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Desync

Looking for first Kayak, questions?

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Went fishing the other day, first time in a little over 3 years now. Didn't catch anything, but let the GF catch a bunch of bluegill and she had a blast so worth it.

 

With most of my hobbies in the past few years, I thought I wanted to get into something and never really do anything. Kind of like my drone / RC helicopter hobby a few months ago, bought a drone for $700 flew it twice and sold it for $575.

 

Now I'm looking at getting into kayaking as I just don't have the funds for a bass boat, even tho my dad owns a boat, he hasn't put it in the water but once in 6 years now. He was also thinking about getting one (go figure, owns a brand new bass boat but still wants a kayak) but it would be fun for both of us.

 

Was thinking about going for under $500 starting out. Wal-Mart has the sun dolphin 10 foot and 12 foot also my local Field and Stream store has the shadow caster and the Talon kayaks. Was thinking about waiting like another month or two and see if they drop the prices a good bit when it gets colder. Cause I've seen dicks sell theirs for 50% off during certain months and a $500 kayak for $250 would be nice.

 

The shadow caster is $799 right now, but has no front rod swivel and no anchor system, weighs like 98 lbs but reviews say real easy to stand and fish. Also few reviews said weak hull as they drug it across gravel or concrete boat ramps and got a hole. (isn't that common sense? Plastic vs concrete)

 

The Talon is $549 with front rod holder / swivel and anchor system built in, weighs like 68lbs, but some reviews say u can't stand, some say they did and it's great.

 

Looking for a sit on top model as I heard those are easier for first timers.

 

Also keep seeing reviews saying "I won't win a race with this kayak" I'm fishing, not trying to break some worlds fastest speed on water. Guessing these reviews are from first time users?

 

What would you guys recommend? I'll be using it mainly on the Coosa River either above or below Lay Dam as I only live like 15 minutes from it.

 

Also with that said, what's good kayak etiquette for larger rivers like the coosa? Above the dam where I'll fish has one spot where it's 100 ft deep and it's usually crowded with boats speeding up and down the river, but I'm not paddling out in the middle. I'll most likely launch it from a pier beside the boat launch the county built for ppl to fish from and fish around the bank.

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First, this thread might be useful reading as a lot of what's said there could be repeated here:

Having pointed you there, I'd just echo this:  You're best served paddling as many different kayaks as possible before you make a decision to buy anything.  You'll be surprised - as I was - just how different the experience paddling can be from one supposedly-comparable boat to another.  You might find that, for your preferences, the cheapest boat in the race is fine.  Then again, you may find out that you'll be MUCH happier saving a little more for a better boat.

Watch Craigslist... There are all kinds of people selling yaks off all the time.  You might find something that suits you there for less money.

 

As far as etiquette goes:  Be visible, give other fisherman their space. One of the benefits to being in a kayak is that you can get away from the crowds and get to places that others can't.  Use that to your advantage.

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500 is a perfectly doable budget. Especially if you find a deal or look for a used one online. Personally I use a Bass Pro Ascend FS10 sit-in kayak and love it (although it's heavily modified at this point). Definitely try and out a couple if you get the chance. I don't know if there is a Cabelas near you but every now and then a kayak will show up in their bargain cave. I would also recommend getting a decent paddle. I used a cheap aluminum one for many years and recently got a nicer one and the difference is huge (Manta Ray Hybrid). It's just under two pounds which feels like a feather compared to the old one. I can paddle all day without getting too sore. If you are just putting around little ponds and not going any significant  distance any paddle will do the job though. But that is where kayaks shine, those hard to get to puddles in the middle of nowhere that boats can only dream of getting on. 

I wouldn't worry too much about things like rod holders and anchor systems that come with it as far as swaying your decision on which kayak to buy. They are very customizabl and those things and much more can be added to suit your specific needs. What's important to start is that it feels right, and you will be comfortable in it in the long run. Also keep in mind the seat. Long days on the water will have you thanking yourself you chose a comfortable seat. 

