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Old 07-12-2012, 12:50 PM
PLombard68 PLombard68 is offline
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Default Another Kayak Question

didn't want to hijack the other thread with my question, so I figured I make another thread.

I've been looking to get into a Kayak. Never tried one and nervous I might tip (not a strong swimmer) but I do like the idea of some of them being very portable. I'm a small guy (5'8" 188lbs) so I'm not worried about anything big and expensive.

I was looking at this model http://www.walmart.com/ip/Dragonfly-...Kayak/10910811 at Walmart. It has a ton of great reviews but I wanted to see what you guys think about it for a first time user like myself.

I'm looking to get into some small local ponds (Tower Hill in Auburn) as well as some lakes, rivers and streams up North. Can't afford much on my budget so that's why I am opting for the Walmart one.

If not this one, what do you guys think someone that can't afford more than $350 can get?
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:52 PM
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If I were you, and on a tight budget, I would pick up a float tube and fins. I've said this before, and I will again - fishing from a Kayak sucks. I've fished Tower Hill several times in a float tube, works great!
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Last edited by Solid; 07-12-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:07 PM
s2ary s2ary is offline
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Com'on they don't suck, they just require a new skill set. And the right kayak.

Skill #1, Similar to deep water wading, you need to become a proficient caster from a low position relative to the water's surface. Sit in the yard and fish for cats a few times a week and you"ll be top notch in a few weeks.

Skill #2 Dexterity and strength. If you are a refined angler that moves into the perfect casting position and takes a few breaths before each cast, the kayak is probably not for you...However, if you are a Ninja style angler that keeps his fly in the water, not the air and enjoys the challenge of casting angles across the body, to the weak side, the strong side etc. then you're in...

Always keep you're paddle in your lap where you can tip it down and adjust your position, even while fishing. That's where your forearm strength will develop quickly. And unless you are leaving the water, never put your rod in a holder or reel your line in. If you're worried about it, tuck the reel under your leg. I've had big fish take a fly while moving and have never lost a rod, if you have the dexterity to cast a fly, you can manage to grab your rod, or at least the 60 feet of line coiled between your legs before the rod goes over.

Now consider the water you want to fish
Estuaries, and shoreline structure on small ponds and coves in lakes up to about 100 acres. There is nary and better platform if you are methodically working the water in small sections.

Larger water bodies, a run a gun bass master style or if you are fishing submerged structure that you need a higher profile to locate, a boat is a better platform.

Rivers, large and small, again, if you are set up with an anchor with a drag chain, it is hard to beat this setup. Rigging is another topic, but I feel that anchor trollies are very limiting and dangerous if you follow the diagrams popularized on the internet. We use nylon eye pads 3 inches above the waterline dead nuts on the bow and stern. A kayak is crazy hydrodynamic, yet people encourage you to anchor from the top deck angled to the current. It is ludicrous. If you use the boat's hull form as designed you can safely anchor in all but a raging torrent. But, if the water is moving faster than 2 feet per second, don't try to paddle up river in a sit on top kayak. YMMV

Lastly, have reasonable expectations. Put in close to where you plan on fishing, don't paddle three miles before you start to cast. And make yourself a cart to roll it around on the upland. Most rivers have paths that are adjacent to them. Fish the stretch you want to and walk back up river to your car. Depending on the location, I like to pick a stretch that is about two miles of walking, river miles are usually more because of the meander. Some stretches are good to walk a mile up river and fish a mile down river past the car, it depends on the water. In slow rivers we kayak up and down the river.

Lastly...no really this time.... If you are fishing with more than a few kids at a time, a kayak is a must. Suddenly they can untangle their own lines, unhook their own fish, get their own lines unsnagged...it's a downright miracle... I'll have as many as a half dozen kids at time no problem. The rule is that they need to stay paired up and within sight of another group at all times. I also drag another kayak with a 7 year old behind me, again no problem. We get a lot of waves and smiles...but you try to fish with a group of kids, you are usually a babysitter. Not in a kayak, they race to the water and don't want to leave when we are done.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:30 PM
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With your budget, I'd look for a second hand boat on craiglist. They usually sell for 1/2 what they would cost new, or less.
Also depending on where you intend to use it, a solo canoe might do as well or better than a kayak. They both use a double blade paddle, but the canoe will generally weigh about half the equivalent kayak. Something to consider if you plan on carrying it in.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:51 PM
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Great post s2ary! Its nice to see comments from a experianced paddler. Kayaks are a blast, and a fantastic way to fish.

