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best fishing kayak under 2000

Kayaker Paddling in Alaska

Are you concerned the cost of a kayak will prohibit you from enjoying this activity? If so, do not worry. Here you can find the best fishing kayak under 2000 and feel great about saving money and enjoying this popular water sport. Ready to dive in?

This article is mostly for already owners of a kayak and want to go to the next level without going crazy in the expense.

Let’s get started.

Check Out the Best Fishing Kayaks Under $2000

1. Most Versatile Fishing Kayak: Wilderness Systems Recon 120 Fishing Kayak 2020

This kayak provides the size and style needed by novice and experts. The Recon comes from the manufacturer fully loaded, with the option to rig based on your needs.

It offers a fully customizable open platform, several innovative features, and the ability to choose the desired propulsion mode – power, pedal, or paddle.

You can also install an aftermarket motor with direct-to-boat mounting on the stern. It features a wide and open deck, which provides you with the space to move about, as needed, while fishing.

As a result of the durable and solid platform, you can hookset, cast, and stand in confidence. 

The extra-large gasketed hatch and sealed bin permit you to keep all your gear nearby and within reach.

Pros:

  • S.M.A.R.T. hull technology to provide superior tracking, responsiveness, acceleration, and maneuverability
  • Notched and expansive tankwell offers a custom-molded space for gear storage
  • Tacklebox recesses and midship side pockets offer gear storage where you need it
  • AirPro ACE seat ensures luxurious comfort and quality ergonomics
  • Rear-mounted area for mounting and protecting scanners and providing a full range of view

Cons:

  • The first option from Recon with some bugs to work out
  • Standing stability is limited
Most Versatile
Wilderness Systems Recon 120 Fishing Kayak 2020


  • Length: 12' 2" / 371 cm
  • Width: 38" / 96.5 cm
  • Weight: 95 LBS. / 43 KG
  • Deck Height: 15" / 38 cm
  • Capacity: 450 LBS. / 204 KG


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2. Best Affordable Kayak: Wilderness Systems Radar 135 Fishing Kayak

Wilderness radar 135

If you are a kayak fisherman, you will find Wilderness Systems Radar 135 kayak an appealing option.

It offers a 13-foot, six-inch hull that provides users with both stability and speed. This is a quality hybrid craft that is more than capable on the open water and in rougher patches.

Pedal and Motor Option

One of the most innovative features of this kayak is the scupper portal, which can hold the Helix Motor or a Pedal Drive. With these options, you can purchase the kayak for a relatively affordable price and then modify the design as needed with a motor or pedals down the road.

Helix Motor Drive Instructions

It’s costly and for some purist a motor is not compatible with a kayak, but good to see that option with the pros and cons. We cover motorizing the kayak in other articles.

Maneuvering around is a breeze and fly-fishermen, especially, need to watch line spooling that may occur around the pedals. However, to make things easier, it is possible to remove the drive and enjoy a clean, clutter-free deck.

When fishing salmon, you will likely find the pedals a great feature. After all, you will have your hands free and ready to set the hook. Just like with other higher end kayaks, the Radar 135 comes to you, ready to be customized.

Pros:

  • Flex Pod OS provides removable unit that is easy to install custom accessories, including the Helix MD motor drive, transducer, cables, and battery
  • Rear, mid, and front Trax accessory systems that move easily to various parts of the boat making it easy to move and reconfigure your accessories.
  • Essential features like large, padded footrests.
  • Multiple hatches.
  • AirPro MAX seating offers ergonomic comfort.

Cons

  • Some issues when fly fishing with pedal set up.
  • Unable to use on extremely rough waters.
Most Stable
Wilderness Systems Radar 135 Fishing Kayak 2020


  • Length: 13' 6" / 411 cm
  • Width: 34" / 86 cm
  • Weight: 95 lbs / 43 kg
  • Capacity: 475 lbs / 215 kg


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3. Old Town Loon 106 Angler Kayak : Best River Fishing Kayak on a Budget

Old Town Topwater 106

The Loon 106 Angler kayak is a reengineered version of the classic Old Town Loon kayak. Just as the name implies, it is a fishing-specific model and considered one of the most comfortable sit-in angling kayaks available today.

The Active Comfort System 2.0 seal designed for your long fishing days, seating and worried about angling not discomfort.

The seat adjustment is simple and intuitive while providing a superior level of padding, flow-through ventilation, and under-leg support. It is designed with a mesh fabric that is fast-to-dry.

