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#11207667 - 11/05/15 02:35 PM Help Selecting My First Kayak
PlanoTom Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 581
I’m beginning to do research on which kayaks I should “test drive” for my first kayak and I’d appreciate the board’s input. I didn’t want to start at a retailer because they would, understandably, try to sell what they stock.

I will be using the kayak to fish in the large reservoirs in the DFW area so I thought a minimum of 12 feet would be needed. I’m going to have to wrestle the kayak on top of an SUV that stands almost 6 feet tall so it has to be “light” although I saw some Rhino Rack accessories that should help with that. This will be my first kayak so I want something relatively stable and has the ability to be upgraded with add-ons, especially a rudder. Price? I guess anything less than $2K is fair game.

This is what I’ve come up with so far:
1. Jackson Cuda12 – I already test paddled this kayak and really liked it. It was a little unstable but it was my first time in a fishing kayak and I think that’s to blame.
2. Native Slayer 12 – On the list to test paddle.
3. Tarpon 120 Angler – On the list to test paddle.
4. ATAK – Too heavy at 86 lbs. but looks pretty incredible otherwise.
5. Ride 115 Max Angler – Too heavy at 81 lbs.

Did I miss any? Any feedback would be appreciated.

#11207686 - 11/05/15 02:44 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
pontiactech Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/18/12
Posts: 1042
Loc: Euless Texas
The slayer is a nice kayak I have paddled the Atak and really liked it . I assume you are in Plano ? Go by Mariner Sails in Dallas I believe they stock all those except the Jackson and I can promise you they will do what is best for you not just try to sell you a kayak, Dave and Aris are super great to work with plus they can set you up with a test paddle for those that you are looking at .

#11207687 - 11/05/15 02:44 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
C-Frog Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/11/12
Posts: 1616
Loc: The Colony,TX
its going to be a little difficult to find a standable yak thats under 80 pounds thats longer than 12 ft. check out the Diablo kayaks for a lighter weight plastic. I paddle the ATAK and its a barge but it does have some weight to it.

#11207724 - 11/05/15 03:02 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
Tallgrass05 Online   content
bill maher's protege

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 42230
Loc: Kansas
Check out the Yakima HullyRollers if you're concerned about weight and getting atop a tall SUV.

#11207779 - 11/05/15 03:23 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1839
Loc: Texas
We are going to get another kayak pretty soon . . . building a lake house and we will need a few more vessels for this and that, kids, grandkids, etc. I have a fishing canoe, a great one, and I have a Slayer Propel 10, too. I almost always fish out of the 10 now. Why? I can hold position in it, maneuver it like no other kayak.

Well, I had thought I'd add a Slayer Propel 13 or the new model they have coming out, but I am almost positive I am going to get another 10.

The reason is it weighs 59 lbs. with the seat and drive out making it easier than any other pedal driven kayak to load on a car top, hang off the truck bed, etc. And, at 34" wide, it is actually wider than its big brother, the 13. It gives away very little ground in terms of stability, speed, and it turns faster and tighter. 10 feet? At 6'3", that length is all I can reach forward to the bow or back to the stern anyway; another 2 or 3 feet would be out of reach on the water.

Just a guess that you'd also use this kayak more than any other you'd buy for the simple reason it is so danged easy to toss it on your vehicle, easy to get in and out of the water. If you wanted to run to a local lake for a few hours, you'll find yourself with what I call a "finesse" package: traveling light with maybe a single rod and reel, a single Plano box of tackle, some water and a PFD. You can be loaded, gone, fish, back quicker in this vessel than most all others.

And, for fishing, the reverse is a big deal and further reduces the need for active use of paddles and anchors. I rarely drop an anchor.

A bit over your 2 grand budget, I know, but demo it anyway. I am sold on the size and its attributes.


