Sit on vs sit in?

-- Last Updated: Mar-27-15 12:23 PM EST --

Looking to buy my first kayak. Primarily going to be fishing but looking to tour some also. Using mostly on calm rivers, large ponds and small lakes in ohio. (Conneaut Creek, Ashtabula River, Pymatuning Lake.) Have never done any kayaking before but have been canoeing for over 14 years. Any advice on sit on vs. sit in? Kind of leaning towards a sit on top fishing kayak.

SOT craft of choice for fishing
Unless you paddling miles offshore in winds ect, SOT makes the most sense for fishing, unless of course you have a harpoon.

There are a lot better websites for fishing SOT information if you look around on the web. My advice would be to go with a fast narrow SOT and avoid all the gear and junk, keep it simple.

Venture Islay SOT
Not here stateside yet but soon.

Venture Islay SOT

See you on the water,


The RIver Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

That looks promising.

If that is what you lean toward and it suits your goal of fishing–which it does–then go for the SOT. By not having to buy a sprayskirt or pump, you have more to spend on a better paddle or fishing gear.

In hot climates, a SOT will be more comfortable also, since your lower body is not encased in a clammy, hot chamber.

But if you paddle in cold water, wear immersion clothes. The usual stuff about knowing your water environment, weather patterns, appropriate skills, etc still applies regardless of boat type.

I usually paddle SINKs. But it is always a treat to paddle a SOT in hot weather on warm (or merely cool) water. Enjoy!

this looks a bit like my Seadart
Heritage used to make some great paddling kayaks that were seaworthy and good for fishing. I started with a Heritage Seadart model made about 2001. It’s a great boat. Heritage was bought and I have lost track of what they are making now. The last newer Heritage I saw up close was heavy, wide, and had all kind of stuff attached too it.

If you are just going to use it…
in the warm weather get a SOT, but if you will be using it in the Spring and Fall when the weather can be chilly, get a SINK.

jack L

SOT’s are heavier
but that may not be an issue for you; also you can spend more $ and get a lighter SOT if desired – for example, Eddyline makes a couple – they also will tour better than most SOT’s.


– Last Updated: Mar-27-15 8:17 PM EST –

I own a variety of kayaks from high end sea kayaks to an SOT. Each serves its own purpose. I choose the SOT for fishing so if fishing is your primary goal then SOT is the proper choice.

Now, for long distance performance paddling my SOT just can't deliver.

As was mentioned prior, if you're in colder waters a fishing oriented SINK would be a good choice, but I'd make double damn sure I was competent in capsize recovery techniques.

If at all possible, I would recommend that you find a boat dealer that allows in-water demos, or see if there is a paddling demo day somewhere in your area. Try out as many boats as you can before you make up your mind. And by all means, try out a good quality sea kayak with a decent paddle. Don’t hesitate to ask for some paddling technique instructions from someone who really knows what they’re doing.

You might want to watch some of the instructional videos that are available all over the place on the Internet.

If you buy a SOT, make sure you wear and or buy the proper leg, ankle and foot protection from the sun…or you will get massively sunburned!!! i.e cover up your legs, ankles and feet!!!

SOT can be wetter…waves pouring ON you.

But for fishing…probably the best way to go.

However I do have 2-friends who last year paddled 3800-miles from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico making the first descent of SOT’s from the longest river system in N. America .

Sit under

Hey Marshall
Had to do some rooting around and metric conversion, but it appears to be 30" wide (.75 meters). Sounds like most of the other fishing kayaks out there.

Academy Sporting Goods sells
Heritage fishing SOT at good prices.

Sorry, hadn’t checked back at this post in awhile. Yes the Islay SOT is going to beamy. Should allow Troy to pole it through the shallows or SUK (Stand Ip Kayaking).

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I have the Heritage Expedition XL
I bought a like new 1999 model Heritage Expedition XL lightweight fiberglass SOT last year and I LOVE IT. They are very rare and I got lucky! It is my first kayak and it felt quite uneasy with little initial stability until I got used to it. Now it is an absolute joy to paddle although I have yet to really get it into any waves or rough water of any significance.

Those SUK