Plug - sit on top kayak

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Manimal, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Manimal

    Manimal Member

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    I just wanted to offer a note about my new kayak.

    After fishing pontoons, canoes, rafts over the last 10 yrs i have to say the 10' wilderness system tarpon 100 is the best toy i have bought so far. Great for day trips, stable, indestructible!

    I used it in the ocean, big lakes and slower moving rivers(havent tried whitewater yet).

    i love it and cant imagine using my inflatables anymore...

    just fyi
     
  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Those Tarpons aren't bad. I checked out the 12' model, and kinda liked it, but I already had my Nativecraft Ultimate 12, which is a different style craft entirely.
    How much does that little 10' Tarpon weigh? I might be building a quiver.
     
  3. Manimal

    Manimal Member

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    ya the nativecrafts are nice too, just couldnt find one in my parts. but i love the tarpon for the ease of getting in and out. it only weighs about 50lbs. but the best feature by far has been its ability to cut through high winds like they arent there. i hit 3 foot waves and 30mph winds last week on the island and wasnt fazed at all. with my canoe i would have been spun around and royally screwed!

    also found that tethering everything to the kayak is a big plus, when you hook a fish you just let paddle, net, whatever drop - no worries.

    the only thing i would criticize is the difficulty with standing up, in my canoe that was a great feature, but this seat is so comfortable its like fishing out of an easychair...
     
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I've been considering the Tarpon 14 for fishing in the ocean, strait, and sound, as I need something to cover some distance and fight the current, and yet be an "all-round" boat. I like these particular SOT yaks. I think the 16'er might be a little long for my purposes, although it gets great reviews for paddling speed and efficiency.
    The new Tarpons have a flat spot on the deck under one's feet that allows one to stand up and cast. I've read reviews that say that the forward hatch covers on the Tarpons fit nice and tight and don't leak, unlike on some of the other SOT yaks that I have read about, which seem to have hatch-cover leakage issues.

    I've also been looking at the Hobie Mirage-drive boats, but the trade-off between pedal power and draft bothers me. I don't mind paddling at all. I like to be able to cruise very shallow water without having to get out and change the boat over. The ones i've seen, you have to get out and remove the Mirage-drive in order to scoot in the shallows. Sounds like a PITA. Otherwise, they seem like very good boats. Hobie makes quality stuff, in my experience.

    There's quite a few different brands and configurations of SOTs out there, but I've been narrowing the selection down to my own needs and preferences. I'll likely go to the NW Sea Kayak Symposium in Port Townsend at the end of Sept and test paddle a bunch of boats.

    I still really like my Ultimate 12 for the backwaters and lower rivers and creeks, and rough launches in lakes. I can paddle it standing up, and stand and cast in it no problem. Not the best for going out in the open ocean or strait, though.
     
  5. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    OK guys, you've peaked my interest in these SOT kayaks. Prior to this I had never given them a second look. I have never been in any kind of kayak before in my life. Are these things pretty stable? Are they suitable for river fishing?

    Lonnie
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Bitterroot, These aren't the best possible craft for fishing faster flowing rivers, unless you park them on a gravel bar and get out and fish. Slower moving water and lower rivers are much easier to troll or cast from these.
    It was much easier to fly fish from my old square stern canoe with the trolling motor on back, and an anchor drop system off the bow. A drift boat or raft is superior for floating rivers. Anchoring in moving water is a little trickier in a yak, but doable.
    These SOTs shine for car-topping to a beach or rough launch, or paddling the estuaries and near-shore places in the Sound of Strait, or off the coast if the surf is small.
    I don't like rowing on the estuary or lower rivers, as I like to be facing the direction I am moving. I prefer a kayak for this. Or a trolling motor on a boat. Rowing's OK for s-l-o-w trolling a fly in a lake. This is just my opinion. Others may disagree.
    I prefer a drift boat for floating down a river, though, since you are still facing downstream while rowing.
     
  7. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Jim, I have a 14' Tarpon. I'm used to fast skinny touring kayaks so I was quite surprised by its performance the first time I paddled it. It was a compromise between the faster 16' and more manuverable 12' but I've been happy with it. Going to PT is a great idea as you'll be able to paddle about every boat made plus it's a lot of fun.
     
