Kayak Selection On a Budget E-mail
Written by Ema Grey   
Friday, 05 April 2013 14:28

With the recent arrival of McLellan Jacobs' carbon kayak, and its fifteen thousand dollar price tag, potential buyers have before them a new threshold of luxury. What, though, can budget-minded shoppers expect when exploring the market place for their next fishing kayak? We set out to explore the industry's current offerings, and tried our best to hover around a $500 (MSRP) budget. While one can find better prices if they search around on the web, we note MSRP pricing for a consistent comparison metric. The below models represent a cross section of the price point in question, and are, for the most part, aimed at the angling demographic.

LifetimeTamarack Lifetime Products offers a wide range of economical sundries, kayaks included. The company's Tamarack 120 sit on top is a well-adorned yet non-specific vessel coming in at an MSRP of $499. Complete with six inch rear hatch, mid-ship carry handles, and plentiful bungee rigging, the Tamarack 120 looks to be a suitable solution for anglers hoping to maximize their bang-for-buck ratio. Lifetime does offer an Angler model of this boat at $549, which adds an additional hatch, two flush mounts, and a top-mounted rod holder. The standard model comes in red; the angler, in tan. Both are ten feet in length and offer a carrying capacity of 275 pounds. For information on Lifetime kayaks, go here.

AscendFS12TAngle Bass Pro Shops, the venerable outfitter and toy store for outdoor aficionados, has entered the kayak fishing game, and brings to the angler an array of boats offered under the Ascend badge. Numerous configurations, trim lines, and lengths exist, but, with regard to cost-to-value analysis, the FS12T stands out. Also retailing for $499, this kayak comes with a package similar to that offered by the Tamarack's fishing-specific brethren;  dual flush mounts, a rod holder, and dry hatch are included. The FS12T is also a full two feet longer than the Tamarack, and can haul 350 pounds. For anglers truly wishing to slash prices, $399 buys the Ascend D10T, a shorter boat devoid of most fishing-specific options. For more information on Ascend kayaks from Bass Pro Shops, go here.

castaway116top From Pelican comes the Castaway series, a duo comprised of the 100 and 116 models. Ten and nearly twelve feet in length, respectively, these boats both bring to the table a singular rod holder, bow hatch, and rear bungee array. The boats offer a modest carrying capacity, with the larger of the two topping out at 275 pounds. Made of Pelican's exclusive and multi-layered RAM-X material, the boats press the upper edge of what many consider budget, and feature average retail pricing of $450 and $599 for the Castaway 100 and Castaways 116 models, respectively. For more information on Pelican kayaks, go here.

Old Town Heron 9 Angler Fans of fishing-specific sit in models can find a few values within Old Town's lineup. The Heron 9 Angler is just shy of 10 feet in length, offers a reputed carrying capacity of 300 pounds, and can be had for an MSRP of $449. For that price, the boat comes equipped with two flush mounts and an anchor trolley system. $499 fetches six extra inches of length, twenty-five pounds of carrying capacity, and a roomier cockpit. These features come in the form of the Vapor 10 Angler, a vessel touted by the manufacturer to posses levels of stability and comfort fit for a beginner. The flush mounts and anchor trolley remain as included features. For more information on Old Town kayaks, go here.

The price point of $499 seems to be, with regard to budget-friendly offerings, the current industry standard. Anglers hovering on either side of that figure can find a diverse and plentiful array of options. It must be stated, however, that a value is not a value if it does not meet your needs. A rock bottom price may bring to the hasty angler a vessel incapable of floating them and their gear, and one ill-suited to the waters in which they intend to fish. As with all things in life, it pays to shop around.

 

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