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Hello All,

 

I am wanting to purchase my first kayak for bass fishing some small ponds and lakes around Memphis, TN. What should I get? I have a budget up to about $600 bucks. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank You

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Seat comfort is critical. An uncomfortable kayak doesn’t get used.

 

Weight is important. A too heavy kayak doesn’t get used.

 

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Welcome aboard, Blaine!

 

This is a frequently discussed topic on the forums.

You might do a search as there is a ton of info there.

 

That said, $600, I'd look for a used kayak, or a demo

model from Native Watercraft, Wilderness Systems, 

Feelfree, etc. Hit up Craigslist in your area.

 

I'd also look for a Sit On Top which has an open body

as opposed to being closed in. Some here use sit in

models.

 

When considering your $600, are you including the $

you need for a PFD and a paddle? There's another 

$200 give or take on quality there. Whichever you

choose, don't skimp on a PFD. Your life is at stake.

And a cheap paddle is often heavy. Which means you

will get tired quicker...Been there myself.

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Over your budget, but could be a great deal:

https://shoals.craigslist.org/boa/d/kayak/6511341895.html

 

Also over, but paddle, crate and roof rack might make this a good deal:

https://jonesboro.craigslist.org/boa/d/fishing-kayak/6517294742.html

 

A little over, but better than retail....I'd consider making an offer:

https://jacksontn.craigslist.org/boa/d/kayak/6506799117.html

 

 

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Thanks, I saw those kayaks and sent emails and text and never got replies back.

 

Hey guys,

Any thoughts on the Ascend 10' and 12' models at bass pro

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Looks to be a sit-in?

 

You'll find the debate somewhat polarized.  I think, though, that it is probably 70-30 sit-on to sit-in.  I'm making that stat up...but could be close.  I much prefer the sit-on, but I've only ridden one sit-in.  Otherwise looks to be ok starter fishing yak.

Never mind...I see now that there is also an Ascend S.O.T.  I've never seen one in person -- pics look ok - kind of a tank, perhaps --- won't win any races, but that's not your goal -- probably fairly stable

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I have done sit in and on top,  I think every kayak has its pros, and cons.  however if its for fishing then it should be set up for fishing. That don't matter in my eyes if you buy one and set it up or if its already set up when you buy it, however, Having places for your gear in my opinion is critical.  you will want a rod holder(s),  some sort of dry storage and a cargo area for a cooler or tackle. I agree with above as well as for seats.  also look at the design and fit it to your preference.  Some kayaks are faster than others meaning less work to move.  Others may be slow but they hold more,  or maybe corner better.  I would certainly say not to buy the first one you see, and maybe find some rentals/ borrow from a friend. That may give you something to compare too before buying.

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I have both a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Sit night top and an Old Town Trip 10(I think it’s called) sit in. You can tell which one I use more... Benefits to both, sit in you can probably use is tougher climates and use a skirt...might detract from fishing movement/organization though. Sit on top you have access to everything gear wise with more access to storage. Both of those yaks have served me well for different reasons. Big thing mentioned your budget so I got the Old Town for $400 used with paddle, 3 spinning rods and a bunch of lures. Tarpon 100 I bought new about $700, plus use a Bending ranches Angler classic paddle(highly recommend) but not cheap. I love my Tarpon because I’ve been able to attach a fish finder, rod holders etc to he built in rail system. Old town also has two rod holders built in. Like I said I use the Tarpon more and prefer it, but budget wise the Old Town is tough to beat. Gives you some room for a quality paddle, PFD or more rods,reels, lures. 😀

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Like the first reply said get one with a comfortable seat. Find a local kayak shop and try to demo as many types as possible. Every kayak has pros and cons. Kayak dealers often take trade-ins so hit them up about their used inventory some good deals to be had out there. Don't settle for one just because of price, if the cons outweigh the pros of that yak then you won't use it much.

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Hate to be redundant here, but the seat was one of the biggest considerations when I was researching my yak. 

 

The "gravity seat" in my Feelfree is perfect for me, but I recommend that you try before you buy anything. Unless you have a hardened steel spine, and posterior to match a full day in an uncomfortable seat will imho suck every bit of joy out of your day. 

 

Best of luck in your search.

LM

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My initial kayak was a Perception Pescador 12.0.  It wasn't the 'Pro' model, (the Pro model having a much nicer, more comfortable seat) and I got it new, but highly discounted when Sports Authority went out of business.  I love it, it's very sturdy and stable.  I've since handed it down to my 19 year old son.  My one complaint about the non pro model was the seat.  As has been said a couple times, the seat is crucial to enjoying the experience.  The seat on the Pescador Pro is MUCH nicer, and I would think that you could probably find a used Pescador Pro 12.0 for at or near your budget, possibly even below.  Chances are, anyone selling a used kayak, would probably include the paddle.  As to the PFD?  make sure that if they are including that as well, that it actually fits you.  A PFD that doesn't fit is almost worthless.  

