Fishability is an unofficial term commonly used buy anglers to refer to the usefulness of a kayak in fishing terms. Better or higher fishability means better adaption of the kayak to fish from. A kayak’s fishability is predetermined by its design, and it can be improved through rigging (outfitting) it for fishing. Most fishing kayaks deliver offer fishability because they are not stable enough, uncomfortable, and wet, and because they lack proper storage.
Art and I accompanied Jai Rhee on his first ever kayak fishing trip today, in his brand new W700. Outside of the fact that we didn’t get any fish, we had a great day with Art showing steady progress in his recovery from last year’s stroke, and Jai appreciating the fishability of his new W700. He’s still learning the art of paddling and yak fishing, but he’s more than a willing learner. His only complaint was his sore arms after after 5 hours of paddling / casting. I’m glad he decided to buy a pickup truck to facilitate loading and hauling his 700 around. We topped the day off with a cold one and a great grouper lunch at the nearby seafood place in Ozello.
Jai standing next to his W700 at dawn, before launching
It’s been over a year since I bought my W and I have fished out of it numerous times so I thought I’d provide another review.
Stability This yak is extremely stable. I have not had a single time on the water where I was worried. Not one. I am able to stand, sit in the riding position (by far the position I spend the most time in) or stretch out my legs with ease. This ability to change positions has helped me stay on the water longer than I would be able to in other yaks. I can’t tell you how good it feels to stand up and stretch after a couple hours of bass fishing. I also love to stand up to paddle around. It allows me to see weed lines, beds and other items that help me catch more fish.
Fishability I have to tell you that I own a 17 ft bass boat and it has sat a lot this summer. I really like being able to sneak up on fish with my W. I also enjoy the ability to get into skinny water without a concern about damaging a motor. I have 2 surface mount rod holders and I simply sit my tackle bag in front of me on the saddle but more on rigging in a moment. If anyone has a concern about stability when fighting a fish, don’t worry. I’ve caught some very large Northern Pike and the yak is very stable throughout the fight.
Transportation I transport the W in one of two ways; in the back of my truck or on top of my wife’s Subaru. The Subaru is equipped with some crossbars and I use bath rugs to protect the back of the car and just lift the W up onto the back of the trunk and then slid it up on the roof rack. From there I just strap it down. The design of the double hulls makes strapping the W very easy. When I use my truck it’s even easier. Just two straps and away I go. I haven’t used a cart much because where I fish, I just drag it 20-30 ft to the launch across sand.
Operation The W has been a joy to operate. The W tracks very well without a rudder. While wind may grab you a bit more since you are up a bit more than a traditional yak, this seldom poses much of a problem. Once you get used to turning the W, you won’t even think about it. Frankly, I would rather have the solid tracking. Just a note here, I did have to go up and over a log in my W to retrieve one of my favorite lures. I just sat way back and paddled up to the log and then moved all the way forward and I went down the other side.
Rigging I have tried many things but found the minimalistic approach is best. I have 2 flush mount rod holders behind me, some rod holding hooks I made out of heavy wire, a collapsible oar and that’s about it. I do have a small tray that I sit on the saddle in front of me that I use to hold onto small items. It’s affixed to the saddle using a couple Velcro strips. I do use on inflatable pad so my butt doesn’t get too sore. I use Velcro to keep it secure.
Durability I have beat the heck out of my W and there are no visible issues except some surface scratches on the bottom from me dragging it all over the north woods. I mean I abuse the poor thing. I weigh 255 and I did get one of those saddle bracket deals. Since mine didn’t come with one (I think they all come with them now), Yoav hooked me up. It was easy to install and I was good. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t any sign of stress or anything, Yoav and I were chatting and he said I should have one so I got one and installed it. Believe me, these things are tough.
Overall I am extremely satisfied with my purchase and will be buying another for my wife in the future.
