Advice needed on rudder

I have an option of purchasing a tarpon 14 with or with out a rudder. I will be using it in the Florida Keys for recreation and fishing. Which should I get? Thanks for any help. bobg

Truth be known,
or in my opinion ( after 15 years of kayak handling ) , you do not need a rudder on a boat under 16 feet. To me it shouts " NOVICE " or I have money to spend . You will find that in a shorter boat your paddling skills are more than enough to keep you on track. Tony

Buy the rudder…
when your hands are full of rod and reel, you can’t paddle to keep the boat positioned. Wanna impress the “Oh my god a NOVICE!” crowd? Leave the rudder in the raised position…

Another vote for the rudder
If you catch a fish big enough to pull you, you’ll be glad you have a rudder. If you want to control drift while drift fishing, you’ll be glad you have a rudder. If you want better control while paddling in wind, you’ll be glad you have a rudder.

I don’t use mine much, but in these situations, I’m glad I have it. Like ST says, it gives you boat control when you have your hands full.

i agree, get the rudder…
On open water crossings in the keys when the wind picks up, you’ll be glad you have it for course correction. I’ve been there…

If the price is no problem, get the
rudder. Its always nice to have new toys to play with.

Get it…
I recently read:

“I’ve never met anyone who had a rudder and said that they wished they didn’t have one. On the other hand, I’ve met a lot of people who didn’t have one and wished they did.”

I just ordered my first ‘rudderized’ boat (less than 15’) and it should be here in a week or two. I already own several that don’t have rudders. You can get by fine without one but there have many many times that I wished I had one. Soon, I will.

I’m not too concerned with developing paddling skills beyond what I need to semi-efficiently get from point ‘A’ to pond ‘B’. A kayak, for me, is transportation to a fishing spot. I’m a fisherman first, a duck hunter second and a paddler third.

Camo WS Tarpon 140 with Feathercraft Rudder is on the way! Yeah Baby! Bring on the Bull Reds!

Tarpon 140
I recently got a Tarpon 140. I didn’t get it with the rudder, but I wish I had. When I a cross wind hits me I have to make lots of corrections. I’m not a novice either. I’ve been paddeling for 3 years. I plan on getting a rudder soon. They run a little over $200.


Get the rudder!
They really help when fishing or paddeling in adverse conditions.IMO the cutoff point is in the 12-13’ range.Anything longer gets a rudder.

get it but…
try and develop your skills not to need it. That way if it breaks on you, you’ll be able to deal with that.

If given the choice, I always use one.