Re: Kayak or Pontoon?
Dennis Hit this one head on.
As a Kayaker, I am biased. But I have a few caveats for you:
1. 9' in a kayak is not ideal. It won't be very fast or track very true. I use an OK Trident 11. This was the shortest That I'd go with-- it is 11' 5" long. A kayak will tend to turn with each paddle stroke and a longer boat will resist the 'twisting' motion much better than a short boat. with a 9' boat you will make a series of 'w' shapes thru the water anywhere you go.
2. As for positioning, (I'm guessing since you mentioned the 30" width-- it is a SOT, sit on top) I tend to paddle to my 'hole' and then fish side saddle (feet hanging over the side) this way I can kick my feet to make minor adjustments for position. You'd need to do this with a pontoon anyhow. I can actually drift and make more than 'minor' adjustments with just my feet.
3. You are literally right on the water's surface-- things in the water are distorted in all regards: size, distance, position, etc. This can make fishing submerged cover a little tricky until you get used to it.
4. As I already assumed, you are looking at a SOT-- if not, it will be a bear to fly fish from. Also, sit in's require more 'skills'-- i.e.- self rescue techniques-- I have both styles and would much rather dump the SOT-- the sit in requires that you know how to 'roll' out of the cockpit should you find yourself upside down.....
IMHO, a kayak will do all that a pontoon will and still cover water more effeciently-- but The 9' length has me a little 'cautious'. There are many options out there and you can find a new one for not much more than the 400.00 price tag that the used one will run you that will be better suited to what you need.
Ocean Kayak is typically expensive, but I love mine. 11' 5", weighs about 50 lbs. has a weight capacity of 400 (if not more) lbs. easy to load and unload onto and off of my car. plenty of storage inside for longer trips, crazy customize-able, many other 'niceties'.
I have borrowed a pelican castaway 116, angler. many times. Nice little boat-- don't know all of the specs as far as weight capacities and such, but fairly light for what it is. I know these can be had new for slightly over the $400.00 mark. My only issue with these is they are 2 pc. boats (the top and bottom halves are mated together-- I've read that they can let in a little water-- (never heard of one filling and sinking, though.) A little at home sealing would solve this issue nicely.
Keep an eye on your local CL-- good deals to be had there....