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Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 08, 2017 08:32PM

For many years we had a Fishing Kayak dealer at the Expo. We didn't really have room last year but they are returning this year with a very large display and will be unveiling some completely new kayak fishing specific models. Although a tad bit outside the realm of custom rod building, there is a huge untapped market for kayak fishing rods. These new boats and accessories play into that role and I'm happy to have them back for the 2017 event which should easily be the largest Expo in our history.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Wes Woods (---.hsd1.mi.comcast.net)
Date: February 08, 2017 09:36PM

I have kayaked fished before people were kayak fishing and in some respects it led me to get more involved including rod building. Of course I will not mention the fact that part of that reasoning is based on the fact there are a couple of those custom rods at the bottom of the lake as a result of the kayak fishing I was undertaking.
With that said I have not yet built any rods specifically for the purpose of kayak fishing and I am not really sure what modifications (out side of a tether ha ha ) I might add to enhance a kayak fishing rod.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 08, 2017 09:43PM

Butts that can withstand trolling from rod holders. A soft leash attachment point. Ultra-Violet light ID in cause a rod is lost or stolen. A floatation or overboard recovery device. These are just a few ideas.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Capt. Michael Harmon (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: February 08, 2017 10:08PM

I've been building kayak specific rods for salt use for a few years now. Rod lengths, grip lengths, grip materials, rod actions, and weight are all important for kayak fishing. I also build mine with loops for a leash and reflective materials for day and night fishing. I tell my customers to sit on the ground or beach and then cast and retrieve from that position with their favorite spin rod. Then try one designed for kayak fishing. It makes a difference.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: David Miller (---.pools.spcsdns.net)
Date: February 09, 2017 06:52AM

Awesome to see that Get Outdoors will be at the expo. I am going to build some kayak specific rods soon. Going to look for a rod blank at the expo to use for shallow water sound flounder/ red drum jigging with 1/4 oz jig with plastic and a teaser further up and also for spinnerbaits.Thinking a Bushido mag bass in the shortest length and lowest power.What butt length do all prefer for a kayak jigging rod? Do you go with a shorter butt and a longer front grip?

With a bait/ trolling rod with a longer butt couldn't a kayak fisherman just tuck the butt under the armpit while fighting a fish?

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2017 07:52AM

The modern trend in many if not most kayaks these days is standing up to fish. The newer boats are pretty wide and the decks have been designed to allow easy standing. So the rods can fit the technique more than the boat at this point, but there are still some kayak specific issues that you don't have on other, larger craft. Transportation, leashes, overboard recovery, etc. Not to mention that in many cases it's helpful if the rod is long enough to reach around the ends of the kayak so the fish doesn't get you on the wrong side of the boat.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Capt. Michael Harmon (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: February 09, 2017 11:08AM

Rod length depends on length of kayak, your height / reach, and the type of propulsion. I'm old school and I paddle my OT predator so I use a 7'-7'6 spin rod and a 7' bottom rod. I can't paddle and fight a fish at the same time so I need a rod that will reach around the bow of my yak. Most of the time it's not an issue but when fighting a false albacore or alligator bluefish it's important to have that ability. The newer yaks with peddle or motor drive can be driven while fighting fish so it's easier to position the boat to keep the fish to one side. So a shorter rod will work.
When sitting I prefer a shorter butt section and a longer fore grip. Standing up in a kayak a typical spin rod I use on my boat works great. The only time I stand is when I'm Creek fishing. Most of the time I'm in open water far from shore.
David I like your rod choice. IMO the mag bass blanks work great for kayak fishing and I really like them for fluke buck tailing. Also, you can't go wrong with a bushido blank. That's a great product. Good luck. MH

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: February 09, 2017 02:40PM

Looks like there will soon be stand-up and sit-down kayak rods, trolling, casting, spinning, fly casting, pitching, worming, jigging, and dead-bolting kayak rods, and species specific kayak rods.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: steve schuster (---.lightspeed.irvnca.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 09, 2017 03:40PM

I use a zip tie with a mounting hole on one end as an attachment point for a leash near the end of the butt.
Removable, and also can be used as a hook keeper.
Cheap insurance!

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: David Miller (---.triad.res.rr.com)
Date: February 09, 2017 09:40PM

I have been renting kayaks at the OBX but once I get enough funds and space freed up I am going to buy a kayak. When I am in the Nags Head area I would rather be fishing in the sound out of a kayak than surf and pier fishing so I am pretty much hooked. I have it narrowed down to sit in/ hybrids, Jackson Kilroy, Commander 120 or the new Old Town Loon 126 to use in the shallow sounds,small lakes and rivers here in NC.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: February 10, 2017 08:51AM

I imagine few recreational kayak users practice deep-water re-entry into a capsized kayak. It is not as easy as you would think. Re-entry into a capsized decked kayak is probably more difficult than re-boarding a sit-on-top kayak.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: David Miller (---.pools.spcsdns.net)
Date: February 10, 2017 10:17AM

I am going to practice re-entry even though most areas in the sound are shallow enough for me to stand in.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Capt. Michael Harmon (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: February 10, 2017 01:47PM

