Long Fishing Trips –
Touring, Sea Kayaking and Camping
Long fishing trips at sea, on fast moving rivers and even on flat water are very demanding – both from you and from your kayak, and you expect to enjoy them, obviously. This article discusses the problems you’re likely to encounter, and offers ways to solve them.
Can you stand a long paddling and fishing trip?
First, you’d better consider your own ability to withstand a long kayak trip since ordinary (E.G. monohull) kayaks are notoriously uncomfortable, and both paddling and fishing for long hours in the traditional L kayaking position could prove to be an experience that you may want to avoid altogether.
All fishing kayak models that are not using the W design have only this paddling position to offer, and they don’t enable you to paddle while sitting in other positions or in the riding, kneeling and standing positions. This is bad for the blood circulation in your legs, and may cause fatigue and back pains. If your fishing trip is meant to be enjoyable then you should feel comfortable both paddling and fishing.
Is your kayak safe to begin with?
The second thing you want to consider is not less important, and it’s your safety: You may decide to use a special, slender touring or sea kayak that’s designed for long trips, but if you’re not an experienced and well trained sea kayaker you may be looking for trouble since those kayaks are very unstable, and are designed to make it easy for their passenger to roll them on their side, which isn’t something you’re likely to consider – let alone be able to accomplish without extensive, constant training…
Is your kayak friendly to you?
The third issue to examine in detail would be the overall ‘friendliness’ of the kayak, or in other words – is it designed for long trips?
As you may have noticed, in most cases the term ‘Fishing Kayak’ is a glorified code name given by manufacturers to an over hyped recreational kayak design to which various fishing related accessories were added, and the term ‘Recreational’ is a common codename for wide and sluggish kayaks that don’t track well (I.E. tend to zigzag). The truth is that any monohull design can be either stable or fast, and never both, and this is true for all types of vessels including kayaks.
And if you think that any long monohull kayak is also a fast one including those very wide ones labeled ‘Fishing Kayak’ you’d probably want to try paddling one for more than 20 minutes and see how it feels: You’re likely to find that in order to move such a big kayak in the water for a long period of time you’re required to provide a physical effort that you’re simply not prepared to make…
As for a rudder, it would add an element of complexity to your paddling experience, and keeping things simple is always better. A rudder would also increase the drag generated by your kayak by 10% in average, which in other words means that whatever energy you’ll manage to save by going straight instead of zigzagging you’re likely to waste because of your rudder.
And there’s also the issue of exposure to consider: Are you willing to be wet during most or all of your fishing trip? -Both sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks eventually get you wet whether from spray or from the scupper holes. Spending long hours wet and exposed even in warm weather can become unpleasant after a while, and it can turn to be more than just unpleasant in cold and windy weather: It’s actually dangerous.
Storage space is key
The fourth issue you’d better evaluate carefully is storage, which is problematic in both traditional, sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks. Going on a long fishing trip means you need to take more gear with you, and it also means this gear is more likely to get wet.
Hatches offer a poor storage solution since they are small, and in many cases they’re not totally watertight. You’re also prevented from accessing the gear stored inside hatches while you’re on the water paddling or fishing…
Technically speaking SOT kayaks are not boats but take more after the paddle board from which they initially evolved, so they don’t have a real cockpit to speak of but rather an area on the deck that the manufacturer labeled ‘cockpit’… In other words, they don’t offer any serious storage solutions for long fishing trips.
Sit-in kayaks do feature a minimalist cockpit that may or may not be enough to accommodate both you and your gear – especially if the cockpit is a closed one and you’re one of those who considers legroom and freedom to stretch to be basic human rights…
The primary thing for you to consider would be the level of comfort and ergonomic design of the fishing kayak you’re planning to use for long trips.
You cannot use a kayak that’s too small since it won’t go fast enough, won’t track well and you won’t be able to take sufficient gear with you. Going on a long fishing trip with your kayak requires different preparations and a kayak that’s good both for fishing and touring, which is contradictory in some ways, unless you use a W-kayak.
Extended Fishing Trips in a Twinhull Kayak?
Of course! – Polynesians have roamed the vast Pacific and Indian Oceans for millennia in their catamarans and outrigger canoes.
What do you mean by ‘Comfort’?
Since you’re spending hours at a time paddling your kayak you want to reduce fatigue and physical impact to a minimum, and eliminate them when possible. The W Kayak offers 6 different, comfortable kayaking positions that you can switch between, and thus minimize fatigue, back pain and other unwanted, short and long term physical impact. All these paddling positions are more ergonomic than the traditional L kayaking position.
