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Dypsis

Few (of many) SOT Kayak Questions

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As I stated in a post a week or so ago I am hoping at some point this winter to purchase a SOT Kayak (leaning towards an ATAK120, pending funds).  Few of many to come questions:

  • I have a dodge Ram 1500 with a 6' bed - what are my options for transportation?
  • Hooks set - any changes you had to make?  Is it hard to get enough power behind it when fishing a stout hook like with a jig?
  • Flipping and Pitching - is it possible while seated or does one have to stand?
  • How important is a rudder - does it depend on if one is fishing a lake, river, etc?
  • When fishing in a river an anchor is necessary right?

That's all for now.  Thanks!

 

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Transportation should be no issue with a 6' bed.  you can leave the tailgate down and throw it in there or get one of the bed extender deals and be fine.

I haven't had to make any hooks changes.  It is the same as if you were fishing seated but the angle is a little flatter since yo are closer to the water.

It is easier to flip/pitch while standing but it can be done while seated.  I rarely flip but i do pitch seated all the time or i also use a kind of underhand roll type cast as well.

i've never had a boat with a rudder so i can't say it is needed but many swear by them.  Really depends on the water you fish.

Anchoring in current in a kayak is a risky proposition for those who aren't experienced in my opinion.  It doesn't take much to get squirrely in current and using an anchor.  I usually try and position myself and use eddies or beach the boat and wade if possible.  I have used a drag chain with success though.  Important thing is to have the anchor directly off the front or rear of the boat.  Any anchoring off the side will not be pretty.

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Yeah you should have no problems with putting it in the back of the truck. I bought a bed extender when I went to pick up my ride 115 and didn't need it. Probably could even go a  couple feet longer and still be good.

I think the rudder would be dependent on which kayak you get, where you are using it and maybe your paddle stroke. I've only had the ride out in moving water and I see no need for a rudder at this time. Had a cuda and lure 11.5 out during demo days and didn't see a need for one on the cuda but would not have bought the lure without one, it didn't track well for me.

Flyfisher is spot on on the anchoring in my opinion

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1 hour ago, Dypsis said:

I have a dodge Ram 1500 with a 6' bed - what are my options for transportation?

I can put your mind to ease here.  I run a Commander 140 in a 6' bed with the gate down.  Just strap the bow, and the side handle, and you'll be fine.  Super easy to load and unload.

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1 hour ago, flyfisher said:

Anchoring in current in a kayak is a risky proposition for those who aren't experienced in my opinion.  It doesn't take much to get squirrely in current and using an anchor.  I usually try and position myself and use eddies or beach the boat and wade if possible.  I have used a drag chain with success though.  Important thing is to have the anchor directly off the front or rear of the boat.  Any anchoring off the side will not be pretty.

Thanks and from the few articles and things I've read and seen this is 100% correct.  

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As far as hooksets, most of mine are over the shoulder when sitting down, when standing up (I have outriggers otherwise I wouldn't be doing that) I do them how I normally would from shore/in a boat. If you hook a good fish though, your kayak will move on the hookset. Whether or not that warrants a harder hookset you will probably have to get a feel for once you get started with your new kayak. I'd say the only time I feel like that has an actual impact on my hookups is when frog fishing, so I really lay into them when I do get bit. Using braid, an XHF rod, and locked down drag...the only thing that can move is either the fish or the kayak, and when the fish wraps you up....it's your kayak. Of course it also depends on how much your kayak + you + gear is going to weigh. For me that's probably around 250lbs so I'm sure some of these larger fishing sit on tops will be a more solid platform. 

For pitching, I do it standing up just fine, but when sitting I have to do a kind of "roll cast" with my wrist which still keeps it low to the water but it probably will never be quite as precise or quiet as true pitching. 

With anchoring in a river, it could be downright suicidal depending on the river. But if you read up and know how to be safe about it you should be fine. 

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1) I have a 11'5 kayak that we cart in a similar-sized truck... We heave it in the bed, lift the gate, and then I run straps through the handles (front and sides) into the anchors in the bed.  Flagging on the back, and we're off.

2) The angle of hooksets is a little different, and I don't throw my weight back in quite the same way I would on the ground.  But, it's essentially the same.  And no, it's not hard to get behind jig hooksets, etc as long as you decisively reel down before yanking.

3) Both are possible... takes practice.  And, I've found it's a little harder to land as softly sitting as I can standing. But, the motions and overall delivery are the same.

4) I don't use a rudder... I think it'd be important on bigger water for tracking or steering in the wind.

5) Depends on the river.  You can use a drift sock in some cases, in others you can anchor.  You have to be careful with an anchor in moving water so your boat doesn't get swamped.  Yes, a SOT self-bails, but the side facing into the current can still dip and the force can tip/flip the boat.

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I have a Big Game Prowler II that I load into my Tundra by just putting the tailgate down with one strap across the nose and one through the handles, ratchet them down and go. 

Hooksets were different for me. I've gone to mainly using braid on spinning gear unless I'm in heavy cover for T rigs and such because it feels more natural but I'm getting better at a seated hookset with casting gear. 

