Tell me I did the right thing.

My wife has always wanted a Kayak and she had a bad week last week, so we bought her a Kayak. I had to get one too even though I would have ratehr gotten on elong canoe instead of two Kayaks. One of the things that I wanted in a boat was to use it for fishing ponds and small rivers to see if I could eliminate my 12’ Raddison from the fleet. She wanted a stabel, easy to pasddle boat that would be reasonably fast. She will probably do little or no paddling without me and I will only go without her if I find the boat to be a good fishing platform.

We went to the store and the salesman/guide listened to us and took us straight to a set of Old Town Dirigos. 12’ for her and 14’ for me. We listened to him. He said that the matched boats wold handle, and track and have similar speeds relative to our weights and sizes. The 14’ version also has a huge cockpit for the dog/kid and deploying/working on fishing tackle. She wanted something smaller. I wnated something more of a SOT/Canoe hybrid. He indulged us and we paddled a bunch of boats around their small pond in the rain. We came back to the boats that he recomended in the first place. He kept us from spending more money than we needed to.

Funny thing: I felt much safer in the sit-in recreational boat than I did in a dedicated fishing SOT style kayak when I started to rock them back and forth. I get panic stricken if the canoe that I already have wobbles more than a dock!

The thing is, as I look at the 14’ boat sitting in my garage it looks so long. I’m not sure that it’s the right size for what I want it for and that another 12’ boat might have been better. I know that I read a lot about the guys fishing from a SOT boat using 10,11, or twelve footers.

Did I do the right thing?

Depends on how much water
you are going to cover while fishing…

If fishing only small ponds, then 14’ might be a bit long, but even then, not too long… You will apprecite the extra space for equipment.

If you will fish larger water and rivers, then 14’ will seem too short, especially when trying to paddle against a current and wind on a river… My 16’ Tarpon is a B*&$# under those conditions.

The 14’ moel is a very good compromise, and does allow for access to all types of water fairly readily.

Answer… Not really. 14’ is fine for most fishing applications.


As Fly said, it depends on the water
you fish. I’ve a Loon 138, very similar to the Dirigo. It works fine. The only issue I have is with the weight. The 14 will glide well and be very comfortable. The 12 is also a nice boat. It turns better, though, once used to the 14, you won’t notice the difference. You would not have one wrong with two 12 footers, but the 14 is fine too. You will appreciate it if you take out the dog and/or the kid.

Or if you catch a REALLY BIG or Lots
of Fish…


Good decision.
When you’re paddling together, you will appreciate the 14’. If you find you would prefer the 12’ in the water you’re in solo for fishing, you can always use your wife’s 12 footer. Have fun and be safe.


You did fine
I’ve got a 13’6" recreational kayak that I used for years on the Potomac, Shenandoah, and other larger rivers and smallish lakes (100 acre to 250 acre). Great boat for it. Very similar to your Dirigo 14’.

If you’re interested in fishing small creeks that are only 20 feet wide, then a 14’ boat might present a problem. But, for what you described, I think you’ll be happy with your purchase.

  • Big D

Hey! I popped my Cherry!

– Last Updated: May-08-08 11:55 PM EST –

We took the boats to the lake this evening and after some discussion about how heavy they were and a bunch of other whinny nonsense we got her 12 footer in the water and I learned that I can very easily sling a 60 pound kayak onto a lifted Land Rover after having a "discussion" with my wife! Any way, she complained that it was too long AND too slow (either/or babe, not both: not in a beginner boat for sure1!) and that it was heavy which I didn't think she could tell since she didn't lift a finger to move this thing. By the time she had decided that she WAS going to paddle after all I had already re-attached the 14 footer to the top of the LR and it sure as crap wasn't coming down again! So, when she was done paddling and bitching I grabbed her paddle (230s for both of us?) and her boat and went out on the lake to blow off some steam.

I have no technique to speak of and I didn't get the night-and day difference in the handling of the canoe and the yak that I had expected. It was stable enough and turned easily and went pretty fast if I put my back into it, but much slower than I expected, if you follow my meaning. I think that the 14 footer will do much better with that extra 24" to support my vast bulk which, by the way, took up a great majority of the cockpit space. So much s that I couldn't really see myself rigging fishing rods and such in there. I'm glad that the 14 has a much larger opening! Any way, that's that. Great upper body work out and no one drowned or GOT drowned so there we go.

With my Loon 138, I use a 220 paddle
Started with a 230…that’s typically what dealers tell newbies they need. Had a problem with the paddle, sent it to Aquabound and, instead of a repair, they sent me a new paddle. The 220 was what they had in the shop, asked me if that was OK, and I jumped at as I had decided that a 220 would be better. I’ve been much happier with the 220. When you upgrade paddles, you may want to give one a try.