The hull features a new, sleek design with additional volume and width. This means it remains stable even when packing all your fishing essentials, such as the bow and stern carry handles, paddle clip, drain plug, and the stern and bow deck bungees.

The biggest standout feature of the Old Town Loon 106 kayak is the smart work deck that is easy to reach, and that features a water bottle cage mount, large storage compartment, cup holder, and accessory trays.

The USB port makes it easy to keep your phone, camera, and GPS unit charged, even while on the water. The work deck can also be detached when you do not need it.

Pros:

  • Ideal for slow-moving, flat water
  • Flat, wide hull offers superior stability while casting
  • USB charge port keeps your phone and other devices charged and ready
  • Integrated bungees secure the tackle box
  • Reduce snags thanks to flush-mounted rod holders
  • Click-seal hatch stores all your essential fishing gear
  • Foot braces and thigh pads to remain stabilized while on the kayak

Cons:

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Maximum load just 325 pounds

4. The Best Kayak for Fly Fishing: Jackson Kayak Mayfly Kayak – 2021

The Mayfly kayak is the ideal watercraft for fly fishing.

It is a sit-on-top design and full of functional features that make fly fishing on your kayak more user friendly and fun.

This specific option has a versatile hull that has been optimized for speed, stability, and tracking in the most popular fly-fishing conditions and at the most popular destinations.

Some of the perfect places to take the Mayfly kayak include ponds, lakes, slow-moving rivers, and tropical flats.

This kayak addresses some of the unique challenges modern fly fishermen face, especially when it comes to fly line management.

Several design aspects can address the needs of any fly fisherman and create the perfect platform to enhance your fishing experience.

Some of the specific features you can enjoy including a snag-free footrest, protected storage for your fly box, rod butt props to help handle tangles, and other high-performance features.

The stability is unparalleled in the industry and ensures you remain afloat, regardless of the conditions.

Pros:

  • Fly line-friendly deck design that prevents snags
  • All aluminum gear tracks
  • Snag-free flip-down holders for your fly box that with a foam lining
  • Multiple colors available
  • Low profile hull design provides peace of mind and stability
  • The adjustable and customizable seat helps to ensure you can stay on the water longer
  • The rear cooler slot helps to hold your icebox securely all day 
  • A large, open standing area helps prevent snags when casting

Cons:

  • Heavier than other options at 94 pounds
  • Not suited for strong currents or rapids
Jackson Kayak Mayfly Kayak - 2021


  • Length: 12' 8" / 386 cm
  • Width: 35" / 89 cm
  • Weight: 94 lbs / 43 kg
  • Capacity: 450 lbs / 204 kg


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5. Most Stable Fishing Kayak: 2020 Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 DLX

At 12-foot in length, the Hobie Mirage Passport kayak helps you get where you want to go with seamless pedal propulsion.

The breathable mesh seat and roomy cockpit area, will allow you enjoy longer that the average before feeling some discomfort.

There is also EVA floor padding, which offers an extremely stable platform to allow you to stand or stretch your legs. You will also find it ideal for casting your lure.

There is more than enough space to keep your fishing equipment and other gear in the stern or bow cargo areas, and even more below the deck because of the eight-inch twist and seal hatch.

For fishing this kayak delivers an array of convenience features, such as a scupper and transducer cavity to make installing your fish finder and pole holders with ease.

Other kayaks cannot compare with these features – especially if you are an avid fisherman.

Unlike some of the other options, this kayak comes with an aluminum two-piece paddle, which helps you easily negotiate through rocky inlets and beaches. There are also conveniently located carrying handles at the stern and bow.

Pros:

  • Ability to use in salt and freshwater
  • Sleek and durable design
  • Ideal for first-time and experienced kayakers
  • Superior ergonomics thanks to EVA padded standing platform and mesh seat
  • H-Bar ready
  • Ample room for stretching, standing, and fishing

Cons:

  • Extended length makes some areas harder to navigate
  • Heavier than other options available

6. Best Kayak for Rivers and Lakes: Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot Kayak

Do you love finding hidden fishing holes you can call your own? If so, the Perception Pescador will help you do just that.

It offers a high level of stability, superior comfort, and more as you enjoy a day on the water.

It is designed for use on calm and slightly rough waters and features a broad shoulder, multi-chine hull, superior maneuverability, and a straight tracking keep. 

The comfort seating system can be adjusted for your convenience, which allows you to determine the setup for the kayak based on your personal preferences.

The integrated foot brace is beneficial, too, as it ensures proper posture while paddling, and several hatches help ensure you can take along all the must-have items for your fishing trip.

