If you are only heading out onto the waters for a spot of fishing every so often, it is unlikely that you will either need or want to spend a whopping amount on a kayak. It simply isn’t worth spending thousands of dollars for something you will barely use. Luckily for you, you do not have to do that.
Here we want to introduce you to what we believe are the best fishing kayaks under $300 range. An immense amount of research was poured into finding these products. After all, the cheaper you go with a kayak, the more-likely you are to end up disappointed with your purchase. You won’t be with any of these. Each of the five kayaks on this page has the ability to give some of the products that are double, sometimes triple, their price a decent amount of competition on the waters.
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
Boasting a two-person capacity and the ability to cope with Class III whitewater, the Sea Eagle 330 certainly has a lot going for it. Add in the two skegs that help you say straight, and then top it off with everything that you need to get started being included right there in the packaging (paddles, pumps etc.) and the Sea Eagle 330 looks like the perfect option for somebody on the hunt for a quality inflatable kayak at a bargain-basement price.
Benefits to the Sea Eagle 330 for fishing
If you have ever been in an inflatable kayak before then you will know that they are not that brilliant at staying straight. The Sea Eagle 330 tries to counter this somewhat with the inclusion of two skegs on the bottom of the kayak. This means that this inflatable is easier to keep straight than a lot of the competing units on the market.
It can hold a lot more weight than some other inflatables at this price point too. It can hold a whopping 500lbs spread across two people. The seats inside the kayak are fully adjustable to ensure that both riders are comfortable at all times. You can even remove one of the seats if you wish. The Sea Eagle is perfect for riding solo.
For the price, you get something that is ridiculously tough too. While we probably wouldn’t recommend it in the same way the manufacturer does (Class III Whitewater), it is perfect for floating along a medium flowing river, or perhaps just chilling out on the lake.
Downsides to the Sea Eagle 330 for fishing
It is a little bit heavier than you may expect, particularly when you compare it to other inflatable kayaks on the market. This probably isn’t a kayak that you are going to want to be backpacking with. If you do take out the Sea Eagle 300, then it is mostly for those who want something that they can whip out of their car and take straight into the water. Stronger people may be able to tough it out on a couple of backpacking expeditions, but it isn’t ideal.
There is also a little bit more drag than some other kayaks out there. This means that it takes a bit of energy to get it from point A to point B. However, since you are likely going to be stationary for long periods of time in your kayak while fishing, this shouldn’t pose that much of a problem.
Sevylor Tahiti 3-Person Fishing Kayak
While the Sevylor Tahiti 3-Person Fishing Kayak is not necessarily brimming with features in comparison to some of the other fishing kayaks on this list, it does offer something that most others do not; the ability to seat three people…and some of these people are going to be quite comfortable when they are loaded into the kayak too.
Benefits to the Sevylor Tahiti Kayak for fishing
The ability to sit three people is a major plus here. Granted, it is just going to be a couple of adults and a child (three adults wouldn’t fit in), but it is fantastic for family fishing trips out there on the water. Each person has a decent amount of space available to them, partly because the seats are facing away from one another. This means that you won’t be getting in one another’s way when you are trying to land that illusive catch.
This kayak boasts an ‘air leak’ system which the manufacturer guarantees will never leak. Based on tests with this kayak, we can say that it lives up to that statement incredibly well. We just don’t know how they accomplish this on a kayak so cheap, particularly when other kayaks at the same price point leak air so fast you are left wondering whether there is a puncture.
Since there are multiple ‘air compartments’ on the Sevylor, it remains safe on the water too. On the off chance you do end up hitting a rock and somehow manage to tear through the incredibly thick lining of your kayak, you won’t just sink. You should have enough oomph left in it to get back to shore and repair the problem.
Downsides to the Sevylor Tahiti Kayak for fishing
If you do want to get three people into the Sevylor Tahiti, then it is going to be a little bit of a tight squeeze. That ‘third person’ probably shouldn’t be more than a young child, otherwise it is going to cause you a few issues.
In addition to this, the kayak doesn’t seem to work as well when there is just one person in it, particularly when that person is a touch lighter. Some people have reported the kayak flooding a little bit due to the uneven weight distribution. Of course, there are ways around this, but it is probably best to think of this kayak as ‘2 person only’.
HydroForce Lite Rapid Inflatable Kayak
If you are looking for an inflatable kayak that you can take out for a few weekend fishing trips each year, then the HydroForce Lite is just the ticket. While it is not going to be tackling any intense water flows any time soon, it is perfect for those who want to kick back and relax on a lake or a lazy river.
