First Kayak for Fishing

I’m looking at purchasing my first kayak and plan on using it for fishing. I’ve been looking at the Manta Ray 12 and Emotion Mojo Angler online. Both of these are a little more than I originally wanted to spend, but I don’t want to cheap out and then want to upgrade after one season.

I’ll mostly be on a small lake (220 acres) that has a no wake time on Sunday mornings for fisherman and will mostly use it then. I’d also like to be able to take it to some small lakes and ponds here in town and want something I can throw on top of my Xterra by myself.

Are there any other good fishing kayaks in this price range (or preferably less) that I should be looking at? Anyone know a good place to find used kayaks where I might be able to pick up one of these a save a few bucks?

Save your money and skip the angler
version. Cheaper and better to outfit yourself.

Also, look for sales and clearances. Here’s one on the MR 11:

Don’t know what price you’ve seen or budgeting for, but $584 is an awesome price and Backcountry is great to deal with. I bought a LL Stingray 14 from them last Fall, the description indicated a skeg, and after delivery, I found out there is not one offered. They credited my CC w/ $100 refund, on a boat that was already about $200 less than just about anywhere else. I’d keep an eye on their clearance yaks, as several options would fit your purposes.

Good luck, and don’t forget the safety stuff. Also, btw, no matter what you get, you WILL be tempted to upgrade in the next year or so. It’s a fever with no cure . . . .


Manta Ray has good reviews
I don’t anything about the Mojo, but the Manta Ray 12 has good reviews from people whose opinions I trust. It would be suited to your purpose. I use a 12’ SOT on lakes just about that size, and it’s a good fit.

I ditto the remarks about the rudder. In fishing, the rudder is used more to control drift than it is to steer. You can do that with your paddle if you learn to use some one-handed paddle techniques.

A copy of “Kayakfishing: The Revolution” by Ken Daubert would be good for you too. It describes in detail some ways to take advantage of the inherent advantages of a kayak.

  • Big D

Other Options
Anyone familiar with Pelican kayaks? This one looks to be somewhat similar to the Emotion Mojo Angler and Manta Ray 12 for a couple hundred bucks less. I can’t find much info on it though.

You might as well blow up some
zip lock bags and tie them together in the shape of a kayak. I’ve seen it first hand at Gander Mountain. I’d bet every bone in my right hand I could smash a hole in it in one blow. Very cheap plastic, yet surprisingly heavy.

The only nice thing about it being cheap, is that it’s about the least you’ll spend as you decide to hate the sport. I say hate, because if that’s the only kayak you’ll have, I suspect you won’t enjoy it . . . .

The Castaway isn’t as bad as YOS
says, but it isn’t good either. It gets you one the water, but tracks badly. You’ll spend a lot of effort doing correction strokes. The old Emotion sit on tops weren’t very well received by kayak fishermen and the new version hasn’t sold well. It maybe reputation, but one local dealer handled them for a while, then stopped, discounting heavily the remaining stock to unload them. The Manta Ray is a fine fishing kayak. If you are fishing small lakes, you may want to look at the MR 10. Its a nice boat also, less expensive too.

Manta Ray
I am a bit confused about the Manta Ray. I was thinking that Liquid Logic made a manta ray. Now I’m hearing Native. Please get me straight.

They’re under the same company now.
They realigned, leaving LL for WW only, and Native for more rec/fishing boats. Stingray used to LL too, now Heritage. Manta Ray went to Native. Simple conglomerate stuff, but they’re still good designs and materials. . . .

I have been wanting to ask.

Agree with MR12
I ahve the 14 and it’a a little heavy to car top, but the 12 is a little lighter and for smaller water should be fine. Won’t track as well as the 14 or go quite as fast, but it’s a nice fishing platform.


A vote for the Mojo …
The console makes it a cut above, especially since it’s removable. I’ve enjoyed mine both ways, which isn’t an option with any other boats out there …

Tarpon 120
I found a demo version Tarpon 120 Angler online for $639. Seems like a good deal. My only concern is the weight of this yak. I’m not a big guy (5’11", 170lb), and I want something I can car top myself, and carry up and down the hill from my lake house to the lake easily myself. Is this too heavy? I obviously don’t need something with a big weight capacity, since I don’t weight a whole lot. Am I better off getting a 10’ yak that will be lighter for me to haul around - like maybe the Malibu Mini-X?

Ocean Kayak - Prowler 13
I also saw an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 (not the angler version) for $549. It’s a bit lighter than the Tarpon 12 at 54lb, but I don’t see as many people talking about it for a fishing yak.

Malibu Pro Explorer Fish and Dive
OK - I found one more yak that looks interesting. On sale, but not used, Malibu Pro Explorer Fish and Dive for $699, with an $89 paddle. This is the most intriging to me so far, since it’s a 12’ fishing yak that only weighs 42lb.

Your Boat
At your size, the Manta Ray 10 will be a great fit! I used to float a Manta Ray 14 and bought the 10 for my wife to replace her neon-green plastic bathtub. She has no problem keeping up with me on a Manta Ray 14. The 10 both tracks and glides well for a short boat.

It will float a couple hundred pounds with ease, and it weighs less! The shorter length is useful for getting in and out of the tight spots or jumping a downed tree across a secluded cove.

All those flat surfaces on the topside are perfect for customizing your boat.

I finally made a decision
I found a brand new Malibu Pro Explorer Recreation Model for $500 locally. A guy was selling them through a website and had inventory at his house, but was changing over to having orders directly shipped from the manufacturer, so he was clearing out all his inventory. The price on this yak made my decision for me since I’ve seen this model for $769 online plus shipping. I’ll post my thoughts on the Pro Explorer after I get the chance to get out on the water.

demo first
Demo…demo…demo…never buy a kayak without trying it on the water first. I am a kayak dealer and I wont sell anyone even if they want to buy, without going on the water first. A 10 foot yak would be fine for a guy your wheight as long as it has a decent amount of legroom for you. Also look a the Cobra Escape at 10 foot 2

If you become addicted like many of us you will inevitably find your way to the Hobie sport Mirage drive some day.