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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So many out there, so many different models, prices, features, lengths, colors. It almost intimidates me to not purchase one with the feeling of wanting to get the best "for my money" attitude the older I get.

Any kayakers on here with experience on brands, features, etc?

My reqs?

1. Less than $500 range so that I can get my feet wet to see if I like it and move up in brands at a later date.
2. No inflatables, also not doing any white water kamikaze trips. Side of the lake trips so that speed boats don't tip me over.
3. Mainly doing this for upper body strength as well as some light fishing from the kayak. If I like it, I'll be getting two of them so my son can go along. As well as serving down the road in any type of flooded disaster situation with kayak experience.


What brands to stay away from? There are some used ones on Craigslists, do I need to stay away from them or ask certain questions (holes, repatched etc)? Good place to purchase from (Mailorder, local stores etc)? Items to purchase (paddles, roof top carrier for honda 98 crv, vests with co2 or already padded)?
 

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Just curious - why not a canoe? It can carry a lot more gear, you can flip it over your head for a storm shelter, and you can fit an electric motor just in case you suffer an upper body injury.

I canoe with my Lab, and I hauled a guy out to a life flight after he broke his back kayaking. Hit a rock and turtled, hit a boulder and fractured his spine. He could not get out when it turtled.

If you get a kayak, I would get a "sit on top" kayak - especially if you are fishing off of it. You can wear waders and swim fins, and use your legs off the sides to maneuver and fight big fish.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just curious - why not a canoe? It can carry a lot more gear, you can flip it over your head for a storm shelter, and you can fit an electric motor just in case you suffer an upper body injury.

I canoe with my Lab, and I hauled a guy out to a life flight after he broke his back kayaking. Hit a rock and turtled, hit a boulder and fractured his spine. He could not get out when it turtled.

If you get a kayak, I would get a "sit on top" kayak - especially if you are fishing off of it. You can wear waders and swim fins, and use your legs off the sides to maneuver and fight big fish.
Thanks for the suggestions. I've been considering a sit on top style. I already have 2 canoes, but taking those with me everywhere I go on my CRV is kinda hard to do when I just want to "drop in" some stream/lake somewhere for a few hours.
 

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In your price range a good starter Yak to consider would be the Ocean Kayak Scrambler. Its a fairly decent SOT Yak and sometimes you can catch them on sale at places like REI and Academy. Its by no means I Yak I would want to use long term but it is pretty good for getting your feet wet. Unless your pretty petite I would invest in some scupper plugs unless you enjoy the "wet butt" syndrome. You will find most Yaks are rated for a lont more weight than they can really carry. I think the capacities are for whats required to sink it not what it can really carry and perform with. If your going to use it for fishing definitely SOT is the way to go unless its cold out much of the time where you are. Dont get the fishing models! Get the standard model and just break out the drill, dremil tool and rivit gun. You can do a much better job rigging it and further more rig it the way you want to suit your needs best. Hook1 is a great place to get your accessories and rigging gear. If you want to mount a FF on it then I would suggest one of those small 7 amp hour batteries like the ones used for back up power on security alarm systems. I have had excellent success with these gel cell batteries and they are fairly small and light weight for the amount of power they can provide. I would also recommend that you get a suction cup fitting to mount the transducer in vs mounting inside the hull. The bottom is going to eventually get scratched and this will require remounting of the transducer in another spot which is a major PITA even if you have another scratch free spot on the hull to mount it at. Do ask me how I know this...yep been there done that! Dont under estimate the value of a good paddle. Yeah you can get one that works good enough for government work for about 20 bucks at Academy, but trust me once you upgrade to a better paddle in the price range of a 100 bucks only then will you be able to relate to what I am talking about. No you dont need a 250 dollar carbon fiber paddle but they are kick ass!!! Irregardles of what ever yak you look at now or in the future if your fishing on open water, lake or ocean, I would suggest you look at a Yak with a good bit of rocker to it. Rocker is best described as banana shaped from stem to stern in other words some curve to it. Look at the profile of the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 or 15 to see what I am talking about here. It will cut through the waves better as opposed to plowing through them. This will give you more speed and a much drier ride with a lot less effort. For like type use I would seriously consider the longer Yaks as opposed to the shorter ones. Short and wide = manuverable. Long and skinny = easier to paddle with less effort, usually better tracking without a rudder and are better for longer trips out on the water. Seats...get a good high back seat preferably one with a gel pad that has room for the "whole fanny". This is not an area to cut corners and save a couple of bucks! Cheaper made seats are fine for about a hour, 3 hours later though your going to have knumb legs, aching butt and hating life and need a walker for a while after you get off the water unless your 19 years old again until you get your legs "back". Fishing rods...this requires some special considerations if your serious. Get rods long enough that sitting in your Yak you can reach the tip past the bow with some bend in it from a fighting fish. On a big fish if you let it get past the 10-2 o clock positions your going for an unplanned swim along with everything on board! Get rods with shorter than normal butts on them. You might not think this is much of an issue but when your sitting in a Yak and not standing up on the bank or at a chair on a bass boat it is a major issue in manuverability and casting. Anchors....avoid the cheesey ass grapling hook anchors under 5 lbs with only 25 feet of line. They are a waste of money. You want a 5 lbs anchor minimum. I found out that a 5 lbs Fluke anchor aint good enough here on my lake recently and will be moving to a anchor at least twice that weight or heavier. You need about 3 times as much anchor line as your water is deep or your going to have issues if there is much in the way of wind. Leash everything you dont not want to loose and leave everything you dont want wet ashore.

