Thumb-Burner

10' or 11'???

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All else being equal, which would you choose for freshwater lake largemouth and spotted bass fishing for a kayak?

 

10' long.  32" wide and 52 #. Or

 

11' long.  30.5" wide and. 59#

 

And why

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In a vacuum, the second one because in theory it will be faster due to both the increased length and narrower width. It should track straighter while still being easy to turn because it's still a short kayak. These things look and feel a lot smaller once you take them on the water, and the convenience of the smaller boat would be almost inconsequential to me.   

 

Unfortunately the factors left out of the original post do matter. I truly think a demo day would do wonders for you. If there isn't a shop putting on a demo near you then at minimum sitting in a couple kayaks will be helpful.

 

The longer boat may perform better but it might be a tight fit that's uncomfortable to sit in. You might find that the narrower boat is more "tippy" (less primary stability) and uncomfortable for you to fish out of, or you might realize that you get used to the tippy nature of the boat and appreciate that in can rock with out flipping (high secondary stability). 

 

In the previous threads, I don't remember seeing much if any verbiage about rocker, primary/secondary stability, chines, free board, hatch styles or a million other factors that can be considered when choosing a boat. 

 

You can go crazy going through a million permutations weighing all these factors for a given scenario but you won't truly know what works for you until you sit in something. I bought my first boat about 15 years ago. I had done research for about a year and had my mind made up when going to the shop. I left with a boat that wasn't even a consideration for me and I paddled it for a decade with out regrets. I started fishing offshore with a Tarpon 140 and when it was time to get a dedicated offshore boat I had a hard time deciding between a Viking reload, wilderness thresher or jackson kracken. I borrowed a kraken, rented the thresher and demoed the viking. I really wanted the thresher because I was already happy with my Tarpon and wanted another wilderness, but when I paddled all three, it was obvious that the viking was the one. It wasn't obvious when I was reading specs, it wasn't obvious when I read reviews, but when I was on the water it was clear as day. 

 

Fortunately, since you'll be bass fishing on lakes, you're experience at a demo will translate readily to the conditions you'll face when fishing. Good luck! 

 

 

Edited by youngsalt

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Thanks.  I'm at the overanalyzing phase.  Going to paddle a couple different boats with a buddy in two weeks.  Thanks for your insights.

 

I've accomplished what I can most likely sitting behind the computer.

 

 

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I went from a 10' to 12' for salt, and there are always trade offs. If you aren't a big person and don't want to stand, I'd go narrower and faster. I'd flip over in a second on my pescador 12' 28" wide. My buddy has a 10' native at 36" wide that I could dance on.

 

I'd consider overall weight too if you are carrying it solo. Upwards of 60lbs gets old fast on top of a car.

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Honestly I think you should broaden your search. 10 and 11 foot kayaks are not very big.  If you are an average size person they may be a bit small. As stated above narrower and longer  will paddle better with less resistance. This will make it easier to get from place to place.  Definitely do a test paddle. Also as we age the kayak weight does become more of a factor. Especially if you are car topping it by your self. Good luck with your decision.

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How far you plan on paddling would be a big factor here, I think. The freshwater body near my house where I always fish is fairly small and a 10' would likely be fine since speed and efficiency wouldn't be a major concern. I take my 12-13' yaks out there and it's fine, but at less than 30" wide I'm not going to be able to stand in them comfortably (if that's important to you, it's not to me) and sometimes if I'm fishing around a cluster of downed trees or something the maneuverability of something smaller would be nice. Plus there is the weight savings, as mentioned. If it's freshwater only and not paddling too far, I think I would go 10' all day.

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I have a 10'5"  PDL TW from Old Town.  Short kayaks don't track well in windy conditions and do not perform well in chop and swell. Which is why it's not the something I will use on open Ocean with swell. Better choices in the stable.  Doesn't mean you can't do it but some people get tired of making constant steering corrections and want length to deal with swells and make progress more efficiently. The shorter high sided kayaks with high seating will be exposed to wind. Lower profile shorter kayakers hugging the water with angled sides at water line (chine)  and lower center of gravity at the seat will perform much better but then it goes back to length in the swells.

 

12 hours ago, Thumb-Burner said:

All else being equal, which would you choose for freshwater lake largemouth and spotted bass fishing for a kayak?

 

10' long.  32" wide and 52 #. Or

 

11' long.  30.5" wide and. 59#

 

And why

 

We don't know your height and weight to recommend anything and we don't know what models you are looking at. Smaller kayaks can be very weight sensitive. You really can't pay attention to when a manufacturer says, "Gross Weight or Max Weight" and then go by your weight. I weigh 260 and pedal the 10'5" Topwater. Old Town went wider, 36" to hold larger paddlers along with it's hull design.

 

If you weigh under 200 I would say the 11' long model would be a better choice.

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