The purpose of the wide variety of kayak designs is to not only cater to your personal needs but the waters you’ll be fishing in. The only real difference between a kayak used for recreation and one used for fishing is the rod holder on your fishing vessel.
You can buy your fishing kayak straight from the manufacturer, with the rod holder already installed, or you can buy your rod holder separately, a useful addition that is cheap and easy to install.
However, when it comes down to the question of which kayak to buy to fulfill your fishing needs, the answer depends on where you plan to fish.
For fishing in small lakes and ponds, any kayak offered in the recreational class is a good bet. Their length can run from eight to fourteen feet. The short stern and broad cockpit make it easy to navigate and fish without constantly correcting your direction with your paddle.
They will run a straight course with very little effort, leaving at least one hand free at all times to handle your fishing rod.
The sit on kayak has become the hands down favorite of serious anglers fishing from small lakes and ponds as it is a very stable craft, allowing a hands-free environment for setting hooks and reeling in the catches.
What the short, broad cockpit kayak doesn’t have, is speed.
This might be a frustrating drawback if you want the wide-open space of a large lake. Arriving at your destination can be a tiring task. To solve this problem, Hobie has come out with a pedal-powered craft.
When your arms grow tired of paddling, you can always peddle. The pedal does have a drawback. It’s not at all recommended for shallow areas because now you no longer have a boat that can simply glide on water, skimming unobtrusively over weeds and mud filled shoals. The pedal can get snagged, grounding you as surely as going out in a heavy bottomed boat.
The most recommended craft for navigating streams is a kayak-canoe hybrid.
Combining the aerodynamics of a canoe with the fat bottom of a kayak, along with an open cockpit, the hybrid glides easily through streams, whether they are shallow, twisted or narrow. While the hybrid doesn’t completely meet the aesthetic tastes of the true kayak addict, it’s quickly becoming the favored choice of crafts for stream loving fishermen.
With all the options on the table, or in the sporting goods department I should say, the traditional sit in kayak is still hailed the most practical craft you can buy if you intend to do serious fishing.
The traditional kayak will handle any type of environment. It is the only recommended craft for white water rapids, choppy waters and ocean fishing. It has the largest storage capacity of any of the kayak offers. It’s the most sheltered boat for cold climates.
A traditional kayak can be outfitted with a motor, an anchor and a navigational system. It’s large enough to go into deep water and haul in that prized halibut or king salmon. Its upturned bow and stern allow for strength and breaks the effects of rocking from surf or waves.
Before purchasing your kayak, you need to be honest with yourself.
- Are you planning to take it out on the local lake for a little relaxing fishing and recreation?
- Do you have a variety of places you’d like to go and areas you’d like to test?
- Are you looking for speed or greater stability?
Before answering these questions, go down to the docks and rent a kayak.
If the traditional kayak doesn’t feel quite right and you don’t think you’ll be going on any deep water adventures, try out a recreational model.
It won’t be long before you find just the model you are seeking. Some companies are even happy to apply your rental costs to a discount on your chosen model.
Remember that recreational class kayaks are limited in where they can go and what they can do, so if you want an all-around craft and you’re willing to make the extra effort necessary for learning to navigate a traditional kayak, there’s one waiting just for you.