Yakking It?????????



If there's anyone out there that fishes out of a kayak, I'd love to hear from you... pros and cons. Now that I'm retired, I've seriously been checking into buying an SOT (sit-on-top) model. There's alot of waters I fish where distance from launch areas creates a bit of a dilemma. A little far for rowing a pontoon boat and a kayak seems the way to go! So if you've got some time in one of these boats, it would be great to hear about your experiences!!!! I'm especially interested to hear about the brand and length you're running! Thanks much!!!!! By the way, I put in about three hours Sunday morning at Lincoln Park and released three shakers around 16". It was just the fix I needed after suffering through the winter doldrums...
Flyrodr, my wife and I enjoy kayaking. Sorry, I just don't enjoy fishing from the kayak. From my experience the disadvantages far outweigh any advantage. You however, may enjoy it and find some advantages for your situation. Like any gear choice, a person needs to evaluate how it will be used, how often it will be used, and what your budget is. If portability is an issue take a look at a WaterStrider or WaterMaster kickboat. They can both be rowed very smoothly. They can quickly and easily be set up and taken down. They fit in the trunk or even the interior of a small sedan. Neither of them has the same feel as a kayak to be sure. We enjoy kayaking at varying paces. We enjoy moving across a piece of water quickly as well as slowing down and stopping to look and watch.

Do you plan to fish in the rain or in cold weather? Do you plan to fish where there is wind or rough water? A kayak isn't particularly effective in these situations especially if you have a good fish on. An SOT model is even worse. Holding your position without the oars or paddle is much easier in a pontoon boat or a kickboat. For me a kayak is serene and satisfying but not a good fly fishing platform.

Heck, you're retired flyrodr, treat yourself man! Get a kayak AND something else to fly fish from.


Coast to Coast
A lot of guys out here in New Jersey fish for stripers from kayaks, and do it quite effectively. While I haven't done it, they seem to enjoy it. It seems to be mostly sit-on-tops, and they fish both the back bays as well as launch into the surf. Wilderness Systems seems to be a popular manufacturer, especially their "Tarpon" series. Ocean Kayak "Prowler 13" is also extremely popular.
Another option is a quality inflatable kayak such as AIRE's Lynx model. While pricy, they are much more stable then sit on tops and recreational kayaks. They're also much easier to self-rescue after the inevitable flip, and can stow anywhere, probably even in most overhead luggage compartments. One disadvantage is that your butt will get wet due to the self bailing floor. Kayaks are great for cruising/accessing spots, but not so great for fishing.

A canoe (9'-14') will probably be your best option for a lightweight, efficient craft that is still pleasant to fish out of. Get a crazy creek backrest, a good rod holder, and a long (at least 230cm) touring KAYAK (not canoe) paddle. This setup will give you the most control and comfort, and the canoe can haul a lot of gear and/or family members. With 2 c-clamps and a 2x4, you can make a transom for a trolling motor.. ABS/polyethylene models are indestructible, fiberglass/kevlar models are lightweight, and aluminum boats are fun but very heavy and clunky. Old Town and Mad River make some awesome boats, with Coleman making decent canoes for around $500.

Whatever you pick, good luck and wear a PFD.
Fishing is awesome

Kayaking is awesome

But the two together is not so awesome. The main problem I have encountered is casting. I just can't cast effectively or with any stamina while my legs are splayed out in front of me. It puts tremendous pressure on your lower back and it is just not ergomical to flycast from a kayaking position. I would go with a wide bottom canoe where you can at least stand up in to throw your line.
Yes & just starting.........after much research I bought a SOT WS tarpon160 (wilderness systems 16 footer) see attached pic very happy w/ it. It's somewhat fast & fairly stable & very simply rigged, obviously, the better in-shape you are the more you enjoy it BUT if you are not (in shape, I'm sure it'll help you get there). I've been using mine in Lake WA (mid to the south of mercer island), see pic, the few times I took it out (before it got cold) it was great, specially the 'fish-practicing’ part, using the anchor/sitting sideways (quite comfortably actually) to cast etc etc. I read somewhere that, if you are a fisherman initially focus on the 'yakking-part' & vice versa. Very true.
Prepare yourself for another ‘money-black hole’ :) , there are gadgets galore (which crossrelate quite a bit w/ fishing) & a wealth of info in the net.
If interested, I’ll be happy to list the web-sites &/or send you the info I collected related to this sport.
Yet to try it on the salt but a few members are doing it & I hope soon enough to join them

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
I have an Easyrider Eskimo kayak and it's a great boat and made in Seattle now for over 35 years! I do fish from it, but casting a fly rod is not easy while in the seated position, as tightlines mentioned. One way to resolve this is EasyRider's outrigger pontoon system. It's easy to attach and provides a very stable craft once on, or you can create a catameran with 2 boats. Great for Puget Sound.

