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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By Jbuggs1992
Im sure this has been asked but I couldn't find a post on it. I'm new to Kayaking and I am trying to decide whether it would be better to purchase a paddle kayak or a pedal drive kayak. As for paddle kayaks I like the Frontier 12 and pedal Kayak I like the Native Kayaks. All assistance is appreciated
By SWFinatic
Yep lots of discussion on this topic and you'll get opinions for both. In most cases you will have to paddle your kayak at some point even with a pedal drive. Where and how you fish will depend on how much you have to paddle. I've had both and for me the peddle drive makes kayak fishing much more enjoyable. I have a back with issues and a shoulder that bothers me some and paddling impacts both.

If you fish the salt water marsh or back lakes a lot then you'll need a kayak that paddles well (something easier to paddle than the Frontier 12) since you can't peddle is shallow water. If you mostly fish lakes for bass a peddle drive like the Native is hard to beat.
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By Ron Mc
All pedal kayaks are not created equal. Consider that you're almost prone to begin with, and then lift your feet to pedal a bicycle. Hobie drive (and some others have copied it) seems to be the only pedal system that makes sense.
Without question, they're very efficient and can cover good distance.
If you're going pedal, don't buy cheap - if you're going paddle, don't buy too wide, to keep paddling effort low.
By impulse
I'm not going to offer any advice on the pedal vs paddle because it's so subjective. You won't know which is best for you until you've tried them under the fishing conditions you'll be encountering.

I do, however, always suggest getting on the classified section and onto Craigslist and finding 2nd hand kayaks for less than half the cost of a new one. Take your learning lumps on a kayak or 2 you can turn around and sell without taking a financial bath. Trial days run by kayak shops are great, but not the same as spending a full day in a kayak, under real world conditions. Wide kayaks that feel nice and stable in a 15 minute test can feel like paddling a battleship at the end of a long day of keeping up with your buddies.

Another benefit is that we're in the low season and there's some great looking deals from people who don't want to care for, store, and feed their kayaks until next season. While here in Galveston, it's still kayak weather on most days.

And if you really fall in love with one type after you've tested them, you can always take the plunge and buy a new one. But you'll probably want to keep the old one around for guests who don't bring their own. That's what I did.
By mwatson71
I rented kayaks for fishing for probably two years before I bought my first one. All were paddlers. I ended up buying a used Wilderness T160 about ten years ago which I still own. It is narrow and moves almost effortlessly through the water, especially when you are just going in a straight line from A to B. I bought my son a Perception Pescador 12 when he was 8. I wanted something a little more stable for him and also something friends without kayaks could use. My fishing buddies were all paddlers.

Then a couple of years ago I ran into the Fishing Attorneys a/k/a the Plastic Navy. They were nice enough to let me start fishing with them and the three of them all had Hobies (two Outbacks and a PA14). We fished a lot. They pedaled (or used their trolling motors) and I paddled alongside. Last year, I found a used Hobie Revo 13 for $600 which seemed a good deal. Turns out it was. So the Plastic Navy was renamed the Hobie Navy and we still fish as often as we can. And then a few months ago I got my son a used Hobie Outback and he loves it.

As to which I prefer, I'd have to go with the pedal drive 80% of the time. The ability to troll with the rod in your hand is a game changer. Yes, I could troll in the Tarpon by putting my rod in the holder and loosening the drag, but to actually be able to feel the fish hit the lure while trolling makes a big difference to me. And the Revo is narrow and fast as well. The Outback is wider and also an older version so it feels heavier and slower. Not a lot, but noticeable.

With the pedal drive, you can also turn into the current and shuffle your feet to hold position and fish a spot without having to continuously paddle around after you have drifted away.

There are still times I prefer the paddle - when I am going shallow or when the wind is low and I just want a good fast paddle. Or when I know I am going out with friends who paddle.

I'd be inclined to let you test any of them out if you'd like if you are in the Houston area. Just send me a PM. And as impulse said, unless you just have money to burn, buy a used one.

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