Dagger Blackwater 11.5 vs OT Dirigo 120

I’m trying to decide between these two kayaks for general recreational use with a significant amount of fishing on flatwater. Any information to help compare the two would be appreciated.


I haven’t paddled either of these kayaks but have looked long and hard at both. Don’t know about their handling characteristics but I suspect they would be similar. The dirigo has a much larger cockpit which is handy for accessing fishing gear but might be a disadvantage in rough water conditions. I like the polylink hull material in the dirigo. Its tough and holds its shape but weighs more than most single layer poly kayaks of the same size. The blackwater has a built in skeg which might be of some use on open water. If fishing were my primary use I’d probably go with the dirigo otherwise it would be a tossup.

Post this question over at www.riversmallies.com

Lots of those guys use the blackwater and I’m sure a few use the oldtown.

I have a friend with a Dirigo 12’. Big cockpit, cool little dry hatch for small things like cell phone, cigs, etc. If you are primarily on flatwater and want room for stuff the Dirigo will be fine. Though, I think the Blackwater is a better quality boat. Besides, if you are like the rest of us you will probably own both within a couple years anyway.

Apples and Oranges
The two designs are quite different, with the Blackwater being close to a hybrid fastwater/flatwater design (think of it as an overgrown whitewater boat with a skeg) and the Dirigo being decidedly a flatwater oriented fishing/rec boat. That being the case, unless you want the versatility of the Blackwater, you’re probably better going with the Old Town (imho, of course…)