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Fairtax4me

Bought my first fishing kayak!

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Bought a new Bonafide RS a few weeks ago. 

I stuck it on the pond near my house for a trial paddle run and shake-down. Figured a few things out and then set to getting some gear to get everything set up to handle some sub-50 acre lakes that are nearby enough that I can spend a few hours fishing before or after work and kill all day on easily on a weekend. (or one of those days when I’m “sick” :lol: )

 

Got some of the basics together, paddle holder, net, measuring board, scale, milk crate (got hundreds of them at work), and while perusing amazon for random other things I came across a Lowrance hook 4” sonar for $99, plus a coupon for $10 off. Basic basic unit with a bullet transducer that mounted perfectly in the factory made mounting holes on the bottom of the Bonafide. Had no plans of going for sonar at this point but decided for that price it really couldn’t be beat! And the little thing is awesome! 

 

Anyway, got it out for the “maiden voyage” late last week. I hit the lake where I caught those two big girls a few weeks ago and knew they had moved out of the deep end of the lake but wasn’t sure where exactly. It was a perfectly bluebird, post front day with a light 4-5mph breeze... from the east. A handful of other people out on kayaks and Jon boats fishing near the deep water. I started out just cruising a bit and knew where I wanted to go but didn’t want to just paddle straight there without trying to see what (if anything) other people were catching first, and playing with some of the few settings on the sonar unit.

 

Talked to a few other kayakers and their answer was, nothing doing, at all. They had been on the lake for three hours without a single bite. This lake is known for completely shutting off, and I had a feeling it would be that off anyway because of the weather, and the few days prior. Still with some hope I paddled up lake to where it narrows down and guess what, there’s the bass marks on the sonar! Two schools of them maybe 15-20 fish per school 10 feet down in 15FOW. But I already know if they’re suspending it’s almost impossible to get them to eat. It’s like they just wanna hang out and chat a while. (And Ignore that stupid yellow baitfish that just swam right through the middle of our club meeting) 

 

But I at least know where they are now, and I set to work with a few different lures before settling on chucking a jerkbait right up as close to timber cover as I could get it without getting stuck. Annnnnnnd caught my first bass out of the kayak! A hungry dink that found out how tasty a rapala shadow-rap is! 

That was the only bass. I did also catch a couple bluegill on the same jerkbait. Leaving at dark I talked to a few of the Jon boat anglers in the parking lot and they also caught one dink bass in several hours on the water. 

 

I’ll call the first trip a success! The kayak floats well, tracks well when under way, and it’s more than stable enough for me to stand on, and I have a hard time standing on dry land at times! The sonar unit showed me some great easily identifiable marks of bass and crappie. And I caught some fish!

 

The second trip was yesterday and I got half rained on after catching a couple small bass again on a squarebill. I missed a few fish that blew up on soft plastics as soon as they hit the water. Had the be thrown where they would literally hit the bank or brush under the heaviest brush/cover around underwater logs. Had several blow ups, none of them swam away with a lure. But I know where the bass are now, and it’s just a matter of getting there when they’re in the mood to eat so I can figure out what their feeding schedule is now. Then I can track down and hammer on them bigguns! 

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Sweet looking kayak! That's awesome you already have a sonar unit in it. Time to go get it slimed up!

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Pretty sweet boat!

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Nice looking rig.

 

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I've been eyeing that same kayak. I was looking at the Vibe Sea Ghost last year but the new models are more expensive and don't come with a paddle anymore. Not to mention the quality seems questionable compared to the Bonafide RS or Nucanoe Flint that aren't much more expensive now and American made. But so far I haven't had luck convincing my wife to let me spend that much on one. 

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Nice yak and congrats getting the skunk off it.

