Help selecting fishing kayak and ergonomic paddle for 5’5″ female?

I have carpel tunnel in hands and low back issues, am 5′ 5″ 140 lb. female looking to buy a fishing kayak. Stability and comfortable seat are important. 1) Trying to decide on a malibu stealth or wilderness system tarpon 12 or 14′ kayak. 2) Also need to know how long and type of paddle. I would like the paddle to break down and be able to feather or not.
Thank you for your assistance.

1 thought on “Help selecting fishing kayak and ergonomic paddle for 5’5″ female?

  1. NilsC Post author

    Not sure how much the carpal tunnel will be an issue paddling, you should verify with a doctor that it will not aggravate the issue. Lower back pain can be another issue and I use a soft lumbar back brace in the spring until stomach muscles are strong enough to support my lower back. Kayaking can help or aggravate so strengthening your core muscles prior to kayak fishing could help you get out fishing more.

    None of the sit on top kayaks will be comfortable over a long period of time, the seat in the tarpon is fixed and the stealth has a removable seat. Both can be adjusted forward and backward and the tarpon seat can be raised or lowered to aid in comfort. I use tarpon and hobie for fishing and I like the layout of the stealth. I like long and narrow kayaks because we paddle long distances to get to fish-able areas.
    For the second question: paddle length is as individual as there are paddlers out there. A narrow kayak shorter paddle than a wide kayak. With a paddle that is to long you will tire faster because you are on the wrong end of a lever. With a paddle that is to short you are working your upper body back and forth over each side to get the paddle in the water and you movements are adding to fatigue. I have 2 styles of blade and 2 lengths that I use and when i sit down in the kayak with my elbows at my side holding the paddle with my hands a shoulder with apart the blade should be in the water by lifting 1 hand up to shoulder height keeping the other comfortable through the stroke. This way you can use your leg muscles for the power part of the stroke.
    You will not regret kayak fishing and if you can find someone in your area that kayak fish you can try out kayaks before buying. If that is not an option, go to a kayak store and pick their brains, they may not be kayak anglers but they know kayaks and kayaking.

    Good Luck
    NilsC
    Ultimate Kayak Fishing

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