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Fishing Kayaks


FreddyK
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I fly fished from a Heritage, sit-on-top kayak down in Florida; it worked very well. I've also seen a number of fishing kayaks pop up recently in Cabelas and LL Bean. Erehwon in Kildeer (across from Deer Park shopping mall) has one as well. Hobie Cat makes a very cool pedal kayak outfitted for fishing. The advantages with this is one are that it outperforms paddle kayaks, and it keeps your hands free to fish. The disadvantages would be the cost and that the pedal gearing extend a bit down into the water; that will make getting into the super shallow places more difficult. You can see them and try them out on Lake Geneva through the Clear Water Outdoors shop on Main Street.

One thing you may want to pimp your kayak with is a pulley system for the anchor. Run a line with a pulley at each end of the boat. Have a separate anchor line with a clip hook attached at one end, so you can quickly attach the anchor to the "pulley" line (This line needs a fixed eye in the middle to attach the anchor line hook to) . You are then able to pull the pulley line back and forth to position the anchor at the front or back of the kayak. My guide had that setup on the Heritage kayak mentioned above, and it worked great.

 

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Freddy,

If you've done any research, you will see 100's of options for kayaking. It can be hard to weed through all of the models options sizes prices, ect. I did a bunch or research over the winter before selecting one. There were a few things I learned that I'll share with you may help with your decision.

 

Short & Wide Kayaks:

Advantages: Stable, turn fast, lightweight, cheaper

Disadvantages: Slow, don't track well, don't hold a lot of gear

 

They are good for smaller shallow rivers and shorter day trips. I found the short and wide kayak to be perfect for my fishing style but I will hate how slow it is paddling across a big lake or trying to paddle upstream in heavy current. Bottom line is you can't have it all.

 

Longer and/or skinnier kayaks:

Advantages: Faster, better tracking, more gear capacity

Disadvantages: turn slow, heavier to carry, more expensive, not as stable

 

Then there is the whole sit in versus sit on top kayaks. Sit on tops (SOT) were designed with the fisherman in mind.

 

Sit on Top Kayak

Advantages: Easy to get in and out of, safer, easier to move around for comfort or casting angle, easier to get at gear. Self bailing when you take on water. Sit up higher for sight fishing

Disadvantages: Difficult to stay dry, average a few pounds heavier than their sit in counterparts of similar dimentions. Scupper holes with bad placement can be a source of weak spots if you go over shallow gravel and rocks a lot.

 

Sit in Kayak

Advantages: Can stay dry. A few pounds lighter, more gear capacity at a lower center of gravity for stability. Bigger selection at most stores.

Disadvantages: Difficult to move around. Hard to get in and out of. Have to bail if you take on water. Difficult to get at gear.

Not as safe.

 

I went with a short, wide, stable sit on top because that most met my needs for the style of fishing I wanted to use it for.

 

 

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Questions to ask yourself:

 

How much do I weigh?

How tall am I?

Will I fish by myself or with another?

Flat water or moving?

Large rivers or small/medium streams?

How will I transport my kayak?

How much do I want to spend, including paddle, PDF, car rack etc...

How agile am I?

How much do I like being wet?

Will I river camp?

Who's coming with me (Ie..Eric's tandems)

 

Be really careful in what you buy all kayaks and hulls are not created equal. I prefer manuverability over tracking ability. After all, you are drifting downstream with the current. Agility allows easier less tiring fishing. Even a short kayak goes upstreams easily if you stick to shoreline eddies.

 

You'll catch more fish the more you get out of the kayak. Using as a transport only is a great idea.

 

"Fishing kayaks" are most often not for rivers, but Ocean or lakes. You would not use the same boat on a small river. You can easily modify a normal kayak for fishing for a lot cheaper by adding your own bungie, cam cleats, rod holders, etc... You pay a premium for fishing packages and the accesories may be ill placed for you.

 

Pamlico 100 would be a great first time kayak for stream anglers.

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You've gotten a LOT of good advice here. I have a couple of sit-ins, and really wish I had a sit-on. There have been a lot of threads on Riversmallies.com, and a lot of them lean towards the sit-on-top yaks. What I really want one for is ease of getting in and out when fly fishing.

 

One of the most often criticized aspect of the SOT is that they are not as warm or dry as a sit-in. Personally, I don't think it's an issue. If it's cool/cold, I'm bundled up and wearing waders anyway. My next yak will probably be a Manta Ray SOT.

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A bunch of good stuff here,my only comment is that for me, Kayaks are too low to the water. As a means of transport to get to spots to wade, they are superior to canoes, but I like the higher perspective you have in a canoe. You have a larger area to view and from a higher angle. I also like to stand and cast. Paul T has been in my Cranberry Creek canoe, and tho we didn't do a lot of simultaneous standing, he'll tell you how stable it is. When I'm solo, I stand all the time, even in moderate current with no fear of dumping. It weighs 62 lbs. and I have no problem putting it on my roof rack myself. I put a middle seat in mine and I use a Kayak paddle and can move at a pretty good clip, though it will never be as fast as a 'yak. Something to think about................

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I just bought the Native Ultimate-Is it a sit on top or hybrid canoe? Either way, I enjoy the freedom to move my legs around and hop out easily. All day comfortable seating. Lots of room to spread gear around within reach. I feel very confined in my traditional kayak. Disadvantages- every paddle drip lands in the boat, it is 5 to ten pounds heavier, and slower than my narrower sit-in. It doesn't fit properly on a J cradle, so I'll have to buy another hauling rack.

 

I also bought an anchor trolley system for $29. It allows the anchor to go off the bow, stern or anywhere in between. Took five minutes to install. This would be useful on any kayak.

 

Gregg

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Jude,

 

Are you referring to the LiquidLogic brand or the Native Watercraft brand?

 

-jamie s

 

The original Manta Ray was Liquid Logic, but I think they recently merged with or were bought out by Native. So now it could be the Native Watercraft Manta Ray.

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I also have a Native Ultimate Kayak (canoe/kayak hybred). Here's something to think about. This boat is open like a canoe and you have to bail or pump out water from time to time from oar drip or dragging it in each time you re-enter the craft. This really is no big deal. In mostly slick water it travels well (not AS good as a SOT). You can carry tons of stuff and can kneel or even stand in it. But it's not good in rough water. It's double pontoon does not respond quickly to the paddle to maneuver in fast, broken current. Also as I found out last week, it sinks. I was trying mine in some class III rapids and got sideways on a rock, the current rolled her sideways and she filled up and went down in a heartbeat. At least the water was only three feet deep but it sure is hard to get it back up in all that current.

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I also have a Native Ultimate Kayak (canoe/kayak hybred). Here's something to think about. This boat is open like a canoe and you have to bail or pump out water from time to time from oar drip or dragging it in each time you re-enter the craft. This really is no big deal. In mostly slick water it travels well (not AS good as a SOT). You can carry tons of stuff and can kneel or even stand in it. But it's not good in rough water. It's double pontoon does not respond quickly to the paddle to maneuver in fast, broken current. Also as I found out last week, it sinks. I was trying mine in some class III rapids and got sideways on a rock, the current rolled her sideways and she filled up and went down in a heartbeat. At least the water was only three feet deep but it sure is hard to get it back up in all that current.

 

The only watercraft of which it was said couldn't sink. Titanic.

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