How Important Is Storage When Choosing a Fishing Kayak?

Storage is obviously very important in any fishing boat, and not just in fishing kayaks, because as every experienced kayak angler knows, you need to take your fishing tackle and a lot of fishing gear with you on board, and you should be able to secure all that stuff, protect it from the elements, and access it anytime you need it.

Most fishing kayak manufacturers try to lure potential buyers by offering bigger storage hatches, and additional space to put gear on top of their SOT kayaks’ decks. However, such those solutions are neither effective nor user-friendly, although there’s nothing else that can be done to solve the storage problem if you’re a manufacturer of sit-in or SOT kayaks.

The W500 offers several times more storage than any kayak on the market – be it a fishing kayak or a touring kayak, a sea-kayak or an ‘expedition’ kayak. In fact, the amount of storage space available in the W500 sets this kayak in a league of its own.

Moreover, the storage offered by the W500 is internal, dry, and always accessible to the passenger – be it an angler, a paddler, or a camper. In fact, there is so much room in the W500 kayak hulls and cockpit, that it can comfortably accommodate a second adult passenger on board, or two children >>

The total storage space available on board the W500 kayak is 14 cubic feet, or 0.4 cubic meter. It’s way above the kayak league, and comparable to the storage space offered by canoes and some small motorboats.

Have a look of Jeff McGovern’s W500 fishing kayak, and how he organizes storage in the kayak:

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

Choosing A Fishing Kayak – The Role Of Aesthetics, And What Beautiful Actually Means

This article deals with the question of aesthetics, when choosing a fishing kayak is concerned. You may think that your kayak should be a ‘lean mean machine’, or the ‘best of breed’ of fishing kayaks, or whatever other notion that helps you arrange your technical requirements in a phrase, or a mental image, but when push comes to shove, a fishing kayak is both a vehicle and a working environment, and whether it does a good job is what really matters when it comes to choosing a fishing kayak. This notion of ‘good job’ is also what should determine whether a fishing kayak is beautiful or not.

What is beautiful?

According to the dictionary, we perceive something as being beautiful if it is attractive to us (e.g. a beautiful woman) or pleasant (e.g. a beautiful day), or pleasant to look at (e.g. a beautiful dress), or if it’s done or made very well (e.g. a beautiful goal in the second half), or with a lot of skill (e.g. a beautiful roast).
Beauty can be associated directly with sensory pleasure, or with indirect, social value related to monetary value, or prestige (e.g. a beautiful diamond), or with both.
In case of a product such as a kayak, the beauty we see in it is a measure of how much we appreciate its performance in terms of what’s important to us, subjectively, whether as something we’ve already experienced with this kayak, or something we believe we would experience, if we used it.

In this sense, the saying ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ is perfectly true.

What’s important?

What’s important in a product varies according to what different people are interested in. For example, if you’re into kayak racing, you’d be interested in kayaks that are as fast as possible, and very fast kayaks would seem beautiful to you, but if you’re into kayak fishing, you’d be interested a number of things, including stability, comfort, storage, etc. offered to you by that kayak. In other words, for a kayak angler, the beauty of a kayaks depends first and foremost on its fishability, which is a composite measure of a fishing kayak’s performance.

For example, if you’re into kayak fishing, and you saw a kayak that’s very fast but also very unstable, it would seem useless to you, and therefore unattractive.
Most anglers fish from motorboats and not from kayaks, mainly because they perceive kayaks as being too unstable and too uncomfortable for fishing.  Therefore, for the majority of anglers, a fishing kayak is just a too small, too uncomfortable and therefore unpractical and consequently ugly fishing boat.

Beauty and love

The more satisfied a kayak angler is with the performance of their fishing kayak, the more they see beauty in it, and in fact, some kayak anglers get to love their kayak, following the good experience they’ve had with it, and the good time they anticipate having with it in the future.

False beauty

Anyone who’s interested in fishing kayaks can see that the common fishing kayak is essentially just a chubbier, more accessorized, and sometimes fancier version of its ancestor the recreational kayak.

