First W Fishing Kayak Review From New Zealand, by Dennis Hodgetts

Dennis is an avid angler who lives on New Zealand’s North Island, which is the warmer part of the country. Since he wrote this “1st Impression review” of his W500 fishing kayak, he became Wavewalk’s distributor in New Zealand…

The weather has been very rough for the last month – not cold but continuous storms.
It finally settled yesterday. It is now getting colder but is quite settled.
When I say cold – in this part of the country it never gets very cold. We have 1 or 2 frosts each year but it seldom gets much below a daily maximum of 10 degrees C (50 degrees F).
As a consequence of the storms, I haven’t been able to get out in the sea in the kayak, but all is not lost.
boxed fishing kayak on top of SUV, New ZealandBoxed W fishing kayak on top of Dennis’ SUV, New Zealand

I took the W500 out on the Sunday after I received it. I spent part of Saturday making a wheel so that I could push the kayak over the sand.
Wheel for transporting Dennis' fishing kayak, New ZealandDennis’ DIY wheel for his W500 fishing kayak

The day was overcast and the sea was rough but I decided that I had to give it a go.
The waves looked small from the shore but 20 yards off shore I struck breaking waves about 2 to 3 feet high. I was really impressed how well the W500 handled them. I would not have taken them on with my SOT.

Out past the breakers was a swell of between 4 and 5 feet, and I was really impressed at how comfortable the kayak was in those conditions. I paddled out about half a mile then parallel to the shore for a while and then headed back in through the surf. I didn’t try standing.
Paddle clips on side of fishing kayak, NZPaddle clips

About a week later, desperate to go fishing, I took the W500 to the local harbour, no joy with fish because the anchor kept dragging in the strong current and strong wind – both in the same direction. However I saw a guy standing up in a board (supping) so thought I would have a go at that. I paddled up wind for a while then stood up and let the wind push me back downwind while I experimented with steering by leaning. Had a great afternoon and came home even happier with the W500.

The weather has been rotten so I have not taken the w500 out for a while until last weekend – I went fishing but not kayak fishing.
I belong to a local surf casting club which has a competition weekend each month.
The May competition was last weekend.
Because of the very rough sea, club member all headed to the local harbour to fish. The harbour is very shallow, and there are only a few places where you can cast into deep water from the shore.

My favourite spot is a toing beach at the bottom of a tall clay bank. At some time someone has cut a short driveway from the top of the bank to the beach so that a small dinghy can be launched there.
The problem with the spot is that there is really only room for 2 people (we all fish 2 rods).

The solution – I loaded my W500 on my ute (pickup), and when I reached the fishing spot I loaded surfcasting rods, sand spikes (rod-holders), bait, waterproof coats, an extra change of warm clothes, fishing box, chair, and enough food to last me through the night, and paddled the W500 across to an island in the harbour. It held all the gear easily and it was an absolute breeze to paddle even in the strong wind that was blowing at the time.
The fishing was wonderful, and although I intended to stay from about 4pm when I arrived to the 4am high tide, I ended up heading home at about 9.30pm.
fish Dennis caught thanks to his fishing kayakFish Dennis caught with the participation of his W kayak…

Limit on this variety in this area is 9 fish. They must be over 27cm (9 inches) to be of legal size, but 30cm (12 inches) to be accepted for weigh in by the surfcasting club. These fish – snapper – are great sport fish. Even the small ones put up a great fight, and they are the most preferred variety for eating in the country.
W500 fishing kayak, New ZealandDennis’ W500

NZ anchor trolley for Wavewalk fishing kayakDennis’ anchor trolley

New: Read Dennis’ account of the first time he paddled his W kayak standing up >
Dennis catching a 100 lbs eagle ray, at night, with his W kayak >

Visit W Fishing Kayaks in New Zealand! >

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