Tag Archive: weed
Wavewalk hasn’t offered a pedal drive with its fishing kayaks because of two reasons, which are that we found neither demand for such accessory among our clients, nor any real advantage in offering such a device to them, regardless of the increased price we would have to charge for it.
Years ago, we published the results of our research on this subject in a 4,000 word Paddle vs Pedal Drive in Fishing Kayaks article, which hasn’t gotten much interest from our clients.
The reason we now publish this new, shorter article on this subject is to make sure that our clients are exposed to all ideas and possibilities, and have a chance to express their views on this subject, as well as their wishes, if any.
Our new 700 series offers to incorporate a pedal drive more easily than the 500 design did. On the other hand, two out of the three pedal driven fishing kayaks manufacturers mentioned in our first article have suffered serious setbacks in recent years, while some of the pro-staffers affiliated with the third manufacturer express themselves with so much zeal that it makes them look like members of a cult, and this is not a good sign, in our opinion. A fourth kayak company recently announced that it was planning to add a pedal drive to its line of SOT fishing kayaks, but a video they released revealed nothing more than a ‘me too’ version of the two existing rotational drives.
Summary of pros and cons
The following tables include some of the main points that we find relevant to this discussion:
-What can I do?
|Push Pedals & Flaps Drive||Rotational Pedals & Propeller Drive||Paddle|
Practically speaking, none of the kayak pedal drives on the market can be used without a rudder system, and no pedal kayak fisherman goes on a fishing trip without taking a paddle with them.
-Where can I go without restrictions?
|Push-Pedals & Flaps Drive||Rotational Pedals & Propeller Drive||Paddle|
|2||Weeds & Vegetation||No||No||Yes|
Again, using a kayak outfitted with a pedal drive automatically means that you need to use a rudder system, as well as take a paddle with you, just in case.
-Who can use it?
|Push-Pedals & Flaps Drive||Rotational Pedals & Propeller Drive||Paddle & Ordinary Kayak||Paddle & Wavewalk® Kayak|
|1||Young & Physically Fit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
This table refers to typical, several hour long fishing trips, and it does not show the fact that the W700 offers full tandem capabilities standard, at any time.
End of story?
So far, the data presented in this article seems to lead to the conclusion that the reader should stop wasting their time reading it, especially in view of the fact that Wavewalk leads in motorized solutions, which are so practical, fast and ergonomic. But what if we could come up with a better pedal drive? –
A better pedal drive?
Yes, we can design a pedal drive for the W700 that would be considerably more functional than the existing kayak pedal drives in terms of turning and tracking, and therefore it won’t require the use of a rudder. Such pedal drive would offer some advantages in terms of mobility, although it won’t match paddling, and it would be somehow easier and more comfortable to operate than ordinary pedal drives are, although not as easy as paddling. Such pedal drive would require installing a seat with a backrest, which many of our fans are unlikely to appreciate, and it would limit the usability of the boat for tandem crews. And last but not least, such pedal drive would add an estimated $1,500 to the W700 retail price, a point which cannot be ignored, especially since such sum is enough to equip a W700 with both a powerful gas outboard motor mounted at the stern, and a small, lightweight, front mounted electric trolling motor. Did we mention the fact that the 6 HP Tohatsu outboard can be outfitted with an alternator that would charge the battery of such a trolling motor?…
So, this time we managed to keep our article under 800 words, and we hope it would serve the visitors of our website as food for thought, or at least as entertainment…
“My father is retired, and he owns a sixty thousand dollar bass boat that he takes out maybe twice a year, but he fishes out of his Wavewalk nearly every day.”
-Clint Harlan, Missouri
Different boats with many similarities
Bass boats and flats boats have a lot in common, and they also differ from each other in some details.
Depending on their size and the speed required from them, these two families of small to medium size motorboats are propelled by one or more outboard gas engines, and they are relatively wide for their overall size.
The decks of both types of fishing boats are generally flat, and they don’t feature a cabin. Both types of boats feature a special casting area in the front of their deck, where one and sometimes two anglers can sit or stand, and cast comfortably.
Both bass boats and flats boats are stable, and their hulls are designed to have a shallow draft, which is why they are generally more flat than the deeper hulls of boats designed to travel offshore, in rough seas.
All these boats are comfortable to travel in and fish from, and the more expensive ones offer a plethora of amenities that make traveling and fishing easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable for their crew.
Another noticeable difference between flats boats and bass boats is color – Flats boats tend to come in light colors, predominantly white, and bass boats tend to have a dark hull, with dark blue being their more popular color.
Many people who own a flats boat use it inland, in freshwater, as a bass boat, but it seems that the opposite is less commonly practiced.
