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Dan Andrews

Picking Out A New Kayak

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Well I don't have experience with very many types of kayaks but I can tell you what I do know. You'll get what you pay for but for the novice or newbie who doesn't know where to start, here's a few pointers.

I prefer the sit in as opposed the the sit on because I fish and paddle cold water too. My family bought mine on sale for $400 reg $500 for Fathers Day. It came with a rod holder and small anchor. Equally important is the paddle which most kayaks don't come with. I don't like many of the collapsible ones but a two piece is better than a four piece and i like a long paddle. Many cheap paddles are shorter. I don't like the cupped paddles either. It's better if there is no wrong way to hold it.

Fishing kayaks have a flatter bottom for stability and white water kayaks are more rounded for speed and handling. I have no use for the splash skirt as it impedes my access to fishing equipment. If you are sitting in a kayak you should be able to easily access your tackle and a small container of bait.

I have a 9 foot kayak and it weighs 40 pounds. I have seen much longer that handle well and move with little effort but they'll never get back in the creeks where I do. I find myself doing the limbo under fallen trees and paddling over half sunken brush so compact is better for me. If I spent more time in the Great Lakes I would prefer the bigger model. Compact also transports on a car top easier. I have a short box pick up and can load all four of our kayaks in the back.

3539429083_294ba18f56.jpg

014 by wildniagara, on Flickr

You can buy kayaks with a rudder which makes fishing and trolling much easier but if your going to be in shallow water you'll want a retractable rudder $$$. Some come with a small compartment to mount the fish finder and if you want to pay up you can purchase a complete package. My sons yak had a built in rod holder which consisted of a molded plastic hole that holds the rod straight up. This proved far inferior to an adjustable Scotty flush mount rod holder. Some have molded rod holders behind the seat but I've never tried these but they seem inconvenient because you have to reach behind yourself.

The handles shouldn't drag in the water like mine. My Old Town kayak has a constant trickling of water as my handles troll behind me everywhere I go. My Field and Stream however has the handles on top while paddling and this also prevents my hooks from getting tangled in them when fighting a fish. The F&S does not track straight though and sucks to fish in because as soon as you stop paddling you start to turn.

For me I prefer flat with a large open hole to sit in but with fairly shallow sides so my arms don't rub while paddling. 40 pounds is a nice loading weight and 9 feet is ideal. I only weigh 155 pounds so my yak may not be good for heavier anglers. It's plastic and getting thinner ever time I beach it. I've already got 4 years and my monies worth for sure. I miss my tinner and Evenrude but I wouldn't trade my kayak for anything.

3539430229_88f251333f.jpg

048 by wildniagara, on Flickr

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Nice write up Chilli.

I also have a kayak, but it's a longer touring model from Northern Lights; with full rudder, front and rear storage, decking etc. and I can tell you that it's almost too much for fishing. I was out a few weeks ago off point Abino and Crystal beach and I was doing more kayaking than fishing, but didn't plan it that way. As it is so long it is perfect for travelling the long and strait lines and can carry everything I need for a week in Algonquin. Although if you get into an area you want to sit and cast for a while the winds or waves can take your 'yak in all directions since the front and back are catching both so easily. Most of my time was trying to correct where I was going.

Also, my cockpit is to tight an area to have gear at the ready. My kayak is Fibre-glass and I need to find a rod holder I can affix to it without drilling or adapting to much that may "ruin" the hull. Scotty's has a nice set up that I may try this summer. I would definately go the smaller, wider, plastic route as I think it would be better to ride, sit, adapt, abuse, learn and most importantly fish from.

My kayak is great for what it is made for and I have had some success fishing from it, but I am already looking at the Pelicans avaialable at Costco...You know so the girlfriend can have fun too..... yeah, that's it..... ;)

No matter what you're in have fun on the water and be safe.

