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Whitewater kayak into a good fishing kayak?

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I am looking to buy a kayak. I don't want something too long, or too expensive. I am planning to buy off of craigslist. While on craigslist, I noticed that whitewater river kayaks have ALL of the features that I want in my fishing kayak. Limited size, plenty of space to move, alot of storage space... I was just wondering if I could buy a whitewater river kayak, make a few modifications, and use that as a lake fishing kayak? The only modifications would be fishing rod holders, a paddle hoder, and maybe a container inside to hold bait and tackle.

Thanks for looking at this,

12 Replies

CatTrampoline (author)2012-09-21

WW kayaks are inherently unstable because they are designed to be highly maneuverable. They would probably flip if you were fighting a big fish. I think you would be unhappy with the results and end up buying a second kayak in a few years if you try to retrofit one. It is better to get the one that fits your needs first instead of paying for it twice.

There are some cruising/birdwatching/general purpose kayaks which you could easily fish from, and are a better choice than the WW. The true fishing kayaks provide a very stable platform to fish from, in additon to having places to store poles and other gear. They usually have a deck that you can stand on, too.

The sit-on-top kayaks are easier to cast from than the sit-inside style. The longer the boat is, the straighter it tracks for paddling. We have a 12-foot sit-on-top that my son uses for fishing.

freeza36 (author)CatTrampoline2012-09-21

Ok thanks. I was looking into a sit on top kayak before, but they are alot more expensive. What are your thoughts on this?


CatTrampoline (author)freeza362012-09-22

It looks nice. I've never used that one. There are a lot of good boats out there.

I would advise sitting in/on any craft you are considering buying to get an idea of how comfortable it is for you. Even though you are planning to buy used, you can sit in the boats at your local sporting goods stores. You will probably need to purchase accessories eventually, so you will be a customer.

Some stores even have test-on-the-water days.

Be sure and check the capacity- will it hold you and your gear?
Another thing to look at is how much the kayak weighs - will you be able to drag it and/or load it yourself or with help?

I am saving up for a Venus 11. Of all the ones that will hold me and my dog and are light enough for me to load on the car, that is the one that was comfortable when I sat in it at the store. We have a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 12 (my son fishes from it). It is great kayak but is too heavy for me to handle by myself. If I was really strong or had a human helper it would be great.

freeza36 (author)CatTrampoline2012-09-22

I wont have to worry about the weight of the kayak, but I will definately sit in it and get a feel for it before making any choices. Thanks!

Oh yeah, the reason the whitewater kayaks are cheaper than the cruising and fishing kayaks is because they are so much shorter and therefore use half as much material in their construction.

FriendOfHumanity (author)2012-09-22


It's just a thought but have you seen the old Pyranhna  Rotobats ?

If you can find one, ( they do come up on Gumtree, Ebay etc), they are bigger than the modern whitewater craft and very cheap because the design has moved on. ( Under £50 sometimes under £30)

They are comfortable and, with modification, have room for interior and exterior storage.

I love mine; It's light enough to carry half a mile to the river and , to me, feels very stable. ( I have never been on any rough water just fast flowing river).

Burf (author)2012-09-21

I've never done any kayaking other than to paddle around on a dead calm lake for a few minutes. But here are two things I know for certain, kayaks are easily capsized and watching your favorite rod and reel along $200 or $300 worth of fishing gear spill out of a capsized boat, and sink to the bottom of a lake is not fun.

freeza36 (author)Burf2012-09-21

That is very true. Thanks. Do you think that this, http://www.equinoxkayaks.com/produits_124.html
would be a better choice?

mpilchfamily (author)2012-09-21

How is there a lot of storage in a white water kayak? They are made to be small with just enough room for you to sit in it so you have more control and can maneuver more easily.

freeza36 (author)mpilchfamily2012-09-21

I fugured that although there is not any outside storage space, I cound tuck alon of stuff in behind the seat and below my feet.

bwrussell (author)2012-09-21

I would suggest looking into adding a simple outrigger or two. WW kayaks are really maneuverable which means they aren't terribly stable when sitting still, especially when you cast your line. Out riggers would give you more storage ability as well and I think you could build something simple and collapsible with relative ease and low costs.

onrust (author)2012-09-21

You may just be sacrificing some stability. BUT, if they are cheaper and your modifications will work.......you may just be fishing that much sooner!