Review of W300 Fishing Kayak, by Chris Ott, Massachusetts

I can’t help but comment on what others have already mentioned and that is the dry entry and exit from the kayak. This is one of the big advantages of this kayak. Yesterday the person removing his Jon boat had to jump into the water with his rubber boots on to get the boat up on shore. I just paddled up, leaned back and then hopped to dry land in my sneakers after gliding to a stop. The ease of the exit did not go unnoticed to the fellow wading in 40°F water. The Wavewalk allows me to fish with the independence I was looking for. It is a great kayak that I will enjoy for years to come.

Chris is a W kayak angler from central Massachusetts.

I know this attached review is a little late, especially since the W300 is no longer offered, but perhaps excerpts will be useful to you.  A great craft!

W300 Fishing Kayak Review

I have had a W300 since late Fall 2009, and first used it in the Spring and Summer of 2010.  I have been out three times so far this year.  The ice has only been gone for two weeks.

If you run into or hear from Craig Masterman, whom I met while I was starting to use my W300, tell him with experience has come great satisfaction.

Background:

I have owned a canoe since 1986 and used it frequently for fishing ponds, slow rivers and lakes before the kids came along.  It seems I woke up one day and found myself in my early fifties and wishing to return to fishing.  The 80 pound, 18 foot canoe was usually strapped to my son’s car, but was too heavy for me to manage anymore on my own when it was available.  I have had some great time with my son in the canoe, but I wanted more independence.  I decided I needed a smaller craft and took to the internet to find a stable one for fishing.  The Wavewalk website came up in the searches and after reading I decided to purchase the W300.

fishing kayak inside car

Handling:

My experience is a casual canoe owner who has been away from the sport for awhile.  My first outing did not go very well, as I also took a passenger along, and neither of us knew what to expect.  I then tried it out in our swimming pool to gain familiarity.  When I could stand and paddle in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction, I was ready.  Each time I went out afterwards, the feeling improved.  I only had the chance to go out about seven times last year, but some were six hour outings.  This year I have been out three times already.

The Wavewalk is a great ride.  It is very maneuverable and just the right craft for the fishing I (try to) do.  I am able to scootch over small beaver dams like Yoav’s video where he goes over a branch.  The Wavewalk is also very easy to get out of, drag and get back into for the bigger beaver dams.  The storage space is fantastic.  I was out in a wind this past weekend that would have been impossible to paddle against in a canoe.  The Wavewalk tracked just perfectly.  I find myself hardly ever making “corrective strokes” like you do in a canoe to stay on course.  If my back gets tired, I just shift positions.  I love standing to see over reeds and to cast.  It is also handy to stand at times to retrieve poorly placed lures.

I can’t help but comment on what others have already mentioned and that is the dry entry and exit from the kayak.  This is one of the big advantages of this kayak.  Yesterday the person removing his Jon boat had to jump into the water with his rubber boots on to get the boat up on shore.  I just paddled up, leaned back and then hopped to dry land in my sneakers after gliding to a stop.  The ease of the exit did not go unnoticed to the fellow wading in 40°F water.

fishing kayak ready to go fishing, Massachusetts

Transporting:

I also was looking on the internet for plans to build a cart.  I bought some 10-inch wheels at Harbor Freight Tools (on sale) and built the one in the picture from scrap 2×6 and 2×4.  There is a 5/8inch dowel as an axle, threaded through two eye-hooks.  The wheels are spaced from the eye-hooks by 1-inch long copper pipe that slipped over the dowel.  After drilling a hole I slipped lynch pin on the end to keep the wheel on (done at each end).  It used to have a kick stand on it but after forgetting it was behind the car after loading the W300 (see picture of how it fits into a Toyota Matrix), I bumped it.  This cart is too heavy and the wooden dowel is sagging this year (but it works great).  I’m going to use Donavan Campbell’s idea, and change it around next time I visit a hardware store.  This will allow me to strap it on for pond jumping and tough beaver dam portages.

I have also used the Malone Inflatable Roof Rack with the W300.  This allows me to use whatever vehicle is left at the house when I want to go out.  Just be careful to keep a clean cloth to wipe the roof down before you put the inflatable tubes on, otherwise the roof will be scratched.

trolley for fishing kayak, Massachusetts

Rigging:

I wish I had listened to Yoav (and use the Wavewalk for a bit before modifying it), but I bought two Attwood flush mounts and put the bases in during the Winter before using the kayak.  I had only used clamp on rod holders on my canoe before.  The bases were placed too close to the opening such that with an actual rod in the rod holders, I don’t get full range of motion.  Not to worry, since there are ¾ inch slots on the saddle, I cut a piece of ¾ board and can clamp my canoe rod holders on a board wedged in a slot (see photo by pond).  I see Yoav now offers clamp on rod holders that will clamp to the kayak directly, but I had scrap wood and the canoe rod holders already.  I also found out there are rod holder extenders I can get allowing full range of the Attwood holders I have now.  Also I can buy side mounts and put those on a board like I have now for my canoe rod holders.

I use a section of pipe insulation over the front part of gunnel.  This is where I stick active lures and rest the paddle.  After visiting the Wavewalk website this year, I placed the floatation module noodles underneath the saddle.  I hit one with the weedwacker last Summer and roughed it up.  This position will protect them from me this Summer.  Other than a small anchor, dry bag and one inch foam kneeler (from a garden kit) that is my rigging.

Future rigging will include a paddle holder for the side and a more permanent foam mount on the front.  I will see whether I want to add an anchor trolley, but stepping on the rope does fine right now.

The Wavewalk allows me to fish with the independence I was looking for.  It is a great kayak that I will enjoy for years to come.

Thanks for a great kayak!

Chris

2 Comments

  1. W kayak

    Unlike canoes, which are much bigger, and for which the best number of paddlers is two (try solo canoeing and you’ll understand why…) W kayaks are basically solo boats with the ability to take another passenger on board (compare to motorcycle..).
    Kids are the only people that can get into a W kayak without prior experience with it as solo paddlers, and paddle it in tandem with a minimal learning curve.
    For all others, especially heavy people, it’s highly recommended that both paddlers acquire solid experience in solo W kayaking before trying something together, and going through a learning curve together, as a crew of two 🙂
    Arguably, in kayaking tandem is an ‘advanced’ application, while solo is the basic one.

  2. CJ

    The 300 is a nice yak, but I can see why people prefer the 500 series, although the 300 may still offer some advantages in very tight places.

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