Roxanne’s Review of her New W500 Fishing Kayak – Connecticut

NEW (June): Roxanne’s W500 Trip to the Backwater of the Farmington River, Connecticut (+Movie)

Roxanne Davis from Connecticut is a seasoned kayak fisherwoman who has owned and rigged two early models of the W300 series, and reviewed them. Now she got a new W500, and this is her initial review:

-“I can say three things about it so far: “I LOVE IT” – The room in it is just perfect.”

-“I was on Rainbow Reservoir testing my W500 on a very wind day, and more boat traffic then I had expected. It handled like a dream, tracked great, and pushed threw the winds, with gusts up to 25mph, and constant 15mph. I was amazed how well I could paddle into the wind with it without killing myself.”

Roxanne's fleet of three fishing kayaks

-“Most motor boaters don’t care about the laws and wakes… I Had a big 18′ Deep-V powerboat fly by on plane about 20′ from me, and I rode the 2′ wake with no problem. Then I went back to fishing, turned my head just in time to see the next wake hit me, (not even sure where it came from??) I didn’t panic, and let it hit sideways, and the W500 just gently swayed up and over the wake, and down, and then over the second wake with ease.
The W300 would have handled it also, but not as smoothly as the W500 did.
I’m really going to have to take it on the salt now, that wake gave me the confidence this baby can take it!!

I applaud you Yoav,  you’ve taken the best yak in the world, and made it better!”

Smallie in Rox' W500 fishing kayak cockpit

-“I broke the W500 in with 15 Smallmouth Bass, nothing huge, just fun.

She’s been officially Slimed!!  🙂

Rox”

W500 fishing kayak with transducer
Rox’ new W500 with her special side rod holder

Rox' W500 fishing kayak with transducer
Rox’ W500 with a transducer mounted

NEW: read more about motorizing fishing kayaks >>


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

20 Comments

  1. admin

    “I applaud you Yoav, you’ve taken the best yak in the world, and made it better!”
    -What can I say?… Thank you very much Rox! 🙂
    Yoav

    PS– That yellow W you camouflaged in gray is a true work of art!

  2. Fish Wiz

    Great review, and fun to read! 😀
    I noticed the handles are missing from one end of Roxanne’s W500 – I guess that’s where the motor mount would come.
    FW

  3. Jeff McGovern

    Congrats on your official sliming of the new yak. Now it just gets better from there. Those low mount holders of yours would work nicely here in mangrove tunnels for snook. In some of our creeks and backwaters it gets real tight and being able to get the rods down low like that is how you get through. We have the same issues in the south with crazy power boaters. It’s much worse now as it warms all the folks who just want to go fast come out and forget boats don’t have brakes. Thank goodness the shallow areas we like to fish are off limits since they risk losing a lower unit to an oyster bar.

  4. Norm

    I’ve been waiting to hear your review on the Big W . I think next to Yoav you’re the expert on the wavewalk yak. I’m happy to hear that wakes are easy to handle. I plan to do some fishing on Narragansett Bay. I can’t wait to try it out, there are some real nit-wits out there. Keep the reviews coming, I got a lot of good ideas from you. Thanks

  5. John F.

    Impressive collection of W’s Rox! Sounds like the 500 is a winner. I have been too busy to get out lately but I hope to get out soon. Save some fish for me.

  6. james bailes

    I am interested in what material you used to make the outriggers?
    I do not have a wave yet but am considering for use here in the Dominican Republic.

    thanks for your input

    James

  7. Rox

    The outriggers I used were from CastleCreek.
    I got the canoe one, and attached it with U-Bolts thru the hull.
    So the main bar stays on, I don’t remove it.

    I called them my training wheels, because in the beginning,
    I was unstable, and instead of Listening to Yoav, to come
    down for some Hands on training, I spent my first season
    using them all the time.

    I don’t use them now…………..but I still have them on
    the W300 with the trolling motor.

    I set them well above the water line, and they are more of a rod holder
    then anything else now.
    But if a Big wake hits me, they still help to keep me stable,
    (even though I would be just fine without them)

    I started off with an all PVC one, but was way tooooooo big.
    They stuck out so far on each side, it got in my way paddling into some of
    my spots.
    The straps would hang up on limbs, get full of weeds, and were just one Big Pain.

    Hope this helps

    Rox

  8. Pete

    The reason why outriggers are still not popular among paddlers and non-motorized fishermen is that using them to solve a stability problem comes at a price of losing mobility, maneuverability, speed and the ability to launch and beach in many spots.
    Outriggers also add difficulty to paddling in strong wind, and they are notorious for catching your lines 🙁
    That is besides the fact that some outriggers out there don’t even solve the initial stability problem they were supposed to solve, such as [certain ‘folding’ or ‘retractable’ outriggers] that look better on paper than they do on water 😀

    Pete

  9. Rox

    Well Pete, part of that holds true.
    The outriggers did not slow me down at all, now they never touch the water.
    Yes they will cause drag if you make them touch the water line,
    but as you get better at balancing, you can set them above the water line.

    Never caused me any more issues with wind, then the W’s without them.

    Plus I’ve never had line tangle issues at all.
    I keep them very close to the hull, and I can get in and out of any place
    with no problems.
    They do make great rod and paddle holders.

