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bigsky2

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I heard it said, and I believe it's true, that maneuverability is more important in fishing than speed. You need a kayak with good rocker.

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I heard it said, and I believe it's true, that maneuverability is more important in fishing than speed. You need a kayak with good rocker.

A lot depends on where a person is to fish. I think you will find that most of the generalized so called " fishing kayaks" have little rocker, relatively flat bottoms with tracking channels of some sort. This affords shallow running and clearing rocks but still be able to track when needed. Especially in this price range but even more expensive ones. Anything 12 ft or less is going to steer pretty well in flat water, ponds , slow class 1 rivers and might even make a pass at some class 2 stretches here and there etc.. THey are as stated , general purpose fishing kayaks. As you get out more into 14, 16, 18, even 20 ft and ocean kayaks then V bottoms come into effect. River canoes and kayaks have rocker coupled with shorter lengths for very quick steering. But some of those in the shortest lengths are more in the so called "play" category of kayaking, where people take them rock gardening, rolling and so on. On a river of class 2 and 3 for fishing and also making headway I prefer a moderate rockered canoe personally. Just my preference.

 

I bought the Pungo in 14 ft because here we have mostly good sized ponds and long meandering salt estuaries, I didn't want to be plowing water everywhere I went. I hate dragging myself over a water body LOL. I have a good 16 ft two person canoe for my wife and I to do northern ponds and even rivers.

 

This page might be worth a read to would be new fishing kayak purchasers: http://www.manpoweredfishing.com/2012/10/how-to-choose-fishing-kayak-beginners.html

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Check your state's regulations on kayaks. Some, like mine, require a signaling device, i.e. a good whistle, in addition to the items already mentioned. Check Craigslist and other places for a good used one and take a knowledgeable kayaker with you when you go to look or buy. They can be invaluable when choosing good equipment.

Oh yeah, you are going to love it! Got my first one at 70....great source of exercise!

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Dave,

That is an excellent article you put a link to, I wish I had seen it before looking for my first yak. I have to question why the author did not comment on the 13' yaks? I bought an Ocean Prowler and it has very good maneuverability, plus, it comes with a lifetime hull warranty. My only objections were the very uncomfortable seat and a lack of pad eyes and deck loops. Both were easily remedied with a pop rivet tool for installing pad eyes (with sealer) and an ACK Gone Fishing seat.

Another nice point about a used craft is that these items and others may already be taken care of, i.e. anchor trolley, additional pad eyes and hangers. Just be careful of the owner's workmanship! Another reason to take an experienced yakker with you.

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due to nagging back problems and lifting heavy objects, has anybody ever used an infltable kayak

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No flytire but due to various aches, pains, age, less strength and since I have a small utility trailer anyway, I have opted to transport the kayaks in that vs on top of the SUV. Working at waist level makes a huge difference. It's actually easier for me to get the canoe ( two people) on top of the SUV than one kayak, never mind two. I just toss the yaks in the trailer tie them off and away we go. I bought that trailer originally for hauling the garden tractor and dump runs etc. But it's been mighty handy for a lot more than that over the years. It was a Home Depot Purchase, I think we paid $600 for it.

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Dave,

That is an excellent article you put a link to, I wish I had seen it before looking for my first yak. I have to question why the author did not comment on the 13' yaks? I bought an Ocean Prowler and it has very good maneuverability, plus, it comes with a lifetime hull warranty. My only objections were the very uncomfortable seat and a lack of pad eyes and deck loops. Both were easily remedied with a pop rivet tool for installing pad eyes (with sealer) and an ACK Gone Fishing seat.

Another nice point about a used craft is that these items and others may already be taken care of, i.e. anchor trolley, additional pad eyes and hangers. Just be careful of the owner's workmanship! Another reason to take an experienced yakker with you.

