some questions concerning accessories =>

  1. if you get an anchor how do you put it on ( if not factory installed)and where( fore or aft)?

  2. rod holders - can you make your own and again where would you put/secure them to your kayak?

  3. paddles - i’m just not sure about these,they all seem the same to me. what’s the difference(length of and composition of, feathering?)?

  4. length of kayak - is longer really better?

  5. rudders vs skegs - what’s the difference ( besides the retractability)

  6. does skegs/rudders leak?

one response:
some questions concerning accessories =>

1) if you get an anchor how do you put it on ( if not factory installed)and where( fore or aft)?

The most important thing about an anchor is accessibility. Until I rig my Loon 138, I just drop anchor over the side of the cockpit. A more sophisticated system is the anchor trolley. Basically, its a double line running between two padeyes placed both forward and aft (maybe one in the middle if your kayak is over 10 ft). I tie a loop in the middle of the part of the line that doesn’t run through the middle padeye and have the anchor rope attached to a snap, snap attached to the loop in the trolley line. That allows you to anchor fore, aft, or mid ship.

2) rod holders - can you make your own and again where would you put/secure them to your kayak?

Do you have a sit-in or sit-on-top? With the sit-in its more difficult and commercial rod holders work better…I like Scotty. With a sit-on, get a milk crate and attach pvc to it (most prefer mounting the pvc at a slight slant) and place the milk crate in the tank well. Still, Scotty, Ram, Tite-lock, Berkely rod holders are much better. They’re adjustable.

3) paddles - i’m just not sure about these,they all seem the same to me. what’s the difference(length of and composition of, feathering?)?

Talk to a kayak shop about length. The real difference in paddles is the material they are made from. Aluminum paddles are heavier for the most part. They’ll do the job, but tire you out if you paddle long distances. Fiberglass may be slightly lighter, carbon fiber the lightest. Its all about paddling comfort and exertion from holding a heavy vs lighter paddle for hours at a time. As to blades, the carbon fiber paddles come with either plastic or carbon fiber blades or some varient mix. Mine is an Aquabound carbon shaft with plastic blades. It works for me and is a good compromise…lighter than aluminum or glass, but I feel the paddle blades are better for the kind of fishing I do…sometimes stick my paddle into places I probably shouldn’t. Cost is also a consideration. Lighter materials cost more.

4) length of kayak - is longer really better?

In general, longer is faster, though width also plays into the equation. Shorter turns faster and may be better in tight creeks/rivers.

5) rudders vs skegs - what’s the difference ( besides the retractability)

No experience with either. Pose the question on the advice forum and you’ll get 100 replys, each negating the other. A lot depends on where you use the kayak. In a river with moderate current or stronger, the rudder doesn’t seem to be much help. Its more of a help from what I understand if its windy or your kayak doesn’t track well. Some argue that a well designed/built kayak needs no rudder.

6) does skegs/rudders leak?

Any place you put a hole in a kayak is subject ot leaking, but they don’t, for the most part. At least on the kayak fishing forums I monitor, I never hear complaints about rudders leaking.

A couple of other points
A couple of other things to keep in mind:

A lot depends on where you’re going to paddle- meaning rivers or lakes.

  1. if you get an anchor how do you put it on ( if not factory installed)and where( fore or aft)?

    On lakes, you can attach it just about anywhere that’s easily accessible. If you’re on a swift moving river, that could pose problems.

  2. rod holders - can you make your own and again where would you put/secure them to your kayak?

    I would buy manufactured holders. Unless you’re buying a lot of them, I think they’re inexpensive enough to make it worthwhile. Whichever way you decide to go, make sure the holder is locked to the 'yak. Mine’s a Scotty that’s removable and fully adjustable, but doesn’t have a locking mechanism in the base (which the holder slides into). I was paddling through a small passage with overhanging trees and my rod tip got snagged and pulled the rod and rod holder out of the base. I grabbed the rod, but my holder now lays in Dragon Run.

  3. length of kayak - is longer really better?

    Mine’s a 12’ Pungo and it’s a good compromise beween speed and turning ability for the places I fish. If you’ll be in more open water and paddling against the current (or on a lake and want to cover ground quickly), you may want a bit longer. If you’ll be fishing narrow creeks, or rocky, swift rivers, you may want to go a little shorter.

    Check with a local store and see if they know of any “Demo Days” in your area. It’ll give you a good chance to check out different ones. Also keep in mind the cockpit height - my Pungo’s a little deep sometimes.

    Good Luck.

Run, don’t walk over to kayakfishingstuff and ask all those questions again.

Fletch gave you good advice but at KFS you can see pics of how others have rigged anchor trolley systems and get ideas about what other folks use for anchors.

Length - If you plan to fish lakes then get the longest boat you feel like you can handle well when you’re on the ground. 12’ is minimum and 16’ is max. 14’ is a good compromise. Your size is another consideration when considering boat length. Generally I’d push those who are under 200#‘s toward a 12-14’ boat and those who are over 200#‘s toward a 14-16’ boat. Nothing is absolute though. Everything is a trade-off.

