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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 26th, 2009, 8:57 pm 
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The administrator accidentally deleted the original post by Chan Richie. In summary he asked for advice on kayak selection. What follows are responses to his request.


Chan, I’m not worried about public scrutiny about my opinion, it’s usually not worth much anyway. So, you have made the same transition that I went through many years ago, my transition was from a 17ft Mako Flats skiff, through a 14 ft. Mad River Canoe, to a myriad of different kayaks. I’ve pretty much determined that the best paddling fishing kayak around is the Tarpon 16i. It’s very stable, has reasonable maneuverability, and given the length, it’s very fast and great for long trips. Having said that, I don’t think it’s the easiest Kayak to stand up in, and for that, I have a Native Ultimate 14.5 solo, the best way to describe that boat is as a hybrid (half kayak/half canoe). It’s what I use when I fish the flood since as top heavy as I am, I can stand up in it reasonably well. The problem is that with its tunnel hull design, it has a pretty noisy hull slap. I fish with some folks who have good things to say about the Wilderness System Ride 13.5, it’s a good compromise in that it is very stable, and has reasonable hull speed. I would visit the guys (Dick and crew) at Black Creek Outfitters and take some of their boats out for a test drive on the lake in back of the shop. One other point I would make is that given your situation, don’t scrimp on the seat. There are several excellent seats (Crack of Dawn and Surf to Summit are 2 good ones) you should be prepared to spend from $125 to $175 for a quality seat, but it will be money well spent. I am convinced that kayak and fly fishing are ideally suited for each other, and I think that you’ll find you will find (and catch) as many fish in a kayak as with your skiff. Good luck, and PM me if you have any more questions.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 26th, 2009, 9:31 pm 
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Chan I chose a sit on as it is easier to get in and out of with my back problem and it also allows me to hang a leg over at times to shake out the`stiffness. I can also sit sit on the edge with both legs over when resting. Definitely get a good high back support. I have a Hobie Quest with their standard Hobie seat and so far it is good for me.

I still have my River Hawk that I love as it gets me in shallow water and the 18 horse get me to further places that would that take me house to paddle to in my kayak.

Don't buy one before you fish in it.

Craigslist is a great place to shop after you know what you want.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 4:33 am 
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Thank you Ernie and John. I really appreciate the advice.
CR

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 5:58 am 
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Joined: May 17th, 2007, 7:57 pm
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Location: Orange Park, FL
TarzanChan,

You have already received some great advice. I have had a couple of sit on top kayaks. My personal favorite is the Redfish 14. Like everything, it has its up side and down side. I also own a Native Magic 14.5 and used to own a Hobie Quest (like John mentioned above). The stock seat in the Hobie was great for me. I know the fellas above mentioned a high back seat, I'm just the opposite. I prefer a low back seat that put good pressure on my lumbar area.

Redfish 14:
Good points. Stable and I can stand easily in this boat, fast, QUIET hull, not many things to hang up a fly line. Can spin it on a dime up the creek.
Bad points: Borderline useless front hatch, my boat has developed some stress cracks over time which I repaired by plastic welding. When standing, the boat always wants to put the nose in the wind; doesn't track well without paddler assistance.

Hobie Quest:
Good points. Stable. I could stand in this boat but not as easily as others......it was a real test for me. It has a ton of good storage. Fairly fast hull, but I noticed a small amount of hull slap. Tracks well.
Bad points: It seemed a little small in length for me, can't really think of anything bad.

Native Magic 14.5:
Good points: VERY stable. Boat tracks very well due to it's rear end digging into the water. I can take my son with me. It also has a lot of options to add stuff to the boat without drilling. The seat is very compartable, I just wish it came in a low back option.
Bad points: Difficult to spin the boat due to the same thing that makes the boat track well. It has a loud hull slap when solo with a slight chop on the water.

In your initial description, were you considering putting the kayak inside your SUV? Get a good rack system (THULE or Yakima) and it will really make the difference. Hell, I put a 14 foot kayak on top of a Chrysler 300; now that's Pimp.

