Initial Review of W500 Fishing Kayak, By Gary Murray, New Mexico

I’ve had it out a couple of times and am hoping for another day or two before winter sets in. Sorry – no pics. I’m wishing for a Hero HD for Christmas, and promise some action shots in the future.

So far, I’ve fished a couple of the small lakes in Northern New Mexico for fair sized rainbow trout, 1 1/2 to 4 lbs. The lakes are weedy, and most people use a float tube or pontoon boat. The technique is to use a fly rod and drag or strip streamers. The W kayak is highly effective for this, and I’ve had great success with the boat. I’ve kept things simple, using only one detachable rod holder and the kayak paddle. I paddle slowly through the area I want to fish, dragging the streamer. I’ll stop occasionally and cast and strip, letting the boat drift. This works pretty well as long as conditions are calm – not uncommon for these lakes at this time of year.

Regarding fishing technique, these fish often do not self hook, and you really need to be holding the rod at the time of the strike. This is an issue since you need two hands for the paddle, and then you have the need to stow the paddle when you have a strike. I am going to experiment with a steering oar(s) that I can use to position and maintain movement of the boat with one hand, while I hold the rod with the other. I’ve seen some of the lash-ups for rowing and steering on the website, and I’ll probably come up with a variation for a trial. I suppose a trolling motor might work also, but the weeds are heavy enough that you would end up spending quite a bit of time cleaning the prop. In general, I want to keep it all as simple as possible. I really like to be able to get on the water without a bunch of rigging and organization.

All in all, I love it, and the W and I are bonding. I use a small homemade trailer that works great.

Gary

This review was first published on Wavewalk’s fishing kayaks blog >>

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