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snake95

Ideal new fishing kayak setup - $3-5k complete

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Guys I've saved my pennies and looking to buy a new fishing kayak.  

 

What have you bought and been happy with in the last 2 years or so?

 

Features I think I want:

- pedal drive

- stand-up capability

- trailer

 

I will fish in all kinds of waters with it; I live in North Georgia and think the primary place I will use it is small impoundments and creek arms of our larger reservoirs.

If I had to pick, I'd fish everything from small ponds to coastal waters, but in reality I'll tend to fish the smaller places.  Not sure if an electric motor mount is important or not.

 

I plan to tow it for weekend trips to some of the bigger, better-known lakes.  But in reality: 90% of the time I will be fishing small impoundments within about 10-50 miles of my home.

 

Please let me know:

- features you found out you are glad you have or wish you had

- size of boat that has worked for you: pros and cons

- where/when to go to get a "good" deal for something in this range

 

I've seen nice looking boats by large and well-known suppliers like Old Town, Perception, and Hobie, but know there are lots of options out there.

- what boats in this range have you been happy with?

- do you need to spend $4k on a Hobie to have the right boat for the job, or can you get away with a boat half that price?

 

I will want a dedicated trailer and I'm willing to pay for it.  I know I will never find the time to make a "do-it-yourself" version.  I need everything to be as simple and ready to roll as possible, I'm willing and able to trade money for simplicity and time.

 

I think I have a decent budget for this, and I'm just starting to look at options.  

 

Where am I being delusional here?

 

Thanks guys

 

Snake

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Go find a store that specializes in kayaks that will let you try them out so you can find the one you are most comfortable in. There are more brands making excellent products than the ones you listed. Don't forget to check out Jackson, Wilderness systems and Native

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Hobies are going to be considered the best by most and they better be for the price they charge. Old Town makes some really good pedal kayaks. The Native Titan looks like a great pedal kayak that’s stable. 

 

I went with the NuCanoe Frontier 12 because stability, open deck and versatility were important to me and I don’t think any other kayak can offer what they do. I added a pedal drive to mine and I love that I can remove it when I don’t want to use it. I can easily had a second seat to it and make it a tandem when I want as well. Very affordable too. 

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I'm very happy with my Wilderness Systems Radar 115 that has pedal drive capability.  I don't have it, but I've heard of some problems with the durability of the drive. Also a lot of people that I know upgraded the peddles.  

 

Me, I don't believe in spending that kind of money and having to upgrade something right away on it.  

 

But as a fishing kayak, the Radar is fantastic.  Stable, smooth, quick.  I can stand on it with no issue. 

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Snake, I agree with the comments to get seat-time in them if you can.

 

That said, "best" kayak is entirely subjective. Many are sponsored, and 

even those of us that are not -- all have bias. Just look at Shimano vs.

Daiwa threads :D .

 

So I'd suggest you check out YouTube (where a lot of guys are sponsored)

and see what their time is like in the boats.

 

In your $3-5K price range:

Hobie Pro Anglers (More YouTube vids than you can count)

Native Titans (Greg Blanchard vids on YouTube, among others)

Old Town Predator PDL, MK

Feel Free Dorado, Lure w/ Overdrive

Wild. Systems ATAK / Helix systems

ETC....

 

As for a trailer, I'd seriously look at Harbor Freight! I bought a truck bed

extender for under $50 while "name brand" sell 'em for $100+ .... There are

YouTube videos on using HF trailers for kayak hauling. Below is one there for

$350.

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lbs-capacity-48-in-x-96-in-heavy-duty-folding-trailer-62648.html

 

Edit: Thought I'd throw an addendum, food-for-thought option to consider:

 

Electric motorized kayak. This is how I went, though even to this day I think

about what I'd get next. Whether it'd be a "regular" kayak and motorize it or

a pedal-style sans motor. When I weigh pros/cons (for me) I keep returning

to motorized. Not for everyone, but quite fun.

 

Going this route will free you even more (IMO) from having to pedal with your

feet and steer with your hand. I simply use my hand to control fw/rev and my

feet steer. BassYaks is one option, or you can DIY it like I did.

 

Caveat: Depending on your state's rules, you will probably need to register it.

I did in VA. Not expensive for a motorized kayak. Don't know the $ off top of

head, but it's quite doable.

 

 

Edited by Darren.
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As Scott says above try to find a store where you'll be able to try out different brands

 

i have a predator pedal.  I love it.  I got it at the annual boat show in Boston for $2400 and it included a healix 5 fishfinder.   I only have experience with hobie and olde town  and the hobie was about $300 more and it didn't include the fishfinder

 

Pro for me: reverse, just pedal backwards.  I think the hobie you need to reverse the pedals.   i find the predator more comfortable.  Seat seems too low for me in the hobie (I could probably upgrade seat but that would probably add another $100).  