I own six kayaks but only last year did I get a boat with a rudder. I LOVE it. Your profile says you plan to fish lakes. A rudder will allow you to control your drift and will make paddling at angles with or against the wind easier. If $$$ is an issue you can always add one later. It comes in handy when being towed around by a sizable fish too. By using the rudder you can get towed at an angle from where the fish wants to go. That tires him out faster and helps you avoid collisions with objects in the water. It may help to keep him from reaching thick cover too.

Skegs help you paddle straighter but so does a decent paddling technique. I’m not real impressed with skegs.

My rudder only leaks when I leave my boat out in the rain. A notable storm might put a pint of water in the hull. It does not leak, nor does it have any opportunity to leak, below the waterline.

Like Fletch, I’m partial to Scotty’s. I mount two on my milk crate and one in front. Sometimes I use a RAM up front cuz they’re a little more versatile.

Paddles - my boats are fishing vehicles. I sometimes spend 6-8 hours on the water without covering 6-8 miles. An expensive, lightweight paddle isn’t really needed or worthwhile for me. I fear that I’d shatter a carbonfiber paddle cuz I frequently end up on mud flats and and oyster reefs where I have to use my paddle as a push pole. Some folks cover 20 miles a day. For them a lightweight paddle is surely a blessing. IMHO, a $70 dehydral, asymetric, fiberglass paddle should suffice for the average fisherman. You can always upgrade and have a decent spare later.

Caveat: I earned a few decent overtime checks last year that coincided with my B-day. Got myself a BendingBranches paddle with the curved handle and dripless blade design. The dripless blade is really nice when the water is chilly. I really like it. It’s purty too! I didn’t “need” it but I sure like it.

You didn’t ask about PFD’s. A little research will allow you to discover several that are specifically designed with the kayak fisherman in mind. The one you’ll wear the most is the best one to get.

Welcome to the sport and GO GET EM!

thanks to all who have responded to my questions

you’ve given me a pretty good idea of where to go with it, and a pfd is welcome advice, would you suggest a mesh back or not?

i do plan on fishing in most weather(except if it’s lightening around)

The two most important considerations
when buying a pfd are comfort and how much you can afford to spend. Any coast guard approved pfd will save your life, but not if you don’t wear it and you won’t wear one that’s not comfortable. I use an inflatable pfd, expensive, i guess, but very comfortable. There are some full-time pfd’s that are comfortable, but my choice was made in part, because it gets damn hot in southeast Texas in June, July, August, September and sometimes April, May October, even November. It works too, used it once. Try on any pfd your are interested in. If the shop sells kayaks, sit in one with a paddle and see how the pfd feels while “paddling”. If its not comfortable, you will be tempted not to wear. Fishing lakes, you will be fishing deep water at times, be careful.

thanks for the advice

k2rad8102…did ya get a boat yet?

It’ll make it easier for folks here to answer some of the questions…

  1. I have had success using a single line running thru four eye straps to make an anchor trolley- used the setup on three different boats…

    2.Had the Scotty holders- now I just lay the rod under bungee cord on the bow and across my lap.

    3.paddles are VERY personal…can’t help ya here…

  2. agree with others- 14’ is a good base…

    5.rudder= steerage…skeg= trackabilty…'nuff said rudders never leak(hung off stern) don’t know 'bout skegs…


– Last Updated: Mar-24-06 10:19 AM EST –

i going to look at a dagger blackwater 11.0(?) tommorrow. would kinda like a sik as compaired to sot, i believe, a longer boat harder to handle?

had a 17' canoe before and had a rough time in the wind so...


do you mean to look for a pfd in this forum or something like kfs website?

No, a longer boat is not more difficult
to handle and, in most cases, the opposite is true. The exception is tight turns. My Old Town Loon 138 tracks straight and paddles easily, but turns like a ford truck compared to my Necky Sky 9.6. But, its also wide of beam and built more like a canoe in many respects than many kayaks. As for wind, though its not easy to paddle against a 20-30 mph wind, the Loon goes straight. I’ve also a 17 ft canoe and the wind is much less of a problem in a kayak, especially a sit-in because you are sitting practically on the water and have a much lower profile. Some say a sit-on has more exposure to the wind and is more difficult, but that sure doesn’t stop the coastal guys and there, a 12 mph wind is a mild day. If you can, paddle both. The sit-in is the one I’m most familiar with and I’m sort of a contrarian for southeast Texas. I feel secure in the sit-in and really like it in the winter and early spring. Some say a sit-in is hotter in the summer, but I’ve not found it to be bad at all. In fact, the thin hull so close to the water seems to provide some cooling and my legs stay cool being out of the sun.

longer boats
good info…thanks again

we’ll let yu’all know what happens

tarpoon 120
i got a tarpoon 120 with a rudder over at kfs. i’m anxious for it to get here(about a week and a half), be just in time for trout season! anybody have one? if so anything to let me know about it!

i’ve read a lot of reviews(with no one really disliking it)and took one for a spin. i’m sure it’ll be different when it’s mine, lol

thanks for the advice and inputs to all

i bid yall tight lines and a dry ride