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Thanks guys! I spent a LONG time looking at different kayaks before deciding on this one. Really what it came down to was the seat. By far the most comfortable seat I’ve sat in for a kayak in this price range. And you can adjust it a couple ways to suit your liking. It’s kind of in between a basic seat and a fancy seat, but it’s way comfortable and very breathable. Hoping for no sweaty back this summer when paddling around. Usually when I’m fishing I’m standing up. It’s just like getting up off the couch. Half the time I just stand and paddle around like I’m on a SUPboard. 

 

Like me I said I looked for a really long time and kept going back and forth between this and a less expensive kayak. It came down to that I wanted durability, and I wanted to be able to stand up in it. I pretty sure I could drag this thing for miles and not have to worry about any holes. The thing is tough as a brick. I looked at several cheaper kayaks and always felt like if I hit a rock just right they would crack or bust a hole through the hull. I don’t think there’s any way that would happen with this one unless I drop it off a cliff or something. A more expensive kayak I would feel bad about dragging over rocks in a river or gravel or a concrete boat ramp. This one I don’t have to feel too bad about possibly giving it some battle scars, and even then I don’t think it would ever hurt it bad enough to make it not float. 

 

 

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Welcome to the addiction!!

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Awesome, how do you like the RS so far?  My buddy just bought the 127 SS but when I seen that price tag I almost cried, I was looking at the RS myself.  Little closer to my price range compared to the other one he got.

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I’m diggin it so far! I looked at the SS as well and really like that one, but just wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger on that kind of $$. Honestly for what $6-700 less?... This is nearly as much boat, and has a lot of features that most other boats (use the term loosely) in this price range don’t have. 

 

Plus the SS is a fair amount heavier. And the extra length makes it that much more awkward to lift it. The RS is light-weight enough that I can get it off and back on the roof of the Subaru without struggle. It’s not “light” but it’s doable, and that’s what I was looking for. 

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I got out on the same lake twice this week looking for bass and found that they are all up searching for mates, or sitting on beds. The hard part about bed fishing is finding the beds when you only have max 3ft visibility in stained water. I’ve caught a few small males dragging Texas rigged plastics around and fishing near brush or fallen trees, but the bigger females so far are not in the eating mood. Gonna have to give this lake a pass for another week or so. I’m planning to fish some crystal clear mountain water this weekend. 

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On 4/11/2019 at 11:39 PM, Fairtax4me said:

I’m diggin it so far! I looked at the SS as well and really like that one, but just wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger on that kind of $$. Honestly for what $6-700 less?... This is nearly as much boat, and has a lot of features that most other boats (use the term loosely) in this price range don’t have. 

 

Plus the SS is a fair amount heavier. And the extra length makes it that much more awkward to lift it. The RS is light-weight enough that I can get it off and back on the roof of the Subaru without struggle. It’s not “light” but it’s doable, and that’s what I was looking for. 

Awesome!  Thanks for taking the time to tell us what you think of it!  Like you I can't handle the thought of spending almost 2 grand on a kayak, it may be the most comfortable thing ever but still can't justify spending that much on one! 

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Nice yak. Great thing about a kayak is going places you can't even think about in a bass boat. I have on older bass boat and  kayak. End up  spending more time in the kayak than the big boat.

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Very nice. 

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I’ve had a tough time on the kayak the first few trips. Caugh only a few fish and all dinks. Today finally got on a good pattern and decent numbers for a local lake that’s normally pretty tough. 

4 hours on the water and caught 9 and missed at least that many more to either shake-offs or short bites. Caught a couple dink’s as well but most were 1.5 range. Biggest was maybe 2lbs. Had one shake off that was 3.5ish. 

 

Decent fishing, but there was a nasty scum layer on that lake that just coated my poor kayak. Most of it came off but I’m gonna have to do some serious scrubbing to get the rest. My paddle looked like I stuck it in a grease trap. Just gross! 

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Enjoy the kayak fishing journey. :D 

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I bought my first kayak too. I purchased a cheap one just to see if fishing this way were fun. And man it is! My sons want one too. When I upgrade, I’ll give mine to one of them. I caught just one bass my first trip out. But it was fun.