Tackle Trade World (TTW) is a magazine published in the UK, and it is one of the world’s leading sources of information on fishing tackle and equipment, including boats and kayaks. In its July 2014 issue, TTW magazine published a spotlight section on boats and kayaks worldwide, in which it included a short review of the Wavewalk kayak (page 41), and this article contributed by Wavewalk (page 39):
Wavewalk, Inc. Yoav Rosen, president
VIEW ON THE GLOBAL FISHING BOAT/KAYAK MARKET
The fishing kayak market has matured. In the past decade most US kayak companies and brands, big and small, changed ownership, some of them more than once. Some of the biggest kayak companies were either sold, or decided to de-emphasise their kayak and canoe business. Many companies and brands were consolidated, and this process is still going on in the current marketplace. The barriers for entry in this market are lower than ever. This prompts entrepreneurs and plastics manufacturers to create their own kayaks and enter what is becoming an increasingly crowded market. Companies that were active in other kayak niche markets that got hit by socio-economic factors are trying their luck in the fishing market as well. Big retailers in the fishing and boating market now offer their own fishing kayak brands, which further increases competition and keeps driving retail prices down. The United States is still by far the biggest market for fishing kayaks and related products, worldwide. Wavewalk has been serving this market for a decade now, and it’s still under the same ownership, which is rather uncommon. Pricewise, fishing kayaks are becoming cheaper, a trend driven by Chinese exports. Years ago American manufacturers looked to outsource their production to China, but these days Chinese kayak manufacturers actively seek to increase their market share in the US. In the high end of the market, manufacturers seek to distinguish themselves by making their kayaks bigger, and by accessorising them more. The result is a plethora of fishing kayaks that are hardly distinguishable from each other, and feature decks that are crowded with accessories to a point where their functionality (aka fishability) is considerably reduced. These large kayaks are promoted as offering sufficient stability for their user to fish standing on them, but few clients seem to believe it, and they are mostly young, lightweight, and physically fit, unlike the typical angler out there. The Wavewalk is still the only kayak offering practically anyone to fish standing in full confidence, including anglers who are elderly, heavy, big or disabled. Wavewalk’s strongest markets are the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea. Our fastest market penetration is in colder regions, where other types of kayaks offer their users too little protection from the elements, and their poor stability is perceived as a risk factor. We recently recruited our first dealer in the UK, which we hope will also be an exciting market for us due to its large amount of saltwater fishing.
TOP-SWING PRODUCTS? Wavewalk’s top-selling product is still the W500 F2 fishing kayak model, and the biggest increase is in selling motor mounts for outboard gasoline engines. In general we have a healthy selling range.
U.S. boat registration has been declining in recent years. From a peak of 12,942,000 boats in 2005, the number went down to 12,102,000 in 2012 – a 7% decline.
This figure is intriguing for a number of reasons, and the first one is that during this period, the US population increased by a similar percentage. In addition, regardless of their country of origin, new immigrants love boating and fishing as much as other Americans love these activities, and those who can afford it get a boat, be it a yacht or a kayak, depending on their budget.
What has caused the decline in the number of leisure boats Americans own is a continuing erosion in average, middle-class Americans’ income, especially their disposable income, which is the part used for spending on luxury items such as boats – Just for the record, the number of leisure boats owned by Americans still tops the number of leisure boats owned by all other people in the world.
The typical boat here is a motorboat, usually powered by an outboard motor (or more than one motor), and typically used for fishing. Owning such a boat is no longer as easy as it used to be if you’re not rich, which most of us aren’t.
But not being able to afford a center console or a bass boat, or even a skiff, doesn’t mean you should start fishing from shore, or worse – stick yourself on one of those wet, unstable and uncomfortable fishing kayaks that may altogether dissuade you from fishing… For a fraction of the cost of a traditional motorboat, you can fish out of a comfortable, stable, dry and fun watercraft that has the word ‘kayak’ in its name, and can even be paddled, but in every other sense it’s a totally different animal – We’re talking about the W kayak, outfitted with a small outboard gas engine.
Words are cheap and ineffective, so why not watch this video and see for yourself?
Think about it: This little personal micro skiff is not only comparable to traditional small motorboats such as jon boats, dinghies and small skiffs in terms of fishing (i.e. ‘fishability’) – it even exceeds the performance you got used to, and in more than one way.
Here’s a couple examples:
Forget about a boat trailer – This watercraft can be easily car topped.
Forget about boat ramps – You can launch this super kayak practically anywhere.
No motor zones? No problem – You can paddle this ‘kayak’ more easily than you can paddle any other kayak out there. You can even paddle standing, as well as fish standing up in full confidence.
Food for thought? We’ve created a special website offering detailed technical information to motorized anglers who are looking for something smarter to fish from, and by that we rule out kayaks, naturally. The website is called Personal Microskiff > Check it out!
This list features links to over a hundred articles published on our website since 2004. Generally, the newest articles feature at the top of this list, and the oldest ones at the bottom of this page.
Most of these articles offer ‘How To’ or technical info on subjects related to stability, paddling, outfitting, fishing, rigging, motorizing, choosing a kayak or a motor, etc. Other articles are about subjects ranging from kayak and boat design to skiffs, market trends, and ergonomics.
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