 

Have fun with this! 

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For a $600.00 price point, I would look at the Future Beach/ Field and Stream kayaks at Dick's/ Field and Stream, a Heritage at Academy or one of the Accend kayaks at BPS. I've owned a Field and Stream Angler 144 before, good kayak. Sold it to a friend that still has it. My wife and I each have Accend kayaks and love them. Hers is a 10', mine is the 128t. Both good kayaks although mine is a bit heavy, but super stable.  Another close friend has a Heritage and loves it.

 

Do try out the seats. As mentioned above, it's important!

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Walmart has the Lifetime Tamarak for $220.  Lots of youtube videos of people modding it to be a decent fishing kayak.

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On 3/6/2018 at 1:39 PM, Blaine McGraw said:

Thanks, I saw those kayaks and sent emails and text and never got replies back.

 

Hey guys,

Any thoughts on the Ascend 10' and 12' models at bass pro

I have and love my Ascend 10, it's the older model though, I think they updated them. I am in the minority as far as sit-in vs sit-on but I like being a little more enclosed. It helps keep you drier on those days when whitecaps are splashing into the side, or it's 30 degrees out and you had the brilliant idea to take the kayak out. Keeps you a little more protected. It is also pretty light, especially compared to many of the larger fishing sit-on tops. That being said I have HEAVILY modified mine. The only things left would be a fish finder and micro pole....but at that point I would have almost double into the kayak as the kayak costs, so I would definitely upgrade before doing that. 

 

The 1 nice thing about the Ascend you might not get with other minimally priced kayaks (but should look for no matter what your price range is) is it has a very nice seat. I frequently stay out all day (sun rise to sun set) and stay comfortable. Beyond that it is very minimal. I believe they changed the layout behind the seat with the newer models but mine has an indent for a bucket or crate (like you can see in the pic), as well as two flush rod holders and a scotty mount in front. But those are the only "features" it really has. The "waterproof" pocket is a complete joke btw, I wouldn't trust it. I carry two dry bags behind my seat. One for excess fishing stuff (clamshell packaged soft plastics, large worms etc) and a small one with some emergency supplies (first aid, phone charger, batteries, headlamp, emergency food). 

 

One of the nice things about a sit on top is you have almost 100% accessibility to the underside of any surface, so mounting things and customizing is super easy. 

 

No matter what you go with, comfort is your main goal. Obviously it has to be equipped enough to accommodate your gear and fishing style, but it doesn't matter how nice it is if you are feeling sore after 2 hours. Whether that's because your arms are sore from paddling, your butt is sore from sitting, or you chaffed because your life jacket didn't fit right. 

 

Other than the seat, make sure you get a nice life jacket, and at least a decent paddle. I wore a cheap water skiing life jacket and used an old heavy aluminum paddle for years and years. And you know what, the life jacket stayed behind my seat, and I never paddled more than a mile from the ramp because even in this 55lb kayak (call it 250lbs with me and gear in it) it was hard to get around on the water with that paddle. The best investment I made was getting a nicer paddle (aquabound manta ray hybrid) so that I wouldn't get fatigued paddling. And the most recent one, and something I should have done a looooong time ago, was get a nice life jacket. Try them on at a store, and see which fit best. I don't even really notice mine is on now that I found one that works for me (stolquist EBB). A comfortable life jacket is one you will actually wear.

 

Here's my setup:

 

 

 

28342298_803217589863682_727275186_o.jpg

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In my opinion look for a sit-on-top yak with a comfortable seat, an anchor trolley and a couple rod holders. Pedal drive is a huge plus but the price goes way up - if you want cheaper, a paddle (not pedal) yak is fine as long as you have the anchor trolley.

 

In your $600 budget remember to figure into that your anchor trolley (and anchor) and accessories such as paddle and most important a personal floatation device (PFD).

 

Safety first, always, no exceptions. #PFD

 

 

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@Blaine McGraw:  Just a little add-on info regarding what @NickMWC said.  I purchased a Trip 10 three years ago. It is a sit-in and with a few mods it has been a great little rig. I chose it because I had a list of requirements. It had to be light-weight so I could easily handle it, no longer than 10’6” so I could store it, and affordable ($500.00) excluding paddle and PFD.  The roomy cockpit made access easy, another factor since I was old (hold the patent on dust). And it does keep me dry when the yahoos in their pontoon boats and 250-horse bass boats come blasting by!!!

