Range of Motion and Protection From the Fish – Kayak Comparison

By Jeff McGovern

Range of motion and protection from the fish – Sounds a little weird but the W kayak offers a far better range of motion for anglers and some measure of protection when landing fish.
I’ve noticed this the most dealing with saltwater speedsters in the form of jacks and ladyfish. Both are considered trash fish but only in terms of eating them. For getting into lots of pulling and yanking they are a blast. But when brought boat side for landing they always have far better ideas than the angler. Leaping and jumping at the last moment can easily put one into your lap or worse. Since they also have a face full of hooks the results of this last moment dash for freedom can be a disaster. If you are stuck in that L position you are too low and too limited in movement options to do much about it. These are also fish that will run in any direction and in a boat you can’t turn your body very well chances are you’ll be tangled up in no time.
In the W kayak, because you are upright in the riding position you can turn much more toward the fish and it’s angle of pull. Also when you go to land the fish you are above most of the danger zone and far better protected. After netting a fish you can simply rest the handle across the cockpit rims and hold in in place. You don’t have a net to worry about getting caught up in the rod, a portion of your body, or other gear. Plus if you are dealing with a fish you might want to keep for a great fish meal if it does jump around it’s going to end up at your feet in one of the hulls safe for the table.
Even in the course of battling a fish if all goes according to plan the L position is a lousy one to fish from. Since you can’t rotate well from the waist or really brace for the battle your shoulders and arms take some real punishment. The L position acts to deny using your core muscles to fight the fish. The W offers so many fish fighting advantages but as with many things about the boat they are not truly realized until the angler actually can try it. If there is a problem with that it’s simply that nothing compares to the W. No other boats have the advantages.
Anyway I just wanted to shoot a note along this line. Sometimes you just have to feel sorry for all those other non W kayak fishermen out there.


4 Comments

  1. Rox

    Great read Jeff. 🙂
    Landing fish in the W is a whole lot easier then in a SOT or SIT yak.
    And a whole Lot Safer.

    Tight lines all
    Rox

  2. Alva

    other yak fishermen should ask themselves -“R U fit 2 sit with a fish in your lap?” 😀
    Al

  3. Philip O'Connor

    At first I thought the idea of protection from the fish was an unimportant concept until last week. I had a 28″ barracuda on and upon bringing it to the side of my kayak, it jumped on my lap and almost hooked me treble hook in its mouth. Fortunately I grabbed the jig quickly and avoided the treble hook.

    Phil

  4. CJ

    Sounds scary, and such kayak fishing accidents do happen, unfortunately.
    That barracuda would have had to jump much higher to get into the cockpit of a w, and if it did manage to get in, it would have not landed in your lap, but at the bottom of a 14 inch deep and 8 inch wide hull, where it could have neither hooked you nor fall overboard – It would have been at you mercy.

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