Good point Phil. A sit inside kayak can be frustrating to re enter. When I used to paddle long distance in a 17' touring kayak I brought along a paddle float and a rope. The paddle float slides over the paddle and allows you to hold it across the deck and use it as an outrigger. If that fails the rope can be looped around the cockpit , tied tight and about 2-3' extra hung next to kayak. Tie a loop on the part that's in the water for your foot to fit in and climb in. Next a pump is important to remove the water. You can't paddle a fish tank. The only other way to empty water is to flip over boat and empty while in the water.... not easy.
The best way to test your skills is in a pool or shallow Lake, pond, etc. Roll over and practice getting back in. I prefer a sit on top for fishing. Much easier to reenter and no need for a pump. I do have a rope attached to the deck in case conditions are rough and I need to act quickly. Be safe and wear PFD...always.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Alex Weissman (---.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)
Date: February 11, 2017 09:12PM

I've been kayak fishing in the small rivers and creeks in N GA for many years and use short rods for the kind of fishing I do and the places I go. 5 1/2'. Longer rods get hung in overhanging trees and bushes.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: David Miller (---.triad.res.rr.com)
Date: February 13, 2017 12:42AM

I may change my mind and go with a sit on top, I am known to be indecisive. I am 6'1" 200lbs and want enough weight capacity and space to take my little boys out one at a time to paddle them around. Oldest is 2 and he already enjoys going out and sits very still on the yak. Want a yak around 12 ft to make it easy to load in bed of truck,less than 80lbs, stable but not a barge to paddle for 25 river/25 OBX sounds/50 percent small lakes. I have been checking out the Native Slayer 12, Kaku Wahoo,Viking Profish GT and Jackson Cruise 12. Has anyone here fished from these yaks and what are your thoughts on them? Is there another I should check out?

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Wes Woods (---.hsd1.mi.comcast.net)
Date: February 13, 2017 07:38PM

Depending on where you live ie if you live south you can go with a SOT, I live in the north so I have to have a sit in.
I know guys who like their Natives and Jackson's are nice and some of the most stable Yaks out there.
I would really at some point like to fork out for pedal drive model.

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Capt. Michael Harmon (107.77.70.---)
Date: February 14, 2017 11:11AM

David, most sit on top kayaks are made to carry lots of weight but two people might not work out, especially if you are both fishing. Jackson kayaks makes a large kayak that can be used as a one person or a two person. I believe it's called the big rig. It's very stable and can carry lots of weight without throwing the center of gravity off. My kayak loaded weighs over 100# plus me 220#. Paddles great in all conditions and I can stand up and fish. Easy to load in my truck and cart down beach. A company makes a lumber rack that attaches to the trailer hitch on a pick up. It extends the carrying length to 16' if needed. Some kayak stores have an open house day that allows you to demo all their kayaks. If you find one like that take advantage of the opportunity. Good luck

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: David Miller (---.pools.spcsdns.net)
Date: February 14, 2017 04:29PM

Thanks for the help and info everybody. I will certainly do some demos and will check Get Outdoors when they will have one. Not planning having my boys fish with me in a 12 ft kayak, I might let one fish while I paddle when the conditions are calm and depending on their fishing skills from firm ground. My father in law and I fished together from a tandem before and it is not easy,

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Barney Ewing (---.lightspeed.gdrpmi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 21, 2017 09:03AM

Any thoughts on retrofitting a cork grip for a soft leash attachment point?

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Re: Kayak Fishing
Posted by: Kevin Kelly (---.hsd1.ga.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2017 07:49PM

Sit on tops (SOT) are hands down the way to go for kayak fishing, especially in any situation where you could take a wave over the bow. Even on a lake or pond, if a stinkpot (motorboat) comes by, their wake can swamp you in a sit inside. There's a reason kayak anglers abbreviate those as SINKs.

David Miller, of the ones you've listed, i would hands down choose the Native Slayer 12. It is incredibly fast for a 12' boat; it tracks so straight and turns easily enough that you won't need a rudder. It's far more stable than most SOTs and has one of the most comfortable seats on the market. It has a very clean and simple cockpit (important if you like to fly fish), but the down side of that is that it doesn't have as much in-hull storage as others. That's fine with me - it has enough, and the ample deck space makes up for it. If you're interested in one, get the barebones model, not the "pro." The Pro is about $400 more, and all it really gets you is a couple of flush mount rod holders and an anchor trolley. You can add those yourself for a quarter of that price and do a better job of installing them. The others are fine boats but not in the same class as the Slayer 12. In case you might wonder about my objectivity, i can tell you that i'm actually sponsored by Hobie kayaks, which are pedal driven and whole different class of boats than the ones you mentioned. I have no interest in the Native company, but i think they make a really sweet yak in the Native 12. If i couldn't fish out of a Hobie, that's the yak i'd be in.

I also have a Tarpon 160 (16') and can reach across the bow with a 6'6" rod, but i'm 6'2" and have long arms. I prefer shorter butts on my rods - as much as i love standing up, sometimes the wind makes that impossible (you turn into a huge sail when you stand), so i do sometimes fish sitting down, and the shorter butts make that much easier. Rod holders on yaks aren't particularly deep, and shorter butts also help the rods stay in better. I mostly fish 7'-7'6" rods, but i do have a live bait rod (built on an RCLB79ML) that is slightly longer and a dream to cast and fish with.Hope this helps.

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