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Sit-in vs. sit-on: The Great Debate

2406 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JonSS
With the warm weather approaching and the water still cold, might as well start the great debate now: which type of kayak is better suited for fishing: the inexpensive and stubby sit-on-top, or the pricier and longer sit-in?

If you give your preference for one type over the other, say why.

From my side, I'll argue for sit-ins because they're faster, have greater range, have a full deck to protect you from cold water, and if capsized, can be rolled if you take the time to learn what's not really all that remarkable a skill........what say you?
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They both work and each has its advantages. I don't necessarily agree with your premiss that SOTs are short and stubby and SIK (sit in kayaks) are long and narrow. The Cobra Expedition is 18' and 23.5" wide. Its a very fast SOT. The WS Critter is under 10' and 30" wide. The very popular WS Tarpon is a fast, wide SOT at 16' and 30". There are so many kayaks around now that its really hard to generalize.

On the whole I prefer SOTs. I'm primarily a fisherman who took up the kayak to fish. I enjoy kayaking but you won't find me on the water without a fishing rod. The SOT is more versatile and will go anywhere a SIK can go. In many fishing situations I find that I'm getting in and out alot like on the flats or going up a shallow river, etc. A SIK gets old. Also when the temps are real warm so is the kayak. I can dress for the conditions but I can't get more air into a tight ****pit. Lastly SOTs are much better for launching through the surf. If you dump you fall off. You're not a part of the kayak so to speak.

As I said above they both allow us to catch fish.
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I don't think you can't generalize any more, I have a 17 ft SINK but there's definitely room in the stable for an SOT.
A SOT is the best. I can use it in all types of water including launching in the ocean surf. In a sit inside you'll get swamped. I am also able to move around and shift my seating position and let my feet hang off the side while drifting. You can't do that in a Sit Inside. Your stuck in 1 position which is a real pain in the a$$.
Hi Fly rodder,
This is an hot button thread and we know Adam meant it to be. So let's give it to him. I have a SINK, no surf around here but a lot of water has broken over this boat and it's completely dry, there's a spray deck that fills the hole. The seat is mini cell foam, custom carved to fit my butt, I go 6 hours with no dead legs, no back aches. I left 2 SOT guys on the bank Sunday because they thought it was too cold (Hi 30's). I'll probably take this all back when I hook up with ya and it's 90 degrees. ;)
Hey Adam....let me take a shot...I bet you were just a kayaker before you fished out of one. though I do agree with the speed thing for the most part, I remember the first time I realized this when I was fishing this back bay spot in R.I we were fishing one night and met a guy with a sink and it was the same dimensions as my SOT and he sorta got tired of waiting for us and he went ahead by the time we got there he had a 25 pound fish bungeed to his kayak. I dont really know that much about hull dynamics but I think you can say that Sit-ins because the of where you sit lower than the water line makes it faster, maybe somebody can explain more about this.
I still think for the all around fishing I do you can beat a sit on top. I was at a kayak fishing fling a couple weeks ago and out of say 30 fishing kayaks there 26 were sit on tops, what does that mean? nothing at all, alot has to do with the type of fishing you do.
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Sit ins vs. sit on tops

I think a beautyful sit in kayak, hand made of marine mahogony plywood is the best experience kayaking can offer, but for fishing, it can be a challange. I have done it, and almost flipped while casting. So I also tried the other end of the spectrum, a tri-balance when I was down in Mosquito Lagoon in Fla. I was able to stand and cast!! and I could pole the boat along the flats, standing....It was cool. and to get back home, the wind picked up on shore, so we just stood up and our bodies acted like a sail and we almost sailed back. Conclusion, sit on tops are the most comfortable, tri-balance is the lazy boy of kayaks, and sit in sides are the racing bikes. p.s. not me in photo...but a tri-balance....


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Count Me In

I live in a apt in Manhatten with a terrace which contains...much to my wife's dismay...all my stuff. I left my flats boat in Texas and am dying here. I watched flyrodder smoke me even though I can cast 125 yds so...what should I do? I either have to leave it strapped to the top of my truck or use the 11ft limit of my elavator. Also, my balance is right up there with Gracho Marx...but I'm not acting. This tri ack think looks like the ticket for me. Feedback fellow anglers including (please) where to [email protected]

When I first got into kayak fishing one of the kayaks I looked at was the Triax. I even brought the inof to Ramsey Outdoors and this resulted in them becoming a dealer. I did a bunch of research and spoke with a number of people and guides who were using them.
Here's what I learned. The Triax is a calm water flats kayak essentially. Good for flat protected water. It would be a nice kayak to have in the quiver but as a primary kayak it would see little use in the NY metro area.

You're much better off with a versatile recreationaly kayak that fishes well. There are several models that offer very stable platforms for fishing. Take a look at the Cobra Fish in Dive and Ocean Kayak Drifter in SOTs and the Pungo in the Sit In variety. All are very stable.

As to stability, the choice is to either get a stable kayak, and its all relative, or add something like Sea Sponsons and increase the stabilty.
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