I am sure I for got a lot but this ought to give you a plate full to ponder. I have been doing big time Kayak fishing for about 7 years now with a FW personal best of 38 lb Blue Catfish and in SW several fish over 100 lbs. Its been a major learning experience along the way but its been a heck of a lot of fun to be sure!
 

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Make sure you get one big enough to fit a V8 engine.
 

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I've made no secret - the traditional canoe is a work horse. I prefer the Old Town Day Tripper, but an aluminum Grumman will get the job done as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, LF, great info! A lot of things to think about like you said. You summed it up really well instead of reading store ads over and over. Going to consider all of this.

GT, I have 2 17' Grummans right now. Been stuck with those brands since I watched Deliverance. :-?
 

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Wow, LF, great info! A lot of things to think about like you said. You summed it up really well instead of reading store ads over and over. Going to consider all of this.

GT, I have 2 17' Grummans right now. Been stuck with those brands since I watched Deliverance. :-?
No worries tough guy, aint nothing but a thang.

Kayak fishing has been one of the more fun activities I have taken up. Youd be hard pressed to find a more stealthy way to stalk your favorite fishing spot. Plus when your down that close to water level where the real action is its about as fun as it gets.

I have learned a lot over the years the hard way. What I really like about Yaks is the infinite number of ways they can be easily modified to suit ones specific needs. For example mine has an anchor trolley system, Fish Finder, 360 degree white light, auxillary lighting, a couple of rod holders, extra access hatch just to name a few. None of the mods were hard to do and took less than a saterday afternoon and a six pack of your favorite suds. Its really that easy! They have made a huge difference in capabilities to my Yak and turned it into quiet the fish killing machine.

Ive pretty much reached my point of productivity with my Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 (still made for Bass Pro and for Ocean Kayak its now the Trident line with a few up grades in design) and if I up grade it will be to a Hobie with a Mirage Drive. The Hobies seem a little pricey but when you consider all of the things that come standard that on other brands are optional equipment at a considerable price, they are actually pretty competitively priced!!! Then when you consider the additional accessories designed specifically for use with the Hobie brand, no one else is even in the same catagory.
 

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I have 2 17' Grummans right now. Been stuck with those brands since I watched Deliverance. :-?
But do you got a purdy mouth? :p
lol
jk

I'll bet most folks here have never seen Deliverance.
 

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Look for a USED FOLDING skin on frame kayak. They are incredibly safe and stable and much more lively to paddle than a rigid kayak [ they "slither" over waves rather than pound through them. These can pack up into one or two man portable duffle bags, or can be carried in your BOV, or stored in your "survival gear" closet. A good used Klepper douple should be within you budget [ made in Germany so VERY expensive when new]. These boats are not toys ... the military and expedition models have BTDT just about everywhere ... including military Special forces sneak and peek missions. The Klepper singles are not as common, and will probably cost more than you want to spend.