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The most important advise, find a yak with a comfortable seat and your life jacket is critical. Start with these two first. Demo as many as possible. It's your boat so pick the boat that fits you. 

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the  problem with a lot of the cheaper kayaks is the seat. a comfortable one is crucial!

if you find a cheap 10 footer with a framed seat, let me know! I need a creek boat in the fleet.

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46 minutes ago, bigfruits said:

the  problem with a lot of the cheaper kayaks is the seat. a comfortable one is crucial!

if you find a cheap 10 footer with a framed seat, let me know! I need a creek boat in the fleet.

That's what I've read on all these yaks, even the $800 Shadow Caster I was looking at. I know the kayaks hold an advantage of getting places boats can't, but my main use of this will be at our main river here to just fish around the bank where u can't walk. It's a local public boat launch above our dam here and below our dam where hundreds of ppl fish from the bank. It's nothing but weed beds for bass and I will be able to paddle out of everyones casting range and fish straight down for cat.

 

The other thing, I'm only 5'7" and weigh like 180, the shadow caster is like 12'3" at 98lbs, but seems to be real easy to stand and fish. 

 

Is standing in one easier than sitting and fishing?

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The most important points are covered:

  1. PFD  PFD    PFD
  2. Paddle as many different models as possible.
  3. Weight - how are you transporting it?
  4. Seat comfort.

I started with an Ascend 128T because of its reviews and price.  It's  great kayak, has an awesome seat, and is stand up stable.  It's a big kayak and has tons of storage but weighs in at roughly 90 pounds empty, so getting it on my truck's ladder rack at the end of the day isn't always easy. 

I paddled a FeelFree Lure 11.5 at my local dealer and fell in love with it.  It's more stable than the Ascend, weighs 20-25 pounds less, but gives up some storage space.  It also has a wheel integrated in the keel, making it easy to transport short distances.  Of my two kayaks, I use the Lure more.

I'm 6'1" 190 and after kayak fishing for three years I'd not go below eleven or twelve feet in length.  I believe the shorter kayaks give up too much stability.  I fish standing most of the time.

Beyond the basics, think about how you might accessorize your kayak.  Anchor trollies, additional rod holders, and fish finders are common items.  I use wheel dollies that go through the scupper holes to transport both kayaks longer distances.

Keep your eye on Craigslist.  You might just find a bargain.

Best of luck getting your kayak.  It opens up a whole new world of fishing.

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7 hours ago, Desync said:

That's what I've read on all these yaks, even the $800 Shadow Caster I was looking at. I know the kayaks hold an advantage of getting places boats can't, but my main use of this will be at our main river here to just fish around the bank where u can't walk. It's a local public boat launch above our dam here and below our dam where hundreds of ppl fish from the bank. It's nothing but weed beds for bass and I will be able to paddle out of everyones casting range and fish straight down for cat.

 

The other thing, I'm only 5'7" and weigh like 180, the shadow caster is like 12'3" at 98lbs, but seems to be real easy to stand and fish. 

 

Is standing in one easier than sitting and fishing?

I don't see a need for standing. If I was on a flowing river, I would not stand. some do and they can't live without it. So, do you want to stand?

Funny comment; fish don't care if you are sitting or standing, $500 or $50 reel and what brand you bought. 

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I don't stand ever.  Never even tried.  However, about half the regulars that I fish with stand all the time.  For me, its not just the kayak, though....even if I had a Cuda, I probably wouldn't stand much...I trust the platform...don't trust me so much....I can be challenged walking on dry land.

If think you're going to want to stand, then start wide

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10 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

I don't stand ever.  Never even tried.  However, about half the regulars that I fish with stand all the time.  For me, its not just the kayak, though....even if I had a Cuda, I probably wouldn't stand much...I trust the platform...don't trust me so much....I can be challenged walking on dry land.

If think you're going to want to stand, then start wide

I'm with ya on that. The only time I stand is when I need to stretch my legs. There's nothing I can't do sitting (except peeing, that can be difficult sitting).

