Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
poyssick

Onto a Kayak

Recommended Posts

Me and at least one of my friends -- maybe as many as four others -- are going to begin Kayak fishing in 2012. I've done it a couple of dozen times, and in my youth felt that Canoe fishing was the best way to fish for largemouth bass and backcountry snook and redfish. The last time I fished on one was about three years ago. But it's time.What should I look for?[ol] [li]I still have a relationship with Tampa Fishing Outfitters. Are there any advantages to the yaks they're carrying? I haven't even been there to see one of them, but I have to assume they're fishable.[/li] [li]If I get something other than the ones they're not hanging in their shop, what model?[/li] [li]Size? Big, small?[/li] [li]Cost? With all the bells and whistles you would put on a new one you were buying[/li] [li]What's the used market like? Is it worth it to use a commercial application that will watch Craig's list nationwide and alert me when one pops up?[/li] [li]Storage. Where do you keep your yak? My friend Boomer keeps his flats boat in his garage and it (remarkable) fits. Not a lot of room around the bow or stern (a half inch, maybe?), but it fits. Do you folk keep them behind locked doors? I don't live in the best neighborhood in the bay area.[/li] [li]Movement: You tie them on the top of your trucks or simply put them in the bed? I have a convertible that's not useable to move a 14' (or bigger?) yak. My wife's almost-new Hyundai has to do. Should I consider a rack so we can carry two (Me and a friend; maybe someday my wife if I don't get burned out on it in about 19 days.[/li][/ol]Overall I just want advice. My friend Jon Shein wrote the book about it (the first one, anyway, and the one everybody says is the bible of Kayak fishing). But having more than one opinion would be worth a lot. And I'll track the process of going paddle. Or at the very least making paddling a measurable component in my fishing life.poyssick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright another kayak fisherman! ;)When I purchased my first kayak I was pretty sure I was going to "get in to it" and like most hobbies i have learned its often more expensive in the long run to try and be frugal. I took the approach of buying the best one I could afford. How did I determine which one was best? I cruises the kayak fishing boards and looked to see what kayak all the guys that were experienced wanted. I didn't want to get something to just get me out there fishing just to want to buy another one a few months later. Like other hobbies I am into, reef aquariums, I have jumped into too many big ticket purchases without doing my homework and thinking I can save a buck just to end up spending more after I see something that's better. The biggest thing I am most thankful for in the kayak I got is the propulsion system. I got a Hobie with the Mirage Drive which is like pedals on a bicycle. IMO I think its a huge advantage. I fish with a lot of guys that have a normal paddle kayak. They have to stop fishing, put up their rod etc and paddle to the next place they want to fish, steak up and fish until they move again. With a pedal kayak like the Hobie with the mirage drive I don't have to stop fishing. I think its a huge advantage. Also since your using your legs you don't tire as quickly which will dramatically increase your range. Most of my buddies with a normal kayak are not willing to go as far as I do because they are slower and its more work. They next thing I think is very important is comfort. Get something with a very comfortable seat. After being out all day in your yak its nice to be comfortable. Makes fishing much more enjoyable for sure. Stability is also very important. If you want to be able to stand and fish in your kayak, get one as wide as possible. Mine is 40" wide and I can easily stand as long as its not REALLY wavy. The only thing that I don't care for about mine is the weight. It's over 100lbs so its a bit of a hassle to launch but once in the water its not noticeable. There are several manufacturers that have a pedal drive system, wilderness is another I know that does. The big difference is the depth of water you have to maintain for the pedal drive to work. With the wilderness its around 12" inches if I recall which to me is pretty deep. A lot of times its neccessasary to traverse a lot of shallow areas to get to the deeper areas and that is not good IMO. My Hobie can move in 4" of water but it is a pia feathering the pedals and its slow but can be done. Plenty of easily accessable storage is very nice. If you have to keep all your stuff in a milk crate behind you its a little more difficult than having it in front. I would consider getting a trailer for the kayak. I've heard a lot of guys say the salt water off their yak played hell with the finish of their vehicle over time. Yakima makes a nice aluminum rack that folds up to easily stored in a garage if you have a wife that would throw a fit if she saw a big ugly trailer on the side of the house. ;)I love me some kayak fishin!