Fishing is an appealing sport to escape the usual schedule of a busy life. Kayak-fishing makes things a little more interesting on top of the usual fun of fishing.
But when getting into kayak-fishing, one of the first challenges an angler faces is choosing the right kayak. A 10ft kayak seems like an excellent option to many, but is it really big enough for fishing?
Honestly, other factors play a bigger role in determining whether a 10ft kayak is big enough or not.
It depends on the width, hull-shape, buoyancy, and storage of the kayak, as well as external factors like your body size, weight, experience, and the location you will be fishing the most, etc.
If all the other factors are ideal, then yes, a 10ft kayak will be big enough for fishing. But only when everything else is ideal. In general, longer kayaks are built for speed and tracking, but the shorter ones are made for stability and sharp turns.
Stability is what matters the most in fishing. So, most people tend to prefer shorter kayaks. But if you go too short, then other problems arise, like the lack of buoyancy, Not having enough storage, etc.
Things To Watch Out For
A 10ft kayak is a relatively short kayak, but as I said, a 10ft kayak will be suitable for the purpose of fishing when other variables are optimal. Here is a list of things that might go wrong with a 10ft fishing-kayak.
1. The Stability Of The Kayak
The width of the kayak is the prime factor to look at when choosing a short kayak like 10 feet one. The reason is since the kayak is not meant to be moving fast, it has to achieve stability in other ways.
Stability depends on the velocity a lot. If you drive bikes, you’ll know how hard it is to balance a bike at a very slow speed, whereas you don’t even have to pay attention to balance when you are zooming on it.
The same principle applies to kayaks as well. Since fishing kayaks are mostly stationary, having a kayak with a wider hull will be far more stable than the counterpart. If you don’t pay attention when buying a kayak, expect to spend more time in the water than on the kayak.
So, for a 10ft kayak to be suitable for fishing, it needs a wider hull than an average recreational kayak.
2. The Shape Of The Hull
The shape of the hull also plays a vital role in determining whether the kayak will suffice or not. It is not a vital factor on a longer kayak, because stability will often be enough. But for a 10ft kayak, which is already almost pushing the limit, the shape of the hull is kind of important.
When you are fishing on lakes, ponds, or other inland water bodies, you should choose a kayak with either a pontoon-shaped hull or flat. The pontoon-shaped hull offers a great combination of both primary and secondary stability, whereas the flat-bottom kayak will offer superior primary stability with decent secondary stability.
What are primary and secondary stability? When you board a kayak and start moving, some kayaks will feel strong and stable, whereas some others will feel very tippy and about to flip. This is primary stability.
Secondary stability is whether the kayak will actually flip or not. A kayak with great primary stability and poor secondary stability will feel very strong initially, but when it actually starts tipping, there’s no coming back.
The shape of the hull determines both the primary and secondary stability. A fishing kayak needs both. And since the length of the kayak is minimal, every single bit of stability helps.
Buoyancy is the ability to float and stay afloat. It shouldn’t need an explanation why it is vital. You have to pay attention to the depth or height of the hull of the kayak. You are going to need a kayak with a greater hull depth when buying a 10-foot compared to a 12 or 14 foot.
The greater the value is, the more buoyant it will be, simply because of having a larger area encompassed in it.
If you don’t pay attention to it, your kayak will be barely floating, and therefore be susceptive to flipping. Oftentimes, when taking a sharp turn, sudden waves or even sudden pull at the fishing line may cause it to capsize.
The user is not a part of the kayak; whether a 10 feet kayak will be substantial or not does depend on the user. If you are a person with a large body structure, likely with a greater than average weight, I don’t think a 10ft kayak will be big enough.
I mean, you will still be able to mount and paddle it just fine, but when you add the extra weight of the essentials, like all the rods, food, water, kits, fish, and everything else, It is more likely to feel cramped and about-to-tip than not.
However, some 10ft kayaks are designed to be more spacious than others. So, it is really subjective, not only about the person but also about the kayak in question.
A person with lower body size and weight than average will have less of an issue anyway. Give the kayak a try before buying, if possible, for good measure.
Relating to the previous point, the amount of space/storage available is kind of limited on a smaller kayak. The reason is simple. Having a smaller footprint, the kayak simply has less space to offer for storage.
Again, designers are trying to design the kayaks in a way to offer the maximum amount of space possible. So, do your research before committing.
But if you are committed to a particular kayak, you can always get back to the good old crates and straps alongside stringers for your catches.
Is A 10ft Kayak Worth It?
All my previous arguments pretty much go against a 10ft kayak for fishing. So, are they really bad for fishing? No. They are not bad for fishing.
Those are some of the key points that you might want to invest some time in before getting yourself a 10ft kayak. The point was, make sure none of those goes wrong when you buy your kayak.
Actually, there are a few benefits of getting a 10ft kayak for fishing. You don’t always move when you are fishing; you are mostly stationary. Usually, shorter kayaks tend to be wider as well.
Thus, a 10ft kayak will offer more stability in general. Just be sure to take a look at the hull shape. Also, even though a 10ft kayak does not track very well, it does turn well, which is preferable when you are kayaking to the fishing spot only to be stationary afterward. So, tracking and speed are really not the selling point here.
Besides, they are easier to transport, carry, get them on and off the water. If the kayak is big then you will find it difficult to load the kayak on a SUV without scratching.
So, overall, 10ft kayaks are a good choice for fishing as long as the other factors do not play against you. Take your time, do some research, and get yourself a good one. Having a good idea about the danger of kayak fishing will help you to make a better decision.