Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
Kayak Specific Forum

TOPIC: What might be the best kayak for me?

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #1

Hi everyone, new to the forum here and new to paddling in general. Recently I have been looking to get a kayak or canoe for fishing, but I am having a hard time. I had the chance last Saturday to try out some canoes and kayaks and liked them both. The canoes felt big, stable, fun to paddle and seemed designed for what I want (which I will get to in a sec), but there was a light breeze and when I paddled a tandem solo, I was amazed at how easily canoes are turned by the wind. The kayaks barely noticed the wind and they were much closer to the water which I liked and they felt more maneuverable, but they felt less stable than canoe, meaning I wouldn't have to lean too far to fall out.

Anyways, I feel a kayak might be a better fishing machine than a canoe and would like your help in deciding a kayak model to get. I am mainly looking for something to go on day trips, maybe go on a couple 3-day 2-night camping trips and if possible go for 1 or 2 weeks maybe once every year or two. The main purpose of this boat is for fishing, so I am comfortable giving up 1 or 2 week camping trips (maybe I will rent a canoe for those?). I will also sacrifice stability and standability for speed since I mostly fish lakes which, while narrow, are quite long and I have no desire to stand while kayak fishing. Google Maps Buffalo Pound Lake and Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan to get a better idea of what I am fishing. Its also usually windy where I live, averaging 20-30 km/h winds, and as long as it can handle those winds and waves produced by the wind and boats I will be happy. I may also venture into the river connecting those two lakes every once in a while, especially for camping. The river meanders lots, some sections you go 10-20 feet before having to turn again. I also have to be able to car top the kayak onto my 2013 Rav4, so maybe 70-ish pounds or less for weight would be fine.

The models which I tried were the Pescador Pro 12, Tarpon 120, and Pungo 120. Pescador was the most stable, but felt like a barge and not that fast, so I would not want to fish in that. Pungo 120 felt tippy and unstable, but I never felt like was going to fall in the water and would probably handle waves the best. I feel that because I was always hoping from one side of the hull to the other, it would not be fast. The Tarpon 120 felt the best between speed and stability. If this thing had a bit more storage for camping, I would probably choose this one.

Models I was thinking of were the Tarpon 140 and 160, the Kilroy, the Cuda 12 and the Thresher 140. If it helps at all, I am 5'10" and 215 lbs, hoping to drop down to 180 eventually. As well, I only fish with one or two rods, and I would only have 2 or 3 plastic tackle boxes with me in the boat along with a fish finder and net.

I know you get these questions a lot and I know it is a long winded question, but it would help me out tons. Thanks for your inputs.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #2


  • Posts:232 Thank you received: 39 Points:1037
  • Racerx's Avatar
  • Racerx
  • 50+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
If you want something that handles waves well, check out the Kaku Wahoo 12.5. Very stable, and gets up to speed pretty quickly. Has a hi seat and an open deck. All for around $1100. Love mine!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #3


  • Posts:181 Thank you received: 17 Points:559
  • 4X4Dad's Avatar
  • 4X4Dad
  • 50+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
Most of the designated fishing kayaks are pretty stable . Most have a good payload capacity . I'll just throw another brand into your considerations , I just picked up a Vibe Sea Ghost 130 . Payload is 550#s . It has a very comfortable suspension seat AND comes with a rudder . The price is the deal maker ! Best of luck to you and :welcome:
The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #4


  • Posts:672 Thank you received: 107 Points:3265
  • , ,
  • krash's Avatar
  • krash
  • 500+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
  • Ambassador Medal
Of the ones you mentioned.. I'd select the Tarpon 140, its a great paddling kayak, as stable as a SOT comes, will take the weather/water you mentioned, and the design has been around for years. The T-140 will track and paddle better and for camping give you a little more storage capacity without adding much more weight. Another opttion you might want to look at is an Ocean Kayak Trident or Ultra.

But if you are dealing with 20 mph winds thats a tuff go.. I'd also suggest a rudder no matter which kayak you get.

Suggestion on the canoes.. a Tandem canoe is not generally designed to be paddled solo, when I paddle a Tandem solo.. I turn the canoe around sit facing the stern in the front seat, this generally moves your weight towards the center of the canoe so the bow is not as high, so long as its not a square back canoe.
Last Edit: 1 year 6 days ago by krash.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #5


  • Posts:476 Thank you received: 72 Points:1569
  • Upstate NY
  • Stumpkiller's Avatar
  • Stumpkiller
  • 250+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
  • 2016 YakAngler Supporter
If you can find the Pescador 12 Pro you might also be able to find a Prodigy 12 or an Expression 11.5 Try those on for fit.

