MemberDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
We started kayak fishing this year. Since we never did it before and had no idea if we could be successful we went cheap and bought a couple of sit-ins from Costco. We did some mods to trick them our for fishing (rod holders, anchor cleats, etc). We has a great year, better than expected, but have no idea what to consider if we wanted to move from sit-ins to sit-on-tops. We can’t go crazy expensive to start, so really looking at bang for the buck. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
KrrastGuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
It really depends on your budget, “not expensive” is an unknown. Vibe kayaks are pretty great, pescador isnt bad, theres a ton of different brands and boats out there. The one piece of advice I was given when I purchased my first boat is this: if you have to choose between a great boat, a great paddle, and a great PFD, get the boat. A decent paddle and pfd can be replaced with an upgrade a LOT easier than a decent boat can. If you need more in the way of recommended boats give us some more information: typical and intended water you fish, a budget to consider, the more info the more we can help.
kursahGuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
Sit in’s like that are okay, but a decent sit-on is a blast.
Vibe Skipjack 90 comes to mind and has been on sale lately. There’s the famous Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 for a budget sit-on that folks mod the hell out of and many move on from, but is a great starting point on a budget.
My wife and I purchased some Perception Sound 10.5 sit-ins that we used for several years. Nice, solid, stable, lightweight, decent seat and back support, open tankwell storage. We did a lot of river floats, pond and lake runs, etc. Tons of fishing, great memories were had.
Check out these videos by Dan @ Headwaters, great info. We used them when considering getting a kayak for one of our son’s that was interested in the sport. This is an “under $500” 2-part video that’s informative and quite useful.
So I kept looking, thinking I was ready for something else and since I went out most frequently I’d donate my like new Sound 10.5 to my son, he loves it and its his favorite color, and already has an anchor trolley, scotty mounts, etc. Just got him a kayak-style PFD, paddle, milk crate. So he’s pretty set.
I then caught wind of the announced Bonafide EX123, which looked like a pretty sweet sit-in with a fast top speed, good storage, bulkhead, that was stable enough to stand? But damn, $1000.
Folks like it, but I really thought about what i wanted and figured I’d better search sit-on tops and make sure if I’m going to spend the same amount as two Sound 10.5’s or more…I better damn well like it. After boat loads of research, I was debating on a Vibe Yellowfin or Seaghost, FeelFree Moken 12.5, Crescent Lite or Ultra Lite Tackle, and some more affordable Perception Pescador 12 options. The EX123 was off the list, I just wasn’t sure it was what I wanted…and questioning it like that at its price point, peace out. I considered the RS117 as well, but didn’t want a floating dock necessarily…I wanted something more dynamic than what it could achieve, also wanted a more open deck with no center console. I also still wanted something that was fast, fun to paddle, stable for fishing, and possibly standable.
After some more research, talking to folks, vendors, etc., I ultimately purchased a Crescent Lite Tackle for myself, at the opposite end of cheap at $899 MSRP. I’ve posted about it quite a bit before here, nothing but good things to say.
We ended up getting my wife a Crescent Ultra Lite tackle, which is an amazing little 10ft sit-on kayak. More premium has a cost though, $699 MSRP. I enjoy paddling this too and originally what I was going to get myself as my budget premium fishing kayak, that’s essentially what it is IMHO.
While I spent more than I planned, going with these after some more affordable sit-ins was an excellent transition. But they’ve proven to be an excellent value, and have really taken our experience kayaking and fishing with kayaks to completely new levels of amazing.
The Crescents are better than the Sound 10.5’s in almost every way. Faster (top speed and acceleration), maneuverability, comfort, stability, features, tracking, and storage. The only place the Sound’s were better in my opinion was their light weight and ability to float in shallower water, needing only a few inches, where the Ultra Light Tackle is close to 55lbs and the Lite is around 80lbs, the Sounds were around 40lbs.
The extra weight was worth it in the higher quality plastic, components, hardware, bull design, stability, etc. For the Lite Tackle I use a C-tug, which breaks down and stores easily in the front hatch with room to spare. Since I know I’m karting it down to the water, I gear up at the truck, makes getting on the water nice and quick. I can carry the Ultra Lite Tackle easily by balancing on my head or carrying off to one side. Or C-Tug if I want to gear it up
These are also the kind of kayaks that are just flat out fun to take out for a day of paddling. Dynamic enough for many different kinds of water, especially the Lite Tackle being a little bigger and slightly more rocker shape to the hull to go over waves than the Ultra Lite Tackle.
Not to knock the Sounds, great kayaks that we used to get back into the sport and still look brand new, very well done Perception. But the Crescents are so far beyond them, it is almost unfair to compare them.
After a couple months, that’s where my research took me, and I somehow mustered the budget to make it happen. Worth every penny to us, and I’ve spent more time enjoying days on the water paddling, fishing, etc. Planning some camping excursions next year as well.
