April 29, 2017

Examining The Anatomy Of A Fishing Kayak

We don't do guest posts that frequently on Troutrageous!, however, the content provided by Jeff from South Texas Kayak was so well composed and thorough, I thought I'd make an exception. Enjoy.

Are you a current canoe or paddleboat enthusiast? Are you thinking about venturing over into the kayak market? Well, you will probably find it much more enjoyable and challenging than other water sports. Kayaks have the capabilities to not only travel faster, but they can venture into harsher parts of the water. This is not to even mention the fact that you get two blades to paddle with instead of one. Kayaks also sit closer to the water, which can be a truly amazing feeling. However, the whole process isn’t just as easy as jumping right into the kayaking market.

You need to be aware of the anatomy and components of a kayak in order to truly understand the vessel and choose one that best suits you.

Knowing Your Genre Of Kayaking

The first thing you need to be aware of is, that there are several different genres of kayaking.
Just to name a few genres, you have:
• Whitewater
• Sea, surf
• Touring
• Recreational

Depending on the type of kayaking that you plan on doing, it might affect the type of kayak that you choose to buy. While there are a variety of different kayaks available, there is common terminology that is used throughout the community.

Knowing this terminology and anatomy will help you better learn the sport of kayaking. It will also make it much easier when it comes to speaking to other enthusiasts. By analyzing the Kayak Fishing Gear Guide, you will be able to gain more insight into fishing kayaks and the associated gear.

The Bow Of A Kayak

You will probably hear people often times refer to the bow of the kayak. When you hear this, you should know that they are actually talking about the front of the craft. In fact, this is the universal term for all different types of boat. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a motorboat, canoe, or kayak, because the bow still means the front of the boat.

The Stern Of The Kayak

Just like the bow, the stern is another universal term that means that same thing on all boats. When you hear the term stern, you can think of the rear of the boat. It is important to be aware of these terms because people will use them often when talking about kayaks.

Starboard And Port Sides Of A Kayak

Two more universal terms that you need to familiarize yourself with are the starboard and port sides of the kayak. Starboard means the right side of the kayak, while the port side refers to the left side of the craft.

The Hull Of The Kayak

The hull is probably another universal term that you are somewhat familiar with. However, when it comes to the hull of a kayak, thing can get really tricky. The reason for this is, because kayakers are actually talking about the bottom of the boat when they refer to the hull. In the rest of the boating world, the term hull almost always refers to the entire body of the craft.

Understanding The Deck

The deck of a kayak is actually the top of the boat. Different types of kayaks will offer different styles of decks. For instance, the sea kayak really has a lot of accessories on the deck. You will find everything from bungees to cleats, and hatches.

The Cockpit

The cockpit of a kayak is actually the part of the boat that you are going to sit in. When you look at a kayak, you will see a large hole in the center of the deck. This is what is known to the kayaking world as the cockpit. However, the seats of a kayak can be different for different types of boats. For instance, some seats can be suspended from the rim of the cockpit, whereas others can sit directly on the bottom of the craft.

It is also important to know that the sizes and shapes of cockpits can vary greatly. Some sea kayaks will contain an almost circular cockpit, whereas in touring and recreational kayaks the cockpits are almost oval. Oval cockpits can come in handy if you are not quite as slim as you used to be. If you intend to kayak and fish with a friend, you should consider investing in one of the tandem fishing kayaks. With one of these models, you will have dual seats to accommodate your friend.


Anytime you hear the term coaming it is actually referring to the lip or rim of the cockpit. This is where the skirt usually attaches. The cockpits of most kayaks can be covered with what is known as a skirt. This is a waterproof material that covers the waist of the kayaker once he or she in inside the craft. This not only helps keep the kayaker dry, but it also helps keep the inside of the boat dry.

Foot Braces, Foot Pegs, Or Footpads

Once you are inside the kayak, you will find some kind of adjustable foot support, which is known as the foot braces. It is important to know that every manufacturer is different and will design their foot braces a little bit differently. These braces are also sometimes referred to as foot pegs or footpads. The balls of your feet should rest perfectly against these braces. There are also pads located on the underside of the deck, which allows users to rest their knees.

