TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By DrBuck
Well I'm as green as they get. Looking to start taking my fishing to a different level. Been bass fishing for a hundred years but this kayak thing is just sucking me in. I see there's a lot of pedal kayaks and I see the pros when fishing. But you boys and girls who fish without such, tell me what you think. Well, anyone tell me what your thoughts are. I'm 60 and can run with the best of em so mother nature and doctor time hasn't really caught up with me.........yet :D
"When the student is ready the teacher appears"
By impulse
New or used? (You can try out kayaking for under $300 2nd hand, but that's for paddling, not pedaling)
Budget? (You can generally get a new or used paddle kayak much cheaper than a similar new or used used pedal kayak)
Transport vehicle and storage plans? (your kayak will be in transit as much as it's on the water, and in storage a lot more than either. Some kayaks -usually pedalers- are so heavy and complex that car-topping isn't an option on the family sedan)
Plan to install an electric motor? (makes the paddle/pedal selection less relevant)

I'm a big fan of the starter kayak, a 2nd hand unit to help you learn the ropes- what you like, what you don't, how to get your 'yak around, where you're going to keep it. After you take your learning lumps, you can keep it as a backup (for when your friend doesn't bring one), or you can sell it on without losing much to depreciation. Or, like some guys, you may decide that kayaking isn't your cuppa, and go back to the Skeeter.

I paddled for 20+ years before pedals were even available, so I'm a paddling kind of guy. But my family has a bunch of Hobies with pedals, and I see the appeal. If I were to start today, all things being equal, I'd go with the pedal 'yak for fishing. But all things are rarely equal- especially money and logistics. One last note- You can always paddle a pedaler, but you can't pedal a paddler.
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By Ron Mc
The nice thing about pedal is hands-free, but they tend to be built with high freeboard, wide beam, taller seat, and need the extra power of pedal.
Hobie has the best idea. A bicycle crank drive puts your legs way high. If I wanted a stand-up boat, it would be a Hobie Compass or Outback. Sounds like you may want the Pro Angler for bass fishing.

For the newer bass-boat-style kayaks, pedal makes all the sense in the world.
The exception for a stable stand-up paddle kayak is the Diablo, available in ABS, which makes them light and easy to single-hand. Note these are light and efficient, and they need the optional skeg for wind control.

As a rule, you can go a lot farther (faster) in a sleek paddle kayak. My buddy has a Hobie Mirage-drive Revo 16 and it's freaking fast - faster than my T160 - but my little 39-lb kevlar Kestrel edges it.

I'm a distance cyclist and, while legs are important, core muscles are even more important, and if you're paddling correctly, you're using the same core muscles as cycling, and probably running.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By SWFinatic
I'm in the pedal kayak camp. Regardless of the style of kayak there is some give and take. Hard to find the perfect kayak. While pedals are nice to have most (not all but most) pedal kayaks are not great paddle kayaks. Hobie Revo kayaks are an exception to that rule. The Hobie style pedal drive IMO is the most efficient. We have both Hobie and rotary pedal drive kayaks. My Pro Angler outweighs our Pilot by about 50 pounds yet is more efficient and easier to operate. If you'll be bass fishing I recommend getting a pedal drive kayak with reverse. Pedal drive kayaks are not great for fishing shallow bays and marsh (again except for the Revo) since you usually have to paddle quite a bit.

Pedal kayaks will almost always cost more. Hobie's are expensive but you get what you pay for. You can save money buying used if you know what to look for.

Keep in mind storage and transportation when deciding on your kayak. I strongly recommend attending one of the Austin Canoe & Kayak demo days coming up. Here you can walk up and test many different types of kayaks that will be parked at waters edge. Here is a link to their currently scheduled events.
By mwatson71
I paddle a Wilderness T160 and fish it as often as possible. Sometimes that means every couple of months, sometimes that's a couple of times a week. I have fished both freshwater and saltwater in it. I have not been BTB yet.

Pros: It is fast, holds a straight line, and can get me into marshes that my friends in Hobies can't get into, even when they are paddling. It is light enough (approx. 75 lbs) that I can single-handedly load it onto the roof rack on my SUV, even after eight miles of paddling. No trailer necessary. I also like the feel of paddling. Price. Paddle kayaks generally less expensive than pedal kayaks. I bought my T160 used about ten years ago and I have not regretted one penny spent on it.

Cons: I can't paddle and cast at the same time. I watch my Hobie friends pedal and cast while we are moving spots. Slight envy. I can't hold one spot while fishing as easily as the Hobie guys, especially in the wind. I have to paddle around and past the target zone and drift back. Again, slight envy.

Given that whichever route you take ends up with you spending more time on the water, you'll be a winner either way.
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By johnboat
North of age 60 myself. Two positive things: 1. Seat comfort. Look at the two kayaks posted above. Consider which seat you would rather sit in for hours. The Hobie Advantage seat is awesome. 2. Stability. The Hobie Pro Angler or Outback are very stable.

I bought my PA14 like new from a bass fisherman with other kayaks. I think he may have had trouble negotiating weeds, but I'm not sure. If I needed to slide over weeds I would select a paddler with no or easy up rudder.
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By Ron Mc
Of course I showed those two boats to represent extreme fast paddle boat v. the Revo, which is the fastest pedal boat.
The stability, or rather instability of those two boats is also very similar. You have to sit higher in the Revo in order to pedal and, in that narrow 28.5" hull, it feels very unstable sitting still.
The Revo is also the one Hobie that's good at both paddle and pedal, though you may find the Outback and Compass acceptable when you need to paddle them.

Sitting up tall also makes you more susceptible to all wind factors, and my choice for 10-mi coast paddles and my over-60 tush is my T160, which sits low to reduce those wind factors.
Image I can put in a pretty comfortable fishing day with my legs dangling over each side, which you can'd to in a much wider boat.
Here, using the wind to drift fish the flats with a drift sock

The Hobie Outback, PA, and Revo all have two seat heights to adjust between, though I can't imagine using the Revo in the high seat position. The Compass only has the fixed low seat position, though for pedal, that position is still much higher than paddle-only boats.
What our OP really needs to do is catch an ACK demo day, to try a bunch of boats, and I think the best water to test boats is the San Marcos demo (they also sell there with a minor discount, and will really slash blem boats).

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