-- Last Updated: Mar-18-13 11:12 AM EST --
The Jackson Cuda and Coosa are getting the good press right now. Another one that's well liked is the Wilderness Systems Ride 115. If any of these are not stable enough for you, kayaking is not for you. Or consider the Scotty mounts and outriggers. If you plan on fly fishing, I wouldn't recommend the outriggers because they're something else to catch line on. If you are going to use spinning or baitcasting gear, you should be fine.
If you're planning on doing lakes and have the kind of area to turn an aircraft carrier, you may consider Tarpon 160 too.
Whatever you decide, at that price range you should be able to purchase a very good kayak, some accessories, a comfortable PFD, and a good paddle.
If you are looking for a good supplier who will not steer you wrong, try Appomattox River Company in Virginia. They will ship to anywhere in the States. Given that you called a kayak a canoe, I'm thinking you may not be in the States. But since you mentioned a NY lake, maybe you are. If you are, then talk to Appomattox River Company. They are family owned and can ship to most places cheaper than many outfitters. I don't have any relationship with them other than that of satisfied customer, and receive no benefit for referrals.
They are on the web at www.paddleva.com. Everyone who works there is a paddler. Tell them your size, the kind of water you intend to paddle, and the kind of fishing you want to do, they'll steer you right.
If you'd rather deal locally, which has its own benefits, then find a paddle shop. Don't go to a big box store and expect kayak selection expertise. You might luck out and get someone who's a paddler and has had some training or experience. But most times, you're going to get abysmally bad advice, a cheap boat, an overpriced and uncomfortable PFD, and a paddle 20cm too long.
Now, another thing is that I think Old Town Otters are quite stable. So, maybe getting familiar with paddling a bit more would be good for you before you get too serious about rigging out a kayak. The 'wobbly' feeling you get goes away within first half hour or forty-five minutes of paddling most times unless you have an inner ear problem. Not all wobble is bad wobble. You don't need a barge to stay upright. You need at least a little bit of body awareness and loose hips - remembering to keep your center of gravity over the center line of the boat at all times. It takes a little getting used to - but only a little.
- Big D
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
Touring Kayak Paddles
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