 

BUT, I will be 70 this year and although I work out, I am not sure I will want to climb in and out of a sit-in much longer.  I am considering very seriously moving to a sit-on kayak.  I was perusing the Dick’s website and noticed a Pelican “The Catch 100” for about $700.00. I wandered in to take a look at it and it might be just the thing.  Decent seat with two heights, 34-inch beam, and 10-foot length. I wish I could afford some of the models mentioned above, but my wallet and my wife ganged up on me. Dick’s always seems to have a big kayak sale so you may get it for less. You might want to check out the Pelican.

 

Anyway, if you click on my avatar you can see a pic of my modified Trip 10 to see what I did with a sit-in.  Might give you some ideas if you go that route.  

 

I guess I’m not making any recommendations but maybe giving you a few thoughts as you consider your options.  Good luck!

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I have a F&S Eagle Talon. Been happy with it once I put a seat in it. I have an inflatable life jacket, very comfortable.  You will modify it, whatever you get.

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Might check out the Vibe Skipjack 90

 

It fits your budget and aside from the seat it's great. The seat is your pretty run-of-the-mill seat, and I put a memory foam cushion under mine to give it a little more lift and comfort. 

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10 hours ago, GrumpyOlPhartte said:

@Blaine McGraw:  Just a little add-on info regarding what @NickMWC said.  I purchased a Trip 10 three years ago. It is a sit-in and with a few mods it has been a great little rig. I chose it because I had a list of requirements. It had to be light-weight so I could easily handle it, no longer than 10’6” so I could store it, and affordable ($500.00) excluding paddle and PFD.  The roomy cockpit made access easy, another factor since I was old (hold the patent on dust). And it does keep me dry when the yahoos in their pontoon boats and 250-horse bass boats come blasting by!!!

 

BUT, I will be 70 this year and although I work out, I am not sure I will want to climb in and out of a sit-in much longer.  I am considering very seriously moving to a sit-on kayak.  I was perusing the Dick’s website and noticed a Pelican “The Catch 100” for about $700.00. I wandered in to take a look at it and it might be just the thing.  Decent seat with two heights, 34-inch beam, and 10-foot length. I wish I could afford some of the models mentioned above, but my wallet and my wife ganged up on me. Dick’s always seems to have a big kayak sale so you may get it for less. You might want to check out the Pelican.

 

Anyway, if you click on my avatar you can see a pic of my modified Trip 10 to see what I did with a sit-in.  Might give you some ideas if you go that route.  

 

I guess I’m not making any recommendations but maybe giving you a few thoughts as you consider your options.  Good luck!

I have The Catch 120 and I think it's a great kayak for the price.  I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Catch 100.  I would recommend waiting for a sale if you have the patience.  I was able to get my Catch 120 for $599 during a Father's Day sale.

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Well Guys,

 

I ended up going with the Pelican catch 100... I installed an anchor trolley and will be looking to install more rod holders on the back. It looks to be really stable with the tunnel hull but I haven't had a chance to put it in the water. Seat seams pretty comfortable just sitting in the garage. I bought the Magellan deluxe cart and I cant get it to fit on the kayak due to the hull shape. Any ideas? Looking to see if there are any modifications that I can make.

 

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44 minutes ago, Blaine McGraw said:

Well Guys,

 

I ended up going with the Pelican catch 100... I installed an anchor trolley and will be looking to install more rod holders on the back. It looks to be really stable with the tunnel hull but I haven't had a chance to put it in the water. Seat seams pretty comfortable just sitting in the garage. I bought the Magellan deluxe cart and I cant get it to fit on the kayak due to the hull shape. Any ideas? Looking to see if there are any modifications that I can make.

 

 

Congrats on the new purchase, I think you'll love it.  I think people have used the C-Tug cart with it just fine and there are some others that work.  I recommend joining the Pelican Catch 120 group on Facebook.  You'll find all the info you need there for what works with the Catch series of kayaks.

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Congrats. 

 

I use TMS carts from Amazon with no problem on our kayaks, and they are shaped similar to the Magellan....so, I'm not sure I can picture where the issue lies.  Too much keel at the stern?  What about placing on the cart closer to the middle?  If that doesn't work, maybe some sort of packing foam can be shaped to set between the yak and cart.  As an aside, don't throw out packing foam -- it has lots of great uses for yakkers....whether softer Pelican Case type....or hard foam like in a box for shipping a laptop, etc.....it comes in handy for lots of stuff - blocking and bracing and padding, etc.

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On 3/6/2018 at 1:39 PM, Blaine McGraw said:

Thanks, I saw those kayaks and sent emails and text and never got replies back.

 

Hey guys,

Any thoughts on the Ascend 10' and 12' models at bass pro

I have a 2016 Ascend 12T. Love it! I grabbed a leftover in the fall of 2016 for $480 from a local BPS (local meaning 100 miles away!) It's very stable, and it fishes well! You WILL NOT find a better "sit on top" fishing kayak in that price range!

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