What is it that puts flyfishermen off about using a kayak for a fishing platform?

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
There's a lot of fishing yaks and configurations to choose from out there, and I'm sure we'll see more new offerings. If a kayak is the type of watercraft you want, then you gotta do your research and then determine which one will work out best for your own specific fishing needs.
A guy fishing for Lings and rockfish off an open ocean beach on the OR coast, might want something completely different than someone fishing shallow tide flats for Redfish in some estuary in the Gulf, or even flycasting for trout on a lake or searun cutts in a tidal creek.

Hey Shapp, I'm making my own outriggers for my Tarpon 140, so I can experiment with sailing rigs for it. I'm thinking of turning it into a trimaran, sort of a wannabe Hobie Adventure Island. I'm going to be shaping the pontoons ("amas") out of urethane foam "blanks" I am making from scraps left over from surfboard blanks. Then I'll glass the "amas" and figure out the "akas" (outrigger poles).
I'm cutting the scraps to fit and am gluing 'em together with expanding urethane glue. I have one nearly shaped, made from chunks of stripped down broken boards and shaping room scraps. I have an entire "reject" blank I scored from a shaper friend that I am going to butcher and glue up to make the other one. (That is when and if I have the time to get back to this low-priority project...it is now so buried on the list, that I may never get back to it).
Well, having used pontoon boat with casting platform, fishcat, boats, and kayaks. I have to say every vessel has its niche. I just aquired a Hobie Pro Angler. It is the bomb. Stable enough to stand and cast. Mirage drive to peddle so hands free to cast or battle the fish. Makes good speed to cover a fair amount of water. Plastic hull no worries about grounding or getting to close to pylons or rocks. Yes they do catch fish too. Cheers.


Active Member
One thing that caught my eye today while looking at some pics from the International Fly Fishing Show or whatever its called is this from Diablo Paddlesports...

I see someone already mentioned it but thought the standup capability, trolling motor, additional room and being able to handle a clydesdale was pretty interesting.
Just go buy a used Jon boat off of CL.


Active Member
I just don't like the line handling options in a kayak. They're great for spinning or casting gear but fly line management is just such a pain I lose interest quickly. Two guys in a jon boat is a lot more fun and a lot more effective on the fly to me. If you have to paddle it though, a kayak is a lot more efficient than a jon boat..

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
For me, the advantage of a yak is that I can paddle into the backwaters and up tidal creeks with less effort, and farther upstream, than I can get in ANY other type of human powered watercraft. They do have their drawbacks as fly fishing platforms, but that comes with the territory.
Yaks like the Diablo martyg posted above are great if you don't have to paddle as far as I like to (I love to tour the estuaries for the joy of touring, as well as fishing). It appears to be well designed for fishing. But I think my Ultimate 12, which is a relatively slow hull, is faster and more maneuverable than that. I'd hate to have to try to carry that thing on my shoulder.

My advice is to get the boat that will fit your particular needs better than other choices, whatever they may be.
I changed over to a Native Watercraft Propel two years ago. There was a learning curve involved since I had fished from a float tube for years, but I would not go back to a float tube except for small waters. The Propel allows hands free mobility, forward and backwards, allows you to cover water quickly to rising fish, you can get off the water fast if weather changes(essential at Coldwater Lake). Line management can be a hassle, lots of protrusions in the cockpit. I have wrapped by line around the prop once only, maybe twice around the rudder. Small inconveniences. The major reason why more people don't fish from my type of boat is cost-a twleve foot Propel is over $2000.00. But spread out over 10 years, well worth it to have a car toppable boat that I can fish almost anywhere and in any season. And the comfort can't be beat.
I have been a long-time kayaker before taking up fly fishing. But, like you, Kayaks are what I own, so I've used them as a fly fishing platform, mainly on lakes. You are at water level, and that's a drawback. Anchoring, however, is not too difficult with the line running the length of the boat, as you mentioned. You can even set up in a lake to anchor at both ends to keep the boat still in winds. But, once you do this, you're stationery without extra work to pull anchors and move--not as easy in a yak. Kayaks do have the added benefit of ease of carrying and transportation.
well i love my ok prowler 15. very comfortable and stable, but hard to load and transport. my fav all time go to boat for almost any situation is a clipper scout canoe. i will get the kevlar versison when my glass dies,.hull design works in any water type single or tandem.


