As a parent I make a lot of lists. I talk to myself internally and sometimes even externally. I plan, to the best of my abilities, what my children will do, sometimes well into their future. As my babies grow older into their teens and twenties, they will parade a front of false knowledge and in essence build a fortress of solitude that little information can penetrate. 

I'm not quite there yet.

 Z is 7 and AK is 4. Those are fun ages of discovery, curiosity and the insatiable appetite that drives them to ask "Why?".  I also know those brains are sponges that are collecting data and storing it in categories which usually revolve around the question, "Would I do that again- Yes or No?". I recognize that and am attempting to give my kids a gift. This gift isn't wrapped, nor is it purchased. The gift is something, actually two things, that I love and want them to love: kayak fishing.

Some Dads want their kids to be a great football player, a doctor, a lawyer, a fireman or something else. Some of us just want our kids to be healthy and responsible. I want my kids to have a hobby and let it grow into a passion. I know my kids. They are a brilliant mixture of their mom and me. I know Z is going to get stressed out in life. He wants everything to go smoothly. He doesn't like conflict. He internalizes. He is going to need a pressure relief valve just like I did. Fishing was my outlet. What I later discovered in 2003 was that combining fishing and kayaking also gave me an endorphin release from the exercise which in turn made me feel better about life. So for you mathletes out there: Exercise + Stress Reliever = Chilled Out Dude with a Good Attitude. That is important. 
AK is a different story. She looks just like her mom but her attitude is all me. She is my daredevil. She will try anything if you let her. If she gets bored, she makes her own fun. That is what I did. My parents gave me fishing at a young age and because I grew to love it, I spent most of my teens and twenties fishing rather than carousing and raising hell. Give me some spare time and I'd fill it with fishing. I still do. I hope to pass that along.

I am proceeding slowly with my plan. I could have them at the lake three times a week and kayak fishing could be their soccer, ballet or basketball. I don't want them to see it as a chore. I want them to ASK to go kayak fishing. 

Z and I made plans to do a boys trip last Saturday. He likes fishing because he usually gets good snacks, he loves the water like a Lab and it's time spent together. I always have to remind myself, this is a trip for him, not me. He reminds me of it every time. Some days we spend six or seven hours out and some days just one or two. I'd take ten minutes to get to share this with him.

We got to the lake and portaged to the water with all the gear. He thought it was cool the kayak was making a trail in the sand. It looked like a snake trail he said. Before I could hop in the back of the tandem he was poling out to deeper water with the paddle. I grabbed the back of the kayak and hopped in to join him. We talked about the methods of paddling we had gone over on previous trips and he was ready to go. 

With Z in the front he couldn't see me but he could sense the rhythm of the paddle strokes I was making behind him. He stayed in sync, left, right, left, right...I was beaming. My seven year old was doing something I didn't do until I was 25. Watching him move a boat three times his length and one and a half times his weight made me glow on the inside. We paddled about 300 yards and took a break. With kids, you have to stop when they need to stop. Watch them. Their body language will tell you. I don't know that he would ever stop if I didn't ask him if we should take a break. 

We rested a bit, put our feet in the water, laid down for a spell and just chatted. He had a ton of questions about kayaks, fishing, water clarity, water depth and tons of other kayak fishing related ones. I answered them all and was asking for more. A little while later he was ready to fish. I had purchased some minnows because he loves to observe them, hand them to me, throw the dead ones out and other elementary school experiments. We baited out and drifted for a while. He lounged out in the front and just soaked in the Vitamin D. After twenty minutes and just one fish he was ready to go home. My first instinct was to try to convince him to stay longer but I quickly talked myself out of it. This was HIS trip. 

We totaled almost two hours total on the water. I got to spend some time with my son doing something we both enjoy and he got to play in the water, go fishing, paddle the big boat and spend some guy time with Dad. I wasn't sure how they day had registered with him so I asked. He said it was fun but the real testament  that the slow and steady pace is working came later. About three hours after we got home he asked when we could go again. 

He really liked the gifts. Almost as much as I liked giving them.

Earlier this week I confessed some rookie mistakes I made at the NTKBF Tournament at Purtis Creek. One of the things I vowed to fix was my Hawg Trough measuring device. It was hard to keep the fish on it, hard to measure and hard for the judges to judge a proper length. I was using it as it came and in most cases this would work fine but for tournaments, I needed to do some modifications. My friend Bryan, a seasoned angler and kayaker, showed me his mods and I was blown away. So simple but so useful. Bryan was kind enough to send me some pictures and give me permission to, in essence, copy his design. I changed the mods slightly but this is very much inspired by Bryan's design. Without further delay I present the New and Improved Hawg Trough.

