Need inputs for first kayak

I am buying a house on a small river, and want a kayak for fishing as well as river exploration.

The river itself is very slow moving, no ship traffic at all. There are smaller tributaries and such that feed off if, so I’d be wandering up those as well. Looking for something that would work for fishing from, plus also journeying miles and miles up/down the river.

So what would be the right length/width combo for this? I’ve had some folks say 10’ would be fine…but those seem so wide that I’d think I’d be working my tail off to get them miles upstream. Would 12’ be overkill? If not, what’s an ideal width?

Not looking to spend $1k+ for a kayak…lower price the better.

Thanks all.

What is your size?

my size
I am 5’11, 180#

old town
old towne dirigo, wickid popular around here. one dude liked his so much he bought 3 of them!

Couple questions
Are you thinking Sit on top (SOT) or sit inside (SINK)

Is this river small enough that if you flipped in midstream can you wade to shore or swim pulling a swamped kayak?

What’s on craigslist near you? Mine is full of boats $200-$600 I could buy now and sell next summer for the same $. Use it for free all next spring.

add a fishing rod mount
You’re right, the problem with dedicated fishing yaks is a lot of them are shorter and wider for added stability. Many aren’t built for touring.

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, you could always buy some fishing rod holder mounts like the ones mentioned in this article –– and install those in the kayak of your choice.

You should still factor stability into your kayak as well as distance performance, but this way you might be able to get a better value on a used kayak by retroactively fitting it with some rod holders instead of buying a newer, pricier one with all the bells and whistles.

river size
Yes, I could easily get to shore…its not wide.

For the other responder…I’m in Oregon. Nothing of interest on CL up here or in Seattle.

by the way
I was just kidding about the old towne dirago. it’s a bit of an inside joke around here

If I’ve got this right, you live in Oregon–right? Dude, granted if you live very far from Portland it might take a bit of looking to find what you want, but it’s all in Portland. Check out Alder Creek, Portland Kayak Co. and Next Adventure paddle store.

For the kind of paddling you described, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than 14 feet and even longer would be better. If you want to try out a bunch of boats, try to make it over to Vancouver, WA next April for Alder Creek’s spring opener on Vancouver Lake.

Old Town NEXT
Prices have dropped below $1000 now for the Old Town NEXT, a short pack type canoe which you paddle solo from a seat deep in the hull and with a double ended kayak paddle. Far better for fishing than a sit inside kayak, even one with an oversized cockpit. Take at look at it and consider that along with other kayak recommendations you may receive.

WS Pungo 120.
Perfect for what you describe.