The common fishing kayak is very wide because of the desperate need to increase its stability, even at the cost of sacrificing both speed and tracking capability, and most importantly – taking away the pleasure of paddling from the person who paddles it. This is what kayak anglers refer to as ‘a barge to paddle’, and the reason why some touring and sea kayakers still won’t consider fishing kayaks as kayaks at all…

Too much is too little

The multitude of accessories is sometimes required to compensate for a fishing kayak’s deficient functionality. The perfect example is the rudder that most fishing kayaks are equipped with, and most kayak anglers hate, but they have to use it simply because without it their kayak wouldn’t go straight, due to its poor tracking capability. Another good example are the hatches – an uncomfortable, often dysfunctional solution to the critical problem of storage, or lack thereof…

In this context, it is easy to see why manufacturers who offer pedal driven kayaks are more successful in the market for fishing kayaks than in any other kayak market: Common fishing kayaks are so hard and unpleasant to paddle that a hyped, ill conceived solution is seen by some as better than nothing, at least until they realize they’re not necessarily better off pedaling…

When fancy becomes ridiculous

A product that is essentially lacking in performance, and therefore not  attractive enough, is a problem for its manufacturer, and they would attempt to increase its attractiveness by whatever means they have, even if such means present no advantage at all to the client. The typical example for this in fishing kayaks is increasing the amount of foam in the kayak’s seat, which cannot really solve the basic problem of the passenger pushing their lower back against the backrest with all the power their legs have. But extra foam may look more ‘ergonomic’ to some people, and if it’s promoted as being ergonomic, some people could get convinced to buy the kayak – until they realize that’s not what they had bargained for, and get tired of this game, go back to fishing from a motorboat, or switch to a W kayak.

Another common example of overdoing things is the form of the fishing kayaks themselves: Some kayaks feature very elaborate hulls, or decks, or both, as if the extra detail could improve anything as far as stability, speed and comfort are concerned. To the unprofessional or inexperienced viewer, such extra details could seem like an indicator that the kayak is more ‘advanced’, but the truth is that overdoing things can only diminish actual performance, by definition. In other words, nothing beats simple effectiveness in design.

Simple is beautiful

This is the simple truth in design, and it’s even more true in fishing kayaks, which are judged by their performance: A fishing kayak is a technical product that needs to deliver results in terms of what the angler can achieve with it, and how they feel while doing so, as well as after the fishing trip is over.

If a kayak allows you to launch or beach in a spot that another kayak doesn’t, it performs better, and therefore it’s more beautiful. If a kayak allows you to stay inside it for long hours, while no other kayak allows you to do that without inflicting discomfort and pain on you, that kayak performs better, and you’re going to like it more, and therefore see more beauty in it.

These examples come to show that it’s not the amount of time invested in designing or manufacturing a product that appeals to our sense of beauty, but it’s the real life performance of that product, and our own experience with it.  When we realize that in order to get a certain level of performance, the product needed to be made in a certain way, we appreciate the way it was done. And if the result was achieved by simple means, we tend to appreciate it even more.

Once people realize the advantage for themselves in a certain design, form, or feature, they see the beauty in it, and sometime even develop a warm feeling for it, a feeling called love.

Beauty and marketing

Being a technical product, the way to judge and evaluate a fishing kayak is by doing a feature by feature comparison, and preferably by validating the results of such comparison in a live test.

There is no fishing kayak, fishing kayak design, or concept that rivals the W kayak in any of the important requirements from a fishing kayak, which are Stability, Comfort, Ease of Paddling, Passenger Room, Storage Space, Versatility, Tracking, Handling, Mobility, and dollar for dollar Value. Value is not a technical feature, but in this case we’ve included it in the list because it represents certain technical attributes of W kayaks that reduce their cost of purchase and ownership, compared to other kayaks.

