Best Bargain Fishing Kayaks with Great Features



Best Bargain Kayaks

When I started writing this article about bargain fishing kayaks, I realized how relative that terminology can be. When I started in 2003, the kayak I bought was the only one offered within 180 miles of me and it was $200. Now, with the strength of internet sales and the popularity of kayak fishing, I can get a kayak at Wal-Mart. But should I?


Folks looking for bargain fishing kayaks aren’t in the write a check and be done with it group. They have worked hard to squirrel away some extra money so they can jump into this addiction. The desire to be off the bank and get to the fish (or at least where you think they are) is a powerful motivator. Almost anytime you are looking for a kayak, I’d suggest looking for good deals but to avoid heartache, I’d recommend you do some research, some demos from people that own the kayak or sell them and make sure you know what you want. Craigslist is full of very expensive junk. Once you’ve narrowed it down, by all means, check out used kayaks. Test paddle them, check for leaks and blemishes etc.


If you really just want to buy a kayak that no one else has owned but you, a brand new fresh kayak smell to permeate your garage, then check out this list that will give you my favorites at each $100 increment in a bargain budget friendly range that are loaded with some great features.

emotion stealth 11$449 Emotion Stealth 11

The Stealth 11 is the get you out there kayak. It has some storage, it paddles well, especially for an 11 foot kayak and is only 58 pounds. This is a great kayak for quick trips as it won’t take a lot for it to be ready to go, can maneuver rivers and lakes and slides into the back of a pickup pretty nicely.


The Stealth also has decent stability at 30 inches wide which is a nice plus. For the larger angler, this might not be the best fit. The 300 pound weight capacity can float at full capacity but it will be sluggish and water will come in through the scuppers. Weight capacity will be the angler plus everything else on the kayak. If you are a tackle junkie like me, 50 pounds can be eaten up in just gear.

AscendFS12T$549 Ascend FS12T

The FS12T is surprisingly cheap. With a good frame seat for those who need some back support when on the water, it is a comfortable all day kayak. At 12 feet long it tracks pretty well and even though the deck is only 31 inches wide, it feels as stable as some 36 inch wide kayaks I’ve been in thanks to the hull design.


The Ascend has a little more weight capacity at 350 pounds and may require a lift partner with a hull weight of 77 pounds. If you are looking for a kayak that you can stand to fish in, this is a good one to try. I’ve recommended it to several friends who fish them in fresh and saltwater.

OK Prowler 13$699 Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

If you are looking for a kayak that can cover a lot of water, is pretty comfortable and can handle most situations, the Prowler 13 is worth a look. One of the best features on this kayak is the large rear tank well. If you had a desire to overnight camp, the rear tank and the large front hatch with under deck storage would allow you to pack for several days. Throw in the 450 pound weight capacity and the Prowler 13 is the old veteran that’s been in the lineup for a while along with all these other new boats.


I will add that the seat leaves something to be desired. For people with back issues, this may not be the right boat without a seat upgrade. It is also important to note that it’s only 28 inches wide so standing, yeah, that’s not happening for most people in this kayak. When you are in the seat however, it will cradle the waves and be a very stable vessel for your adventures. The Prowler is also one of the lighter kayaks, especially in a 13 foot model at a mere 56 pounds.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130$799 Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130

The Sea Ghost 130 is a 13 foot kayak that appears like a hybridization of several popular, more expensive models. At the $799 price it comes with a seat, a paddle and a rudder. This is the only kayak I’ve ever seen fully equipped and ready to roll from the manufacturer that could qualify for a bargain fishing kayak list. Rudders are included in some other kayak models but you could buy two Sea Ghosts and still have money left over for the price of one of the others.


I would recommend a seat upgrade but it isn’t a necessity. The 130 paddles really well and the steering capability with the rudder makes sure it stays on track. It’s a little heavier, coming in at 69 pounds but carries an impressive 550 pound weight capacity making it a kayak for just about everyone. If you would like to stand and fish, the 33” wide hull can keep you feeling pretty stable while you search for your prey.

pescador pro 12.0$829 Perception Pescador Pro 12.0

Wow did this kayak get a makeover! The original Pescadors were a throwback mold from a Wilderness Tarpon and treated anglers right for many years. As the times have changed and new demographics enter the kayak fishing market, the Pescy needed to go Pro. The new version gives anglers a wide 32.5” hull to make standing easier and boasts a nice frame style seat to make long days easier on the backs of paddlers.


At 64 pounds and 12 feet long, the Pro 12.0 can be a back of the truck river runner or traverse some open water. The 375 weight cap also allows most folks and some gear to maintain a fairly dry ride in many conditions.

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