Benefits to the HydroForce Lite Rapid Kayak for fishing
Considering the price, the HydroForce Lite does a stellar job when it comes to keeping water out of the kayak. In fact, we don’t think any water was able to get into it during a light paddle. If it did, then the kayak is self-bailing, so it probably wouldn’t be an issue for too long.
There is a removable skeg on this kayak. This means that it is going to offer a decent amount of stability. Although, bear in mind that this stability is pretty much only going to apply to when you are traveling on calmer waters. If you are on something a bit more intense, then this is still a lightweight boat so you will be tossed from side to side quite a bit.
You get everything that you need included in the packaging too. So, if you are looking for something that you can just buy and throw in storage until you are ready to hit the waters, then the Hydroforce Lite may be a fantastic option.
Downsides to the HydroForce Lite Rapid Kayak for fishing
If you are a bit ‘wider’ than normal, then you may not find the HydroForce Lite is a good fit. It is quite a narrow kayak, far narrower than you would normally expect a kayak to be. This means that it is a tight squeeze at the best of times. Throw in the fact that the seats in this are naturally uncomfortable and it isn’t the best experience for the larger folk among us. This could have been rectified by HydroForce making the seats a little bit ‘puffier’, but we guess there is only a limited amount you can do at this price point.
This is probably not a kayak that is built to be used regularly, though. If you are using it for a few weekends per year, then you could get years and years of use out of it. However, if you are taking it out multiple times per month, then maybe a year or two at the most. While it is a well-built inflatable kayak, it is well-built to meet a certain price. It isn’t for those who have a love of constant kayaking. It is for those who want to do a touch of fishing on occasion.
Intex Excursion Pro
Honestly, at this price point, the Intex Excursion Pro has absolutely no right to be as good as it is. This baby has been built from the ground-up as a fishing kayak, and it shows. We are not going to be able to tell you everything the Intex Excursion Pro offers, but we can cover a few highlights.
Benefits to the Intex Excursion Pro for fishing
First off, you get bits of gear that other inflatable kayaks (and some hard-shell kayaks) don’t come with. These are removable brackets which are, of course, perfect for attaching your fish finder too. If you are heading out on a longer trip, then you may even be able to put a decent waterproof GPS on it as well. You also have some rod holders built into the kayak which, once again, is something that most competitors do not seem to offer, even when they bill themselves as fishing kayaks.
There is a ton of storage on the kayak too, including decent dry storage. This makes it perfect for heading out on the longer trips. In fact, we see no reason why the Intex Excursion Pro couldn’t be used for a few days fishing trip down a river. It is more than capable of dealing with it.
To cap it off; Intex are well-known for producing inflatables that are highly resistant to any sort of tearing. This is something that could easily last you years, even with regular use.
Downsides to the Intex Excursion Pro for fishing
We think the only real issue with the Intex Excursion Pro is the fact that it doesn’t travel all that fast. However, for fishing, you probably do not need something that is able to traverse waters at a rapid speed. You need to be nice and silent when hunting down your lunch.
Some people have reported that the included pressure gauge with the kayak isn’t the best in the world. We did not have any issues with it, but we can see why it may be a problem for some. It is really just an included ‘extra’. You don’t need it. It just makes life a lot simpler.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Let’s round off this list with the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, often regarded as one of the ‘best’ budget kayaks out there. When it comes to comfort, this one is pretty hard to beat. Although, if you want a dedicated fishing kayak, then the Excursion Pro is probably a better bet.
Benefits of the Intex Explorer K2 for Fishing
As we said on the previous Intex; the material that Intex produces is some of the best out there. You would need to be really trying (or get into a lot of trouble) to puncture this kayak. And, even if you did end up puncturing it, the multiple air chambers and the quality puncture kit means that you will be back on the water before you know it.
It is immensely comfortable too. Even on those longer trips of multiple hours, traversing on the water on this is going to be quite relaxing. There is just the right amount of inflation in the seats, and you have full adjustment over them in case you want to get a little bit more comfortable.
Downsides of the Intex Explorer K2 for Fishing
The only real issue that we have with the Intex Explorer K2 is that it can be a little bit difficult to keep straight if you have a lighter person inside of it. Even when you use the included skeg, the stability can be a little bit off. That being said, this is an issue that we have seen with many, many inflatables so it seems a little bit harsh to call out a product for something plenty of others are doing.
What is the best fishing kayak under $300?
While a sub-$300 fishing kayak is hardly going to blow the more expensive options out of the water, they are a perfect option for those who want something that they can use on the odd occasion. If you pick up any one of the kayaks on this page, we can assure you that you will have something that is going to last you many, many trips out on the water. Hopefully it will be by your side when you land that next big catch!