Also, have a good paddle, settle for no less than a Bending Branches Whisper ($65), honestly its been one of my favorite budget paddles. For under $100, tough to beat IMO. There’s a lot better in higher $200+ range, and they will help.
What else makes a really good difference is paddling technique. Something I paid no attention to until this past season, and only near the last bit of it. But boy what a difference that and a lighter paddle made. Adding to that the Lite Tackle’s solid cruising speed, tracking and great gliding ability, I can go for miles now. Not something I would’ve ever done in my Perception Sound with my old paddle, or even with the better paddle and technique. It was so much more work to keep near the same speed as the Crescent.
So I’ll share some videos on paddling technique that helped my wife, son and I. Also consider taking some courses locally if possible.
You can absolutely go cheap, check out the Lifetime deal, customize it some. There are some good options if you raise your budget some, or if you really raise it you may get into something amazing. Depends on what you’re after. The Crescents are just such a blast, and so damn solid, I have to share my experiences with them. Whether or not you feel they’re worth the investment is up to you, but definitely do your research, use the recommendations here to start working on identifying what you want, what is and isn’t a priority, you’ll settle on something that’ll work well for you. Let us know what you get. Cheers!
thecraneguy67GuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
I got my eagle talon 12 off of Craigslist for 600 a few years back. Just make sure the hull is not damaged and you’re good to go. As often as I can get out there, which admittedly isn’t much, it works. Plus I got a load of stuff is didn’t have to buy separately. Yay!
MarkociusGuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
So I just got started this past summer in kayak fishing myself. I rented a few boats to try out and decided that a Peddle Powered Kayak was the way for me to go.
I tried the Hobie Pro_Angler 12 that my friend owns, and I was hooked on Peddle Powered. My wife and I started scouring our local sources like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, and a few others. Then we found the boat.
We found a ***Hobie Passport 10.5*** with the upgraded Mirage Drive, (Forward and Reverse), fish finder and even a cart. Found it all for about $1600.
I’ve taken it out about 5 or 6 times since I got it in September.
She’s light and can go through the water pretty easily. She turns very well, and stable enough for me. Heck, I fell like I could stand and fish if I wanted. She is a pain to get to a standing position though.
She has pretty good storage space. But be mindful you only have 1 hatch.
She’s got gear tracks on both sides which makes putting accessories very easy. I am very pleased with her.
She is pretty light out of the water and on the cart. Which is nice since one of the lakes I use her on doesn’t allow vehicles to the boat ramp and it’s a good 100 to 200 yards from the parking lot.
Just some thoughts.
_fuckernaut_GuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
Lifetime Teton looks like a great starter kayak. Never used one personally but they look good for the price point and I have heard a lot of good talk about them. Alternatively, the Lifetime Tamarack is a tried-and-true good starter yak. I have one and so do countless others with good results. To me, the Teton looks like almost the same boat as the Tamarack but with a better seat (this is a huge deal), slightly better storage wells (the Tamarack ones are kinda too shallow to be very useful) and a little bit of gear track for mounting accessories.
PunchClownGuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
I’ve never had a sit-in kayak but I’ve been told the sit-on kayaks are much more stable and better for fishing overall. It’s also easier to access all your gear from your seat in a sit-on yak.
symptomcoGuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
I highly recommend Bonafide Kayaks, but they can get up to $1700. I would look for a Kayak dealer in your area instead of going to Walmart or Academy Sports or other stores like these. Some kayak dealers will set up a payment plan for you.
reddogg74GuestDecember 17, 2019 at 3:41 am
My first kayaks, after selling my polar skiff with 90 hp, were the wilderness tarpon 100 for wife and the 120 for me. I liked both of them for the river but the 10 footer would work you to death on open water, as most would. We used primarily on the river with me going out alone on the 120 in fairly large lakes. I found the seats to be all day long comfortable. Once wife noticed how much faster and straighter the 120 was it became hers. I then moved to a Jackson cuda 12 which again has a great seat and I find to be good for rivers of lakes. Some talk about stability, which I questioned after first couple trips, but you quickly learn what movements you can and can’t do. Then we introduced a dog and found that I needed something more open for the dog to lay down in front of me, 55 lb dog that doesn’t like water was a recipe for swimming. I bought a nucanoe flint untested, dealer j use has a great return policy. For a 11.5ft boat I have been very happy with the flint. It tracks well and is fairly quick. The latest boat is the hobie outback that I bought for the wife to avoid a bass boat. I take it out fishing when she doesn’t go and the peddles are a game changer, cover so much more water vs paddle but the price tag is much different. I like my kayaks to be made in North America so some of the brands mentioned I know nothing about. Based on your picture it looks like a larger lake so I would not suggest an overly wide boat unless you like the workout more than the fishing. If my budget was in the neighborhood of 1k or under then I would check the Jackson bite, perception or wilderness lines or the nucanoe flint.