Decisions, decisions….

As I hinted in a previous post, once the seed was sewn on the idea of getting a kayak the thought process gained momentum pretty quickly and both Nobby and I began to explore the options. The obvious starting place was the internet to get some sort of idea of what was available on the market. There was quite a range of options out there for us wannabee yakkers but we decided at an early stage that it was the sit-on-top variety that we felt ticked the right boxes.

We looked at what some of the main manufacturers such as Wilderness, Ocean Kayak and Malibu had to offer and all had their merits but we kept coming back to the offerings from Ocean Kayak and in particular the Prowler range. We were looking for stability, manoeuvrability, hatch space and features and they seemed to tick the right boxes with good reviews on internet forums. Ultimately, there were three choices within our budgets that we whittled it down to:

  • The Prowler 13 Angler
  • The Prowler Trident 13 Angler
  • The Big Game Prowler

Nobby was keen on the Prowler 13 Angler while I was more in favour of either the Trident 13 or The Big Game. Both the Prowler and the Trident looked more streamline than the Big Game which seemed bulkier although more stable.

In the end, after a trip to The Family Adventure Store in Trowbridge we opted for the Trident which seemed to be in the middle of the Prowler 13 and The Big Game but with the advantage of features such as the RodPod and the Sonar Shield.

Within a week of our visit the orders were placed and we patiently waited then for 6 weeks until we got the call to say they had arrived. When we picked up the yaks it was just like Christmas as kids all over again! We even had the added bonus that they’d shipped them with rudders already fitted by mistake which was a real result.

Here they are all wrapped up and ready to go…

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… and here was my yellow piece of heaven unwrapped on the hall floor when I got it home!

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Now we had the yaks…  but that wasn’t half the story, we now needed kit to wear, safety kit, different fishing kit and not to mention modifications we’d undoubtedly want to make! It was now that the real fun and expense began! I warn any of you out there thinking of buying a kayak it is a huge addiction what with the tinkering and the accessorising!

Eighteen months on I am generally pleased with the decision to get the Trident but in retrospect I can see big benefits in the Big Game Prowler namely the stability it offers and I am not wholly convinced that the RodPod design on the Trident is as good as it could be. Maybe I’m being picky here though really as overall the Trident is a good kayak in my opinion.

So, why a kayak?

It was about this time two years ago that my good pal Nobby and I were trudging back to our cars along the Dorset coast somewhere between Kimmeridge and Worbarrow Bay after a fruitless attempt for an early season bass. We tried to reason that maybe we were using the wrong tactics, the sea and weather conditions weren’t right and made countless other excuses for our poor early season form.

“I reckon we should get kayaks” were the words that Nobby blurted out.

“What?” I said.

“You know, fishing kayaks, I’ve seen a few of them around” he replied enthusiastically.

I pondered it for a few seconds and concluded,

“That’s actually not a bad shout my friend!”

And so it began… not immediately but make no mistake the seed had been sown and the beginnings of a plan were hatched. It was finally executed early in 2009.

It wasn’t that we weren’t enjoying our shore fishing it was just the catch rates were relatively modest plus we’d already found ourselves doing less and less traditional beach fishing with big rods, reels and a mountain of tackle and concentrating our efforts on light gear, lures and fishing on the move. Even this was hit and miss though and once the wheel was set in motion the idea of kayak fishing became increasingly appealing to get us to inshore waters inaccessible on foot and to allow us to fish in deeper water a little further out.

We toyed with the idea of getting a boat between us and even looked at a couple but neither of us was particularly blown away with what was on offer for our budget, nor did we really have the space at the time to keep it or the time to maintain it properly.

We both liked the idea of being able to throw a kayak on the roof of our cars and head off to wherever the will would take us…… little did we know then that with the combined cost of kitting out the yaks we could probably have bought a semi-decent boat and had change in our pockets but as is said “what’s done is done!”. However, even in retrospect I wouldn’t change that decision – I like the freedom you have with a kayak to take it virtually anywhere you please, launch from a beach and even get to those fishing spots you just couldn’t get to sensibly even with the smallest of boats.

Once we’d made up our minds it was an option we were committed too, the next stage was research and to explore the kayak options available to us on the market…… that will be the subject of my next post.