Once everything is adjusted perfectly, it should almost be like the craft becomes an extension of your body. This gives riders total control over the boat and allows them to maneuver through harsh and unforgiving waters.

Thigh Braces And Thigh Hooks

Other components that can aid the kayaker in controlling the craft are known as thigh braces or thigh hooks. These devices are located on the underside of the cockpit. These components allow users to safely and comfortably press their thighs against them while they are paddling.

Walls And Bulkheads

Located inside the deck of certain kayaks users can also find what are known as walls or bulkheads. These foam partitions are either glued or fastened in place and they prevent the kayak from collapsing. Since these bulkheads seal off one or both ends of the boat, they can also be used as a watertight storage compartment. Gear will be loaded through a hatch that is located on the top of the deck.


As you can see, there are quite a few components that are involved with a kayak. You also need to keep in mind that every kayak can be outfitted or customized with different accessories to suit a certain boater’s style and needs. Now, that you know the basics, you shouldn’t have a problem communicating with other kayakers or choosing a kayak that accommodates your needs.

Author Bio:
Jeff is a fishing and kayaking enthusiast, a proud father and an avid Houston Astros fan. Jeff created his kayak fishing blog southtexaskayak.com with a plan to provide useful information and resources for kayak fishing, canoeing and fishing in general to new anglers. A longtime passion turning into a new career with the help of his son Kevin. You can email Jeff at info@southtexaskayak.com.

April 28, 2017

Tenkara Sasquatch Now A Dolphins Fan?

Tenkara Sasquatch sighting last night during the NFL Draft.
His presence at Charles Harris' draft party indicates TS may now be a Dolphins fan.

Harris looks confused by the situation...

April 26, 2017

Late To The Podcast Party

Never really listened to many podcasts before, be it fly fishing or any other subject. Sure, I'd listen to the occasional Tom Rosenbauer Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast, and there was that Owl Jones Live experiment a few years back, but nothing regular, nothing consistent.

That changed with Tenkara USA's Tenkara Cast. Being a tenkara junkie and drinker of the kool-aid, I consumed all of those podcasts as soon as they were released. They were typically the perfect length for a morning or evening commute to/from work. Since then I've added a few NBA podcasts (The Rights to Ricky Sanchez & The Vertical), and Good Times with Steve Simeone, the podcast of a friend who is an ascending comedian and one of the kindest souls you'll ever meet.

Being caught up on all of that content, and searching for something new to help pass the time during my recent 6.5-hour drive to and from North Georgia, I finally stumbled on Anchored... and holy crap, April Vokey's podcasts are really good.

I seriously lost myself in the last few, made the mind-numbing drive seem more like an hour than almost seven. Really fascinating stuff. If you haven't listened to the episodes with Ted Niemeyer, Gary Loomis (what an amazing guy), Mark Johnstad, or Louis Cahill, you're missing out. Although I'm certain I'm the one late to this party.

Fortunately, they started in late 2014, so I've got two more years worth of content to catch up on...
That's a lot of drives to and from work. :)

April 25, 2017

Indy Car Racer Believes!

Even though he's fond of spinning reels, Ryan Hunter-Reay also considers a Tenkara Sasquatch a fishing buddy. How could you not?

Full article HERE

Operation Oregon Escape 2017


Oakridge, Oregon & Surrounding Areas

July 21-23: Tenkara Bug Out
July 24: Crater Lake National Park

Slightly dejected from my Georgia fishing trip, I pondered the potential next steps on Sunday night. May and June are not really an option for another fishing getaway, (which means no Midwest Tenkara Fest this year), so I turned my sights on July. But where to go? Hopefully somewhere a little cooler in climate than Florida.

Staring blankly at my computer screen and pondering fishing destinations in my head, I noticed Tom Davis' post on the Tenkara Bug Out in my blogroll. I had considered the Bug Out for about 5 minutes a month ago but dismissed it, "nah, too far away..." 

A little more motivated, I mentioned it to my wife, and she encouraged me to go. Figured I could fish a few days around the framework of the tenkara get-together, then head a little bit south and visit Crater Lake National Park (which has been a bucket list destination for some time). Maybe find a Sasquatch along the way. She said I should definitely go. I told her I'd think about it.