These are sit in style (what can I say - I'm a traditionalist) and if you are paddling a distance they will be much easier to move, and track better in wind. I have a (discontinued) Sound 12 Pro and my local lake and the Finger Lakes are like you describe - 5 or 6 times longer than wide. I also get into rivers that go from gravel shallows to fast current rocks and sweeps. I feel better with a low center-of gravity and like a kayak I can portage.
Charlie P.

Perception Sport Sound 12.5

The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #6


  • Posts:1250 Thank you received: 471 Points:3978
  • Huntington, Indiana, USA
  • IndianaYakFish's Avatar
  • IndianaYakFish
  • 800+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
  • YakAngler Pro Team2014 YakAngler Supporter PhotographerReviewerNovice YakAngler
My wife has a Tarpon 120 and likes it, but my advice would be to look at the kayaks with a more lawn chair style seat. Of the kayaks you've listed, I would strongly look at the Kilroy. Being on the Jackson Kayak fishing team, I'm a bit biased towards their models, so take my advice for what it's worth. I've owned two Kilroys, a Coosa HD, a Mayfly, a Cuda 14 and now a Coosa FD. Prior to getting on any fishing team, I also owned a Native Ultimate 14.5 and a Native Slayer 14.5. Not to mention I've paddled at least a dozen others by various manufacturers over the years. If I had to pick one kayak to use in all of my fishing, it would be the Kilroy. It's a great paddling boat, super stable and very versatile. The Tarpon 120 and 140 that I've paddled are no where near as stable as the Kilroy (or others for that matter). But that's just my opinion. I can stand up and fly fish in my Kilroy, and I'm almost 50 years old, uncoordinated and top heavy (fat). I was also able to stand comfortably in my Coosa HD, Mayfly, Coosa FD, Native Ultimate 14.5 and Native Slayer. Any of those models would be good to look at. I don't have any experience with the Pescador models or the Pungo.

In less than a month I'll be taking my Kilroy up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. Light enough this old man can portage it in between lakes, so it got the nod over renting a canoe or taking one of my sit on tops.

The absolute BEST advice anyone here can give you is to go test paddle several models and see what you like best.
-Jameson

The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 6 days ago #7

Sweet, thanks for the suggestions! I will have to visit my local paddle shop, but the selection may be quite limited. On their website, they only have wilderness systems and pescador kayaks available, no Jacksons or Ocean Kayaks here. I might travel out of town and see whats available, but I might be limited in what I can test paddle. I will have to ask, but maybe they could special order something. So far the only one that I could test paddle for sure would be the Tarpon 140, as it is one of the kayaks they carry according to their site. Everything else I might have to order from Western Canoe and Kayak, and so far I'm only seeing the Kilroy, Prodigy 12 and Expression 11.5. I will have a look, maybe try something I would never have considered. Thanks for the input, and feel free to add more suggestions.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 5 days ago #8


  • Posts:476 Thank you received: 72 Points:1569
  • Upstate NY
  • Stumpkiller's Avatar
  • Stumpkiller
  • 250+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
  • 2016 YakAngler Supporter
My "local" (30 mile) kayak dealer has a pond and you can try their whole selection for hours. Definitely the way to go.

Though it is a pond. Not a river. ;-)
Charlie P.

Perception Sport Sound 12.5

The administrator has disabled public write access.

What might be the best kayak for me? 1 year 5 days ago #9


  • Posts:672 Thank you received: 107 Points:3265
  • , ,
  • krash's Avatar
  • krash
  • 500+ Posts!
  • OFFLINE
  • Ambassador Medal
If others paddle where you are and where you plan to paddle.. figure out what time people come back to shore.. Most paddlers are friendly and most will be happy to talk with you so long as you are not interrupting or abrasive...
I would not interupt the launch cycle as most have prepared and are got to a place and may be in a hurry to get on the water. Msot will had you a paddle and say here take a test paddle of my setup.

You will also better suggestions, and perhaos more plus/negative comments, in person than you will get online... Sales people, guys who are sponsored or part of a pro-staff will always like any sales person point you to their product online and/or in public. Not to be negative about sales or staff guys but that's what they are paid or given/discounted products for.

If you are buying new and know what you want check prices at "Austin Kayak", they are online but have very good prices and are very reliable.

One of the new hot ticket kayaks out there today is "Bonafide SS127" and the soon to be releases "Bonafide SS107", made by fishermen for fishermen right here in the good ole usa...
Last Edit: 1 year 5 days ago by krash.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Find this topic helpful? Why not share it with other kayak anglers?