Ron Mc wrote:he did ask specifically about a cost-effective boat for BTB.
At the very least, you gain paddling efficiency with length.
True, and that's why I said the 16' is faster. My main point is that the logistics of transporting, storing and moving your kayak around can be just as important as it's fish-ability.
I can pick up the 12' and put it on top my van. For the 16', I have to pick up one end and slide it up- which is hell on the paint. So which is the better kayak for me?
In searching for the three 2nd hand kayaks I ended up buying, I found several guys who had bought kayaks without considering their personal, storage and auto situation. They got the perfect fishing kayaks (maybe), but the hassle of getting them to the water and the cost of storing them between trips drove them to sell- at a significant reduction over what they paid for them.
Some of the sellers had already bought different kayaks, some of them knew what they were going to buy with the sales money, and a couple had just given up on kayaking altogether. That's another reason I usually suggest buying a 2nd hand starter kayak- partly to figure out your own logistics before pulling the trigger on that perfect new one. Of course, you'll also be figuring out what features and characteristics you prefer for fishing the way you fish.
For example, I'm over 60, had bypass surgery and drive a soccer mom van- because I can camp out of it. (And I like an occasional nap in the middle of a day of fishing) My perfect kayak isn't the same as the perfect 'yak for my 35 year old nephew who works out every day and could crush bulls for a living. I stay on the water in Galveston- he lives in an apartment in Houston and drives a sedan. Even though we fish the same water and basically the same methods, he needs something different.
Another example is the guys who have their kayaks decked out with electronics and batteries, high rise seats, trolling motors, and a half dozen other attachments. They are impressive offshore fishing machines, and I envy the way some of them are set up. Great if you have a trailer. But a PITA if you need to remove it all to throw it on top of a car, then reset everything when you arrive.
We're not really disagreeing on anything about fishability. I don't know nearly as much as a lot of guys here about fishing. I'm just suggesting looking at your own logistics when you select any boat- including a canoe or kayak.