  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Thanks for the input, Freestone. If I survive the antics of my re-entry into surfing without ending up becoming either a statistic or a crippled laughing stock, I'll be at the Symposium.

    One insanity at a time!

    I should dig out my VCR and an old vid entitled "Surfing For Life." It has footage of stiff old geezers riding very small waves on very large boards. Maybe that'll convince me to give it up.:rofl:
     
  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I inquired around, and it doesn't seem like there will be many tupperware fishing SOTs to try out at the Sea Kayak Symposium, so I am headed to Portland next week to test paddle a Tarpon 14 and Tarpon 16. The rep at the shop I'm going to told me the Tarpon 14 was plenty fast, and that he wouldn't recommend the 16 unless I was planning on doing at least 20-miles per round trip.

    My dang surfboard-building buddy has yet to order my blank! He's apparently experiencing anemic cash-flow, and has to sell another board first. Lucky for me I can borrow a longboard any time I want, or use my old home-made hybrid. I'm trying again maybe this weekend or next week. If I cripple myself, I'll have a good excuse to fish from my 16' john boat, which seems like a luxury liner compared to a yak.
     
  10. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    Anybody try the Nu Canoe thats made up in Bellingham?

    I've been looking @ them - stable enough to stand in, fitted for an electric trolling moter, and comes in a fishing package with rod holders etc. A bit heavier than most fishing kayaks, the tradeoff is the wider 42" beam that supposedly makes standing while fishing - paddling - poling just a bit easier.

    DS
     
  11. keel

    keel New Member

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    +1 great kayak
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I checked out their website and they look like they might be a good boat to use with an electric trolling motor in calmer waters. With a handle extension, one could probably stand and motor upstream in tidal rivers and creeks, with a flyrod in the other hand. From a standing position, you can much more easily see the bottom structure and deadheads, etc.
    The 12' sound a little heavy for car-topping at 83 lbs, but the 10' base model at 58 lbs doesn't sound bad.
    I'd have to actually demo one before I knew if I liked it. 42" is wide...looks slow to paddle, but if you mainly used a trolling motor, it could be the ticket.
    One thing i've noticed lately is that many of the tupperware kayak manufacturers are coming out with boats especially fitted for electric drives. Native, Ocean Kayak, & Hobie, are names that come to mind. Some are designed to let you use either a pedal drive or and electric. I've just seen these on their websites or in mags.

    Unless one fits their boat with an expensive rudder system on the rear, the steering is really stiff with a forward mounted drive. (For example, you wouldn't be able to turn very fast, if at all, with the electric drive amidships, if you didn't have a rudder. I saw a friend of mine try to mount one on his canoe amidships, using one of those trolling motor mounts that clamp on the rails, and it was a joke...major brain fart). The NuCanoe looks like it lets you just put an existing electric trolling motor on the stern (best position for control, without an added rudder system), and then place your battery forward to help balance the craft.
    These are just my opinions, after having used an electric on the back of my old square stern canoe.
     
  13. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Damn! woke up yesterday and found a Tarpon 14 atop my soob in the driveway.:eek:
    Fog cleared, and I remembered a crazed trip to someplace called Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe on Tomahawk Island just S of the border. (Thanks Jason, for all the great customer service, experienced opinion, and advice!:thumb:)
    The tough part was driving past all the good fishing opportunities knowing that I was going to throw down some serious moolah for a hyped chunk of plastic, even though that might enhance my future fishing opportunities.

    This yak will be used for ocean fishing, and since I figured "mango" was the flavor most enjoyed by Great White sharks, and I also like mangos and mango flavored rum, I got it in "mango."
    Also "more easier" for the CG helicopter to spot me. Only other color they had in stock was "yum-yum yellow."

    It was on sale, and I saved $$ by not buying it factory-rigged as a "fishing yak." I'll be custom outfitting it myself.
    Too windy here locally for boating today, so I'm off to the marine supply store to get stainless pulleys and hardware, plastic pad-eyes, and misc assorted whatnot to rig an anchor trolley and stuff. Fishing tomorrow.