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had bass boats, canoes and now we have kayaks and I have to say we are very happy with them and find this kind of fishing quite enjoyable.What drove our decision was the 3 c's - Cost Carry ComfortCost - our budget, no sense looking out side our range.Carry - how we will transport, pickup bed, rooftop, trailer - ours was rooftop so weight came into play, what can I put on the roof by myself.Comfort - demo, demo, demo. The yak I wanted was not comfortable at all when I got in it or rather on it, it was a sot. The one I got, I hadn't even thought of.... but it "fit".And I don't care what the say "Size does matter" =))) Smaller are more maneuverable, can easily get in and out of tight places, longer are faster, go farther and can go in deeper (water, that is) - handle a rougher ride.Of course, like all things, the above is not 100%I think it is one of those things, you will know it when - - -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to consider is depreciation. For example: emotion grand slam angler kayaks roughly $900 with no seat no paddle (unless you "know somebody"), just the built in rod holders. Used you will find them from 425-500. And 500 is pushing it. Cost, Dont let this get in you way of purchasing something that works for you. I have owned 4 kayaks in the last year. and i pray i have found the last boat i will ever buy. I started out with a pelican 116dlx. im 5'10" and 230lbs and that kayak sucked. Now it got me out into the water and that was about it. It was uncomfortable, tracked like garbage, and was tippy. Now i have a hobie pro angler. This is the kayak/boat that works for me. Accessorizing. Depending on how long you like to stay out and fish will also determine the amount of $$ you will spend on gear. For example, a low back seat. Good for about an hour or 2 at most and then the back gets stiff. A tall back seat can run upwards of $200. Paddles. Short trips a heavy paddle wont really matter and you can usually find one for 50 or less. Long trips you will probably invest in a lightweight paddle. Those can range upwards of $500.Stability. Being able to maneuver around without the fear of flipping is important. Some prefer to stand like myself and sometimes its just good to get a stretch without paddling back to land.Transportability. If thats even a word. The smaller kayaks you can whip in and out of a truck before some can even get the straps off theirs. Car topping is an option but can be a pain. If you have a convertible a trailer may be in your future. do your homework. Research the manufacturer. Find the common problems, maybe even contact the manufacturer. Ask around, visit the kayak shops.On another note, any friend of david tartaglia is a friend of mine. I will have an addition to my mini kayak fleet at the end of january (only 2 kayaks). We will have the hobie pro angler and the hobie outback. You are more than welcome to come out and fish with me all day. Maybe this whipper snapper can learn a few tricks from ya. Once you try self propelled im sure you will be sold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK to get things started. First all the big co. boats are plastic, roto molded. So I can never figure why some are worth twice what others are. Next do you want to paddle with your feet or your hands. Then do you really need to let someone else say how to rig your boat. ( first hole you make is a bitch) but it gets better. Ride the thing to see what you want and where (half the fun). Size well it is just me but if you want to stand up get something else there is all kinds of nice skiffs. All so 14 feet seems like a good size (if you do blue water bigger and if you like to turn fast smaller). My first was 9 foot and I still kind of like it. With the 9 foot I cold half surf the boat wakes, kind of fun. The 16 foot are a pain and you will need a rudder. With the 14 ft nice to have a rudder but you can do OK. Think the tail wind trying to push you in the direction you do not want to go. O yes do not worry about storage as much as where you are sitting. Carrying what you need and not a thing more is a several year project. :)Any way good luck and hope to see you out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI, if you live near Fruitville Rd. in Sarasota, you might check with Economy Tackle as to their "free kayak demo day".They bring 50 yaks to a pond just east of I-75, right off Fruitville Rd. once or twice a month on a couple of Saturdays . FREE.You can try as many as you want to see which would be better for you on the same day, so you can compare them all on the same day. No thinking, " Was the XXXXXX better or was the YYY better.".Having said that, my choice was a Hobie Revolution, which has pedals.For long trips and just cruising, a long, narrow yak is better than a pedal yak. For fishing, I don't think you can beat a pedal yak.They may be a bit heavier, but going from place to place, you