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NinHendo

Thinking about getting a kayak

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Hey guys. New bass angler, and I've been thinking about getting a kayak to get off the bank. I have a relative who owns kayaks and I am familiar with them but he doesn't often fish from them. I know people have fish finders on their kayaks but i've never used one. Who can give me some tips on what I would need (after the kayak) to slay the large and sallies on a budget? 

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do a search on this board and you will find some threads covering exactly what you want to know for the most part.  here are some questions to consider:

Sit on Top or Sit inside?
Budget (don't forget to include PFD and paddle)
Transportation of boat (rack, truck bed etc..)
Type of water fished most often (be honest here and not what you think you will do)
Propulsion method...Paddle, Pedal or motor

those are the big ones to think about to me....after that it is about what you want in a kayak and for me a top notch seat and stability are high on my list as is a relatively flat deck area for fly fishing.  there are a ton of good kayaks out there and i would bet that the used market will be flooded soon with people wanting the new models coming out.

As far as fish finders go that is an entirely different topic lol  

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#1 a PFD. Wear it at all times when in the yak. Period.

#2 The rest is going to be trial and error in terms 
of getting the yak up and running according to how
YOU like to fish.

For me it took a long time to get to the place where I
had my seat height right, my anchoring right, my rod
layout right, my tackle availability right and so on.

And none of that is permanent. I always look for ways
to mod and better my kayak experience.

You may wish to have an anchor trolley on each side.

You may wish to use an anchor stick instead of an 
anchor, or a drift sock, etc.

A lot depends on the conditions you will fish in, and 
the waters be they big, small, rivers, and so on.

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The above posts cover the basics.  Your build, the type of water you're fishing, your style of fishing, how you plan on transporting the kayak, and your budget will all influence which boats are best suited for you.  Some boats offer pedal drives, electric motors, sonar pods, rudder systems, and many now have adjustable seats. 

Boat hulls can also have a huge impact on comfort, stability, and performance.  Wide boats are stable, but slower.  Short boats tend to be more nimble.  Long, narrow boats tend to be faster and easier to push through choppy waves and surf.  These tend to be general rules, and as all general rules, they have exceptions.  Most fishing kayaks are now 32-36" wide and in calm water can be stable enough to stand on, but some are much, much more stable than others.  Paddle as many as you can - the wrong boat for the water you fish can be a total pain in the ass on the water. 

Once you settle on a boat, a quality paddle and a comfy PFD are a good start.  A lighter paddle with a length suitable for the width of your boat and how high you'll be sitting above the water is important for reducing fatigue (generally, for bigger folks and/or wider boats, longer paddles 240cm and up are popular) and a PFD light/comfortable enough to be worn while fishing and paddling is important.  There are specific kayak oriented angling PFDs and self inflating PFDs that both work well for fishing in the kayak.  Comfort is important, because you should be wearing it most of the time, if not all of the time on the water.  I have a self inflating PFD and it's great, but keep in mind it'll require refills after discharge. 

 

You can go nuts on accessories, but covering basics like a crate with rod holders, rudder (if necessary), and basic anchor trolley system are a good start (anchoring or tieing off in current can be dangerous/tricky and is a separate conversation on its own).  After that, it's up to you.  Kayaks are super customizable with things like sonars, power poles, electric motors, drift socks, rod leashes, etc.  

What kind of water do you fish? How will you transport the boat? 

 

 

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Check Craigslist you can find some good deal for them on there. I see you are in Dayton so you have Whitewater warehouse and Great miami outfitters to go look at for a kayak. This past weekend  (Oct 3-4) at Eastwood metropark had an outdoor expo that had kayak demos there. Good luck in your kayak search.

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On a budget? In addition to the kayak, paddle and PFD. A fishing rod. Maybe a beer.

I don't use much more than that. I do have a milk crate rigged up with several rod holders and my kayak has 2 flush mount holders. I rig the rods with what I think they'll bite and throw several packs of soft plastics behind the seat. 

I have no electronics, no anchor trolley, no special rigging. I just go paddle and fish, mostly smaller waters where I know I can find the fish. I don't go on busy lakes or rivers.

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First off a PFD, and some other safety stuff like a whistle and bright flag wouldn't be a bad idea either. 

From there I would recommend a comfortable seat (you want the fish to determine how long you stay out, not how much your back/butt hurt hurt) and a decent paddle (if you plan to fish larger lakes instead of just pond hopping). 

As for fishing related stuff, that's where kayaks are so great. It's all up to you! You can make it completely your own. 

Keep in mind how you plan to use it...How much gear are you taking?Are you the guy who brings 6 rods and enough plano boxes to fill a milk crate, or the minimalist who goes out with a few bags of worms and 1 setup? 

 

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