    Looked at the Tarpon 16 and it seemed just a little too big and heavy to easily load and unload from my rig by myself. This can be an inhibiting factor when deciding whether or not to do a "go-out" when your stoke is only running at 88% or less, so I culled that factor from the herd right now. The T-14 felt "just right" on the test paddle. I'm 6' 1/2" with a 32" inseam and 165-170lbs.

    What "toy addiction?" Only problem I foresee now is deciding which boat I want to take out, or just hike and wade.:beathead:
     
  14. tomc

    tomc Member

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    Cool Jim, I am back in the area and have been looking at kayaks for awhile. I am glad when the fog cleared it was a good thing...
    see you on the river.
    Tom C.
     
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Tom, let me know if you want to come out here and try out one of my tupperware toys. I also bought another paddle. Bring some cutthroat flies and we'll head up a local tidal creek. Or when the tides are right, we can troll for Kings in another coastal river I know. My regular midweek fishing buddies have been flaking out lately due to too much weak sauce in their diets. I have been talking to a potential new fishing buddy lately, who seems to have more stoke.

    Tides are looking good again toward the end of next week. If the Kings (and Coho) are in the river and biting, that has a tendency to trump Cutthroat fishing.
    Tomorrow and Wednesday I may be trolling for salmon. Hopefully, I'll be checking the "coastal river" tomorrow (Don't have a buddy confirmed yet, so seat is open in the john boat, or I'll troll solo in my Ultimate 12) and trolling for Kings and Coho in Willapa Bay on Wednesday (already have a tentative buddy for W).
    Tough staying organized around here amidst all this self-induced chaos.:clown:
    Today may see some drilling and cutting and screwing around with the new tupperware. I'd better get on it!
     
  16. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    That's awesome Jim! I also have the Tarpon 140 in mango plus a Wildernest Tempest 170 and Pungo 120 - all in mango! It's not my favorite color but when I'm on the water, my favorite color is one that the CG can see. If I ever get down that way, we'll have to have a Tarpon mango-fishing-fest.
     
  17. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Those Pungo 100s aren't bad looking, either. They move pretty fast for a 10' piggy.
    This boat proliferation is a disease!:beer1: I still use my U-12 (olive, with black spray skirts) and my mini-drifter (sky gray) for creek sneakin' and smaller lakes. But "mango" seems right for the ocean.
    Middle of Sept looks like good paddling tides here for morning fishing, but any time the wind and rain aren't too bad can be good.
     
  18. d_w_hart

    d_w_hart New Member

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    Just thought I would add some feedback on the Hobie's. I have been fishing one out in the sound for 5 years now, and could not be more delighted. BTW, you do not need to get out of the boat to lift the drive system in extremely shallow water... you can do it while seated. They are really, really fast, super stable, and obviously offer the advantage (especially important for fly fishing) of hands free use.

    Been using it a ton this year, all over north sound to sound sound, and has been especially terrific for the pinks. Had it out in pretty volatile water and wind, and never a hint of problem.

    Been traveling further and further afield this year, some really long "peddles", and it is wonderful when I decide to head home to be able to really cruise fast and fairly effortlessly, even against the rip and in stout winds.

    I also had it up at the Blackfeet Lakes a few weeks ago and what a treat! To be able to troll big flies for those 10 lb browns was really neat.

    Good luck with your decision. You can email me at dhart@u.washington.edu if you want more info.
     
  19. d_w_hart

    d_w_hart New Member

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    Whoops! I also forgot to add that my neighbor got one this year, with the oversized flippers, and outfitted it with a finder. I tend to follow him around when he is out, like a dog on a bone. The finder fits perfectly into that mast socket, with the lead winding down into the forward hatch.
     
  20. FLYRODR

    FLYRODR Guest

    Just thought I'd put my two-cents in... I've been fishing out of my Hobie Outback (w/Mirage Drive) and I can't think of another SOT I'd ever consider. The pedal drive allows me hands-free fishing IN REVERSE (just like a 'toon) and shallow water is no problem. I just pull the drive unit out without having to get out of the boat and the draft goes down to just a few inches. Got a lot of water to cover? I converted my stock blades to the turbo blades and can get a good wake going behind me; can cover miles in no time... extremely stable with a very wide 33" beam.
     

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