Yaks

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by jfogliani, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. jfogliani New Member

    Posts: 16
    bothell
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    I am looking at buying a fishing Kayak. I have looked at some on-line, read some reviews, etc. I would appreciate any advice on brands, etc. At this time I Like the Malibu Stealth 12 and Stealth 14 models but they are quite pricey. I just plan on using it for local (Puget Sound) use.

    Also, what gear will I need - clothes, etc.

    Any advice to get started is helpful - thanks -

    John
  2. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,628
    Somewhere on the Coast
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    Check out www.northwestkayakanglers.com. Lots of info and discussion there.

    I might be selling my Tarpon 140, since I don't use it as much as I thought I might when I originally got it. I've had it out only about 6 or 7 times. Its in excellent condition, and set up for fishing, with a few extras. I need to take it out once more before I decide, though. Its solid, but heavy at 78 lbs. That's more weight than I like to wrestle with.

    Have you checked out the Hobie Mirage Drive yaks? They cost about a grand more than paddle yaks due to the Mirage Drive and rudder system necessary for steering them, but those who have them really seem to like 'em.
  3. Chris Bellows aka. topwater

    Posts: 1,508
    The Salt
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    all brands have their pluses and minuses. you might check the classified board at northwestkayakanglers.com - there's often some pretty good deals on kayaks.

    for clothing, i wear my waders and a dry top (i want a drysuit, but they are spendy)... and of course a lifejacket. you'll need a sound device of some sort (whistles work) and a light if you are out before sunrise or after sunset.

    the rod holders built into most of the fishing kayaks are worthless for fly rods. i've made them work with the scotty gimbal mount and the scotty fly rod holder. not perfect but works pretty well. for stripping line, i use a plastic stripping basket set on the deck (basically in my lap).
  4. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    The Sound... hmmmm.... Also, if you are going to be out amongst power boats (PBs), you might want an air horn and a safety flag. They can't hear a whistle over the roar of the motor when they're haulin' ass. Maybe a flare over their heads from a flare gun fired at 'em will get their attention. (Hey, yer honor, I wuz jus defendin' meself from those homicidal PBers"). Keep it locked and loaded and within arm's reach. Flares and a marine radio might be a good thing to have along, anyway. A depth finder is good to have, and one with gps even better, due to the potential of getting socked in by fog. In that case, a radar reflector mounted on your flag pole would be a good thing if there were any PBs in the area, to avoid getting run over. I have nearly been run over in the early morning river fog when paddling on the Willapa River. I wasn't displaying a light. Be safe!
  5. jfogliani New Member

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    bothell
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    Thanks to all for the the replies - I appreciate your insight. Jim, I am interested in the Tarpon 140. Let me know. I also am checking out the site you recommended.
  6. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    One more thing I'll repeat, is that weight/bulk/length can be an issue with handling, transporting, and storing your yak. The relative lightness of a 12' yak over the same 14' model might not be that great, but might be just enough to make the shorter boat a better choice. That is one thing to consider.

    Some people have to lug these things up and down stairs and store them in their apartments! Yikes!

    I was thinking of the Tarpon 160 as well when I bought my 140, but immediately saw that the 160 was too heavy and bulky for me. Now I think the 120 would have been fine and a lot easier to deal with on land. Once I have it in the water, though, my 140 is just fine.
  7. jfogliani New Member

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    bothell
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    Great advice - thanks
  8. Clay Carney Member

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    Vancouver, WA
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    My advice is to really think about the type of fishing you will be doing and what you will need to get that fishing done. Gear, rods, cooler, storage, etc.. Then go try some before you buy and see which one you like best.
  9. jfogliani New Member

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    bothell
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    Have you had a chance to decide what you are going to do with the Tarpon 140?
  10. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Not really. I keep thinking I'm going to take it out along the jetty for some bottom fishing, but something else always comes up. I don't like to see it sittingthere unused, just taking up space in my garage. However, I might start using it again. I haven't had any local paddling buddies to help generate stoke, but that may be changing. Have you taken one for a test paddle yet?
  11. jfogliani New Member

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    bothell
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    No, no testing yet, just research. Where do you recommend that I go to test some kayaks out? Again, thanks for all of your help.
  12. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Most dealers will arrange for a demo, but its easiest at a dealer who is located on the water. Try to find a dealer close to where you live. Nearest to me was in Oly, and they didn't have one available to demo at the time, so I test paddled and bought mine at Alder Creek, on the Columbia River in Portland. Almost as close as the nearest WA dealer, and a nicer drive for me. Actually, my other choice of dealer was in Port Angeles, which is a longer drive from here than is Portland. If I could do it all over again, I'd opt for the Tarpon 120 over the 140 (if I got a WS Tarpon), since its lighter and easier to handle on land. So far, I haven't been going as far in it as I thought I might.
    The weight is due to the higher density polyethylene that Wilderness Systems uses, as well as the substantial thickness (almost half-again as thick as that on my Native Craft Ultimate 12, based on the relative thickness of the cut-outs from the holes I cut in each boat for rod holders/mounts). The Tarpon hull is solid and plenty stiff.

    I'm beginning to think that a good dry suit is a must for paddling/fishing from an SOT yak here in the marine waters of the Pacific Northwest. My good surfing wetsuit is not made for paddling a yak (too much wear on the butt, difficult "no-zip" entry/shucking achieved by sliding/squirming thru the stretchy neck hole, uncomfortably warm in warm sunny weather, chills when wet in a cool stiff breeze). So I wear a spray jacket over my wetsuit when there's a cool breeze, or sometimes have to carefully get off my yak and immerse myself to cool down when I get too hot. I have worn my breathable waders with a belt and splash jacket back in the estuaries in my U-12, but in my mind, that garb won't suffice in the ocean on an SOT.
    I think that once I get a drysuit, it will remove enough of the total "hassle factor" involve so that I'll start going out on my Tarpon more often.
  13. jar8 Member

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    Federal Way WA
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    There's some kayaks on sale at DICK'S in Puyallup,they looked very nice but I can't remember the brand,SOT's with rod holders seat and access hatc for about $500.
  14. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
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    This is a discussion about SOT's correct? has anybody tried a sit-inside ocean boat? I'm curious what it would be like in a 17-foot Current Designs enclosed kayak. I used to do a lot of ocean touring in my boat, out around Barkeley sound in BC, but haven't paddled her in years.
  15. Dustin Bise Active Member

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    Ive done a fair amount of paddling in sea kayaks and I dont think I would want to fight a big king from a standard kayak. SOT ftw when it comes to fishing. You can even stand on them to site fish if its calm. ez to piss without going to shore, and just more comfatable in general. plus there is the whole rolling or wet/exit self rescure issue. self rescue on a SOT is about 10000 percent easier. Flip boat, climb on. done.
  16. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Alex, a lot of kayakers who are primarily into touring, fish from their touring yaks. It can be done safely, if you are aware of the hazards. Dustin's comments are right on, though.
    A lot of yak fishers who like their SOTs for fishing aren't really into touring, unless it involves fishing. Most SOTs are relatively heavy, beamy, stable, and slow. The Hobies with Mirage drive can be kept moving at a good clip, though, in spite of all that.
  17. jfogliani New Member

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    I am only considering SOT's at this time given the advice and reviews I have read. I am looking at a couple of different brands - but of course, no dealers in my immediate area. I will keep looking and doing research for now, but I am definitely interested in getting into a ocean kayak for Puget Sound fly-fishing.