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9 hours ago, bigfruits said:

the  problem with a lot of the cheaper kayaks is the seat. a comfortable one is crucial!

if you find a cheap 10 footer with a framed seat, let me know! I need a creek boat in the fleet.

Just picked up this 10.5 footer for $500 w for my step son (I plan to use it on ponds).  Came with paddle, anchor trolly and anchor and 3 rod holders. 

13902700_10154436379556255_3525850151868084990_n.jpg

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I wouldn't bother with kayak fishing if I couldn't stand.  Like was said earlier, seat time, stand time, even try to make casts seated and standing.

It's a great way to fish.

 

IMG_5946.JPG

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On 8/24/2016 at 4:29 PM, MassYak85 said:

500 is a perfectly doable budget. Especially if you find a deal or look for a used one online. Personally I use a Bass Pro Ascend FS10 sit-in kayak and love it (although it's heavily modified at this point). Definitely try and out a couple if you get the chance. I don't know if there is a Cabelas near you but every now and then a kayak will show up in their bargain cave. I would also recommend getting a decent paddle. I used a cheap aluminum one for many years and recently got a nicer one and the difference is huge (Manta Ray Hybrid). It's just under two pounds which feels like a feather compared to the old one. I can paddle all day without getting too sore. If you are just putting around little ponds and not going any significant  distance any paddle will do the job though. But that is where kayaks shine, those hard to get to puddles in the middle of nowhere that boats can only dream of getting on. 

I wouldn't worry too much about things like rod holders and anchor systems that come with it as far as swaying your decision on which kayak to buy. They are very customizabl and those things and much more can be added to suit your specific needs. What's important to start is that it feels right, and you will be comfortable in it in the long run. Also keep in mind the seat. Long days on the water will have you thanking yourself you chose a comfortable seat. 

I do have a Cabelas, Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy, a new Field and Stream store, Bass Pro Shop. I'm sure as the fall / winter hits I can find some deals on craigslist, but for something like this being my first I will most likely be going to a store and buying one brand new. As I mentioned earlier, my dad was looking at them last year and Dick's ran quite a few of their $500 - $800 yaks for 50% off during the winter, so if I could grab that Field and Stream Shadow Caster for $400 I would def do that probably. 

 

Another question I do have is the front rod holder that sits on the swivel, is the primary purpose for that just to hold a rod while I'm paddling, or is it more of rod holder for live bait fishing?

 

 

38 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I wouldn't bother with kayak fishing if I couldn't stand.  Like was said earlier, seat time, stand time, even try to make casts seated and standing.

It's a great way to fish.

 

IMG_5946.JPG

 

That's what I'm thinking, even on a bass boat I mainly stand and fish, I hardly ever use the seat, but with a bass boat the seat does sit up a lot higher than a kayak, is there any downfall to sitting in a kayak and fishing? or can you just as easily fish sitting down as you can standing?

 

 

10 hours ago, DogBone_384 said:

The most important points are covered:

  1. PFD  PFD    PFD
  2. Paddle as many different models as possible.
  3. Weight - how are you transporting it?
  4. Seat comfort.

I started with an Ascend 128T because of its reviews and price.  It's  great kayak, has an awesome seat, and is stand up stable.  It's a big kayak and has tons of storage but weighs in at roughly 90 pounds empty, so getting it on my truck's ladder rack at the end of the day isn't always easy. 

I paddled a FeelFree Lure 11.5 at my local dealer and fell in love with it.  It's more stable than the Ascend, weighs 20-25 pounds less, but gives up some storage space.  It also has a when integrated in the keel, making it easy to transport short distances.  Of my two kayaks, I use the Lure more.

I'm 6'1" 190 and after kayak fishing for three years I'd not go below eleven or twelve feet in length.  I believe the shorter kayaks give up too much stability.  I fish standing most of the time.

Beyond the basics, think about how you might accessorize your kayak.  Anchor trollies, additional rod holders, and fish finders are two big items.  I use wheel dollies that go through the scupper holes to transport both kayaks longer distances.

