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I’m thinking about picking up kayak fishing, mainly using a fly rod but I also have and use other conventional gear as well.

I’d be brand new to kayak fishing and kayaks in general and have just started watching YouTube videos on reviews etc.

Wondering if anybody here could let me know what to look for in a decent fishing kayak, Or at least point me in the right direction to find out more info I would need.

I’m looking to pick up just a used one to start off and not really wanting to “ball out” on a brand new one with all the gear as I just start off.

TYIA
 

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If you are going to use it for fly fishing I would suggest you buy something with a wide stable platform for standing. Cabelas sells Ascend kayaks and something like the 128T might be good for that type of fishing.
 

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My primary concerns were stability and load capacity. I’m 6’2” and close to 300 lbs and my wife needs to know I’m not going to drown myself in the first 5 minutes on the water.
 

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If you are going to use it for fly fishing I would suggest you buy something with a wide stable platform for standing. Cabelas sells Ascend kayaks and something like the 128T might be good for that type of fishing.
I've got the 128T and despite having pretty good balance (IMO), I have yet to get the nerve to stand up in it. Feels like one wrong move and I'd be swimming.

Jackson, Nu Canoe, and 3Waters make some wide, stable kayaks.
 

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I own several Jackson kayaks and love the brand. If you want to fly fish from the kayak, stability would be key with standing and casting (so wide kayak like everyone is saying). Also, another important factor is open deck space so your line doesn't get tangled up on anything. How wide depends on multiple factors like your size and how well you hold your center of gravity (eg. I have narrower kayaks that I wouldn't stand on as I am 6'1" and 215lbs but my buddy stands on it with ease casting muskie baits, so it all depends on the person) and also depends how far you want to paddle because if you get a big massive kayak, so won't be wanting to go as far paddling. Jackson actually sells a kayak specific for fly fishing with these factors in mind, it's called the Mayfly, I would recommend checking out their website and watching some videos. If that is out of the price range, they also have a kayak called the Bite which is basic but wide and stable with an open deck for a really good price point for the quality you get with the Jackson brand. I will also be selling a couple of kayaks this spring and I would say come by to take a look and chat about kayak fishing, but as it stands wouldn't be able to do that any time soon. Feel free to PM with any specific questions etc as I said I've paddled pretty much every Jackson fishing kayak. Good luck in the search
 

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Murds always gives great advice and Jackson is a great brand.


I have to give a shout out to FeelFree Kayaks. I purchased a Feel Free Lure 10 from Jo-Brook Outdoors in Brandon. I believe it comes in a 10. 11.5 and 13.5 model. it is a great fishing unit for smaller bodies of water. it is also built like a tank and I personally find it easy to stand up on and very stable. My favorite part of it is the seat, it is very comfortable and has a raising and lower mechanism for paddling/fishing and it pretty much acts like a lawn chair when its full raised. also it comes with two rails on either side to mount electronics, extra rod holders etc etc. downside is that being built like a tank it is also a heavy unit and is more appropriate for small bass/trout lakes unless your in great shape as it takes some effort to get it up to a high speed of travel.


I dove into kayak fishing two summers ago after I sold my little 14ft Lund as my family just wasn't interested in coming out. I thought the smart thing to do was to buy an entry level yak and spend around 500-600 on my first unit to see if I would enjoy it. I purchased a sit on top pelican angler style kayak...…..what a mistake that was. the molded seat was terrible and gave me hip pain and leg strain after an hour....I could paddle like the wind but I sacrificed comfort. With my new unit I can go for 4-5 hours without having to pull into shore for a quick stretch and a walk to loosen up the lower half of the body.


If you are going to buy used try to ball out as much as you can as the comfort and accessories of a higher end model are worth it.


oh and when I bought it last spring Jo-Brook also had used demo units for sale. I dont know if they do this year but it wouldn't hurt to give them a call and ask. (204) 727-3552. I paid 999 for my new unit on their spring sale I believe it was 450 off the sticker price as I am pretty sure it was the previous years model.


just my 2cents of someone who has just started.


I also see MEC sells them new


https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5040-588/Lure-13-5-Kayak
 

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I lucked out on a used Native Ultimate 12. The guy I bought it from had used it for fly fishing, evidently. They're pretty reasonably priced new, though I don't believe you can get them locally.

I've been very happy with it. It's a hybrid (meaning it's more of an open concept, like a canoe), and has a tunnel hull, this makes it very stable. I've never had the nerve to stand up in it but I'm sure it could be done. One negative is that it is NOT self bailing, like a SOT. It hasn't been an issue for me, but it is something to be aware of if you plan on taking it on big water (it can get a little hairy).

Something else that should be considered, that I never see discussed is, how much does the kayak weigh and how do you intend on transporting it. IE: If this is going on the roof of your car, consider how easily you will be able to get it up there. Mine's <50lbs so it's no issue but some of the bigger SOT models, it would be a real struggle, I would think.

Whatever you decide, I would at least stick to a higher than bottom end model of a reputable brand name, for a couple reasons.
1. The bottom end models (regardless what you're buying) are generally not purpose built. They're built to meet a price point. How it operates is secondary priority as far as design and function goes IMHO.
2. If, for whatever reason, you want to unload the boat, it will hold its value better and be much easier to sell.
 
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Completely agree with Tacogeoff and Kenmore63 with going as higher end as possible as they are purpose built and hold value. Also with the higher end, they can take more abuse and don't "flex" like some of the lower end models. By flex, I mean the rotomolded walls are not as thick which can cause bowing and easier to damage. Also, I originally started out with a $400 dollar pelican which I retrofitted for fishing and actually didn't enjoy kayak fishing with that, it almost turned me away from the sport before I really got into it until I switched to a Jackson yak, now I am addicted to the sport! Comfort all day with those seats! Also agree with Kenmore63 on weight for transport and getting to the spot on the same lines as paddling a beast of a kayak, if it's super big and heavy, won't be going too far. I will be selling a Cruise FD (flex drive with the pedals) and my fishing SUP (yes, you can fish from an SUP) if anyone is interested, just shoot me a PM. I will eventually put up a post on the buy section.
 
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