 

con:   Predator is heavier but I have a pick up truck and the extra 20lbs is not an issue for me.

 

Good luck!!

 

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After studying for months I bought a Hobie Compass.  But today was my first day on it, so not much experience to offer.  The other final contender was  Jackson Coosa FD, but I cartop,  so lighter Hobie won out.  I really like how the Jackson FD pops up when you hit something and the way the prop pulls up flush to the hull easily.   The Hobie fins worked well in the shallows today, but it will take a bit of getting used to.  I got the 180 drive and switching between forward and reverse is very easy, but as mentioned above,  you do have to switch back and forth with a pull-cable.

If I had a trailer in mind, I probably would have gotten the Jackson.

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Ive had a slayer 10 propel for a few years now. what i like about it is how easily i can car top it. I have a friend with a old town predator and its weighs so much more that id seriously struggle getting it on top of my car. it has the pedal drive so i love that but the only thing i wish it had that the newer hobies are the rudder controls. hobie has them on both sides and mine is only on the left hand side. if youre using a right  handed retrieve bait caster you will have problems changing directions while in mid cast with the rod and reel in your left hand.

 

im sure you can get a second hand slayer 10 for under $1500. that would seem like  a good deal.

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There are several hobie Facebook pages and many yaks for sale on most of them.  Tons of Jones out there selling to get the latest and greatest.  I roll in a 17 pa12 and the 14 seems for sale everywhere.  Hobie kayak things for sale is just one of the groups I am in.  Florida seems to have the mother load if your down for a road trip.

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Hobie Pro Angler is as close to complete as I've found, with quality, attention to detail and great stability.

 

What isn't included "out of the box":

- trailer (maybe a shop could fit one for you. I'm not aware of many (or any) yak/trailer packages)

- anchor trolley (though it comes prepped for one)

- fish finder (though it comes prepped for Lowrance)

- wheels/dolly... this yak is heavy. Third party solutions available. But if you trailer it, you probably don't need the wheels. I haul mine in the truck bed so it's good to have wheels to get it to and from the water.

 

Quote

Please let me know:
- features you found out you are glad you have or wish you had

 

Plus: I find Hobie seating position with fin (Mirage) drive more comfortable than propeller pedal drives. The prop drives (at least on Native) leave me lower in the seat with elevated legs, more like a recumbent bicycle position - it's hard on my butt and lower back. Hobie Mirage drive lets me sit more upright, legs lower, I can do 8 hour days.

 

Minus: Wish I had instant reverse of the prop drive. With Hobie you pull a cable to go between fwd/rev. Not bad but not as convenient.

 

Plus: Hobie Vantage seat is fantastic. Highly adjustable and comfortable.

 

Minus: Cost.

 

Quote

- size of boat that has worked for you: pros and cons

12 ft is a sweet spot for me. I run a PA12. I tried a Native 14' for several weeks and found the turning radius to be rather large, at least for pond/lake. I much prefer tighter turns of the 12. If you do much on open or rougher water, longer might be better. All depends on where you yak the most.

 

No regrets here on the PA12. I use it in ponds, lakes and inshore salt water. The pedal drive is good for typically 4 mph +/- your abilities. PM me if you want to yak about it (pun intended) in detail.

 

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I bought the Old Town Predator PDL and love it. I fish big water like Lake Barkley and some smaller lakes. Here’s why it better than a Hobie for me. The instant reverse is mandatory for me. In the wind and current I’m able to stay on spot or fight fish without having to pull a cord and turn the drive. Once you’re out fishing in the wind you’ll see what I’m talking about. 

 

I’m sure other peddle drives are good too but this is all I can speak on. I did look at the Jackson because the drive kicks up if you hit something. If I’m in stumps or shallow water I simply unlock the drive from the floor on the PDL so it can raise too. 

 

I bought a jet ski trailer and modified it slightly. You can pick one up for a few hundred and have it ready with little to no work. 

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The PAs are still likely the best but also the most expensive.

 

The Old Town Predators are "muscular" looking, fast and accelerate out of the hole better than most . . . but all of us tend to move around when we fish at around 2 to 3 MPH, so . . .

 

The Native Titan 10.5 is likely the best bargain at around $2400. It is very stable and you could be "all in" for the various contraptions we invariably put on our kayaks for $3,000 or so with a little luck. It'd be the easiest to slide into the back of a truck without the need for a bed extender. No truck, then time to consider a trailer!

 

I "second" the opinion regarding the Propel 10, one of the very best kayaks for fishing, super stable while seated and more. Don't let its length fool you. It'll pack a ton of gear. But, it is only $100 less than the Titan 10.5 so not as big a bargain.

 

These are the kayaks I'd consider as top candidates.

 

Brad

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