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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Bighead
Hey guys, it has been a LONG time since I've posted here, and a long time since I've been in a kayak.

My wife (Dirtygirlscout) and I used to run Dixie Kayaks about 10 or so years ago, and have since moved to North Padre. I stopped kayak fishing when I started surf fishing. I am looking to get back into a yak.

Despite having sold kayaks in the past, I really don't know much about the new stuff with the various pedal drive systems.

I will primarily be fishing around the Laguna, and around Port A...with an occasional BTB trip.

My first thought was to just suck it up and get a Hobie with the Mirage drive. I'm a big fella...kind of like Mythman, about 6'4 and 290 pounds.

Looking forward to getting a new ride and getting back into this again.

I've missed this stuff.
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By Ron Mc
Physics hasn't changed a bit - what's mostly changed is they've made a lot of big, heavy boats (120+lbs) with taller freeboard, and big tall (height-adjustable) chairs that you need to decide whether the trade-off is worth moving them distance in wind.

My buddy has a Mirage drive 16' Revo, and it's the fastest thing on the flats without a motor.
He also got a great deal on it, buying a blem at ACK Demo Days.
My opinion is always get the widest boat to stand, and get the narrowest if you don't care about standing, but do care about slicing through the wind.

Wilderness is offering a pedal drive specific to their Atak 140 - https://www.wildernesssystems.com/us/pr ... edal-drive - I haven't tried it, but might be a good choice - however, the cost is every bit of the Mirage Revo.

Been paddling my Tarpon 160 the whole time you were away, and never tempted to paddle a different boat, though pedaling the Revo above has given me the bug.
My buddy above is 6'3" 240, and I'm 6'3" 215.
The Tarpon seat had just changed 10 years ago, and is still going - they also added slidetrax then - along with their hatch seals, and the parts are available for refurbishing older boats. Just replaced my lap hatch this year, second time I've replaced closed-cell foam strip seal in my bow hatch, and my seat bottom pad a couple years ago.

Viking has introduced a lower, slipperier boat in the Profish Reload, and a lot of people love them ByTB.

Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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By Jigawatt
There are a lot more kayak choices for bigger guys today than ten years ago. Manufacturer's are even making paddleboards now for bigger guys, such as Live's L2 Fish, and the Dragonfly 13'6. The seats available today, and the slide tracks, are the biggest improvements in my opinion. But a lot more pedal options are available. No doubt you'll find something fun to sit or stand in. Oh, welcome back.
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By JW FunGuy
I just noticed the way you mounted your Scotty fly rod holder sideways! I’ve hated mine upright and trying to roll it over into place. I’m always afraid I’m going to drop it in the drink! I’m going to have to buy the different mount for the trax on my Wildy but it might be worth not loosing a rod. :?
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By Ron Mc
JW FunGuy wrote:I just noticed the way you mounted your Scotty fly rod holder sideways! I’ve hated mine upright and trying to roll it over into place. I’m always afraid I’m going to drop it in the drink! I’m going to have to buy the different mount for the trax on my Wildy but it might be worth not loosing a rod. :?

I had to modify the rod holder to get it exactly where I wanted it - it didn't have the detente at the angle I needed, so I pinned it with fasteners and drilled out all the bathubs so they'd drain:
it's rock solid and completely out of the way for paddling and fishing.
I got the idea from my buddy doing the same thing with a Ram ball, but I used the Scotty parts I had on hand.
By Tombo
To name a few, ATAK 140, Hobie Compass, Jackson Big Rig, Ride 135 to name a few. Stop by Roy's, they should have a Demo Day coming soon. Nothing beats actual seat in the pants testing.
Personally, I do not like propeller type drives only because I fish in shallow water over grass. Grass will wrap around the prop making it not move.
Forgot to mention my latest craft, Bluesky 360 from Jackson kayak. Not for everyone, but fits my needs. This craft uses the Jackson propeller system, but was converted over to the Hobie Mirage drive.
Welcome back.
By Kayak Kid
Never paddled (or peddled) a kayak I didn't like. I cast no aspersions on any kayak that someone else prefers. Yet, and fully admitting that I am old fashioned in many respects, I have little interest in owning the type of craft into which SOT kayaks have evolved.

