Texas Fishing Forum

Reverting to paddle only kayak

Posted By: Brad R

Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 02:06 PM

Well, just a topic to post, curious how others are dialing in dealing with devloping trends in the kayak fishing world. Ever changing, changing fast! All of the new vessels, not long ago the fantastic Hobie 360s introduced, now the fantastic spot-locked Old Town offerings, all sorts of power options, battery options?

I actually love seeing the sport fill out. But, it has also had the exact opposite effect on me. I think I will likely keep my Native Propel 10 for certain circumstances to own a pedaler. But, all of these sophisticated kayak options has had the effect of making me want to go . . . in the opposite direction, more minimalist.

I plan to revert to a paddle-only kayak. It was the simplicity of kayak fishing that attracted me to the sport and all of the new offerings just keep me feeling like I'd endlessly update as new stuff comes out. You know, always wanting the latest model. At the high end, kayaks are now sort of small boats. Paddling fishing kayaks are, more or less, now about as good as they are ever going to be. I won't have kayak envy, at least not quite as bad, with some new paddler coming out that makes me feel like trading up.

It took some introspection. What I really like to do is fish slow moving rivers, smallish lakes. Ponds, too, if one becomes available. And, I sort of like carrying out just a few rods, a few Plano boxes. This is when I have the most fun fishing. On and off the water with little fuss, fewer maintenance issues on mechanical systems, just go get wet.

Now that we are no longer living on Lake Athens, we moved to Galveston this past fall, I'm also converting my attention to fishing bays and marshes for the most part. I'll be targeting flounder, reds and trout for the most part.

The big deal for me will be optimizing holding position in a paddler. The kayak I think I will buy is a Native Slayer 12 XC and it has a drag chain chute so that should work well. I might attach it to an Anchor Wizard, not certain. And, I'll install an anchor trolley so I can carry along a short stake-out pole. If I want to anchor down in a spot, I should be able to drop the chain first and then the stake pole, too, to keep from swaying back and forth.

Anyway, my response to all the new high-end, yes, super kayaks, as I go the other direction. Refocusing on what I really like best.

Posted By: Brad R

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 02:11 PM

Oh! Most everyone here knows the various paddling kayak make and model options. This one, a Native Slayer 12 XC, has all the built ins, features I like and/or need. I think it will need an anchor trolley and I will likely install a Boonedox Landing Gear to speed up getting on and off my truck, the lake, etc. I have one on my Propel 10 and love its convenience.


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Posted By: lurenthewind

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 02:21 PM

Depends on how you are fishing.

Ponds, marshes, bays, etc like you are doing in shallow water, a paddle kayak would be great because you have the ability to hold the kayak in place or even get out and wade fish.

I usually fish deeper water at Lake Texoma for stripers. Mostly trolling but sometimes just peddling along at a leisure pace chunking cranks or topwaters so my Hobie Outback gives me the ability to fish hands free.
Posted By: Mike@972

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 03:44 PM

I had a very similar thought pattern when I decided to sell my Skeeter and buy a PA (and an Outback for my son). It got to the point where we were fishing from the dock and bank even though we had a 21' boat sitting on a lift. I just didn't want to mess with the cover, spider webs, fule, chargers, etc anymore.

I also wanted to explore different (and smaller) waters without trailering the Skeeter. I had already determined in my mind that a kayak was a better fit for me and I guy at the dock would constantly make low ball offers for my Skeeter (as a joke). One day, I was walking down the dock and he made another low ball offer. I said: "make me a serious offer and it's yours. However, you got one shot to put your best foot forward, make it a good one this time". He made a real offer and I stuck my hand out to shake on the deal. Done.

Granted, I bought the largest and most complicated "kayak" that was currently on the market... but it's was a HUGE leap from a 21' Skeeter with two live wells, 80lb trolling motor, two fish finders, and a 200hp Yamaha hanging off the back. My son (17 at the time) also enjoyed the ability to head out on his own in his Outback.

Every now and again I miss skimming 60MPH across glass water at sunset. But all and all, I have not regretted the decision to simplify. I love the simplicity of my huge (and heavy) PA.

In short, simplicity is relative.

It sounds like you have thought it out well and Im sure you will enjoy a paddler. Enjoy Brad!
Posted By: big red dog

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 04:12 PM

Hi Brad. What happened to the Native Ultimate FX 12 you ordered? Seems like that would work well in bays and marshes, too.
Posted By: Tallgrass05

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 07:15 PM

I go minimalist with my Viking Profish Reload and my Native Ultimate Tandem. I don't want pedals. I don't want a barge wide enough to stand in. I don't want a 90 lb kayak. Power to those who do and they have plenty of options, but it's not for me.
Posted By: yak dog

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 08:53 PM

Completely agree on the first post , I never want a peddle drive for all the same reasons. I have the ocean trident and love it if i was going to get another kayak I’d like the native slayer for the seat. The trident seat is nice but it would be a little more comfortable to sit up a bit higher. As for up grades , I would like a power pole on the trident , I fish the marsh a lot and to stop and go quickly would really be good.
Posted By: Brad R

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/21/20 11:05 PM

Mike, stepping down from a Skeeter to a PA, same thing, your move just on a bit different scale . . . but for the same essential reason.

