Starter Help

Since I can’t make up my own mind which could be because I really don’t know the answer I’d like a little help picking the right Kayak for fishing. Here is my information;

  • Height 6’5"
  • Weight 240
  • Arms are pretty darn long

    *good shape except rebuilt knee that is not right
  • fishing slower moving river, and lakes ranging from 40 acres to 5000 acres but mostly bay fishing in larger lakes but may need to cross the open water of course.
  • want to paddle don’t want to peddle or electric motor
  • went probably about 30 times this year using an ATAK and the thing was nice but seemed there was always water getting in the compartment but fell in love with this because of that boat so maybe this is normal which might be okay except when it gets cold up here.
  • bass boat sat in the shed all summer while I used a friends ATAK so it is time to do this
  • have good balance and standing is important I like to stand and cast into the vegetation.

    Anyways I added the knee part because a guy told me not to buy a sit in because I had a bum knee not sure if that is true or not. Kilroy and Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 12 looked nice so I was sad to hear that. Anyways I have no trouble throwing the ATAK on and off my truck so I’m not sure how much weight matters but I will say sometimes I wish I could go a little faster. New to this so I’ll listen to what anyone has to say or recommend.

maybe try the fishing forum
I know there are a few guys over there who can help you.

That would make sense
Missed that thanks!

sit on top
The Wilderness Systems ATAK is a sit on top (SOT). As such, you will get splashed and you are exposed to the elements. Sit inside kayaks (SINK) do provide some protection to the elements and often keep you drier (especially when used with a spray skirt). SINKs are harder to get back in to on the water than SOTs, often requiring extra lessons or that you be ready to swim to shore. And SINKs limit your movement around the kayak (where with SOTs you can move around, sit sideways with legs over the side, etc.).

This last point is why many fishermen prefer SOTs over SINKs.

Kayak Help
Given your height, any 12’ boat, regardless of whether it’s a SOT or SINK, is not likely to have enough leg room for you. You’re probably going to feel cramped in or on one.

You are more exposed to the elements and splashes in a SOT. That’s just the nature of them but it’s easy to dress appropriately to keep yourself sufficiently warm and dry in all but the wildest weather. On those types of days, you probably wouldn’t want to be on the water, anyway.

Since standing is important to you when you fish, the Ride 135 is another possibility to consider. It’s 10# lighter and about 3" narrower than the ATAK so it will be a little quicker than the ATAK (if that term can be applied to a fishing SOT pushing 3’ wide). The Max version of it has an adjustable seat that is great but it also adds about $300 to the out the door price. The seat in the regular model is also very comfortable but the seat in the Max is really sweet.

Other makers offer fine boats you should consider and others are likely to chime in about them. I’m most familiar with the Wilderness Systems products. From that standpoint, the ATAK and Ride tick most of your boxes. The rail system built into them allows infinite locations for mounting rod holders, fish finders, cutting boards, and such without drilling any holes through the deck.

The Tarpon 140 or 160 is another SOT from Wilderness. It is narrower (faster) than either of the others but I didn’t suggest it since its deck is not designed for standing up on.

Good luck with your search.

I am exactly your size with leg issues

– Last Updated: Aug-29-15 1:48 PM EST –

and my favorite boat is a Tarpon 160 but I don't fish. Your ideal boat ,imho, is a SOT.

The manufacturers have really gotten into the fishing market. Ocean Kayak, Native, and others are building some great boats now.
I saw one the other day with two wheels on the stern that the guy slid out of his p/u and wheeled down the ramp fully equipped including his son.
Your biggest issue may be finding one with legroom so you have to try before you buy.
I had to remove the foot braces from my T160 to have enough room.