Flats boats are skiffs designed primarily for saltwater, and in general, their makers strive to enable them to go in more ‘skinny’ water, namely very shallow water. They are named ‘flats boats’ after the wide stretches of flat, shallow water in coastal areas in the southern regions of the United States.
How shallow can you go?
Fishing in shallow water is the raison d’être of flats boats, skiffs, etc. This is where fishers of all disciplines, from reel and fly fishing to net casting strive to get those big redfish, snook, seatrout, snapper, tarpon and many other species that live typically in those rich fisheries.
When push comes to shove, it’s the depth of the propeller that determines how shallow the water you can go in can be, and not just the number of inches that the hull drafts.
Unless a boat is outfitted with a special outboard motor called ‘mud motor’, the effective depth where you can drive it is about one foot of water, or more. This is because even a small propeller is about 8 inches in diameter, and it rotates at least an inch below the anti ventilation plate (often referred to as anti cavitation plate), which itself is required to be immersed in one to two inches of water below the hull’s lowest point (typically, its keel). And naturally, you need some good clearance between the propeller and the bottom of the body of water in which you’re navigating, or else…
Needless to say that the water you drive in has to be free of seaweed and other types of aquatic vegetation that’s likely to snag your propeller.
These are the reasons why you need an alternative mode of propulsion for the really ‘skinny’ water, and this alternative is poling –
The quintessential element that makes a boat a flats boat is the poling platform featuring at the stern, and some flats boats are dubbed ‘poling skiff’.
Poling? Come on…
Opinions differ as to how effective poling is in terms of covering any meaningful distance, because in the first place, not too many people are sufficiently fit to pole, and even an athletic, experienced and highly motivated pole pusher cannot move a skiff at a speed that’s comparable to the speed achieved in kayaks and canoes.
As for poling against a current, even such as in a slow moving river, and let alone a faster, tidal current – good luck with that.
Being flat bottomed, flats boats don’t offer very good directional stability, and their high deck structures tend to catch wind, and for these reasons, plus the overall size and weight of the vessel, poling in unfavorable wind conditions must be ruled out.
To be fair, it would be hard for one person to move a fairly large and heavy boat such as a flats boat just by using their muscles. These boats don’t lend themselves to human powered propulsion, whether it’s paddling, rowing, or poling.
It seems like the only effective human powered mode of propulsion for boats this size could be stand-up sculling, which is a traditional method that’s still popular in Asia, especially with heavier boats. But stand-up sculling is a technique that requires a skilled and experienced rower, namely someone who’s in excellent shape and rows frequently, and let’s face it, this requirement doesn’t fit the description of our typical weekend flats fisherman…
Hey, what about me?
The person who activates the push pole in a flats boat can help their fishing buddy by identifying fish from the height of their poling platform, but they are pretty much prevented from taking part in actual fishing action. Too bad for them…
Whenever you fish in skinny water that’s affected by tides, you risk getting stranded as the tide ebbs, and this means you and your fishing buddy would have to spend many more hours together, and in the company of mosquitoes. Lots of them… In other words, skinny water capabilities are not just about fishing.
Putting in, taking out, etc.
Being full fledged boats, you can launch neither a bass boat nor a flats boat from a beach, let alone one where rocks and oyster beds are present, and you can’t launch from a dock either. You need a facility known as a boat ramp that allows you to access water that’s deep enough with the trailer on which you transport your boat. Such boat ramp has to have a parking lot too, for you and other boat owners like yourself to park your vehicles and trailers.
Driving to a boat ramp takes time, waiting for other boaters to launch and beach may take additional time, launching takes some extra time, and so does parking. And none of these activities is something to look forward to, because they’re not fun.
Taking your boat out is equally frustrating in terms of time wasted on doing other things that are not fishing.
In dollar terms
Buying, operating and maintaining a bass boat or a flats boat isn’t cheap. However, we will not discuss these well known issues because we assume that if you’re reading this article, you can afford such expenses. Whether you would want to spend this money if you had a good, cheaper alternative to owning such a boat is another question. After all, owning a big and expensive boat offers other advantages that are not directly related to fishing.
In sum, neither bass boats nor flats boats are very practical for really shallow water and for shorter trips.
Not an alternative, really
No sensible angler would consider a SOT or sit-in kayak (SIK) to be an alternative to a full fledged motorboat, because of the obvious shortcomings of fishing kayaks, which are that they are extremely uncomfortable, wet, and slow, and paddling or pedaling them takes too much time and energy. A kayak’s range of travel is limited, even with an electric trolling motor, and besides – why did we even bother to mention these kayaks in the first place?…
Canoes are OK for a crew of two paddlers (well, sort of), but they don’t work well for one paddler, and motorizing a canoe is problematic.
