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#5920617 - 03/05/11 09:17 AM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: spiny norman]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9937
Trade Offs thumb Just about every kayak/hybrid looks great on the store display or laid in the grass with water beading off of it. So PADDLE AS MANY AS YOU CAN STAND before you buy. IMO 14' is too long for our creeks & rivers but fine for lakes & BTB. 13' is a good in between length. <-Compromise

22. A Rudder is a nice extra, they look cool but, are not needed/required on a PADDLE style kayak.
23. Attend a "demo day" at your local kayak shop to test the latest yaks side by side.
24. Paddle fins are a nice option for folks like "PieMoney" who have shoulder or wrist problems.
25. The right Paddle fins are nice in big or open waters but can limit you in shallow waters.
26. Remember both rudders & fins require maintenance.
27. Rudders are required on PEDDLE style kayaks. Some believe them to be a hassle when passing through or fishing shallow waters.
28. More hatches make kayak modifications easier.
29. The "more stable kayaks" start at about 31"+.
30. Most all angler kayak cockpits are laid out a little differently.

ADVISE: Invest in a nice "Paddling Jacket" or PFD (personal flotation device). It can not only save your life but WILL make the kayak experience more enjoyable.

#5921073 - 03/05/11 11:52 AM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: Fish ZoMbiE]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9937

#5924963 - 03/06/11 06:29 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: Fish ZoMbiE]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9937
Selecting Kayak Color:
The top manufactures offer brite colors & it's no accident.
You might ask yourself, "Why do I want to be seen?" Kayaks have a very low profile in the water. At dusk/dawn or even in the middle of a brite-n-sunny day you'll still want to be seen unless your hunting. Remember, the same no street drivin idiots own power boats. Add a few beers to the mix & it gets ridiculous especially on our METRO lakes! Not all florescent colors are easily seen. Yellow, White, Mango & Orange are highly visible against stained water. If your really secure w/ you manhood so is Pink! Orange, Red, Mango, & Yellow are highly visible for BTB.

Question: Will a brite color deter fish? Answer: NO! NOT AT ALL!!!

So what if you dont want to be seen?
Planning to Bow Hunt, Duck Hunt, Run moonshine down the river?
Sand, Green, Blue, Grey, or Camo in any of these will make you stealthy. You could always sport an orange flag, wear a brite vest or tote a white cooler for added visibility noidea


#5925696 - 03/06/11 09:16 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: Double Dee]
spradyak Offline

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 77
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
My two cents - I would definitely look closely at the hobbies with mirage drive. Having the option of pedaling or paddling is a big plus. Ive had an outback for about two years and shopped around for about year before taking the plunge, so to speak. I've been real pleased with it. Just wish they came equipped with more time so I could get it out more often! I recently went to using an extend-a-bed and haul it in the back of my truck. Like this MUCH better than hauling it on top of my jeep.

#5926711 - 03/07/11 08:46 AM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: spradyak]
texasflycaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 1575
Loc: Water
By now you guys may know I am working for Diablo, so if anyone in the DFW area (I draw a pretty wide circle) wants to demo an Adios (12.5-footer) this spring, let me know. As you know they're made right here in Texas - "The Friendly State."

-Click TEXAS to Give-

Professional Photography

#5930549 - 03/07/11 11:23 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: texasflycaster]
gotreal formerly known as getreal Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 3803
Loc: Dallas
you guys have it covered. try before you buy.

Edited by gotreal formerly known as getreal (03/07/11 11:28 PM)

if ye aint been skunked, ye aint been fishing! <<al einstene
texas made lures. getcha some

#5931856 - 03/08/11 11:14 AM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: gotreal formerly known as getreal]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9937
Double Dee, PM sent bud :~)


Had paddled some before but, my 1st kayak, was a Woodsman SI (sit in) touring kayak. I bought it for $200 from a neighbor. She came with gobs of goodies too. It was a one piece kayak & even I knew I couldn't pass on that deal. It would get me out on the water, but man what a difference compared to what's available today!

Did my homework & asked as many folks & paddled as many as I could stand. Kept hearing some brands names over & over. Then Yaknyota said he guides out of Ocean Kayaks & saw they were also getting good reviews. They, among the others mentioned below were popular with the BTB (beyond the breakers) crowd. Went on vacation to Maui & saw the locals using them.

When I looked online I saw all the pros using:

Wilderness Systems Kayaks
Ocean Kayaks
Hobie Kayaks
Cobra Kayaks
Malibu Kayaks
Native Kayaks

So, I learned that these brands had been proven in the sport.
My friends, family & I have owned Perception, Wilderness Systems, Hobie, Ascend, Confluence Sports (i know, i know), Ocean, Native, Malibu, & I've paddle all but the Cobra Kayak line. But, most of the BTB guys have nothing but great things to say about them.


#5936920 - 03/10/11 10:24 AM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: ToFindFish]
Mark Ray Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 14421
Loc: Arlington, TX
Never paddled one so I couldn't tell you but I see several things about it that I wouldn't care for myself. One is the 250# max cap. Two is the length of it. Three is the hull shape. Four is the lack of storage space anywhere but right behind me. Five the paddle is carp.
In my opinion this would not make for an ideal kayak to covert into a fishing kayak.