#11207808 - 11/05/15 03:37 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9937

i liked the ws ride 135, native slayer & the hobie outback,

oh & dont forget to look @ the ocean kayak big game II. no rudder needed on this one but optional, sturdy and under weight and budget too:

all these and more could be tested at mariner sails of dallas.


#11207852 - 11/05/15 04:05 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
The Black Hammer Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 955
Loc: Grand Prairie
I agree with Brad on the Slayer 10. It is the most used kayak in my line up. So easy to toss it in the back of the truck, it's a no brainer.

#11207913 - 11/05/15 04:44 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
swalker9513 Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 8943

13ft. under 70lbs. and all sorts of accessories.
_________________________ or find them at Fun-N-Sun in Hurst.

#11208181 - 11/05/15 07:15 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
christian myrick Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 3167
Loc: little elm
Im in dfw also. Try santa cruz raptor, I am happy to demo one for you. They weigh 67 lbs, 13 ft long, stable and fast. They start at $1050

#11208344 - 11/05/15 08:18 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: christian myrick]
armadillomojo Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/28/11
Posts: 2510
Loc: Cleburne,Tx
With the budget you have, try them all. Demo everything you can and figure out what qualities you want in a kayak. I have had the super stable and the super fast. Both have their places. Good luck with your search!

Edited by armadillomojo (11/05/15 08:19 PM)

#11208398 - 11/05/15 08:30 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
TXsundance Offline

Registered: 10/05/15
Posts: 42
Loc: Texas Hill Country
I just bought my first yak last week. Make sure you budget for accessories! They start to add up in a hurry.
I'd rather be fishing...

#11208792 - 11/06/15 06:10 AM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1839
Loc: Texas
TXsundance trumps us all with the best advice: be ready to pay unbelievable prices for everything used to accessorize your kayak.

Most of you are too old to remember the movie The Graduate, with Dustin Hoffman but there is an early scene when he is corralled by a family friend at his graduation party and is ushered outside where he is given career advice: what occupational field to go into.

A more sage bit of advice has never been uttered, this one all the way back in the late 1960s:


Ha! Brad

#11208841 - 11/06/15 07:07 AM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
jasoniam Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 1240
Loc: Bedford
Don't leave out a test run on a Nucanoe Pursuit! 1600 bucks at ole Mariner-sails! That is a stable and quick yak! I'm 6'5 330 and I can glide with grace in that thing in high winds!!

#11209360 - 11/06/15 11:36 AM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
Jerry Hamon Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 7381
Loc: Van Alstyne, TX USA
Looks like you have done some good homework.
"I didn’t want to start at a retailer because they would, understandably, try to sell what they stock."
The cool thing about Mariner Sails is they stock close to 15 brands of kayaks. So, you have a huge selection to chose from.

I have a Slayer 10 also (when my wife lets me use it) and can honestly say it is one of the finest kayaks I have owned. It is extremely stable, quick, tracks well, has an awesome seat, and with it weighing in under 60 pounds it is a joy to load and unload.

The Slayer 12 is also a very nice yak. It is very comparable to the SP10 without the propel drive.

You're on the right track by test paddling before you buy.

Also, if you go by Mariner they can show you options for loading/unloading onto your SUV.
President Texas Council Fly Fishers International

#11209881 - 11/06/15 05:37 PM Re: Help Selecting My First Kayak [Re: PlanoTom]
charlief1 Offline

Registered: 08/20/15
Posts: 298
Loc: Hillsnowhere in Central Texas
I'll suggest, like others, that you do some test driving and see if a few members are willing to let you try what they've got. One different thing is that you get hold of fishinpreacher and RealBigReel to see what it would take to build what you want, rather than buy one of those off the shelf things. I'm more interested in making what I want since I've never found exactly what I wanted in a pre-fab boat. wink

Here's the link to a thread I started and there's a couple of links to building threads on other sites so you can get an idea of how easy it really is to build one. cheers
I'm on other forums that deal with the old turbo powered Buicks.;)

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