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fishing kayaks

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I would like to get another boat. To date what I have is a pontoon. Mine you can not stand up in. I do know some can. I have seen people standing in the fishing kayaks. How hard are they to get used to doing so? The other thing with my pontoon is being off the water. What is it like to cast sitting? Would I need help to learn how to maneuver it?

 

Kevin

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It's a very different experience. I own a yak, but I have borrowed a friend's pontoon on occasion.

 

Simply put, I feel the 'toon is the better fishing platform, but a kayak is a better vehicle.

 

The yak will be faster, more agile, and will be able to go more places, but the tradeoff will be that it is overall less stable, more confined, and more limiting in what you can do while you're on/in it.

 

Some kayaks you can stand in, but mine isn't among them (I have stood in it, but wouldn't want to depend on it, let alone try to fish from that position). I know there are other (usually wider) kayaks that people will stand on, as well as some that have deployable outriggers to widen the footprint of the craft on the water when you want to stand.

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I like kayaks but "sit in" models and touring etc. I don't like fishing from those and a "sit on top" is too draggy for the touring for me. So I fish from our canoe, love it, always loved a good canoe. Or from our powerboat and of course waders. But there are many options out there these days. Not sure I personally would stand in any kayak but I'm a klutz. Plus I think you catch more fish from a lower profile sitting position. As soon as you stand up figure on longer casts to the same fish. Sitting they will or have been known to bite right next to the boat.

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I have a Jackson Cuda 12 that I fish from and am very happy with it. Standing is fairly easy, just a bit of practice and it's no problem. It and a lot of other brands now have the adjustable high/low seating positions also, I pretty much just use the low myself. Not a "fast" boat compared to a touring kayak but plenty of speed to get down the river when I need to and it tracks very well, had a canoe for years but 99% of the time I'm solo and the kayak is much better for my purposes. Casting is definitely different from that close to the water but I got used to it quickly.

 

I won't go into the story of how I lost my brand new rod from Steve on that first trip with it though....

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My first query is ... what kind of water are you going to be fishing? I have a 14 foot jon boat. I can fish it just about anywhere but open ocean. I wouldn't want to be on a big lake when a bad wind kicks up, but other than that, it's good. If you get a 10 foot jon boat, you'll be able to stand in it, sit in it, lie down and take a nap, it you so desire. And you'll be able to put it into the same water you would a kayak or pontoon. Plus, if the water's large enough to need it, you can run a 5 or 10 hp motor on it. You range is vastly improved over any paddle powered boat.

 

If you just want something different to fish the same water that you always fish, get a kayak. They are a blast to paddle around in (If you want some exercise) and uncounted people fish from them with no problems. If you want to fish different water than you fish in the pontoon, then get a gas powered boat and cover more water.

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Mike's right,... I used to have a johnboat, but be advised there are lots of different sized and shaped jonboats, and some are wider than others. Also if you drop something in them, you'll alert everything in the lake.... it's a good idea to put a rug in the bottom of the boat.

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Decades ago I had a little Jon Boat that I could throw in the bed of the pickup I owned back then. And a 16 ft canoe. The intent was a little one man boat since I worked the very early shift of the day and everyone but everyone else worked later, I could go fish and not handle the canoe alone ( it was a heavy fiberglass canoe). I had a little 2 HP motor and with me alone in the boat the thing really scooted along great, much faster it would have planed. Like Mike says , it was awesome, I could stand if need be but more so lean over the side and or just stretch and not worry about center balance. Fine , but work shifts for all parties involved don't last for very long. Pretty soon everyone wants to fish and are available. We have made a couple of transitions since that boat to our current fish and ski for lakes and big water and royalex skinned canoe for rivers. The kayaks are for paddling into way back waters where boats can't go, though the canoe can the kayaks are faster.

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I didn't answer your question.... I fly fished for years sitting in my johnboat... with a 5wt 8ft rod, and never had any difficulty. I wouldn't suggest using a shorter rod.

Before the jonboat, I had an inflatable that when I sat in it, my butt was below the waterline. I fished with the same rod from that boat, and I don't recall having any difficulty.

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fishing specific kayaks have come a LONG way in the last few years. A Sit-On-Top kayak has almost universally become the standard type for real fishing. Too many advantages to go into in a short post

 

No two designs are the same. I have two different models of Wilderness Systems boats, a Tarpon120 and a Ride135. The Ride is supernaturally stable. I stand and fly fish all the time in it.

 

The Tarpon is quicker and more responsive. I don't stand in it.

 

I also grew up fishing from canoes, as a kid back in the 80's, then kayaks, been doing it my whole life. Long before it was the latest fad, as it is now.

 

I like the simplicity (if you want simplicity.... ) and the physical challenge as well.

 

Fishing kayaks have become what AR-15s were a couple years ago... it seems people think the more bullshit they can bolt, screw, and stick to them, the better they are. I don't subscribe to that.

 

Kayaks fit my personality quite well. I've fished everything from smallish streams, big lakes, open water Great Lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean in mine. I like the sef-reliance of it, wherever I'm going, it's under my own power. As I get older, it gives me all the more excuse to stay in decent shape.