Active Member
Because there is one perfect fishing boat and it isn't a yak. it's called a DRIFT-BOAT WITH ELECTRIC AND GAS POWER AND OARS. of coarse just my opinion, but a good one!
Because there is one perfect fishing boat and it isn't a yak. it's called a DRIFT-BOAT WITH ELECTRIC AND GAS POWER AND OARS. of coarse just my opinion, but a good one!
But a drift boat has a displacement hull and not a planing hull. Even a gas engine cannot push it faster than hull speed without a lot of difficulty. Every craft has its limitations.

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
hands free, stand up, stable, electric motors, fast, heated seats, lumbar support, v-berths, easy to paddle, lightweight and silent. are we asking too much of our kayaks?


John or "LC"
Never had a drift boat, and never will. I like them when a guide has to do all the work, including the bloody shuttle. Takes forever. As far as flat water, not for me. I want to be able to get up and move and you're too far above the water for my preferences. If I had my way I'd fish everything from a pontoon but it's not practical on large lakes or the Delta.

The guy I usually drift with has a small SOT kayak; I have a 9' inflatable 'toon. We have it down. We throw his kayak and my deflated toon in my Sequoia at the take out, drive up to the put it, set up and drift down. Fast and efficient. When we're done the kayak and toon goes in his truck , I get dropped off at the put in and we're done. No trailers, no hassle.

He fishes spartan. I fish with all the stuff and electronics. He outfishes most everyone on the river. I can anchor easily, but have a hard time rowing back upstream. He has a hassle anchoring but can jump upstream easily. Mine is a lot easier to control in the riffles and rapids and it's fast. We both admire each other's craft but prefer our own.

I love kayaking. I don't enjoy flyfishing from one. Too many things going on. The pedal stuff isn't for me, although they're handy in lakes. Too heavy and the pedals/paddles are fly line magnets. My sit in fits in my Sequoia too, but I won't fish from it except on a small lake as I don't do a roll well. My canoe was brand new 20 years ago and I've used it twice. Pass on that too.

I have a tube, a toon, and a small boat. Other than the desire for a jet on rare occasion when the rivers get low, and missing my Whaler for the salt during the salmon and crab season, I'm well covered for my needs. I love each craft for what it's intended and don't know how I'd do without any of them. I admire those who make one boat work for many purposes. I'm either too lazy or too boat crazy or too picky to do that.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
You make some good points, LCnSac. A yak is a compromise, like any other boat.. We must find what works for our own needs and preferences.
One of the reasons I am considering a pedal yak like the Mariner or a Hobie is that they are better for trolling in current, especially when there are other boats or physical hazards to deal with once you hook into a good fish.
Two scenarios that I have to deal with are: 1) opposing current and wind when jigging or jetty fishing out in the salt, that doesn't let me keep a nearly vertical angle on my line; and 2) river current creating mayhem by pushing me into following boats, a logjam or brushy bank after hooking up a King in the river.
Pedal power would solve both of those issues (and I could then sell my power boat, which should cover the price of the new yak).
It would also be dandy for salmon fishing my local Area 2-1 and 2-2 fisheries.

Otherwise, I usually have no problem paddling and fishing at the same time.
Learn to paddle your kayak one handed for those times you need to have control of the rod. I have paddled for over and hour with rod in my left hand and paddle in my right. This does not work in heavy current but in heavy current you are not likely to feel the bite any ways on soft taps.
Me I would not trade my kayak for any pontoon. Been fishing from it long before they even sold kayaks for fishing. Still perfer the sit in kayaks over sit on top and have never had issue with not being able to cast far enough from it
I use the kayak for both lake fishing and the salt and have used it on a few rivers. Rarely do I anchor it though I have done so at times but rarely have I felt a need to.
My life partner now has my old kayak and she also loves it though she been really eying the peddle powered kayaks and only the $1400 price has kept her from picking one up.
Still have better luck fishing from the kayak for salmon then my power boats