First Kayak

I am looking to purchase my first kayak. It will be used for slow moving river fishing in the Neuse and Trent Rivers of eastern NC and hopefully for some bay kayaking along the Atlantic Beach area also in eastern NC.

I have my choices down to the kayaks listed below. Anyone care to comment on my choices? Btw, I am 6’2" 245lbs.

Perception Carolina 14

Necky Zoar Sport 14

WS Pungo 120

Old Town Predator 14

Mad River Synergy 12

Thank you.


I agree
The Carolina plows water for me, and I’m 185 lbs. Try at least a 15’ or 16’ boat - they are still easy to turn.


Second that…

– Last Updated: Aug-24-07 12:27 PM EST –

I've got a 14.5 kayak, that was fine initially. After three seasons, its holding me back. Nothing wrong with the boat; my paddling skills have evolved and my horizons are much wider.

I'd recommend a kayak that you won't outgrow too fast: at least 16.5 feet with some decent waterline and perhaps a little rocker to build up your technique.

Paddling vs fishing
Of course the old advice of try as many boats as possible before purchasing always stands true. Try out the boats you are considering if at all possible and you will be able to narrow down what you personally are looking for in a boat and what feels right to you.

One thing you might want to consider is how much you plan to paddle vs fish. If you plan to cover some water than longer boats are always better but if you plan to only paddle a short distance and hang out fishing all day than a shorter wider boat might be a good choice for you.

The Pungo 12’ is a very stable boat with lots of room for fishing gear and it paddles decent for a 12 foot boat. It’s a great beginner boat and would serve you well on slow moving rivers. I picked up a used one recently to have on hand as an extra boat for people to use and I’ve been impressed with it more than I expected to be. If you don’t mind the extra weight hoisting on your car you may want to consider a Pungo 14’. It will track better but still be stable and give you plenty of room for your fishing gear.

I tested a 12’ Synergy earlier this year and found it interesting but not the right boat for me personally. That doesn’t mean that it might not be the right boat for you though. It’s incredibly stable, extremely roomy and had lots of room for extra gear but it felt like a barge paddling it. After test paddling it I was thinking it would be the perfect boat for a fisherman that wants to paddle short distances and fish in an incredibly comfortable seat.

Now if you plan to paddle a distance to get to a favorite fishing spot than by all means you should be look at the longer boats.

There are some kayak fishing websites that have some worthwhile discussions on what kayaks work best for fishing.