#5937524 - 03/10/11 12:22 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: Fish ZoMbiE]
The Trout Scout Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 888
Loc: Copano Bay, Texas
I saw some Hobie Cats at the Houston Fishing Show last week that caught my eye.

Get tired of paddling, peddle.

Cool stuff !!!


#5940459 - 03/10/11 11:01 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: butch sanders]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9937
Originally Posted By: butch sanders
nice work Zombie

thanks butch & thanks to everyone that is helping put this thread together. If you have something to add dont be shy.

I hope this continues to be as useful source of info to many. Feel free to PM me & the others with specific questions. Don't be afraid to start a new thread. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. We were all new to the sport at one time.

#5952199 - 03/14/11 05:25 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: texasflycaster]
TG Canoes and Kayaks Offline

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 81
Loc: San Marcos/Austin Tx
1. Demo before you buy! Nearly every yak shop offers some sort of demo days throughout the year, while some offer them much more frequently (for instance, we offer demos every day we're open). You will instantly feel the difference between 2 similar yaks even if you've never paddled in your life. Ignorance may be bliss, but test driving boats keeps you from thinking "what if?"

2. Figure out where you're going to be paddling 75% of the time and get a boat that fits that. If you're BTB 75% of the time, invest in a T-160, Trident 15 etc. For the other 25% of your paddling, rent or borrow a yak to fit that paddling style. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try make a Coosa your BTB boat 6 times a year. Someday you'll have 3 or 4 boats that will cover all your paddling needs, but until then, focus on your main paddling area and get a boat that fits that.

3. Manufacturer capacities are ALWAYS over-estimated. If you put 600lbs (listed max capacity) in a Cobra Fish-N-Dive, you'll lose all maneuverability, speed, and stability. You will literally be paddling a $1000 yellow log. Take 2/3 of a listed capacity to find the boat's performance capacity. This will assure that you have a boat that will perform the way it was designed, which allows you to focus less on paddling and more on fishing.

4. You get what you pay for. Sure, the Pelican gets you on the water, but be patient, save up another month, and get yourself into a boat that will last. There's a reason why yak shops don't sell some brands. It may be difficult to hold off on the $299 Academy special, but getting yourself in a $500 used Trident 11 will be so worth it. Some inexpensive brands can't be repaired.

5A. Don't skimp on your paddle and life jacket. For paddles, as price goes up, weight decreases. The difference becomes apparent at the end of a day long paddling trip. There are also different blades for different applications, so try out the paddles before you buy. Most yaks shops (like us) will allow you to test drive paddles as you test drive yaks.
5B. For PFDs, as price goes up, so does comfort. Don't use a ski vest. The arm holes are too small and will rub your arms raw while paddling. Also, when you're trying on PFDs, try sitting in a boat with a similar seat to yours. Some PFDs have a lot of flotation in the back, which gets in the way of your seat. Last thing you want is a thick backed PFD making you hunch over because it doesn't fit well with your yak seat.

6. Buy at your local yak shop. Not only do we yak shops have better equipment than the box stores, but we know yaks. We're not selling running shoes, basketball goals, and BBQ grills. We know how to fit you with the right boat and accessories. We can do installations, repairs, and help you with warranty issues. We'll help you load your yak on your truck, figure out the best rack system for your car, and help give you ideas for your trailer. You may save a little bit of cash at a box store, but that price difference is made up 10-fold by the service only local yak shops can provide.

7. Answers are free. If you have a question, call a local yak shop.

Free test drives, everyday!

#5998855 - 03/27/11 05:30 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: jshaw2025]
AdanV Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/03/10
Posts: 2927
Loc: Katy, TX
Okay thanks,

Any particular Brand (or Construction Material) I should keep an eye out for?
God Bless Texastexas
Texas Google Bank Fishing Map

#6006291 - 03/29/11 12:56 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: yakn1]
RealBigReel Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: Stephenville, TX
Cobra would be the top brand as far as I am concerned although Ocean Kayak has some very good models including the Scrambler XT. Both of these brands tend to keep hull weight to the optimum.

I would avoid the Pelican brand and everything they make, because of just plain poor quality. They don't track well and they don't hold up well. Seats are built-in and of poor quality.

Almost all of the commercially made kayaks out there are made of polyethylene or a derivative thereof. Fiberglass, Kevlar or Graphite are going to be a more expensive.
Custom made wood kayaks are a beautiful and incredibly durable.
If you are looking to build a kayak there is now an option that is "ham fisted hacker" approved, that would be Styrofoam sheet construction.
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.

#6006617 - 03/29/11 02:11 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: The Trout Scout]
FishingRythe Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 851
Loc: Wichita Falls, TX
Originally Posted By: The Trout Scout
I saw some Hobie Cats at the Houston Fishing Show last week that caught my eye.

Get tired of paddling, peddle.

Cool stuff !!!


A few of us around here absolutley love our Hobies, I have used a few other kayaks and now I am 100% spoiled with my outback. They make excellent fishing kayaks and if your paddling technique sucks like mine then they help make up for that too smile
Spring 2011 North Texas GTG Golden Crate Winner!!!!

#6017410 - 03/31/11 09:34 PM Re: How to Choose the BEST Fishing Kayak [Re: texasflycaster]
fish fear me Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 4025
Loc: North of Texas
If I wanted to buy one for fishing ponds which one should I look at first.

I'm 6'3" and 240 lbs.

Over 50 yrs old.

Have a pickup truck.


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