“Should I get a kayak? Or should I get a canoe?”, “Am I going to regret my decision?” are some of the questions new anglers muffle their heads with. To be fair, they kind of have a point.
The choice will impact the rest of their career up to an extent. So, is a canoe better for fishing, or is it a kayak? Among the things to consider when getting a new fishing craft, comfort, stability, utility, storage, and price are some of the aspects.
A canoe has a better storage facility both for gears, accessories, and fishes. It is also more comfortable, especially for long trips, but a kayak is more stable, balanced and usually costs less.
The choice comes down to the style of your fishing. If you prefer to cover long distances on extended fishing sessions, you are better off getting a canoe. Or, if you are brand new to the game and want to experiment and figure things out, you should get a kayak.
Kayaks are cheaper and more versatile. The selection of the right tool and equipment can not only make the activity more efficient but also make it more appealing.
Canoe Or Kayak | Which One Is Better?
To be frank, neither of the two is absolutely supreme over the other. Both the canoe and the kayak have their perks, and they shine in two slightly different scenarios. The “best” depends on the person.
My best may not be the same for you. Let me break things down and highlight the advantages and drawbacks of the two craft so that you can evaluate and decide which one is for you.
Many agree that comfort is one of the prime factors to consider when choosing a watercraft for fishing. Since the fishing expeditions are usually a couple of hours long, you really should consider it.
Canoes are more comfortable to mount than kayaks. Canoes have an open hull and usually bigger seats. There is more room to move your legs. Bigger seats will bless you with a little bit of wiggle room, which is a blessing indeed toward the end of the fishing session.
Kayaks aren’t uncomfortable either. It’s just relative to a canoe; they fall behind slightly. Their seats are usually smaller and feel more cramped. There is room to move your feet about, but not a lot.
It’s not bad enough to tag “bad,” but after several hours of sitting at a stretch, they do feel more uncomfortable than canoes. So, if you plan on fishing on long sessions, canoes are your best bet.
But if you already own a kayak and its seat is your only problem then you can change the kayak seat with a new and comfortable one that is perfect for kayak fishing.
Kayaks are more stable than canoes. Kayaks usually have a shorter but wider hull. And their seats are lower and closer to the water level compared to canoes. Altogether, resulting in far greater stability.
This is essential when you are to tackle rough water. An added perk Sit On Top (SOT) kayaks have is that they allow you to stand on them. There’s no intentional feature to support this. It’s just, the kayak’s stability level allows it. You can stand on them when casting the line for powerful and more accurate casting.
Sadly, you cannot have the same privilege with canoes. They have a more circular bottom with less width, resulting in less stability.
On top of that, their seat is positioned higher, pushing the center of gravity higher. So, if you try to stand, the center of mass goes too high for the hull to control. A small tilt, turn, or wave is capable enough to send you flying.
Yes, the seats are still comfortable on the canoe, but it has nothing to do with standing or stability. If you are new in the sport and want to be more accustomed, or if you prefer versatile fishing spots and styles, then kayak is the better option.
Storage is another aspect of fishing craft that impacts the quality of the game based on the length of each session. The longer you stay out in the water, the more storage you will need for food, water, accessories, and everything else.
For storage, canoes are, hands down, the craft to choose. The hull of canoes is hollow and can house a lot of items. After packing all the necessary items, you will still have room for a backup set of basically everything and still move your legs.
The more load you put on the boat, the more it sinks under the water. Here, the higher hull comes in clutch. Remember, the taller structure of the canoes made them less stable? The same feature allows them to accommodate the extra stuff that kayaks can’t.
Kayaks cannot carry a lot of stuff. There’s not enough housing space. But kayaks aren’t made for long exhausting fishing sessions either. But you can install crates and straps on kayaks to expand the carrying capacity a bit.
So, If you seek long and rigorous fishing, then get a canoe. You can pack all the necessary things for the day-long fishing.
Modding or rigging crafts to add more functionality is not a new thing. If you are into modding, the kayak is the better option.
Not all the models are made the same, but most kayaks have enough options and flexibility to add useful items such as rod holders, crates, boxes, straps, baitwell, fish finder, pumps, GPS, and even one of several types of engines.
Most kayaks can accommodate most, if not all, of the equipment. You can also rig canoes with similar equipment, but they are usually they can facilitate fewer items. So for modifications, the kayak is the better option.
Price is probably the least worrisome when getting a new vessel. Functionality and quality are. Most people can push the limit a little further for a more desirable one. But the price is nothing to sleep on either.
Canoes are, on average, pricier than kayaks, but for good reasons. Other than stability and versatility, canoes have the upper hand on kayaks. Fishing canoes are not much different from recreational canoes, and they cost along the same line.
Kayaks differ a bit more, and the specialized fishing kayaks are different from the recreational kayaks and they cost somewhat more than recreational kayaks, and actually, more than an average fishing canoe even.
Fishing kayaks are modified kayaks with slight alterations like a more comfortable seat, rod holders, baitwell, and even facility for the engine. All those bumps up the price. But a fishing kayak is not a must for fishing. A recreational kayak with a fish finder is sufficient. And they cost reasonably.
This empowers the previous point that I made. If you are a new angler and yet to sharpen and strengthen your skill, the kayak is the craft for you. They are relatively cheap, and you won’t have to break a sweat to get one. Later on, when you become more skilled, you can easily switch to a specialized fishing kayak or a canoe.
After the introduction to watercraft, once you get the hang of it, you can choose a specific path to follow and master. By that time, you will know much more about the vessels and choose for your own, according to your liking.