Kayaking is chart-topping on the list of recurring hobbies right now. Due to low cost and easy access, kayaking’s popularity has soared considerably among individuals of various age groups.
Weren’t you daydreaming of that perfect spare weekend where you thrust through the waters to entice some fresh fish for dinner, all while contemplating the picturesque scenery surrounding you? Or perhaps putting your pirate plans into action?
Either way, we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide that you’ll treat as a handout from now on to all ambitious anglers out there who are ready to hit the water with confidence. Let’s dive in!
Historical Overview: What is a Kayak?
I bet you’re not here for dull definitions. However, I wanted to give you a mere glimpse of what a kayak is so we can get started!
A kayak, in its simplest terms, is a user-friendly narrow fishing vessel. Kayaks have been plying the waters of the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea since the dawn of time.
For the sake of terminology, the top of the kayak is called the deck, while the bottom is called the hull. As for the front, it’s called the bow, and the back is called the stern.
Motives: Why You Should Start Kayaking
Kayak fishing has witnessed great popularity so far as a hobby, for some pretty good reasons that you need to consider:
1. Kayaks Are as Cheap as Chips
Not literally, but they’re noticeably inexpensive. Kayaking is not a luxury hobby. So, you don’t need an expensive kayak to start gliding through the water. You could buy the best inexpensive kayak, and you’ll still get a great paddling experience.
2. Low-Cost Maintenance
Don’t expect your kayak to lay unused in the backyard for a long time. Thanks to their low-cost maintenance, you’ll always be ready to get your kayak back on course. I’d say save the extra cash for gas so you’ll be able to hop on your car for the next fishing trip.
Read more about: Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak
3. Positive Vibes for Your Health
Kayaking is categorized as a low-impact physical activity that can boost your overall flexibility and stamina. Below are some benefits that’ll encourage you to pick up the pace today:
- Paddling generally strengthens muscles, most significantly the back, chest, and shoulder muscles. Moving the paddle minimizes the risk of erosion in joints and tissues.
- Kayaking increases torso and leg strength since kayaks move through pressure applied by the legs and by rotating the torso.
- Kayaking develops your cardiovascular fitness.
4. Beat These Boats
Kayaks give you access to waters that are typically off-limits for the majority of boats. The more waters you can reach, the more fish you’ll eventually catch.
Narrowing Choices: The Best Kayak for You
When buying a kayak, you’ll stumble upon two categories: sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayaks. Both types come in single and double versions, and they can either be hardshell or inflatable. In this section, we’ll take a look at what “floats your boat.”
1. Sit-On-Top Kayaks
Sit-on-top kayaks are regarded as the best for recreational fishing trips. Sit-on-top kayaks are famous for several features.
- Their Ease of Use – Beginner kayakers always unhesitantly go for sit-on-top kayaks. You won’t feel trapped or confined in this type of kayak. They also have enough space for mounting your fishing accessories.
- Stability – Sit-on-top kayaks give you the freedom to move in and out of the water while maintaining a reasonable level of stability. They’re so stable that you may also stand up fishing kayak while keeping your balance. So, you won’t have to worry about a malicious wave overtaking you.
- Self-Bailing Perk – Moreover, sit-on-top kayaks are self-bailing, which means that their floor has some holes, namely “scupper holes,” that allow any water inside the kayak to drain back out immediately. So, their likelihood of sinking is non-existent in some sense.
One drawback of sit-on-top kayaks is that you’re bound to get splashed while paddling. Hence, their exclusive usage to warm environments.
Read more about: Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks
2. Sit-In Kayaks
They’re not as popular as their counterpart mentioned above. However, they do have their own set of perks.
- Suitable for Harsh Weather Conditions – They’re excellent for anglers who’ll be paddling in colder environments. Unlike sit-on-top kayaks, they provide shelter to your lower body from wind and random water splashes.
- Spacious – Sit-in kayaks are generally spacious compared to sit-on-top kayaks, and they provide more storage space.
