What is a good inexpensive kayak for fishing small rivers and streams?

I live in nashville, tn and i am gunna start kayaking this spring in the harpeth river. I also love fishing so i will wanna be able to fish from it too. Suggestions for a good kayak under 300$

2 thoughts on “What is a good inexpensive kayak for fishing small rivers and streams?

  1. Laura D Post author

    It might be hard to find something top of the line for that much, but if you get one, don’t go for the specific fishing model because all they add is rod holders, and they charge like $100 more for it. I have a Pelican 100, but I would suggest an Old Town Otter they usually cost about $200 on sale. They are nice little boats that will get the job done.

  2. c_kayak_fun Post author

    You will get a better boat for your money if you look for a use one on Craigslist or the classified ads on sites like http://ww.paddling.net

    Used kayaks sell for about 25% to 50% off their new price and since they don’t really “wear out” quickly a used boat is a good deal. Any new boat under $300 is going to be somewhat flimsy and not a great performer. That is not a big deal for fishing since you mostly just want a stable platform for sitting still, but you are talking about traveling on a river and those wide and flatbottomed “recreational” kayaks like the Pelicans and Otters, tend to be very slow, don’t track well and tend to sea-cock (this means they catch wind and currents and wander around in the water instead of paddling straight). A moderate touring kayak, around 12′ long and no more than 25″ wide, would be more versatile for you.

    Your physical size matters, too. Larger people need larger kayaks and smaller people need smaller ones — the shape and volume make a big difference in your comfort and ability to control the boat. It would be tough to tell you all you needed to know here so i suggest you look for a specializing kayak outfitting shop in your area (not a ‘big box” store like D1ck’s or Dunhams) and go in and talk to the salespersons about what you are looking at doing and get them to show you some of the differences in models so you’ve got a good notion of what to look for, even if it is a used boat. The Paddling.net website also has good user reviews of most boats (though I think a lot of them are over-rated — people don’t like to admit they bought a boat that may not be all that great.) See if there are any paddling or kayak fishing clubs or groups in your area, too. It’s always good to talk to others who do the activity you are interested in and get their advice on gear that suits your area waters — you might even get to borrow some kayak models and see how they feel. You wouldn’t want to buy a car you didn’t test drive, right?

    Anyway, good luck with your kayak purchase and have a great time with it.

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