight and Shape
It is easier to maneuver a short kayak but the lighter, skinnier, and longer ones are associated with speed. Getting one that falls in the middle of the two allows you to strike a perfect blend in speed and maneuverability.
Manufacturers use different materials to manufacture kayaks. This determines their price, rigidity, toughness, and weight. A few options in the market include single-layered, double-layered, triple-layered polyethylene, Kevlar carbon, and fiberglass.
You can propel your kayak using paddles. Some, however, need electric motors. Having a motorized kayak allows you to fully focus on fishing. A few options come without motors but have a way to add one to it.
Rod holders are among the essential accessories to have on a kayak. If you will be fishing with different tackles, you will want a place to securely place your rod when not in use. Other fittings that will come in handy are cup holders, transducer ports, and holders for your fish finders and GPS receivers.
You will be transporting the kayak to and from your location. How you will carry it and handle it on transit will determine its performance and longevity. First, you don’t want to get an extremely heavy kayak that needs three more hands to lift onto the truck, into, and out of the water.
Kayak anglers who expect to spend days in the wilderness exploring the offerings of Mother Nature need enough supplies, tackle gear, and equipment to keep them comfortable. This means that they will be packing heavily. If you are this type, get a kayak that has more than enough space and compartments for your gear.
The higher the stability of a kayak, the lesser the chances of capsizing. Stable kayaks perform excellently on rough waters. If stability is a vital factor you are looking at, get a wider kayak. Even though they will be heavier and slower than narrower yaks, tipping over will be a rare thing.
If you are a lone angler and love your solitary more than anything, get a 1-person yak. If you love some company or are training a buddy to get the ropes of kayak angling, a 2 or 3-person kayak will be ideal. Ensure that the seats are breathable and padded to allow for more comfort especially if you will be sitting longer than usual.
Check the maximum capacity of the yaks you intend to buy. They should accommodate your weight and that of all the gear you will be carrying. Kayak capacities range from 180 to 1010 pounds. The higher the yak’s capacity, the heavier it will be. For better maneuverability, get a kayak that has a capacity of 250 to 400 pounds.
Benefits of Kayaks for Fishing
- Covers a large distance without paddling so much.
- You can access as much water as you want unlike fishing from the shores.
- Offers more convenience during transportation.
- They are great for stealth fishing.
- Works great for both novices and pro kayak anglers.
- You can explore various waterways that most water vessels can’t.
- Comparatively cheaper to purchase, use, and maintain.
- Generally fun and relax to fish from a kayak.
Different Types of Kayaks
Sit-on-top Kayaks – The majority fall here and have more space to allow for freedom of movement and comfort. They have self-draining scuppers to help them remain afloat. They are perfect for calm and slow-moving water. However, the kayaker is highly exposed to the weather elements.
Sit-in Kayaks – These are perfect for rougher waters. Have a spray or skirt deck and they won’t be filled as you paddle. They aren’t as spacious enough as their sit-on-top sisters.
Pedal Drive Kayaks – These come with functional pedal systems. The kayaker pedals like a bike as the yak moves smoothly through the water. You will enjoy hands-free propulsion.
Tandem Kayaks – Tandem kayaks range between 18 and 24 feet lengthwise. This will depend on the size you choose. It holds two people hence the name.
Inflatable Kayaks – You need to inflate them before use and deflate after use. Investing in an electric pump makes it easier. They are compact, lightweight, and very easy to store and transport. They might not be as stable and hardwearing as the chances of getting punctured are higher.
Motorized Kayaks – They are the newest and offer more efficiency, speed, and maneuverability because they are built with motors to make them move faster and allow you to fully focus on casting.
The Best Fishing Kayaks under 600 Review – Our Top Picks
The Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak under 600
Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- Perfect for all types of water
- Quick to set up
- Easy to maneuver
- Highly portable
- Compact design
- Slightly short for two people but it is manageable
- Leakage problems
The Voyager is very easy to set up as it only needs inflation ad you are good to go. Once inflated fully, it gets to 10 feet lengthwise and 35 inches in width. Depth is about 16 inches and getting this size should take you no more than 4 minutes. It is even faster with a pump.
Its bottom section is made from heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin for more protection against punctures. All valves have double-threaded Boston to prevent any leaks. However, some users have reported leaks but they managed to deal with the issue.
The top covering is made from durable 840 Denier coated nylon oxford for longevity and rip resistance. Because of how compact the kayak is, it is highly portable. Once deflated, it properly fits into the carrying bag. The manufacturer was generous enough to include one for easy storage and transportation. It is 27 pounds and you can lift this alone effortlessly.
Its nose is pointed and comes with a rocker profile for greater performance regardless of the condition of the water. You can remove the deep fin but boasts more responsive tracking. EVA padded seats are for excellent back support and comfort. Driftsun designs the yak with a rear drain plug for quicker drainage and to keep you afloat always. Its grip handles are ergonomic for easy kayak lifting and dragging into and out of the water.Amazon
The Best Sit-In Fishing Kayak under 600
Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 10-Foot Sit-In Kayak
- Easier maneuverability
- Adjustable and comfortable seat
- Larger interior
- UV-protected kayak
- Quite difficult to access the back storage compartment
- Cockpit pads don’t stick well
Sun Dolphin’s Aruba kayak boasts a larger interior and more durable construction. The open cockpit is large and you can sit in comfortably as you fish and kayak. Its seat is well-padded and has adjustment options. The high back offers more support and increases your comfort levels.
The storage space is decent and your gear fits well and is secured with the bungee system. For more convenience, it has adjustable foot braces for comfortable paddling. The material of the craft is Fortiflex high-density polyethylene. This means that its durability is on another level as it also boasts UV protection.
The sides of its cockpit have pads for leg protection. However, the pads might not stick as expected. This can pose a challenge as you are kayak fishing. You might have to keep readjusting them from time to time which interferes with your focus. While fishing from the cockpit, it can be tricky to access the back compartment to get your tackle.Amazon
The Best Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak under 600
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
- Durable construction
- Stable enough
- More than enough storage space
- Excellent latch system
- Multiple tackle holders
- Flimsy plastic buckles
- Less cushioning on the seat
When it comes to stability, the Vibe gives positive vibes as it can perform well in all conditions and water types. The body is made out of high-grade roto-molded single-layered polyethylene for durability and stability. It has been built with buoyancy in mind for peace of mind and safety.
It has a maximum load capacity of about 300 pounds and can take one or two people without risks. The manufacturer adds paddle parks to allow you to have them safe closer to you. The cushion and backrest allow you to be more comfortable but some users have complained of the cushion not being sufficient. However, you can add extra padding.
With four rod holders, you will enjoy more convenience even if you have more tackle with you. The four handles allow for portability and easy transportation. This kayak boasts quick and nimble tracking thanks to the sleek hull.
The rear and front storage spaces have bungee tie-downs for your gear. There is a 6’’ V-wave deck plate and a waterproof cargo section. You can change your tackle on the toss tray without dropping your essentials. It comes with plastic buckles that are meant to securely hold the seat but they aren’t as reliable as needed.
Who said that you must go bankrupt after spending on a kayak? There are costly and more sophisticated designs in the market but some good-quality cheaper options still match their performance and durability. Selecting a good fishing kayak largely depends on preference but other issues like budget, space, size, weight, capacity, and accessories come in.
The list above doesn’t sacrifice quality even though the kayaks come at reasonable price tags. While all of them are great for their areas with regards to design and construction, the Vibe kayak has proven to be versatile and durable despite the few critics that can be managed. Overall, the longevity of your yak will depend on maintenance. A little TLC never hurts.