Are Sun Dolphin fishing kayaks good to buy?
There are numerous fishing kayak manufactures. Some manufacturers concentrate on producing expensive models with hefty price tags of $1000 – 2000 and even upwards and beyond $3000. Others focus on producing less expensive products under $1000 and $500.
Sun Dolphin serves the latter, producing less expensive kayaks, with prices right around $500 and under. These are made for fishing, lakes, bays and slow moving rivers. Not the best choice if you are looking to buy something to take out in rough ocean surf.
If you landed on this page then we suspect you are either looking to buy the best budget fishing kayak or you are a beginner trying to learn which company makes the best fit for you.
How much money do you plan to spend? When answering the question of whether or not Sun Dolphin fishing kayaks are good, price is definitely an important factor needing to be in the equation.
If you were to compare the Sun Dolphin Journey SS (pictured above) to a model like the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler. Hands down the Hobie wins. But the Hobie Pro Angler costs $3000, while the Journey SS (both 10 and 12 foot) costs under $500.
So when answering whether or not they are good, it’s essential to compare these models to other similarly priced models.
Sit-inside and Sit-on-top fishing kayaks
Sun Dolphin doesn’t offer a lot of different choices but if you are wanting to spend $400 – 500 then their choices do fit your budget.
They offer both sit-inside and sit-on-top versions of their angler kayaks in both 10 and 12 foot lengths. We definitely prefer the sit-on-top (SOT) style.
Sun Dolphin Journey SS – available in 10 and 12 foot
The 10 foot version of the Journey SS has a price tag of just under $450. While the 12 footer is only $10-20 bucks more expensive.
The Journey SS has received high reviews from customers. Read what they have to say and how they rate it.
Sun Dolphin Bali 12 foot sit-on-top
The Sun Dolphin Bali is produces in 8, 10 and 12 feet models. The only model with fishing rod holders is the 12 footer which is priced just under $500.
Read Bali 12 foot user reviews
About rod holders. You will notice that all Sun Dolphin fishing kayaks only provide two flush rod holders just behind the seat on the left and right sides.
These types of holders are OK. Even the most expensive models provide these. We recommend you buy and mount a swivel rod hold in front of the seat. These don’t cost much, maybe $20 and are pretty simple and straight forward to mount. The best are Scotty rod holders.
Much better fishing when you are able to keep your rod right in front of you.
Sun Dolphin 10 and 12 foot excursion – sit-inside
This is their sit-inside version available in both 10 and 12 foot versions. Both sizes are priced under $500.
As we already stated, we prefer sit-on-top models vs sit-inside. But what we will say, the Excursion does provide a little more storage space compared to the Journey and Bali.
We respect the fishing kayaks made by the company Sun Dolphin. They produce both sit-inside and sit-on-top models. We are not promoting these as the best but they do hold value at their price point (under 500 bucks).
If you are on a budget one of the models listed above might be the right choice for you. Furthermore, if you are a beginner and unsure if kayak fishing is right for you but you would like to give it a try… It’s probably best to start with a less expensive model.
You can always sell it used and then upgrade when you are sure this is a sport you plan on sticking with. They hold their value well.
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