Keep your eye on Craigslist.  You might just find a bargain.

Best of luck getting your kayak.  It opens up a whole new world of fishing.

 

Mine will most likely be transported ontop of a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a luggage rack on it, going to put pool noodles on the luggage rack for padding and just strap it down that way. Most likely just about every time I do go fishing, my gf will be going with me. As I mentioned it's our main river here right beside the Lay Dam where our power comes from and it's 100 feet deep in some spots on the river and the bass masters are usually held here.  So for the moment it's not like i'm going to be in tiny creeks or in a pond fishing. It's a public place where hundreds of boats are launched from and they have a few piers ppl can fish from (small piers along the bank). 

 

I will most likely just drop it in the water while standing on one of those piers beside the boat launch and while she fishes from the pier I will just hit up around the bank where you can't get to by walking and fish the weed beds for bass or paddle out a bit where ppl can't reach and drop a line down for some cat.

 

 

Guess it's different for me since I've never owned a kayak nor fished from one, just keep seeing reviews about "It's not fast" or "It won't win a race", well I'm not trying to race, I'm just out on the water fishing by myself around the weed beds and peoples docks / piers where other ppl from the bank can't reach. So slow and steady is just fine for me I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere, like they always say my worst day fishing has always been better than my best day at work, I'm just happy to have a line in the water. 

 

But yes, the anchor was something I was looking at, I know they have the 2lb folding anchor and the Field and Stream Talon comes with one of those and the mentioned front rod holder with swivel and 2 flush rod holders behind the seat. But the Shadow Caster comes with 2 flush rod holders behind the seat, 0 front rod holder with swivel, and no anchor system, but is considered a stand and fish with a standing assist strap and the seat folds up and spins out of the way.

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2 hours ago, Desync said:

I do have a Cabelas, Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy, a new Field and Stream store, Bass Pro Shop. I'm sure as the fall / winter hits I can find some deals on craigslist, but for something like this being my first I will most likely be going to a store and buying one brand new. As I mentioned earlier, my dad was looking at them last year and Dick's ran quite a few of their $500 - $800 yaks for 50% off during the winter, so if I could grab that Field and Stream Shadow Caster for $400 I would def do that probably. 

 

Another question I do have is the front rod holder that sits on the swivel, is the primary purpose for that just to hold a rod while I'm paddling, or is it more of rod holder for live bait fishing?

 

 

 

That's what I'm thinking, even on a bass boat I mainly stand and fish, I hardly ever use the seat, but with a bass boat the seat does sit up a lot higher than a kayak, is there any downfall to sitting in a kayak and fishing? or can you just as easily fish sitting down as you can standing?

 

But yes, the anchor was something I was looking at, I know they have the 2lb folding anchor and the Field and Stream Talon comes with one of those and the mentioned front rod holder with swivel and 2 flush rod holders behind the seat. But the Shadow Caster comes with 2 flush rod holders behind the seat, 0 front rod holder with swivel, and no anchor system, but is considered a stand and fish with a standing assist strap and the seat folds up and spins out of the way.

A two pound anchor isn't going to be enough. I started with a five which didn't always hold me in place, especially in muck/weed bottoms. I use a seven pound collapsible claw anchor.

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2 hours ago, Desync said:

That's what I'm thinking, even on a bass boat I mainly stand and fish, I hardly ever use the seat, but with a bass boat the seat does sit up a lot higher than a kayak, is there any downfall to sitting in a kayak and fishing? or can you just as easily fish sitting down as you can standing?

The only thing I've noticed is that I can't flip as far while seated. Hasn't stopped me from catching fish.

 

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10 hours ago, DogBone_384 said:

A two pound anchor isn't going to be enough. I started with a five which didn't always hold me in place, especially in muck/weed bottoms. I use a seven pound collapsible claw anchor.

That's where I keep hearing different stories, the 2lb one that comes with the Talon and the one they sell at Wal-Mart, I keep hearing stories of ppl claiming they are 300+ lbs and the anchor holds them just fine. 

