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Man In Paddle Fishing Kayak

A paddle kayak is the most affordable way to start kayak fishing

There are 3 types of kayak propulsion; paddle, pedal and motorized. Most people interested in kayak fishing start with a paddle kayak because it is the least expensive option and a good way to get out on the water. For some people, the cheapest kayak is attractive because of price. We understand that, but after decades of seeing people get into kayak fishing, I want to point out some things you need to consider before you buy. We’ve compiled helpful tips for finding the paddle fishing kayak that’s perfect for your needs.

How to choose the best paddle kayak for fishing

When selecting a paddle kayak, there are several factors to consider. First, you’ll want to think about length since longer kayaks are more stable and better in waves, whereas shorter ones are easier to maneuver and use on small streams. Also consider how you’ll be transporting your kayak. Common ways to transport a kayak are car top, bed of pickup or using a trailer. If you’re car topping, consider size and weight since you’ll be lifting the kayak onto your car. Additionally, the width should be taken into account as wider kayaks provide more stability while narrower ones offer better speed and tracking. Finally, you’ll also want to take into consideration the hull design – whether it is flat or v-shaped – as this will greatly impact how the kayak handles in different types of water conditions. A good dealer will ask about all these items and more to help you get the best fishing kayak for your needs.

Think about how big you want your fishing kayak to be

When shopping for a paddle kayak, it’s important to consider the size of the vessel. If you’re going to take long overnight trips, then you’ll need a bigger kayak that can provide ample storage space, weight carrying capacity and has enough room for all your gear. On the other hand, if you’re not planning on going far and instead want something lightweight that is easy to transport, then smaller kayaks may be your best bet. Consider how much space you’ll need when packing items such as a tackle box, camping gear, food or extra layers of clothing so you can find just the right size for your needs.

Your first paddle fishing kayak, our advice

From a consumer perspective it would be easy if all fishing kayaks were the same, just buy the cheapest one. But that’s far from true, all kayaks are not the same. You get what you pay for. Two things that tend to cause buyers regret is a seat that isn’t comfortable and a kayak that’s not stable.

You’ll be spending hours on the water fishing, a comfortable seat will make that time more enjoyable. You’ll get more fishing opportunities if you’re not constantly going to shore to get out of your kayak to stretch your back due to a seat that lacks support. Another complaint about kayaks is that they’re “tippy”, not stable. You won’t be having fun if you’re constantly in fear of tipping over. A good kayak is very stable! We’ve seen plenty of people purchase a cheap kayak and try to add outriggers, amas or other ways to try make a tippy kayak stable. Added outriggers will just get in your way when you’re battling a fish back to your kayak. Get a stable kayak from the start, you’ll be happy you spent a little extra money for it.

How are you going to know if the seat is comfortable and the kayak is stable?

You’re going to demo some kayaks on the water. Almost all kayak dealers offer on the water demos. They understand it’s the best way to help you get the best kayak for your needs. Start your research online. Ask questions in the MNKFA Facebook Group. Narrow down some brands and models you think are a good fit for your budget and needs. Contact a dealer and set up a demo time.

What dealers should you contact?

MNKFA partners with the top kayak fishing kayak dealers in the area. We know and trust these dealers, their websites are linked below. Contact them and tell them you’re an MNKFA member. You’ll get the best service, advice and they carry a wide selection of great fishing kayaks for any budget or angling need. Good luck and tight lines!

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