This paragraph is a classic! I am going to print this out and post it in my store.


s2ary: Lastly...no really this time.... If you are fishing with more than a few kids at a time, a kayak is a must. Suddenly they can untangle their own lines, unhook their own fish, get their own lines unsnagged...it's a downright miracle... I'll have as many as a half dozen kids at time no problem. The rule is that they need to stay paired up and within sight of another group at all times. I also drag another kayak with a 7 year old behind me, again no problem. We get a lot of waves and smiles...but you try to fish with a group of kids, you are usually a babysitter. Not in a kayak, they race to the water and don't want to leave when we are done.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Skill #1, Similar to deep water wading, you need to become a proficient caster from a low position relative to the water's surface. Sit in the yard and fish for cats a few times a week and you"ll be top notch in a few weeks.
Usually, if you're wading so deep that you have difficulty casting, you're doing something wrong. When you're in a kayak, you really don't need to worry about bombing huge distance casts, because you have the ability to paddle up to fish. I would say this is an advantage of a kayak or canoe - stealth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Skill #2 Dexterity and strength. If you are a refined angler that moves into the perfect casting position and takes a few breaths before each cast, the kayak is probably not for you...However, if you are a Ninja style angler that keeps his fly in the water, not the air and enjoys the challenge of casting angles across the body, to the weak side, the strong side etc. then you're in...
Casting like this while wading is one thing, but doing this while seated in a kayak (hopefully a stable one) just doesn't work that well. It is not hard to make the cast, but very difficult to control the fly (trying to strip a streamer with the cast behind you, for example).

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Always keep you're paddle in your lap where you can tip it down and adjust your position, even while fishing. That's where your forearm strength will develop quickly. And unless you are leaving the water, never put your rod in a holder or reel your line in. If you're worried about it, tuck the reel under your leg. I've had big fish take a fly while moving and have never lost a rod, if you have the dexterity to cast a fly, you can manage to grab your rod, or at least the 60 feet of line coiled between your legs before the rod goes over.
This is just terrible advice, and a good way to lose your paddle. You really should have a paddle leash, or an emergency paddle in case it gets away from you. Unfortunately, the paddle (and paddle leash) in your lap gets all tangled up in your fly line, which is a huge pain. I would also recommend a leash for your rod - can you imagine dropping that over the side of your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Now consider the water you want to fish
Estuaries, and shoreline structure on small ponds and coves in lakes up to about 100 acres. There is nary and better platform if you are methodically working the water in small sections.
Small ponds are made for float tubes man. The only negative thing about float tubes is your might get your legs a little wet. In the summer, it's refreshing. If it's cold out, wear your waders. A small lake or estuary would be good for kayaks, as long as there is no current (from tides) or wind. If there is, you need an anchor, which is a huge pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Larger water bodies, a run a gun bass master style or if you are fishing submerged structure that you need a higher profile to locate, a boat is a better platform.
Actually, I think I would rather fish the shoreline of a large lake via kayak. Get a lake map, and find a shoreline, or structure spot that you want to target. On a large body of water, if it's windy, you can just drift and blind cast for a while before you run into something. On smaller water bodies, you end up on shore too fast, and have to adjust your position constantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Rivers, large and small, again, if you are set up with an anchor with a drag chain, it is hard to beat this setup. Rigging is another topic, but I feel that anchor trollies are very limiting and dangerous if you follow the diagrams popularized on the internet. We use nylon eye pads 3 inches above the waterline dead nuts on the bow and stern. A kayak is crazy hydrodynamic, yet people encourage you to anchor from the top deck angled to the current. It is ludicrous. If you use the boat's hull form as designed you can safely anchor in all but a raging torrent. But, if the water is moving faster than 2 feet per second, don't try to paddle up river in a sit on top kayak. YMMV
I can't comment on this, because I've only taken my kayak into the river a couple times, and it was the Merrimack at summer flow rates (low). It was pretty easy to just drift downriver and fish the bank for Smallmouth. I can tell you that anchoring a kayak in a river with any kind of current sounds like a good way to die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Lastly, have reasonable expectations. Put in close to where you plan on fishing, don't paddle three miles before you start to cast. And make yourself a cart to roll it around on the upland. Most rivers have paths that are adjacent to them. Fish the stretch you want to and walk back up river to your car. Depending on the location, I like to pick a stretch that is about two miles of walking, river miles are usually more because of the meander. Some stretches are good to walk a mile up river and fish a mile down river past the car, it depends on the water. In slow rivers we kayak up and down the river.
I agree with this part - you definitely don't want to paddle your kayak any distance.. it sucks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s2ary View Post
Lastly...no really this time.... If you are fishing with more than a few kids at a time, a kayak is a must. Suddenly they can untangle their own lines, unhook their own fish, get their own lines unsnagged...it's a downright miracle... I'll have as many as a half dozen kids at time no problem. The rule is that they need to stay paired up and within sight of another group at all times. I also drag another kayak with a 7 year old behind me, again no problem. We get a lot of waves and smiles...but you try to fish with a group of kids, you are usually a babysitter. Not in a kayak, they race to the water and don't want to leave when we are done.
I don't go kayak fishing with kids, so I have no idea if what you're saying is true. All I really get from your post are the necessary ways you need to adjust your normal style of fishing, just to be able to use a kayak as a fishing platform!