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In one of Chad Hoover videos he said he likes to use braid with leaders when fishing in a kayak. When setting the hook on a bass your kayak goes towards the bass a little (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). This is equivalent  to line stretch like mono. Since braid has less stretch it helps with hook sets.

I'm not saying Chad's word is the end all be all, but it made sense to me. I made the switch to braid with leaders and love it.

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Thanks all.  Just trying to cover as many things as I can, because I know I will have a learning curve once on the water and would like to be as prepared as I can be.  I think for now I will pass on the rudder as well as the anchor.  Just stick to learning the boat itself, then adjusting later if need be.  I like what @flyfisher said in regards to using eddies or beach the boat and wade if possible.

Seems transporting won't be an issue which is nice.  

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I'm of two minds regarding my anchor in swift rivers.  One, it's vital.  The holes and other good spots go by too fast when I don't anchor.  Two, it is dangerous.  The only time I flipped was trying to anchor...I thought I was in an eddie but didn't take enough time to make good assessment of the current AND didn't get the trolley far enough forward...the anchor grabbed immediately and pulled me right over...kinda scary, but I've learned to be a lot more careful and not ever take the river for granted.  But I wouldn't hit the river without the anchor along.  I also do a lot of what @flyfisher does; beach it and wade in to work an area thoroughly

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Do yourself a favor and get a good vest. I  recommend the NRS Chinook. It is amazing and has incredible storage. Good luck out there.

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i put my ride 135 in the back of my nissan frontier.  yes i get some looks, but i've hauled it a few thousand miles like that with no issues.

hooksets, not much change to me.

i don't flip, but i pitch a lot.  a roll cast is essential.

if you fish a river i think a rudder can make or break a trip sometimes!  with one you can easily drift in and out from the shoreline so to speak and make many less corrective paddle strokes which result in many more opportunities to cast.  on a lake it's minimal need if any.

i hate to anchor period.  it's time consuming, extra gear and in a river can be just too risky.  i'm with flyfisher on either using the eddies or just parking the yak and fishing.  

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As long as the kayak will lay in your bed without tipping over you are fine without an extender. 

I switched to 20# braid with a leader in all of my baitcasters for two reasons. Setting the hook from a kayak and cost. The braid will last years and I only buy a 12 and 20# roll of seagur invizx for all my rods for the entire year vs. 1 roll for 2-3 rods (which comes to the cost of a new reel and rod combo every year). Depending on what technique im using the leader is 3-9'. I also throw my 3/8 and up jigs on a heavy action rod. 

As others have said a roll cast and you can make a lure land softly by tethering the spool and lifting the rod tip slightly before it lands. 

Never used a rudder. At this point only reason for them that I see is if you have a pedal/trolling motor propulsion. I don't put anything onto my kayak that increases its draft. 

I stopped bringing my anchor in the river. I do three things to stay in the same spot. I wade and clip the kayak's anchor trolley to my PFD. I made a stakeout pole from PVC, I am not sure about the ATAK 120 but I can reach the forward set of scupper holes on the ride 115 with ease. Even when I have made mistakes, I have recovered from them when using the stakeout pole without dumping. Then a brush anchor/paddle on a leash. Find an area of shoreline/stick up that you can toss your paddle into the grass (while its tethered) or you can tether a quick-grip clamp with shock cord. Quick Grip The ATAK has a new anchor chute that is mounted by the forward hatch, that coupled with a cleat and a cheap anchor would be a game changer in rivers for me. 

Biggest thing I learned from rivers is land the kayak if you are fishing upstream from current and wade it.

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My kayak floats like a cork on the water so I have to use much harder hooksets.  I don't usually fish jigs from my kayak though so I wouldn't know about that.

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On 10/8/2016 at 11:27 AM, Dypsis said:
  • I have a dodge Ram 1500 with a 6' bed - what are my options for transportation?

No problem there. Tailgate down and you're at almost 8'. For my 12' Ultimate, I use two NiteIze carabiner/cleats and some thin paracord. I wrap one around the rear thwart, tie it off to the side, and do the same on the opposite side. Driven at highway speeds with zero problems -- I also have a 30lb thrust Minn Kota attached to the rear.

Oh, and always have some sort of bright red or orange flag at the end for visibility.

  • Hooks set - any changes you had to make?  Is it hard to get enough power behind it when fishing a stout hook like with a jig?

My hooksets are the same whether in a boat, on land, or in my kayak. While I don't often fish jigs, I've fished up to 1/2 oz and caught plenty of bass in my local waters. 

  • Flipping and Pitching - is it possible while seated or does one have to stand?

It is possible, I do it often; however, I also am at an elevated seating position.

  • How important is a rudder - does it depend on if one is fishing a lake, river, etc?

Don't have one, but I do have my motor mounted at the very rear.

  • When fishing in a river an anchor is necessary right?

Don't fish rivers, but I second the cautionary remarks above as I have anchored in high winds before on lakes...and I don't have scuppers in my Ultimate.

 

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