My boyfriend and I kayak and canoe a lot, and our boat of choice for twisty streams and mangroves is a Mad River Adventure 16 poly canoe, propelled with kayak paddles. We took one into the Everglades last year on vacation and it was perfect. It would be a great fishing platform too. The smaller Adventure 14 would be good for a solo paddler. It has a center seat or you could stern paddle with some ballast in front. Tons of room for fishing gear and low gunwales so it doesn't catch wind. Stable but paddles easier and faster than our other canoe. We have even used it on Class I to II rapids. Best part is you can often find them used for under $400. Only drawback is it is heavy for one person to wrangle but a two wheeled cart takes care of that.
Just an alternate suggestion based on what you most recently described as activities you want a boat for. Of course it would not address your desire to get a higher performing kayak, but you seem to have a range of functions you want boats for. You may be headed to where a lot of us get: more than one boat to best suit a range of uses.
The Kayak Wing
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