When you first start out kayak fishing and you are in the process of purchasing a kayak, one of the first questions you ask yourself is what style of kayak are you interested in, “do I want a sit-on-top or a sit-in?” This question for me was a no-brainer for many years and was usually answered with, “duh, I want a sit-on-top, I’m going to be mostly inshore fishing.”
That all changed for me the moment I took a Kilroy on a demo paddle. It was fast and stable, a rare combination in a kayak; and at twelve foot long, it wasn’t a burden to car-top. It was exactly what I had been looking for and I wondered if I had been missing out all these years by putting blinders on in my quest for the perfect SOT kayak.
I’m not suggesting the Kilroy is perfect, lately I’ve been paddling a Kraken 13.5 mostly, but I am trying to suggest that if you plan on buying a new kayak just have an open mind. Sometimes the results will surprise you. Too often folks have their minds made up with what they think they need and will ignore what is probably the best fit for them – it’s a big reason why the number one thing a new kayak fisherman will hear is “demo, demo, demo!”
So as this demo season rolls around I want to give a bit of advice to anyone out there interested in buying a new kayak – try out as many kayaks as you can and don’t limit yourself to just SOTs, or pedal boats, or hybrids, or even one brand.