Especially on not drowning a whiner. It can be difficult to avoid on a paddling trip.

  • Big D

Mr. Grumpy
I don’t know your wife’s experience w/kayaking, but if she hasn’t had much, it may take her time to get used to kayaking and the new kayak. I’d give her some time and maybe the whining will stop. She has to get used to it more. Hang in there. If it turns out she doesn’t like kayaking as much as she thought, cut bait and sell the kayak as we are coming into peak kayaking season in most areas. If you got a decent deal on it, there won’t be much of a loss.

When my husband is fishing, I keep paddling close to shore to look at sealife and the Great Blue Herons on shore. It works out well. Good luck!


You did the right thing.
Now you have variety built right in.

14 is not too long. Only the tightest shortest creeks might offer some impedance to your day’s enjoyment. I take my 14.5 footer almost everywhere my 9.5 footer goes. I sometimes have to back out instead of whip around like my little yak. But I think my 14 sits lighter on the water for sure. I can sneak across flats where we drag the 9.5s.

Your wife should meet mine. Then we could go yaking while they sit and critque at/about us on shore. Perhaps they’re sisters in former life.

I wouldn’t mind so much…
… but the whole Kayak thing was HER idea! I didn;t even want one and the SHE gets all…UGH!

I have taken mine out a couple times now and I’m not sur if I mentioned it in this thread or not but the 14 footer feels much better than the 12 with ME in it and I have tken it up a very shallow and narow stream and I was OK untill the deadfall. Then I had to turn around but I’m a guy so I had no trouble three-pointing her about.

Keep paddling and talking about how
much fun you are having, she may decide to join in. If not, you have a kayak to lend a buddy. Also, look around for a paddling club…one that just has fun paddling around. She may like the group thing.

Don’t take her anywhere scary.
Keep it easy and pleasant and soon she will be begging for you to skip that lawn job and scoot around the water instead. Hey, women never know what they want. Fortunately, you made the move and purchased at her suggestion. Had it been you with the idea, you may have never gotten a kayak.

My wife really moaned when I tried to introduce her to yaking. First time out she had fun. Second time I informed her we would be switching boats. She informed me I was wrong. Third time out I told her before we went, we will paddle to location, then we switch and paddle back. Again, she would not get out of the kayak. I had to buy a second kayak. I guess it took. Now she won’t go tandem canoe unless there is some unsolvable reason we cannot take two kayaks. It works for me.

Happy paddling.

My wife loves going
But, as much of a planner and worrier as I am, she’s ten times worse on each. Getting her to agree to go is impossible because she doesn’t want to take the kids (though we have from time to time and they had fun and were kept safe) or doesn’t want to burden teh neighbors watching the kids for a full day. Why, I don’t know because we do that kind of thing for each other all the time. We are blessed with great neighbors who have kids roughly the same age as ours.

Kids are a little older now, youngest is three and VERY active and strong and agile. I’m not sure she’s mine, in fact, she’s so agile and strong. (jk) We will hopefully be seeing more of the water. Probably flatwater for a while. I do love my rivers, but current scares my wife. Only because she doesn’t understand how easy of water I typically run.

  • Big D

For Mrs. Grumpy
Mr. Grumpy, perhaps you can add in some other added attraction, like does she like photography? Have her take the camera, or if you can go ashore during your trip, take food, have a picnic or bring snacks, bring binoculars, etc. Bring that other guy she’s been seeing (only kidding, lol).


Well, she’s “into” it NOW!
And with a vengance! We must have done 12 miles in two days this weekend. I’m not sure how that stacks up to you hard-core types but she went from zero to that in two days. I tagged along as best I could. The other guy thing may have been a joke but she and my friend Chet have an on-going friendly rivalry going and when Chet and his wife bought (gasp!) inflatable Kayaks it was ON! Oh, that and the fact that I finally let her take the dog in the boat with her after she survived the first day.

Truth be told I was VERY worried about the NooB paddler, the new boat and the active dog. She did well on her first day and managed to not flip over on what little wake we encountered and didn’t have to be towed back to the landing at the end of the day. Actually, I was VERY surprised at how curtious the Powerboaters were: nary a wake was made when they passed out little flotilla and lack of skills had the four of us taking up most of the lake. So, the dog (a JRT) came the next day. In short order he fearlessly hoisted himself out of the cockpit and onto the front deck where he proceeded to fall in. Sarah quickly fished him out by his collar and he sat his wet, cold little but dutifully in her lap. Until he dried off. Then it was back onto the bow and back in the drink two more times before he learned to lay there quietly and stop trying to watch the fish from over the side!

Wife and dog had a great weekend of paddling. I think she likes it now. She’s already talking about a camping trip on the Sacco.

Congrats…Bring your fishing rods…