For this project you will need a Hawg Trough. These can be purchased many places in different colors. I got mine at Austin Canoe and Kayak with a Texas Kayak Fisherman discount for about $15. You will also need some bungees with ball ends. I got these at WalMart in the camping section. 6 bungees for $3. You'll need a Sharpie, a knife, a drill with a drill bit, some packing or duct tape and some type of styrofoam or pool noodle (for floatation).




The first step is actually the most tedious. If you notice in the above image, only the numbers are marked. Each Hawg Trough has ridges to mark each quarter inch but as you can tell, seeing them in pictures is difficult. Let's help the judges out and run the Sharpie down each ridge to mark the quarter inches and allow the judges to see a more accurate measurement. See how much clearer this is?!



Next we need to lay out the bungees where they are going to go and mark the spots we need to drill. You will have to drill on both sides (a total of six holes). On most of these troughs there is a double ridge that runs along each side. You only want to drill through the outer most ridge, not both. You hole size should be just enough to get the bungee through tightly. This smaller hole and single ridge will provide a friction point to keep the bungees in place.




After you drill the holes, thread the bungees through. It should look something like this. Your selection of hole placement is preference really but I am planning on catching some fish over 20 inches so I put the last bungee at 18 inches. 



Next you'll need to cut a piece of styrofoam or pool noodle to float the board. I used styrofoam and chose to wrap it in tape so it wouldn't shed all over my kayak. This is less necessary with a pool noodle. 


It is pretty easy at this point. Slide your float between the bungees and trough and voila! You can vary the thickness on the float but I wanted it to float and sit up off of my lap a bit. 


Hopefully this will help a few folks avoid some of the foibles of kayak tourney fishing that I committed last week. This rig should float, keep fish attached to the board better and keep those judges from having to guess at your lengths. 

If you like the idea, please share it with others. Thanks Bryan Row. This will be a huge help next time for me!


I live in Central Texas. More specifically, in Bell County. We are blessed to have what are considered two pretty decent lakes. Tournaments from all over the state come to Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow to fish. Do we host as many tournaments as Lake Fork or Lake Texoma? Not even close. And that is completely okay by me. Less boats on the water makes it easier for us kayakers or paddle/fish enthusiasts. Today what I wanted to talk about is an issue that needs a lot of attention. It is often highly contested and may get me in a bit of trouble but I am fine with that. It is that important.

Lake Fork is a world class bass fishery. People fly from all over the world to try to catch a ten pound Largemouth Bass. I don't think I am telling any secrets by saying that. Lake Fork has continued to produce great fish every year because of conservation. People are practicing catch and release in great numbers at Lake Fork. Could it be because of the slot? Maybe. But when you can keep fish under a certain size, it seems their harvest rates would be higher, as the younger, smaller fish are often easiest to catch. I really believe it starts with the guides and locals not removing the bucketmouths from their habitat. The preferred way to document your catch is CPR. That stands for Catch-Photograph-Release. You can get a weight, get a measurement and then send her swimming for the next person to catch. This also allows her to make more bruisers for our future generations to tangle with.

I know it is the law that you can keep a certain number of fish per day. I even encourage it on some bodies of water. Some lakes are overrun with 12-14" bass that eat everything in sight. In these cases, by all means, take and eat within the legal limits. Other lakes however, already experience a large harvest rate and to revitalize the water body, need to encourage more CPR.

I am looking at you Lake Belton.

Sometimes referred to as the "Dead Sea" in summer, Belton experiences what I would consider high harvest rates for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.

At Lake Fork, where conservation is preached from every direction, the LMB harvest rate for the 2009-2010 survey was 11.25%. Only 11% of eligible fish caught were harvested. (1)

At Lake Belton, the harvest rate for the 2010-2011 survey was 43% for Largemouths and 42.5% for Smallmouths. (2)

No wonder it's the "Dead Sea"!