Yeah my Pungo isn't ideal for fishing for me, at the time I bought it it was maybe "the most" popular kayak for fishing around here and everyone looked at the sit on top like what is that about ! The Pungo for me is a decent cruiser for larger ponds and lakes though but the seat is nearly right on the floor, my hip fetches up then I get sciatic pain if I sit around in there too long. In the canoe , I'm maybe 4 " off the floor and that little bit is enough to not cause the pain, I can fish all day with a back rest on the seat. No problem. So not sure what I'm going to do about this. I've owned this Kayak for a long time, it is one of the first years they went to Poly for the hull material on the Pungo with the original looking like natural layed up glass. Looking at some of the sit on tops it appears the seats are up more on some and then the feet drop down to the lower level. But if I can get something better going on in my existing craft I'd rather do that for the drier ride, fishing isn't my only purpose for it. Anyway, that's how I landed on that article, Roland ! I've been around paddle craft for more than 30 years, rowing and motor boats longer than that but it's never too late to learn something new.

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There are lots of good kayak fishing websites where you'll gain perspective. It all hinges on your perspective, but for a "good fishing kayak under $500" you should be looking in the used market.

 

And as far as discount store el-cheapo kayaks looking as good as any others.... ever hear the saying beauty is only skin deep?

 

I've also "been around" caonoes and kayaks my entire life, from early childhood to today. You can catch fish out of any thing which more-or-less floats. Whether or not you constantly have issues and it tries to kill you is an entirely different story.

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If you have the choice, I advise don't go for the camo look... unless you want to get run over by a power boat.... get bright yellow or orange. You want to be seen.

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Flafly, that is another great point! Visibility is sorely lacking when you are sitting at water level. As crazy as they look, the flourescent flags on the white poles for bicycles are a great addition to a yak!

It is rather like the Realtree camo metal detectors....what the Heck is the reasoning behind that? I have yet to spook a coin or other metal artifact with my black and red detector. If you set the camo model down to take a pee, you may not be able to find it when you turn around!

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Don't know what stores you have there, but in Texas we have The Academy Sports. They have several in that price range. I'm sure Dicks and Sports Authority are the same. They all compete. Look them up online then have the store order it.

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I was looking at getting a yak this spring, and I was wanting to keep cost down. Then I went to the Boat, Sport, and Travel show in Indianapolis. Spent a good deal of time looking at Hobie. I'll wait till I can have the Hobie.

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The Hobie is quite the thing, so far I've seen two at the landings or on the water . But my thought is it ought to be trailered, between off loading from a rack and setup, then get all your gear in there, I could launch a powered canoe with a 2HP engine on it faster ( been there done that before I had a motor boat).. But a little trailer, that's another story, that levels the playing field.

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Either you're ok with the setup/launch process for fishing kayaks, or you do something else. I can have my Tarpon120 off my roof rack, gear out of my car, my yak out of the way, and my car off the ramp in under one minute. My Ride135 takes a bit longer because I set it up differently. Kayak fishing is firmly in the FAD stage right now. Lots of people doing it only because it's the cool trendy thing. Lots of people doing it who really should not be doing it. Those of us who grew up fishing in canoes and kayaks way before it was cool just shake our heads at most of it. Right now kayaks are like AR15s were a few years ago... dumbasses think the more crap you can bolt onto or hang off of it makes them better. Portability, ease of storage, ease of maintenance, relatively low expense, and self sufficiency. Yes people are putting electric motors on them, several are built specifically with electric motors, there is at least one company making customized retrofits for many makes and models to add electric motors. That takes away from the "do it under your own power" aspect that so many people like. Just buy a normal fishing boat. If you have to ask yourself several questions to figure out if you can be "convinced" to be a kayak angler, the answer is no.

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I can have my Tarpon120 off my roof rack, gear out of my car, my yak out of the way, and my car off the ramp in under one minute.

You've got to GoPro that. If you'd said 3 or 4 minutes, I'd be a little less incredulous.

Less than 60 seconds, you've got to be throwing rods into the kayak, I hope you don't break one.

 

Sorry, JS ... I don't mean to offend you, I just know how long it takes ME to do things.

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