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Buying a Kayak Tomorrow, Should I get a rudder?

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Going to the Kayak show in Somerset tomorrow and buying my first kayak, a 12 foot Wilderness Tarpon angler. I will be fishing mostly lakes, round valley/spruce run. Maybe Raritan bay if I feel brave. Not sure if I should get  a rudder for it. Thanks, for your help. Joe


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If you get a special deal for buying it with the yak, then yes.

If not, go try it out without and get it if you decide you need it.

 

In my local lakes a rudder is unusable do to the heavy concentration of weed so i never use it in fresh water.

 

I'd be lost without it out on the bay

 

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Rudders are expensive, but on open water and in the wind they are priceless and worth every penny. If you fish ponds, streams and quite lakes you'd be wasting your money.

 

If you fish ponds, lakes and will possible venture into open water later. Possibly means once you get confident, you will definitely be there. So if this is the case, yes! Back water and creeks/ponds, No.

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As you develop good paddling skills a rudder is less and less needed. Id buy a high end carbon paddle before a rudder if funds would not alow both to be purchased.

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I have a 2011 Tarpon 120 and purchased it without a rudder. Last fall I got my ass kicked paddling across the various bays on windy days. I installed one over the winter. I have three trips on it so far this year and can only say one thing; PRICELESS. Even if you are in the shallows, just tilt it up a bit. In a semi-raised position it will still keep the stern pinned where you want it.



 



In my opinion, all kayaks should come with one now that I have one!



 



Hope this helps



Tim


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I also have a T120 and fish the back bays 3 or 4 times a week, I have no rudder and it never really bothered me, I guess if they were a little cheaper I would get one.

I do tend to paddle out into the bay, drift across an area then repeat so I guess that's why a rudder is not needed as much.

I put my money into an aqua-bound paddle.

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The 2012 Ride has been redesigned including the hull. The 2011 and prior models paddled like a tug in unfavorable conditions and was never a big seller here in the north. The ride did carry the heavier kayak anglers well. Most rides sold that I have seen were in Florida and Texas folk who like to stand and fish the flats. I don't need to stand, but others may.

 

Once you go rudder you will never go back. Buy now, forget retrofitting later. If they don't have the model you want and the color, wait for a paddle show or demo day coming up soon. You will still save at least 15% or more. If you are not too big in the toosh and a 16' kayak is practical for you fishing needs, the 160 with rudder is a fine fishing platform.

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Went uyesterday to the show, returning today. Could not decide on the Ride or Tarpon. Which model Aqua Bound paddle do you have?

 

I bought the Aqua Bound Manta Ray Hybird, It has the white blades on it. About 32oz I think.

I figured I would be seen a little better whith those. If you went with the all carbon manta ray you would save a few oz. and spend a few more $$ and they are all black.

 

I paid around $ 100.00 for mine shipped with a discount I had.

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I would hold off at first unless it was a great price and see how you like it. That said I added a rudder to my cheap Perception caster and love it. Rudder was half the cost of the kayak but worth it to me. I find myself using all the time. One thing I use it a lot for is drifting and in wind. The rudder I added is foot controlled and easy to use. If I'm drifting with current or wind and want to adjust direction I use the rudder and don't have to play with a paddle and just keep fishing. I covered a large bay one day but getting the wind to my back while I fished along a rock wall and never touched the paddle except to stop and adjust after reeling in fish. Made for a nice "fishing" trip not paddling. The rudder will also really make a difference in sharp course changes. Try it with out and then try one with.

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