can TROLL! No wasted motion.I can hold my place under most bridges and cast at the same time.The biggest drawbacks are: it takes a giant circle to turn my yak around, but so what? It's a big ocean!The other one is the transporting of it. I'm lucky to own a pickup, and I have a "tee" type extension to hold up the end of the yak. It comes apart easily, so it can be stored in your vehicle. {so no one steals it}I also need to find spots that I can back the truck close to the water, like with a boat trailer. However, if you go with someone, they can always assist in carrying the yak to the launch.I have a double wide milk crate mounted behind my seat for storage of my gear.I don't use bait, so it works out well for my situation.A push pole I made is a good idea, too.That's the brunt of it for my yak.BillI wasn't going to, but here's a photo. Not very good, but...post-156-14121216660206_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary I would recommend trying several different Kayaks before buying. While testing ask yourself if it something you can see yourself doing frequently. For example, if you are out for a 1/2 hour and are uncomfortable, that will be multiplied exponentially if you stay out four hours or eight hours. Getting a quality fishing kayak out of the gate is great because you can always sell it on CL given how fast the sport is taking off. In fact, I bought my first one on CL. Other things to consider:When will you fish? If you get a boat that is wet, fishing the winter is not nearly as fun (for me anyway). Wet and cold make for a day that just sucks. If you plan to fish summers predominantly, it really doesn't matter. Where you fish matters in this regard too. I like the rivers, etc. which tend to be better in winter. So that might dictate a more dry Kayak, or at least waders. At least something to think about. Also much of the backcountry is shallow, particularly in winter. Next is weight. How do you plan to get the boat to your launch and can you lift it by yourself or will you need others? I fish alone as much as I do with others and I have an SUV. So I needed something I could put on the roof by myself. With my new rig, I am really at the limit of what I can do alone. Obviously a trailer makes this a lot easier, but, that another investment. And also if you have to drag the Kayak to your launch spot, how will you get it there? They are many wheel options, but, something to consider. Of course if you always fish with others, this matters less. Others have mentioned propulsion. Do you use the paddle or kick the feet (i.e. the mirage drive). The other option is attaching an electric motor (investment). This is personal preference I think and how much tolerance you have for fishing vs. paddling. Some days I like paddling along checking out the area and some days when the wind and current pick up, I want to launch my paddle and kayak into the woods and get on the Whaler. Finally the ability to stand...One of my Kayak, it is impossible to stand. Im 6'1 and over 200 lbs. Maybe Capt. Mike can do it, but, with me its not happening. I had to sit for everything, or get off an wade. My new one allows me to stand which is awesome (IMO). Just this weekend I was standing casting and drifting along and saw a large snook just feet away that I would've missed on my old one. My particular boat is very wide and flat which make it easy to stand, but, poses other problems if I were to use it to fish in open water like the gulf or IC when a boat goes by. Since I dont fish those areas much on the kayak (I just take the boat), it wasnt important to me. Again where you fish. There's a bunch more things to think about, but, these are the ones off of the top of my head. The reality is, the more you get out there, the more you start to understand your personal preferences. But, I would say, you really have to get out there. I have a boat and have been on them all my life. There's something really different about being on the Kayak though. It's become one of my favorite things since I moved here to FL. The things you see, like a wild coyote crossing the groves, will blow your mind the same way seeing a whale shark or a school of Dolphin offshore. You are welcome to try out my Kayaks with me at some point if you want to try them out. I would definitely try a hobie Pro-angler if you can and an Ocean Kayak Big Game. The big game is a good all around (IMO), although I've never owned one I have used one from a friend quite a bit. I have a Diablo Adios and a Wilderness Systems 120. The Wilderness Tarpon 140 is also an excellent boat. The 120 is a little wet for someone my size, but, great nonetheless also. There's really a lot of great boats out there and not my intention to get into brand vs. brand war because I haven't tried all of them. These are just some things I'd consider on my next one. KA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend keeping the rigging pretty simple until you figure out what you really need. Wait until you see the need for something before adding