My goal is not to keep you from having a fish dinner. I understand people want to eat fish and can by law. I would ask you to consider harvesting less. If everyone kept only 10-15% of their legal catches, we would have a better fishery. Bass start to spawn at age 3 and are 14" a little past age 4. When you are eating 14-18" fish, you are eating the breeding stock for a majority of the lake. In 2010, 78% of the fish caught during the survey were less than 15". If you are legally keeping Smallmouth, you are eating the breeding population. The Largemouth population fared a little better where 32% of the fish surveyed were over 15". This is still not a great number.

Please keep in mind this data the next time you search out for a fish dinner. Reducing what you take, using CPR for large fish and sharing this natural resource with future generations will go a lot further than Saturday's lunch.



(1)http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/lake_survey/pwd_rp_t3200_1293_2009.pdf

(2)http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/lake_survey/pwd_rp_t3200_1247_2010.pdf


Yesterday was a first for me. I fished my first official kayak bass fishing tournament with the North Texas Kayak Bass Fishing Club. I had a great time with these guys over the weekend and would do it again in a heart beat. And while these guys are great, this is not a piece on promoting the NTKBF tourneys (though I need to do that). This is a piece to confess mistakes, make some lists and hopefully pass on some knowledge to future tournament kayak anglers.

ACK Hawg Trough
Ruler Board/Hawg Trough
Most kayak tournaments use the Catch-Photograph-Release (CPR) technique to determine a winner. If you buy a hawg trough from one of the many retailers like Austin Canoe and Kayak, they come marked every inch. They do have ridges so you can measure up to 1/4 of an inch but they are the same color as the board. You quickly find out at "weigh-in" that those 1/4" lines are very important and very hard to see in a picture. Take a sharpie and run over those ridges and the judges will never have to guess. But to even get a picture, you have to keep the fish on the board. This is a dexterity challenge while floating in a kayak with a paddle, a fish with hooks in him trying desperately to stab you with the hooks, a trough and camera, not to mention the required identifier that has to be in the picture. A friend, Bryan Row, had a great idea and attached three small bungees to the board so he can strap the floppy slime rockets to the board for a picture. It was ingenious and I had to pass it along. It must work because Bryan placed second this week!

Confidence Baits and Techniques
Hag's F4 Tornado
You know them and use them. They are your go to baits and styles. These are usually the first thing you go to when a new method or bait is failing after the first 10 casts that you tried it. Mine is a drop shot rig with a F4 Hag's Tornado. I can catch fish out of a dry sewer line with this setup and yet I didn't fish it on tournament day until an hour before weigh in. Why? I over thought the lake. I had never fished Purtis Creek before except for pre-fishing the evening preceding the tournament. In that time I tried what people told me would work, different locations, depths I normally didn't fish and it hurt. At 12:30 I had two fish out of five and I caught those in the first 30 minutes of the day. When push came to shove, I switched back to my confidence setup and was rewarded with the three fish I needed to round out my limit. They were not huge by any stretch of the imagination but five fish on tourney day is never a given. The lesson here? Don't deviate. After talking to the winner, rodmaker Walker Nelson, my thoughts were reaffirmed. He said he stuck to his game plan and didn't deviate. Congrats on a great win Walker! 

Planning and Homework
I spent the better part of the last two weeks planning for this event. I scoured what topographical maps I could find and used overlays from satellite maps to determine the most likely places I could catch fish. I prefished the day before and did okay but felt lack luster about it. At dinner that evening I got some tips on where some fish were. After a slow morning I abandoned my plan and spent the next three hours chasing someone else's plan. That did nothing for me. In the time I left my prep work and techniques at the door, not a single fish came into the boat. Not a single, solitary fish. When I abandoned other plans and went back to my own, I caught the rest of my fish for the day. Lesson learned. If you doubt this, go back up a paragraph and read Walker's comments. 

Always Be Prepared
You just never know. It will creep up on you when you least expect it so pack accordingly. Not all of these things happened to me but some unexpected events at the tournament this weekend produced a bit of hilarity, some panic, some disgust and even some hunger. 

Raccoons will steal your food. All of it. 

Branches barely sticking out of the water get caught in scupper holes. Have a plan. And a saw.

The sun doesn't rise until well after 6AM this time of year. Have what you need to be legal on the water.And a light to see the dangers.

You can get sunburned even when it's raining.

Cameras fail. Have a backup plan.

The weather is like a good woman, usually beautiful and complex but she'll lose control every now and again and you should be ready for how you'll handle it. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Until next time, keep your food in the car and stick to the game plan.





