Avoiding Overloading Your Fishing Kayak

What Happens When You Load a W Fishing Kayak?

The illustration below shows a W500 kayak in three load points –
The left image shows it unloaded.
The image in the middle shows it loaded with around 200 lbs (91 kg). The load is distributed evenly front and back, so the kayak stays level, which offers optimal speed and control. The draft is shallow.
This load results in a slight splaying of the hulls, and no problem at all. Flex is built into the W design.

3 kayaks loaded

The image on the right shows the kayak loaded with around 360 lb (163 kg), which is the maximum load recommended for it. Assuming the load is distributed evenly front and back, the kayak stays level, and it’s still fast, agile, and easy to paddle.
-Watch tandem paddling demo video >
The hulls are noticeably splayed, but sitting on the saddle is still very comfortable, and stability is still good. This amount of flex in the kayak is still perfectly normal.
Waterline is considerably lower than the saddle’s gussets (reinforcement ribs), so there is no hydrodynamic problem, since the water between the hulls flows without restrictions.

Recommendations:

  1. For optimal performance, keep your kayak level. In order to keep it level, paddle it from the middle of its cockpit, not its rear. This is especially true if you’re a heavy person.
  2. Do not paddle your W kayak from its rear, unless it’s just for a specific purpose, such as surf launching, beaching, or going over an obstacle.
  3. When motorizing, drive the kayak from the middle of the cockpit, using a long, articulated (jointed) tiller extension. Don’t drive it from the cockpit’s rear.
  4. When paddling in tandem, try as much possible to distribute the load evenly between the front and the back of the kayak. Do not overload the back.
  5. Do not overload your W kayak, whether you’re going solo or in tandem, paddling or motorizing.
  6. Do not paddle this kayak in tandem, unless both yourself and your paddling partner have each paddled it solo before, and gained sufficient experience as solo W kayakers.
  7. Take the time to learn how to paddle this kayak when it’s loaded – Like any vessel or vehicle, the W kayak behaves differently the more it is loaded.

More about fishing kayaks >

Kayaking and Kayak Fishing for Kids and Teens

While it is true that the vast majority of kayakers and kayak anglers today are adults and seniors, as has been the case since the advent of modern kayaking, this need not be the case. The revolutionary new W Fishing Kayak makes kayaking and kayak fishing for younger users not only easier but actually fun, in contrast to the tedium of using old fashioned kayaks. Youth kayak fishing is a new website that highlights kayaking and kayak fishing among kids and teens, check it out!

Fishing Kayak Rigged With High Seat and Toolbox

People always have to ask about the W fishing kayak… and I tell them to get one. I now have rigged a Minn Kota electric trolling motor that works great for positioning an runs to a spot or back to dock.

Ray

2 sand bass caught with 1 bait in kayak fishing trip, Texas

fishing kayak with seat and DIY rod holders, Texas
“This seat sits a little higher, and it’s much more comfortable than the rigid seat I had added before.”

Sand bass caught by Texas kayak fisherman
Great toolbox for convenient storage of Ray’s fishing tackle

More tips and stories on rigging your fishing kayak >>

Sensible Kayak Fishing

Makes sense, right?

After all, not too many anglers practice kayak fishing, since it’s considered by most to be somehow extreme, in the sense that fishing out of one of those SOT, sit-in, and hybrid kayaks doesn’t feel stable, comfortable or dry enough to the common angler, and rightfully so.
But there’s another type of kayak fishing, which is safer, feels better, and is more practical. The new online magazine called Sensible Kayak Angler is just about that: Fishing from kayaks that are stable enough, don’t lead to any back pain or other typical impact caused by fishing from conventional kayaks, and do not involve the hassle and discomfort that come with this sport.

Stability, ergonomics, are among the many subjects discussed in this new kayak fishing magazine, and the more light shed on these subjects, the better.

Kayak Fishing In Tandem – Is It Possible?…

Not an easy question to answer, since a kayak is essentially a solo boat, which doesn’t lend itself easily to tandem applications –
In principle, it’s possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. But practically, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that command serious consideration:

The first problem is Safety – two passengers moving about in the cockpit or on the deck of a fishing kayak in an uncoordinated manner can easily destabilize it, with the result being one of them overreacting, and causing the kayak to capsize. Obviously, having fishing rods, lures and fish flying around in all direction in such a limited space isn’t the best a recipe for safety.