Years ago, Wavewalk’s competitors used to criticize its product by raising doubts about its actual performance, such as speed, comfort, tracking under wind, etc.  These doubts were based solely on imagination, and had no basis in anyone’s real life experience, and over the years,  as the evidence presented by Wavewalk improved, and more of its customers contributed positive reviews, this type of critic has subsided.

However, some competitors still say, occasionally, that W kayaks are ‘ugly’, and when such comments are made on online discussion forums, they are intended to create some kind of negative ‘peer pressure’ on kayak anglers who are interested in the W kayak. The problem with such tactic is that if a general and broad argument such as ‘ugly’ is brought forward without any substantial, technical evidence to back it, it sounds hollow, and basically meaningless. But if the ‘ugly’ argument is backed by a specific, technical argument, the reader could go and check its validity on Wavewalk’s website, through the demo movies, technical articles, and customer reviews, and they could then see for themselves that it’s a moot argument.

The challenge that Wavewalk is facing is to convince thousands of anglers who fish from kayaks that W kayaks are better, and worth switching to. We also need to convince millions of anglers who fish from motorboats that they need to give kayak fishing a second thought, and that fishing kayaks are not necessarily ugly, if they can provide a higher level of fishability that’s comparable to what these anglers are used to get in fishing boats, as W kayaks have proved they could.

In sum, the W kayak holds the key to making more people see the beauty in kayak fishing.

Read more about motorizing your fishing kayak >>

The Best Kayak Fishing Channel On YouTube

So, you may be wondering which fishing kayak would best fit your needs, and you get dizzy just from reading all the blatant nonsense out there, and watching tons of irrelevant video. But seriously – you’re about to choose a fishing kayak, and you’re going to be fishing out of your kayak in the real world, and you’d still be yourself, in real life, so why should you care at all about some guy in the Pacific ocean who’s escorted by a mother ship, and is getting his SOT fishing kayak dragged for miles by a 200 lbs marlin?! …  Such staged movies are the stuff that hype is made of, like people sliding down waterfalls in their kayak, or fishing standing up on a SOT kayak – nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about – It has nothing to do with you, actually.

If you’re looking to watch some fun kayak fishing videos, check out the Zeepty channel – The Zeepty Channel on YouTube is quite a phenomenon. It features over 130 kayak fishing related movies, and since it was founded it has already had over 750,000 views, of which over 280,000 in 2011. The videos feature mainly Wavewalk’s fishing kayaks of the now discontinued W300 series, and a bunch of movies featuring kayaks from the new W500 series.
You can spend literally hours on the Zeepty, and enjoy watching these fun videos.

Kayak fishing movies on YouTube

Rigging Your Fishing Kayak: Some Basic Practical Advice

Contrarily to you might have heard, there is no such thing as perfect rigging for a fishing kayak, and the reason for it is that kayak anglers differ by their personal needs, fishing style, fish species they go after, etc.
Having said that, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to make mistakes, and this is why we recommend to go about these things slowly and carefully, without rushing into particular solutions unless you know there’s a good chance that they’d work well for you.

Practically, this means it can be impossible for you to tell in advance exactly what type of rod holders would benefit you the most, and whether you need this type of anchor or another. Same is true for positioning the rod holders, what kind of paddle holders you need, and more.

As a rule, if you fish in saltwater you’d better try to keep your fishing rods dry, which means that either you’ll store them inside the hull for when you pass through the surf, or use tall deck mounted rod holders in the stern. Some deck mounted rod holders have a long leg, which adds distance between your fishing rod and the corrosive sea water.
Tube rod holders are easier to use, because you just stick your fishing rod in, and take it out instantly when you need to. However, rod holders equipped with a latch would better secure your fishing rod in its place.

Obviously, if you’re fly fishing you may not need a rod holder at all, but you do want one, it should be of a type that fits fly rods.

As far as positioning the rod holders on your kayak’s deck, our only advice is to take your kayak out and fish from it a number of times before you decide on a new fishing rod. You’d need to make sure that neither fishing rod nor line interfere with your paddling under any circumstance, including when you use your kayak for trolling.
You can’t use screws to attach a rod holder, or any other object to your kayak’s deck. The reason for it is that the plastic isn’t thick enough to secure a screw in its place. The alternatives are either using bolts with nuts, or rivets. Bolts have more initial grip than rivets, but they lose it with time, since your kayak is made from polyethylene, which is a relatively soft plastic resin.