Mike

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I have 2 pelican persuit 200's, they are 12 feet. Got a deal I couldn't say no to. I have a truck and use them all the time, anything over 12 feet will to be long to get into the back waters. the 12 foot is nice because it is a little easier for longer trips. I have spent many a day out in it. As for rod holders, I got mine from bass pro, they had 2 similar to the scotty for $16 last year, and I got a flush mount adapter for $2.80. I started kayaking with a higher end inflateable. I still own 3 of them and love them. I will not sell them. what you loose in efficiency yoo gain in stability (they will not tip) and portability. I have used mine for fishing extensivly and they still have no holes. I have owned mine for 6 years and my wifes for 3. What is really nice about them is 3 of them with fishing gear will fit in the trunk of a honda civic, as well as an overnight bag when going to a friends cottage. I brought them to myrtle beach in the civic when we went and used them in the ocean. I have used the inflateables in the big waves of lake erie (without fishing gear!) and had a lot of fun, also I have used them in the alora george with all the whitwater kayakers with there expensive boats playing beside me. Paid $150 for each at BJ's in the states, but West marine also has some. Here is a link to mine http://www.airkayaks.com/products/Advanced-Elements-Firefly-Inflatable-Kayak-%252d-AE1020.html

Again if you have a car or its your first kayak trust me go inflateable you will use it more than any boat you own. and you can store it under yourr bed! With the canvas cover they are very durable. If i pop one I will get another.

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Sit-on-Top kayaks are a must for serious fisherman.

Hobie http://www.hobiecat.com/fishing/ is the cream of the crop.  Other reputable fishing kayak manufacturers include Malibu, Native, Ocean Kayak and Wilderness Systems.

Hobie is the only kayak manufacturer to sell a reliable propulsion system and has been doing so for over 10 years.  They also make kayaks stable enough to stand and sight fish or fly fish from, like the Pro Angler model.

If you are looking for a a yak for recreational fishing, you can pick them up for $200-600 used.  If you are a serious fisherman, they range from $700-2100 new or $500-1500 used.

Kijiji is a very good source for buying used fishing kayaks.

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Sit-on-Top kayaks are a must for serious fisherman.

Hello,

New to kayak fishing and looking at this one

http://www.grandriverkayak.ca/products-page/kayaks/fishing/riot-kayaks-escape-12-angler/

As you said, I heard that sit on top are preferred for fishing but wandering if that fashion comes from southern states My concern is cold water splashes, so now I am rethinking everything and considering maybe sit in or Native or NuCanoe…anything that would protect me from hypothermia during 8-9 months of colder water.

Anybody had any experience with Riots?

How do you deal with cold water splashes?

Had my eye on Jackson Coosa, but not sure if it would handle my large frame 6’3” and 260-270lb

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The problem with short, fat, plastic yaks is that they don't paddle well at all and you end up wiggling side-side instead of just going straight. Fine for piddling around small lakes where you never get more than a mile away from the launch but I wouldn't want to troll Lake O in one. But anything that gets you on the water is better than nothing! :D

BTW -- If you are wearing through the plastic on your yak dragging it over the beach, put on some Kevlar felt skid plates using G Flex epoxy. Most epoxies & adhesives won't stick to polyethylene but G Flex will.

http://www.noahsboatbuilding.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=655-K&eq=&Tp=

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That Riot has a max displacement of 300lbs. If you really are 260-270 you'd be pushing the limits with that boat once you load it with gear. Look for something with at least 350lbs displacement. The Coosa is a bit small but the new Cuda is awesome. I almost bought one but the price was a bit too steep. If you want to head out in the lake you need a boat that can handle it. i would recommend something that is 30+" wide for stability and 13 feet or more long. The added length helps when the water gets rough and also helps with speed. My yak is 14'5" long and 30.5" wide.

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I've fished sit ins and recently bought a wilderness systems 115 sit on top. It's amazing, the ability to stand up and fish was a huge game changer for me.

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Sit on tops seem like lots of fun for the ability to stand up but when theres a bit of chop on the water and in cooler temps isnt it preferable to be inside of a cockpit ? Or perhaps mire concern that a sit in could flood ?

That being said it seems to me like the yaks with a closed pit have less space to put a tackle box / bag , finder unit etc. just my thoughts but im interested to hear what someone with more experience has to say.

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The cold water doesn't bother my legs in my opinion. You get used to splashing water on you. Its a bit more fun to get soaked sometimes unless you carry your wallet on top of the boat lol. But there is definitely more room for EVERYTHING with a sit on top. Handling the fish especially, sometimes I use the cup holder as a temporary worm holder. Its nice to toss a piece of gear last minute by your feet with the sit on top. I learned a lot in my first summer of yakfishing. I learned I am not the karate kid and cannot stand nor kneel in my yak without feeling like im going over. I wouldn't trade my sit on top for any sit in... its much more functional.

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http://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adld=1058791676 Just some kayak accessories I am selling that I never opened. Over ordered from basspro to outfit my rig. If anyone is interested. See the ad for contact info. If the ad doesn't work search kayak accesories on kijiji in Niagara.

Edited by YoungYakker

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