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Thread: Buying my first kayak/need help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Ohio
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    Default Buying my first kayak/need help


    Hey guys,

    Long time bank fisherman who is tired of the walking and being limited to certain spots. Iím in the market for a new kayak! Never owned one nor do I have any experience with them. Iíll be using this kayak on lakes, small lakes around 700 acres as well as very large lakes almost 3,000 acres for fishing. This kayak will be transported by my Toyota Corolla on the roof top and loaded and unloaded by myself.

    I think I like the sit on top kayakís betterÖthey seem more ďfreeĒ when it comes to moving in your seat and accessing the rest of the kayak. Being able to stand and fish out of it is also important to me. I really wanted a pedal kayak but those are quite expensive but preferred. In terms of length I have no clue what to getÖIíd imagine a shorter 10ft kayak would be better for roof top transport and loading and unloading by myself.

    Iíve mainly been looking at Ascend brand kayaks as thatís the majority of what Bass Pro/Cabelas sells. Are these any good? What other kayaks would you recommend? My budget is $1,300 but Iíll only pay that much if it is a pedal kayak. Non pedal kayaks Iíd like to spend no more then $900.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Dayton Tennessee
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    The best piece of advice is try as many kayaks as you can. I fished for years out of a Pelican 11'6" sit in. It was a real workhorse. Bought a sit on top with an elevated seat. Did not care much of it at all. I wouldn't rule out a canoe. I have a 14' Old Town Guide series that I can stand up in and paddle. They make Solo canoes that you paddle from the middle much like a sit on yak.
    The love for fishing is one of the best gifts you can pass along

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Vinemont, Al.
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    Besides what DSJ said, with your budget I would seriously consider a used pedal drive. Many years ago I bought my first Hobie Revo 13 used and I paid about 1300 for it, from the point I took my test drive I was in love with it and used it in lakes, bays and the Atlantic Ocean and loved everything about it. Always test drive if you buy used or new if possible. Good luck and welcome to the Plastic Navy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Aloha Oregon
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    If you have a multi brand dealer close to you I would strongly recommend paying them a visit. Many dealers will allow you to demo the yaks. I used to load my 12' Nucanoe Frontier on top of a 92 Toyota 4x4 truck with a rack. My Titan 12 goes into the bed of the truck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    tn
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    longer and wider usually mean more stable (ie easier to stand). Shorter and especially wider generally means slower to paddle. Sit-ins are usually faster to paddle and lighter in weight, so if loading is an issue don't rule them out. I tend to prefer domestic brands vs overseas/bargain store brands. Just like a bicycle or motorcycle or car....try many out. Maybe even seek out a kayak fishing club event. Often people are willing to allow you to test paddle, also they would have the lead on a used kayaks too. With most people, they will buy 2 or 3 different kayaks before finding out what they like. Which is the reason it is important to try out several.
    Likes Attack123 LIKED above post

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Everybody is different, Personally I like sit in kayaks. Iím 6-2 and weigh 180.
    Some of the big guys 250+ usually go for the wide/ heavy kayaks due to their center of gravity.
    My advice is - Iíd suggest a lighter weight kayak like pelican or old town for your first one. ( unless youíre a XXL )
    If youíve never been in a small craft itís kind of like learning to ride a bicycle.
    At first it seems like youíre going to crash and suddenly itís not a big deal and off you go.
    So start in shallow water to learn the limits of your craft.

    Pedal kayaks and big sit ons are heavy and slow paddling. + usually more expensive.
    I started with a Old town vapor 10ft. ( $400) Caught a lot of fish .
    Only thing I didnít like was , no rudder. It spins badly in wind and current making it a constant battle at times.
    I have a new Wilderness Aspire kayak ( $1000) with a retractable rudder thatís built in.
    I love this thing even tho itís not officially a ď fishing ď kayak.

    Good luck small boats are fun and can get you to fish other people canít reach.



    Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2023
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    Sheridan
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    I've owned a few kayaks and here are my top tips for first time buyers:
    -Budget is the biggest concern for most people. Find your top end range. Don't be afraid to upgrade if you outgrow or it doesn't meet your needs.
    -Water type; flat or moving or both? This is as big as budget.
    -Demo whatever you can. Go to a kayak store if at all possible, they'll work harder to get you fitted properly and you'll be happier with those results than something from box stores.
    -Avoid (most) box store specialty brands.
    -There are two option for kayak fishing: Sit on top or fish from the bank, IMO. Sit-ins are good for recreation but leave a lot to be desired for fishing UNLESS you've got balance issues or are getting up in age or are just budget-limited. If that's the case, get one and upgrade later. My 85 yo uncle still uses his Old Town sit-in.
    -Power? Paddle, pedal or prop? All have their pros and cons. I currently have a trolling motor powered Old Town MK106 for flat water and a Diablo Amigo (incredibly stable hybrid) for moving or small flat water.

    I've owned the following: Perception Tuxedo (only sin-in I've owned and there's a reason for that), Sea Ghost 120 (Hoodoo is making a clone now, both are budget-friendly), Diablo Amigo hybrid (fav for moving water), Bonafide SS127 (it's a battleship, must have fins added which aren't good in current), Jackson Coosa HD (tippy, crazy as that sounds), Diablo Amigo (second one, I really like them), Old Town 106MK (45# thrust trolling motor and my mini bass boat).

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Your style of fishing and where you intend to fish also comes into play. I mainly pull crankbaits or drift with jigs and prefer a sit inside because it is faster, tracks well, and handles wind better. I cover a lot of water and a sit on top required too much effort to paddle. The S.O.T was also heavier to load/unload, especially in rough terrain. I have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 recreational kayak that I rigged up for fishing that suits pretty well, but it lacks storage. My wife bought a 10' Pelican that is difficult to get comfortable in. The seat does not adjust and it is about like a sitting on a jon boat bench seat after a while. She seldom uses it anymore.

    Pedal power is a different deal all together. The center of gravity is higher in a S.O.T., but they are much more stable and tend to have more gear storage options. Since fishing standing up is one of the things you intend to do, I'd definitely explore a pedal drive first. Many kayak stores take trade-ins when customers upgrade their boats, so you may be able to find a good deal on a previously enjoyed model. Definitely let them know what you're looking for, because Spring is often a time to score a good used boat.

    I guarantee you'll enjoy being able to cover more water and find more fish. I hope you find the kayak you're after. I catch more and bigger fish out of my kayak than I used to from my bass boat, because I cover water slower & more thoroughly. I miss being able to bring someone else along with me though.

    Jim
    Likes SuperDave336, MackB, Damion Kidd LIKED above post

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