Looking to buy a more serious kayak

So I’ve been kayaking for a year and have 2 Pelican 10’ trailblazer kayaks. Pretty basic entry level kayaks. I’m looking to b upgrade to something a little nicer and versatile.I kayak fish a lot, but I also want to start getting in to a little tougher water like some class 2 Rapids and bigger lakes. Are than any kayaks anyone would recommend? Trying to spend around $500-$700.


tough call to get something for all that
It’s going to be hard to find something that will suit your three stated purposes. The best kayaks for fishing are wide flat bottomed sit on tops, since you want a stable and open platform, sort of barge-like. Class 2 water is best navigated with a fairly short sit in inside kayak with a more rounded hull that can turn quickly. For open water lake kayaking you want something longer and narrower that will track straight, either a sit on top or a sit inside with a more vee shaped hull and/or a skeg or rudder for tracking.

There are hybrids like the Dagger Axis 12 but though they will do OK for a range of activities, they are not ideal for any one of them. And those will run around $900. A lot of us have more than one boat for different usage.

Your budget is a bit low low to get anything really versatile new so you may have to look at used boats , which will limit you to what is available in your area. Your best choice might be a 12 to 14 foot sit on top or day touring kayak. Some of the older Perception and Dagger models can be decent for that. I had an older Perception Monterey 14 with a skeg that was pretty decent in mild rapids but tracked well in open water with the skeg down.

I agree your range of uses probably involves more than one Kayak.

If you have interest in a W.S. Zephyr 16.0 (plastic) in good shape in your price range let me know. The boat is in Vermont.