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Sit on top kayaks


Dick G
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Do any of you yak guys or canoe guys have any thoughts on the open, sit on top kayaks. I saw one on line that mentioned drain holes. When fishing from a kayak or small canoe my first thought is to use it as a mode of transportation to get to spots where I want to get out and fish. After several stops with a canoe, it seems that you are battling a lot of water in the boat. Are these open kayaks stable? Do they weigh more because of the extra material used for the deck? I figure after I fall a couple of times getting in and out, I will need those drain holes! With shore access becoming more and more an issue on many of the streams I like to fish, I think I have to take a serious look at a yak or a small canoe that I can tote by myself.

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I don't have a S.O.T. kayak but I've heard that the drain holes can cause wet butt. I've also heard that they slow you down. The advantage of them is they can easily be rigged for fishing...some of them come pre-rigged. Yes they are very stable compared to traditional kayaks. I've seen some models where you can stand on them and fish. Others can be rigged with outriggers. Some are absolute fishing machines!

I have a sit inside style: Old Town Loon 138 that is good for fishing. It's stable and I'm in the process of rigging it up with some rod holders, anchor system, etc... The advantage to this style of yak is you can get a spray skirt and stay relatively warm and dry when it's cold or rainy, you can store lots of gear inside for longer trips, and they have adjustable seats and footpegs for more comfort. It's almost like a 14' canoe with a top on it. They handle a bit better on windy days whereas the sit on top yak has all your gear on top causing wind drag and you get blown around. I have to try pretty hard to tip mine. I don't know the avg. weight of a sit on top but the loon weighs about 60-70lbs.

I like mine, but those who have the s.o.t.'s love them and they do seem more convenient for fishing. For all around use I would look at a Loon138( $500-$600). For strictly fishing, go with the sit on top.

Hope that helps.

JS

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I fish out of sit in , but my next yak will definitely be a sit on top. Probably a Liquid Logic Manta Ray or a Tarpon. Now that I'm getting more serious about fly fishing, I see myself using a yak to get from spot to spot and getting in and out a lot. I think a SOT would be ideal.

 

My kayak was the best fishing investment I've ever made. Buy one...you won't regret it!

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I agree with Jude. If I was starting over I would definitely go SOT. Get off and on frequently to fish. I am not that big a guy, and I often feel cramped in my 12' kayak.There is a new boat out this year-I think they are calling it a "Tunnel Hulled Kayak." It looks like a canoe/kayak hybrid. Low like a kayak. Molded seat like a kayak. Lots of open space for gear. Looks like a traditional yak with the top cut away. I want to check it out at Canoecopia! this weekend.

Gregg

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Thanks for the input guys. I am going to check out some different kayaks this summer. Maybe the ISA should have a kayak only outing on one of the smaller streams in the area.

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Let me say this I fish and paddle SOT kayaks, standard cockpit kayaks, solo canoes, inflatable catrafts and tandam canoes.

I test float several dozen of these each year.

 

If your looking at a Sit-On-Top kayak the first choice is the Liquid Logic Manta Ray in the 12 Foot length.

 

It has all the design and capability of a great paddling and angling craft for open water thru class 3.

The intergrated seat is incredibly functional and supportive. Deck and space layout is made for the angler in mind. The scupper holes are positioned to offer a dry seated ride. The hull has responsive manuevering, efficent tracking and great stabilit for all the paddling needs.

Liquid Logic is nothing but quality!

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alank beat me to it. Went to canoecopia yesterday. Yes there is a Manta 10. I fell in love with the new Native Kayaks Ultimate. Open cockpit with lots of storage space. A nice system for add-ons like trolley anchor. Scupper holes with tethered plugs. Seat is real comfy, slides back in forth in the cocpit, and can even be taken out to sit in on the shore. They have a tandem model, 14ft, that allows for the second seat to be removed and other seat repositions for solo paddler.

Gregg

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Yeah, the Native Ultimate looks very interesting.You should definietly buy one! (so I can try it out ;) ). That and the Manta both piqued my interest recently. One nice feature of the Ultimate is that you can stand in it. At least that's what they say. It's been three years since my last yak. I'd say I'm due for a new toy!

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Dick- I agree we should gather to share& test our various rides. I have two sit on tops & love them. Regarding the Manta ray a freind has one (12' bought at last years canoecopuia) & it is very well designed- I like the dryer seat. A 10' vs. 12' hull will affect tracking as well as weight. Best to test before you buy. I will bring a copy of the anchor system I have on my yak to the meeting this Saturday, simple & effective. john

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Mark K gave me a good lead on a barely used sot kayak. It is a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120, fishing model. I am picking it up this Saturday. My wife says no more fishing stuff for a while. I'll have to dig up worms from the garden all summer. No more Craw Bugs or Senko baits!

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If your looking at a Sit-On-Top kayak the first choice is the Liquid Logic Manta Ray in the 12 Foot length.

 

It has all the design and capability of a great paddling and angling craft for open water thru class 3.

The intergrated seat is incredibly functional and supportive. Deck and space layout is made for the angler in mind. The scupper holes are positioned to offer a dry seated ride. The hull has responsive manuevering, efficent tracking and great stabilit for all the paddling needs.

Liquid Logic is nothing but quality!

 

 

Good news there! Mine is due in tomorrow(Manta 12). I finally sold the motorcycle. I've been planning on buying a SOT for 4 years.

 

I plan on alot of stillwater time before hitting the river, if anyone wants to fish sometime let me know!

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Guest Don R

I see you're from Skokie. The Skokie Laggons would be a good place to give her a try. I haven't fished them but I've heard some good reports along the way ;)

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Been fishing out of a yak for 2+ years and 100+ trips. Here are my thoughts.

