Newbie to Forum wondering...Any Flyfishers with an opinion? (haha)

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by CastIronTrout, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    Okay, I'm going to ask and before I do, I know I'll regret it. I'll regret it because I anticipate too much good information which will in turn cost me entirely too much money.

    That said, here's the dilema: I currently own two Pontoon boats, two float tubes and an aluminum boat that's 12'. My question is (finally...god, get to the point, :beathead:) Would it be to my advantage to sell off some of the other toys and add a Kayak to the arsenal? And before you roll your frickin eyes, :rolleyes: I know its probably been asked here before, but technology changes and todays angling/fishing yak's are far superior to one's just a few years ago (untrained opinion:confused:). I want fresh ideas/opinions/facts.

    Tell me the advantages the "Yak" has over other water craft or, why you don't think it does. What's your favorite model (and don't be shy)? I'd like to say regardless of price, but it does matter. Sit on or sit in? Ten foot, twelve foot?

    I can tell you, I've already done a little homework and sniffed out a few features I like, but I'm just not certain if I need to spend the extra cash on a Kayak or stay with what I've got. :confused: Let me hear from you and thanks in advance for your time, expertise and of course, opinions :ray1:

    One last thing and I don't mean to sound ungrateful or like a dick (apologies if your parents named you Richard). :clown: I want facts and opinions from those of you who have used one, the other or both. I can research all day long online and don't need you to do that and then lead me to some manufactures opinion of why they are the best (they all do). That said, any helpful links are also appreciated as well as pics of what you've got, how you're set up, all the cool features, etc. You guys (and gals) are the greatest!!:cool:
     
  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    First, you need to give us more info. You request sounds kinda vague to me.
    For what kind of fishing water are you planning on using it? Rivers? Ocean?
    For example, when I got my WS Tarpon 140 (SOT), it was because I wanted to fish for bottomfish along the jetties here in my area. Its OK for paddling distances in the Sound, too. Its only "so-so" at best as a fly fishing platform. It is seaworthy for the ocean and any big water, but sucks in the smaller rivers and tidal creeks.
    You do realize that, no matter how many boats you have, you will always think that you want yet another boat. Whether its to fill that overlooked niche in your fleet, or go the other way and combine usages into one boat so as to downsize the fleet, you will always feel the nagging desire for a boat that you imagine will suit your needs better than the one(s) you have now. Don't ask me how I know this.
     
  3. MrJohn

    MrJohn Member

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  4. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Jim. I primarily fly fish lakes, small streams and rivers. I know with a ten footer (probably), definitely with a twelve to fourteen, I've already eliminated small streams as I don't want to launch a vessel, just to destroy it. What I like about my pontoons and float tubes is the ability to let go of the paddles and kick as I really like to troll. That said, kicking all day sort of sucks, but it still beats the crap out of not being on the water at all.

    So, the only way I can see trolling with a kayak is with a trolling motor and that's where I'm thinking maybe staying with a pontoon is a better idea. I can paddle, kick or use a trolling motor. and while that all sounds good, driving home from out of town tonight, I passed over the East fork of the Lewis. Guys put drift boats through there all the time and seeing it tonight, all I could picture was running it in a kayak until it meets the Columbia and then I could even paddle back up to the launch area as the current isn't all that strong in the stretch (about five miles) that I want to do. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. :hmmm:
     
  5. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    Don't get me wrong, but after I paid to import it and added the upgrades, I could probably buy my own lake..
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Search for posts by Jim Wallace. You will find him informative, funny and a kayak fisherman.
     
  7. fly-by

    fly-by Active Member

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    Have you looked at these?
    http://www.hobiecat.com/kayaks/mirage/pro-angler/
    I recently sold my Hobie Adventure Island which is the 16 footer with outriggers and the mirage drive. This model would be too big and heavy for the use you described, but the pro angler may be a good fit. The mirage drive looks like a gimmick - until you try it. Great to have your hands free while moving and you can do hull speed all day without much effort compared to paddling. The stainless arms inside the drive are pretty tough, but you do need to be careful about hitting things. You can also take the drive out and just use it like a regular kayak in shallow water, though it is much heavier than most SOT kayaks.
     
