The Importance of Building Relationships with your Local Kayak Dealers

My husband James and I started kayak fishing in 2014, and admittedly, we had no clue what we were doing. It all started on a total whim. James and I were visiting Rock Island State Park near McMinnville, Tennessee one weekend when we saw an older gentleman fly fishing from a bright yellow kayak. I was instantly intrigued, so after some discussion with my husband, we decided to purchase some kayaks of our own. Keep in mind, neither of us had ever been in anything other than a Jon boat or Bass boat, so we went into the world of kayak fishing as total novices.

Courtney Bennett in 2016 - the beginning of her kayak fishing journey.
Courtney Bennett in 2016 - the beginning of her kayak fishing journey.

Fortunately, we had some friends who kayak fished, so we looked to them for initial advice. Armed with a minimal level of insight, we found an independent dealer and set out on our quest to make our purchase. We fished from our original kayaks for one year, then we upgraded as our kayaking needs quickly changed. While our initial kayaks were great and provided us with many memories and lots of good experiences, James and I were essentially self-teaching ourselves how to kayak fish. It was a lot of trial and error for us both.

Over the years, our kayaking style evolved as our passion for the sport increased. When we first began our kayak fishing journey, we purchased kayaks that were light and easy to maneuver in moving water. As our style of fishing changed from shallow, flowing water with shoals and rapids to larger lakes and rivers, we found ourselves once again in need of help picking the correct kayak, so we broadened our search for a dealer in our region. 

Music City Outdoors showroom
Music City Outdoors showroom.

As James and I began covering larger bodies of water, we considered a pedal-driven kayak. But we both knew that we still wanted the option to paddle, so we started to think about having a pair of pedal kayaks and a pair of paddle kayaks for a hybrid set up. That way, we could cover any type of water we wanted.

Finding a dealer who sold pedal-driven kayaks and paddle kayaks became our top priority. That's when we found Music City Outdoors in Nashville, Tennessee. MCO has a multitude of kayaks and sells everything from Hobie to Crescent, and they have an awesome selection of Bending Branches paddles, as well as Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) to keep you safe on the water.

Bending Branches and Aqua Bound paddle line up at Music City Outdoors, Tennessee.
Bending Branches and Aqua Bound paddle line up at Music City Outdoors, Tennessee.

During our first visit to Music City Outdoors, James and I met with one of the owners, Mr. Greg Davidson. We instantly liked Greg and knew that we were in the right place to find what we needed to get on any body of water. Through our discussions with Greg and his son Blake, James and I quickly found the hybrid setup that we had been wanting. For 2022, James and I both have a Hobie Compass and a Crescent CK1 Venture. Having the pedal driven Hobie kayaks allows us to cover a lot of water, while the Crescent models allow us to hit up some moving water and run some mild rapids.

CK1 Venture kayaks loaded and strapped down in the back of a truck bed.
Crescent Kayak's CK1 Venture model. 

Not only did we find kayaks that we love and that suit our needs, we also found a new way to transport our kayaks. After a discussion with Greg about how we often launch our kayaks from some relatively steep boat ramps, Greg introduced us to the Malone Low Bed Trailer. The Malone has offered us the option to wet launch, load, and the short height of the trailer helps tremendously.

The Malone trailer with two kayaks strapped down and ready to be put into the water.
The Malone Low Bed Trailer hauling two kayaks for easy launching and loading.

It's great having a dealer close to home who understands what recreational kayakers and kayak anglers need to have an exceptional experience on the water. James and I only wish that we would have found Music City Outdoors sooner so we would have purchased the equipment we needed first. There's an old saying in the world of kayaking that says, "Buy your last kayak first." I think this sentiment is true as I know we have spent money over the years on equipment that didn't really suit our needs. For those just starting out, do some research and find a dealer who listens to you and helps you find what you need for the style of kayak fishing you want to do. You'll be glad you took the time to develop a working relationship with an independent dealer.

Courtney Bennett in her Hobie Compass kayak with the Bending Branches hi-vis paddle attached to the side.
Courtney Bennett in her Hobie Compass with the Bending Branches Angler Pro in Hi-Vis Green.

As always, have fun, catch fish, and wear your PFD!

(All photos courtesy of Courtney Bennett) Check her out on out National Prostaff Team page.

What paddle questions can we help you with today? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based Customer Service Team: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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