Solo Canoe for NooB to go fishing

Hello. I am interested in getting a solo canoe who’s mission would consist of 95% pond fishing. 10% of that would be with my 10 year old daughter. Not very demanding. I have a fantasy that I would be able to stand up in the thing and fish. I have “narrowed it down” to a Old Town Pack, an Old Town Discovery 119 and a Wenohah Vagabond. Is there a significant difference in stability or performance between these three boats? I know that the Disco is heavier but still 10 pounds lighter than my smallest Yak.

Smaller boats like that are very tough to stand up in. I own an Old Town Pack, and have never tried to stand up in it, but I dont think it would end well. There’s also not much room for a second person and it’s really designed for solo use only.

A much better boat for what you describe would be the Old Town Camper 15. It’s 3 feet longer than the Pack, but it’s much wider and has a nice flat bottom. Your child would be more comfortable, and you could stand easily in this boat. It can also be solo paddled. It’s not overly heavy either,I think it’s around 55 pounds.

If you could find a used Discovery 133K, that would work great too…it’s heavy, but very wide. I had one and used to stand in it all the time. It was a rock.

it is demanding

– Last Updated: Apr-04-10 9:05 AM EST –

Dont try to put two in boats desinged for one. In order to get any stability you have to be both in the center and that is not ideal for paddling or fishing.

None are suited.

Get a small tandem.

Thats a child that should be taught paddling. Kids are not baggage forever.

Heron or Fisherman
two Wenonah offerings that will do the job for you. the 14’Fisherman makes a wide solo, but you are pond fishing, not tripping with it. The 15’ Heron is a foot longer, but narrower and more manageable as a solo. For tandem usage with a child, you can paddle it backwards. You sit in the bow seat facing the stern and the child sits in the stern seat facing the same direction. Puts the lighter paddler closer to the end of the canoe and the heavier paddler closer to the middle. Makes the reach to the water much better for the child.


Sponsons. };->

Mr. Grumpy I think you should get two
boats. That way both of you can enjoy an appropriate sized boat and each others company.

A ten year old is possibly able to outpaddle you once they learn.

Looks like you want a canoe or two or a canoe or kayak.

This time I am thinking two OT Packs might be fine.


When you buy two budget is usually a concern.

go to
Paddle net reviews and read what others have to say about the different boats…I did and decided on the O.T. Disc.119 but I do solo camping trips and no day trips.

Having had a Fisherman in the past…
…I agree with PlaidPaddler. There may be other better choices, but those two are good for what the OP states. A plus is that the Fisherman, even in Royalex, is pretty easy to carry.

I already have a bunch!
I have a 17 foot Grumman Dreadnaught, a SOT and a SINK Kayak. While I enjoy kayaking I’m not a fan of them for fishing trips. Now, I follow that up with the comment that the SOT is a dedicated fishing platform but for the salt. I oppose pond fishing with it on two principals. First, taking it out involves breaking it down, strapping it on, setting it up and then being constrained to a specific set of motions and actions that are dictated by the placement of the gear and seating position of the boat. Secondly, I think that taking a dedicated, sit on top, salt water fishing machine out on my local 45 acre ponds is like taking a $60,000 Bass boat.

I guess the Grumman is still on call for daddy-daughter time so now with that out of the equation…

Little disco? Pack? Vagabond? Little 14 foot tandem still (for stability issues)?

I can only comment on the OT Pack since that’s one that I have. It’s a nice little fishing boat, and is plenty stabile. On your 45 acre pond I think you’ll like it. If you find yourself out on a larger windswept lake you may have some difficulty since it’ll be out of it’s element (it’s really a creek, pond,and swamp boat).

The Pack will be very serviceable, especially if you move the seat forward several inches. As is, the Pack’s seat is too far back, and moving it forward will give you better tracking and initial stability.

If you want to go cheaper, the Disco 119 is also a very serviceable solo. Unless you are using a lot of very poor accesses, the weight difference isn’t too important.

The Vagabond is my favorite fishing solo, but I do mostly stream fishing. But it should be good as a pond and small lake craft. It tracks better than the Pack and 119, and the greater length gives you more options in storing rods and tackle.

Bottom line is that any of them will work.

Not the 119
IMHO it is a terrible boat.

The Pack is OK for small water. The Vagabond is much better. However, neither will take a second passenger.

I like the wenonah Heron suggestion. Wenonah Solo Plus is another, or the Old Town Penobscot 16, Nova Craft Bob Special, and there are a few others. Basically look for a 15 or 16 foot tandem if you want to paddle solo, fish, and take a 10 year-old.

Discovery 119
I have fished a Discovery 119 in little ponds like you intend to fish for over 20 years. It works. It is not a high speed boat and it does not like the wind. But it has put me over thousands of fish (including a few that weighed more than the boat). It is a little heavy for its size - 46 lbs if I remember. It is pretty cheap and as best I can tell indestructable. There are better boats but as I said, it works.


Unless you are a pretty big person, the Vagabond would be a nice fishing canoe. It’s stable and paddles reasonably well. My wife paddles one and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in it.

I think I could stand up in it, but I don’t think I could stand and fish, and I doubt many people would find it fun to try fish standing up out of a Vagabond.

But other than that, I think it would suit your needs.

Curious, how fast is that vagbond on an open lake? Does it handle wind and waves well? Wenonah claims it handles better than a kayak…on their website.

I have done some tripping in my Vagabond on large open water. It handled wind and waves pretty well but it was loaded. I weigh 165 and my gear around 60-70#s so the Vagabond had lots of ballast. I think it would be very crowded with a 10 year old fishing. I used mine alone for fishing (did not stand!) and found it a good fishing platform. But I never tried it with another person - even a little person.