Anyone who is interested in fly fishing will inevitably ask the question: “What’s better, a canoe or a kayak?” The answer isn’t crystal clear. There are advantages to both.
Kayak for Fly Fishing
For fly fishermen who will be out on the water by themselves, it is advisable to use a SOT style recreational kayak. SOT stands for sit on top. If you feel a bit off balance in your SOT kayak within the first few minutes, don’t panic. Most SOT kayaks feel a bit unstable during the first few minutes. After about half an hour, you’ll feel settled and confident. Believe it or not, it takes a lot of momentum to tip a single person kayak over. A SOT kayak is much easier to recover from compared to other kayaks in case you do take a spill.
SOT kayaks are very easy for one person to paddle and many fly fishermen are out on the water to relax and enjoy themselves, not to work up a sweat paddling through the water. Kayaks are also a bit more intimate than canoes. You feel more like you are part of the water when you are in a kayak. This is a big reason why fly fishermen perform the activity in the first place. It connects them with nature.
Some fly fishermen complain that kayaks are too cramped. If you only plan on bringing a fly rod and a fishing vest, then it will suffice. If you plan on bringing more than a few items into a kayak, you’ll likely run out of space.
Click HERE for our reviews on the top fishing kayaks for the money.
Canoes for Fly Fishing
Canoes are more utilitarian in nature. If you are looking for a comfortable boat with plenty of space for gear, go for the canoe. A canoe is also preferable to many fly fishermen because it allows them to stand up and fly fish. This helps out when your rear end gets sore or falls asleep from hours of remaining still and pressed against the boat. Fly casting is much easier when you’re standing instead of sitting. This is by far the most significant advantage of fly fishing in a canoe.
You can easily add a motor to a canoe and move upstream in a jiffy. Fly fishermen who don’t want to put in the work involved with paddling will especially enjoy a motor powered canoe. Yet fly fishermen who don’t equip their canoes with a motor will end up expending significant effort paddling through the water.
Some manufacturers produce hybrid style boats that merge the best of kayaks and canoes together. These are referred to as “deep hulled SOTs” by those in the industry. They are the happy medium between the two boats. See if your local retailer will allow you to test paddle whichever boat you choose so that you can get a better idea of what suits you the best. You’ll have a better idea if the boat is a fit for you when you are actually inside of it.
Leave a Reply