Tuesday, December 23, 2014
My Christmas Present to Myself
So this years trout opener I decided that it was high time I upgrade my mode of transportation from float tube to kayak. Don't get me wrong I love fishing from a float tube and have no thoughts of getting rid of the one I have right now. However I like the added mobility and comfort that a kayak will give me especially in those cooler early season times.
So what I decided to do was save my pennies and grab me a yak for next season. With the decision to get one came the decision of what to get. So I started reading every article about kayak fishing I could find and watching every youtube video available. So after absorbing every bit of kayak fishing information available by osmosis I realized what things would be important factors in making my decision.
1. Reliability was the number one thing I was looking for when checking out kayaks. From what I saw when reading reviews was that most kayaks were pretty good as far as the construction of the products. Even the complaints on every kayak I looked at were things that were pretty easy to write off as random unfortunate occurrences in which kayaks leaked or were damaged. Not only that but a lot of the negative reviews I saw were more a matter of personal preference than manufacturers defect. So with that I saw that for the most part reliability shouldn't be much of an issue if I take care of whatever kayak I get, not only that but there is always a chance for some random manufacturers defect. So no need to stress over what could randomly happen no matter what yak you get. I know you get what you pay for but I also know that no man made product is without imperfections.
2. Sit on top or sit inside. Well it didn't take too long for me to figure out I wanted a sit on top kayak. As when I started trying a few out I realized very quick that to me sit inside kayaks feel very confined which I don't care for all that much. Also I had to consider that while I've kayaked before it isn't exactly something I do regularly so there is a high likelihood that I'll be going for a swim at least once in this thing. With that in mind I know from summer camp experience that sit inside kayaks swamp if flipped (that's not to say that sit on top style yaks don't swamp cause they do) and can be a bit of a pain to flip back over and bail out if you take an unintended dip into the water. So sit on top it would be for me cause if I'm gonna be fishing from this thing from any large amount of time I want to be as comfortable as possible. And when I do take a dip I want to be able to get back on the kayak as easily as possible.
3. Size and weight were on my list of considerations. So when I say size I mean length and width of the yak. Length because length plays a part in overall speed of the yak as longer kayaks tend to be faster than shorter ones. Width because the wider the kayak the more stable the yak will be as well the wider the yak the more stable it will be if I get brave and attempt to stand and fish. However increased width creates more water resistance and slows the kayak. So when it came to length and width I was looking for a good balance. As for weight, this was actually more important to me than length and width. Simply because there are places I plan on fishing that don't have an actual dock to put in s I'll have to carry that yak to where ever I need to get. At least until I make myself a kayak cart. Not only that but I'll be the only person loading the yak on top of my truck whenever I go and if I find loading the kayak to be a pain odds are I just won't take it and I'll opt for the float tube.
A buddy of mine kept mentioning to me carrying capacity with my yak however this really wasn't a big deal for me since I don't weigh much myself and I personally like to fish in a minimalist fashion.
4. Price was the last of my considerations. Not because I have a lot of money to spare but because I have no problem delaying my gratification to save and get what I want. For that matter price wasn't really a big deal however my thought process was that this will be my first kayak so let's get something I can make some mistakes with and not break the bank since I know I'll be doing modifications to it.
With all of these things in mind I ended up picking the Bass Pro Shops Ascend FS12T (2012) fishing kayak as my Christmas present to myself. The kayak pretty much met all of my conditions and didn't break the bank which was perfect for me. Here are the specs on the yak.
Length: 12' 0"
Weight: 68 lbs
Price: $499 (I paid $350 cause it was on clearance)
Bow dry storage hatch
Open Cockpit Storage
Molded foot braces
2 flush mount rod hoders
1 Center mounted Scotty rod holder