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Jan 23rd, 2013
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I just bought an inflatable kayak #14078000 07/30/21 12:40 PM
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richg Offline OP
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After owning five hard-sided SOTs over the years (and selling them ), I decided to give yakking another try.

I have transportation issues, so I bought an Intex EXP Pro. For $320.00 bucks, if I made a mistake, then the price was cheap enough. Does anyone own and use an inflatable kayak?

I have my 17-ft tinny, so I'll still be able to fish most places around here. There are a number of small rivers and ponds that I can't get into with my powerboat.


regards, richg
Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14078148 07/30/21 02:12 PM
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BigDozer66 Offline
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I am not going to say you made a mistake but I will say that I would have my PFD on 100% of the time!

I would also have floats tied to everything to recover them later. cheers

I would more than likely carry some Flex Seal Tape with me for the inevitable punctures. welcome


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Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14078180 07/30/21 02:39 PM
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I have had several inflatable vessels over the years. Boats, yaks , tubes ect. I have never had a puncture or deflate issue with any of them. My chief problem with most of them is that they were more of a pain to inflate than I thought that they would be. The inflatable boats don't usually ride or track as well as a hard yak but I mostly put in fairly close to where I was going to fish so it was never much of a problem. I have an oru yak on order and I suspect that it might be the best of both worlds. In my hard yaks I have always assumed that I would end up in the water at some point and I felt the same way with the inflatables. Just make sure that whatever inflatable you get has more than one or two chambers for safety. You obviously should wear a vest and always know in the worst case scenario how you would get to the bank.

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14078343 07/30/21 04:53 PM
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CarlB Offline
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Good quality inflatables are reliable, but affordable ones are not. I love my solstice aside from the skeg falling out it's been totally reliable. I personally wouldn't buy anything from intex or sevylor though.

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14078788 07/31/21 12:07 AM
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porta Offline
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My experience on and off with Inflatables for close to 50 years is similar to Fishrdude- never had a single popped bladder, but some slow leaks that gave me plenty of time to get back to shore, over the years. I keep inflatable boats and Float tubes partially inflated with just enough pressure to stand up or lean on a garage wall. They are transported that way either inside or on top of my vehicle with straps, then topped off in a few minutes or so after sitting in cool water at destination. I hacked the bladder system so that inflation nipples are all within easy reach, which allows my mouth blow tube with a one-way valve to be used to adjust pressure at any time, without needing to return to shore. All of the smaller equipment stays packed in pockets or in a backpack, so it's a quick Grab & Go on both ends of the trip. It's a good idea to always lower the pressure for a partially wet inflatable boat when it will be sitting or riding in the Sun or when transporting to higher altitudes. When I get back to my garage, I rinse the boat and then use a small fan pointed at the propped up inflatable boat, to speed up the drying process and reduce the chances for mildew. I don't use or have high pressure drop stitch inflatable boats that require more than 2 PSI, which is around the maximum pressure by mouth, plus they don't bounce and cushion as well when colliding with something compared the low pressure boats.

Might be a good safety measure which I use- is to manually inflate my PFD, and practice rolling my boat or float tube every summer or so, to get an idea of what could happen.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by porta; 07/31/21 12:28 AM.
Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14085747 08/06/21 04:10 AM
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I normally balk at the idea of inflatable boats for fishing but in the past week I've fished a few places with no way to launch a kayak. I'm thinking an inflatable with a battery operated pump might do the trick.

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14085975 08/06/21 02:01 PM
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Take a look at the Sea Eagle 385fta and the Sea Eagle 350fx.

If I were to use the inflatable as my only kayak, I'd get the 385fta (tracks really well for an inflatable without modification)

I purchased the 350fx because it has thicker material and rated for Class IV rapids--I'm using the inflatable at places where I don't want to launch my heavy PA 14 (rocks/rip rap/dragging it through harsh terrain)

The 350fx comes with one skeg, so I added another for improved tracking.


