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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:14 pm 
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I've researched these a fair amount, but still undecided. I bought a canoe and the guy had a cheap Bali 10 kayak, so he made me a deal on both. Use is saltwater, in the sound. I won't be going too far. I've used the canoe, but that thing is a bear to paddle once the current starts running. So I'd like to get a larger 11-13' kayak. Stability is far and away #1 criteria. But I don't want to mess with moving around a lead weight either. I'm thinking 60-70lbs max weight. Which eliminates many kayaks. Here are a few I've considered:

Ocean Trident 13
Perception Pescador 12
F&S Eagle Talon 12
Heritage Angler 12
Perception Striker 11.5
Prowler 13
Manta Ray 12
Perception Caster 12.5
WS Commander 120


I'm looking for used only, and I'd like to keep the price in the $300-450 range, since I need to be sure this is something I'm going to like before I sink too much money into it. I'm fine with upgrading again, if and when I decide this is a hobby I'd like to pursue. I think I can find the Pescador, the Striker, the Eagle Talon, the Caster and the Heritage for under $500 used. And maybe the Prowler. I suspect the Trident and Commander will be over my budget.

Of course, the more features, the better. A good size tank well, adjustable foot pegs, decent seat, etc. I'll consider good weight capacity, decent tracking, and reasonably efficient (for fighting the current... distances will be fairly short) as well.

I'm sure there are any number of other brands/models I have not considered. Let me know what others I should research before buying. I can't try any, as where I live, there are almost no dealers. I'll have to trust my research to make the right choice.

I wonder why there isn't some standard test for kayak stability? Looks like all the mfgs would need to do is find flat calm water and carefully place weight exactly amidship, with a standard type weight and a set overhang for the weight. Until it goes over. A cheap plastic indoor pool would be all they'd need. It would be nice if we had those sort of numbers to judge stability between kayaks. If I were a mfg that had particularly stable kayaks for sale, I'd be coming up with a standardized test for stability.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Buy used. You will be able to resale for same price when you upgrade. Go to BCO and try several brands.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:06 pm 
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What is BCO?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:45 pm 
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jb2c wrote:
What is BCO?

Black creek outfitters

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:36 am 
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Never heard of it. It's obviously not anywhere close to me. So going there to try isn't an option. As I mentioned, where I live, it would be a long drive to go try anything. And since I'm not buying new, I don't think it's fair to a dealer to go try something if I don't have the intent to buy. So I'm relying on research and reviews and comments to make a decision.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Location: North side of Jacksonville
Where are you located?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:31 pm 
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Check out the Ride 115 by Wilderness Systems. It was my first and only kayak. Very stable craft, but also a decent paddle as well. Not sure how much it weighs but I never had a problem moving it around and loading it in my truck. If you live in FL I'd sell it to you for a price in your range.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:37 pm 
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It's on my finals list. Not sure how I missed listing it above. But I will likely scratch it off the list. 76lbs and I'll be moving it alone. That's more than I wanted to be moving.

hoss, I'm in NC. And I thinking about adding the Sea Ghost 130 to my possibles list. I see that's what you have. How do you like it? If I were to decide on the Ride 115, then the Sea Ghost should also be a consideration. But I have a canoe that's 81lbs, and while I can handle it, I'd prefer something a little lighter.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Location: jacksonville
I have the new PESCADOR PRO 120. It’s the wider version of the pescador 12 which was on your list. The regular pescador is a great kayak but not considered a stable kayak. The PRO is very stable and weighs only 64 lbs.
https://www.perceptionkayaks.com/us/pro ... or-pro-120


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Jwray, it's the Pro version I'm looking at. I should have said that, as they are different.

I think I'll post the results of my research here. This will be a very long post, so forgive me for that. I'm about as far from a kayak expert as you can get. So take it with a grain of salt. But hopefully it will help guys in the future who are going through this same process. Keep in mind my parameters of cost, weight and stability, which are generally $500 max cost (hopefully a touch less), 70lb max weight and able to stand reasonably in it. Neither cost nor weight are set in stone, but it would have to be close. I don't know that I'll stand much in it. My main focus is something that won't put me in the water. So a very stable yak while seated is probably OK. But being able to stand would be a plus. FYI, I'm 6'/210lbs. and 59yo. Use will be in the sound at the beach. I doubt I'll be paddling more than a mile or two from the launch, so distance isn't a big concern. However, fighting the currents to get back to the launch (if I misjudge the tides or wind) is a concern.

