about 4 years now
Started with a Swift Shearwater (still have it) and used it mostly on larger rivers. Great stable platform (can stand in it with practice) roomy and comfortable. Recently floated 16 miles with my 80# Lab. Performs pretty well on flatwater (best with a load).
Have had and used a Bell Magic now for 4 years (I think) use it in the BWCA, portaging a good deal and fishing. Landed pike up to 3’+. Takes a little getting used to but you’ll quickly adjust.
Now have a MR Guide I got for smaller rivers/streams. Only had it out once so far and had a great time. Super boat for fishing, roomy and stable, excellent in current. Not great for flatwater or windy conditions but managable nonetheless.
Anchor-used to use a small 5-7# mushroom anchor but for BWCA i used a basketball net laced closed at one end and laced with a cord-lock at the other. Fill with appropriate amout of rocks for the conditions. No weight to carry. Most places I drift fish only anchor on lakes if I find a hot-spot.
One other thing I find useful-a one-handed paddle. This can be most helpful correcting for wind drift or even while fighting fish. I have a 10 oz. Zaveral that accomplishes this though often thought something like a ping-pong paddle with a slightly extended handle would work really well. I’ve seen designs that strap to the forearm and have a handgrip but dislike the idea of having attached.
about 4 years now
No problem . . .
. . . adjusting to my Swift Shearwater. The narrow width makes paddling easy, but the canoe is quite stable and I even stand in it when the water and wind are calm. I thought about buying a more traditional (beamier) fishing canoe, but I am so glad I purchased the solo because I can control it so well, even in strong winds. I don’t do a lot of portages, but I would find fishing without an anchor difficult. Without an anchor (or better yet two anchors) you’ll find yourself drifting all over the place and will spend too much time repositioning the boat and too little time casting to fish. If you’re concerned about weight, try one of those net bags that you can fill with stones to make an anchor on the spot. That would be light to carry and effective enough for most fishing.
As you usally won’t need more than
3-5 lbs of weight to hold a canoe or kayak in a moderate wind or current, it seems to me a pain to fill and empty a bag anchor. Even with two anchors, 10 lbs isn’t much weight.