When I went to work on Monday (yesterday), I was suffering through a cross-functional strategy meeting when one of our "tech guys" entered the room wearing a Crater Lake novelty t-shirt. Coincidence? No way, I consider it a sign... the Universe at work. It's happening. Game on.

Yeah, it's somewhat of an impulsive decision, but you know what, you only live once... and I've got a Delta Airlines travel voucher burning a hole in my pocket. Plus, I've only been to that part of the country once and never fished any of it.

Let's do this. T-minus 3 months...

April 24, 2017

It Was Bound To Happen

I've been fortunate in my fishing to date that whenever I've traveled to fish - Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Virginia, North Carolina, etc, etc... I've usually been happy with the results. When I used to live 20 minutes from wild trout, a skunking was never preferred but was never really a big deal either.

Well, this past weekend didn't work out so well. Six and a half hours north to trout water, and, umm... no trout. About a half dozen nibbles, even one long distance release, but no fish to hand.

I know, I know,
"That's why they call it fishing and not catching..."

Oh well, at least it was pretty out and I got a nice workout rock hopping.
It's all good. Until the next time.

April 18, 2017

Exploring Florida - Star Wars Celebration Orlando

There's no fishing in this post. Not even going to pretend. Just a guy geeking out with his family at Star Wars Celebration last weekend. This isn't the first Star Wars themed post here, and definitely won't be the last. Not too much to say, those of you who get it, will get it. Instead, I'll just share some photos:

April 10, 2017

Five Below Fly Box

There's been more than a few fly box posts here on the blog as of late, so perhaps I have fly boxes on the brain. In any event, Lilly & K.C. drug me into a Five Below store yesterday where among the shelves of pre-teen treasures, I stumbled upon an interesting find.

For those of you not familiar with Five Below, it's sort of a trendy "dollar store" chain that sells cheap stuff with a pop-culture slant like candy, toys, books, clothing, electronic accessories, etc... The goods aren't really of the highest quality, but the inventory rotates fairly regularly, so you never know exactly what you're going to find. Near the checkout, I found this for $2.

If you're familiar with the popular, pocket-sized Meiho compartment fly boxes that retail for about $8-10, this is strikingly similar and has many of the same features.

I've been happily using the Meiho boxes for about 2 or 3 seasons now. They hold a lot of flies, and the different compartments don't crush delicate dry flies. It's just the right size to also hold the smaller streamers I prefer for tenkara. If you like small streamers or even foam poppers, this clone might be more functional, as the one side is one large compartment.

Now I'd be lying if I claimed the quality was identical. The Meiho boxes are made in Japan of much sturdier plastic while this "Five Below special" is made in China and isn't quite as solid. However, the compartments and the box itself seem to close up nice and tight, so at face value it's a more than acceptable option when compared to other low-cost or DIY fly boxes like an Altoids tin.

I'll put this thing into the rotation and see how long it lasts. Just picked up some flies from Mel, so if nothing else, they've got a new home.

April 3, 2017

Georgia (Trout) On My Mind...

Haven't been trout fishing yet this year. A little birdie chirped in my ear that this weekend was regional"Opening Day" back in my old stomping ground of Southeastern Pennsylvania, so that definitely got me obsessing thinking about trout again. (Any of my SE PA readers get out this weekend?)

Anyway, looking at my upcoming schedule, the first chance I'm going to have to escape Florida in search of trout appears like it will be April 21-23, so that's the plan... and praying to the weather gods to keep things calm that weekend.

It should be a good opportunity to really stretch the legs on the new Confluence rod from Three Rivers Tenkara I picked up the other week. It's a two-length zoom rod that I'd like to do a solid review of here at some point. (If you can't wait for that, Tom Davis did a "dry" review recently as well).

I've already taken it out retention pond fishing in the neighborhood a little bit and liked what I've seen so far. While fishing for bass and bluegill with a tenkara rod will not really show how it will perform in a true high-gradient tenkara envornment, I'm looking forward to testing my/it's casting mettle on some more technical pocket water and whatnot.