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Paddling Upstream

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I'm looking at getting a fishing kayak, mainly for fishing small, shallow streams and rivers. I'd like to try Kayaking Rice Creek in Fridley too, and maybe hitting some small lakes, marshes, and backwaters. I want something that's fairly stable ... but I've learned stability and speed are pretty much mutually exclusive in a kayak. Ideally, I'd like to be able to paddle it upstream, and then float down (or the opposite) so I could go solo on moving water without a second vehicle. Anyone else already solve this problem? Is it possible to make any headway against moderate currents in 'yak? I realize I would probably have to drag it upstream in the quick water, but would like to be able to paddle upstream pretty well. I'm 6 foot two, 170 pounds, with a lot of canoeing experience. Should I be looking at 8-footers or 12+ footers? So many questions ... hope there are some kayak gurus hanging out in here ... any help is greatly appreciated.

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I don't think speed and stability are mutually exclusive for a 'yak. Particularly for fishing 'yaks. I used to deal with OldTown, when I had my shop. I've learned the touring and recreational kayaks are very stabile...actually more stability than a canoe (lowere center of gravity). I like the Predator series that OldTown developed. It is based off of the Loon hull, which is a basic recreational kayak. Relatively wide and flat bottom, offers great stability and maneuverability. I currently paddle an OT AdventureXL 139. I like it because it has a larger cockpit (I'm also 6'2 ...but about 120 quarter pounders heavier) so it's easy to get in and out of, and allows my long legs to bend and breath.

Look at some of the other posts on this board, and check out some of the pictures of how some 'yak anglers have outfitted their rigs. You'll be impressed. I would consider something more in the 12 foot range for size.

good luck and good paddling!

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I use a Old Town Dirigo and a Predator 140. The Dirigo is a 12 footer and I have some issues with plowing water when paddling hard, I go about 205lbs. I got the 14 foot Predator first to take my lab duck hunting and fishing with me, it has a huge cockpit and a very stable hull design. I would copare it to sitting in the bottom of a canoe to paddle. The 14 foot boat can be a bit difficult to manuever in high winds and it is about as wide as a canoe with a very shallow draft. I want to get out and give the Old Town Cayuga a try this year. It is a longer boat with a narrower profile that I think would be just as stable for casting but faster when paddling. I also think the hull design would lend itself to more efficient up stream travel. Good Luck

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Thanks for your help and advice, guys.

I still don't know what kind of kayak to get - I'm now looking at the Hobie Revolution, but I'm worried about ripping the fins off it on a rock in shallow waters. They are pricey, too. Not sure if I should start out with a small, traditional kayak and see how it goes or if I should try to buy one that will do everything I want it to do right off the bat.

Thanks again for your sage advice.

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Finally, a subject in which I am very knowledgeable on this forum.

I have a Dagger Blackwater 11.5. It's very stable, although not as stable as some Old Town and Pungo models, due to the fact that it's narrower and has a tighter cockpit. I drilled small holes and mounted some hardware on it. Two rod holders and a rope cleat is a good place to start. I secure a small tackle box behind me in the bungee cord stuff, and sometimes carry an anchor. I also have a pocket for pliers and a knife. I found through many hours of kayak fishing that organization is key! Have everything in easy reach and your fishing fun will be maximized. Case in point: I was fishing Lyman lake in NW Wisconsin for muskies trolling two rods. I caught one and didn't tangle the other line, all because I was organized.

Paddling upstream is very possible in my boat becuase of its shape and the drop down skeg keeps me on a line. Steering is difficult going up stream with the skeg up. Some rivers require herculean effort to go upstream and thats no good. But the Wisconsin River is pretty swift and I used to paddle up that and then drift down casting for Smallies. Some of the best smallie fishing in my life thus far, I outfished bass boats all day, and nothings more fun than fighting a fish from a kayak.

I don't have a digital camera but will someday and then I'll post pics of my rig. I really like it a lot, and plan to fish from it even after I purchase a boat soon.

Sorry for rambling, had to give $0.03 on this one!

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