JasperKayak

Sit in/sit on

32 posts in this topic

The first ten years on LI sound and tidal rivers were in SIKs, the second ten years have been on SOTs. 

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Hurricane Santee Sport 12'. Had a SOT for a couple years; lots of room, but it was heavy to lug around and  turned into a big production with all the stuff. I found myself not wanting to use it because of the hassle; then got another sit in. They're easy.

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23 hours ago, JasperKayak said:

Just curious to know how many of you guys fish out of a sit in kayak; in salt water?

Have used sit-on-top (Hobie's) for over 10 years - 2 outbacks (2010 & 2020) and a 2018PA12. Prior to that I used to fish sit-ins, but only in freshwater. If you're considering a new yak, the sit-on-top is the way to go. Sit-on-tops are cooler in the hot summer, plus stability is better. Ergonomically, you'll sit higher above the water's surface and so it's less of a shoulder workout to fish spinning kit. You can adjust rod tip in relation to lures and water's surface which enhances versatility in lure selection and confidence in presentation. I've tournament fished for 2-years in freshwater, KY lake mostly, big water lots of barges and boats; it's basically a small ocean. I've also fished the NC coast and FL coast for inshore reds, flounder, and specks. Currently fishing RI oceanfront with the yaks. If pedal drives are something you're not interested in, I would recommend Wilderness Systems, Ocean Kayak, or Bonafide. Sit-on-top all the way.

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We have a tandem sit in kayak. It was on sale & the wife put it on a credit card several years back, so I’m definitely not complaining. ;-) Used it in the tidal marshes & creeks of S Jersey. 

 

However.... depending upon tide & wind, it’s often a difficult platform for fishing - at least for me in my relatively limited experience. 
 

In most of the outings I have had with it, 95% alone in the tandem, it was  impractical to try casting & retrieving or else I’d get pushed by the wind & tidal current. You may find better strategies if you have time to put in, but I don’t have that time. I still use it on occasion and I strictly troll lures or paddle tails in the channels. 
 

A sit in does do better from a wind profile perspective. You’re lower in the water so less of a sail. And the hull cuts through current okay, while also serving as a keel. 
 

I would use it to get to boat only locations & then hop out to fish, but packing it onto the roof, transporting this thing by myself & then getting it back to the house, it’s not gonna happen often. 
 

Some brands of the sit on top yaks offer the possibility of pedal power. That’s gonna allow cast & retrieve in addition to trolling. It also means you’re paying for a better quality & brand of boat and the pedal drive system which is min 2-3 times more investment up front. 
 

You can also equip either style of yak with a battery powered trolling motor. Tougher I think to do with a sit in, but it’s a thing people do. I’m considering it before getting rid of ours. 
 

Finally, if you’re gonna go out front to the open ocean, you’ll need to do research & be prepared. One of these days, when it’s really glass conditions, I’m gonna do it. Maybe!

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I have not kayak fished in years, but I have owned both, and a sit on outweighs a sit in by a long shot in my estimation. 

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My only reasons for buying a Sit in vs. a Sit on top kayak were the price, availability and ease of use.

The kayak was a display model, so it was available and on sale. 

You have to weigh the options of slightly heavier sit-on-top kayak to haul around (carry) vs. having to empty the sit-in kayak should you flip. Also you should be able to get back on the sit-on-top kayak while on the water.

 

Now they have "hybrid" kayaks, a cross between the both, which they claim to have the best of both worlds.

I'll have to wait and see if it's in my future...

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On 2/28/2021 at 4:28 PM, sikcrodbends said:

Sit-on-tops are cooler in the hot summer, plus stability is better.

Stability is simply untrue. Nothing is more stable than a SIK where your butt is an inch from the hull. 