Call me if you need any further opinions and good luck on your search.

Bart


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 7:43 am 
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Thank much Bart. I am going to have to print all this info and go on some test rides.
Chan

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 7:59 am 
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:25 pm
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Location: St Johns County
Chan,

I ended up with a 14' Heritage Marquesa (became the Redfisher) and I am satisfied with it.

I would definitely suggest renting several models first. A 15 minute cruise in the pond behind Black Creek may or may not be enough to tell you if kayaking is in your future; regardless, I would suggest a lengthier cruise. Besides standing, spending some time kneeling during the cruise has helped me through hip/low back stiffness (watch out knees).

There are several rental places in the area, the best known being:

Kayak Amelia

Black Creek Outfitters - I visited yesterday - Steve Spooner says next week begins their rental program, and they have many models ( Native, WSystems, Hobie ) to choose from. They will also apply rentals to a purchase aka 'rent to own' .

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it'll take a strong back to lift that 70# kayak onto your SUV...

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Last edited by LoTide on August 27th, 2009, 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total

 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 8:04 am 
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Great suggestion Brad!!! I will check it out.
Thanks,
Chan

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 8:40 am 
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Joined: May 17th, 2007, 7:57 pm
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Location: Orange Park, FL
Don't skimp on a paddle either! It may seem like an after thought, but it's like the difference between a good motor and a bad one. If your paddle is not efficient it is just wasted energy. Also, cheap paddles are weight more than the better ones; this can add up to increase fatigue over the course of a long day on the water.

Also, loading a heavy kayak ontop of a SUV is all tequnique. Rob and I can give a seminar on this....haha.

Bart


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 8:53 am 
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Good point. Kinda like pushpoles...a $700 carbon pole is a much better value than a $300 glass pole.
Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 2:07 pm 
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Think about this: You got this floatation device hanging in your garage. You got to drop it and load it on your vehicle roof top. Then you got to take it down and put it back up on the car top as many places as you fish that day. Then when you get back home you got to take it down and string it up on the garage ceiling again. If I was strickly kayak I would have it on a trailor. You say you are approaching 50? I think woody got the right idea with the small motorized canoe. The only thing different is I would carry it on a trailor. It takes me exactly 2 1/2 minutes to connect my boat and ready to role. You can launch it almost anywhere ramp or no ramp. Plus you can cover a lot more water @ 20 mph. Nothing like paddling for an hour to your favorite hole and fine that others beat you to it! Just a different prospective.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 2:23 pm 
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Hmmmm. Good points Rick. Those square dancing lessons are looking better all the time.
CR

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 5:00 pm 
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Chan: If you want to try my "pimped out" Riverhawk let me know. I was at the same crossroad as you are. I needed a small water craft that was easy to handle, cheap to operate and would address the wind/current problem. I have a canoe and love it but as you get older the endurance of wind /current can be taxing on you (you can borrow my canoe if you want). If you do try a kayak, do it in the wind and strong current to see if you can handle it. Nothing like being two miles from the ramp and paddling against the wind/current and seeing the storm clouds comming in. Of course you want to pick you days but sometimes it happens. The ideal is to have both kayak and a small boat.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 5:28 pm 
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Location: Jax Southside@Tinseltown West
Chan...I'm also happy to take you out and let you try out one of my Wilderness System 135 Ride kayaks when ever your ready. Your choice on the paddles. I have an $200 Aquabond Carbon paddle or a $450 Werner ultra light Carbon bent shaft paddle for you try out and see the differences.

Here's another option if you like. If you would like to try out a different kind of kayak from Black Creek Outfitters. I can pick one up and use any one of there showroom Kayaks anytime for the whole day. You can fish out of it for the day to try out!

As a matter of fact we can fish this Saturday morning if you like at Browns or Oak Harbor or you can borrow my yak on your own. I'm open!

