Fishing from a kayak allows you to reach areas that you may not be able to access if you were on a larger boat.
Using a kayak is also a great way to get a little exercise and sun while potentially finding the best catch of the day.
In this post, we’ll help you navigate the best sit on top fishing kayaks under $1000 on the market today.
|Sit-On-Top Kayak||Dimensions||Max Load Capacity|
|BKC RA220||11'/34"||450 lbs|
|Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110||11'/33"||425 lbs|
|Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 10||10'/32"||375 lbs|
|Bonafide RS117||11'/33.5"||435 lbs|
|SUNDOLPHIN Boss SS||12.3'/33"||500 lbs|
Table of Contents
- Product Reviews
- Factors to Look for When Choosing a Kayak
- How to Take Good Care of Your Kayak
- Quick Tips
The BKC RA220 has everything you need in a kayak. This sit on top fishing kayak features four storage areas – three of them are water-tight and perfect for a wallet, phone, keys, and food.
The fourth one is an open cargo area with a bungee tie-down system for keeping larger gear secure. It is stable enough for standing, so if you prefer to cast and reel while on your feet, go ahead and stand tall.
- Waterproof storage
- Foot pedal operated rudder control
- Twin flush-mount rod holders
- Compartment clasps could break easily
The Vibe Sea Ghost series hulls focus on blending speed and stability for a perfect balance.
It is equipped with the most customizable work deck, and gear space kayak anglers demand, and the 425 pounds of hauling capacity means you can bring it all. It is stable, fast and comfortable; what more could you ask for!
- 425-pound load capacity
- Water-tight dual hinged console with cargo bags
- Six accessories gear tracks
- Rudder lines can come undone
The Yellowfin 100 purposely designed for all-day fishing comfort, and you can throw-and-go and be on the water in minutes.
It has all the premium and customizable features of the best boats on the market, but at the most affordable cost on the market.
The Yellowfin 100 tracks smoothly across all sorts of waters and conditions and delivers the perfect slip-resistant, open deck platform for avid anglers and weekend warriors alike.
- 4 Fishing rod holders
- Lots of storage space
- Fishfinder mount
- Seat straps can snap
If you’re looking for unparalleled sturdiness and stability, this is it. Thanks to its strong hybrid cat hull, you’ll get to enjoy a smoother ride with this Bonafide Fishing Kayak.
It’s excellent for both the beginner paddler as well as the novice angler.
- Superior and tough construction
- Easy to load and handle
- Smooth paddling
- Weight distribution can be improved
5. SUNDOLPHIN Boss SS
Fishermen love the Sun Dolphin for all the features it’s packed with. This kayak is lightweight yet doesn’t compromise on its sturdiness and stability. You can even walk stably on deck, thanks to the catamaran hull design.
- Open and large cockpit
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Lots of rod holders
- The seat quality can be improved
Factors to Look for When Choosing a Kayak
There are certain factors that you should look for when deciding to purchase a kayak. These include:
Size of the Boat
The size of the boat will affect how easy it is to handle, how stable it will be on the surface of the water, and the number of paddlers it will accommodate.
Solo boats have only one seat for one passenger, while tandem boats can help two people. Longer boats are narrower and less stable while short boats tend to be wider and offer greater stability.
The material your kayak is made of is essential. Since the kayak will be exposed to harsh sunlight and different types of water, you want it to be made of something strong and durable. A kayak made of high-density polyethylene offers superior durability and lightness that will make your kayak easier to handle. A UV stabilized boat will also prolong the boat’s life while keeping color intact.
Style of Kayak
While fishing from a kayak is possible no matter the type, there are a ton of options on the market now that are designed explicitly for angling on the water. Choosing the right kayak to meet your needs can involve a variety of criteria. This includes where you intend to primarily use the kayak, your budget, and your style preference.
Sit on Top vs. Sit-in Kayak
When choosing the best kayak, you want to consider if you would like to purchase a sit on top or a sit-in kayak. This difference makes a huge impact as to how to manage the kayak.
