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redmeansdistortion

School me on kayaks. Looking to buy one in the future.

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I've been slowly getting interested in kayak fishing the last couple of years, but I have no idea where to start.  I'd like to buy used and something that I can fit on the roof of my car (Ford Fiesta ST).  I'd prefer pedal driven, but have no issue with oar driven if the price is right.  I'd use the kayak on smaller inland lakes and the canals that dot Lake St Clair.  What would be a good size to go with?  Another feature I'd like is something I can stand up and fish, but that's not a necessity.  What does everybody here think?

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A little more detail needed.

 

What's your height? Are you a big fella? How about price range?

 

Reason I ask size questions, for some a 10' yak is a great size,

others may need something 12-14' with greater buoyancy, etc.

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I'm 6' and 190lb if that helps.  My weight usually fluctuates between 180 and 200, usually on the heavier in the colder months.

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1 minute ago, redmeansdistortion said:

I'm 6' and 190lb if that helps.  My weight usually fluctuates between 180 and 200, usually on the heavier in the colder months.

How about price range? You can go from $300 to thousands.

 

Peddle yaks start around $1500.

 

FWIW, I use a trolling motor on mine steer-controlled by my feet.

Makes fishing SO much easier in windy conditions, and in general.

 

Reverse is something I make massive use of, so if I were in the market

for a peddle yak, I'd have to have reverse. That means something 

with a drive system like Native's Propel, or Hobie's 180 drive.

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I'd like to go up to about $1000.  I did see a nice pedal kayak on Craigslist a few months back for $800 and almost bit, but I decided not to because of winter.  What kind of trolling motor do you use?  I even thought about getting something like a Predator 212 from Harbor Freight and adding a bracket and prop shaft so I can motor back and forth to my holes, but that would make it a pain hauling it on the roof of the car.

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I use a MinnKota C2 30, modeled similarly to how BassYaks

does their kits. Some pix below, and it's since been modded

some more.

 

There are now a TON of YouTube vids on DIY trolling motor

on kayaks. I did mine before a lot of these folks did. There 

are some inventive mods out there.

 

As for car topping these, you just take the motor off and 

top it. I've done it with my Native U12, though I mostly use

a truck.

 

Craigslist is a great place to find used peddle yaks.

 

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4 hours ago, redmeansdistortion said:

I'm 6' and 190lb if that helps.  My weight usually fluctuates between 180 and 200, usually on the heavier in the colder months.

 

I'm pretty much the same size as you. 

 

I know it's out of your price range, so it's more of a size thing. I fish comfortably all day out of a Slayer 10 Propel.

 

Find something with a comfortable seat if you plan on being out for extended periods of time.

 

PS. Winter is the best time to get a good deal on a used kayak.

 

As I typed this I can see a Fiesta across the way. It's pretty short looking to me. Maybe a 12ft kayak max? 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, kenmitch said:

 

I'm pretty much the same size as you. 

 

I know it's out of your price range, so it's more of a size thing. I fish comfortably all day out of a Slayer 10 Propel.

 

Find something with a comfortable seat if you plan on being out for extended periods of time.

 

PS. Winter is the best time to get a good deal on a used kayak.

 

As I typed this I can see a Fiesta across the way. It's pretty short looking to me. Maybe a 12ft kayak max? 

 

 

A 12ft would be fine.  I'm not fishing any rougher waters and will be mostly in smaller inland lakes and the canals along Lake St Clair.  I'm kind of thinking I might get two, because the wife is gonna ask 'where's mine?" lol

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2 hours ago, redmeansdistortion said:

A 12ft would be fine.  I'm not fishing any rougher waters and will be mostly in smaller inland lakes and the canals along Lake St Clair.  I'm kind of thinking I might get two, because the wife is gonna ask 'where's mine?" lol

They do make some dual passenger peddle drive yaks. Not sure on length or cost.

 

Wouldn't be right if you made the missus paddle.

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If you're not in a big hurry you could wait until May 25th for the KBF Trail Series tourney on St. Clair.  You'd have a great opportunity to see a wide variety of kayaks in use, ask a lot of people their opinions on them and possibly even demo some.

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On 3/4/2019 at 6:38 PM, kenmitch said:

They do make some dual passenger peddle drive yaks. Not sure on length or cost.