As for paddle holders, the problem becomes much more complicated: Some kayak anglers insist on using paddle holders that are silent, and that means using paddle holders made from foam. Other kayak anglers must make sure they don’t lose their paddle, because they fish in deep water, and far from shore. This means they must use paddle clips of some kind, or a bungee and hook to secure the paddle in its place.
Some kayak anglers like to drop their paddle in front of them while they rush to grab a rod that shows that a fish is pulling on its line, or if they want to make a fast cast because they spotted a fish. Others kayak anglers want to drop their paddle on their kayak’s side, in order to allow them more freedom of movement while they cast a line, reel a fish in, and land it.
Again, after fishing a few times you’ll know more about the type of paddle holders, or clips that would work better for you.

Anchors differ by their weight and form: Some have more grip than others, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better, because an anchor with too much grip might get entangled in rocks or roots, and if you don’t manage to release it you’ll have to cut its line and part from it.
As a rule, kayak anchors should weigh between 1.5 lbs and 5 lbs. The heavier anchors are for moving water, such as streams or the ocean, and the lighter anchors are for ponds, small lakes and slow moving rivers.
Here too, you can add more functionality at a price of adding complexity: Anchor pulleys (vertical) and anchor trolleys (horizontal) may serve you well if they fit some specific need, but they could just make things harder for you if you don’t need them.

And what about a milk crate? What seemed to be an obvious storage solution in old fashion sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks is no longer needed in the W500 Wavewalk kayaks, simply because this new generation of fishing kayaks offer so much internal, accessible and dry storage space, as well as a lot of deck space, which make the milk crate redundant.

Wheels For Transporting Your Fishing Kayak

This article presents different approaches to transporting your kayak on land.
In most cases, you won’t need wheels for your W kayak, as you’ll just drag it from your vehicle to your launching spot, and back.
But if you must carry it over long stretches of asphalt or concrete pavement, you may want to consider shielding its hulls from excessive abrasion by attaching the lid of a plastic bin to the part of its hulls that come in contact with the pavement. It’s an inexpensive, easy, and lightweight solution, and the lid can fold easily, so you can store it in one of the hull tips when you’re fishing and paddling.
The drawback of dragging a kayak is that it’s not as easy as transporting it on wheels.

Kayak anglers have different fishing styles, and they fish in different environments. This fact, as well as logistic issues, affects the way they rig their fishing kayak with wheels (or a single wheel), a kayak trolley, cart or a simple mat.

Here is what you need from your fishing kayak wheels:

Portability
We put this benefit first, because kayak anglers are often enthusiastic about making a perfect kayak trolley, and they tend to overlook the fact that once they reach the water, they’ll have to take it with them on board their kayak. Kayak wheels should be lightweight and preferably small in size, so you could easily tuck them in one of the storage compartments in the hull tips, or on top of them.

Solid Construction
You definitely don’t want your wheel cart to fall apart while you’re on your way from your car to the water, or back. Although it’s possible to drag W fishing kayaks, it’s not recommended to do it on asphalt or concrete pavement.

All-Terrain Capability
Wheels that are too small or too narrow could sink in sand, or in mud.  You should remember this when you purchase the wheels for your fishing kayak trolley,

Maneuverability
Sometimes you may require to pass with your fishing kayak in tight spaces. For example, in the space between two cars in a parking lot. In such cases, being able to control your fishing kayak on wheels is important.

Ease of Use – Attachment
Attaching the wheels to your fishing kayak, as well as detaching them should be quick and easy. You definitely don’t want to waste time and energy on complicated systems for attaching the trolley to your kayak.

Here are examples of different solutions found by kayak anglers from all over the world: Outfitting and Rigging Your Fishing Kayak >>