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Before I get going here--standard disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated, professionally or otherwise with the company whose boat I'm about to plug. I'm just an extremely satisfied customer. So then...

 

Please, please, please do yourself a favor and check out the NuCanoe Frontier or Pursuit before you buy. I could write you a post as long as War and Peace and still not run out of good things to say about these boats.

 

They are canoe/kayak hybrids. All due respect to JS and Wilderness Systems, but if the Ride 135 is "supernaturally stable", then the Frontier 12 would have to be classified as something like "completely crazy/not to be believed/stupid stable". You would have to work VERY hard to capsize one of these boats. (Go to www.nucanoe.com and check out their videos--two huge guys jumping in the air and spinning 180 degrees, landing on their feet in the hull while on the water with nary a tip...guys sitting on the gunwales rocking like crazy and not even coming close to capsizing...it's insane. You really have to see it.)

 

As for the learning curve--here's the best example I can give you. When I brought mine home two years ago, I had never paddled a kayak of any kind. I'd been in a canoe precisely once, precisely long enough to turtle the damnable thing (approximately 10 seconds, as I recall), and that was the end of my relationship with canoes. I am a poor swimmer and deep water makes me pretty anxious. Within 5 minutes of launching the NuCanoe for the first time, I stood up. It was effortless. I started paddling while standing. Equally effortless. In another 10 minutes, I was sculling with one hand and casting with the other. I felt completely at ease and have ever since. I will state with confidence that I don't think there's another fishing kayak out there that can touch these things for stability. They are wide (41" at the beam) and solid (77 pounds empty hull). Stand and paddle, stand and cast, fight fish, play the bagpipes, whatever you feel like doing--it's pretty much thoughtless in this boat.

 

As far as sitting and casting, it's going to be easier in the NuCanoe than in most other 'yaks. Their seats are mounted on elevated pedestals and they swivel 360 degrees. Yes, this makes you a little more wind-resistant and maybe slower to get around than some of the sleeker kayaks out there, but you can see--all around you and down into the water--and you don't have to haul yourself up from a sitting position with a rope or some such. Easy in, easy out.

 

Perhaps the best thing about these boats is how infinitely customizable they are. The hull is wide-open and flat. All your accessories, including your seats (there is room for two) mount with special bolts that slide along two built-in tracks that run almost the entire length of the hull. Whereas most other kayaks, by virtue of how their hulls are molded, more or less dictate where your seat, your rod holders, your gear, etc. must go, in the NuCanoe YOU decide, for all of it. Speaking of accessories, there are tons of them, including some made specifically for fly fishing. The whole boat is designed with fly fishing in mind.

 

Cons? They aren't the fastest boats out there. (Then again, you can mount any size trolling motor or up to a 5 hp outboard on them). They're heavy (again, think stability). And they're not cheap--but they're also not the most expensive. (A Hobie Pro Angler will set you back a full $1000 more than a well-equipped NuCanoe.)

 

There, I've said my piece. smile.png There are lots of excellent fishing kayaks out there. I came very close to buying the Wilderness Systems Ride 135 myself. I'm really, really, REALLY glad I bought the NuCanoe though.

 

I don't "love" my NuCanoe. I love my wife. My feelings for my boat run much deeper...

 

Just kidding. But seriously, they are awesome boats. smile.pngsmile.png

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I fish saltwater mangrove country in or should I say on a kayak, I love fishing from it as its dead quiet and I can get right on top of tailing reds.

 

Casting is not an issue, line management is. To stabilize it while casting I simply hang my legs out one on each side and its instantly stable, bring them back in when you need to relocate plus you can use your feet to steer a little.

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I bought a Dagger Blackwater 11.5 years ago. I added a rod holder and soft rubber paddle holder (the hard plastic break off) and an anchor system.

 

I love it for river fishing, but it paddles like a brick if you want to paddle longer distances. I love trout fishing in rivers below dams. It will float in very little depth of water because it's width to length is a good ratio.

 

I have a 17 foot Heron that is very fast, easy to paddle and stable. I use it along the coast and in the ocean.

 

Kevin decide what you want to use it for. Find a kayak store that has an on the water test day.

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Half canoe half kayak is the latest trend. Old Town has a model called the Next. Different from the NuCanoe though in that it's made to solo paddle , not just fish. It offers double sportability. The concept being travel like a kayak, sit like a canoe. I must admit being interested in that model. It also has foot pegs in it like a touring kayak would have, which interests me. I'm not totally sold on the platform style stability, I don't mind a little rocking if there is secondary stability. But I want a boat I can get around in, is not going to be a literal drag to paddle, not just a raft. As far as draft or drawing water, IE how deep a boat runs in the water, most canoes and kayaks only draw a couple of inches of water, they just about all run very shallow in the water. In a river a sharp keel is your enemy though, a keel bump if you will is fine , no keel even better. Good tracking should be built into the hull design not added on in the form of a sharp or protruding keel line that grabs every rock in the river.. our Old Town Canoe has no keel, paddles with very little drag and goes over rocks with a slight blip on the screen. I call it jelly belly because of how it seemingly just absorbs the energy of going over a rock. The last thing you want in a river is a situation that throws off your balance. Done rambling now.

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