Best Fishing Kayak for Under $300

When choosing the best fishing kayak for under $300 you must first decide what you need in a kayak. Think about where you’re fishing. Are you fishing on a river, lake, or the ocean?

Each of those three different bodies of water will require a kayak that will work best in that situation. Also, you should be thinking about gear storage, as well as the size and weight.

Maybe you live in an apartment in the city and a ten-foot, eighty-pound kayak, might not be the best bet for you. So, below we’re going to go over some of the best kayaks for under $300. First, here’s a quick overview of what you should be looking for in a kayak.

Body of water

Most kayaks made for freshwater can be used on just about all lakes, rivers, and ponds. These are created to be used in water that is calm and moving slightly. They can also hold up to moderate winds and weather.

If fishing on great lakes or on rivers with rapids, then you will purchase something that is compatible with these conditions. A normal freshwater kayak does not have the stability to hold up to strenuous use.

Saltwater kayaks are much more stable than freshwater. So, anytime you are out in saltwater you should be using a kayak made for those conditions. Otherwise, you could find yourself and your gear toppled over in the water.

So, if you want to use the best fishing kayak for under $300 then you need to make sure it will work on the body of water you intend on fishing.

Length and Weight

The best fishing kayak for under $300 will come in many different sizes. Most are going to be somewhere around eight or nine feet. Rarely do kayaks in this price range come in larger or smaller sizes.

The weight range is also pretty vast. Smaller kayaks can be forty pounds while some of the heavier ones can come in closer to one hundred or even more.

Longer and heavier kayaks will be more difficult to maneuver. However, these are typically much more stable, and also have more areas to store gear. These bigger kayaks are also more difficult to store and transfer.

Sit-In Vs Sit On Top

There are two styles of fishing kayak. Those are the sit-in and the sit-on. Each of these is going to have its own pros and cons. Each of these has its own pros and cons that make them great.

Sit-In Kayak

These are some of the most prevalent and you’ll find that these can be the best fishing kayak for under $300. Typically these are going to be cheaper and lighter than their sit-on-top counterparts.

Making this ideal for people who have limited areas for storage or don’t want to lift large and heavy kayaks from their car to the water. However, you’ll also find these are not as stable and won’t have as much room for gear.

These make a great kayak for a minimalist, but if you want to bring all of your gear then a sit-in might not be the best bet. Also, when I mentioned stability earlier I did not mean this tips over easily in bad climate weather.

Just that standing or shifting your weight in a sit-in is not something that is advised. The curved hull means too much movement will result in you falling into the water or capsizing the boat.

Sit on Top Kayak

If you’re looking for stability and plenty of room for gear storage then this is going to be the kayak style for you. The open hull allows you to place gear wherever you want. However, you’ll find that most kayaks have spots that are made especially for gear in the front and rear of the kayak.

The biggest downside with sit on top kayaks is that they are usually heavy and long. This is especially true when looking for the best fishing kayak for under $300. Sometimes these can weigh up to one hundred pounds and can be over ten feet.

Before purchasing one of these you should ensure that you can store it somewhere, your vehicle has space for it during transport, and that you are able to haul it around without too much effort.

Since these are so much more stable, many of the sit on top models can be stood on. Making this perfect for fly fishing, or for anglers who want to have a better vantage point of the water.

Bottom Line, Which is Better?

It all depends on what you need as an angler. The fact is that most fishing can be done from a sit-in kayak. It is more difficult to cast a fly rod from there, but it can be done.

If you have the ability to lug around a heavy kayak and have a spot t store it then a sit on top will be your best bet. The extra stability is nice as well, as sometimes it’s nice to stand and get a better vantage point.

Products

Now that we know a little bit about kayaks, let’s go over some different products below.

Lifetime Triton Angler

Lifetime Triton Angler 100 Fishing Kayak, Olive Green

The Lifetime Triton Angler is a great sit on top kayak for the price. It features a very stable hull that allows you to move around with ease. Standing could still be difficult but with good balance, you may be able to achieve it.

There are multiple footrest positions. Allowing for paddlers of different sizes to sit comfortably. The weight limit is also 275 pounds. Which should allow most anglers and their gear to fit easily.