Ocean Trident 13
Perception Pescador 12
F&S Eagle Talon 12
Heritage Angler 12
Perception Striker 11.5
Prowler 13
Manta Ray 12
Perception Caster 12.5
WS Commander 120

OK Trident 13- I did not see a used one within my price range. All the used ones I saw were in the $900+ range. These seem to be pretty popular. But just based on the specs, I don't think it would be as stable as other choices. Plus at 79lbs, it's definitely over my weight limit. If money and weight are not limitations, choose the OK Trident 13 over the OK Prowler 13.
13'6"/79 lbs/29" wide/355lb cap

Pescador 12 Pro version-definitely still in the running. I've seen them on Craigs for around $500 in the past (including paddle, life jacket, anchor trolley, etc). My biggest concern is the stability. Pretty sure it won't be a stand up kayak. But the reviews seem to indicate they are very stable. However, weight capacity is only 375lbs. Right or wrong, I look at weight capacity as an indication of stability. I'm also considering a Pescador 140. It only weighs 62lbs, which is attractive. However, it's only 28" wide, like the regular Pescador models were. 14' length and only 28" wide sounds tippy. And it's not the Pro, so probably not.
12'/64 lbs/32.5" wide/375lb cap

F&S Eagle Talon 12-You lose the support of a name brand kayak company buying something like this. Something to consider. Plus these don't seem to be a good deal used. I see them around $350-450 used. But Dicks had them on sale new for $400 back in May (I think). You certainly should be able to catch one on sale for $450-475. Of course, you're getting accessories when you buy used. PFD, paddle, anchor trolley, etc But catching these on sale new sounds like a better idea than buying used. I'm not sure why these are usually called 'good beginner kayaks'. They seem to have most of the features of the name brand non-high end kayaks. 30" wide, so it should be stable. Not stand up stable, but stable. And capacity is 400lbs. Again, I look at that as far as stability too. The cons here are that you can't stand in it, a standard milk crate doesn't fit in the tankwell, and the seat isn't comfortable. They look good. It has most of the typical features of a fishing kayak. Most of the reviews are good. Unless you're looking for a standup capable kayak, or one in a completely different category (like a $1500+ one), I think this is a solid choice. Lighter weight would surely make it more popular.
12'/68 lbs/30" wide/400lb cap

Heritage Redfish Angler 12-This is a well regarded choice. I probably should have checked into it more. However, a reviewer whose opinion I value said that the Pescador Pro was a better choice for about the same money. So I stopped there. Do you disagree? Weight is close to the same. Quality is said to be about the same (both are good, not great). Pescador Pro has the better seat. I would guess the Pescador Pro is more stable (standard version Pescador was said to be less stable than the Heritage).
12'3"/61 lbs/30" wide/350lb cap

Perception Striker 11.5-At only 65lbs and 33" wide, I looked closely at this one. It seemed to be the perfect combination of width for stability yet light enough to move back and forth alone. However, I saw too many reviews that said it paddles like a barge. But clearly it is very stable/standup stable. I've also seen reviews from people that absolutely love them. It has the same capacity as the WS Ride 115, but is 11lbs lighter than the Ride, which is a big plus. And a good bit cheaper than the Ride 115 too. They seem to sell used around the $450 price point. So the used price is right in my range. Which I'd say is not a great deal, as I think these only sold new for around $550. I guess that means they hold their value. Or... better off to buy a new one than a used one. I'm still torn on this one and looking for more comments from owners.
11'6"/65 lbs/33" wide/500 lb cap

OK Prowler 13-For some reason, I thought this was the one. Before I started my research. I think I would have went on and bought it had I not decided to research first. But I didn't like the molded foot rests. So I researched. This is exactly the same as the Old Town Endeavor. My perception of its reputation was stable and reasonably fast. It's very light weight for it's size. But I was surprised to see the 28" width on the Prowler. I don't see how it could possibly be stable enough at only 28" wide. Tracks well without a rudder (although it's set up to add one). Large tankwell. Transducer scupper. Cam lock hatch. Skid plate. Seat is just OK. Newer models come with a pod. I'm still a touch confused by the model years vs the weight capacity. I've seen capacities listed as 325lbs, 425lbs, and 475lbs. I'm also still confused between the Prowler and the Trident 13. I've seen them advertised used as the Prowler Trident 13 too. So I guess I'm not the only one confused here.
13'4"/56 lbs/28" wide/325lb cap???

