Kayak and Class I and II rapids

-- Last Updated: Oct-22-04 8:48 AM EST --

Last weekend I did nice 15 mile run down the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers in the Fredericksburg area of Virginia. It had plenty of rock gardens and Class I and II rapids. I went down with a WS Pungo 120 and did fine.
However, I did have trouble getting out of the way of some rocks and sat on a few. I felt I couldn't move out way sometimes and pushed others. So I'm requesting suggestions for what kayak might be better. I'm looking at some SOTs because the fishing on the Rapaidan is great but open for any type. This second kayak is also so my wife/kids can join me on a pond or slow river.
Thx for any help!

You might consider a
Wilderness Systems T-140. Great boat for just about anything short of big, open-water transits. Stable, manueverable. And if you weigh less than 200 lbs it is a dry ride on flat water.


IN addition to an excellent article about choosing a fishing kayak for river fishing, there are tons of contributors to that site, including me, who are die hard kayak fishermen. There are a bunch of folks who fish the Rapp regulary from kayaks and can help you out. Here are some yaks that people on that site will surely reccomend:

Dagger Blackwater 10.5 or 11.5

Dagger Element

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 100

Wilderness systems Pungo 100

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 (sit on top)

Perception Swifty

Perception Sundance 9.5

Perception America 11 or Sierra

Necky Sky

Ocean Kayak Caper (sit on top)

I have a Perception Sierra that I use to fish the Potomac, 'Doah, and Rapp. The Sierra is now called the America 11. Spend some time on riversmallies.com. You won’t be dissapointed!

forget kayaks
Get a drift boat. It will handle the rapids better and is a better fishing craft.

as you see
the pungo isn’t designed for real river running but will do so in a pinch. I’ve run my loon on 1/2 w/w but not while fishing. the drift boat is a good idea but what are you doing river running and a little fishing, or fishing while you happen to be river running. that might determine which direction you go. I watched a guy with one of the large cabela type pontoon boats fish a class 1/2/3 river in NH. He was able to anchor mid rapid to fish a couple of times, and had great abilty to manuver.

what’s a drift boat?

run rivers in my Sundance9.5. The shorter length and flatter hull seem to work better on rivers than my buddies pungo. The deeper v hull on the Pungo and longer lenth make it less suitable for turns and shallow areas, lots of rocks. Any shorter, flatter bottom will do bettr.

Check out this URL

You row them with oars. They are maneuverable and stable. A common practice is to drag a weight, like a logging chain, so the boat drifts slowly along.

thanks Doc

On Box Canyoy of Henrys Fork in Idaho
I came across a drift boat stationary in the current. No anchor, no chain, but the drift boat guide was up to his shoulders in the water, holding the boat stationary while his customers fished. I asked them jokingly if they would let him back in the boat after a catch.

By the way, there is an Oregon drift boat company which builds a “planing hull” drift boat. They claim that the custom flat bottom shape will cause the boat to plane on a fast current when the drift boat guide digs in with the oars.

did a river trip this weekend. A surf yak definately isn’t a good river runner. My friend was doing circles on every turn!

Kayaks Class I,II
Thx for all the suggestions.

Looking at Dagger and will look into the drift boats, not sure on portability.

Thx again!

Now need to get Christmas list to Santa…:slight_smile:

Kayaks Class I-II
I fish out of a Perceptiom Acadia 12.5. Friends use the Perception Sundance 120, Old Town Loon 111, Old town Predator K-111, Dagger Challanger, OT sports Jolt 11.6 and the Old Town Casco 120.

I found that my Acadia preforms abetter with a little weicht in the rear hatch area.

I use the bladders for box wines and will with water to add weight.

What Boat Is This?
A true surf yak on a river won’t be spinning. Your buddy would likely be swimming alot instead because there is no rear kick (upturn to the stern). The flat bottom with sharp rails and a very slicy stern would catch and trip the paddler on feature if not handled with care. A dedicated surf kayak is made for fast planing speed and carving (not spinning) more in the forward direction. It doesn’t have the forgiving chines, even distribution of volume and rocker like a white water boat.

If he has a true surf kayak, tell him to get rid of it. It ain’t meant for white water. I know a couple folks who would take it of his hands. :wink: