Over the course of the last few years I’ve been noticing a new type of watercraft hit the market. The Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard craze has sparked boat manufacturers to look at the reasons that consumers, especially fisherman, are gravitating toward these paddle craft. There is no secret that, with gas prices exploding the expense of owning/running a boat has a lot to do with it. There are also a lot of people that simply want to go out and fish alone. No hassles of wives, husbands, kids, friends, etc. It’s just you, and the fish. The bigger the boat, the more friends & family you have to tend to! Many of us use fishing as a method of relaxation. Sometimes, your boat, and the people on it are just not all that relaxing. The chore of launching the boat, spending the day on it, and the grueling task of cleaning it (especially if it was a productive day on the water!) helps insure that the boat sits on the trailer more than was originally intended.
Some people are buying kayaks with the intention of putting a motor on it. There are many anglers however that are simply not willing to give up a motor. The biggest problem is that besides the Torqeedo (www.torqeedo.com), most trolling motor rigs are clunky. Adding motors, and heavy batteries to a kayak becomes as much of a hassle as using a boat, and ultimately, these kayak buyers either go back to their boats, or look for another option. So, what’s the next option? The Micro Skiff!
A Micro Skiff gives you much of the simplicity of a Canoe, Kayak or Paddleboard, yet its normally more stable and much more comfortable. I’ve spent time on a few different models. I am quite fond of the Ambush, by Pelican Flats Boats (www.pelicanflatsboats.com), and recently I tried out the XFish (www.xfishsup.com).
I have been watching the growth of the X-fish over the last couple of years. It has taken a few different shapes (and purposes) over its lifespan. The recent partnership with Rigid Boats has taken it to a new level. The new X-fish is a combination of research and years of boat making experience. It’s build quality is superb. As you move your eyes around the craft everything is perfectly placed to offer you comfort on the water.
Once on the boat, you immediately notice the stability. If feels like you are stepping onto a full size boat. Sit down in the comfortable chair, start the motor (electric or gas option), and off you go. Underway the boat is very comfortable. It handles waves wonderfully and even a sharp turn doesn’t phase you. When you get to the flats, pull the motor up and push-poll, or paddle with ease. Standing is no problem, and again, the stability makes you feel like you’re on a full size skiff.
I come from a strong paddling background, so initially I chose a long Kayak paddle and a SUP Paddle for shallow water propulsion. The X-fish got into places only a kayak could. The weight of the boat made it harder to paddle than a kayak, but manageable. I moved to a push poll and found the solution. A MUST for any Micro Skiff is the “Super Stick” (www.thesuperstick.com). It's a telescoping Push Pole. The one I used was a 9ft model that telescopes to 17ft. Its really the only option for shorter Skiffs, and works wonderfully!
At 6’2” and 230 lbs, standing and moving about the boat was a breeze. I had no problems Fly Casting and Landing really large Fish. When I got done, I hosed it off, and called it a day with no more labor than I’d had with a kayak. The difference: I covered more ground, stayed out longer, and was a lot more comfortable. If this is what a Micro Skiff is, sign me up!!
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