Ultimate Manta Ray 12- These used to be made by Liquid Logic. Ultimate bought it, and they made some improvements and changes to this model. So look for the Ultimate Manta Ray over the Liquid Logic Manta Ray. The Liquid Logic versions will not accept a rudder (easily), if that matters to you. This one is a little different in that you sit down lower in the kayak. "Feel one with the kayak" is a term I saw used. It has a reputation for stability, but I'm going to assume it's mainly due to the lower seating level. I do think the secondary stability is supposed to be good though. Because of this low seating, it's not the best choice for rough water situations. But a pretty dry ride in calmer waters. The Ultimate Manta Ray 12 and the OK Prowler 13 were chosen as best all around kayaks in the value priced category by one well informed reviewer. So I looked closely at this one.
The seat is very comfortable (everyone mentions the seat). Wheel in the Keel feature and good handles make it easy to move. Gear tracks. Plenty of storage space for fishing. Two 5" hatches and a large hatch up front. But the low weight capacity wouldn't work well for camping. So-so efficiency. It doesn't glide that well. You can't really stand up in it. But it's known to be very stable sitting. I think the LL models were 29" wide, while the Ultimate models are 30" wide. So the newer ones should be a little more stable. They newer ones I believe added a little weight due to the change as well. 64lbs vs 67lbs (I think). I believe the change occurred around 2010. So anything within the last 5-7 years should be the wider, heavier model.
12'2"/67lbs/30"/325lb cap

Perception Caster 12.5-I was very interested in this one because I think it's a good looking kayak, and there was one locally at a really good price used. However, the reviewer I watch most closely had this one listed as one of the most over rated kayaks out there. Other reviewers said the Pescador Pro was clearly better. The Caster is a very wet ride. It sits low, so it is very stable seated. Reviewers said it was actually hard to capsize when seated. But low also means wet. There are no scuppers in the seat area. Owners said to be sure and plug the front scuppers. It can get the front storage full of water if you don't have the front hatch sealed well. Which of course destroys the paddling efficiency. Definitely a better choice for the lighter weight ones of us out there and a poor choice if you're over 200lbs, I'd say. Good storage. Tracks pretty well. Good seat. It's not a good deal used, as it sold pretty cheaply when on sale at Dicks. $500 new back in 2012 on sale. So don't overpay for it if buying used.
12'6"/58 to 60lbs (depending on where you look at the specs)/30" wide/400lb cap

WS Commander 120- Super stable, but not something you'd want to have to paddle too far. 550lb capacity should tell you something about it. I decided it would be a bear to try to paddle it into a current, much like my canoe. It's actually a canoe/kayak hybrid. It has no scupper holes. So it's not something you'd want in rougher water. You'd need a manual bilge pump to get rid of the water inside it. Tankwell for storage. Good elevated seat. Rudder ready. Skid plate. Gear tracks. Popular boat for calmer waters, but not what I need for the sound and all those boat wakes. I am curious if any owners of these could compare how hard they are to paddle vs a 15' canoe. Since stability is my #1 concern, I may need to be looking more closely at a hybrid type vessel, if they are significantly easier to paddle than a typical 15' canoe.
12'/64lbs/30.25" wide/400lb cap

That's all from my original list above. Hope all of that helps someone. I have now added a couple kayaks to my list. The Vibe Sea Ghost 130 and the Feel Free Moken 125. The Vibe is pushing it on both the weight and the price. But I may be able to find one around $500 if I'm patient. Can someone confirm the weight? I've seen both 69lbs and 74lbs listed. That rudder system coming standard is very attractive. And the reviews I've read have been solid. I haven't yet researched the Moken. But the prices for new ones are very good for what you get. I'll have to see what they are for used.

Any comments appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Location: jacksonville
i have owned the heritage featherlite, perception pescador, old town predator mx, perception destiny(no longer made. a hybrid type of yak) and now the perception pescador pro 120.
Heritage featherlite---sit in side, very light kayak but small. only 9 ft 6 inches. sold it years ago.
pescador---still have it and love it but its skinny and although im used to it, a little tippy.
old town predator--very heavy and paddled like a bathtub. I sold it.
perception destiny--still have it. you sit low in it like a sit in but its a hybrid. still love it but its tippy
Perception pescador pro--what i use now. wife has one also. light and stable. comfortable 2 position seat.

I would definitely consider the pescador pro if weight, cost and stability are your goals.
With stability, you sacrifice paddleability and weight. With speed you sacrifice stability. You cant have everything but this kayak comes close.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:09 am 
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I have the Perception Striker 11.5, and really like it. It used to be at Academy Sports new for $450. It's frequently on sale at Dick's for ~$500. West Marine sells the same kayak as the Cayman 11.5 for ~$550. There are a few negatives about it, but they're easily (and relatively cheaply) corrected. I think it actually paddles pretty well -- not the fastest, not the slowest. But tracking seems to range from decent to horrid depending on how much weight you have in it. Mine was horrid, so I bought a cheap aftermarket rudder for it. Since it has molded-in footrests, I didn't make it steerable so it's just a deployable skeg. The tracking is perfect now, but it's still easily steerable with the paddle. The rudder is around $30. It's a very stable kayak and I sit rather high in it (there are two seating positions -- one high, one lower), so I don't get leg/butt fatigue as bad, even though the seats are very basic with no back support.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:36 am 
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I have both a Perception Caster 12.5 and the Vibe Sea Ghost-130
The Caster is a wet ride but extremely stable. I am 6'3" and 300lb I bought mine in 2007 and use it as a spare. It tracks pretty well and I have found that it paddles pretty fast. I would not take it on the ocean though because its low profile.

The Sea Ghost is as stable as it can get. I stood up in it when I bought it in 2015. It paddles and tracks well without the use of the rudder but is not as fast as some.The newer models have a better seat(Adjustable) and tons of upgrades. The one down side in my opinion are the rod holders on the sides. I had to remove them and reseal with silicone, and for me they are in an odd location. I believe the newer models eliminated these. The weight on mine was 74lbs when I bought it. I have added tracks to mine to put rod holders in front of me(the new models have the tracks built in) wired up for fore and aft lights added a helix 5 fish finder internally mounted transducer and other accessories. I carry a 25qt cooler in the back well and still have room for a milk crate. On occasion I have used a fly rod from it and I have taken it beyond the breakers on a calm day with no issues.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:27 pm 
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Hello JB2C, and Welcome to JKF!!
You certainly have done your "homework" on kayaks to evaluate and good luck on your decision.
LOTS of people in here have provided you with additional info and lots of their input.

Saw you are in NC someplace, and wondered is you are in either/both of the 2 kayak fishing websites that cover NC:
(1) NCAngler.com which includes powerboats and covers the whole state very thoroughly. Think they are at http://www.ncangler.com

(2) North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association or http://www.nckfa.com
Like the name says, it is geared to kayak fishing only, however, the NCAngler site is MUCH more active and has a good Buy-Sell-Trade forum.

My daughter and family live in Charlotte and I have a lady friend who lives just east of Burlington, so I have 2 kayaks "stashed" at their homes for their use and for me if I decide to fly up there. NCAngler is the better of the 2 sites based on activity and friendly people to fish with and it is more active with kayak weekend trips and camping trips and activities....I hope you enjoy both of them!!
JohnYaksJax (in here and both of those sites also)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:16 am 
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I'll recommend Perception Pescador 12. Very stable kayak with good tracking system and comfortable. You easily get a used one in the required price. If you are looking for a sit-on top kayak you can find some here http://www.xgearhub.com/best-sit-on-top-kayak/ too.


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