    And These Do Solve any Issues with stability, no way you can flip with these bad boys on. (Of course, unless the Wave or wake is over 5′)
    then you shouldn’t have be out there in the first place.

    So if you are float challenged, do to health issues, the Castle Creek
    Outriggers are the way to go, worth every penny

    Hope this helps
    Rox

  10. John Zoltner

    Rox,
    I like the way you modified your trolling motor mount. Looking at the pix on your fishing yak, looks like you you have a Minn Kota 30 motor that you hacked the screw clamps features from and then attached a flat adapter plate to gain more attachment surface to the aluminum plate(s) on the hulls. Very elegant and professionally done. I’m thinking of doing something very similar except – maybe of putting the motor up front. Actually since the yak is symmetrical, I suppose I could test it both bow and stern mounted although I’ll probably leave the handle attached to the motor. Let me know if I’m looking at your mount modification right or if you’ve done something different.
    Thanks,
    John

  11. John Z

    Rox,
    Sorry to bombard you with all these questions, but you’ve obviously spent a lot of time rigging your W to perfection.
    Question: I’ve bought a couple of Die Hard gel batteries for my trolling motor and find they are heavier than expected. Where did you find the plastic carriers your batteries are in?
    John Z

  12. Rox

    The Plastic carriers came out of a small soft side cooler.
    It’s called AirLok zipperless system, made by california innovations.

    The Bonus using this is, I have a safe dry place for the battery if
    I ever took on water, and still have the six pack cooler to hold my drinks.

    I also use them to hold my soft plastic baits, slides nicely down in the pontoons out of the way.

    I tied a rope to the bags, and slide them under in the pontoons.
    Lay the rope out down the hull to where I sit, and my other gear bags
    along the hull, sitting on the rope.

    This way when I need something, I just pull the rope, everything slides out from under, for an easy reach to what ever lures/drinks/food I need, then
    I just push it all back into place with my foot or my paddle.
    Nice and neat and out of the way. 🙂

    Hope this helps.

    Tight Lines and Happy Paddling.
    Rox

  13. John Z

    Rox,
    Thanks for the battery box feedback. Found small plastic storage boxes at Target that work nicely. New subject: After trying out a bow mounted trolling motor location, found that steering wasn’t responsive enough due to the close proximity to the front pontoons. Am having much better luck turning the yak by mounting the motor far back like yours where the prop wash is more free of the pontoon influence. Locating the motor back there raises steering and motor raising complications. I like your novel steering solution but wonder if you’ve addressed the raising/lowering function or do you just allow it to stay at one depth. Again, sorry for all the questions, but you seem to be the one pushing the development envelope on motors.
    Thanks!
    John Z

  14. Rox

    John,
    Very happy to hear you found some containers at target for your battery.

    The motor set up on the back is the best control, and does not smack the pontoons. (Not a good Sound) 🙂

    As far as lowering and raising the motor, I have it set so it’s not
    chopping the surface in deeper water, or when waves or a wake hits me, but set high enough so I can go shallow without changing the height while motoring.

    A couple of test runs will help you find the right height.

    And when I want to raise it for beaching, I just grab the cables with my hands as I’m heading into shore at full speed, I Pull the cables with hard steady pressure, and it raises the motor fine, and I cut the power.

    I also lift the motor when I’m going into lilly pads, then I just use my paddle to push the clip on the motors shaft to lower it back down again.

    There is a lift kit out there, made by Bassyaks.com, for $59.00.
    But I have not installed it yet.

    Tight Lines All and Happy Paddling!
    Rox

  15. Johnnyrat

    Rox, I really like the job you did on the camo on your yellow 300!
    I am curious what kind of paint you used and how its held up? I see alot of people say they use Krylon, but was curious what you suggest if you get a free moment 🙂

    I don’t think I’ll be doing camo, but the right paint will make the difference I think.

    Many thanks and fun paddling!

  16. John Z

    Rox,
    I finally finished my W500 trolling motor conversion. I feel a little guilty as I stole a few ideas from your excellent rig. I mounted the motor far back like yours, used the same cable steering system from cross rods on the motor shaft but instead of foot controls, I opted to have the steering and speed functions left on the TM handle. I attached the TM control head and a small portion of the shaft to a large pulley and then to the steering cable up front. In that way I can control both the direction and speed of the W with the handle in front of me. I like to stand and cast quite a bit, so it works out really well. I also use a smaller pulley with a crank handle for the TM unlatch/lift function. I’ll try to send some pics to the W web site which should make it easier to understand.

  17. admin

    Hi John,
    We’re all looking forward to your report (and pictures) about your motorized W500. A movie would be great!
    BTW, with your long record in engineering and R&D, I guess I don’t have to remind you the ‘design spiral’ – Every solution is just a step towards to next one 🙂
    Yoav

  18. Rox

    Way to go John, can’t wait to see the pictures of the trolling motor set up.
    The pulley cables attached to the power head up front for steering and a pulley for the unlatch and lift function, sound awesome.

    Tight Lines
    Rox

  19. Jack Walker

    Rox, Yoav,
    What do you suggest for camo paint for the W.
    Thanks,
    Jack

  20. admin

    Jack,

    Krylon Fusion is the best spray paint for polyethylene surfaces, as far as I know.
    You could also use big permanent markers to add detail.

    Yoav

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