Rudder Q's

I recently purchased a Native MR12 (see other topic). I am debating wether or not to add a rudder. From what I have read there are pluses and minuses. Just wanted to get your thoughts.

Open water, a rudder is fine. Don’t
know about for small creeks, seems just something else to hang up. Rudders work well if you drift fish. But, like all mechanical contrivances, they are prone to breaking down.

Don’t need it for what you said
Get the kayak fishing book authored by Jeff Little. It has an excellent description of how to do one-handed paddle course corrections while fishing.

If you were fishing big water, yeah go ahead. For the upper Delaware and small lakes and ponds like you said in your other thread, you’d be wasting money. You’d probably knock the thing out of true and make it worthless on your first low-water trip on the Delaware. Spend the money on gas instead and get to the river more often. Practice good paddle technique instead of using a rudder for the kind of paddling you said you’d be doing. You’ll be better off for it, because if you develop your skill, that will translate to any boat you have from here on out. But if you learn to rely on a rudder where a rudder isn’t really necessary (like in traversing large bodies of water), you’ll spend more money for worse results that WON’T transfer to other boats you may have in the future.

My $0.02 anyway. I won’t make fun of you if you get a rudder. It’s your money. I just think you’ll be disappointed in the results compared to learning good paddle technique.

  • Big D

re: rudder or not ?? yes !
I vote get the rudder if it’s available …theres no law that sez u have to use it all the time …it’s clearly a useful option to have.

I have a 17.5’ kayak with rudder , that i sumtimes fish out of… if conditions are right. i can use the rudder to control a wind/current driven drift along a shoreline/weed bed and fish paddle free, using the rudder to control or maintain my drift direction… I have done this on a few occasions.