More events happening in Texas for kayaking instruction, tourneys and demo days from Sept 18-30.

September 22:


Rise Adventures End of Summer Bash VIII
Where: Meadowmere Park, Lake Grapevine
When: 9A-3P
What: Allowing people with physical disabilities the chance to get out on the water in a kayak. There will also  be swimming, golf, archery, pony rides a petting zoo and more!
Cost: FREE for persons with disabilities and their families
Contact: 469-762-5075


Austin Canoe and Kayak Demo Day
Where: Texas Ski Ranch (New Braunfels)
When: 9A-5P rain or shine
What: Over 80 models of kayaks with up to 30% savings on select items
Cost: FREE
Contact: 512-396-2386 or 888-828-3828


Austin Canoe and Kayak Demo Day
Where: Independence Park (Missouri City)
When: 9A-5P rain or shine
What: Over 80 models of kayaks with up to 30% savings on select items
Cost: FREE
Contact: 713-660-7000 or 888-828-3828



September 23:


Where: San Marcos Store
When: 10A-5P
What: Lots of New Product, Savings and Lunch Provided
Cost: FREE
Contact: 512-396-2386 or 888-828-3828

Austin Canoe and Kayak Expo
Where: Houston Store
When: 10A-5P
What: Lots of New Product, Savings and Lunch Provided
Cost: FREE
Contact: 713-660-7000 or 888-828-3828


September 28:


Fundraising Tourney for Heroes on the Water
Where: Meadowmere Park, Lake Grapevine
When: 6P-9P
What: Benefit Bass and Catfish Tourney with 50% going to HOW
Cost: $5 for Big Bass and Big Cat



September 29:


North Texas Get Together (Texas Fishing Forum)
Where: Twin Coves Park, Lake Grapevine
When: 8A-?
What: Lots of good times with kayaks, fun, games and a donation box for HOW
Cost: $5 gate entry fee
Contact: http://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/7863319/1/Official_North_Texas_GTG_Threa







Sometimes it is hard for folks to get connected to other kayakers. It's not like the lakes most of us are on are full of them. It's even harder to meet folks on a secluded river. Keeping that in mind, I wanted to let everyone know about some upcoming events in Texas that will allow for folks to fish together, meet new people, test out new boats and everything else kayak related. Without further ado, here you go:

September 15th:


Austin Canoe and Kayak Demo Day
Where: Hyde Park Quarry, Austin
When: 9A-5P rain or shine
What: Over 90 models of kayaks with up to 30% savings on select items
Cost: FREE
Contact: 512-719-4386 or 888-828-3828

Kayak Instruction, Inc Demo Day
Where: Paddle Point Park, Lake Ray Hubbard
When: 9A-1P
What: Jackson Kayaks with Tips, Tricks and Lunch Provided
Cost: FREE
Contact: 214-629-4794


Kayak Angling Clinic by Dean Brown
Where: Demo Pond at Bass Pro Shops in Grapevine
When: 3PM
What: A kayak clinic covering some very specific tactics and tricks that Dean has developed over the past few years, as well as some of his photography techniques (pertaining specifically to the kayak).
Cost: FREE


September 16th:


Austin Canoe and Kayak Expo
Where: Austin Store
When: 10A-5P
What: Lots of New Product, Savings and Lunch Provided
Cost: FREE
Contact: 512-719-4386 or 888-828-3828

NTKBF Kayak Fishing Bass Tournament
Where: Purtis Creek State Park, Eustace
When: 5:30A-4PM
What: Bass Fishing Tournament for Kayak Fishermen
Cost: $10 + $4 for Park Admission

September 17th:


Mariner Sails Wind and Water Sports Scotty New Product Open House
Where: Mariner Sails Wind and Water Sports, 11110 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75229
When: Monday, September 17th, from 6:00pm -- 8:30pm

What: An informative open house and to to acquaint (or refresh you) with the Scotty line of fishing accessories. Our special guest for the evening will be Ryan Emile, from British Columbia Canada, our International Sales Representative for Scotty. Ryan will be presenting new Scotty items, ideas, as well as many helpful tips and suggestions from Scotty's vast line of fine fishing and marine products. Included in his new presentaton will be several new and upcoming "YakAttack inspired Accessories" that were co-created by 
Luther Cifers, the amazing YakAttack genius.Cost: FREEContact: 972-241-1498





Come back tomorrow for more events happening next weekend!