it. For example, all of the people I met when I started had a rod holder in front between their legs. I added one before I ever put the boat in the water (thinking it was necessary). I soon found that for the way I fish it is just one more thing for my line to get caught on when I lay the rod down on my lap. Personally I think an anchor trolley is the best thing since sliced bread, but I fish with one guy who never anchors and it wouldn't be of any use to him. I always have a 5lb disk weight on a 6' piece of rope already clipped to my trolley so when I hook a fish while drifting I can quietly slip it in the water to prevent being pulled through the school or structure he might have come out of. Other people just stick a stake out pole through a scupper when this happens. All that is really needed to start is rod storage behind you (most fishing kayaks have built in ones behind the seating area), a comfortable seat, a pfd, and a good paddle. As for picking a kayak, keep in mind that just like boats no one kayak does everything well. Just try to find one that does what you want to do well. Most of the time I like to cover a lot of water so I love my tarpon 160 (long and thin = easier to row especailly on windy days), but I do have a couple other kayaks for different situations. A lot of people like to push stability in a kayak, but unless you are standing in a kayak it's pretty hard to turn any of them over. I find that for me, any kayak I'm comfortable standing in is usually a PITA to row. Personally I just get out of the boat if I want to stand and fish.I've had pretty good luck buying off of Craig's list, but you have to call quick and have cash to get the good ones. I got my last tarpon 160 for $400, but I called within 5 minutes of the posting and by the time I drove there to get it the guy had 5 more calls. There are also some really bad deals on Craig's list, so do your homework before buying. Another option is to call the local kayak shops. My son bought his first kayak about $300 under list and with a free paddle because it was the prior year's model and it was a "blem". Blems are usually kayaks that had a small defect(blemish) when they came out ot the mold and had to be fixed. The defect on my son's kayak could barely be seen, it was a spot the size of a quarter on the deck that was probably a void when it came out of the mold. The only reason we could see it was that the patch didn't have the same shine as the rest of the boat. He ended up with a much better kayak than he was planning on buying for the same money plus a free paddle.As for trasporting the kayak, since mine is 16 feet long and I drive a really small car, I bought a small cheap utlity trailer and built a storage box on one side to hold all of my gear. That way I can have everything loaded and ready to go without haveing to go through a checklist to make sure I have all of my gear. As an added bonus I no longer have 8 foot rods poking my passengers while driving and I don't have to lift my kayak over my head to load it..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garry, First of all, thanks for starting this tread. Me and my wife want to get some Kayaks this year and we are getting alot of answers here. Keep em coming. I was going to rent some but a friend offered his. I don't know what kind yet but look forwardto getting out there. One thing, single versus tandum. If I get a tandum to take my son out, will it be a big PITA to use it on my own?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tandem vs Single depends a lot on the kid, but consider getting a small kayak for the kid. Strap a life jacket on him and let him go - they learn faster than we do and kids love to be free to explore a little. Not to mention I caught quite a few fish when we first started kayaking while my son was over by the shore having a blast playing with hermit crabs or something. Then when he got a little older I would send him out to scout for fish while I tried other areas (with strict orders to call me if he found redfish).When he was little (9 or so) he caught a lot of fish just draging a gulp shrimp rigged weedless behind his kayak, but when fishing wasn't great he could always explore an island or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paddle as many kayaks as you can before making your purchase. I paddle a Jackson Cuda. Its not cheap but worth every penny. If you want to Demo one give me a shout. You can use a truck rack or just put them in the back of the truck. I have a short bed truck so I use a bed extender that I got at Harbor Freight for $30. Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think it would make it high of center (top-heavy) causing a list if you shifted your body weight to one side or the other??? I, for fun, put a swiveling business type computer chair in my canoe and off we headed to our favorite Bass haunt. One quick cast to the right and over we went. Center of gravity was just too much for this idea...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×