Kayak Info

This is my first post, as I just found this site. I hope I am doing this right.

I am interested in buying my first kayak. It would primarily be used for paddling South Louisiana bayous, rivers, & swamps. It’s uses would include day trips as well as overnights on the water. It would also be used to do some fishing. I am a fairly experienced paddler as I have done my share of canoeing and have also spent many hours in pirogues (flat bottem canoe made for shallow swamps).

I was looking for pros/cons on style,length, material, etc. I have looked at a few in local shops but have no ideawhat to do. Being in large sportstore, hired help didn’t seem to know much more than I did.

Any information anyone can send would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,

Crazy Cajun

Not For Everyone
But I rented various kayaks that I was interested in for about a year before buying recently.

The first thing you need to do is determine where you will use your kayak, meaning what kind of water. Once you answer that question you will start narrowing the field. Not me, but many people have multiple boats so that they can pick the boat that fits where they want to go.

happy paddling,


a mid length boat 13’ or so. easy enough to steer in back waters and big enough for overnight trips? Demo’s are the best way to see what you like. also consider Sit On Tops , they are better for fishing if ya are getting in and out alot.

Kayak Info
Hello! You might want to check out the Dagger Zydeco (does that name fit for your locale!)Inexpensive for all the quality you get (about $350 on the average), light weight, will draft in about 4-5 inches of water, stable, enough room behind the seat for overnight or two if you back like a backpacker might. Go the the product reviews on the Paddling.net site. there are 36 reviews on the Z.

May not be what you want, but hope this helps. You can also go to Dagger Kayak site for more info. They list the Z under their “recreational boats.”

How much stuff for overnight?
I am unfamiliar with stowing overnight gear on a Sit-on-top, so don’t know if that criteria puts them out of the picture. If considering a sit-in boat that doesn’t have at least one sealed bulkhead area, you may find that the need to use float bag(s) (to make it easy to get back upright in a capsize) duels with the space you want for camping gear. Though someone I think makes dry bags that double as float bags - don’t recall who.

You probably want to find a boat with deck rigging as well to stick some fishing stuff, hat and bug spray underneath. And a spare paddle if you are going to be by yourself.

Have the boats you’ve been looking at had sealed storage areas and/or any deck rigging? Given the environment and use you describe, you may want to look at boats with some amount of the these features and a big enough cockpit to sprawl around in and lay back. Plastic may be heavier, but would be a lot less fussy to deal with in more congested streams than fancy materials.

It sounds like a sit-on-top is best for you. I’d recommend something around 14’ if you want to camp. I was on a 4 day trip with a guy using a 13’ boat and he wasn’t all that happy packing it.

SOTs are the easiest boat to get in and out of.

try dagger
The dagger Blackwater is made for water that you are talking about. great for Louisiana byous or little rivers or lakes. I would take a look at it.

The Poke Boat
may work for you. 28lbs, 12’ long with large cockpit. www.pokeboat.com. Decent storage space, but no bulk heads. If you want a longer boat that still turns well, the Phoenix Vagabond (at the same web site)is a tandem that can be paddled solo and also has a large open cockpit. Spray skirts are available for both and are very handy for keeping paddle drips out of the boat. They zip open for easy easy entry and exit. They’re near $2000 new, but I got lucky and found them for much less than 1/2 price used. All three of my Phoenix boats are over 20 years old and are holding up well. They’re not pretty, but they’re light and durable.

Good luck.