How to Choose a Kayak for Fishing
One of the fastest-growing kayak activity in the market today is kayak fishing. This alone has made kayaks to be so popular in recent times from freshwater kayaks to salty water kayaks. But, what makes kayaks so popular as compared to canoes and motorboats in fishing? Well, there are three definitive answers involves.
One, kayaks are affordable, two, they’re stealthy, and three, they have lots of extra features. About their stealthy advantage, kayaks provide an angler with a silent approach to wary schools of fish as compared to a motorboat. They also allow you to sail in shallow water whether it’s fresh or salty.
Now, despite their immense benefits, kayaks are becoming increasingly popular making it difficult for customers to make the right choice. So, with that in mind, this post has dug deep into the market to offer useful tips on what you should look out for when choosing a kayak.
Consider the Stability
According to most kayaking experts, stability is a key component in any kayaking experience. Since kayak fishing will require you to twist and turn your body, a less stable kayak is likely to tip over forcing you to swim even when you didn’t want to.
Another thing about stability is that your kayak should allow you to stand and sight cast as well as allow you to maneuver smoothly around the deck of your kayak to grab something or simply organize your stuff.
Now, two factors affect the stability of your kayak. The first is the shape of the hull and the second is the width. Always look for a tunnel or a flat bottom hull instead of a V-shaped hull. Secondly, look for a wider and longer kayak. These two factors are responsible for the stability of your kayak.
What Type of Kayak do you Need?
This is another factor you’ll need to consider when choosing a fishing kayak. There are two main types of kayaks available in the market. Those are the traditional sit-in and the more modern sit-on-top kayaks.
Sit-in kayaks are definitely a poor option if you consider using them for fishing. That’s because they limit the movement of the body making it hard to twist and turn when sight casting. They also allow water to penetrate in your lower body and also offer less storage space.
Sit-on-top kayaks, on the other hand, are some of the best to consider for kayak fishing. They offer ample storage space and give you easier access to the water since you’re sitting on top (a huge advantage for sight fishing). Sit-on-top kayaks are also slightly heavier than their sit-in counterparts making them more stable hence the best for fishing.
Paddle vs Pedal
One of the most heated debates among most expert anglers is which between paddle and pedal kayaks is the best. Now, one huge advantage of pedal kayaks is their ability to offer a hands-free control. This simply means that your legs will paddle while your hands are free to fish.
Another advantage of pedal kayaks is that they’re speedier and more efficient thus allowing you to cut across large water bodies when fishing. Now, despite their huge benefits, pedal kayaks have their flaws. One, they’re expensive to buy and maintain and second, the fins that hang below them will prevent you from fishing in shallow waters.
On the other hand, paddle kayaks are more affordable and quite easy to use as compared to pedal kayak models. They’re easier to control and easy to sail in shallow waters. Though convenient, these kayaks have one major issue—you have to juggle the paddle and the fishing gear all at once which to most is quite difficult.
Ease of Movement
Fishing kayaks have many features that make them smarter and better. One downside though is that these add-ons can make your kayak heavy and quite cumbersome to move. Due to this reason, transporting your kayak can be quite challenging.
Now, in case your kayak is light, you can consider mounting it on the roof rack of your car. On the other hand, if it’s on the heavy side, a kayak trailer can suffice as the perfect means of transport.
Once you’re at the shore, the next factor you’ll need to think of is how to get your kayak down. Here, you can either strap your kayak on a kayak cart or use wheels to move it from the car to the shore.
As an expert angler, you’ll definitely require a lot of storage space to organize all your fishing essentials. For that reason, you’ll need to find the right kayak that offers ample storage options for all your gear. Some models such as the sit-on-top kayaks offer ample space on the rear and center consoles.
The rear tank can hold crate for placing the fish as well as your fishing gear. Since the center console is closest to you, you can store some of your essential gear for easy access such as a fish finder and a bilge pump in case of emergencies.
The last factor you’ll need to think of when choosing a kayak is the seat. Finding the right seat for your kayak is like having the right shoe that fits. That makes testing your kayak’s seat an essential necessity you can’t afford to ignore. Remember, using your kayak for fishing will require you to stay seated for long hours.
Therefore, the type of seat you choose should offer the highest level of comfort. Check the cushioning, the back support, the height, and the reclining features of your seat to ensure that what you buy will suit your kayaking requirements.
Now that we’ve mentioned some of the key factors you need to be aware of when choosing a kayak for your fishing endeavors, the next point, which is equally important, is to ask your friends for recommendations about trusted kayak dealers.
By combining a high-quality kayak with each of these pointers, then there’s no doubt that you’ll be more than ready during the next kayak fishing expedition with other enthusiastic anglers.