How to Choose a Fishing Kayak

How to Choose a Fishing Kayak
The popularity of kayaking has grown exponentially in the past 20 years. From whitewater kayaking to kayak fishing, people are taking to the water in droves. So you want to get involved but you aren't sure how to decide on the right kayak for you? Let this be your guide.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Figure out your budget. Kayaks are priced anywhere from 200 dollars up to thousands of dollars.
Step 2
Determine which of two drive systems is right for you. The first is the standard paddle-drive kayak. This type would be suitable for those fishing in a relatively small area such as ponds, lakes and bayous. The second type is a pedal-operated vessel. These kayaks can be paddled in standard fashion but are also equipped with a pedal system which makes traveling long distances far less fatiguing. A pedal-drive kayak is recommended for those who take to the oceans or gulfs. Hobie makes reliable and stable pedal-drive kayaks.
Step 3
Decide on the features that are right for you. Make sure your kayak has enough rod holders and storage to accommodate all of the gear that you will need.
Step 4
Test drive a kayak. Many shops offer the option to test drive several kayaks which will really let you know what you like and what you don't like about particular models.
Step 5
Pay attention to the vessel's width, draft and loaded weight capacity. These are essential to your comfort, not only while kayaking but while transporting the vessel.

Tips & Warnings

Buy what is comfortable and large enough to easily support your weight. Weight rating is very important, because when a kayak is loaded with gear it alters the weight substantially.
Test driving a kayak is the best way to figure out exactly what suits you. I highly recommend not buying a kayak without trying it out first. It may have all of the options that you desire, but it might handle badly in the water where you plan to fish.
Remember to get all of your required safety gear when buying a kayak. Check your local boating regulations. The required equipment varies from state to state.


Article Written By Justin Otto

Justin K. Otto is a freelance writer & editor from Pensacola, Florida. He has been writing for 9 years and professionally for just over 2 for several publications such as The Pensacola News Journal, a Gannett Publication, the PJC Corsair and Kayak Angler Magazine. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in journalism.

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