TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By Jrrose
#2290103
I am looking to pull the trigger on my first fishing kayak, and have it narrowed down somewhat, but thought I would reach out to this group for any additional insight. I am 5'9", 195. I will be fishing 75% large ponds and small lakes for bass, 20% large lakes for carp on the flats (hugging the shoreline mostly), and let's save the last 5% for the rare time I could go to the coast and hit the marsh (maybe once a year). The plan is strictly fly fishing (although I have been known to cross over to the dark side on occasions). My top two priorities are comfortable seating, and stability (wanting to stand and cast as situations dictate), with a clean deck coming in 3rd. I have demoed several kayaks, and am trying to find that perfect blend of all of these factors. From a paddling and comfort standpoint I like the WS ATAK 120, but it is a little cluttered on the deck, and not as stable as a couple of other options. Tried a Bonafide SS127, the seat was very comfortable, but for me it just didn't feel right paddling. The Diablo Amigo is very stable, clean deck, get to support a Texas company, and the price is right. The only thing holding me back on it is the seat, the Larry chair just isn't the most comfortable (might be able to find another option, or modify it). I also tried the NuCanoe Frontier 12, also very stable, more comfortable chair and a very clean deck, but I like the way the Amigo paddles better.

I know that's a lot of rambling, but wanted to give as much info as possible. As it stands right now, I am down to the ATAK or the Amigo (but the Frontier 12 is still in there somewhere). ATAK more comfortable and easier paddling, Amigo more stable and open deck. I'm not looking to start a heated debate on any of these kayaks, I'm just looking for input from folks who own and fly fish out of any of these boats. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but any input would be appreciated.

Joel
By SWFinatic
#2290104
I'm not going to be any help regarding your narrowed down selection. Sounds like you've done a lot of homework. If I were going to buy a paddle kayak that paddles well, has a comfortable seat, clean deck and good stability I would look hard at the Wilderness Ride 135.
By rayb
#2290105
How big a rush are you in? ACK has demo days in Sept. in all the major cities around here and you can test float everything they carry. If you're in San Marcos TG Canoe does it every day they're open
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By Ron Mc
#2290120
from that list and your use, I would go for the Amigo. Remember to get a skeg to keep the stern from slipping in windcock.
The ABS Diablo is also nice, because of light weight and ease to single-hand.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By impulse
#2290122
Not what a lot of folks like to hear, but I'd suggest watching Craigslist and other classifieds to pick something up for a couple hundred bucks to try the sport, before even considering dropping a few thousand for your ultimate 'yak.

Call it a starter 'yak, if you will. Aside from the mechanics of fishing, you'll learn a lot about hauling one around, storing it, caring for it, and accessorizing it. When you do finally pull the big trigger, you can sell your starter on without losing much (if anything).

For example, I have a Tarpon 160 and a Perception Pescador 12 that I picked up for $450 from a guy who just needed them both gone. What I learned is that a wide, 16' SOT kayak catches a lot of wind on top of a soccer-mom van because it hangs way off both ends of the roof. The 12' kayak is a lot more practical if I don't want to pull a trailer. (I had picked up a trailer for a canoe I bought, so no harm, no foul)

I also found that kayaking with a friend is a lot more pleasant- and a lot of my friends don't have their own when they come down. So I'm glad I have that 2nd 'yak around for when friends come to visit. Even if I did decide on one or the other, I'd keep them both available. Hell, sometimes they both go out without me in the picture at all.

Then there's the sad fact that a lot of guys who owned the kayaks I looked at when I was shopping used theirs once or twice and decided it wasn't for them. Like boats of all sizes, the brochures often look very different from the reality. So a lot of barely-used 'yaks come up for sale. But let's not dwell on that...

BTW, I also found an old Perception 17' Sea Lion Expedition kayak for $300, and I love paddling it when I'm not fishing. So deals are out there. You just have to look and be first, with cash money.
By bones72
#2290162
I am no Kayak expert and in about the same situation as you and about comparable size; I'm at 6' and about 175. I went to a Heroes on the Water event two weeks ago and got to try out many makes and models of 'yaks. From what I saw I would shy away from the Nucanoe. I was actually in the exact model you mentioned. Tried one first thing. Absolutely comfortable, great chair, stable enough for you and three of your friends to have a party but paddling was much tougher than the other boats tried and when the wind came up about 1000 or so boy did that thing catch it.
Tried all kinds of stuff, Hobies, Natives, and Wilderness and many more besides. I think an aftermarket chair in the Diablo might be the way to go. Not sure what part of Texas your in but here around Ft. Hood the biggest factor playing for me is the wind. There seems to always be a good stiff breeze here even more so in the spring.
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By Ron Mc
#2290164
the solution to wind is low gunwhale height and low seat height.
Another recently on the same exercise bought a used Redfish 12. I though it was a good choice, and know it's a stable and slick wind boat.
iamanoldman... mounted stadium seats in his Redfish.
Without doubt, Diablo boats are built for standing - but don't forget that skeg...
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