I have a group of friends. Most of them I have never met.  Most of these guys are from North Texas (DFW) but I don't think of them as strangers. Many of them have nurtured my love of kayak fishing over the last several years through the TFF.Guys (and gals) from all over the state talk daily about kayak fishing.

We are almost outcasts. We are often thought of as weirdos. The fact of the matter: we don't care.

There is a serenity that overcomes you as a kayak fisherman. When you put that first paddle stroke into a glassy pool, you are transformed. I can't describe the feeling accurately but it is akin to a warm numbness. Depending on where you are, the only sound you might hear is a mallard in flight or the water falling like rain drops from your paddle.. Feeling the liquid metronome lap gently under your boat as you slip into a secluded cove or bend in the river gives a man pause to appreciate what he's surrounded by.

You survey the water that you have been dreaming about. Scheming about. Plans that you have made for fishing this particular spot race through your mind. The perfect lure, the perfect conditions, the perfect cast and then the anticipation of what may or may not be. The minute you start to crank your lure in, you also start to imagine the fish approaching the lure. Now you only hear your heartbeat. It's getting faster. "There has to be a fish here!" you reason in your head. You feel a tick-tick on the line. Was it a weed? Some timber? A fish? You feel it again. Reeling up the slack quickly you hold your breath as the line goes taught and you unleash the hookset of your life.

This fish is unbelievably strong. It's causing the kayak to rock back and forth! This fish is out of control! You let out a howl as you fall out of the kayak into the depths of your blankets. As the water of your mind clears, you are confronted by a confused wife who has woken you from a deep sleep. Complaints of fishing in your sleep again are drowned out by that warm numbness radiating from your smile. "Just one more cast before work" is the last thing you think as you slip back into your kayak for another try at that bass.

Once you have experienced nature in the way that kayak fishing allows you to, it is hard to think of any other way. I love fishing but kayak fishing is more than love. It's ... a passion. I love a good steak, garlic fries at the Ballpark or an Old Style at Wrigley but I don't dream about them. I dream several nights a week about kayak fishing, the perfect spot, being in nature and the envelopment of it all. If you are passionate about something, I believe you should share that passion. That was the true motivator behind Chris Payne's Paddle/Fish. I wanted to help others how others have helped me. I want to preach a bit on safety and conservation and share stories of triumph and failure on the water. Passions are gifts that should be shared. We have to tell others why we have a passion for the things we dream about. For me, kayak fishing is serenity and connection. I can have a good time whether I catch fish or not. The challenge is to always pass it on. Gifts like passion shouldn't be bottled; they should be shared. 
Labor Day marks the end of summer for most folks. It's back to school time for the kids. Businesses are starting a new fiscal year soon and the holidays are within sight. What Labor Day also marks is the beginning of sale season for kayaks.

Commonly thought of as a summer time hobby or sport, kayaking enjoys a bolus of participants between May and September. The crowds on local lakes start to thin more and more as the weather becomes more tolerable. Hunting season has started and for some that means dove hunting and then deer hunting. For me it's always DEAL hunting.

Kayaks, both used and new are at the end of their cycle for the year. Dealers are reducing inventory for the winter months, doing some trade-ins, selling off the rental fleet and clearancing out. They know the pattern. It's their business. Craigslist will be flooded with people needing to sell a kayak for this or that. There are nomadic, seasonal kayakers who often sell a boat just to make a lease payment for deer season. Then there is dad, who thought he could convince the family to kayak with him, who instead is needing to sell a tandem to get a solo kayak. It takes all kinds. Often it works out for both parties. Everybody gets what they want and the cycle continues into next year.

Over the last several years I have used fall and winter as a time to upgrade. Often, there are folks looking for a boat I have, rigged and ready to fish and are willing to pay a fair amount for it as is. I then turn that money into a better deal for me by finding great deals. I scour the dealer sites for clearanced or blemished kayaks daily. I look on Craigslist, Texaskayakfisherman.com and Texas Fishing Forum for deals. If you are patient, you can find a great deal.

It is important to note I paddle/fish year round so my investments don't rot away in the garage waiting for summer. My experience on the water tells me what I like, don't like and helps me create new ways to rig up for fishing. When I am looking, I narrow my field to a handful of kayaks. I do homework on widths, lengths, capacities, storage, known issues and the like to be able to wait for that one sweet deal and then pounce when it arrives.

