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I had a stroke 4 years ago. Most people can't tell until I tell them, but, I definitely still have issues. My balance is not great and my left side is weak and uncoordinated.

 

I think I MIGHT be able to handle a kayak, but, I can't be sure without trying. I suspect I would need one that is more stable than average. I would also be using it for ponds and areas where I may need to move it by myself for some distance over land.

 

How do you try a kayak before buying to know how it will stack up to your needs?

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Before I bought mine I went to my dealers on-the-water demo day to try out the few I had narrowed search down to. Mine is a very wide stable sit on top that you can stand on easily, its 36 inches wide and crazy stable. You'd be hard pressed to tip it, however it is very heavy.

 

The trade-off with a stable yak is they are very heavy.

 

 

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Your best bet is to find a demo day, or a find someone on a local forum who will let you demo their boat for a six pack or whatever.  

 

As for a stable, lighter yak, I have a Native Slayer 10.  It is 10' long and ~35" wide and weighs around 60lb without the peddle drive or seat.  It a great little yak, very stable.  The only issues with it are, 1) Any kind of wind spins it all over, it is like a plastic bathtub, and 2) the width makes it a little tricky to load/unload and to get my cart strapped on.  They are also pretty expensive, but are really nice to fish from.  

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11 hours ago, fishwizzard said:

Your best bet is to find a demo day, or a find someone on a local forum who will let you demo their boat for a six pack or whatever.  

 

Agreed. 

Turns out there are forums and FB groups of kayak fishermen all over the place...I'd be surprised if there isn't one in your region.  Also, many lake/river parks rent kayaks.  Won't be the most stable, necessarily...nor, set up for fishing, but you can get an idea real quick if its something you want to pursue. 

 

Carts are available for nearly any kayak and if terrain isn't too bad, you can wheel a yak to an awful lot of places even if you can't park close to the water.  Some yaks even have a wheel built into the keel.

 

Even with balance issues, I'm going to bet that you'll feel plenty stable enough in most any platform.  You may find you need to be careful about where you launch and recover; and you may not be standing much, but I'm guessing you'll do fine.

One more thing - IF you're a vet....and IF you're in eastern OK, check out Heroes on the Water.  They'll get you on the water.

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Demo days is best way.

 

For stability, you can look at hybrids like the Native Ultimate,

the Wilderness Systems Commander. These'll keep you "dry"

as they do not have scupper holes. My Native is just around

55#. Buy a lightweight cart (or DIY like I did). The TrailTrekker

is one of the best there is for all-terrain stuff. I modeled my

DIY after it, but if I had the $, I'd just buy one of theirs.

 

http://paddlelogic.com/trailtreker-kayak-carts.html

 

Other option is to buy one like the Feel Free Lure which has a

wheel-in-the-keel which allows for "some" easy transporting,

though guys who own them could let us know how easy they

are for longer distances over varied terrain.

 

Lots of diversity here on the board as to likes/dislikes for yaks.

So you'll have lots of opinions to sift through. Good luck on your

quest.

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I rented an Old Town Vapor while on vacation. I was also able to rent a Pelican Trailblazer.

 

There is a lake in my area where you can rent kayaks by the hour. I found this was the best way to get some real time usage out of a kayak to see if you would like to purchase it.

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The double tunnel hull on the Commander 140/120 is very stable.  With two seating options, seat and captan's perch, it's very comfortable to fish from and offers more stability than you'd ever need.

 

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IMHO, your first cut should be to decide your means of propulsion.  Paddle, peddle or power.  You say you have weakness on one side.  In my limited experience, it takes both arms, shoulders, back and legs to paddle correctly.  Even with a peddle style you are going to need the use of both your legs.  I thought I was in fair shape and my brother in law who is an accomplished yaker took me on a 20 mile lake fishing expedition and it was a LOT tougher than I thought it was going to be.  

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13 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

20 mile lake fishing expedition

So, at 4 mph, which is pretty quick, that's 5 hours of paddling, at a minimum.  Probably more like 6-7 hours.  No thank you! When did you have time to fish?

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Maybe it was 10-15 miles AND we portaged a creek.  I was exhausted!!  Left at 7am and got back 5pm.  We paddled most of the way to an area with no fishing on the way.  Portaged the creek and fished for about an hour before we had to head back.  He has an ocean going yak that is a mover and I was in a stubby sit in style.  He DID NOT take it easy on me and I think he was surprised that I was able to keep up.  Especially the last 3 miles.  :mellow::blink:

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11 minutes ago, J Francho said:

So, at 4 mph, which is pretty quick, that's 5 hours of paddling, at a minimum.  Probably more like 6-7 hours.  No thank you! When did you have time to fish?

Kayak trolling for striped bass is a big deal where I live.  There are some older guys I know who think nothing of spending 4-5 hours pedaling around.  I am more of an "anchor up in a cove and catch a hundred perch" kinda guy, but they seem to do very well at it.  

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For me, I used Youtube videos on the kayak i wanted.

i picked the slayer 10 because it had the pedal propulsion and was compact and relatively light for that type of kayak.

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On 12/29/2017 at 2:13 PM, J Francho said:

So, at 4 mph, which is pretty quick, that's 5 hours of paddling, at a minimum.  Probably more like 6-7 hours.  No thank you! When did you have time to fish?

Maybe they did a lot of trolling. ;)

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43 minutes ago, Fishing Rhino said:

Maybe they did a lot of trolling. ;)

 

OK, I'll play.  Then more like 10-12 hours of paddling.  Trolling for bass usually best at 2 mph or less.  Deep divers, more like .75-1 mph.  I'll pass again.

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I don't think he meant 'trolling for bass'  :)

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