Pros:

  • Sit-on-top design providing superior maneuverability
  • Multiple hatch openings providing plenty of storage space
  • The straight tracking keel give extra stability

Cons:

  • Rod holders behind the seat allow for too much movement due to the large design
  • Sometimes difficult to sit in and get out of
Perception Pescador Pro 12 Kayak - 2021


  • Length: 12 ft.
  • Width: 32.5 inches
  • Weight 64 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Seating Configuration: Single
  • Two storage areas


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Selecting the Best Fishing Kayak Under 2000

If you want to find the right kayak for your needs, you have to get to know your options. Here you can find some of the top considerations to ensure you choose the right kayak for you.

What Are the Best Materials for Your Kayak?

Several material options are found in kayaks. However, there are four that are more common than others.

Single Layer Linear Polyethylene

With this material, the kayak is designed with a single piece of material. They are resistant to abrasion and adverse weather, are hard, and durable.

According to some experts, this material is commonly used for kayaks and a top option because it is more durable than the three-layer polyethylene option mentioned below.

Three-Layer Polyethylene

The three layers of this material provide a glossy, tough exterior, which allows you to glide over the water easily. Compared to the other material options, three-layer polyethylene is thicker, which improves the kayak’s buoyancy and offers thermal insulation. The interior layer is non-slip for improved safety.

While the three-layer material is fine, the single-layer polyethylene kayaks are considered more robust and heavier. This is attributed to the rough finish.

Fiberglass

For a lightweight option, fiberglass is the best material to use. Along with being lighter than polyethylene, it offers superior sliding abilities while on the water.

Some of the weaknesses of a fiberglass kayak include being fragile when impacted, and it is more expensive. The material is most commonly used for cruise or sit-in models.

Kevlar-Carbon

Another lightweight option, Kevlar, is lighter than fiberglass and more durable and resistant. The biggest downside of this material is the high cost. It is considered the “Ferrari” of kayak options and ideal if you compete.

How Will You Use Your Kayak?

Another important consideration is what and where you will use your kayak. To determine this, you must answer the following to find the best fishing kayak under 2000 for your needs:

  • What are the goals for your kayak?
  • Will you be using it in a peaceful lake, on rapids, or in the open sea?
  • Is the water cold or warm?
  • Are you planning to launch the kayak through the surf?

Consider your “endgame.” What are you going to need and make sure you are honest with yourself? Try to look into the future. You should not purchase a kayak that must be upgraded a few months later. After you start thinking about your specific needs and write them down, you will be able to narrow down the options and find the right one.

Long or Wide Kayak?

When considering long versus wide kayaks, a top consideration is if you want a long fast option or a wide and stable kayak. Usually, if you are looking for a quality kayak, the thinner and longer a kayak is, the quicker it will travel. The opposite is true, as well.

While wider kayaks are slower, they are also more stable. If you are new to kayaking, this is a good option.

Many kayakers discover that kayaks that seemed stable at first become slow and mundane for them as they gain more experience. This is not because of the kayak, as its performance will remain the same. It relates to your abilities and skills. Some kayakers recommend finding a kayak and purchasing one model better than what you believe you need. This will ensure your kayak grows as your abilities grow.

Sit In Kayak (SIK) or Sit On Top (SOT)?

If you are searching for the most stable fishing kayak, a sit-in option is ideal. However, if you want one that allows you to carry more gear, a sit-on-top kayak may be best.

It is important to remember that you will likely get very wet as you fish with the SIK. However, with the sit-in option, maneuverability and space is limited, which means it is not the most convenient option when fishing.

How Will You Store and Transport the Kayak?

When you are ready to purchase a kayak, you have several options to store it. You may want to put it in your garage or in a shed; you need to ensure there is enough space for the size and type you choose. 

Transportation is also an important factor. You can purchase a trailer for hauling your kayak or a roof rack. If you have a car or SUV, this may be the more feasible option.

Final Words

When you are searching for the best fishing kayak under 2000, there are many options to choose from. According to our research, the best option, thanks to all the features and high level of stability, is the 2020 Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 DLX. It offers all the “bells and whistles” while providing you with a lightweight and durable watercraft.

While this is true, each of the items on the list has specific design elements that help them stand out from the rest. For example, if you need a kayak with an option for connecting your devices, then the Old Town Loon 106 Angler Kayak is likely the best option for you.

To ensure you are confident in the decision you make, be sure to review the options here and think about how you will use the kayak. This will help you narrow down the options and get the quality fishing kayak that you want and need for a price you can afford. Being informed and knowing all the top options is the best way to make this purchasing decision. 

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