If you just want a single, look at the FOLBOT line.
If you are under 220 lbs, I can recommend the older/discontinued? Folbot Aleut.

Folbot Aleut and Me out into the Pacific

Otherwise they have larger singles like the Yukon.
good luck, and whatever you do,
ALWAYS wear a wet suit and flotation.

If you fall out of a regular non-folding SKINNY kayak, it can be incredibly difficult for a beginner to get back in before hypothermia makes your hands unable to grasp and your co-ordination go to hell.
BTDT
[;{)
LAZ 1
 

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I didn't even read the whole post, WTF would a serious prepper buy a kayak?

Please take this somewhere else.
 

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AU CONTRAIRE ...
how can any SERIOUS Prepper not have some kind of watercraft available??

Two thirds of our world is covered by water, not dirt.
And in a SHTF situation,
living off the water could be much easier, [and much safer ... with much less competition ] than fighting over the disappearing game and overly grazed crops with all the landlubbers stuck somewhere near some land locked city.

Even in a scantily populated area like Montana?

There are literally thousands of miles of shoreline, islands, inlets, and isolated lakes [ even in Montana ] that are accessible ONLY by boat.

If your plans include bugging out, and if these plans are realistic and comprehensive,
then you should be concerned about crossing water, cause most likely, sooner or later, you might need to.

A folding kayak takes care of this watery/splashy requirement quite nicely.

HOWEVER,
since I currently live on a Gulf Island in the Pacific, my bug out plans are heavily weighted towards water.
I have a 27' command bridge cabin cruiser and the gear required to live off the ocean [ crabbing/prawning/fishing ].


My bug out plans are flexible and versatile,
AND also include a mountain bicycle,
and a kayak,
and a dual sport motorcycle,

and backpacking gear
and [as a LAST resort ] a hay burner
.

Having a B/O Plan B [ and C and D and E ] are much better than just having a Plan A.
All of these are viable and realistic alternatives as Bug Out Vehicles just might be useful in a crunch.
SO PLEASE KEEP THIS THREAD HERE in the BOV section!!

The opinions expressed in this posting are free,
and may be worth less than you paid for them
and
YPMMV
[;{)
LAZ 1
 

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Haha nice reply but I didn't see your Kayak?

A sea worthy SAILBOAT might me an option, the motor cycle is a bad idea unless you deploy enforce.

I can get into the Horse as I have 4, but how does that apply to a kayak?

Kayaks are for fun, and is an unrealistic prep.
 

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Kayaks are for fun, and is an unrealistic prep.
For some depending on your location perhaps your right about that. I wouldnt be quick to write them off entirely, mines a fish slaying machine, Im lake front and if the SHTF...I aint going hungry anytime soon courtesy of my Kayak. They dont do everything great but they do a lot of things very well and the rest adequately enough to pick up the check.
 

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If you live on the water a kayak could be a good BOV. I traveled the length of the Mississippi in one so they are certainly capable.
 

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We used to live on the beach in Florida and had 2 of the Wilderness System 12 ft sit on top kayaks and they were great for fishing. We would take them in the bays and fish the mangrove backwaters for snook,trout and some big redfish where you could take them in some REAL shallow water where other boats couldn't get to... They are a lot of fun. I can see them for an emergency bov in possibly a flood or maybe taking them back into the swamps or something. You just can't carry much on them.

Now if you are just talking about using them for fun. I would suggest one. We unfortunately got rid of them a while back when we decided to move away from the water. I already regret it! There are plenty of reservoirs around me and even the Missouri River. I read somewhere Montana has more shoreline than California. I already picked up my fiance a 10ft sit on top kayak and looking for a 12ft one for myself. I picked hers up for $100 and it was only int he water a few times. But you can get nice ones for $4-$500 anymore.. We got our first ones 8 to 10 years ago and they were over $1000 ea.. It is amazing how much they have dropped since.. They are very popular in Florida..
 
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