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Curtis B.

Getting a new Kayak

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Hi all,

I am looking to upgrade from my current 11' sit-in 'yak and get a bigger, sit-on-top boat and am hoping to get some opinions.  Here are the things that (seemingly) are important to me:

  1. Longer boat. I want to fish some bigger water, and maybe have a 'yak that I can stand up in. Thinking 13-15 feet.
  2. Rod locker.  I have seen multiple boats that have a rod locker that can be accessed between your legs, and it is something that I think I really want, as I like to have ~5 rods and don't want the clutter/chance of losing them overboard.
  3. Speed.  I want something that is easy to paddle, and will get up to a decent clip relatively quick.

Based off of this criteria, some of the leading candidates are:

Ocean Kayak:

  • Big Game Prowler II
  • Trident Ultra 4.3 (No Rod Locker - big downside).

Wilderness Systems:

  • Thresher 140
  • ATAK
  • Ride 135 (No Rod Locker - big downside) 

I have paddled a few older Ocean Kayaks, and was very pleased with how they handled, and I have never paddled a Wilderness Systems 'yak.  If anyone has any experience with any of the models I have listed, or any other suggestions, I would very much so like to hear from you.  Thanks!

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first and foremost, you don't need 13-15 ft to fish freshwater in my opinion.  i have a ride 135 (13.5 ft) and frankly i'd have preferred the 115, but i got a great deal on mine....  i'd say 12 ft is right where i'd prefer to be.

and i've never heard of a "rod locker" on a kayak, certainly nothing that could easily be accessed while on the water.  all of my rods will fit in the bow hatch on my ride 135 with absolutely no problems, but it's would not be easy to access while on the water.  just a quick glance online doesn't look like any of those models you listed have a "rod locker" so to speak.  i think you may be referring to the removable center consoles/electronics hatches that those models have.

all that said, i love my ride 135, but would have definitely settled in the 115 with no problems at all.  and speed is not on the list of things the ride 135 does well, it's a fairly slow moving unit.  however, it is as stable as the floor, never do i feel like i'm going to tip over.  i'm certain i would fall out of the yak before it would turtle over on me.

Another very nice looking outfit that has a lot of momentum right now are the feelfree kayaks.  especially the lure model.

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Agree with buzzed bait concerning length.

I went from a 10' to a 12' and don't think I could
go any bigger. But there are plenty that like the 
longer yaks, so it's a "to each his/her own" thing.

As well, please explain the rod locker thing. I thought
at first you were meaning something akin to Hobie
Pro Angler's "rod locker".

Perhaps you mean a rod stager?

I customized my Native Ultimate 12 to have my rods
in front of me, laying flat, staged as it were.

If you want that, consider adding the Native Slayer 12,
Jackson Cuda and Coosa, and the Feel Free Lure yaks.

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I think the the ATAK actually has a "rod locker" that opens at the rear, but as buzzed bait mentioned you can't access it while fishing. It's more of a storage for travel type of "rod locker". I actually own the  Feelfree Lure 11.5,  it's a great craft,  but it ain't  gonna win you any races, it does track well for a yakthat wide, It's superbly stable even in wake, the seat sits like a Lazyboy. 

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Depending on your budget the Hobie Pro Angler line up is something to take a look at.  It has storage for 6 rods on the inside and if you want they can go on the outside.  Take a look at the 12' and the 14' model.  I carry from 6-8 rods with me on most trips and don't feel cluttered at all.  Plus you have the option to peddle or paddle and with the peddles you can get going 5+ mph.  You were wanting stability for standing and these offer it.  I am 6'1" and 300 lbs and stand easily in it.

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Curtis, some good comments here.  Remember everything is a tradeoff...longer hull might track better in open water but more plastic = more weight.  Agree with buzzed bait that sweet spot might be around 12.

Check out the Cuda 12.  The middle storage area gives you access to the hull where you can store rods.  I would construct some kind of Velcro system to hold the rods where you want them. 

Look for a platform you feel stable enough to at least squat so you can feel comfortable getting up as you reach for your rods. I find the Cuda to be stable enough but everyone is different.

 

 

 

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On 1/5/2016 at 2:13 PM, Curtis B. said:

Hi all,

I am looking to upgrade from my current 11' sit-in 'yak and get a bigger, sit-on-top boat and am hoping to get some opinions.  Here are the things that (seemingly) are important to me:

  1. Longer boat. I want to fish some bigger water, and maybe have a 'yak that I can stand up in. Thinking 13-15 feet.
  2. Rod locker.  I have seen multiple boats that have a rod locker that can be accessed between your legs, and it is something that I think I really want, as I like to have ~5 rods and don't want the clutter/chance of losing them overboard.
  3. Speed.  I want something that is easy to paddle, and will get up to a decent clip relatively quick.

Based off of this criteria, some of the leading candidates are:

Ocean Kayak:

  • Big Game Prowler II
  • Trident Ultra 4.3 (No Rod Locker - big downside).

Wilderness Systems:

  • Thresher 140
  • ATAK
  • Ride 135 (No Rod Locker - big downside) 

I have paddled a few older Ocean Kayaks, and was very pleased with how they handled, and I have never paddled a Wilderness Systems 'yak.  If anyone has any experience with any of the models I have listed, or any other suggestions, I would very much so like to hear from you.  Thanks!

As has been stated, I'm not sure there is a yak with a rod locker, per se, but one of the reasons I purchased the Jackson Cuda 12 was because it has bow and stern hatches.  I can store gear at either end.  If I want to store a rod, or rods, inside the boat, I just pop the center console up and put them in; they are probably not really accessible while you are on the yak.  Pictures attached so you get an idea of where it is and what it looks like.  I can easily store my longest rod, 7'6", in the hull.

PS - whatever length you go with, if you want to stand and fish, I would recommend you get a yak of at least 36" in width.  Mine is 31" and while I can stand, it is rather precarious, at best.  The Cuda 12 tracks like an animal, but it isn't the most stable boat on the water...

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Don't know if you are still looking at this Curtis  But kayak recommendation would really vary depending on where you fish and how big you are.  

If you are looking to fish larger lakes or you like to paddle a lot  A longer thinner kayak would be good.   Thresher, or Trident on the models you have listed.  

If you are a bigger guy like me  I would look for something wide  33 inches plus and because of that you would want as long a kayak as you can find so it does not feel like paddling a bathtub   the ATAK,  Ride 135 or the Big Game

If you are a small guy  frankly anything over 12ft would be good for you.

The rod lockers are over rated.  Rods are vary much a pain in the ass to pull out of them on the water.  I would recomend a crate or a blackpak behind you to hold your rods behind youl.   The only useable rod lockers I have seen for on the water would be a Hobie PA or a Nucanoe Pursuit

 

You have a lot of options out there  If you put together what you are wanting to do on the water I can give you some ideas on kayaks. 

 

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I like the FeelFree moken 12.5. It's a roomy yack but.. 2 rod holders. But you can put more into it with the rail system it has. I like it a lot. Or hobie makes some great 

yacks as well. But it's up to you. Your kyack.

 

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A lot of it comes down to price.  I have 3 kayaks and a canoe.  The most expensive is a hobie outback, one of the best kayaks for a bigger guy that wants to be able to really move on the water.  Frankly if I was smaller I would have probably picked a less expensive kayak paddle kayak  nit for bigger guys the options are peddle drive or bathtub.   lol

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