Posted by Randy Bayne on 5th May 2020

In recent years Kayak Fishing has become more and more popular. For the angler, kayaks offer stealth and the ability to get into locations other vessels can not. Frank and Fran’s has decided to publish several articles in an attempt to expose our friends to this exciting world. We would like your feedback and ideas for future articles. For this week’s Tackle Talk Tuesday we will touch on the different kayak options.

Let's talk a little bit about boats.

Most kayak anglers prefer a sit on top kayak as opposed to a sit inside kayak. This is a much more comfortable and stable position for casting, and fighting fish. These boats are also “self bailing” meaning that you do not have to pump water out of the hull, or tip your boat to get water out if you have a wave break over the bow (front).

“Paddle drive” vs. “Pedal drive”

Both propulsion types have their pros and cons.

A paddle drive boat is what most people are used to seeing, this is where the angler powers the vessel with a double bladed paddle. We will use the Vibe Seaghost 130 as an example

Length: 13 feet

Width: 33 Inches

Payload: 550 LBS

Weight : 75 LBS

Retail: $999.99


Lighter weight, greater payload, more maneuverable, Less expensive, ability to travel in very shallow water easily.

Cons:Less comfortable on long voyages due to more of a strain on the upper body, very difficult to paddle while fighting a fish

Pedal drive means that the angler powers the vessel with their feet via a drive system that is very similar to a reciprocating bicycle. We will use the Vibe Shearwater 125 as an example

Length: 12 ft 6 inches

Width: 35 inches

Payload: 475 LBS

weight : 92 LBS

Retail: $1798.00 (with pedal drive system)

Pros:More Comfortable on long voyages, propulsion is achieved with the stronger muscles of the lower body as opposed to the upper body which also translates into greater speed. This also means you can propel the vessel while fighting a fish, More stable.

Cons:Heavier, less payload, less maneuverable, more expensive.

*The drive system can be removed and a traditional bladed paddle used to get into shallow water.

What length boat do I need?

The answer to this question can be complicated. Longer boats are a lot easier to navigate on long voyages, while shorter boats are more maneuverable. Longer boats have more space and typically more payload. While shorter boats are lighter. Typically, on Hatteras island most anglers tend to prefer 10 ft or longer boats due to the size of the bodies of water, and the ability of longer vessels to handle rougher seas.

While this in no way is a complete guide to kayaks, it does introduce you to the basic broader spectrums of “Kayak types”. No matter what vessel you choose, or where you purchase your vessel, we at Frank and Fran’s strongly suggest a safe boaters course before taking to the water.

If you would like to try out the sport, remember Frank and Fran’s is the only Vibe dealer in the Outer Banks, and we also rent Vibe kayaks by the day or week.

If you would like more information on choosing the right boat, or locating a safe boater course please do not hesitate contacting us at the shop, or by email we would be glad to introduce you to Kayak Fishing.   We are taking pre-orders for Vibe kayaks now at https://hatteras-island.com/kayak-sup/.Click here for more details