  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    That Pro-Angler is a heavy beast. You'll probably have to get a trailer for it.
    Even my Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 is heavy for a 14'er. I have added a compass and rod-holder bases and a few other small things to my hull, and it weighs 78 lbs. That doesn't sound that heavy, but its bulky to carry. Loading/unloading isn't too bad, but transporting to the water requires the use of a dolly for going any distance over a few yards. (I'll be 61 in a few weeks).
    I like my Native Watercraft Ultimate 12. I like it for many reasons (fits my needs). Hull weigh only 48 lbs*, with seat removed. *Mine weighs about 50# due to my anchor trolley and rod-holder bases. Thats about as heavy a hull as i can manage on my shoulders down a certain 10" skinny 150 yd single-track footpath thru the marsh grass to the mudflat. I'm seriously considering ordering the Tegris (high tech material) version of the Ultimate 12, since that hull only weighs 30 lbs and is virtually bulletproof. Very pricey, though. But, at only 30 lbs, I could pack that thing some distance!
    In light or moderate current, I can paddle my Ultimate 12 upstream easily, since the pop-down skeg keeps the boat oriented into the current. Retract the skeg to "up" position for going back downstream.
    I troll all the time in my U-12...lakes rivers, estuaries. I only use my rod-holders when trolling for salmon. I just let my fly rod lay across one of my thighs, pointing out back. I have my rubber mesh boat net propped up between my feet over a small cooler, and the rod handle and reel are inside its hoop. It can't be yanked out of the boat like that, and I can grab it quickly to set the hook, if the fish hasn't already done so itself.
    The U-12 drifts nicely at 90 degrees to the wind direction in lakes when the skeg is up (boat won't start tracking then). If the wind isn't strong, it drifts very slowly this way, slow enough to troll without a drift sock. I have a drift sock that I attach to my anchor trolley line, if the wind is stronger and I want to drift/troll.
     
  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Thanks, Ed. I'm only "funny" because I studied statistics in school. I couldn't deliver a decent punch line to save my life. Fortunately, only 20% of laughter is from jokes.
     
  10. Frank R

    Frank R Member

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    You may consider the new Diablo hybrid kayak/stand up paddleboard: http://www.diablopaddlesports.com/

    I you do a search for "Diablo Adios kayak review" you will several great reveiws for this new craft.

    I was leaning toward a Native Ultimate 14 or a Fish Hawk but now I think it will be one of the Diablo's. More stable for standing.
     
  11. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Frank R, Those Diablos look pretty sweet if you think you want to mainly stand and paddle. Or put in somewhere where you can just float downstream to another pullout, or not have to go very far to the fishing. But at 36" and 37" wide, depending on the model, those are just too wide for efficient paddling long distances over flat water and wind chop while sitting. That wouldn't be a problem if you didn't have to go far, or were floating a river, slough, or fishing a smaller lake.
    Myself, I can't stand and paddle all day, and I often go for all day paddles and cover several miles over a day of paddling and fishing. I prefer to be sitting while paddling a few miles to some distant fishing spot. I don't think I could do it in one of those really wide boats. My Ultimate 12 is 30" wide, and that is pretty wide already. Its wide enough to be stable for standing and casting, in calmer water. It paddles very nicely for a 30" wide boat.
    Some guys over on NWKA are liking the Jackson Coosa SOT. I've never seen one or paddled one.
    I've heard that the Ultimate 14 isn't quite as maneuverable as the U-12 (duh...its 2 feet longer), and it doesn't have the pop-down skeg, which I really like (better than a rudder) and use to my advantage every time I go for a paddle. Its also heavier. But it paddles a bit faster and can hold more gear, and can be converted to a tandem.

    Remember this: Do not underestimate hull weight and the ease/difficulty of getting your yak to the water as factors which will weigh on your mind every time you plan a trip. If transporting/handling the yak to and fro gets to be a hassle, due to the awkward bulkiness of the beast, then you won't use it as often as you originally thought you might, but do something easier, instead. Just don't ask me how I know this.

    Because the Tegris version of the U-12 hull weighs a considerable 18 pounds less than the poly hull that I have, I am seriously considering going into hock and spending the $2400 to get one. That's how important lightness is for a car-top-able, carry-to-launch boat. I think anything over 60 pounds will become way too heavy for most folk once the novelty wears off. Then you may even feel some "buyers remorse." Even 50 lbs is plenty heavy for an old scarecrow like me. I can carry my U-12 on one shoulder using one hand to hold it there, but two hands are better. SOT yaks can't be carried on ones shoulder like my U-12, which is really a low-profile hybrid canoe. SOTs are really bulky and awkward to lug around without a cart. My U-12 at 50 lbs is 20 times easier (at least) to deal with than my 78 lb Tarpon 140. The Tarpon is a heavy beast to handle. I am not overstating my concern with this weight/bulk issue. Believe me.

    My poly U-12 is perfectly good for paddling and fishing, but now I "see the light" about going light.
    All this is just my opinion, and I'm an over-the-hill skinny old man, turning 61 in a few weeks. You young studs as strong as bulls may feel differently about weight/bulkiness issues.
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    You'll find lots of good info over on the NWKA site. That's northwestkayakanglers.com.
    Here's an example of a recent thread discussing the Hobie Outback with Mirage Drive:
    http://www.northwestkayakanglers.com/index.php/topic,6563.0.html

    Word of caution for Mac users (I have an iMac): The NWKA site seems a bit buggy. They must hammer you with " tracking cookies" and/or other evil concoctions, I suspect. Dang "Admins!" I always reset Safari and clear cookies after going there. Probably because there so much hype and money involved in the fishing kayak industry.
     
