i am 5’11" 185, beginner, looking for a small yak for fishing and light paddling on small and medium lakes. considering the old town dirigo 106, loon 111, perception sundance, ems swifty, and wilderness sys pungo 100. any thoughts? thanks.
Lots of them out there…
… for what you need. I started fishing and paddling in an Old Town Otter for $249 and could not have been more pleased. The sundance and swifty are similar dimensions but I think their seats are now part of the molded hull. I still my otter to fish.
Yep, lots of choices out there.
The Dirigo seems to be a newer boat from Old Town. The Loon has been around for a long time, as has the Pungo. I fish from a Necky Sky (9.6), weigh well over 200 lbs, and have no problems. Necky also makes the Manitou, I’ve heard good things about it. If you can afford it, you might want to look at the Loon 138. Bit longer and roomier, probably faster paddling, but not all that much heavier. I wish I’d waited a bit. Since buying my Necky, I’ve found two 138’s for sale for under $350, one was $250, scraped up a bit, but still very floatable and looks don’t matter to the fish. Also, one Pungo for $300. Nice thing about the Pungo and Loon, there are lots out there and you may find a bargain on a used one.
"Try before you buy"
Our old standby motto here on P-net and to all newbies.
If you like it after trying it and the price fits your budget, go for it.
The Sonoma 10 Perception weighs only 35 pounds. It held me, though low in the water, and I weigh closer to 300 lbs. Will sell it though or trade for used boat or equipment as my sciatic nerve didn’t like it as well and it doesn’t hold the weight it claims to very well.
One thing I’ve learned is some of getting the right boat is trial and error. So don’t put out a whole lot of money unless you are sure. I have to earn more money now - so I can look for another boat, with even more care than I used this summer because I bought the wrong boat two months ago.
I’ve learned and received the best support from a couple of the members in a local club. They have been kind, honest, helpful and made some excellent suggestions!
It does help tremendously to go on line here and read the reviews of all of the boats but it doesn’t help enough I learned.
I love being in the water in my 3 year old Pungo. I feel very safe in it. However it weighs nearly 50 lbs and this is a bit too much for me to lift and cart. It seems to be a forgiving boat but it is slow sometimes.
All three boats you mention are good boats for small rivers and lakes. My first kayak was an otter and I still use it for small winding creeks. I think for lakes, even small lakes a slightly larger kayak is better, I would choose the loon 110 of those you mention. All three have large cockpits which is good for fishing. I use a sundance 120 for lake and river fishing, It has a large cockpit which allows me to get in and out easily when combining wade fishing with kayak fishing. it also has room behind the seat for a tackle bag/box. I think the loon 111 has room back there as well. Maybe its just me but I have 4 kayaks and love them all. I’m sure whatever kayak you pick you’ll have great fun with it.
I have a Tempest 170 and an Old Town Rush…talk about extremes!..The Rush is just plain fun to paddle and it comes with a half skirt that acts as a deck that I kept water bottle and tackle box on as well as bungee material in the fron and back that I attached a small basket to with a telescoping rod. Caught a lot of local bass in this little boat. 9 foot 6 inches but a little different design than the otter…nice comfortable seat to relax in. The only thing I will recommend strongly is that in any of these small boats that you put in float bags both in front and in back as most don’t come with them and they will not allow you to scramble back on with the cockpit above water if you don’t.
How about a Dagger Zydeco? Similar to a swifty, lots of positive product reviews on this website.