You want a kayak that keeps you dry without forcing you into a tight rubber skirt, and doesn’t force you to sit for hours in a puddle.
With so much freeboard, and the ability to raise the bow by moving to the back of the cockpit and climb waves, your trip in the W Kayak is likely to be a dry one. If some spray or rain gets in it’s drained to the bottom of the hulls, and the saddle eliminates the need to marinate in a traveling puddle.
Easy Launching, Easy Beaching and Highest Mobility:
You don’t want to have to drive more, or paddle more just because your kayak does not enable you to launch or beach somewhere. The W Kayak assures that you’ll always be able to find a location that’s suitable for either launching or beaching, and in most cases stay dry. In fresh water it’s extremely rare that you even have to get your feet wet, and even ice is not necessarily a problem anymore. At the beach you just hop in or out of the boat.
And what about maneuvering?
Paddling a long Touring kayak is not easy in the surf or in rapids. The W Kayak gives you the highest level of Control and Maneuverability in tough conditions. In fact, you can even use it for surfing and in whitewater.
Speed and Stability?
When kayaking in a group you want to be able to keep up with the others who may have fast boats, but you don’t want to struggle to keep your boat from capsizing, so you don’t want to sacrifice stability for speed. The W Kayak speed is comparable to that of 13 ft long kayaks in all water and weather conditions, while it’s stability is beyond anything offered by any paddle sports boat. The W kayak is fast, stable and comfortable enough to enable you to tow another boat.
Is the W Kayak easy to carry and handle?
The W Kayak is molded from highly resistant Polyethylene (PE), so you can simply grab a carrying handle and drag it on the ground (soil, grass, bush, roots, sand, rocks etc.) without worrying much about it getting damaged. This enables you to put in and take out in spots that are not necessarily a few yards from where you park your car. The W Kayak weighs 56 lb.
Versatility and storage space:
Not all trips are the same. In one trip you may need to carry plenty of gear and in another time take a child with you. You may even want to use a canoe paddle in such occasion. The W Kayak offers you all possible choices. It has more storage space than any other kayak, and it keeps keeps the gear dry and within your reach anytime. Your passenger can spend hours with you in the cockpit and both of you will be comfortable.
Is the W kayak a good tracker or easy to maneuver?
It’s the only kayak that’s both: Catamarans are known to track well, and the W Kayak shares the twinhull design with them. But it’s also very easy to maneuver a W fishing kayak since you can apply your weight on the hull that’s ‘inside’ the turn and use it as a powerful rudder. It’s called leaning into the turn, and it can’t be done with ordinary (i.e. monohull) kayaks.
Watch DEMO VIDEOS
How to cope with side waves?
If the wave is not breaking on you it’s likely to pass under the boat in most cases, even if it’s fairly big. You have to lean in its direction and keep your balance as your boat tilts in one direction, and then in the opposite direction after the wave passed. Watch DEMO VIDEOS
Dry suit, wet suit or neither?
It’s really up to you to decide. In cold water and/or cold weather such suits are recommended regardless of the type of boat you’re paddling.
Please always wear a PFD when W kayaking!
How do you outfit your W fishing Kayak for sea kayaking?
All W-kayak models come with side floatation modules, and for paddling in the ocean and on fast moving rivers we recommend double side flotation (models F2E, F4E and TRE).
Do you need a spray skirt?
You don’t, but in order to increase dryness you can cover the front part of the cockpit with a plastic sheet or some other watertight material attached to the cockpit with the preparation for cockpit cover that comes standard with every W-kayak – It works.
Is the W-Kayak better than a sea kayak?
Originally kayaks are native hunting boats, which isn’t necessarily a good start for a sea touring boat for present days kayakers.
The W Kayak is not as fast as the longest and fastest sea kayaks, but otherwise it can deliver a better experience in a long fishing trip, and it’s the best fishing kayak out there.
Story and Boat review in WaveLength Magazine:
“This is a boat designed and constructed to liberate a paddler from concerns about paddling form, good technique, expeditions, navigation, rescue ops or one’s rank in the pecking order of local paddling hotshots.”…
-“This is a craft designed for fun, for simplicity of trips, and even, as the craft’s site shows, for surfing three to four-footers.”
Adam Bolonsky – WaveLength Magazine 08/2005
For full text see: Wavewalk Fishing Kayak Reviews
In case you have questions or comments please feel free to email or call us