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Thread: Kayak or Pontoon?

  1. #1

    Default Kayak or Pontoon?

    Hi I need input from guys with experience in this area. I have the opportunity to buy a pontoon boat that has 9' pontoons and a hard seat. I also have the opportunity to buy a kayak that is 9' long and 33" wide with seat and paddles. Both are used but in good shape, and both are $400.00. I am fairly new to fly fishing and need to get off the bank. I fish mostly lakes (some which do not allow motorized watercraft). Any input would be helpful.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    I would go with the pontoon over the yak unless you plan on going off the coast. milt.
    "Thomas Jeff..." Senator Reisman (Sam Shepard) Swordfish

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    Hi KngFhearts,

    It all comes down to what you want to do with your boat. A kayak is great for covering water and you sit low so the wind is not as much of a problem. The Pontoon is very stable but blows around in the wind a bit more. With a pontoon you can use flippers to help position or turn the boat with out using your hands. With a kayak you have to pick up a paddle to turn it.

    I would not buy a kayak unless you give one a try. They are not as comfortable to sit in as your feet are relatively straight out in front of you. I find sitting in a kayak uncomfortable but then being 76 has a lot to do with that. If you fish rivers the pontoon is the winner for sure. On a lake the pontoon can be a pain to cover distance. A hard shell kayak will last more years that an inflatable pontoon just because of the construction.

    I am not sure I have helped but these small boats have a lot to do with personal preference. What might work best for me would not be best for you. Just think about how you want to use it and pick the boat that best fits those needs.

    Frank

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    I have a kayak and can say that if you go this route you'll want to make sure you have the following:
    1. Good anchor system - I originally had a line with an anchor. I don't know how many times the wind was blowing me so I was fishing over my shoulder.
    2. Comfortable seat with good back support
    3. Rod holder - Extremely useful when paddling from one spot to another.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    South Texas
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    4,313

    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi KngFhearts,

    It all comes down to what you want to do with your boat. A kayak is great for covering water and you sit low so the wind is not as much of a problem. The Pontoon is very stable but blows around in the wind a bit more. With a pontoon you can use flippers to help position or turn the boat with out using your hands. With a kayak you have to pick up a paddle to turn it.

    I would not buy a kayak unless you give one a try. They are not as comfortable to sit in as your feet are relatively straight out in front of you. I find sitting in a kayak uncomfortable but then being 76 has a lot to do with that. If you fish rivers the pontoon is the winner for sure. On a lake the pontoon can be a pain to cover distance. A hard shell kayak will last more years that an inflatable pontoon just because of the construction.

    I am not sure I have helped but these small boats have a lot to do with personal preference. What might work best for me would not be best for you. Just think about how you want to use it and pick the boat that best fits those needs.

    Frank
    Frank covered it quite well.

    I think it boils down to this- pontoons are better to fish from and kayaks are a more efficient vehicle. If you're going to use the craft to get around and then get out and wade, I'd go with a kayak. If you're going to fish from it, you're better off with a pontoon.

    For solo use on lakes, I'd probably go with one if these- Discovery 119 Canoe - Old Town Canoes and Kayaks

    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi KngFhearts,

    It all comes down to what you want to do with your boat. A kayak is great for covering water and you sit low so the wind is not as much of a problem. The Pontoon is very stable but blows around in the wind a bit more. With a pontoon you can use flippers to help position or turn the boat with out using your hands. With a kayak you have to pick up a paddle to turn it.

    I would not buy a kayak unless you give one a try. They are not as comfortable to sit in as your feet are relatively straight out in front of you. I find sitting in a kayak uncomfortable but then being 76 has a lot to do with that. If you fish rivers the pontoon is the winner for sure. On a lake the pontoon can be a pain to cover distance. A hard shell kayak will last more years that an inflatable pontoon just because of the construction.

    I am not sure I have helped but these small boats have a lot to do with personal preference. What might work best for me would not be best for you. Just think about how you want to use it and pick the boat that best fits those needs.

    Frank
    Thanks, that does help. I mostly fish lakes, small streams, surf fishing here in socal. The lakes I fish are usually calm in the morning, but tend to get windy in the afternoons....some of which do not allow motors. I did rent a kayak once to hit the kelp paddies and got flipped by a rogue wave. I have a truck, so transport is not a problem. I can see benefits to both, but can only afford one or the other.

    Again thanks

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    To me, a nine foot kayak is not a fishing kayak length. You will want at least a 12 footer for good performance and safety. The most popular boat that I see on the local rivers that Striped Bass fishermen use is the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. Get it with all the fixings that Whalensdad mentioned.

    I like a kayak best for the speed advantage. One can cover water very efficiently with it.

    Dennis

  8. #8

    Default 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....

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    I own a canoe and kayak outfitting business on the side and I think that qualifies me to say a word or two. All of the comments posted have been good but I would add a few things.

    A used 9' kayak for $400 is either over-priced or a high performance white water boat and you don't want either of them. I suggest taking a pic of the kayak and or the pontoon and let us have a .

    You can even get the make and model number and we will look it up and see if the boat will work.

    Dave
    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

  10. Default Re: Kayak or Pontoon?

    What is the make and model of the pontoon boat? How old is it? Can you use electric motors where you lake fish? if so many pontoon boats can accommodate electric motors. As a site sponsor you can pm me with any questions you may have regarding pontoons.

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