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Thumb-Burner

sit on top vs sit-in for lake fishing

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Every time i think i've made up my mind on my first kayak i either read something or see something that makes me second guess.

 

Was 100% set on a sit on top until i looked at a few more today and started wondering if the sit in would be better for a first kayak..   

 

I've fished for 45 years...  I've fished from a boat for 35+ but i have NEVER fished from a canoe or kayak..   this will be for freshwater ponds and lakes..   I'm overwhelmed with options....    Not looking for specific kayak recommendations but feel free..

 

My question is What considerations should push me toward sit on top vs. sit in.. thanks.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Lakes and ponds, sit in is not a bad option in my experience. Sit ins are a nice option in cold weather, you need a skirt to keep water out  of cockpit and undoing the skirt to get to stuff inside is a pain. That being said, your snug as bug, and if you can rig most but not all things out on deck or on your person, a pair of pogies and you can extend your season! In warm weather no skirt and some sponges work fine. Sooner or later you will feel the call of the salt come spring, or just bigger water in general, and wish you had a self draining deck and the ability to take waves and wakes over the bow, not to mention standing! BTW FEEL FREE like you suggested, make nice yaks..

Edited by libertyminded

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New to kayaking- stick to a SOT. If your already a proficient kayaker, definatly get a traditional for fishing. They are lighter, more efficient, and reeling in fish while sitting below the waters surface is a blast! Also, the used market is flooded with 1k sit-ins for several hundred bucks.

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1 hour ago, cheech said:

New to kayaking- stick to a SOT. If your already a proficient kayaker, definatly get a traditional for fishing. They are lighter, more efficient, and reeling in fish while sitting below the waters surface is a blast! Also, the used market is flooded with 1k sit-ins for several hundred bucks.

is the used market flooded with them because people like me get them and then don't know what they're doing? Lol

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A sit inside kayak requires more skill. You need to be able to self rescue in water over your head if  you flip the kayak. You also need a pump and a paddle float to empty the water out of the kayak and to hep balance your

self to climb back into the kayak in water over your head.  A sit on top kayak is like a surf board. You can climb back up on top of it after you flip it over. It has scupper holes  to drain water. A self rescue in a sit on top kayak requires minimal skill.  You can catch fish out of either. It all depends on what kayak  you are more comfortable paddling and transporting and of course your skill level. Good luck with your choice. Also it never hurts to demo

the kayak before you purchase it. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I paddled a Necky Santa Cruz sit in for a decade before moving to Texas and getting my sit in tops. 

 

I went with the SOT here in Texas because I surf launch, wade and utilize the tank well to place a fish bag when keeping fish. 

 

When I fished in New England, I mainly bass fished and I LOVED my SIT.  I stuck my tackle bag in the bow between my knees, no need to reach behind to get stuff out of a crate. I sat low and felt very stable despite being in a 26” wide boat. Also it was very light and easy to transport compared to my SOTs. SITs are nice in that you than throw them on your shoulder and carry them.  

 

The big drawbacks with a SIT are that they are more difficult to enter and exit, they don’t drain, and they don’t have tank wells. 

 

Ideally you would want to attend a demo day and see what works for you. It’s not hard to get in and out of a SIK but it’s definately not as easy as a SOT and it would be nice to get feel for the difference. Also, while entering a SIK is slightly more difficult on land, it is MUCH more difficult to re enter on the water if you flip. You have to not only get over the gunnels but deal with a swamped boat. A bilge pump is key here although it’s a good idea for both styles. 

 

As far as a spray skirt, I never used one and only got some drops of water on me as a result of paddling, but to each their own. If you got into some rough chop, surf or whitewater it would be beneficial, for putting around on a small pond, I don’t think it’s necessary, Jmho.

 

Since in another thread you had some concerns about the weight of the boat and cartopping/transport, I would at least consider a SIK. Something like an old town loon or wilderness pungo would have a large cockpit for easy entrance, are proven designs that do fine on small calm bodies of water and would be dirt cheap especially if bought used.

A wilderness commander is kinda like a kayak canoe hybrid. It’s wide open and could give you the ability to stand if desired. It also has a more elevated seat which could help with flipping and pitching lures to cover or sight fishing etc. 

Edited by youngsalt
Looks like db beat me to the punch about reentry

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If  weight is a big concern you can always get a thermo formed Sit on top kayak. Eddyline and Hurricane Skimmer makes some different models, They are less then 50 lbs. 

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3 hours ago, Thumb-Burner said:

is the used market flooded with them because people like me get them and then don't know what they're doing? Lol

There are more used traditional kayaks for sale simply because they’ve been around some 4000 yrs,.... verses 40 yrs or so for SOT’s

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