Kr4188

Kayak newbie

26 posts in this topic

I just bought a used tandem mirage drive kayak from letgo for me and my 15 yr old son. Neither one of us has ever used a kayak before. Any tips would be great, especially what to vfc wear? Not sure if you get wet or not, so should we wear chest waders,  wetsuits,  or regular clothes?

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5 mins ago, Kr4188 said:

I just bought a used tandem mirage drive kayak from letgo for me and my 15 yr old son. Neither one of us has ever used a kayak before. Any tips would be great, especially what to vfc wear? Not sure if you get wet or not, so should we wear chest waders,  wetsuits,  or regular clothes?

Don't wear chest waders they can fill with water you cant swim and you'll probably drown

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Search this forum for safety threads about kayaks. There are a TON of threads which lists everything you should have/know. I wouldnt wear waders. If you guys are going to be kayaking in colder water/weather, you def need a wetsuit or a dry suit. We’ve had a couple members here with some insanely close calls, so please don’t skimp out in the safety department. In the summer for clothing i normally just wear a bathing suit, spf shirt, a hat, and face mask. (And PFD of course.

 

i probably wear a wetsuit until mid May, but it really depends on the weather/water temps.if don’t correctly, it’ll be a great way to spend time with your son! Can’t wait until mines old enough.

Edited by Pma531

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Thanks, great advice! Especially about the waders. Never even thought about the possibility of them filling up. I see YouTube videos of people kayak fishing and it looks like they

have waders on, maybe just because they're more experienced and aren't worried about falling out?

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4 hours ago, Kr4188 said:

I just bought a used tandem mirage drive kayak from letgo for me and my 15 yr old son. Neither one of us has ever used a kayak before. Any tips would be great, especially what to vfc wear? Not sure if you get wet or not, so should we wear chest waders,  wetsuits,  or regular clothes?

 

Wetsuit, waders + drytop, or most people's preference: a full dry suit...is needed from now until next Spring. 

 

I would use the winter months to gather all the necessary fishing/safety gear...and start your kayaking adventures when the weather is warmer. You'll catch more fish, be more comfortable, and most importantly be safer and more prepared on the water. 

 

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Ok. We were hoping to take it out in the bay or out front for some late fall stripers. We both surf all winter so we do have winter wetsuits, maybe wear those ? Going to take it out Saturday in a freshwater lake and just pedal around, get a feel for it, see how stable it feels. Thanks again for all the good advice.

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12 hours ago, jerry witt said:

Don't wear chest waders they can fill with water you cant swim and you'll probably drown

Hi, Jerry, welcome to the forum.  You might want to do a bit of research on the "waders in a kayak" thing.  That topic has been beaten to death for over decade and the idea of them downing you has been proven wrong over and over again.  There are plenty of other reasons there are better options, but lots of people safely use waders. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Kr4188 said:

I just bought a used tandem mirage drive kayak from letgo for me and my 15 yr old son. Neither one of us has ever used a kayak before. Any tips would be great, especially what to vfc wear? Not sure if you get wet or not, so should we wear chest waders,  wetsuits,  or regular clothes?

 

Welcome to the sport!  You absolutely will get wet, this is not a dry sport.  How wet will really depend on a lot of things, but don't count on being dry.  The kayak fishing mantra is "dress to swim, rig to flip".  A few years ago at Jamaica Bay I witnessed a father and son team (separate kayaks) brand new to the sport and their kayaks.  The dad made a classic turn around and reach to the back move and quickly flipped his kayak.  He was panicking and screaming, he had no idea what to do.  Myself and another kayaker, walked him through how to right his kayak and it took the two of us to steady his kayak so he could get back in.  He had nothing tethered so $600 worth of gear sank into the bay.  He had jeans and rubber boots on so he we wet and done for the day.  If he and his son had been alone in the bay or ocean, they would have been in BIG trouble.

 

Always wear your PFD, preferably not inflatable ones at least when you start.

 

Once the weather and water are nice and warm, please take your kayak out to a lake and intentionally flip it.  If you struggle to right the kayak and self rescue in perfect conditions, you'll never do it with a fully loaded fishing kayak in cold rough water.

 

Not sure where you are located, but if you are in the North East or other region that's cold this time of year, you might want to wait before heading out.  Don't let the spring air temps fool you.  I think more people succumb to cold water deaths in the spring then fall or winter.  You can get a 75 degree spring day where the water temps are still in the 40s or 50s.  Fall in with just a bathing-suit on and you're in big, trouble fast.

Edited by atv223

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Welcone to the sport, you are getting good advice, heed it! You are a newbie and it is basically December already, a couple very  knowledgeable guys mentioned waiting until spring, think about it. Every Winter and Spring there are posts about kayakers losing their life, usually newbies or kayakers pushing themselves  or just making bad choices. 

It’s awesone you  are doing it with your son, always wear a PFD no one plans to flip their kayak, and it hapens too quick to react, an excellent christmas present would be top quality very comfortable breathable PFDs for both of you, and wear them!  Search this forum for info and plan to start simple and add stuff as you go. 

I have a brand new kayak (my fourth) sitting ready to go but Spring is when it will get wet.....Jack

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When water is cold & one flips, it is less of "chess waders filling up and drowning you" and more of "chess waders letting water in, making you wet, hypothermia arriving very shortly thereafter".

 

As utube above shows, waders wont drown you. But, hypothermia does kill folx dead, and that's why u want to keep the cold a$$ water away from your body.

 

2nd thing to acuire right after the kayak, is something that is absolutely free yet priceless: respect for nature.

