Choose The Right Kayak | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
A kayak angler pulling in a largemouth bass Photo: Dustin Doskocil

Five pros give you tips to make the perfect kayak purchase for your needs

OPEN WATER 

ARTIST AND BLOGGER, ROB CHOI 

“In my opinion, a kayak needs to be over 13 feet long and less than 32 inches wide to qualify as an open-water boat. A long keel keeps the boat tracking straight while a curve in the bow, called rocker, improves handling by lifting the bow out of the water on the turn. A boat with less primary stability will absorb waves. I look for a pointed bow and stern that passes through the water easily. The bow should be high with a flare that deflects waves.” 

RIVERS 

PRO GUIDE, JEFF LITTLE 

“Each river is different and each river angler will have different needs. For a river with swift water, look for a shorter boat with a pro- nounced rocker. For aver- age flow with minimal rapids, a longer boat will track straight and drift without spinning. Remem- ber, a larger volume boat will float higher in the wa- ter, which reduces draft. Lighter boats will be easier to portage around rough sections of the river.” 

FLATS FISHING 

PRO GUIDE, ALEX TEJEDA 

“A 13- to 14-foot boat be- tween 34 and 36 inches wide combines stability with seaworthiness. Mod- erate rocker and long wa- terline improve handling and tracking when cross- ing open bays. A wide and flat, or multi-chine stern will provide stability to stand and fish once on the flat. The boat should pass through the water smooth- ly to reduce hull slap.” 

PONDS 

CONTRIBUTOR, DREW HAERER 

“Pond fishing often re- quires small, light kayaks for quick trips and easy ac- cess. Sit-inside kayaks are light and comfortable to carry. Small waters are per- fect for hybrid kayaks that combine the open cockpit of a canoe with maneuver- ability of the double bladed paddles. Many hybrids are stable enough to stand and fish. A boat between 11 and 13 feet long will get into tight places.” 

LAKES 

TOURNAMENT ANGLER, BOBBY CLARK 

“When fishing larger lakes I look for a boat with a multi-chine hull for ulti- mate stability. The multi- chine hull moves volume away from the center keel like a pontoon boat. These boats also have less draft and more freeboard to travel through shallow wa- ter and carry a lot of gear. Multi-chine boats have high primary stability and track straight.” 

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