 

First, buying a kayak it is very, very easy to buy the wrong thing. There are so many different hull shapes and sizes it makes picking by an uninformed fisherman very difficult. I initially bought and Old Towne Predator 111 because it looked cool (loon 111). It turns out this boat took about 6 paddle strokes to turn around 180 degrees. Tiring and dangerous when you need to get out of the way while fishing. My Mainstream streak takes 2 strokes and is a dream to fish out of. I now also have a Dagger Blackwater 106 that is a nice middle option.

 

Kayaks for fishing do not flip. They are as hard to flip as a canoe. Recreational Kayaks are veryhard to tip, unless you go near to the upstream side of water born obstacles such as trees, fences, barbed wire, rocks, etc... The current can pin you and fill you with water if you get turned sideways.

 

 

Want a fast boat? Longer more V hulled shape hull- sacrifice- manuverability, catches more wind, and weighs more. Advantage- paddle out quick if it starts getting dark or storm blows up. Longer boats have less drag and track better (stays straight) so will paddle up stream very easily too (but any kayak can do this). Hard to turn takes more energy to line up casts. etc..

 

Want a comfy boat? Length isn't really an issue with comfort. I'm 6'2" and use a 9'4" boat. If you support your legs with comfy installed foam any kayak will be comfy to you- you just have to modify it to suit you.

 

Where are you going to fish? On a lake? Medium or above rivers or tiny creeks and streams?

 

For example, on a lake you may want a boat that paddles easy and doesn't catch as much wind longer SIK with a pronounced 'v' hull may be the way to go. Lake Michigan you want a SOT if a wave flips your boat, you can get back in.

 

Medium or larger rivers may require a smaller boat but still want to be able to paddle out easy. These kayaks have to be able to turn to avoid danger and go aback up river to retrieve snags. Medium SOT 10-12 ft may be best here for ease of getting out and lack of portages. SOT are higher up so you would have trouble squessing under downed trees.

 

Small creeks and rivers. 10' or less and flat hulled, you want to be as manuverable as possible, so you can easily escape danger and not spook holes. A dropdown skeg on some models helps with tracking on smaller boats.

 

SOT advantages- easier to reach most storage, more storage, easier to get in and out.....

 

SOT disadvantages- Wet ride, higher up- catches wind, harder to go unser things across water, heavier, wider, easier to lose stuff in the drink, slower.

 

SIK Advantages- Dryer ride, feels more secure, lower to the water, faster, warmer-cooler, lighter.

 

Disadvantages- some have small cockpits, dump it it fills with water

 

Finding info that is helpful for fishing out of a kayak online is exceedingly difficult. Most of what you'll find is Ocean kayak fishing- a far cry from fishing small local streams.

 

Then there is Riversmallies- their advice is geared toward the large rivers on the east coast- so take what you read there with a grain of salt.

 

Try before you buy. Try it on the smallest stream you'd fish then buy.

 

BT

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Dick G and Nick.

I have paddled and fished the Tarpon. Good boat. Better on the slower open water but its always beeter if its a deal. I just picked up an Ocean Kayak Scupper Classic. I've sold in one day and will finish the outfitting for angling by Saturday.

 

The Manta Ray kicks butt!

 

If you guys have big wallets and want a SOT that is fast, spacious and STABLE!!! yet manuvers very well. Check out the Malibu Extreme. I have stood on it with my flyrod and casted and strolled around the deck in smallmouth streams and open water. The $1000 price for this 14' yak hurts but it has options and stability with good preformance that is big for that speciality paddling/angler

 

I'm looking at a Dagger Approach for the smallie boat for regional class 2-4 smallie streams.

I my have this one in a couple weeks.

 

If anyone jhas need of outfitting questions drop me a note.

 

Have a good time on those SOT's

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Dick G and Nick.

I have paddled and fished the Tarpon. Good boat. Better on the slower open water but its always beeter if its a deal. I just picked up an Ocean Kayak Scupper Classic. I've sold in one day and will finish the outfitting for angling by Saturday.

 

The Manta Ray kicks butt!

 

If you guys have big wallets and want a SOT that is fast, spacious and STABLE!!! yet manuvers very well. Check out the Malibu Extreme. I have stood on it with my flyrod and casted and strolled around the deck in smallmouth streams and open water. The $1000 price for this 14' yak hurts but it has options and stability with good preformance that is big for that speciality paddling/angler

 

I'm looking at a Dagger Approach for the smallie boat for regional class 2-4 smallie streams.

I my have this one in a couple weeks.

 

If anyone jhas need of outfitting questions drop me a note.

 

Have a good time on those SOT's

 

I would caution on the dagger approach in that it has a very small cockpit- ok if you are agile.

 

14 foot is pretty long for a river/stream kayak. 10-11 feet is more than enough boat for fishing, unless you are going out on big water.

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I see you're from Skokie. The Skokie Laggons would be a god place to give her a try. I haven't fished them but I've heard some good reports along the way ;)

 

 

you read my mind!

I have fished the 'goons from the bank quite a bit and have caught nice sized largemouth, bluegill, crappie, northern, and walleye. I'm dying to be able to get to more water on there.

 

I've mulled over the SIK vs SOT for quite a few years and I think I have made the right choice.

 

Eric,

I already had a Yakima rack from previous years of mountain biking and needed some update fitting for a modern car and bought the Hully Rollers and Mako saddles, very similar to your set up.

 

Like I said, my focus will be still water for quite a while so I can learn, I don't want to add the moving water factor in for a bit. If anyone wants to hit the Lagoons, Mazonia, or Shabbona let me know!(or somewhere else)

 

Nick

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