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Congrats on the new boat! Have you ever paddled a 12’+ kayak?How does this boat paddle? Would you say it’s fast or slow? Can you turn the boat on a dime if you’re sitting still? How does it to in the wind? That hull looks tall, like it would catch a lot of wind. Sorry for all the questions, but I am really close to pulling the trigger on one. I really want the 127, but if I can still get what I want out of it, and save $600, then it’s a no brainer. 

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Paddled 12+ ft kayaks, yes. “Fishing” kayaks 12+, no, or at least not for any length of time. I did try out an Atak 140 at a splash and test day that a local company here has every year but time was limited. The other “fishing” kayaks I’ve been in were 10-12 feet. This paddles very well when under way, and it tracks well, and it continues to coast straight, or at least mostly straight if you stop paddling.

I wouldn’t call it fast. Average is about right, but it’s definitly better than some of the cheaper kayaks I’ve been in. I haven’t checked speed with a GPS or anything but I’d guess at an easy pace I do 3-4mph. Usually I’m paddling fairly easy and making a point to not splash around too much so I’m going a bit slower, but really don’t have to put too much effort into it to move at a decent pace. I was paddling directly into a steady 15mph wind with gusts into the 20s the last time out, and that certainly slowed it down but I was still more than able to move forward. 

Turn on a dime, depends what you mean by that. Yes it can turn a complete circle in place. It doesn’t turn like a white water kayak or a sit-in river kayak. But it does turn better than a 16ft canoe. 

 

Wind will always be your frienemy no matter which kayak you get. Sitting down and paddling or fishing it balances well and tracks relatively well in wind. I’ll say it handles how I expected it to for being a relatively tall boat. It does have a tendency to be nose heavy when I’m standing up (weight shifts slightly forward), so if the wind is behind me it will push the back end around. I already knew to expect that, as boat balance makes a huge difference in how it handles wind. The back is also where the highest point of the boat, seat, rods, net, gear crate, etc., are so it naturally catches the most wind. I don’t have a ton of gear with me yet, and I expect that adding a few pounds to the rear would make some difference. I don’t have an anchor system right now because I wanted to see how it handles wind before drilling holes for a trolley system or possibly dropping the $$ on an anchor wizard.

 

I would say if you weigh more than 200lbs, and you primarily plan to stand up when fishing, you probably will want a longer boat. 

 

Heres a pic of the scum line the lake left on it the other day so you can have some idea of how it sits in the water. I’m 170lbs, have maybe 25lbs worth of tackle, drinks, other gear primarily under or behind the seat. The sonar and battery might weigh 5lbs altogether. 

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Nice review.  By the looks of that scum line, looks like you're perfectly balanced and low profile on the water.  Now you just gotta get some fish slime all over the deck.

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Nice! Welcome to the kayak fishing club!

 

I bought my fishing kayak having never even been in a kayak before. Site unseen, no seat time, no idea of if I'd even enjoy the experience at all. Went with the Slayer 10 Propel and couldn't be happier. It was pricey, but I was looking at boats before I went with the kayak so the price point was 1/10th of the boats I was looking at.

 

Enjoy the yak!

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@Fairtax4me thanks a lot for that post! Great info. I went and checked them out in person. I think I am gonna go with the 127. Bumped into a friend of mine at the paddle shop and he has a 127. He sold me on it lol. 

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I don’t blame you one bit. I had looked at the SS series and really liked it but wasn’t ready to plunk down that much on a yak at this time, and I figured a slightly smaller kayak would suit me better for where I want to fish. I don’t think you can go wrong with any Bonafide. 

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On 4/13/2019 at 2:38 PM, kjfishman said:

End up  spending more time in the kayak than the big boat.

I really enjoy kayak fishing myself. It's a different experience than being in a boat for sure. It's a cool experience that I think many would enjoy if they gave it a try. 

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