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-   -   Rudder or no rudder? (http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk4/showthread.php?t=19629)

teflon_jones 02-18-2005 07:16 AM

Rudder or no rudder?
 
Well, I hit my target on my bonus! :) So now I'm shopping for a kayak, and I'm wondering if I should get a rudder or not. I have zero kayaking experience, but a lot of canoe and boat experience. I'll be using it for near-shore fishing around the Cape and R.I. The Pungo 14 is what's been recommended to me. I'm not sure if that comes with a rudder or not.

Adrian 02-18-2005 09:00 AM

Congratulations!

Like most other sports, kayaking comes with lots of optional "extras", a rudder being one. I took a lesson first time out. On the advice of my instructor, I learned to paddle without a rudder and do fine in all conditions. I guess it's a bit like learning to drive on a stick shift car versus one with automatic transmission. That said, the shape of the hull has a lot to do with how the kayak tracks and behaves in wind.

Guys who kayak fish with conventional gear like them a lot because it makes tracking (basically staying on a straight course) a lot easier when trolling with multiple rigs.

Some of the more recent hulls designed specifically for fishing are pretty flat and would probably be hard work to keep on track without a rudder. Some folks swear by them, others (like me) make do without.

If I had one I would probably have wrecked it by now by forgetting to retract it when hitting the beach :roll:

Before you "take the plunge" (speaking both metaphorically and literally :lildevl: ) and buy a pungo (sit inside), I suggest looking at sit on top designs. I don't want to start a major sit-in versus sit-on debate (probably will) but here are my thoughts:

At some point you will capsize - it probably wont be your fault - there are a lot of brainless idiots on the water who won't see you 'till its too late. Getting back on a SOT is a piece of cake with a bit of practice.

Sit-in kayaks require a whole different set of skills. Early season when the water is cold you have to get back on the boat quickly.

Hope this helps a little bit.

JimW 02-18-2005 09:20 AM

I think if you are going to be fishing out of it go no rudder, less to hang up on.

I don't know much about the new Pungos but the old one has a skeg keel which helps it track well. From your experience in the canoe you know how to use the paddle as a rudder, same deal in the yak.

Don't overlook the importance of a good paddle.

I've got some gear from Billington sea that they gave in barter for advertising. I'll get it up on auction here. Pumps, straps and cushy seats.

JimW 02-18-2005 09:27 AM

I'd also recommend checking out as many yaks as possible. Some like the sot some the sit in. I can tell you this from experience - the pungo, at least the classic I have is very very difficult to capsize because of the wide beam. SOT's are going to be better for launching in the surf but the higher center of gravity may be a disadvantage when the boat starts a rockin'

Both boats have advantages - if you go to a good shop they can help you find the boat that's best of you.

teflon_jones 02-18-2005 10:43 AM

I guess I should have mentioned that I have a little bit of SOT experience. If you look at my user picture you'll notice me sitting on a kayak in the Bahamas! I didn't have any trouble with stability, paddling, or tracking. The only thing about it that really made me want to stay away from a SOT is the fact that you end up getting a bit wet if the water is at all choppy. Of course the water around here is always smooth as glass so I don't have to worry about that. ;) When the water is 75+ deg like it is in the Bahamas, it's not such a big deal, but when it's in the 50s like it is up here, I'd prefer to stay dry!

Nick 02-18-2005 11:17 AM

Waders and a sit on top for me. I'd rather have the waves and splash go over and through than over and in. One trip launching in some large surf and a 4 to 5 ft wave came rolling right over me. I was a little shaken, but no worse for the wear. In a sit inside, it would have been a different story...full boat of water.

FWIW... love my new tarpon 12'.

FrankF 02-18-2005 05:45 PM

Rudder or none/ sitin vs siton
 
Hello Teflon:

I have had a SOT (Necky Dolphin) for ten years and it is my favorite to fish with. I wear waders when the water is cold. It is very stable and sea worthy. I have a rudder and JIMW is right...you can hang up on a rudder but I would not buy a kayak without one. When a big wind kicks up in the afternoon it is nice to have a rudder. Also when you are trying to make a drift over a certain area, a rudder is invaluable especially if both arms/hands are being used for fly casting. A rudder helps you keep the kayak over a fishy spot longer.

good luck

Frank

doogue 02-19-2005 06:13 AM

I agree with Frank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankF
Hello Teflon:

I have had a SOT (Necky Dolphin) for ten years and it is my favorite to fish with. I wear waders when the water is cold. It is very stable and sea worthy. I have a rudder and JIMW is right...you can hang up on a rudder but I would not buy a kayak without one. When a big wind kicks up in the afternoon it is nice to have a rudder. Also when you are trying to make a drift over a certain area, a rudder is invaluable especially if both arms/hands are being used for fly casting. A rudder helps you keep the kayak over a fishy spot longer.

good luck

Frank

Frank captured my opinion on the rudder quite nicely.

The rudder keeps you in fishy spots when you are drifting through a fishy area. The rudder can also save some energy when the fish are biting and you hang around in one spot longer than you planned.

I have paddled up into Pleasant Bay during the dropping tide on a couple of occassions. I stayed at the tip of Nauset a little longer than planned because large stripers on bunker were calling to me.

The rudder can help you save some energy when you need it most.

Just my thoughts.

Mike

Youngpatawan 04-21-2005 05:50 AM

To rudder or not to rudder
 
I have a perception with a rudder, and I moslty use my kayak for bass fishing in my local area. I have found that more times than not I don't use the rudder atoll. My friend swears by it to controll his drift, but for me it's just one other thing that I need to worry about while I'm trying to fish and most of the time it's a pain and I end up screwing up a good drift with it. I haven't really gotten my line hung up on the rudder for the most part unless I get sloppy and let alot of line drift out. As far as just rowing I like to have the rudder if it tends to get windy out it sure seems to make paddeling easier. It's cool to find out that guys like the kayak gig to don't really know to many people around me that do it. Rock on. :cool:


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