- Efficiency- Their lower center of gravity allows for more efficient paddling.
Speaking of the stability factor in these kayaks, some paddlers face trouble when they flip over their kayak accidentally. Due to the lack of scupper holes, paddlers will have to swim to the shore to drain their kayak.
Opt for a sit-on-top kayak for beginner use and recreational fishing activities only.
Choosing Your Kayak’s Length
Now that we’ve gone through the information you need to know about the two main categories of kayaks, it’s time for you to decide on the kayak’s length.
It’s a consensus among kayakers that the longer and the narrower the kayak is, the faster it makes its way through the water. On the contrary, the wider the kayak is, the more it adds to the factor of stability, yet the slower it will be.
The majority of beginner kayakers go for sit-on-top kayaks because they’re wide, thus providing more stability.
Put in mind that any kayak over 13 feet would be deemed long, whereas kayaks under 9 feet are considered somewhat short. I’d find it reasonable if you go for a kayak that lies in the 10-13 feet range for an optimal balance of speed and stability.
Gearing Up: Fishing Equipment and Kayaking Accessories
Once you’ve made your final purchase, we’ll need to get you geared up for your next trip. Needless to say, you need to buy essential fishing equipment before you set off.
1. Fishing Equipment
In case your mind skipped that crucial phase (which in fact happened to me in the very first time), we’ve gathered the items you’d need:
- Rod and reel
- Fishing line
- Clippers (to help you cut your line)
- Lures – These are basically artificial baits that mimic real fish to trigger a predator.
- Tacklebox – To keep your fishing equipment all in one place.
Read more about: Best Fishing Kayak Under 500
2. Kayaking Accessories
Your brand-new kayak is now home. You’re thrilled to core to go out and get that kayaking mission initiated. But, hold up, you should see to it first that you’ve got all necessary kayaking accessories covered:
- Paddles – Preferably carbon fiber ones.
- Leashes for Paddles and Rods – To prevent them from falling overboard.
- Rod holders – They let you conveniently reach for your rods and secure them from falling when not in use.
- Cooler – You’d want a drink every now and then, believe me.
- Dry Bags – To keep your electronics safe from water.
- Kayak cart – It helps you wheel your kayak so that you can move it from your vehicle to the water.
3. Your Life Matters: Safety Precautions in Kayaking
Not only is kayaking an engaging activity, but it also grants you the chance to venture into the waters. It’s so user-friendly that it always guarantees you both an action-packed and a safe trip. But, similar to all recreational activities, things might go downhill for many reasons.
To evade these unsolicited hazards, you’re bound to abide by some safety precautions while kayaking:
- Always wear a life jacket and don’t take it off even if you feel uncomfortable. It’ll assist you to remain afloat if you capsize.
- If you use a sit-on-top kayak, get adequately dressed since sit-on-top kayaks leave you exposed to wind and water splashes. It’s a general rule that breathable, light-weight, and fast-drying clothes are suitable for warm weather.
- On the other hand, adding more layers of clothes and a dry suit serves you well in cold weather. Beware of kayaking in extremely cold environments, because immersion in cold water may result in hypothermia. If you’re out kayaking in a typically cold climate, consider having some company and stay close to the shore.
- If you are kayaking in a hot climate, take precautions against the sun. Use sunscreen and put on a hat. Sunglasses are always a welcome plus since the glare on water can be annoying to the eyes.
- Adhere to the regulations and safety rules shown in the area where you’re kayaking.
- Take your skill level into consideration when you choose your paddling location. You don’t want a lousy wave to flip you over in your first kayaking experience. Accordingly, I’d put in a good word for kayaking in quiet lakes, calm bays, and serene rivers as a start.
Rome was not built in a day. Kayaking requires some practice and patience at first. Apart from the absorbing experience kayaking provides, you’ll realize later that kayaking as a hobby really pays off. Just think about the fish you’re going to bring home victoriously, to say the least!