  13. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    Clearly Jim, in achieving your self proclaimed title as “an over-the-hill skinny old man” you’ve obtained some kayaking knowledge. As I rooted through several of your posts, I feel like I’ve potentially saved myself a great deal of time and frustration from what you’ve written and I‘ve read so far (thank you in advance). Let me ask you, is your Ultimate 12 the paddle only model or did you opt for the Native Watercraft
    "Propel” system?

    In the past seventy (72) two hours and since your initial reply to my post, I’ve decided I definitely need to add a kayak to my fleet. In the same duration of time, I picked up and have read Cory “Ruthless” Routh’s Complete Guide to Kayak Fishing. Unfortunately (depending on your outlook), I still feel like I would like to be able to troll and don’t see being able to do that with out a system such as Native Watercraft’s Propel system or the Hobie Mirage Drive system. What’s your take or opinion? Is it a great disadvantage to not be able to troll? As mentioned previously, all information is gratefully appreciated.
     
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I have no problem trolling while paddling. My U-12 is just the original "paddle only" version. Fine with me. For example, a prop would just tangle up the eel grass around its shaft and become useless in a matter of minutes, using the route I take over the shallow mudflats when paddling back into the Elk River estuary.
    I know this because I watched a yakker with a prop drive try to peddle back there. He didn't get far, and needed a tow back to the launch. He did this another time, after he tried installing a sharp blade next to the prop shaft in an attempt to cut the eel grass. He actually tried that! Back to the drawing board!
    A Mirage drive might not get so tangled, but a prop wraps the eel grass around the shaft lickity split. I paddle right over/through eel grass beds in 6" of water at times, to avoid a longer route through the main channel. And when I'm going downstream and I see a weir log or submerged log coming up that has about 2" or 3" of water flowing over it, I just make sure my skeg is retracted and blast right over it. I don't have to hassle pulling up a drive or worrying about it. I like to keep things simple. But in places where shallows and eel grass aren't problems, a Propel or Mirage drive might be the way to go.
    Of course, I never attempt to troll over or through eel grass beds...won't get far. I usually only troll in the river channels when heading in to where I like to anchor and cast, or when returning downstream. If its shallow, I use my floating line and a long leader. If its deeper and not snag-riddled, my clear intermediate keeps the fly a bit deeper. Trolling ain't rocket science.
    Back in protected areas out of the wind, I often stand and paddle, so that I can see underwater structure better. I have an anchor system that lets me quickly drop anchor and trolley the connection point to either end of my boat. I've gotten good at using this to position myself for casting. My system works for me.
    I would not be able to stand and operate a Propel or Mirage drive at the same time.
    So I have no problem trolling, using one of several techniques, depending on the gear and species. Trolling for Kings in a local river, I have my salmon rod leashed and in a pole holder, and I watch the tip of my rod to gage the vibration which indicates how fast my spinner blade is turning over. Its hard to paddle that slowly. I keep hoping for that big yank which will spin me around, and hope that I can grab my rod in time and set the hook!
    Trolling a fly is easy. Refer to the post above where I described how I have my flyrod pointing out the back, reel and handle inside my net hoop.I have a pic of that setup somewhere. I'll see if I can find it. Most often, the local cutts hit hard and hook themselves. If I miss 'em, at least I know that a fish is there, and I can go back and cast for it or troll over it again if I want.
    Trout in lakes are sometimes a bit more tentative, but I just set down my paddle, pick up the rod and strip a little, waiting for them to come back. Some of those lake 'Bows really slam it, but my net hoop always seems to catch my reel. Drifting sideways in light wind requires no paddle. I like to anchor up and cast in lakes, though, or sometimes even drift and cast (if there's little or no wind), hoping to sneak up on those risers. I troll between locations.
     
  15. Clay Carney

    Clay Carney Member

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    I bought a 9 ft pontoon boat to fish rivers and lakes, the only problem was that I never took it out on a river. I tried it on the lakes and it worked good but it was slow paddling to a new spot. I added a trolling motor. It moved me really fast but I had a hard time keeping it going straight, I was running in circles so I sold it. I bought a Native Watercraft, Manta Ray 12. I was able to go out and fish lakes really good. It's the only SOT I've owned so it's hard to tell how stable it is compared to others. I couldn't stand up and fish and fly fishing from a seated position is tricky. Then I saw the Stand N' Fish system. www.standnfish.com This guy down in Florida built this pontoon system so you can stand a fish out of your kayak. I absolutely love it. High quality and the customer service that Rick (The owner I think) gives is great. It's a little pricey compared to other pontoon systems but it's awesome. Back to my boat. I sometimes would like a longer boat so I have a little more room. I looked at the Ultimate and really liked it, still do, and I would probably get one if I was looking for another boat. I bought the Manta Ray because I like the storage area and it was on sale. I can put another rod and reel, clothes, snacks, etc.. in the hull area and they are completely out of the way. I've only fished lakes and I don't plan on fishing any rivers if they have any white water and I want to get wet.
     
