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Thread: Best sub-$1000 fishing yak?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sykesville, MD
    Posts
    56

    Default Best sub-$1000 fishing yak?

    I've decided, since I'm new to the game and not exactly sure how much I'll be able to yak fish with two small ones that keep me busy over the weekend, that it would be best to dip my toe into the yak fishing water rather than jumping in.

    My preference is to get a good stable fishing yak boat. I'm a big guy (6' 250lbs), so stability is very important and, I'd like to have the option to stand up and fish (since I will primarily go lake fishing).

    I've zero'd in on the following yaks (see table below). My preference is toward the F&S Shadow Caster (Dicks Sporting Goods; can get it @ $674 when on sale; can pick up local) and/or the Ascend FS12T (Bass Pro Shop; $650; can pick up local) which also happen to be the two least expensive.



    There are many, many video reviews on both of these yaks. I have seen some negative marks in regards to the FS12T in terms of the seat (you can actually see it fail when this guy is reviewing the yak)

    The biggest issue that I see with Shadow Caster is the weight. Weight is not much of an issue for me as I'll be trailering the yak. I'll also be primarily boating in calm conditions (lake) so even if the boat paddles like a barge, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. The Shadow Caster is thought of as a Lure clone (both the Lure and the Shadow Caster are made by the same manufacturer).

    The other big issue with my top two picks is that unless you know someone that has one, its very hard to demo either of these before buying.

    Are there any other sub $1000 yaks that fit my criteria (good stability) that I should include in my list?

    Thanks,

    smithmal
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    Last edited by smithmal; 06-29-2017 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,607

    Default

    You say weight is not "much of an issue" because you're going to trailer it. You want to stand in it. You noted that stability is very important. And you're primarily going to fish calm water.

    Have you considered a Jon boat?

    Many meet your price threshold even if you add a small trolling motor and battery to the mix.

    https://www.loweboats.com/jon-boats/

    You also could take your children in it.

    Just a thought...
    Mark

    Olive Hobie Revo 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Midway between Baltimore and Washington
    Posts
    1,711

    Default

    I highly recommend purchasing a used kayak. All of mine were bought used from a website like this, or from Craigslist.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    547

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    You say weight is not "much of an issue" because you're going to trailer it. You want to stand in it. You noted that stability is very important. And you're primarily going to fish calm water.

    Have you considered a Jon boat?

    Many meet your price threshold even if you add a small trolling motor and battery to the mix.

    https://www.loweboats.com/jon-boats/

    You also could take your children in it.

    Just a thought...
    I second what Mark has suggested. So many people are overlooking the jon boat option with all these fishing kayaks on the market now. Growing up I fished practically everyday from a 10' jon boat with oars on a 20+ acre pond behind our house. Dog came with me, and a friend too occasionally. In my opinion a kayak is not the ideal platform for fishing small ponds/lakes, especially with the standing requirement. There are so many used jon boats out there, and they are just as easy to load/unload from a pickup or trailer. A kayak is made to cover lots of ground efficiently. A jon boat is made to cover small water comfortably.

    If you decide you have to have a kayak, I second DanMarino's recommendation of buying used. If it doesn't work out you can most likely sell it for no loss, and if you do like it you'll most likely have a better quality boat. Later you can upgrade to new boat when you better understand your specific needs.
    2015 Hobie Outback
    2001 Dagger Cayman

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sykesville, MD
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Would love to get a used kayak, but options are limited at my price point for a stable yak with a good seat and when good deals do show up, they are gone quick. Also, I wonder if Liberty would you to use their water if your yak is used.

    Will look into Jon boat though. Are they easy to paddle with?

    One of the things I like about yaks vs. boats is that you feel like your more "one with nature" if you get my drift as you are closer to the water. No fuel powered yaks allowed at Liberty (which is where I'm going to fish) so I'd have to get an electric (which is additional cost; I'm assuming $150 for decent motor and battery?).

    Smithmal

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by smithmal; 06-29-2017 at 02:12 PM.
    2017 Native Ultimate 12 (Lagoon Blue)
    Bending Branches Angler Pro Plus Paddle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,607

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smithmal View Post
    Would love to get a used kayak, but options are limited at my price point for a stable yak with a good seat and when good deals do show up, they are gone quick. Also, I wonder if Liberty would you to use their water if your yak is used.

    Will look into Jon boat though. Are they easy to paddle with?

    Smithmal

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
    I spoke from experience.

    I owned a small aluminum trailered boat that I powered with a Minn Kota trolling motor. It would run all day on a single charge. It was a great fishing boat for my uses.

    I cannot address its ease of paddling since I relied on the motor. I bet, however, that even a "barge" kayak as you mentioned, would be easier to paddle than a Jon boat.

    I fished Piney Run, Lake Marburg, Gifford Pinchot, Trap Pond, and many of MD’s Eastern Shore ponds with my boat.

    The fishing skills I learned in it transferred nicely to my kayak.

    However, given my boat was trailered, and I lived as I do now in Anne Arundel County, the time required to travel to the above sites became a hindrance. I sold it. However, if I lived close to a freshwater impoundment, I bet I would still have it.

    I’ve since been the beneficiary of Anne Arundel County’s efforts to increase car-top launch sites into its tidal waters. A kayak is a more practical alternative for me. But I loved that boat.
    Mark

    Olive Hobie Revo 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    547

    Default

    A jon boat with oars can get around pretty well. Keep in mind one stroke while rowing is 2x one stroke while paddling. Later down the road if you decide you're tired of rowing, you can take Mark's suggestion of putting a trolling motor on it and have the ultimate pond setup. I was a kid when I had my jon boat, so finding energy to row was never an issue.
    2015 Hobie Outback
    2001 Dagger Cayman

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    New Windsor, MD Carroll County
    Posts
    209

    Default

    I had a Vibe Sea Ghost 130 and Loved it. For $900 you get a great stadium style seat with HI/LO position, a rudder and a paddle. I'm 6'3" at 275 and I felt very comfortable in it. However I went with a Hobie Outback, so I sold it. Great people to deal with also.
    2017 Hobie Camo Outback
    2016 Vibe Sea Ghost

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Baltimore-Annapolis
    Posts
    280

    Default

    Vibe Ghost 130 i've heard great reviews, anltho no first hand experience.

    I've also heard good things regarding the FeelFree Lure, a friend picked one up recently for around your price range, and he loves it.

    Also, we picked up a used Hobie Outback (see signature) for a little higher than your price range, but I could easily sell two accessories it came with and be sub-$1000 on the price. Granted, New vs Used, Warranty vs As-Is Where-Is, I can see both sides of the coin if you're leaning towards brand new.

    McH
    First Lady: Hobie Ivory Sand Dune Hobie ProAngler 14 Lowrance Elite 7 ti TotalScan

    Backup Babe (Girlfriends Ride): Carribean Blue Hobie Outback Lowrance Elite 5 HDI w/ Pumpkin Spice Latte holder

    Learning the Ropes & Living the Dream

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,769

    Default

    Another kayak not on your initial list that is a wonderful boat for flat water and for tidal water on calm days is the Native Ultimate 12. http://nativewatercraft.com/product/ultimate-12/.

    It is lightweight (44 lbs hull weight), very stable, standable, and roomy. Both Mark and John Rentch got this boat during the past two years and are using that kayak more frequently than their pedal-drive kayaks.

    The retail price on that kayak is $949. I posted about six weeks ago that Cabelas in Delaware was closing their stock out for several hundred dollars less than that. I don't know if they still have any in stock at the sale price.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

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