Easyrider has a great website at http://www.easyriderkayaks.com/

The owner is name is Peter, and he'd be happy to answer your questions should you wish to know more.

Easyrider also makes a line of traditional canoes and others that look like they'd be great for fly fishing. I want to buy a Scout 13 for lake fishing, but can't justify it at this point. You can fit the canoes with outriggers and sails too!
I've got an SOT and my fat old butt likes it. Yak's stink as fly casting platforms if the water is a bit rough. A lot of guys in Florida stand and cast to Bonefish & Tarpon. They get away with it as if they fall off the waters shallow enough that they can stand up. I usually just troll out of mine for cutts & silvers. Remember that the waters always cold up here so get the right gear to stay warm.
Fly fishing from a kayak just take learning to do it. I have been flyfishing lakes and Puget Sound out of mine for years. When the wind is blowing casting takes a back seat to trolling flies though at times I have anchored up wind from where I want to fish and casted into the area of feeding fish. When the wind is down casting is pretty easy for me now days and most cast do not have to be very far because the fish do not spook with the kayak like they do from many other type of water craft.
By the way because I like portable I use a simple 9'8" wide platform sit in kayak that can be quickly launched and carried a ways if needed. In 5 years of use, I have never rolled it once, though I have taken waves over the sides and even over the front in some real rough water.
You may also want to look up past threads on kayaks. the subject has come up many times before.
SOT yaks today are what belly boats were in the mid 80s. Fishermen laughed at them and said they will never catch on. Yaks back east are huge and are getting more popular here out west. I personally went with Ocean Kayak's "Prowler 15". Their factory/show room is up I5 in Ferndale and I beleive they have loaners which you can take down to the lake and try out.

The best place to research which yak and how to fish out of it is:
There is even a forum for those in the Pacific Northwest.


Hey! Thanks all for the invaluable input. Got lots of information, pros and cons... will be looking to check out a loaner and just do it for a day.
Get yourself a kayak and don't look back!!once you learn all the little tricks(I'm still learning) to casting etc..you will be very happy that you went with a kayak.A note to all the yak fisher-people or would like to be, we are trying to get a group together for a weekend of fishing and fun...date is not set yet but looks like sometime in May at Deception pass park that way both ocean and fresh water fisher's can have fun,let me know what you think...and sorry did not mean to steal this post but wanted just to throw this out....Alan
Heck we should make sure to have the get together when one or another type of Salmon are running though there and not just the resident fish;) .
Hi guys,

My first post here. I'm a long time kayak fisherman having done quite of it in the Bay Area before moving back up to Seattle last year. I followed islandfisherman here from another board where we were organizing some kayak fishing trips. A couple trips were being proposed. One was an April Lake Chelan trip for Macks and the other was a May Deception Pass trip for Lings. Neither are probably fly fisher friendly. That doesn't mean we can't arrange one though. I'm hoping to arrange 1 trip per month through the summer. I'll post details here as they become available if you'd like.

I paddle a Malibu XFactor. In fact, I have 2 of them and can loan one out if someone wants to give it a testdrive, or if someone just wants to try kayak fishing. Other kayaks mentioned here are high on the list fot kayak fishing including the Tarpon 160 and the Ocean Kayak Prowler. The new Cobra Maurader is also getting some good reviews.

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer.



New Member
hi i have a ocean kayak drifter and like to fly fish out of it. casting while sitting down just takes a little practice, a longer rod will help a bit but no more then it does in a float tube. i sold my pontoon boat to buy the yak and have no regrets at all. as for the wind i fish the columbia for smallmouths and it does blow there, make sure you practice wet entries in your yak it will give you confidence for your fishing, last point tether or tie all equipment down if you do not want to lose it when you finally do roll the boat. have fun.