Kayaks.... Pedal VS Paddle

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Dec 1, 2019
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I am looking into getting a kayak to be able to do some fishing on local ponds, lakes and rivers around my area. I like the idea of a pedal drive vs having to have a paddle in my hand if I am trying to fish or set lines. What's everyone's thoughts? It would be great to hear from people that spend more time in them than I do. Thanks and Happy Independence Day.
 

rwc101

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When I lived on the east coast I had a Hobie pedal kayak that I fished fresh and saltwater. Pedal is the way to go if fishing big water, rivers, and windy conditions. Overkill for small ponds. Only Jackson had reverse pedal drive when I bought, but several other manufacturers have it now. Reverse is helpful when fishing small water.
 

ccc23454

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@rwc101 nailed it! Big waters pedal/rudder is great but most fishing situations paddle is fine. Lots of cost differences and also weight savings associated with both. I had mine out yesterday paddling down the reservoir on beautiful day. I think for most people paddle is right place to start then figure out what you want from there but mind the weight of the yak, you start getting to point it can limit launch and transportation methods.
 
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That's the kinda info I am looking for. I was concerned maybe the pedal drive would be a little over kill. Plus I do tend to like the price more on the paddle yaks.
 

Scott85

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If your close to Virginia, I’m selling a Nucanoe Frontier 12 fully decked out for fishing and hunting.
 

MarvB

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As most the fishing kayaks hold their value fairly well (out here anyway) I would first go with paddle and save yourself $800-$1000 until you see how much you use/like it and go from there. You can always upgrade later
 

ccc23454

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That's the kinda info I am looking for. I was concerned maybe the pedal drive would be a little over kill. Plus I do tend to like the price more on the paddle yaks.
I have paddle fished miles off the coast, crossed the chesapeake bay and fished salt flats that were inches deep never once did i say i am never doing this again without pedals or a motor. Go cheaper on first one, you will be glad you did. Lots of places have end of summer sales or sell demos if you wait till fall. Its a blast to get into!
 

rwc101

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I'll also say fishing style comes into play. I did a lot of trolling with my Hobie, and pedal pays off there. Less advantageous when casting/vertical jigging.
 

ILbowhntr

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The seat can make a huge difference. Cheaper kayaks typically have very basic (and fixed position) seats. The seat in my hobie outback is fantastic and makes long days easy. Stability also matters. I can stand in mine with no problem. This is not possible in all kayaks.

I also prefer a sit on top model for fishing. However, the highly stable models that make for good standing/fishing also don‘t track as well as the longer, narrower ones for paddling (Sometimes called sea kayaks). This makes a rudder very helpful on a fishing model. Not having a rudder makes controlling a fishing kayak, even in a light breeze, challenging when you are fishing.

As stated previously, weight is a consideration. If you plan to transport it on a car or a truck rack (high overhead lift required) I’d stay away from the big fishing models (like the outback and pro fisherman). I transport mine on my diamondback cover on the back of my truck, but it can be a handful to load and unload from that height. I also use a cart with two wheels to move it around To/from the waters edge or ramp. When taking both kayaks out on the water (with my wife) I use a trailer to keep loading and unloading easier.

i went to a demo day before deciding on mine. I’d suggest getting in a few and paddling/pedaling around to see what suits you. For me, my setup with the pedals is great and lets me cover a lot of water relatively quickly. Your situation may be completely different than mine however.

The options and features are many, and can get to be a bit overwhelming and confusing. Starting with a lower end one first and then having that as a second/back up option if you decide to upgrade later also isn‘t a bad idea. But, they are all pretty expensive compared to what they were a few years ago.

lastly, I did see a guy with two carbon fiber canoes that he carried on top of his RV. Those we’re crazy light like 13-15 lbs, but I’m sure they aren’t cheap. Sitting a little higher from the water surface can be a benefit when fishing.

Best of luck. Let us know what you end up with.
 

Sytes

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If you can pay for pedal - go pedal (IMHO)... world of a difference fishing and fly fishing when you can maneuver the boat while your hands are occupied with the rod/reel. Forward and reverse, with a simple elbow move of the rudder control. They're heavier though I've done a whoop-load of kayak fishing via rivers and lakes.
I've made do with a variety of kayaks with paddle by hands though once I entered the world of pedal propulsion... my fishing world changed.
 

oldbutnotdead

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Hands down pedal because you will get a paddle and say, crap, I hate this, I'm trying to fish and all I do is try to paddle...etc.etc...Now you have spent that money on a paddle you could have used on a pedal. For sure look for used, sometimes you can find a deal. I myself have an Old Town Topwater 120 PDL. If you are going to car top it you also need to understand these things can be heavy. I will say it might depend on how active the water is you are fishing too, busy lakes with boats, rivers....etc...etc...you will love having a pedal drive. Also fishing rivers might take a power pole or something like that even if you have a pedal...So many "extras" to buy for a fishing kayak. If you can try out someone elses...not sure where you live, but you could for sure try mine out if you were in my local area :). Feel free to shoot me a PM with any other questions.
 

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