 

Going to go this weekend and look at them in stores but at this moment I got my mind set on the shadow caster and hope it goes on sale soon.

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14 hours ago, Desync said:

is there any downfall to sitting in a kayak and fishing? or can you just as easily fish sitting down as you can standing?

Pitching is tough to do sitting.  Other than that, not really.  One time it's an advantage is skipping docks.  You're already low to the water, so it just quick side stab cast to get under a dock, or overhanging tree.

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10 hours ago, Desync said:

That's where I keep hearing different stories, the 2lb one that comes with the Talon and the one they sell at Wal-Mart, I keep hearing stories of ppl claiming they are 300+ lbs and the anchor holds them just fine. 

 

Going to go this weekend and look at them in stores but at this moment I got my mind set on the shadow caster and hope it goes on sale soon.

Best of luck - no matter which one you get, you'll love fishing from it.

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I stand pretty often to fish but with a raised seat like most kayaks now have, it isn't as crucial as it used to be.  As far as anchors go, I have a about a 3 foot length of the heaviest chain they sell at Home Depot that i wrapped in gorilla tape and attached to a dog leash via 3 zip ties.  If it gets hung, I am out a few bucks and the zip ties will break.  I can also use it as a drag chain in slow current or heavy wind.  Depending on the depth of your water, you may be better suited with a stakeout pole.  I have an 8' one that I use 5 to 1 to the anchor on the lakes i fish

 

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Went up and looked at the Shadow Caster tonight, man it's a monster. 12'3" 98lbs 35" across, that was the only fishing kayak they had in stock and I believe I'm sold on it, Will now wait until the prices drop which should be any moment now and I'm buying it.

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I got this one about 7 years ago for $500 at Academy. http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/perception-pescador-angler-12-sit-on-kayak#repChildCatid=1352017

I've had a great time using it and have caught a lot of fish from it. That said, the only drawbacks are the seat (hurts your but after a couple hours) and it's not quite stable enough to stand and fish in. I'm pretty clumsy so i really don't want to stand in a kayak anyway. If I did I'd get an SUP. That's still a possibility. 

I would prefer one with a stadium seat to keep the butt dry.

On 8/25/2016 at 4:16 PM, Caliyak said:

I don't see a need for standing. If I was on a flowing river, I would not stand. some do and they can't live without it. So, do you want to stand?

Funny comment; fish don't care if you are sitting or standing, $500 or $50 reel and what brand you bought. 

Actually, I think they'd have a harder time seeing you if you sit. 

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5 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

I'm pretty clumsy so i really don't want to stand in a kayak anyway. If I did I'd get an SUP. That's still a possibility. 

I would prefer one with a stadium seat to keep the butt dry.

I can unequivocally state that any of the kayaks I've owned are more stable than any SUP I've been on, and I've been on a few over the years.

The boats I've stood in to fish:

Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game

Freedonhawk - all models

Jackson Coosa

Feel Free Moken 10, 12, 13, 14

Malibu (can't remember the models, a 10 and 14)

Wilderness Systems Commander 140 &120, Ride 135 (older style), Ride 115/115x, ATAK 140

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1 minute ago, J Francho said:

I can unequivocally state that any of the kayaks I've owned are more stable than any SUP I've been on, and I've been on a few over the years.

The boats I've stood in to fish:

Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game

Freedonhawk - all models

Jackson Coosa

Feel Free Moken 10, 12, 13, 14

Malibu (can't remember the models, a 10 and 14)

Wilderness Systems Commander 140 &120, Ride 135 (older style), Ride 115/115x, ATAK 140

I haven't used an SUP, it just looks like fun. I doubt you'd wanna stand in my kayak. LOL. I like it, but $500 is usually below the stand-up threshold.

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3 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

it just looks like fun.

Holy crap, it is!

3 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

I like it, but $500 is usually below the stand-up threshold.

Not necessarily.  There's a few out there.

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