 

I came from paddling decked and sprayskirted whitewater boats, but when it came to fishing alone, the inability to self rescue in the unlikely event I came out of the boat seemed like a risk just not worth it. Plus all the logistics of kayak fishing are easier, from trolling and electronics mounts, gear storage and fish handling. Not to say SIK isn't doable like Cheech says, especially if you keep it simple, I just think SOT is easier. Even my 26" narrow SOT is harder than my 29".  Now, I'm talking about the relatively narrow and lightweight ones, not the 36" wide slow and heavy ones. I'd rather have a SIK! 

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2 mins ago, gellfex said:

Stability is simply untrue. Nothing is more stable than a SIK where your butt is an inch from the hull. 

 

I came from paddling decked and sprayskirted whitewater boats, but when it came to fishing alone, the inability to self rescue in the unlikely event I came out of the boat seemed like a risk just not worth it. Plus all the logistics of kayak fishing are easier, from trolling and electronics mounts, gear storage and fish handling. Not to say SIK isn't doable like Cheech says, especially if you keep it simple, I just think SOT is easier. Even my 26" narrow SOT is harder than my 29".  Now, I'm talking about the relatively narrow and lightweight ones, not the 36" wide slow and heavy ones. I'd rather have a SIK! 

You would be correct in your statement in relation to center of gravity. SOT's certainly put you higher above the water's surface which poses as a greater risk to tip. I am speaking from experience having fished out of a futurebeach SIK vs my two Hobie Outbacks and PA12. Wish I still had the video but I made a video of me tipping my 2010 Outback about 3 years ago. Essentially during Round 1, I put my weight onto the starboard side of the yak and let my weight drive the yak to it's turning point but even at 90 degrees to the water it didn't want to totally flip. So I did a re-entry, and during Round 2, I had to pull the handle over my shoulder to totally flip the vessel. After the total flip, the re-entry was very simple. Always important to practice those exercises should the real deal occur.

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7 mins ago, sikcrodbends said:

You would be correct in your statement in relation to center of gravity. SOT's certainly put you higher above the water's surface which poses as a greater risk to tip. I am speaking from experience having fished out of a futurebeach SIK vs my two Hobie Outbacks and PA12. Wish I still had the video but I made a video of me tipping my 2010 Outback about 3 years ago. Essentially during Round 1, I put my weight onto the starboard side of the yak and let my weight drive the yak to it's turning point but even at 90 degrees to the water it didn't want to totally flip. So I did a re-entry, and during Round 2, I had to pull the handle over my shoulder to totally flip the vessel. After the total flip, the re-entry was very simple. Always important to practice those exercises should the real deal occur.

Can't answer for you personal perception, and it sounds like your test might not be sitting properly forward and centered in the boat, but center of gravity is 90% of stability. I've gotten knocked over and rolled literally thousands of times. One of the drills I teach whitewater newbies is putting your boat on edge keeping your body upright, till it goes over.  I can tell you a typical SOT is simply not as stable, forget about a lawn chair model. Plenty of guys have gone over in dead calm reaching into their crates.

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I just spent a whole month fishing in Florida on a SOT several hours a day. I never felt cramped or uncomfortable the whole time. The adjustable seats on the SOT yaks are very comfortable. 

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You have to decide your "comfort" level for yourself.

Deciding factors will be Where you plan on using it, when you plan on using it, the conditions in which you will be launching (and eventually paddling), and how much added weight will you be bringing (and how it's distributed).

 

I've had my 11.5' pelican sit-on-top fishing kayak for years. Fishing fresh and salt, day and night, rivers, ponds big lakes and well trafficked bay. I've gotten waves breaking over the sides, or washing over the bow, but I have not flipped it. Even was paddling down the Saco River in the Conway NH region.

 

As I stated, it boils down to comfort level...What risks I'm willing to accept while paddling.

I would decide to leave when I felt the first hint of that "knot in my stomach" feeling.

Once again, it was based on my comfort level. (In ice fishing terms, it's what thickness of ice and ice condition I will even consider heading out on).

 

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