Sixty to ninety pound craft, bedecked with paddle drives, peddle drives, electric drives, gedgets and gadgets galore, and comparatively speaking, paddle like a bathtub, simply hold no interest for me. My ideal is a 17 foot, 40 pound, SOT craft that rewards each paddle stroke with lengthy, near effortless, glides through the water. My Seda Revenge in kevlar pretty much filled that bill. My 2003 Wilderness 16 footer and my 14 foot Hurricane came very close. My later model Wilderness 16 footer, and my early manufacture 14 ft peddle driven Native did not.

Just sharing my preference. And, that has little or nothing to do with the preferences of others.
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By Ron Mc
KK, the maker's website would say your boat is on a diet. It's neat that you found your dream boat - mine's Kazkazi Marlin, but no way I can justify the cost, especially since I still enjoy my boat so well - and love the way it rigs. And like your boat, reviews often report their Kazkazi actually weighs less than the mfg's spec sheet, which can be true of any hand-laid boat. Shaving 3-4" off the beam on any hull design directly translates to speed, which you can read as efficiency. And if you're ever looking to sell, give me a heads up.

The T160 is still the premiere real-world touring SOT per Wilderness website, but it nicely rigs out to a fast wind-cheating flats boat for a large individual, which I fit the bill. At 23 lbs heavier (on paper) it's still a great choice for the MOC (76 lbs), and the normal trade-off for cost. You also took away excess trim on the new bass boats - most every one is over 100 lbs, and many so far over they don't report weight in the spec sheets anymore.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Tombo
The dealer with the most variety of kayaks is Roy's. What you see out front is a small percentage of what they sell. There is a warehouse out back that is accessible to the public, you just have to ask. Roy's does not sell Hobie kayaks, that would be Fin Factory in Flour Bluff.
A quick call to either shop can get you info on a demo day.
Nice to hear from you again. I met Pam last year at a kayak contest and read your articles.
By ben_beyer
I have a Jackson Coosa HD because I primarily fish for bass on lakes and rivers but also get in to the salt. It has plenty of storage, an adjustable seat with high and low positions, paddles well, and I can stand in it.

If I got a second kayak, I'd get a Tarpon 140 because it might do a little better on longer (2+ miles) trips.
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By Ron Mc
my same buddy above has a Coosa, and it's a really great river boat, but the time he took it to the coast, he was sorry - it wore him out. Really stable boat, rigging well thought-out.
But in this photo you can see the freeboard.
The same day he brought home the Coosa, we demo'd Diablo Amigo ABS and KC-12 ABS at TG Kayaks on the San Marcos River.
He also knew never to bring the Coosa to the coast for a loaner - will bring his daughter's Redfish 10 instead - great fast little boat, but really not for a big guy.
Image next coast trip, and before the Revo, he brought his old Fisherman (below)

He gave this (really) old 14' Emotion Fisherman to our buddy Lou, and it's a very decent coast boat - as in Lou's pretty fast with it - though bring a sponge, because it has a giant cockpit deck hatch (made for stowing long rods) that leaks.

Ben, do you use a pull-cord to stand? It really gets you up in a hurry with no side-to-side ballet.
By ben_beyer
Ron Mc wrote:
Ben, do you use a pull-cord to stand? It really gets you up in a hurry with no side-to-side ballet.

I have never figured out why and now it's too late, but mine didn't come with the cord. I usually just pop up.

I'm 5' 10" and a little overweight but I have no problem standing.

I got caught in some wind last time I was out in November and I understand the effect of the higher freeboard. Thankfully I could head for some mangroves and use those to help me out.

Maybe in a year or so I can get another kayak and I'll go with something that has a lower freeboard. I'm just starting out so I had to pick the kayak that met my needs the best.
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By Ron Mc
I know, only the Diablo comes with the cord, but it works so well, it's worth adding your own. I already said a bunch good about Coosa, it's just not made for wind.
I know Jackson also makes their version of a flats boat.

ps - Diablo makes a great standing boat, but it needs the skeg addition for wind control and good tracking (so do the Redfish 10).
By ben_beyer
I almost got a Diablo too. I rented one a few years back and loved everything about it except if you didn't throw out an anchor, you could be easily blown by the wind. But the other side of that is because of the low freeboard it wasn't bad to paddle in the wind.

The one I rented had the Skeg. I caught a 7.5 lbs. channel cat that day fishing for sunnies.

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