Big Red Dog, the Ultimate FX 12 Pro has been delayed arriving so I called the shop and told them if it was all the same to them, I'd just move up to the 12 XC. I would be buying either one from inventory coming in, not a personal order.

I like both of these paddlers for different reasons, would take either. But, I started looking at some of the features that are standard on the XC, thought it might do as well or better in bays and marshes as the Ultimate. Pros = more features; Cons: heavier.

More comments on minimalism. When we lived on Lake Athens, I would just go down to the boathouse (with no boat in it) where I kept my Meyers Sportspal canoe and just slide it in the water, off in a flash, often with one rod. I could usually catch a limit (5) within 2 hours, 200 yds. from my home. Gosh, I fished a lot in the late afternoons and caught so many fish this way. On other days if kayaking friends were on the lake, I'd load my Propel 10 on the truck, drive 1 mile to the ramp and roll it on pretty danged fast. A 10 with Boonedox Landing Gear is pretty danged good, too. No trailer, fits on a truck bed, about as fast as anything from the pedalers.

I've got to hook up with the crowd down here, there are several of them on YouTube, and go out and sort of learn how to catch flounder, reds, trout, sheepshead and others. Ought to be a lot of fun. At times, I'll throw either the paddler I end up with or the 10 and hit the freshwater lakes. Which one will depend on the lake and other circumstances. I took the 10 to Lake Raven in Hunstville, had a blast, but a paddler would have been really good on that small lake.

Some of us are talking about a trip to Naconiche. I'll post it here if anything develops. Another lake chock full of big bass but it can be very challenging.

Posted By: christian myrick

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/22/20 07:26 AM

Originally Posted by Tallgrass05
I go minimalist with my Viking Profish Reload and my Native Ultimate Tandem. I don't want pedals. I don't want a barge wide enough to stand in. I don't want a 90 lb kayak. Power to those who do and they have plenty of options, but it's not for me.

Truth. I love my viking 440 and my stealth. I can stand in the 440 but i cant even think about it in my stealth. I do want a pedal tandem some day but only to take out kids. If im really fishing it will always be a paddle yak.
Posted By: karstopo

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/22/20 10:12 AM

TKF is still up and running and IMO there’s more saltwater oriented kayakers and more abundant saltwater information on that site than there is on TFF, just responding to the OPs recent move to Galveston and desire to connect with the local scene.There’s generally much more freshwater focused information here than on TKF.

I don’t ever cross the SLP bridge into Galveston, but know the Freeport area pretty well. I fish out of my old Commander 140 and love all the little secondary bays, marshes and tidal streams around Freeport. These pedal drives are mostly a liability in those areas although I see a lot of them, but hardly ever up in the shallow areas where the fish might be. The pedal drives stick mainly to open water and the channels, you will be able to access a lot more quality water more easily with a paddle, at least that’s true around Freeport.

Some people on the Lower coast seem to prefer a long, sleek kayak to cover water, then get out to wade an area of interest. Freeport is highly limited on wadeable areas and Galveston might be a mix, but I’d say most folks stick with kayaks they can cover some water with, but still comfortably fish from.

I fish the vast majority of the time while standing and that’s true if it’s from shore, a boat or a kayak. I just can’t sit comfortably at this point of life for long periods without relief. If you are anything like that, consider a stand up stable kayak. There’s an added benefit from being able to stand and that’s the ability to see the structure, fish sign and fish from a longer distance than from a sitting position. Some might say that’s not such a big deal, but I would disagree with them. I think being higher leads to more opportunities at fish. I’ve fished sitting and standing and there’s no contest in my mind. Being elevated wins in the fish finding and opportunity department.
Posted By: Brad R

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/22/20 01:38 PM

karstopa, thanks!

Yes, I am a member over on TKF and you are so correct that it is much more "salt" oriented, more coastal fishing than inland.

Word was, I thought, that TKF was going away but I still see it is a functioning website. Not certain what happened there.

Finally, for sure, that long sleek kayaks cover water best especially for anyone going BTB. I won't be doing that, just bays and marshes and inland fishing still.

Yes, dragging extended pedal drives across shallow water, over oyster beds is an issue. While this isn't my primary motivation to want to revert to a paddler, it makes another argument for using one down here.

Posted By: Jerry713

Re: Reverting to paddle only kayak - 03/23/20 11:47 AM

I have 2 kayaks- a Pro Angler for lakes and offshore and a Viking Profish 400 paddle kayak for bays and the marsh. At least 75% of my fishing is in saltwater. For the most part I enjoy fishing out of a paddle kayak. There are times I do miss the pedals tho. Last time I went fishing with my paddle yak the wind kicked up and I paddled between 2 and 3 miles back to the truck into a 20 mph wind with the current ripping against me. I'm not a strong paddler so that kicked my butt. I love the Profish 400 but I am limited to areas to fish because I'm not a strong paddler (too many lower back issues). Only way I would get rid of the Profish 400 is to move into a Revo 13. It's the only flipper style pedal kayak I know of that is still a good paddle kayak.
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