I can only speak about the experiences that I've had with a kayak. When I first started fishing, I really wanted to get on the water, but I couldn't afford a boat, so I got an inexpensive float tube. It was great, but I though a kayak would be so much better, but it isn't. I spent $800 on the boat, then had to buy a paddle, paddle leash, PFD, kayak cart, etc. The only thing that I like about it is speed (you can cover water fast) and you do stay relatively dry (sometimes, but not always).

So PLombard68, with your limited budget, I would at the very least take Wet_fly_action's advice and look for something used. He has a very nice square-transom canoe that he built, and I was lucky enough to fish from, so he knows what he's talking about. Another fishing buddy of mine has a Old Town Pack Canoe - 12ft long and weighs 33lbs - he loves this thing, and uses it all the time.

If you are at all interested in a float tube, there were a couple of tubes for sale on this forum that were great deals, and well within your budget. I'm not sure if they sold already, but you should check. Good luck, and let us know how you make out, and I will keep an eye out for you on Tower Hill Pond!
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:03 PM
s2ary s2ary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushbuck View Post
Great post s2ary! Its nice to see comments from a experianced paddler. Kayaks are a blast, and a fantastic way to fish.

This paragraph is a classic! I am going to print this out and post it in my store.


s2ary: Lastly...no really this time.... If you are fishing with more than a few kids at a time, a kayak is a must. Suddenly they can untangle their own lines, unhook their own fish, get their own lines unsnagged...it's a downright miracle... I'll have as many as a half dozen kids at time no problem. The rule is that they need to stay paired up and within sight of another group at all times. I also drag another kayak with a 7 year old behind me, again no problem. We get a lot of waves and smiles...but you try to fish with a group of kids, you are usually a babysitter. Not in a kayak, they race to the water and don't want to leave when we are done.
A truer statement has never been said. We are going out tonight, and they are all fired up because we are going to target pickerel.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:42 PM
s2ary s2ary is offline
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Solid;

Please see Skill #2...The Kayak is probably not for you...

The most interesting thing about your post is you define your limitations for fishing from a kayak (leashes, controlling drift etc.) yet you do not adapt to overcome the condition. You define it as an inherent limiting factor that you can't do anything about. Nonsense...

While we are on the subject of leashes...leashes themselves are dangerous...they do not call them "Yard Sale Noose" for nothing. I've heard way more stories about how "I was tangled in my leash" than "Thank goodness my leash saved my rod" stories. Besides if you are swift enough to drop your line and reach forward to grasp it again while stripping in a streamer, you can manage to grab an 8 foot object before 4 feet of it slips off your lap.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:52 PM
FrogBoy FrogBoy is offline
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Solid-perhaps it was the kayak you were using. Was it a kayak that was made for fishing? if not than that may have been this issue. Its like taking a Ferrari 4 wheeling and then saying the car sucks. It doesnt, its just not made for that. I have been kayaking before most people even knew what one was. I have never owned a padle leash and have never lost a paddle. I also have paddle holders on the gunwales of my boat but 9 times out of ten the paddle sits across my lap, oddly it has never fallen off my lap yet it has fallen out of the holders. I also own a float tube, after i bought a fishing 'yak i never went back to the tube.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:50 PM
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No need to bash other people's opinions or talk down to them.
It's entirely believable to me that some people would enjoy fishing from a kayak and some would enjoy fishing from a float tube or pontoon.
Both would fit the budget and parameters of the original query.
Frogboy, I know a little something about boat design. As Solid mentioned I have built one boat and am starting another. The differences in hull design between a fishing kayak and another type are nowhere near as drastic as a sports car vs. an off road vehicle. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you a kayak....

Also- I have heard Manchester Water Works doesn't want anyone out on Tower Hill in anything inflatable. So you may want to email them directly before making a decision.
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