question about floats for kayak

I borrowed a kayak last summer that had these"floaties" on each side, 2 in front, two in back. They looked kinda like boat bumpers, but were hard. They worked great! I could fish and lean over and not tip. Now, I can’t find anything like them. Any suggestions?? Thanks.

Don’t know about the ones you tried

– Last Updated: May-08-08 10:31 AM EST –

You may want to look at these...not cheap, but what is these days?

Were they

learn to paddle without them

They said that a friend worked at a yacht place and rigged it for them. They were white, about 12" in diameter and about 2 feet long and were tied on with like, a plastic cable tie or something.

what do you mean?
It’s not about the paddling. It’s about leaning over when you catch a fish. I’m a big gal. I got a sit on top for that reason.

Sounds like they were made with crab
pot floats. They look somewhat like a cannon shell…semi pointed on one end, blunt on the other. Usually, two are placed back to back and rigged to a PVC or aluminum pole.

There’s a certain portion of the
paddling fraternity that view add-ons like sponsoons as a sign of absence of ability and need to learn better paddling skills. But, as a fisherman who paddles and fishes big lakes and sometimes handles 30 lb fish, I can understand the need for additional stability. Go for it if it helps you feel more secure and gives you confidence when fishing.

If you go to, you may be able to find an example of what you want. If not, register and post your questions. You’ll not find anyone suggesting better paddling skills.

It’s probably tough to flip an SOT
anyway. Depends on the model, and yes it can be done. But most of them are so wide, it would be tough to do.


There’s another side to that too.
When one depends on things like that rather than learning ANY skill, one gets in real trouble in a sticky situation.

Anyone can paddle in a zig zag pattern, but on a fairly tame river, my paddling buddy on Sunday got stuck on a protruding branch causing a strainer. He had no way out, and fortunately, was flushed under and out. Fifteen minutes of drying him out and 500 yards later, it was my turn in a strainer I would NEVER have come out of. I won’t claim a lot of skill, but I got off it without flipping. Sponsons or floats wouldn’t have done a thing but make it worse. The narrow channel we had to go through made it easy to get caught but tough to predict until we got right on them.

But for the stated purpose on lakes and still water, there’s also no reason NOT to employ something like this if needed. But I still say she’d be better off w/ SOT that doesn’t need it to do what she’s saying, like a Native or Malibu. . . .


A Native or a Malibu, depending on
the Malibu, is no more stable than a Tarpon, WS Ride, Hobie Quest, or a number of other SOT kayaks. If an extra dose of stability is what is desired, then a 32-34" wide kayak is the solution…the possible exception being the Ride with its tunnel hull.

From my viewpoint, the best use of sponsoons is for standing and fly fishing. Yes, learning skills is great, but using sponsoons is not a bad thing either. I wouldn’t want them in moving water, either tidal or running.

But, they have their uses. Well constructed, they don’t interfere with paddling. Most I’m familiar with only touch the water when you lean or stand. So, paddling skills are necessarily lost, except for edging and learning recovery bracing if you do go over a bit far.

Don’t believe we’re in disagreement. Paddling skills are vital. But, too many dismiss use of sponsoons and other aids out of hand.

You need to hang out on kayak fishing
sites that are oriented to SOT’s. They do it more than you would think. An SOT sits higher off the water. A lot of the newer ones are a similar width as the average rec kayak these days. Of course, its often not a big deal, they’re fishing in 4 ft of water on the coast.

That would be me!
I caught a redfish and leaned over to get it and dumped the kayak. Yes, only four feet of water, but gear went everywhere and frustration galore. Then, did again about 10 minutes later. Grrr. Glad I wasn’t in deeper water.

Recently, a fellow on dumped his Pelican Castaway when his anchor caught on bottom in 40 ft water. Unknown to him, the anchor slipped off when he was drift fishing. Flipped the kayak. For the benefit of all who own a Castaway, he found that the hatch cover leaks like a sieve. He wound up with half a hull of water, flipped again, and took on more water. Some skiers helped him get to shore, though he was OK without their help…his partner had helped secure the kayak to his Prowler.

Dumping SOT’s, even the big boys, happens and, while self-rescue may be easier, if the hull fills with water, forget it. The good thing about the hatch problem is that several are scrambling for an after market solution.

I’ve only been paddling a kayak for about a year now. I own a WS 135, and have found it to be very stable. I am 61yo, with arthritis, and can stand and fish in it. It does have some rocking to it., but I feel confident enough to stand in it. I do not try it in cold water. I’ve never felt I was goinf to flip when I retrieve a fish. I can sit sideways in it, with my feet and legs dangling over the sides, and it still feels stable. When I fist got it, I went out and tried several things with it. The last was sitting directly on one of the sides. I did not push my luck there, because I was alomst possitive it would have flipped, but I was sitting directly on one of the sides. I thnk the width of it is either 34 or 33 inches. It paddled well, as compared to a Heritage Redfish 12, and a few other yaks I did not paddle long wenough to really get the true feel of them. Anyone that has been having problems with overturning, or wants to feel more confidence when bringing a fish in should give the 135 a try. Demo one 1st, before buying, but I feel most people mwith these concerns will like it.

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– Last Updated: May-14-08 5:07 PM EST –


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