Melba Kayak April 18th, 2018 - 14:07:21
Kayak fishing has become a major pastime. The surge in kayak fishing has been met by kayak manufacturers with more and more styles of kayaks designed exclusively for fishing. Generally these feature fishing accessories such as rod holders and are more stable to allow for movement without overturning as easily. There are so many kayaks on the market- and specifically fishing kayaks- now that the choice at first can seem daunting. Kayaks come in a variety of lengths, shapes and materials- each designed for a specific purpose. It is best to select from those kayaks that are designed specifically for fishing. Even when you limit your search to fishing kayaks, there are hundreds of models to choose from. The sport however is dominated by a couple dozen models which repeatedly are the favorites among kayak fishermen. Often it is best to stick to a tried and true favorite. There are a number of considerations in selecting the kayak that is right for you and your intended use.
Pros: J-carriers work well to protect the kayak hull from damage when tightening the straps. They will also maximize your roof space to allow for extra kayaks or other accessories. Cons: It can be tough to maneuver the kayak on top of your vehicle and into the side position of the J-carrier, especially if your vehicle is tall. Also, be careful in parking garages as the added height could be a problem. Some examples of J-carriers are: Thule Hullaport and the Malone Autoloader. Vehicle types Cars Cars with short roofs can be a challenge - especially 2-door cars. The shorter the distance between the straps/bars the less secure the system will be. Always, use bow and stern lines when transporting by car or any vehicle with a short roof span - a favorite of ours is the Thule Quickdraw.
Helpers & Load Assist Devices No matter what system you are using you will still have to physically set the kayak into or onto it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will find that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will find what works best for you and your situation. But a little help doesnt hurt. So here is a list of products that can help make bearing the weight a little easier. Thule Hydro Glide: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to hold the kayak during transport. The kayak slides easily on felt covered pads. Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak up onto the roof from the rear of the vehicle. Loading Bars: Thule as well other companies make a bar that extends out so you can lift one end of the kayak on the bar and then lift the other side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger.
Speed: Generally, the longer and narrower a kayak the faster it is. SIKs are usually faster, however there are fast SOTs too. Speed is only important if you need it. If the majority of your fishing is close to shore or in small, protected areas, than you probably wont need a long fast kayak. However, if youre fishing a big reservoir, bay, sound, or in the open ocean the ability to cover distance may be very important to you. An equally sized SIK will usually be faster because it is narrower than a SOT of the same length. Maneuverability: If youre going to fish in small creeks or narrow estuaries, youll probably want a kayak that is easy to maneuver. A long fast touring kayak will be more difficult to use in these situations and might take away from your overall fishing experience. A shorter SOT or SIK will suit you better if these types of environments. On big waters making a sharp turn usually isnt crucial so a longer kayak is not a problem. Accessory Friendly: one of the joys of kayak fishing is converting a simple recreational kayak into a very effective and compact fishing vessel. This is done by adding fishing accessories. How much you add depends largely on your fishing style and your philosophy on gear. Some fishermen just take a rod and a few lures along and others like to bring lots of gear along. No matter what your preference, simply adding one rod holder will greatly increases the fishability of your kayak. Lots of flat surfaces are nice for mounting accessories.