 

Wouldn't be right if you made the missus paddle.

I couldn't disagree more.  Not unusual that a boat isn't big enough for my wife and I to both fish out of.  Can not even begin to imagine what it would be like with both us us casting while seated three feet from each other.  Having separate yaks allows my wife to pick up and go fishing while I'm at work, if she wants.  When we go together, we often take separate cars so that if she wants to leave after 5 or 6 hours, I can stay out. 

Nothing about a double yak sounds the least bit appealing to me.....but, I'm sure some couples make it work without ending up in divorce...or paddling a two seater alone.

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1. I'd google up a store or two with a good selection and go look at them, preferably a place that specializes in paddle sports/equipment and not some big box store. Doing so will prevent buyers remorse when you invariably see or read about another kayak with some features that appeal to you but you didn't know existed when you made your initial purchase decision. I went to a paddle store recently and was amazed at the neat features or unique way some of these manufacturers build these kayaks - things that didn't occur to me but I was envious when I saw it.

 

2. Some kayaks and/or manufacturers look designed by hard-core fishermen. Where others might build an equally  good kayak but it is for all kinds of paddle activities and might lack some fishing features. If you go to a paddle sports store I think the difference will become obvious to you if you are a hardcore fisherman and might help guide your purchase. See these different boats might give you some ideas that you can buy cheaper boat XYZ that is still a good kayak and then add aftermarket parts to achieve the same fishing platform but at a lower cost.

 

3. Think of this as your first kayak. Get a good quality one that can last but don't tick away the spring and summer trying to make the most optimal purchasing decision. There will always be better designed kayaks next year or 3 years and you may feel better dumping more money into a better kayak if your enthusiasm for kayak fishing holds up. Your first kayak should be able to fetch a decent price used if you give it just a tiny bit of care. 

 

4. Still go head and treat yourself and get you what you find. Be a spendthrift on bills and other things that you have to pay to get by in life but recognize what brings you joy and drop the money on it.

 

 

I bought my first kayak back in 2008? A good, solid fishermans kayak - Wilderness Systems Ride 135. At the time it was popular for being stable to stand in to fish, and stable in general for venturing out into open water. They still offer it today but the modern version has quite a few cool upgrades. The kayak accessory industry exploded the past decade so the new kayaks come with a lot of cool features that my bare-bones one did not. I stopped using my kayak after a few years as I was doing more boat fishing, but cabin fever this year and access to some new smaller waters made me pull out the old Ride 135. I was getting ready to retrofit a number of cool accessories to it when I decided to simply purchase a new kayak that came with all that stuff, and the new kayak also had a far improved seat to help my weak back endure more time on the water.

 

So I bought a Pelican Catch 100 which had all the desired features including less weight and 3.5' shorter which should make it more maneuverable on my smaller waters and easier to transport. I've used the Catch 100 a couple times and really do like it...but...I can't quite put my finger on it but lets just say I have a new appreciation for many qualities of my original Ride 135. I guess I am admitting to myself I didn't shop around like I suggested in #2 above and just bought this Catch 100 after seeing it somewhere and it occurred to me it pushed a lot of buttons for me.  But then after buying it I stopped into a paddle sports store and saw some slightly more expensive but serious fishing kayaks and started wondering if maybe the sweet spot for me is a 12'....

 

But whatever, I'm still happy and can fish in the small one when it suits me and the bigger one when it suits me. And I can sell either or both at any time and go get the next 'the one' when I find it.

 

Sorry for the rambling....hope it helps.

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2 hours ago, Choporoz said:

I couldn't disagree more.  Not unusual that a boat isn't big enough for my wife and I to both fish out of.  Can not even begin to imagine what it would be like with both us us casting while seated three feet from each other.  Having separate yaks allows my wife to pick up and go fishing while I'm at work, if she wants.  When we go together, we often take separate cars so that if she wants to leave after 5 or 6 hours, I can stay out. 

Nothing about a double yak sounds the least bit appealing to me.....but, I'm sure some couples make it work without ending up in divorce...or paddling a two seater alone.

 

As I read that I envisioned Al Bundy for some reason....No offense intended.

 

I can relate with the points you made.

 

 

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