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Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14086649 08/07/21 12:36 AM
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Urban Fisher Offline
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I have had many years experience with inflatables. Not to sound weird, but I actually use to build my own boats because I never liked what was offered (especially for the price). I guess I am one of those cheap, hard headed dudes that thinks...I can do better at 1/5 the price! I live in a small efficiency apartment and don't have the room for a kayak or boat anymore, nor do I want it. I am a simple fisherman, but I do fish rivers, lakes and the coast often. The single greatest thing I have found that works for me is an inflatable paddle board. Even cheap ones (around $350) can take 12+ lbs of psi. Even the cheap ones are made of very strong and durable PVC material. Much stronger than your normal "inflatable" yak made of thin plastic. They are very light in weight, mine weighs 18 lbs. and have carry handles so it's super easy to carry it. I set mine up like the below video with the beach chair setup. The second video is an even better idea for calm, non-windy waters. The beach chair set up is way more stable than you may think. It paddles so effortlessly I have never been in any kayak that can compete. And by nature since the only profile is basically your body, well you can't get much less wind resistance than that. And with practice it is easy to stand and fish too. Closest thing to standing on water in my eyes!!! One note, you do have to be an efficient fisherman if you do decide to go this route. No more packing 100 lbs. of gear were most of it you won't use on any given trip anyway. Plus the paddle board is easy to get in shallow water and jump in and out of it if you just want to cool off. And I do use a clamp on umbrella on mine. Simple, cheap, it works and if the wind is an issue, just colapse it and put it in the crate behind your seat. And no, I don't own the paddle boards used in these videos, I just bought a cheap one from Amazon.





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Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14101866 08/20/21 12:42 PM
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That looks awesome. Can it tip over in waves?

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14104208 08/22/21 04:11 PM
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porta Offline
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Carl, SUP appears to be a very physical and wet ride except under advertising video conditions- (rare to have open water with glass like, smooth conditions). But the point of SUPmay be to enjoy intense exercise and the feel of being constantly wet, while learning something new. Might not work as well as some other things for older folks that just want to enjoy fishing?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yeo_SgCWvLI

Hope this helps.

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14112087 08/29/21 05:32 AM
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I don't always catch fish, but when I do, I prefer Dos Hybrids



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Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: BigDozer66] #14113123 08/30/21 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDozer66
I am not going to say you made a mistake but I will say that I would have my PFD on 100% of the time!

I would also have floats tied to everything to recover them later. cheers

I would more than likely carry some Flex Seal Tape with me for the inevitable punctures. welcome



I've never fished from an inflatable, so keep us informed on how it works out. I would agree with statement above. Hooks, fish fins and especially catfish spines I would be wary about.

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14113369 08/30/21 02:03 PM
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Jimbo Offline
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If you fish for catfish you would have to be extremely careful. Those spines will pierce any type of inflatable especially if the fish came loose from a hook and fell onto the kayak.
Even being careful, it only takes one time!


Just one more cast!

Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14116509 09/01/21 09:44 PM
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porta Offline
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Myself handles catfish or spiny fish by keeping them outside of an inflatable, holding them firmly with a Lipper, while undoing and releasing (C&R) them with the other hand using retractors. If someone was going to keep the catfish, it's easy to break off the spines at the base with a pair of angled needle nose pliers, before they go in the fish basket. Over a lifetime, Never had a puncture from a catfish, or trolling 2 poles with lures that have 2 treble hooks, maybe I'm just naturally careful, or lucky ! But a couple of times small sunfish have flipped off with a glancing blow and caused a tiny puncture. This caused hard to find, very slow leaks on the cheap, thin-skinned type vinyl boats, in my early years.



https://www.amazon.com/Rapala-Float...;hvtargid=pla-4584276309135575&psc=1


Steel jaw lipper versions work on Catfish even over 50 lb, and there are other things like grabber jaws and even simple wire flippers which don't work as well for me, but I have seen others that use them successfully.

From past readings on the fly fishing forums ... A hook puncture with the hook cut off at the eye or line and left in place (with remaining external tips taped up & immobilized to stop further damage) is usually a slow deflation process and will normally give someone time to get back to shore. If the hook is easily removed so that it doesn't rip a section of the bladder fabric, a patch with sticky tape (known and previously tested to work with the bladder material) can be applied while on the water or at the Shore, allows the trip to be salvaged. If the tape is not a permanent repair type, a more lasting repair can be done at home base. For me, the greatest number of repairs on outings over many years have been seam leaks due to age and wear of the bladders, or scrub brush thorn punctures while hiking, portaging, or accidentally dragging, the inflated boat.

Last edited by porta; 09/01/21 10:55 PM. Reason: Corrections for clarity
Re: I just bought an inflatable kayak [Re: richg] #14138648 09/23/21 02:01 PM
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richg Offline OP
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I had a query from Water Girl asking how I like the inflatable. I've only had it out about 6 times. Other than one experience (below) it's been fine.

It does get blown around a lot if it is windy. But, I added a small drift chute to act as a sea anchor. So far, so good.

Oh, the ONE instance is where I fell out as the boat rolled over in 2 feet of water. Now, why that happened is pretty much all my own fault.

I failed to completely fill the tubes and when I tried to put my big butt in the boat, I leaned on the far gunnel tube. It collapsed since it wasn't full of air, and over I went. First flip of a yak in 15 years. The yak sure allows me to get into places my 17 ft tinny wouldn't. richg99


regards, richg
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