I went to look just now and here are a few that I found:

Austin Canoe and Kayak has this one right now-

Wilderness Systems Commander 140 Kayak - 2012 Closeout >
Description: Save big on this 2012 closeout color. With even more storage space, leg room, capacity, and speed than the Commander 120, the Wilderness Systems Commander 140 hybrid sit-on-top/sit-inside is the ultimate hobby machine.
MSRP: $1149.00  Our Price: $849.00  
SAVE: 26.1%

With $49 residential shipping, that is a really good deal!


Mariner-Sails.com has this one:


Kayak - Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 Volt - Demo
 
Product #: 
LP ULT145VOLT_DEMO 
Retail Price: 
$2,199.00 
Online Price: 
$1,495.00



Craigslist has a Hobie Pro Angler listed for $2000 right now with lots of upgrades and extras. The ad reads:
2012 Hobie Pro Angler 14. Olive. Almost new condition. Comes with Hobie paddle, mirage drive with turbo fins, supernova kayak led lights and battery. 2000 .

Also a pretty good deal. 

There are several used kayaks on TKF and TFF for 50-70% of retail right now. 

As the weather cools, the deals will heat up. Be on the look out and you could get a great upgrade this winter too! 


If you have some deals you would like to include here please post them in the comments section. No charge at all, just post them up! You can also email me and I will post them for you or provide links.
Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes. So do their seats. Some have tall lawn chair style seats while others have a molded butt scoop. It really depends on the type pf kayak you have AND what you plan on doing with it.

There are four types of seats that you can find in your typical kayak. Of these only two are really seats to speak of but I'll let you decide.

Backrest
The Backrest-
This "seat" is actually no seat at all. It is made to give back support and usually connects to some pad eyes to rest your back on. These are fairly in expensive and pair well if you are going to sit in that molded butt scoop that a sit on top kayak has for you. It's almost as if they were saying, "Hey, Dummy! Sit here." The backrest serves it's purpose and can get you on the water for a longer amount of time as it can reduce fatigue in the back. These run anywhere from $25-$89 and fit almost every kayak. A sub category in the backrest section are those backrests for hard molded seats like the Wilderness kayaks. These serve a different purpose but because they are a smaller subset, I am going to move on. Here is a good selection from Austin Canoe and Kayak.



Bottom Pad
The Bottom Pad-
If you are going to be in heavy chop, rapids, beyond the breakers at the coast or paddling like you're on a bucking bronco rather than a sleek boat, this might be a good choice. Filled with varying materials, this seat will give your posterior added cushioning to avoid bruising and saddle sores. Another added benefit is that it elevates you slightly off the deck so if you don't have scupper holes in the seat well you reduce the occurrence of a wet backside. These come in varying thickness and can be very helpful as well as easy to store. Prices start at $12 and go up but chances are you can find a good one for less than $40. Make sure you check out the varying thickness, method of attachment and get good measurements. You want to make sure it will fit.
Wanna check these out? Go here.

The Lawn Chair-
This is a newer style of seat and it only works with certain kayaks like Diablo, Jackson and a few others. The kayaks sometimes come with one of these if it is made for it but in case you need a new one, bought a used model without it or need to add as an upgrade (as in the Diablo models), these are available. The lawn chair style chair (more than a seat) has great back support, comfy bottom support and allows for a higher vantage point when fishing. If you really want to check one of these out look here. If you want to learn more about Diablo kayaks then you should check them out here.
Jackson kayaks can be found here.

The Full Seat-
Skwoosh Voyager
The combination of a back rest and bottom pad all in one nice, neat package makes up a full seat. They come in regular and high back styles and vary as much as your imagination can dream. Some of these seats have rod holders attached. Some have tackle boxes. The things to look for here are dimensions of the bottom pad (to make sure it will fit) and four attach points. Some seats only have two attach points and will side back and forth which causes less support. Bottoms of these seats vary in thickness and padding as well. One of the seats I paddle with is a Skwoosh Voyager seat. it has added gel padding in the bottom pad and is a high backed seat with some storage on the back. This seat has four attach points and does well in most applications.
The other seat I have is a Surf to Summit seat for angry water situations. It has a foam reinforced bottom pad that is two inches thick and is high backed
as well. Full seats are by far the most versatile of the group but that comes at
a price. Full seats range from $20 up to over $200.


Regardless of what you choose, always remember to try before you buy!