I’m looking for a fun kayak that I also can fish from. Stability is my first priority. Easy to move around is second. Easy to paddle against a current is third. I’m looking for something that has what have become fairly standard fishing features these days… transducer compatible scupper, stadium seat, good size compartments right in front of you, etc. I’m open to suggestion, but I believe I’ve narrowed my choices down to a few.
OK Big Game II
Vibe Sea Ghost (either the 110 or 130)
Malibu Stealth 12
Malibu X Factor
I’d like to find something in the $800-900 price range, so I’d be looking for used on the BGII and the Malibus. And new on the Vibe. Plus I believe the Malibus gained a lot of weight at some point, and I’d prefer to keep the weight at 70lbs or less. Aren’t the 2014/2015/2016 models of the Malibus in that weight range?
Of these, which would be the most stable? I’m leaning towards the Vibe or the BGII. So particularly interesting in hearing about stability between those two. I look at the weight first, then the width and carrying capacity. If those numbers aren’t good, I don’t need to look any further. I’ve considered a bunch of different kayaks, but keep coming back to the ones listed. But gain, I’m open to and would appreciate any suggestions.
…and there are darned few on the fishing forum too, with those who are there generally active on the main boards too. On the other hand, there are websites devoted to kayak fishing. I’ve never been to one but have heard that they are there. The fad-like popularity of using fishing kayaks in near-shore ocean waters makes this a sure thing. Google should do the trick.
On that note, even a purely fishing forum will have far more discussion of fishing kayaks than what takes place here. I sometimes visit a fishing forum called Lake Link, and their posts about choosing and outfitting fishing kayaks outnumber those on paddling.com by at least 100 to 1, which is really something, considering it’s a website populated mostly by people who prefer 100- and and 200-horsepower outboard motors with the same enthusiasm that some folks here have for carbon paddles. The key point, though, is that the overall topic of the site is “fishing”.
I have paddled against the tide on the ICW several times when I was a much stronger paddler. Every time in a Tarpon 160. The guys with me in sea kayaks didn’t paddle nearly as hard as I did.
The point is the more stability you add, the more resistance you create.
Good luck finding your best average. I
I’d say sweet spot but there is little that is sweet paddling against the tide.
There is also the option of getting a narrower kayak that is lighter and easier to paddle from place to place (and against the current or tide) and having outriggers that you can extend for stability once you are situated in your angling spot. You can buy them but many people make their own, using PVC pipe and inflatable or tubular air chambers. Just google “fishing kayak outriggers” to see examples. Example of DIY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQnxSQMUsuk
Well if you want kayak fishing web site Google “Jaxkayak fishing.com.” it’s all about kayak fishing.
Or look at the Florida Sportsman forums, “no motor” zone forum.
ICW current…if you are fishing salt water tidal you’ll work the tides. Usually last two of the tide.
Stability and ease paddling are opposite ends of the spectrum. One of those pedal kayaks are excellent since you can peddle and handle fishing gear at same time. I’m not going to recommend a kayak that’s your choice. I usually stake out a sit in at a flats Creek mouth and fish the out going. I dislike my 12 ft sot fishing kayak cause it doesn’t track well.
I am using a 12 foot Wilderness Pungo-bought because of the large opening in the hull, stability, and V hull which certainly helps the paddling/tracking. I have NOT used it in deep swells, but have used it in some choppy weather and while it splashes more than my old kayak did, I am happy with it’s capabilities. It has a removable deck that has compartments for gear. As a non “bathtub” kayak that I can get my photo gear in and out of safely, this seams like a good match, and may suit your fishing requirements.
You might want to investigate the Wavewalk line of kayaks, They would excel at all of your functional requirements but are about double your price range. They have a double pontoon hull connected by a saddle seat along it’s length, They can perform as a kayak but offer more versatility including ability to outfit with small outboards when required, Their seating position is also better for your back. Their website, wavewalk.com, includes postings from several owners in Florida, many of which would be glad to give you a demo. I plan on buying one myself when my schedule provides more opportunity to use it, Good luck and have a great time in whatever you choose.- Ralph
I just wanted to add that another consideration is how well will your craft track in wind, especially if crossing a bay. The Wavewalk allows you to shift your weight forward or aft to use your hull to offset crosswinds. Some of the hybrid tandem SOT’s can provide similar compensation, As with most things in life it comes down to making the compromise that fits your priority with the least downsides. In my mind feeling safe can’t be compromised, and ease of propulsion can sometimes be compensated with trolling motors. Versatility is another factor as I plan on only owning one boat (initially at least:-) ) The weight of the hull is mostly an issue getting on and off the car top and to and from the water. For me if that’s doable, it’s only a small portion of the trip and relative ease is not a deal breaker.
Anyway, as they say, “Take my advice, I’m not using it.”- yet.
Based upon your wants…Id look at the Pelican Catch. Uses RAMX …plastic is 3x stronger yet 3x lighter then rotomolded type kayaks. Adjustable super comfy seat, very very stable as one is able to stand up to fish. This tunnel design stability sacrifices some speed…but you can also hook up a trolling motor. Should find for $750. Or less. Www.watersportswest.com has on sale now 649.00