 

One day some1 will do a "I wont do that sh*t if I was kayaking" video, streamlined delivery not too dissimilar to this classic

 

 

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The basics.  

Swimming and apparel 

Sounds like you are good swimmers don’t let that lull you into false confidence. Swimming ability is good but staying calm and having the confidence to right your ride and get back in it efficiently is your first and most important maneuver.  #2 is drysuit.  water temp below 55 dry suit, above 55 dry suit or shorts and neoprene boots.  Also swimming in a dry suit is not like regular swimming. 

 

rules I obey 100% of the time.  

1) PFD 100% of time any weather any water.   

 

2) dress to swim rig  to flip 100% of time any weather 

 

3) respect water and all weather 100% of the time.  

 

4) check your ride for functional efficiency.  PFD, whistle, blunt tip fast release knife, Paddle, phone in waterproof case around neck, peddle drive, Flaglight, compass, anchor and trolley, fish finder, rudder up/down right/left, and of course all hatches battened all gear tethered and secured for launch  and landing. 

 

5)  No fish is worth your life

if it feels or seems dangerous it is. (pre launch confidence in conditions, planning and preparation will have you ready for the trip but If it doesn’t feel right do not launch)

 

 

 

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I'm also new to kayaking and appreciate all the information in this thread. 

Do you folks typically get the kayak in the water ready to launch first, then put on the drysuit so as to reduce risk of damage to the drysuit? Same with unloading, do you remove the drysuit before getting the kayak on the vehicle?

Why type/brand of gear leashes are you using?

I'm assuming Hobie hatches are not watertight, are you using Tupperware or dry bags for misc items to keep them dry?

Any other advice or recommendations? How many of you use a VHF marine radio, and which inexpensive model would you recommend?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ed Z said:

I'm also new to kayaking and appreciate all the information in this thread. 

Do you folks typically get the kayak in the water ready to launch first, then put on the drysuit so as to reduce risk of damage to the drysuit? Same with unloading, do you remove the drysuit before getting the kayak on the vehicle?

Why type/brand of gear leashes are you using?

I'm assuming Hobie hatches are not watertight, are you using Tupperware or dry bags for misc items to keep them dry?

Any other advice or recommendations? How many of you use a VHF marine radio, and which inexpensive model would you recommend?

 

 

My wetsuit is the last to go on. It serves  its purpose but I don’t want it on any longer then it has to be on. Kinda uncomfortable. It has separate foot thingys (technical term) so I’m not worried about wearing them out.

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Do you folks typically get the kayak in the water ready to launch first, then put on the drysuit so as to reduce risk of damage to the drysuit? Same with unloading, do you remove the drysuit before getting the kayak on the vehicle?

Some what depends on the situation.  But generally, the last thing I do before rolling my kayak to the launch is put my drysuit on.  So I rig everything and have the kayak ready to go, then put on the drysuit and roll it to launch.  Then I take my car back to the car and head out.  On the way in, I walk back to the car take off the drysuit and grab the cart.

 

Why type/brand of gear leashes are you using?

I make my own.  I use Cable clamps with a hole drilled into them, a tether made form paracord sheath and weed wacker cord that's been heat set into a coil, and S-binders.  This isn't my photo, but it's very close.  I like this setup because I can attach and remove the cable clamp with one hand and I don't have to add anything else to the rod.

full-71892-1490-2.jpg

 

I'm assuming Hobie hatches are not watertight, are you using Tupperware or dry bags for misc items to keep them dry?

Best to assume no SOT Kayak is watertight, you will get water inside so make sure anything in there you don't want wet is in a waterproof container.  I use dry bags for extra clothes.  I suppose tupperware would work, but it was something that I really didn't want wet, I'd use a proper dry box with a latch.  Don't expect a ziplock bag to be effective.  

 

Any other advice or recommendations? How many of you use a VHF marine radio, and which inexpensive model would you recommend?

I carry a VHF radio and most of the people I fish with do as well.  You'll get mixed feedback on how effective a hand held unit is from a low sitting kayak, but I'd rather have it then not and it comes in handy just talking to your fishing buddies on the water.  Lot's of options to choose from.  Definitely get waterproof and I'd suggest floating as well.  I have a Cobra and an Icom, not sure I'd recommend either model I have though.

 

Aside form the advice above. Here are a few other things you might not readily find.  Resist the temptation to mount a bunch of stuff on your kayak.  Take your time and fish out it to see what you really really need and only then add it.  Make sure you leave one side open.  Some people get carried away adding so many rod holders and accessories, they basically build a cage around themselves.  That not a problem until you flip or fall in, then you'll struggle to climb back aboard with all that stuff in the way.

 

I said this before, but please take your kayak out to a safe place and flip it to practice self rescue.  I had kayaked with and Ocean Kayak Scrambler for years and could right it and get back in with my eyes closed.  When I bought my Hobie Outback, I took it out and flipped it.  I was really surprised how much harder it was to right then my OK Scrambler.  If floated higher and was so much wider, I couldn't get a solid grip on it.  I'm really glad I figured that out on an 80 degree day in a lake and not November in the ocean.

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Good idea on drysuit - more dexterity, less chance of ripping the fabric$$$$

 

For tethers, it IS fun to make your own, but why bother, eg pack of 15 (!) is $12 on Amazon, variety of lengths, colors etc etc.

 

Uniden MHS75 is  the VHF marine radio to have. Battle tested (mine is 5YO, few dinks, still on original Lith battery, recent outing had it going for 11 straight hrs)

 

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