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lmobass22

Slide to the right, Slide to the left - my kayak

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Hello fellow kayak anglers,

So I have been out on my kayak a few times and I've noticed this problem with my kayak.

When I'm gliding in my kayak (often times sight fishing) one en of my kayak turns left or right and I come into my target area sideways or 10 ft off.

Is there anyway to fix this, Is this a defect and will i have to buy another kayak, or is this normal?

thanks

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There's nothing wrong with your kayak.   All small vessels that are for the most part without a keel - will do all kinds of spinning & drifting in any & all directions; especially in the wind.  It's part of the "fun".

Effective boat handling comes with experience & time on the water. The more you do it - the better you'll get.

A-Jay

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19 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

There's nothing wrong with your kayak.   All small vessels that are for the most part without a keel - will do all kinds of spinning & drifting in any & all directions; especially in the wind.  It's part of the "fun".

Effective boat handling come with experience & time on the water. The more you do it - the better you'll get.

A-Jay

Yep - this pretty much sums it up. Since your craft is very light, and doesn't draft much water, its more susceptible to currents and wind than a larger boat. I've been using mine since March, and it's pretty frustrating, but its getting better. One thing I learned here to work on (from Darren), is to learn to cast, reel, and fish, while keeping the paddle in your lap and controlling your direction. It's not easy believe me, but it's also getting easier each time. 

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what boat do you have but what they said before me is the truth.  Also look at the weight distribution of you and your items in the boat.  Imagine a centerline on your boat and try and keep the heaviest stuff centered or at least balance.  I notice a tendency for my boat to drift when i don't have the same amount of rods in the rod holders on each side.

above all else though is practice and using the drifting to your advantage.

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2 hours ago, A-Jay said:

There's nothing wrong with your kayak.   All small vessels that are for the most part without a keel - will do all kinds of spinning & drifting in any & all directions; especially in the wind.  It's part of the "fun".

Effective boat handling comes with experience & time on the water. The more you do it - the better you'll get.

A-Jay

well said A Jay!

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If you haven't realized already, you can try light braking with a paddle blade - dipped into the same side as the direction you want to turn.   As you're drifting into 'the spot', and you start getting a little 'crooked', say going a little left, dip and hold your paddle on the right side and your bow will turn to the right, with the added benefit of slowing your drift.

Current and wind are still going to do crazy things to you, but just think of how adept you're going to become at casting back over your left (and right) shoulders :) 

One thing that I'm considering is a rudder.  I watch yakkers with rudders around me glide into position with deadly accuracy and can start casting much sooner instead of adjusting drift with paddle and waiting to cast.  I'm not so much interested for maneuvering while moving as I am in using a rudder to fine tune drifting into position.

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Rudders are also a crutch for not learning proper form....keep that in mind.  It is also another thing to purchase and worry about working or not and if you are dependent on a rudder and it breaks for some reason, is it going to ruin your fishing day?

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9 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

Rudders are also a crutch for not learning proper form

Or poor hull design.  Personally, I like a rudder, but only for fishing, not paddling.  It helps me stay at a comfortable angle, without having to use the paddle.

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9 hours ago, J Francho said:

Or poor hull design.  Personally, I like a rudder, but only for fishing, not paddling.  It helps me stay at a comfortable angle, without having to use the paddle.

I like them too, though its been a few kayaks since I had one. I use a Backwater Assault paddle now. Pretty handy little tool to make small corrections. I just tuck in next to my seat frame. 

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I picked up a Blackwater hand paddle over the winter and I am amazed how much I use it.  It works so well to make small adjustments in position and heading and really has increased the time I spend fishing and not fussing around with positioning.

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I have a couple of the wood prototypes, but never really took to them.

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