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Hey guys, I am thinking about purchasing a kayak to fish out of, and I need some help. I live in Lexington VA and would like something that I can take down the Maury and James river as well as on the coast. Kayaking sounds like a blast and I am pumped about buying one, I just don't know where to start. Do you have to get any training before you start or can you just teach yourself? I figure kayaking on the coast would be trickier that floating down the Maury! Any help would be appreciated. Thank you and good fishing!![excited][excited]
 

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If you need help in deciding on what kayak to get talk to ruthless or contact this website www.kayakfishingstuff.com they have a conparisions page on there and also a pricing guide as well. I havea malibu kayaks pro explorer nice yak with plenty of room and a dry ride as well. but there is plenty of good kayaks out there on the market. I know that Wild river outfitters is having akayak demo days coming up in may so get ahold of them to see when it is and come om down and try some yaks out.
[excited][smile]
 

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Cory is a great soure. But there are many web sites that you can do research on and check out the different styles and reponses to your very same question. I have been guiding with Cory at Wild River outfitters this being our second season. So if you have some direct questions, bmail me I can give you a hand as well.
Not sure exactly where Lexington Va is but check for you local kayak store. If you are new Appomatox River Company, try them out, they are dedicating half their store to kayak fishing, also look at kayak fishing stuff.com. John is a great source and wills hip his kayaks and accessories anywhere.
 

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I have just got started with Kayak fishing, I got the tarpon 140. I love mine but it is also the only one I have paddled. As far as learning to Kayak. I had never been on a kayak before Cory let me test drive one 2 weeks before my purchase. There is nothing to it. Just make sure you remember safty gear. I have been at it 5 weeks and I'm happy as can be.


Jay
 

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Some practical advice. As wide as you can find and, if you are going to have to paddle any distance, at least 16 feet long. A 26 inch boat is a fine craft for going the distance but it will be tippy. If I were building a boat it would be between 30 and 32 inches wide, but hey I go 230 lbs.

If you were a regular sized guy between 150 lb and 175 lb. a 28 to 30 inch wide boat 16 to 17 feet long would be great. Remember you are getting a boat for fishing not cruising.

The next question is a sit on top, closed cockpit, or open cockpit boat. That one is a personal preference. I like an open cockpit for the summer and a closed one in the fall/winter.

What ever you do try boats similar to what you THINK you want before you plunk down the money. I had a neighbor who used my 16 foot 26 inch wide boat and loved it. She bought a 14 foot "toad" boat and hated it. (toad boat -- consider a toad and a frog. The frog skims through the water gracefully. A toad waddles through the water. With a toad boat each stroke of the paddle stroke turns the boat to a certain extent with a frog boat each paddle stroke pushes the boat forward with a slight turn.


Tom
 

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Sorry to beg the differ with you Tom, but longer is not always best. A 16 foot/17 foot boat is a crusier. With the exception of the new Tarpon 160i which is wider than a touring kayak. My Prowler is 15 foot and is great for inlets, bays, oceans and ponds. Have not done the river but have been told that it will work great in most rivers too. It really depends on what he is going to use the yak for. In rivers and its tributaries, a long boat would not be the best idea. If he is going to use it for such, the Tarpon 14, Powler 13 are both very capable in rivers/ponds and such and are both versitile enough to be taken in the bay and ocean.

As to the SOT or SIK. It is a personal decision, but for pure safety factor, the SOT are the best. You can get dumped and get it uprighted and back in the drivers seat in less than two minutes. I know from personal exprience, it happened to me in hatteras this past year. Try that in a SIK. Dont get me wrong, I owned a Pungo Classic for 4.5 year and loved it, but once I paddled the Prowler, went through a kayak safety course, I will not own a SIK again. In the winter its very easy to dress appropriatly enough to stay warm and stillbe comfortable.

Tom's suggestion of trying boats before you buy is the correct one. And just to mention it, Wild River Outfitters is having their annual DEMO DAYS Saturday, May 14, 2005, 9am-4pm at First Landing/Seashore State Park in virginia beach. This is the best time to try a whole lot of diffferent types of yaks all in the same place. All the dealers that sell their yaks at Wild River will have their boats there. Go check it out, for the price of the the admission to the park you can paddle any boat there and switch as often as you want.

Just ask any question you want and we wil try and answer it here or you can bmail me or Cory and will try to point you in the right direction.
 

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200lbs-5'11", did 3 months of research, bought a tarpon 140 without ever testing one.love it. dont need the cadillac or the cheapest. make sure what you buy can give you options so you can pimp your ride.
 

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JSD, give us some more info about you: height and weight make a huge difference in yak selection.

You are about 1 1/2 hour away from Appamattox River Company in Farmville, and if it's made of plastic and floats, they have it. Great place to go to get a yak, and you will not beat their prices anywhere.

Keep in mind that river fishing is very different from using a yak on salty water or lakes. For the Maury and James up your way (I just got back from 3 days of camping at the Natural Bridge Station campground and fishing the James) I would seriously consider several boats. Almost any sit inside yak between 9'6" and 12" would work well. Dagger Element 11.2 or their Blackwater series are good choices there. But as shallow as those two rivers get in summer up thataway, you might want a sit on top boat instead, as they are far easier to get in and out of. Plus you don't have to worry about swamping the boat in a rapid, and I know you have plenty of those too. A Tarpon 100 or 120 from Wilderness Systems is about the best river fishing machine out there right now. One friend ran Balcony yesterday in his T120 with no problems, other than a face full of water.[grin]
 

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Listen to bassmanpete, he does more freshwater fishing than anyone else here. I would get an SOT from 11'-12'. That way you can use it in freshwater rivers and come down and fish the bay too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the responses! I weigh around 190lb and am 5'10. I'm leaning toward getting a sit on top. It seems more fishing freindly, especially for a beginner. I looked at the malibu website at some of their yaks. They look pretty nice. Would they have any malibu's at the appomattix river company? Also, my wife would like to go with me from time to time. Is there anything that she can ride in on occasion but still be practical for using by my self? She is around 125lb and 5'4. thanks!
 

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Malibu kayaks only dealer in Virginia is at Long bay point bait & tackle on Shore drive. Two block west of Lesner bridge next to the fire station. As far as the wife you may look at the WS Pamlico135 it's a sit-in that the front seat slides back for one person. For fishing I think you will be better off with a SOT.
 

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Go to Waynesboro , VA to a place called Rockfish Gap Outfitters.

Most river people get sit inside yaks. My borther-in-law that lives in Fisherville bought a Pamlico last year for cruising and fishing it. I fish the Maury by foot ever year and I would think that if you used a yak you would want to stay short. Nothing over 12 feet. The Ocean Kayak Caper, Tarpon 100, etc. As far as sit insideds, the Old Town Loon, WS Pamlico are two that come to mind.

You want something short so you can turn easier and you want something that runs shallow because of the rocks, and you are going to want something in which you can navigate those rapids.
 

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Best advice for bringing the wife is buy two. Yaks are cheaper than canoes, so often buying two yaks is cheaper than one canoe, but not always. A pair of WS Tarpon 100s would work well for ya both, based on those height and weights you listed.

Yaks made for partner paddling are nicknamed divorce boats for a reason[grin]
 
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