Tips for Buying a Fishing Kayak

Tips for Buying a Fishing Kayak

Indigenous people living along the Arctic Circle have been using light, paddle-powered kayaks or canoes for generations for both travel and fishing. However, kayak fishing as a sport is also popular form of recreation that all types of people enjoy. A fishing kayak is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. It allows fishing enthusiasts to reach spots that normal boats cannot, to catch some rare fish. Investing in a fishing kayak is worthwhile for people who truly love this sport. Finding the right one is not difficult, especially when buyers follow some tips from experts.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Type of Fishing Kayak

There are many different types of fishing kayaks on the market, and first time buyers can have a hard time picking the right one. The best way to start is by learning about the different types of fishing kayaks so they can make the right decision. There are two main types of fishing kayaks: sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks.

Sit-on-Top vs. Sit-in Kayaks

Buyers can choose from either a sit-on-top kayak, also called SOTs, or sit-in kayaks, also known as SIKs. SOTs have a seat molded right on top of the main kayak structure, instead of the more traditional kayak model where the person is actually sitting inside a hollow tube. SOTs are easier to get in and out of, customizable, and more comfortable since the person can move around and adjust his or her position easily. SOTs do have certain disadvantages. They have a higher center of gravity, which makes them less stable, and these types of kayaks are often slow and heavy.

SIKs, on the other hand, feature the more familiar kayak design wherein the person sits in the hollow of the boat. This makes for a more stable ride and these kayaks are lighter and faster than SOTs, not to mention provide additional protection from cold and wet conditions. However, users can become uncomfortable over a long period of time, and getting in and off the kayak is a challenge.

Tip 2: Consider Propulsion Systems

Aside from configuration, buyers can also choose from paddle, pedal, and motorized fishing kayaks. One advantage of kayak fishing is the ability to get to fishing spots others cannot access. Kayak fisherman need to power their boats somehow so they can get to and from their desired locations. The most common and inexpensive option is the paddle. Paddle kayaks are relatively cheap and do not rely on batteries or fuel to run. However, paddling is very tiring, especially for those who want to go far. After paddling, the person may be too tired to consider fishing. A good option would be a motorized kayak. These kayaks have their own trolling motors so the user does not have to bother with paddles, allowing him or her to concentrate on fishing. These kayaks tend to be more expensive and heavier, not to mention require more setup and preparation to ensure the motor runs perfectly.

A good alternative to either type of propulsion system would be the pedal fishing kayak. These kayaks have flippers, which the user powers by pedals located by the feet. These free up the user's hands while still allowing him or her to go long distances without becoming too tired.

Tip 3: Be Mindful of Location

Where the person plans to fish is another important consideration. There is a big difference between freshwater lakes and oceans. Open bodies of water tend to have choppy waves and a light kayak may not be appropriate for some conditions. On the other hand, asmall kay ak allows for more maneuverability in streams, swamps, and small rivers.

Another reason why buyers should think about location is that they need to figure out a way to transport and launch the kayak. Not many people have a dock in their backyard and most kayak fishermen must transport their gear from their home to the water. A small kayak can fit on top of an SUV, but users must pull larger kayaks with a trailer. Water access is another problem, as not all places allow people to drive their car to the edge of the water and launch directly. A large kayak is a problem for those who have to park their car in a separate location and carry their gear to the water.

Tip 4: Choose a Comfortable Seat

Kayak fishing can take hours, so comfort is definitely a big consideration for buyers. A basic kayak most likely has a hole or a plastic seat included, though some do have padded canoe seats. The buyer should have enough space to stretch. Those who want to buy a more comfortable kayak seat separately should buy a kayak with enough room to fit the seat and the person.

Tip 5: Inspect the Storage Space

A kayak fisherman requires more storage space than regular kayakers do. For one, he or she requires space for fishing rods and bait, and perhaps a cooler to keep any fish. A fishing kayak should have enough space to haul all these things, plus any other personal items. A kayak tackle bag, for example, is one accessory any fishing enthusiast should have, so there should be enough space inside to hold it and prevent it from falling overboard.

How to Buy

Although some people think eBay is only for antiques and collectibles, it is actually a great source for sporting equipment, including fishing kayaks. By using the right combination of keywords in the search engine, which is available on every page, you can find a variety of kayaks to peruse. Before making any purchase, read the listing page carefully to make sure this is the kayak you want. Kayak fishing is a fun sport that tests a person's strength and skill. For some, it is a fun way to get in shape, while others simply take pleasure in fishing and finding that big catch. The right kayak makes any afternoon of fishing safe and enjoyable.

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