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Old 06-19-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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Went kayak fishing for the first time yesterday afternoon and I'm in love.I absolutely must have one. My questions to you guys are I'm a pretty big guy do what type of yak would be best for me "sit on top" or the "Sit in" variety? What size kayak and brands would you suggest? Money is an issue for me so I will be surfing Craigslist and such to try and find what I want (can't afford to go out and buy what I want brand new) plus that's a big investment for a first timer.

Any suggestions,pointers,what to look for,help would be greatly appreciated.

I also don't plan on going in the gulf just runnin around the ICW

Last edited by Tobiwan; 06-19-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:35 AM   #2
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I think almost everyone here will agree that a sit on top is your best bet for fishing in local waters. As for boats, contact the local shops and ask about demo days. You will be able to tryout any of their boats on the water and then you can make the best choice for your situation. Be sure to consider how you will haul your boat around too - you generally can't toss a hobie on top of a car or van unless you are Mr Olympia. Also, be sure to tryout peddle and paddle versions - with peddle being usually more expensive. My personal recommendation is to tryout the Ocean Kayak brands and Wilderness Systems along with the Hobies. Also, I ask dealers about closeouts or older year models that they still have in inventory. I know that the Kayak Experience in Destin had a 2010 and 2011 models they were willing to sell at a great price.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Pensacola Kayak and Sail on Barrancas Ave will let you try out just about anything they have. They don't have Hobies though. For that you will need to go to Fairhope or Panama City. I know the place in Fairhope will let you try their stuff out. Find out what you want and if you don't want to buy new watch the forum closely. They sell fast on here. Especially Hobies.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Key Sailing on Pensacola Beach is a Hobie Dealer, and you can demo Hobie there. Prices for Hobie are set by the factory, they don't give the dealers any wiggle room, unless it's a demo or older year model.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Those who know me know what I'm about to say! But since you're just joining us, here's my suggestion:

Don't get a Pelican kayak no matter how cheap it is! Cheap price means cheaply built, they're slow, heavy, don't maneuver well, and have an awful molding seam running lengthwise along each side of the kayaks. All kayaks have a molding seam but in any of the good brands, you can hardly even see it. On the pelican it's just asking to be split open if you run into rocks or pilings too hard. Saw it happen once, and the yak nearly became an artificial reef except the person in it was hanging on to the piling for dear life till a boater arrived.

Not sure how big you are but here are a few suggestions besides what's already been named: Ocean Kayak's Prowler 13, Drifter, Prowler 15, and Big Game get bigger and have a greater capacity in that order. Also, the Wilderness Systems Ride is a hefty yak at 13ft long and 3ft wide. The Native Manta Ray, I believe, is a pretty substantial boat. Also the Malibu Extreme and Stealth have heavy capacities.

Hobie PA is also another option if you can shell out the $$$.

Good luck,
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice/insight not sure what I'm gonna get but at least I have a few things to look for.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaksquatch View Post
Those who know me know what I'm about to say! But since you're just joining us, here's my suggestion:

Don't get a Pelican kayak no matter how cheap it is! Cheap price means cheaply built, they're slow, heavy, don't maneuver well, and have an awful molding seam running lengthwise along each side of the kayaks. All kayaks have a molding seam but in any of the good brands, you can hardly even see it. On the pelican it's just asking to be split open if you run into rocks or pilings too hard. Saw it happen once, and the yak nearly became an artificial reef except the person in it was hanging on to the piling for dear life till a boater arrived.

Not sure how big you are but here are a few suggestions besides what's already been named: Ocean Kayak's Prowler 13, Drifter, Prowler 15, and Big Game get bigger and have a greater capacity in that order. Also, the Wilderness Systems Ride is a hefty yak at 13ft long and 3ft wide. The Native Manta Ray, I believe, is a pretty substantial boat. Also the Malibu Extreme and Stealth have heavy capacities.

Hobie PA is also another option if you can shell out the $$$.

Good luck,
Alex
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Also look into a properly fitted PFD.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:42 PM   #8
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I'm a diehard Hobie guy and you'd be hard pressed to convince me there's a better kayak for fishing. I recently had a storm blow up on us while we were out 2 miles and I was very glad to have my mirage drive (pedals) as opposed to a paddle (for my primary means of propulsion, Hobie's have paddles too) as we fought the waves and a pretty stiff wind getting back to the beach. I personally have 2 Hobie Outbacks and fish with a bunch of Hobie Pro Angler guys so I know these are awesome kayaks for fishing. We've taken them up to 6 miles offshore and I have complete confidence in my kayak. Weight capacity is not a concern either.

With that being said, if MirageDrive's suddenly disappeared from the earth or became illegal, I'd go with 1 of 3 paddle kayaks.
Ocean Kayak - They've been doing it for a long time and they'll get you out there. Sucks having a paddle in your hands when you should be fishing, but oh well.

Wilderness Systems Ride is pretty stable and cuts the water quite nice. I can stand better in a Ride than I can in my outback.

Recently I saw a long video going over the features of the Jackson - Big Tuna kayak and it was quite impressive.... for a paddle kayak. Lots of features you won't see in other yaks and the weight capacity is well up there. Looks to be a very stable and very versatile, large fishing kayak.

Hobie's are the way to go though. You can talk on the phone, tie knots, eat a sandwich, drink a tasty beverage, and FISH without having to stop moving.... and moving faster than you can with a paddle. There's a reason why well more than half of the 175 anglers in the GCKFA's tournament this year were in Hobies. If you're not in a Hobie, you're secretly wishing you were, even if you feign some paddle purist love for a traditional yak. Paddle yakkers are in denial if they say they don't want a Hobie.
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