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SEwalleye

Help picking a Kayak

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Can you help a newbie out? I want to expand my fishing opportunities & would like to purchase a kayak for fishing. 90% of its use will be for small river fishing in the southern parts of MN & 10% for miscellaneous pond/lake paddling. Rivers like Cannon, Zumbro, Root & other smaller feeder creeks/river would be my destination.

From the research I've done, I'm thinking a sit on top, but I really need some guidance. I am looking to spend around $1,000 - $1,200 all in, including accessories - what are your opinions? Thanks for the help!

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Your price range will really open things up, which is a good thing. What kind of accessories do you want to have though?

If it's a SOT you want, check out kayaks like the Ocean Kayak Trident 13, or if your budget allows the Jackson Cuda 12. That is a sweet ride for sure. Wilderness Systems makes some nice boats as well.

Small rivers, you might want to look at adding a rudder to your kayak as well. It will allow you to keep your hands free a lot more.

Austin Kayak is a good resource to look at for a new boat. Usually has a good deal for shipping too.

If you decide to go with AKC, send me a pm and I'll give you a little tip that might save you some money.

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Thanks. By accessories I mean that I have nothing in regards to kayaking - paddle, roof rack (SUV), etc.

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That will make it a little tougher depending on your expectations. You can drop $350 on a roof rack alone no problem.

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$1200 is still workable. Assuming full rack:

used thule/yakima rack w/ cradle: 300

paddle 120 (don't skimp)

$800ish for a yak (trident 13, tetra 12, prowler 13, tarpon 120/140)

I'd stretch your budget for a trident 13. A scupper (drain) hole is compatible with Humminbird fish finders. Makes life a lot easier and the fishing is ALOT better.

W/ the rack you'll be stretching it, but a lot of people start w/ the $50 foam blocks and save up for the rack.

Austin Kayak has some awesome stuff. Some outlet yaks that still carry the warranty:

Prowler 13 - $600 - You'll need a seat (add $80)

Tetra 12 - $750

NOTE - I own a Trident 13, so of course I think it's the best yak (aside from a Hobie).

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There are a couple used Redfish 12 fishing yaks for sale at Clearwaters outfitting. I believe the price is about $525. They are pretty nice for that money. The Redfish is made by Native Kayak now.

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Thanks for all of the help everyone. I am kind of leaning towards a Native Redfish 10 or 12 - the price point seems decent for what you get. I am struggling a little with length/weight. The 10' is 49 lbs & 12' is 68 lbs. Since my use will be in smaller rivers, are there significant disadvantages going one way or the other?

Thanks again!

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The longer boat will generally track better in current. For a river boat, I'd always opt for the longer of the two choices. Others might disagree though.

FWIW - I've read before that buying the upgraded seat option for the Redfish is worth it. I would imagine that is especially so if you're floating a river and can't take out whenever you want. Probably will run a bit expensive, but to me, good seats are worth their weight in gold!

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I hear you about the weight. That extra 20lbs. makes the 10 footer look more appealing to my back! Interesting, I would have thought the longer one would be better for lakes and the smaller more maneuverable on small rivers.

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Shorter = more maneuverable, nice in tight quarters, paddles like a dock

Longer = faster, tracks better; you'll want for paddling over 2 miles

12-14 feet is your best bet. I have an emotion stealth (10'3"). Great first yak and loads easily. Too slow for lake fishing though. That's why I upgraded to a Trident 13 (13'6"?) 7 months later.

If you think that sometime down the road you might need a longer yak then you should buy one because you'll always think about it and the depreciation is kind of brutal.

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If you think that sometime down the road you might need a longer yak then you should buy one because you'll always think about it and the depreciation is kind of brutal.

I'm surprised you think the depreciation is bad. The last two kayaks I've sold I felt I got a good value for.

One was $900 new, paid $820, sold for $700. The other was $700 new, paid that, and sold it for $550. Each only had one season on them, but to me, $100-200/season isn't that bad of depreciation for a big hunk of floating plastic.

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Carmike,do you think an inflatable raft is bad for sartell bridges/dam areas.Pretty much that stretch from paper mill to dock .lol or should I just sleep on that whole idea?

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Carmike,do you think an inflatable raft is bad for sartell bridges/dam areas.Pretty much that stretch from paper mill to dock .lol or should I just sleep on that whole idea?

You might be sleeping with the fish if you plan on taking a $40 Wally World raft on that section of river. It might not look like it, but the river is moving pretty fast right there.

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I'm surprised you think the depreciation is bad. The last two kayaks I've sold I felt I got a good value for.

One was $900 new, paid $820, sold for $700. The other was $700 new, paid that, and sold it for $550. Each only had one season on them, but to me, $100-200/season isn't that bad of depreciation for a big hunk of floating plastic.

