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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been back in WA for a few years now and have come to realize I need some type of watercraft to fish a lot of the water I would like to. I am not looking to purchase anything significant (a true fishing boat as an example). Instead, I am looking for something flexible and easily portable that I can fish a wide variety of water with (salt, lakes, rivers). With this in mind, I have landed on a fishing kayak as the best options. So, I have two questions.

  1. Is a Kayak my best option? I have considered a pontoon as well but feel that is not a viable option for the salt.
  2. Any recommendations on a solid fly-fishing kayak. Based on the research I have done, I am leaning towards the Old Town Predator MX.
I appreciate peoples thoughts and recommendations!
 

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One person raft like a freestone, watermaster or assault? I have a fishing SOT, Ride 135, nice platform and versatile. Much heavier than one of the inflatable solo rafts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One person raft like a freestone, watermaster or assault? I have a fishing SOT, Ride 135, nice platform and versatile. Much heavier than one of the inflatable solo rafts.
Yeah, from a portability perspective a kayak is still not ideal (cannot really pack it in anywhere). I figured a trolley will help in some cases though. I love the idea of a raft, especially for rivers. Does not seem logical for the salt however.

I looked at the ride 135...and a couple of other Wilderness Systems boats. I thought the Predator might be slightly more versatile and the deck is less busy, which according to reviews is nice for fly-fisherman because there is less of a chance for line to get hung up. Any issues with that in the boat you have?
 

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No issues. I keep the line in my lap or between my legs. Seems to work just fine.
 

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Inflatables are used in the salt all the time. I've used mine occasionally. Less because I have other options.
 

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Veðrfölnir
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We have two of the Canadian watermaster Kodiak knockoffs. Even though it's a knockoff, they are manufactured from the same plant though.

Current exchange rate makes them a bit more affordable than the Kodiak. About 50%of the cost . Two of them cost 2100$
 

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Smells like low tide.
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A friend of mine just picked up a used Eddyline Caribbean 14 SOT. Made out of thermoformed plastic, it weighs only 50 lbs. That's considerably light than most 14' SOT fishing yaks. The 12' Caribbean weighs even less, at 40lbs. You might have to add some of the features you'd want, like rod holder mounts, etc.
For a sit-inside fishing yak, Wilderness Systems makes the Pungo in 12' and 14'lengths. They make a 12' "ultralight" version of the Pungo that's a bit lighter than the polyethylene one.
Yaks are limited when it comes to fishing faster flowing rivers. For such rivers, you can hardly beat oars and rowing against the current for slowing yourself down to avoid obstacles and getting swept into logjams.
For flat water and slow rivers, especially tidewater, I like a kayak.
 

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I ended up with a Native Watercraft kayak from AKC. I got the 14.5' convertible so that I can go solo or with the girlfriend. Lightweight, comfortable, and adaptable for all kinds of gear with slide rail mounts and rod holders. Also stable enough to stand up in and fly fish
 

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I ended up with a Native Watercraft kayak from AKC. I got the 14.5' convertible so that I can go solo or with the girlfriend. Lightweight, comfortable, and adaptable for all kinds of gear with slide rail mounts and rod holders. Also stable enough to stand up in and fly fish
I like my Native Ultimate 12, but mines the original 2006 or '07 solo version (dealer had it in inventory for more than a year when I bought it on sale in the Spring of 2008), with no slide rail mounts. Hull without the seat in weighs only 50lbs, and its easy to car-top on my Forester.

I can stand in it and flycast, but there are other more stable yaks available now. These Native "Ultimates" are still an option, though. The 14.5' convertible mentioned above paddles faster and holds more gear.

Nucanoe's models are real stable, but a little heavier.
The Santa Cruz Raptor is a unique design (single bow morphing to catamaran stern) that is stable for standing and casting.
Most of the wider ones (over 30"beam) are more stable.
Hobie makes some big wide fishing yaks.
There's enough of 'em on the market now to make yer head spin.
 

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Check out the Santa Cruz Kayaks "Raptor" SOT. It has a unique one-wheel beach cart that slips over the bow, and you use the rear pontoons for handles...works just like a wheelbarrow. I might try to make such a cart, and some strap-on handles for the stern of my U-12, to use on a skinny trail that is not friendly to 2-wheeled carts.
 

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Face it. You'll need at least two watercraft, each for different environs. I never liked rowing a drift boat on the slow water of lower rivers, into the wind blowing upstream. I don't like going too fast down a faster section of river in a kayak and bypassing a fishy looking spot, because one has to pull over asap and paddle, hike or wade back upstream, if possible, in order to fish it.
So you'll need either raft or a pontoon for the moving water and smaller lakes, and a kayak for covering longer distances on flat water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate all the info. I will look into all these suggestions. JW, I agree I will probably need multiple craft to get everything done I would like too. I am a river wade fisherman by trade so to speak (been doing it since I was a kid) but living here, I have absolutely seen how useful some type of watercraft will be. I have also been looking at some of the motorized kayaks. Predator Min Kota as an example. Tempting...but then I am spending 3k on a Kayak. Debating it though....
 
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Same issue, same questions, surprising the same general answers. Gets even more interesting when you start trying to work in friends.
 

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Just to throw 2 cents into this thread. The natives are great boats, I had a 14.5 and it worked well, my only issue was hull slap. I use 16' Tarpon 160i which is a fast boat but is probably too long and heavy for your environment . I think the others are right an inflatable might be easier to deal with. One idea I've toyed with is a solo canoe. They are pretty light (20 - 30) and are pretty stable and depending on layup quite rugged. Only issue I see is cost, they are not cheap, but like everything deals come up.


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Donny, you're out of your element...
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Native ultimate 12 here, like Jim Wallace's, slow to paddle, steady to stand in, reasonably light weight. This opened many, many puget sound and tidal river spots to me. Also have the LLbean double manatee which is a pretty comfortable ride, paddles faster than the NU12 and you can definitely stand in it, if just one person. Pretty good in a wind with too, though if just one on board you got to get in the sweet spot center of gravity other wise you get blown around. This is a good one if you have little kids or a SO who wants to come along. Whatever you get know that a SOT you need to lash down your gear and a sit inside is dangerous in winds and swell. Made a dolly out of a 3.5 foot stretch of fir, bolted some old lawnmower wheels on both ends, put on some U bolts and with a couple of bungees can get either Yak, fully loaded, from vehicle to launch without much difficulty. The other thing I got for the NU12 was a SUP paddle and will stand and paddle that thing all around. I can't say enough about having the ability to stand in the yak, it definitely means your back doesn't limit the excursion. That and standing and paddling is fun.
 

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Or you can luck out like I did. I was looking for a SOT kayak to replace my sit in I had sold. Up popped an Outcast Power Drifter. Never heard of it, but liked the look of it and price was right.

I can row it like a pontoon. I can stand up and fish in it, and have. I can pull off oar towers and row like a kayak (i picked up a kayak paddle for it). Then you can unzip the back area and use anchor system and put a trolling motor on it.

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I'll add I'll reverse frame so I can also just step down and fish with boat around me and still stand up and fish.
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