Everything you need to know about Kayak vs Canoe for fishing
Fishing has always been among the most jubilant activities around. It is a great way to throw away your worries and spend some time close to nature in smoothly flowing streams and rivers. A lot of people do it in modern era to get some break from their tough routines and have personal kayak and canoe that they use to sail into the rivers.
While fishing itself can be a daunting task, you need to pay attention to your gear and stuff before you start your adventure. One of the most debated thing is canoe vs kayak for fly fishing and which one is a better choice for beginners. Well, it depends on various factors and we will look at each of them in detail.
What is a canoe?
A canoe is a narrow boat which was used back in old days by Native Americans. It was constructed using yellow cedar, and weight and strength were two factors that were kept in mind in its making. They tend to make it extremely durable and light weight. Today, we have canoes that are usually made of plastic. It can be combined with fiber and/or polycarbonate. There are companies that may use inflatable materials in canoe making.
The vessel can carry more than one person and its movement is manual with the help of a single blade pedal. However, one can also fit in motors but it will take away the feel and experience that is exclusive to canoes.
A canoe is between 13 and 18 feet in length with front end containing the bow seat and stern seat at the rear end. In canoe, you will find that bow seat is a bit wide and is placed close to the center. The individual at bow is doing paddling work while the one holding stern seat has to steer it. You will find yoke in the middle of the vessel which enables you to carry it on your shoulder while on its sides you have the thwart which assures the thwarting of crosswise impacts. The outer side is outwale while the inner part is known as the inwalve. Hull is the bottom of a canoe and its design has huge impact on its performance. A shallow V design provides better decent balance between stability and maneuverability.
What is a kayak?
A kayak is a vessel that has been in use for a long time. Earlier, the Inuit, Yupik, and Aleut people used these boats for hunting purpose. Its primary design gives room for only a single person and these are smaller and narrower as compared to canoes. Although the modern designs provide you a bit more flexibility, the older kayaks were only a single person vessel and are handled with the help of a double bladed paddle. The deck of it is completely covered to assure that no water enters the cockpit and it allows for a wide range of fancy moves for experienced kayakers such as flipping.
The modern kayaks are a lot different than the traditional models. Previously, wood was the primary material in manufacturing these boats but now we have a wider range of materials to choose from and you will find kayaks made up of plastic, polyvinyl, fiberglass, and even Kevlar and aluminum.
They are very versatile in their use and provide a whole different experience than a canoe. Used for whitewater extreme sports, fishing, touring, and even racing, the kayak’s design may differ depending on its dedicated purpose. However, the primary features are common.
A wide center and pointed ends will determine a kayak and it has a covered top (cockpit is an exception). The person can sit in the cockpit or may even kneel. There are foot braces under the deck that allows a person to stretch forward his legs and place his or her feet on it. It also features a sit on top model that allows a person to sit on the deck while handling the kayak. They are mainly 10 to 20 feet long and some of them may provide room for two people. The hull can vary a lot in shape and it can be a gentle round one for higher initial stability or an aggressive V for enhanced secondary stability.
Counting on the differences and details
A brief look at recreational canoes and hybrid kayaks?
The canoes sit higher on the surface of water. Therefore, they are less stable. However, they are bigger and have more room in it which gives you a chance to store all necessary supplies. Ultimately, it gives you an option to move freely which makes it more comfortable. They are better suitable for calm waters and don’t do very well in strong tides. You can carry fishing accessories in it. However, they are more expensive than kayaks.
On the other side, you have kayaks that provide you higher stability. They tend to feature just a little to no storage space (especially in sit on top kayaks). Sitting in them for a long period of time may be uncomfortable. However, they tend to perform good in rough waters too, especially the general kayaks and hybrid models. They may feature a fishing gear storage space and are less expensive than canoes unless you prefer buying a hybrid or fishing kayak.
Which one is more stable?
If you have used both canoes and kayaks, you will know that canoes are generally sitting higher on the surface of the water as compared to kayaks. So, if you fish in such boats, you will find yourself in a less stable position. Particularly, for the individuals that look to stand when fishing, it becomes a tough job. Although it is not impossible to stand or do fishing with the canoes, it will take some practice and effort as you will learn balancing in this vessel.
Read about Best Kayak For Fishing Under $500
On the other side, the kayaks lower the center of gravity and keep it closer to the water. Therefore, the overall stability in a kayak is better than the one you have in canoe. Especially, the SOT models come with wider beam and this enhances stability even more. Regardless of whether standing or sitting, it is easier to maintain balance in a kayak.
What about the dependability & Safety?
The dependability matters and if it is the first time you are using such vessel you will probably struggle in rough waters regardless of which vessel you use.
A canoe is better to be used on smooth tides. As it is low in stability, it is recommended that one should use it on calm waters. Rough condition will make it rock and you are likely to get out of balance, particularly if you are standing in it. If the weather goes bad or the water becomes choppy, beginners are likely to tip in a canoe.
On the other side, the kayaks are better in handling rough water. Though it depends on how good of a kayaker you are, it generally holds better in tough situations. Although better than canoes, the SOT models will be tough to handle. However, if you have command over controlling a kayak (other than sit on top models), you can go through in tough conditions too.
The matter of comfort
If you are looking towards the vessel which will last long in river, you should consider canoes. They have bigger seats and better room for movement and flexibility, giving you a chance to do fishing for a long time. Moreover, as you are higher in water, you will be less wet in it than you will get in a kayak.
The SOT kayaks are better if you want to choose a kayak for fishing and want comfort. These are more versatile and provide you better leg room. Generally, the seat of a kayak is built directly in a vessel hull. Therefore, sitting there for a long period of time may become uncomfortable.
Going about storage space
If you are about to do some proper fishing then you are in need of the right gear. For that, you can rely on canoes because they are bigger and offer more room. Therefore, the storage space is more in a canoe. Although you may find it troublesome because it is open and the water may come splashing into it; the advanced paddlers won’t consider this a problem considering that it sits higher on water.
Kayaks can vary a lot when it comes to storage and, especially the modern hybrid models, it can give you enough room to store all your fishing gear along. However, considering the regular models and SOT versions, there is just a limited to no storage space.
Pricing and budget consideration
The sit on top kayaks are perhaps the cheapest vessels that you will find in the category. However, their price varies greatly depending on their construction and making.
On the other side, the canoes are longer and bigger boats which tend to be a little higher in price. But compared to the modern day hybrid kayaks, they may still be a cheaper option. The hybrid kayaks are perhaps the most versatile vessels in the category but they are a little expensive as compared to others.
SOT = Sit On Top