You're right ted. Some definitely hold their value better than others. A lot of it depends on the platform. A prowler, tarpon, or hobie platform is pretty well known and holds it's value pretty well. Something out of Dick's sporting goods seems to be pretty abysmal. I could probably get $800 for my trident which is great for 2 years of fishing. My Stealth was $300 the summer after (from $630).

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Good call, I didn't even really think about that. The brands I've sold have always been "Household" names and have held their value well. That's probably why I seem to get a new one every year!

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Carmike,do you think an inflatable raft is bad for sartell bridges/dam areas.Pretty much that stretch from paper mill to dock .lol or should I just sleep on that whole idea?

I wouldn't attempt to do any fishing out of an inflatable raft down there. As Rick said, the current is moving pretty quickly, and most importantly, you'd have a terrible time trying to control that thing. I've solo paddled a tandem canoe upstream from Sauk Rapids to the Sartell Dam a few times, and it's been a killer. I can't imagine doing any paddling in a raft, even if you weren't going upstream.

You certainly don't need an expensive canoe or kayak, though.

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Newbie here at HSO as well as with kayaking. The info on these kayaking threads is fantastic. I'm looking to buy my first yak and I'm leaning towards a OK Trident 13 Angler. Are there any yak fishermen in NW MN? I've fished from an Old Town canoe in the past and am strongly pulled to a SOT kayak for some reason. My two brothers in Texas both own OK yaks, one mainly just paddles for pleasure the other uses his Tetra 12 Angler for fishing and loves it.

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The good new is that fishing kayaks are light years ahead of where they were if you were looking only 5 years ago.

The bad news is that you can get swamped with internet information overload.

I suggest testing if you can, specifically check out Midwest Mountaineering, Joes, or REI for a paddle day.

I bought a Jackson Cuda 12 this year with my primary fishing locations being about 40% smaller rivers, 35% small lakes (less than 200 acres), and 25% other (big lakes, pool 4 and 5 of the Mississippi, etc...)

So far the Cuda has been an awesome kayak. I compared it to a Tarpon 120, and a Native Slayer. I felt it was more stable and better rigged than the Tarpon and I didn't like the layout of the Slayer not having drywells for overnight storage.

Just my 2 cents if it helps you at all

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$1200 is still workable. Assuming full rack:

used thule/yakima rack w/ cradle: 300

paddle 120 (don't skimp)

$800ish for a yak (trident 13, tetra 12, prowler 13, tarpon 120/140)

I'd stretch your budget for a trident 13. A scupper (drain) hole is compatible with Humminbird fish finders. Makes life a lot easier and the fishing is ALOT better.

W/ the rack you'll be stretching it, but a lot of people start w/ the $50 foam blocks and save up for the rack.

Austin Kayak has some awesome stuff. Some outlet yaks that still carry the warranty:

Prowler 13 - $600 - You'll need a seat (add $80)

Tetra 12 - $750

NOTE - I own a Trident 13, so of course I think it's the best yak (aside from a Hobie).

tolle.....which Hummingbird model do you use in your Trident?

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tolle.....which Hummingbird model do you use in your Trident?

It's one of the portable units. Not around the house at the moment, but I think it was the PirahnaMAX 165 or something of the like. I bought it when I only had my Stealth (scupper holes were not compatible) so it had a big suction cup on it. Humminbird is great in that they just had me ship back the transducer and swapped it for the scupper hole one. The base isn't designed for screwing in so I just strap it on every time I go out.

If I did it again I'd probably buy a regular model, swap the transducer, and then just mount it. The package would look a lot cleaner and OK Tridents come with a battery bag mounted under the front hatch so you could just run wires there.

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If you had more money than you knew what to do with and you wanted to be entertaining, how funny would it be to mount a 958si with a 360 imaging transducer pole on the back?

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Hi tolle, thanks for the fishfinder info. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was reading the forum threads....I've got some educating to do for myself on this whole kayak thing, I'm looking forward to getting that OK Trident 13 soon....at least as soon as I can talk my wife into letting me get it....hopefully before the fishing season is over.

Randy

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You'll love it. Keep an eye on austin kayak's outlet section. Sometimes they get factory seconds. These are not damaged or anything that would affect performance. They're simply miscolored which I'd actually prefer. Same warranty, $3-400 less. I would've grabbed another this spring but I bought a boat and have been spending a little time on the dark side ;P

Just put your time in to get comfortable and whatever you do, don't skimp on the paddle. I'd suggest getting out with the specific intention of getting wet (ie standing, jumping, turning, diving, running and diving). Then you'll really get comfortable.

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I have the OK Trident 11 and I absolutely love it! I can load it up on my Jeep racks pretty easily now after some practice and it handles very well on the water. I'll send you a link with some modifications I did to mine for fishing purposes!

Looks like your mailbox is full so I'll just attach it here (feel free to mute the tunes).

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