As for Jon boats, dinghies, and other smaller fishing boats, you need a trailer to transport them, and you can’t paddle them effectively.
A pretty good alternative
The patented twin-hull, 60 lbs Wavewalk™ 500 can be easily outfitted with an outboard gas engine, and easily driven across long distances. It’s back pain free, dry, and it offers plenty of storage. It paddles better than any other kayak out there, including in strong wind, and one person can car-top it effortlessly in less than thirty seconds.
You can launch a motorized W500 from any dock or beach, including rocky beaches, and you can paddle it in water that’s just a few inches deep, and even go over obstacles. The W500 is the most stable kayak out there, and anyone can paddle it standing, and fish standing in it.
But there’s an even better alternative:
The best alternative
While the W500 is unrivaled in the world of kayaks, it is limited as far as load capacity is concerned. Its 360 lbs capacity is fine for one large size fisherman, an outboard motor, and plenty of fishing gear, but that’s about it – no carrying capacity for another large size fishing buddy, and this can be a problem for many people who are used to fish in crews of two.
And this is where the perfect alternative can be introduced: The Wavewalk™ 700.
This new boat does more than effectively bridging the worlds of kayak fishing and regular fishing from boats – It offers a range of benefits that in some cases make it a better solution than bass boats and flats boats –
The ultra lightweight (80 lbs) W700 can carry on board 580 lbs of passengers, motor and gear, which is enough for two full size fishermen, their fishing gear, and a powerful outboard. The 6 hp outboard featuring in our demo movies is overkill for it.
The W700 offers all the advantages listed above for the W500, namely easy car-topping, easy launching anywhere you want, easy paddling, skinny water mobility, easy stand up fishing, comfort, storage, stand up paddling and fishing, etc., plus full tandem capabilities, for both short and long trips.
This makes the W700 both a full solo and a full tandem car-top boat and paddle craft, and if you tried to go on a fishing trip in a bass boat or a flats boat by yourself, without a fishing buddy, you’d probably agree that neither of these full-fledged boat types are optimal for one person to use on solo fishing trips. It can be done, but it’s not that much fun.
The W700 is a unique watercraft, and you’re likely to appreciate it either as a great alternative to a bass boat or a flats boat, or simply as a new type of fishing boat that redefines the market.
By Scott Cargo
I have done a lot of research before deciding on this product, and I believe that my wife and I will enjoy fishing together in this amazing kayak.
I received my Wavewalk 700 this last Friday.
Over the weekend I put the 700 on top of my SUV and went to the nearest lake to try it out.
The kayak is all pros and no cons!
It was so stable that I was standing and paddling within the first 30 minutes!
I took the kayak into shallow water full of weeds (some were sticking up out of the water) and didn’t have any problems.
Finally I decided to do some fishing and I love the fact that there is a large table in the boat for me to use (of course I mean the saddle) while fishing. I plan to get a GPS/Fish Finder and an electric trolling motor soon. This boat is going to be perfect for my needs and I look forward to its use in the years to come. I will be spreading the word to all my friends and fishing buddies about this amazing Wavewalk kayak!
Here are some photos that were taken by my wife during my maiden voyage of my kayak.
There is a whole other world out there on the Florida Bay Flats that few of us get to properly explore.
I took the W 500 down to Flamingo to paddle the flats and sight fish. I was hoping for a serene day of solitude and tight lines. That’s exactly what I was given.
I arrived pre dawn and quickly set up the W 500. The dreaded mosquitos, like the wind, were light and variable. That is until one got on the sea. Then it was Tora, Tora, Tora on the water.
Once afloat I could see nothing but nervous water. It was Mullet mayhem. School after school of Finger Mullet were throwing wakes and cavorting. This lasted all day.
The calm surface was thick with floating grass as I paddled out toward Snake Bight. Normally I try to avoid getting close to the mangroves at this time of day because of the mosquitos but I could see so many Snook and small Tarpon finning and rolling that I had to start casting.
I was rigged with T & A weedless jigs and Monster 3 X shrimp. The small Snookers were slamming my shrimp and I boated a few right off the bat. I also jumped a bunch of small Tarpon but couldn’t land one. I have a love hate relationship with this ancient species.
It seemed every time that I threw under the mangroves I got something small. With so many mullet running up and down the channel I figured a swim bait might get me something bigger. I switched one rig and “blammo”. My reel started screaming and I was being quickly pulled into the mangroves by a beautiful Snook.
I had no choice but to tighten down the drag and try to muscle the snook and myself out of the foliage. It worked and I boated this fat, 32 inch Snook. Wow! Serenity and chaos all mixed together. That’s why I love Flamingo.