Note: This is a review of the W300 kayak series that was discontinued in 2010.
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By Ben Ciliberto
Went out for the fourth time yesterday- getting my W outfitted for sight fishing carp with a fly rod in the flats.
I stand almost the entire time now, great line of sight on the fish, and it’s easier to fight the fish standing also.
I have a stake out pole for anchoring in shallow water, and a 3 lb dumbell for dropping anchor.
Steering is easy, by dipping the paddle on the side I want to drift toward. And I installed a notched foam paddle seat on each side so I can quietly set down the paddle and make no noise or slippage.
Yesterday I caught a real nice Common Carp– about 26″ an 7- 8 lb. He ran me around for 15 minutes and was released healthy after pics!
I also hooked a monster bass (thought I was throwing to a carp) but I lost him when I got too much line slack.
The W is a delight- easy to load, my back is feeling good, and I’m catching fish!
W did it again, just back from two days (fished 4-8 thursday, and 8 hours Friday) at a 100 + acre spring fed lake in Pennsylvania. Beautiful weather and great fishing.
I’m really comfortable now in the W — changing at will from paddling standing across the lake, to sitting, drifting, casting in all positions. Caught 30+ large crappies, 10 bass, 10 bluegills, and most spectacular– has a hookup with a 20″ + northern pike who sliced off my tippet (need steel leader for them) in a flash while blasting out of the water! I was standing in the flats shallow end when I spotted him ahead in the clear water– I knew I would sacrifice my fly but it was worth it– one woolly bugger for a memory of nasty explosion in the water as he jumped the #12 nymph.
I also used a drift chute with the W in the afternoon as the wind rose to a blowy 15 mph or so— worked super, really slows your drift and keeps you on course much better. I worked the shoreline standing and casting to the crappies and bluegills. I’d recommend a drift chute if your water is prone to daily winds, as most lakes and ponds are.
I bought a small adjustable paddle to use when drifting shallows, helps me change course a little while holding the flyrod. My foam rod holder forward allows me to have the large paddle at the ready, and to be able to set it quietly without scaring the fish. I also added a tape marker for center of the large paddle so I can set it down and know it will be balanced on the W.
I’m loving the W– after 12 hours in it in a short period my back still feels good, although I suffer from chronic back issues. After 8 hours Friday I knew when to quit, when it started getting tired.
I’ll be getting back to chasing carp again next week, and I want to do a 5 mile float down my local creek now that the water level is easing and water clearing some.
Ben’s W fly fishing kayak in Neshaminy creek. Read the story on Ben’s blog
Ben maneuvering his W kayak while standing in it
First catch – at night
Close-up on the first mirror carp Ben caught from his W kayak
The interior of Ben’s W fishing kayak:
Note the foam modules that Ben made for both the full size paddle and the smaller paddle he uses for small adjustments
The rug on top of the saddle is useful for handling Ben’s slippery catch
Another close-up on the interior of Ben’s fly fishing W kayak: Note the rugs glued to the bottom of the hulls – to minimize noise
Thanks– loving the product!
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Photography: Ben Ciliberto and others