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Thread: best kayak for the buck

  1. #1
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    Default best kayak for the buck

    im new to the kayak fishing, but plan on buying one. im mostly river and lake fishing ( you guys can keep that salt water,i don't get in salt water were the fish are bigger than my boat).I'm 5'11 210 lbs what do you suggest. thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    I think you're going to have to decide what you're looking for in a kayak, then maybe we can get some more specific guidance. Here are some basic guidelines:

    If you're going to do a lot of river fishing, you might find that shorter is better - more maneuverable. And since the current can do a lot of the work, you won't be as concerned with long distance paddling efficiency. For predominantly longer, flatwater paddles, longer is better == straighter (better tracking) and more efficient moving through the water. Shorter is also going to be lighter, so if your launches are more "primitive" you might appreciate hauling a lighter boat in and out. 12' is what I consider the cutoff line between long/short.

    Ruling out saltwater (surf, more precisely) reduces the need for a sit-on-top model but doesn't eliminate it. I still prefer SOTs for rigging & hauling options and especially for getting in & out to wade fish, if that's part of your plan. But you might like the seats better in a Sit-inside.

    You can get something in the $3-400 range from a big-box retailer (ie Dick's, Sams Club) but no service, no support, no accessories, no community. New kayaks from a shop are going to be in the $700 range with a lot more variety and your support with selection, sale and after-the-sale is likely to be outstanding.

    A good option would be to check the shops for used boats, especially shops that rent boats out during the season. They usually try to turn their rental inventory over in the off-season.

    Might be worth a look at the boat Straps57 has in the classified section at NC Angler Fishing Classifieds - Perception Sierra. Shop brand (perception), sit-inside, good price. Long drive from Hickory, but if you're going through Wilmington could be a deal...

    For what its worth, Native (Manta Ray, Ultimate and others) and Heritage (Redfish) are 2 brands that make fishing kayaks. They're part of Legacy Paddlesports which is an NC company - I believe the boats are molded in the Triad. Hard to argue with local dealers selling locally built products.

    I paddle a Heritage Redfish and a Perception Search. Got one on sale, and the other on clearance sale - both great kayaks for my buck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    hey thanks for the info and time . I looked at straps57 its 268 miles away, little to far out. I plan on picking one up here in a week or so.I have not seen any one on lake hickory or look out kayak fishing,so it will be something new to me. thanks for the reply Jeffonc

  4. #4
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    If you find yourself in the Triangle area, give a shout and I'll be happy to at least give you a dry tour of my boat.... (I guess one of these days I oughtta video a tour...)
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the size of the fish I catch,
    the courage not to fib about it, and the wisdom to know that
    nobody would believe me anyway."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    I fish a Tarpon 120 SOT and love it. Easy to manuver in shallows, down rivers, but I am in love with it when in the ocean off of Topsail. Once past the breakers (that's the "fun" part), it has never let me down in providing a great fishing boat. There are a lot of good kayaks out there, just take your time and talk to people that do this a lot. They can save you a lot of money, and time.
    Good Fishing.

    Fossilhub

  6. #6
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    Check out craigslist.com frequently. You should be able to pick up a yak that fits your needs from there. You can get a better kayak for less money. I would stay away from Pelican kayaks. My girlfriend bought one and it did not trac strait what so ever. I wanted to sink the thing after I was done paddling it. Needless to say she only kept it a couple of weeks.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    juggin,

    Do you plan to use the boat more in lakes or in rivers? A 12 foot boat will perform well in both areas. However, if you will be mostly in rivers, especially smaller rivers where you need more maneuverability, a shorter 10 foot boat would be a better choice. The longer the boat, the faster and the straighter the boat will track. Shorter boats are easier to pick up, load onto cars and have better maneuverability.

    If I were to buy a boat specifically for lakes and rivers my first choice would be an Ultimate 12. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    You have certainly been provided with some very good information. I would like to add, that best kayak for the buck is based on personal preference. Unfortunatley most of the "cheap" kayaks are just that. I understand that they are all made from plastic, but they do use different materials with different molds. As mentioned, and to be reiterated, most cheap boats do not paddle well at all. And that can be quite important after a long day on the water. They also do not always hold their shape, and are more prone to leaking. For occassional (a few times a year) use, they are probably adequate. Some of the cheaper brands are owned by the same companies that make the better known brands, but they do not use the same raw materials or processes.

    Now I am partial to SOT's, and for the limited amount of information that you have provided I think a 12 foot boat would be good for you. Usually they are slightly cheaper than longer boats, there are some good ones in both sit inside and SOT's. They also allow better control on moving water and are easier to turn. Good luck in your search.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    thanks guys. I came across a new 2006 tarpon 120, the place wants $615. for it, do you think that is a fair price. they say its the same as the 08 but for no seat padding.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    I have an '06 Tarpon 120 as well. I use a seat pad, which I prefer to the new built in seat pads. So that is not a big deal at all since there are plenty of after market seat pads available. That price seems about right. It never hurts to try to work on a better deal if possible. But if that is in your budget, it is a good kayak. I really enjoy mine.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    i'm still looking, but it is on my list . the 120 is a stable boat, i take it you use yours in the ocean. i'm more of a lake or small river guy. how dose the 120 do in the river.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    yea when i said more kayak for the buck, i'm talkin in the $500 - $800 range. i know im not going to get out for 50 bucks. thanks for the info

  13. #13
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    I have never fished in the ocean. I do mostly inshore saltwater, so you do have currents and water movement, possibly not as much as in the rivers. Most of my fishing has been done in Florida, I have yet to take the kayak out since moving back to NC....however I did fish plenty of very tight mangroved line creeks. And in both my 120 and 140, I could easily turn the boats (thanks to the rudder). I still have a great deal to learn about the different types of water to fish here in NC. So I cannot specifically respond to your question about fishing in the rivers, but I would like to try it......the sooner the better.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    $615 is definitely a fair price for a new T120. That's about 20% off retail.

    A guy popped onto the forums yesterday looking to sell a T140 in Boone. Directed him to classifieds but haven't seen the post yet. Will flag it here if/when he comes back...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: best kayak for the buck

    I'd say $615 is a fair price, especially in new condition, but it's not spectacular. If you spend $85 on a seat, you're up to $700, which puts you up to the bottom end of the retail price range for that class of boat.

    When you say it has no seat padding, are you referring strictly to padding, or are you referring to the seat back as well? Padding for under your rump you can get cheap -- the seat back is not nearly so...
    JOHN A GILBERT likes this.

    "God grant me the serenity to accept the size of the fish I catch,
    the courage not to fib about it, and the wisdom to know that
    nobody would believe me anyway."

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