The second problem is Convenience – Every angler wants and needs to have an unlimited range of motion, in order to perform basic things such as casting, reeling, landing the fish, unhooking, etc. Angler also need to have a comfortable workspace for attaching lures and bait, and doing other technical work involving the manipulation of fishing gear, including sharp objects such as fishing hooks and knives.
The last thing you want when you’re fishing in tandem is to get your fishing lines entangled with those of your partner, or get poked in the eye by a misguided fishing hook, etc.. -The possibilities for a disaster are so numerous that it’s practically impossible to list them all in this article, but we assume the reader gets the point…

Unlike paddling a kayak in tandem, kayak fishing in tandem is more complicated, and more difficult, and as a rule of thumb we don’t recommend it, unless the crew is composed of one experienced adult kayak angler and one junior kayak angler, such as a child, who needs guidance and often even technical help with handling their fishing gear. In such case the obvious choice for a kayak is the W500 that features a 6 ft long cockpit, and a longitudinal seat that makes it possible for the two anglers to sit separated by a long span, but also to approach each other effortlessly and safely when they need to do something together, such as in case the experienced angler has to instruct the novice, or help them hands-on perform a fishing related task.

As far as standing up while kayak fishing in tandem, this is even more problematic, and should be practiced only after both anglers have practiced tandem kayak fishing before, as well as stand up kayak fishing. Needless to say that the kayak used for this type of fishing should be fit such such activities to begin with, and vendors’ claims about their kayaks’ stability should be taken with a good dose of caution, common sense, and sufficient skepticism. It’s good to remember that it’s you and fishing buddy that are going to be out there in the real world, and not some guys who get paid to demonstrate fishing kayaks in front of a camera…

Kayak fishing offshore in tandem is even more difficult, and hazardous, and we do not recommend it, unless both anglers are lightweight and very experienced fishing together out of small boats, such as dinghies and canoes. Fishing in tandem out of a kayak equipped with a powerful motor, such as an outboard gas engine adds yet another level of risk, and in such cases you may consider outfitting your kayak with a pair of large size outriggers, such as this South Korean couple is using on an offshore fishing trip:

Couple fishing in tandem in the ocean, in South Korea

Choosing a Fishing Kayak: The Mobility Factor

When you come to choosing a fishing kayak, some important factors are simply not discussed by kayak vendors, just because the kayaks they produce rank so low in them. Mobility is such a factor that you won’t find mentioned anywhere, except on sites related to Wavewalk fishing kayaks, which are the only truly mobile fishing kayaks out there. So what is Mobility in the kayak fishing world, and why is it worth your attention when you think about choosing a fishing kayak?

KAYAK MOBILITY DEFINED

Anybody can understand that a 4×4 off-road SUV is more mobile than a common, two-wheel drive car. Most people realize that a skin-on-frame Inuit kayak is less durable than a modern plastic kayak, and you couldn’t paddle it in some of the places that you’re used to paddle in. But what does mobility mean when it comes to today’s fishing kayaks?
It basically has to do with whatever limits kayak anglers from going where they want to:
Such limits include spots that are too difficult to launch your kayak from, or too difficult to beach it in. Other limits can be water that’s too difficult to paddle in because of currents, waves, ice, vegetation or submerged obstacles such as wooden logs or rocks.

Weather conditions can limit you as well: Canoes are difficult to paddle on windy days and so are most kayaks, including touring kayaks.
So, if for whatever reason you’re prevented from using some beach or going somewhere on a fishing trip with your kayak, it means your fishing kayak’s performance is limited in terms of Mobility.

WHY IS MOBILITY IMPORTANT?

Your fishing kayak’s mobility goes two things that matter to you:
Safety: You won’t drive a two-wheel drive car in a snowstorm or on ice because it’s unsafe to do so. Similarly, you wouldn’t paddle a kayak with limited mobility in water or weather conditions that are not suitable for it, and you won’t launch or beach it where you might capsize.
Freedom: You don’t think of a two-wheel drive as a great outdoors vehicle since its limited mobility would restrict your freedom of movement. This argument may be circular, but apparently too few kayakers pay attention to this issue, especially touring and sea kayakers.
What’s a fast kayak good for if it requires special places for launching and beaching? Why can’t you paddle a fast, expensive touring kayak in a fast stream or have fun with it in the surf?
And if you’re a kayak angler the advantage of replacing your big, trailed motorboat by a car top fishing kayak is considerably reduced if you can’t launch it, fish with it, and beach it anywhere you want.

KAYAK MOBILITY REDEFINED

The W kayak offers a level of mobility that’s unprecedented, and may even be inconceivable for some.
Mobility is a feature that’s easy to demonstrate, and a picture tells more than words, especially if it’s moving. Therefore, it seems like the most appropriate thing to do at this point would be to have the reader watch this online movie showing kayak anglers and touring kayakers can go above and beyond obstacles in shallow water:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YgN6NkYyMY?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

SUPER MOBILITY

When Wavewalk talks about Super Mobility, or Extreme Mobility, many people find it hard to imagine what it could mean.
When Wavewalk says ‘Launch anywhere, go anywhere and beach anywhere’, some think it’s just another marketing phrase, but it’s not – The W500 kayak keeps expanding kayak fishing in every dimension. When compared to other types of kayaks, it is not just the world’s best kayak for fishing – it’s in a league of its own, and it’;s worthwhile tom take this fact into consideration when you’re trying to choose the next kayak you’re going to fish from. Actually, it’s a no brainer…