As the name implies, a sit on top lacks an enclosed cockpit, and the paddler is positioned on top of the kayak above the water’s surface.
This type of kayak is perfect for beginners as it allows them not to feel trapped inside the kayak in the event of a capsize.
Sit on top kayaks also have a higher center of gravity, and they are more stable than sit-in kayaks.
The downside to sitting on top kayaks is the fact that they are much slower than sit-in kayaks due to their relatively wide beam.
The paddlers’ control is also limited because the paddler cannot place their knees against the underside of the deck. Overall, sit on top kayaks require a lot more effort than sit-in kayaks.
A sit-in kayak, on the other hand, is much more traditional looking. As the name implies, a sit-in kayak is equipped with an enclosed cockpit.
The paddler sits inside the kayak below the water’s surface. This design is much more popular than that of a sit on top kayak and is used more by intermediate and advanced kayakers.
Sit-in kayaks have a lower center of gravity and high secondary stability, which allows them to turn and lean into roughs while staying upright.
They are built much narrower than sit on top kayaks, thus making them a lot faster.
Many paddlers may feel like they are trapped inside the cockpit with no escape as they sit under the water’s surface. Sit in kayaks can also fill with water, which could intimidate paddlers.
They are a bit more unstable than sit on top kayaks, and beginners might not be comfortable navigating this type of kayak.
How to Take Good Care of Your Kayak
For your new kayak to last you a long while, you want to take proper care of it. Here are a few tips you can try to make sure your kayak stays in good condition:
Make Sure It Is Always Covered
It is a good idea to keep your kayak covered when not in use, especially if you are not able to store your boat inside your home, garage, or shed.
The best way to keep the inside of your kayak clean and protected from the sun is to use a cockpit cover.
Cockpit covers come in different sizes in order to fit specific cockpit dimensions for a tight seal.
This will ensure that your boat does not end up full of rain, snow, leaves, bugs, or other creatures while simultaneously protecting the seat of your kayak from sun damage.
If you do not have a cockpit cover, a well-placed tarp over your kayak is better than no protection at all.
Keep in mind, though, that without a secure seal, nature will still find its way inside.
Make Sure It’s Clean
After an adventurous day of kayaking, you want to be sure to rinse off your boat with clean water and a bit of bleach or vinegar. This will help to remove the salt or freshwater gunk.
The salt from seawater and the sand from the beach will eventually eat away at your boat (especially the metal pieces) if not washed quickly after docking.
If you are storing your boat under a tarp, be sure that your kayak is completely dry to prevent any growth of mold or mildew.
Keep Away From The Sun
Kayaking is an outdoor sport and a pastime that will allow you to enjoy a sunny summer day. But if you leave your boat out in the sun for too long, that is not good for the overall condition of the boat.
Most kayaks these days have UV inhibitors within the hull material that will help to keep the boat protected.
However, prolonged sun exposure can make the bright, vibrant color of your boat fade and weaken the hatch covers. The hot sun can also deform and warp plastic kayaks.
Be sure to never leave your kayak on top of your car for longer than necessary. This will help to avoid unnecessary UV damage.
Here are a few more quick tips that will help in caring for your kayak:
- Be sure to inspect your kayak for any small cracks, hull damage, or signs of water leaks.
- Using clean water and mild dish soap can help you clean your kayak.
- A 600 to 800-grade sandpaper pair with a fine polish abrasive will help to eliminate minor scratches.
- Fiberglass or plastic kayak can be sprayed with UV protection at least three times a year to keep it in good condition.
- A mild automotive polish and abrasive can help get rid of stubborn stains on a kayak.
Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes. You want to choose something that is best for your budget and your needs.
Be sure to remember to focus on durability and lightness when choosing your kayak. If you keep these things in mind, you won’t go wrong in your choice.
For more on kayaking, check The Ultimate Guide To Kayaking.