It also features self-bailing scupper holes. This drains the water from the cockpit and tank well. Allowing you to stay dry and comfortable when out fishing.

the rear tank well features bungee chords that help lock in any loose items. This is the ideal spot to hold all of your tackle or any other valuables that you don’t want free and sliding around the kayak.

Intex Explorer K2

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

Inflatable kayaks are great for anglers who live somewhere that does not allow them the space to stow a full-sized kayak. These are also great if you don’t have a car with a rack or space to haul a kayak. These can easily be blown up riverside.

This kayak also features two seats. Allowing you to bring along another friend to help you catch more fish. Or, you could use it as a spot to store your gear for the day.

The weight capacity for this is 400 pounds. Allowing one adult to bring all of the gear they could need with them. If two full-grown adults were to use this then gear selection might need to be limited to the essentials only.

The K2 is made for fishing in smaller and calm water. Easy moving rivers and small local lakes will be an idea for taking this kayak out. If the weather will be bad and you expect choppy conditions then this is not the kayak you should be using.

Lifetime Cruze Sit In Kayak

Lifetime Cruze 100 Sit-in Kayak, Orchid Fusion, 10-Foot

The adjustable seat back allows for quick and convenient comfort. If you find you’re not sitting the way you would like then you can easily turn around and adjust the seat to your desired comfort. 

You’ll also find that this kayak has deeper hull channels than others in this price range. This allows it t have better tracking and gives you more control of the kayak, as well as increased stability.

The rear of the kayak also has an oval hatch for storage. Back here you can stow away items that you want to keep out of elements. Such as cameras, phones, backpacks, or anything else you may want to protect.

The flat bottom of the Cruze gives excellent stability and will also let you move around comfortably in very shallow water. Meaning that when you float a river you won’t have to get out and wade nearly as often as you would with other kayaks.

Pelican Kayak Sonic

Pelican Kayak Sonic 80X | Sit-On-Top Recreationnal Kayak, Orange, 8 Feet

The open cockpit allows for easy movement in the kayak. It also makes it easier to locate and grab gear quickly without having to feel around underneath the hull. It also makes it lighter, which means it easier to stow and transport.

The twin tunnel on the bottom of the kayak also makes it easier to maneuver and will also help with stability. Making it great for anglers who like to move around a lot of having had issues with kayaks and balance in the past.

The max capacity is on the lower side at 225. So, this might not be the best kayak for someone who wants to take a weekend trip and pack up all their gear into the boat. This would be great for a day-tripper or just for an afternoon.

The padded backrest and molded footrests also help you remain comfortable while using this kayak. It will help prevent those sore back and knees after a long day out on the water.

Lifetime Payette

Lifetime 90899 Payette 98 Sit-in Kayak (Paddle Included)

This is a very stable kayak, which is surprising for the price. The deep channels allow for superior stability, as well as tracking performance. Making it ideal for new kayak users who may have trouble with steering and navigation.

In the back, there is a closed compartment with a shock cord strap to hold down the lid. This is an ideal spot to hold all of the precious cargo that you want to protect from the elements.

The padded backrest and adjustable footrests will allow you to stay comfortable no matter how long you spend on the water.

There is also a paddle keeper. This allows you to attach your paddle to the side of the kayak when not in use. Perfect for stowing your kayak, or for whenever you want to take a break when you’re out on the water.

Conclusion

When looking for the best fishing kayak for under $300 you should be aware that you will not be getting a top-of-the-line product with all the bells and whistles. Instead, you will be getting a bare-bones product. However, that is not a bad thing.

A kayak without all the bells and whistles can be just as productive as its counterpart. All you really need is something that is going to allow you to get out on the water and find fish in spots that bank anglers cannot reach.

So, use the list above to find the kayak that is right for you. Or, feel free to use the list as a jumping-off point. Remember you don’t always have to have a top of the line product. Sometimes the chapter option is the way to go.

Does Color Matter when Selecting a Kayak?

In terms of fishing success it does not really matter what color you choose. If you’re a kayak tournament angler then something dark would be ideal but the weekend warrior wont see a difference. From a safety standpoint a brighter colored kayak is always better.

Do I need to have a rod or paddle holder?

No, you can easily rest your paddle or rod on your lap when using the other item. However, it does make it easier when you have one or the other.

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