  16. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    Okay, I know you're all dying to know and even if you're not, I'm going to tell you because I'm stoked. I ended up passing on the Hobie (for now) and went with an Ocean Kayak Trident 11 Angler for my first Yak. I really wanted the Hobie so I can troll on still water or stay in the same general place on moving water, but after some advice from the forum (thank you Mr Wallace :ray1: ) and further research, I decided to try the Ocean Kayak Trident and then if I feel I'm really missing out, the Hobie will become my second Kayak.

    So now, who wants to post some pics of their setup on the Trident? I could even use some pictures of the hauling and storing part of it as well and thanks in advance.
     
  17. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    If I were to go out and purchase a new SOT for near-shore ocean and jetty fishing here, I wouldn't get the heavier 14 footer I now own, but a lighter 11' or 12' yak, like you got. I am not paddling as far to fish in that boat as I thought I might, so a shorter, lighter, more responsive, and easier-to-handle yak would be better for me. I had guessed that the 14' would be a better length for paddling greater distances, but it turns out that I'm not really going that far.
    I do feel a bit more secure in a 14' yak when fishing outside the jetty entrance, with all those sea lions (including a big Stellar, last time I was out) swimming around the tip of the jetty. Depth drops off from 25'-35' feet over the sunken jetty out there to 50' -60' and that makes me nervous, as its a perfect set up for a Great White to come in from deeper water and hunt the sea lions there. 16' 9" beast hauled from near that spot back in 1969, I think it was.

    By the way, the conditions are great today and tomorrow for a low tide go-out, to fish the incoming thru the high. Wind is lighter and from the SW... swell is small enough... perfect for yak fishing off the Jetty.
     
  18. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    I don't actually get to even see it for another couple of weeks. The same day I bought it, the guy was leaving on a business/R&R trip and won't return until after the 16th. Then, I need to drive the F-350 up to Seattle to get it. That give's me two weeks to figure out how I'm going to get it back down here to Vancouver. :confused: Harbor Freight has a ladder rack for contractors which is adjustable in width and would accomodate the Trident (and probably any other one made). Between six feet of bed and about six feet of cab, it should ride okay, but I'm thinking I should try to pad it between the kayak and the unsupported six feet over the cab so I can somehow strap it down in front. If I buy the ladder rack, I'll tie the kayak in at least two places on the back half. Suggestions oh wise one? :ray1:
     
  19. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Dang! Figuring out transport a yak isn't that much of a brain teaser. You might as well get some racks that will work for you. I prefer to use my canoe trailer, but I often throw it onto my Yakima racks.
    Your padding the front above the cab sounds good for now. Strap it down firmly to each rack. Don't strap it too tightly in hot weather, since poly boats are subject to "oil canning" when strapped too tightly when its getting hotter out. Be sure to have some sort of line tied from the front end of the truck to the bow. I clip a line on my bow grab-handle, in the middle of the line, and run each end over my hood and down under to my towing hooks. This will keep the bow from moving side-to side while driving. Maybe some kind of attachment in the stern or to the racks, to keep the yak in the racks if you have a head-on or have to hit the brakes too hard. Have fun!
     
  20. CastIronTrout

    CastIronTrout New Member

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    Good idea Jim on securing the front end (to avoid fishtailing), but then you're always full of good ideas and related wisdom. Here's a link to the ladder rack I mentioned. Its presently $99 and then there's a 20% off coupon so less than $90 with tax. What do you think of this idea for a single Kayak over the cab of my truck? Seems better than having it in the bed and hanging out five feet. I also don't have a trailer yet, but will probably end up with one around the same time as the second Kayak. Open to any ideas as far as the ladder rack idea goes and thanks again....Dave

    This ladder rack fits most pickup trucks, and measures 53" high.

    ■Load arms adjust from 19" to 34" high and 1-1/2" to 1-3/4" wide
    ■1-1/2" square main tubes with rust-resistant black enamel finish
    ■Also use for long, lightweight construction materials and surfboards
    ■Polyester straps with hook-and-loop closure to attach and stabilize loads
    Extendable legs: 53" H x 1-3/4" W x 2" L
    Overall dimensions: 22-1/4" L x 4" W x 54-3/4" H
    Shipping Weight: 48.50 lbs.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/250-lb-truck-ladder-rack-66187.html
     

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