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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry


Do fishing SOTs need flotation?

YES! an absolute must!
27 (55.1%)
A good idea but not really necessary.
14 (28.6%)
I'd rather keep the hull space for gear.
6 (12.2%)
NO! if floatation was needed, SOTs would come with bulkheads.
2 (4.1%)

Total Members Voted: 48

Voting closed: December 23, 2016, 09:17:38 AM

Topic: FLOTATION poll  (Read 1923 times)

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  • Guest
 Does the current NCKA culture find value in using internal flotation in fishing SOTs?
And, is this a priority project or just something to get to eventually?

If you do use flotation, feel free to share pictures.


  • Sea Lion
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I definitely find value in using internal flotation.   It's a priority project for me based on the experiences of others.

Since most of my fishing is in the ocean, I see it as a safety feature.  In addition to a healthy respect for toothy critters, I like having the added floatation to protect against the very real risk of faulty drain-plugs and leaky hatches.

Kayak fishing is an expensive lifestyle, and I'd like to try to keep my equipment for as long as possible.
'15 Viking ProFish Reload, wasp
'12 Hobie AI, skunk yellow
'12 Hobie Outfitter, dune (I'm the guy pedaling in the back)

Dale L

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I voted option one, an "absolute" which is probably a little stronger than I really feel, but option 2 "not really necessary" is something I can't vote for. Especially if I was giving advice to an inexperienced person.

Several years ago I was headed out to San Pablo Bay for some sturgeon fishing, planning to be a fair ways out.

The wind was up that day so I opted for another spot in a slough. 

Somewhere along the line my hull had cracked, the yak was a Cobra Marauder and only a few years old and never abused or stored in the sun.  Found that Marauders had this problem and Cobra ultimately redesigned the bottom of the hull and replaced mine free of charge.

Sign I missed was the unstable yak.  I'm always a little unstable for the first few minutes so I noticed it but explained it away in my head. Got to the spot, anchored up and then noticed it was really unstable, popped the hatch and "oh shit".  Immediately headed to shore (50yds). Got there just in time to hit the bank before I rolled it. Drug it up the bank emptied it out and made a beeline back to the launch and again got there just before it became completely unmanageable.

I had an empty hull, (no noodles), no bilge pump, no VHF. If I had stayed with the original plan and been a mile or so out into SPB it would have been a really bad day.  I always wear a wetsuit and PFD in the bay, so I would have eventually gotten home but..........

Now I have 20 noodles run in-between the scuppers and the outside of the hull so they aren't in the way, I also carry a bilge pump and now after reading a few other posts I added a spare paddle.  Also placing the noodles in the outside periphery of the hull will be more stable if it floods than if you just put them in the center area.

Lots of crap to carry but not really in the way with a trident, but one of my favorite things is fish for sturgeon (yes I know, like being stabbed to death with a spoon to quote one of the most respected members ever).  But I find myself sometimes a mile out (solo) into the bay system with it's winds and currents so I'm doing the better prepared than sorry thing. Yes carry the VHF too.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 10:02:48 AM by Dale L »


  • Sea Lion
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Pool noodles in the hull... As Karl Malden would say, don't leave home without it!
It's all in the mind...


  • Sea Lion
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Hobie kayaks come with closed cell foam for flotation already in the hull.


  • Salmon
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I have looked all over for pool noodles. Where can I get these, besides Amazon? I've looked at walmart, dicks, target, west marine.
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 blue

2017 Hobie Outback


  • Sea Lion
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keep checking wal mart--it a season item and yes-they will have them and when they do buy 25$-35$ = 20 + at normal price ... and drive home with one mirror....they might be gone the next time you go back lol

my vote--heck yeah--I saw a guy sink  :smt044  true story...he was hating it
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

People arenít supposed to look back. Iím certainly not going to do it anymore.Ē
― Kurt Vonnegut


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Dollar Store is a good place for noodles.

Flotation is really an important consideration for offshore kayaking.  When you're miles from launch you want to know at least the carcass of a kayak will be under your ass if the shit hits the fan.
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

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Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


  • One life, right? Don't blow it.
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You need one more option.
"A good  idea but I choose not to."


  • Sea Lion
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Absolutely, I don't want to be that guy... Always thought about filling a bag with expanding closed cell foam inside the hull.
2014 Hobie Revo 13
2011 Hobie Outback - bye bye
1997 Tracker 17 Deep V<--- Money Pit

When you look outside the window, and all you see is fishing. True Story.


  • Salmon
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As a noob I chose not to vote.  With that said, I've got 12 pool noodles in the hull and also store my wheelz in the hull while on the water.  I'll add additional noodles when I find them.
Kraken 13.5


  • Sand Dab
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With 90+% of my fishing being in ocean, often several miles from shore, I view flotation as a must.
Can often find pool noodles cheap this time of year, I also found a bunch of kids plastic balls for cheap a year ago that also work well.


  • Salmon
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Kayak have been sunk due to a hatch coming loose in bad weather.   My Trident 13 is full of as many pool noodles as can fit.  I had hatch straps break easily from UV damage a couple of times, and can imagine what that would be like offshore with a breaking large swell close to my comfort limits if that happened.  For a challenging surf landing I would pull some out to stash my equipment and save it if I roll at the beach.  I'd bungee the noodles on the deck and risk loosing them, not my rods. I do pay attention now to UV protection of my straps.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.


  • Sea Lion
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Hobie kayaks come with closed cell foam for flotation already in the hull.

Yes, but that's not enough, IMHO.
It's all in the mind...


  • Salmon
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You don't need just enough floatation in a sit-on-top kayak to keep the kayak afloat when it's full of water.  You need enough floatation in a sit-on-top kayak to keep the kayak afloat when it's full of water, and you are sitting in the kayak with your normal fishing gear.  With that objective in mind, I have added pool noodles to both my Revolution and my Trident.