Solo canoe for fishing -replace ot Pack

I currently have an old town pack, but at 12 feet, it is too small for my use, which is fishing small lakes and rivers. The pack also seems slow to me.

I’d like to find a larger, faster canoe, maybe one that could serve as a light duty tandem as well.

I am 6’tall and weigh 300lbs.

I’d rather not have royalex and I prefer to use a kayak paddle.

There seem to be a number of boats that might fit my needs, and I was considering specifically the Wenonah prism, solo plus, or escapade, but I’m not in any way stuck on those boats.

Really, I want opinions about those boats, and any others that might fit my needs. In reading some of the discussions on this and other fora, I’ve seen some contradictory opinions, especially about the stability of these choices, so any first-hand anecdotes would be particularly appreciated.



Solo plus?
I fish out of a Hemlock Kestrel but would not recommend it for someone your size. Are you thinking of also using it to stand up fish? I had seen a solo plus custom ordered with just a center seat and rigged for fishing. That looked like a nice fishing platform for a larger person.

solo for fishing.
I use a Wenonah Prism for fishing. It is comfortable for me (200 lbs.) and a real nice canoe for cruising. The boat is very stable but one should fish from a sitting position. I fly fish from mine.

Unfortunately a good solo canoe is not a good 2 person canoe and a good 2 person canoe is not a good solo craft.

I know one person who fishes from a 13 foot Grumman 2 man canoe. He sits backward on the front seat. Sometimes these canoes can be found used at a good price.

You would find the Prism
at its maximum capacity per Archimedes. It would be fast but much harder to turn. And with an empty boat and you sitting up higher you may find it unstable.

There are all manner of small tandems that would fit you better. If you got a solo plus, you are too big to use it tandem. Its for two petite paddlers. You might be fine with it solo.

That’s why I was giving consideration to the Escapade. It’s identified as a tandem by Wenonah, which leads me to speculate that it might be more satisfactory as a dual purpose boat than the Solo Plus, although I realize that neither will be nearly as satisfactory as separate tandem and solo boats.

However, the published Escapade dimensions are almost identical to teh Solo plus, so I may be way off base with my supposition.

So what small tandems might be suitable? I saw several posts recommending the 16’ OT Penobscot for my sort of situation, but again, do not want a royalex boat.

makes a couple of small tandems that might work for you. Look at their Coho and Souhegan models. They are composite boats, not Royalex. The construction is solid, but not elegant. They are not expensive.

I use a Souhegan as a solo.


faster boats will most often possess

– Last Updated: Apr-17-13 5:43 PM EST –

a little less initial stability...however I remember trying Wenonah's Adirondack(as an example)...and its wider waterline was very stable. Think a bunch of light, smaller tandems(Wenonah's Spirit II & others?, some Bells, Swifts...etc) would fit your goals as well.

Prism okay
I’ve spent a fair bit of time in a Prism. I think it would work just fine for you.

Well, if you want to abandon the ultimate solo fishing machine…maybe move to a vagabond? The Pack is a very forgiving fishing canoe…but with width and stability you do sacrifice a bit of speed. Sounds like you’re willing to give up a bit of stability for an increase in speed. A lot of people feel they need to move away from their Pack after hearing all the bashing of it…I would encourage the testing of other solos but don’t sell your Pack…you’ll always yearn for that 12 feet of perfection!

2 boats
That’s your best bet, Robert - especially if you insist on using a kayak paddle when solo.

It should be pretty easy to find a real good deal on a used general-use tandem. It will take a bit more effort to find a used higher-performance solo - especially with your size consideration. So You might consider making it a quest to find that solo canoe for you while knowing a great deal on a tandem will come along at some point.

Or - if you know you won’t be paddling open water in windy conditions, you might consider a Prospector model and learning to paddle it solo “Canadian style”. In that case, a fella your size could get by with one 17’ tandem. Still won’t be a speed-demon, but more versatile than the Pack.

Re Set
OK; big guy, double paddle, not performance oriented, wants to fish.

WeNoNah might be able to put a kayak height seat in an Argosy?

For fishing, a higher seat is preferable; better seight distance and longer casts, but there are few.

Swift Shearwater and WeNonah Wilderness should be compared on water. Also Hemlock Eaglet, and soon the same hull, Companion, from Colden with royalties actually paid to the designer.