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To All,

Hello. I am just getting into the Kayak scene and am interested in purchasing my first Kayak. Does anyone have any advice or tips on what to look for when buying my first yak? I will be doing freshwater fishing and kayaking off it. Maybe will go to the bay every now and then but not much. Also, I dont mind paying for a real good quality kayak instead of just getting something I might hate later on. By the way, if I find a good kayak, are there any attachments I should look for or get for it if not already installed?

I would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks for your time folks.:)
 

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Welcome to the addiction! I have a 09 Hobie Outback and love it, as youll find with most hobie owners, JMHO, but hands free fishing on a yak is worth it! There are plenty of models out ther that cater to fishing, and its basically boils down to speed vs. stability, and what you want more of. im sure youll get plenty of info and opinions on this forum. Prices go from 300-2800 depending on what you want, good luck and tight lines!
 

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dthomas142 said:
Welcome to the addiction! I have a 09 Hobie Outback and love it, as youll find with most hobie owners, JMHO, but hands free fishing on a yak is worth it! There are plenty of models out ther that cater to fishing, and its basically boils down to speed vs. stability, and what you want more of. im sure youll get plenty of info and opinions on this forum. Prices go from 300-2800 depending on what you want, good luck and tight lines!
Hit the nail on the head. It's pretty much like a ford vs Chevy argument . I suggest trying several out and getting what you like in your budget. As far as add ons the sky is the limit. Gps, fish finders , live wells, lighting, anchoring systems and what ever you could think of can be added. If you wait we are having a kayak festival of sorts at flounders on Pensacola beach April 14th with demos, rigging clinics and seminars. Would be a great place to look at set ups and try a few out. Not to mention meet some great people in our local kayaking community!
 

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What Chad said! Go to the kayak-fest at Flounders in April. Here's some homework to look up between now and then:

1) Environment? Where and in what conditions do you want to kayak in? Long distance open water usually demands long, skinny, fast kayaks (15-16ft) that sacrifice maneuverability in tight spaces. Close-quarters sheltered areas tend to favor short, wider, maneuverable yaks (10-12ft) that tend to track poorly in open water. Do you want to be able to do a lot of standing and sight-fishing in you yak? If so, you need to look at something 30inches wide or wider, greater widths will increase stability but significantly reduce drag, tracking, and speed. Now there are a few designs that manage to combine most of the above characteristics very well (i.e. Ocean Kayak Trident 13, OK Trident Ultra 4.3, Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140, Heritage Redfish 12 or 14, Hobie Revolution, etc.)

2) Fishability? Some designs lend themselves to simple fishing styles like bringing only 1 rod/reel and a small tacklebox with a few lures and to get to and from the fishing spot in a hurry (i.e. old designs of Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160, Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro, Hobie Adventure, etc.). However, some designs offer so much deck space and mounting options, you'll never be able to fill them all (i.e. OK Big Game, OK Trident Ultra, Hobie PA, etc.).

3) Inshore vs. Offshore: See #1 but also add in the "OH S#!T" factor of getting in and out through the surf and dealing with potentially heavy seas! Inshore conditions tend to be relatively stable, give you lots of warning before they change (usually...), and shore is always readily available if you have to make a run for it. Offshore conditions are the polar opposite, you can be pelted by a rain/thunder storm that comes out of nowhere while being miles from any easily reached shelter. Also, sea conditions can change rapidly from one extreme to the other, i.e. glassy calm one minute can suddenly build to 3-4ft swell plus 1-2ft of chop to top it off!. Also, getting out through the surf is often not too big a problem. The tricky part is coming back in especially if the S wind's been blowing all day and built the surf up even HIGHER than then you went out!

4) Paddle or peddle: do you enjoy the arm workout more or do you want to be able to fish hands-free? Be aware that some of the peddle kayaks are HORRIBLY designed for paddling when (NOT IF) your peddle drive breaks and you're miles from shore with a head wind.

Hopefully the above will give you some things to think about and get an idea of what you want from a kayak. Then you'll be able to go to the yak-fest in April and look at all the options available. When you find the right yak, YOU and YOU ALONE will know it when you see it.

Good luck!
Alex
 

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Alex, I thought you got a job. How the heck do you have so much time to post?

Seriously, good advice on all threads. I like reading your posts.

Ditto recommending everyone going to the Flounders demo day. I have owned many yaks and I'll be there testing the new models plus paddleboards. Never know what I "need" next. See you all there.
Ted
 
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