Hurry up... we have plenty of time to fish the grass flats in you new yak!... Mr. Green Just let me know. Cell 497-9736

Anyway here's my take on the WS Ride and think it might be for you. Here's why.....
You have plenty of room to spread out with its 33" beam. You can easily stand up in it. It’s very stable due to the pontoon like hull. It has a solid flat back rest to lean against. This type of seat allows you to swing your legs to the side and overhang them overboard when desired. This is important not just for moving around and comfort but allows you to point your body sideways and cast to a fish that might be at your 9 or 3 o'clock. You actually have more mobility to cast at a fish. Most soft seats wrap around and trap you in one general position pointing forward because of the built in side straps and locking clip rings. You can't move you legs too far. I like to use my legs sometimes as anchors in shallow water. The Ride inner hull also sits you higher with revealing less gunnels so you can move your legs around. Be aware of many kayak designs they sit you deep into the kayak body that trap you or facing your body in one direction. The only negative I can say about the Ride is that it’s not a good rough water boat or real good for paddling long distances like the 160i.

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http://www.FlyFishJax.com


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 27th, 2009, 7:58 pm 
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for a good core workout and continuous standing try a stand up paddle (sup) surfboard!


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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 28th, 2009, 5:20 am 
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MAN! What a great response from everyone!! Thanks Bob. Those tricked-out River Hawks are nice looking rigs. I would like to fish together one day.
Rich I really appreciate the offer for this weekend. Let me see if I can re-arrainge some things with the wife...(I fished all last weekend and will be in NC bird hunting next weekend.) I will call you later today. Thanks again. Chan

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 28th, 2009, 7:43 am 
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Weight is important but for me the correct length of the paddles is the most important item in obtaining comfort and eff.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 28th, 2009, 8:36 am 
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FISHMASTER wrote:
Think about this: You got this floatation device hanging in your garage. You got to drop it and load it on your vehicle roof top. Then you got to take it down and put it back up on the car top as many places as you fish that day. Then when you get back home you got to take it down and string it up on the garage ceiling again. If I was strickly kayak I would have it on a trailor. You say you are approaching 50? I think woody got the right idea with the small motorized canoe. The only thing different is I would carry it on a trailor. It takes me exactly 2 1/2 minutes to connect my boat and ready to role. You can launch it almost anywhere ramp or no ramp. Plus you can cover a lot more water @ 20 mph. Nothing like paddling for an hour to your favorite hole and fine that others beat you to it! Just a different prospective.


Well, the only time Woody's canoe hits 20 mph is if he was to drop it off the side of a cliff!!! Sounds like a lot of good opinions here, a common thread is to try before you buy, and your long term comfort will require investment in more than just a good kayak. Keep us posted and let us know what you finally end up buying, you'll have fun getting there for sure....


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 28th, 2009, 9:24 am 
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HA!!! Now That was funny!!! That would be one fast canoe!! Canoes sure have changed alot over the past 150 years. My great great grandfather, the Creek chief named Dances With Ugly Women, would be amazed by our technology.
Thanks again to everyone who contibuted their thoughts. I think I will copy and paste everything to a single doc. Might make a good article for the newsletter.
Whatcha want bet that Dave L. is already ahead of me on this idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 28th, 2009, 2:48 pm 
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RICK'S DISCOUNT KAYAKS! GOOD SELECTION AT BELOW COST PRICES! HURRY! OOPS! JUST SOLD ANOTHER ONE!


 
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 Post subject: Re: Need Opinions on Kayaks
PostPosted: August 28th, 2009, 7:49 pm 
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Chan - I have a Tarpon Wilderness System 14 with a rudder which really helps in the winds and fast tides. With all the other points suggested above, I would add weight as a big consideration. Carry or rolling a heavy kayak 50 to 100 yards can be difficult not to mention getting it on and off the automobile by yourself. My Tarpon weighs around 70 pounds but feels like 120 after a day of paddling. Hope this helps.
Don
Updated---
Didn't catch any fish this morning so I took a picture of my kayak. I put an anchor trolly on it and made a stake out pole. Should get me a proper seat but the inbuilt with a decent cushion works for now.


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Last edited by dedlin on September 4th, 2009, 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total

 
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