I am in the market for a SOT fishing kayak. My height is 5’10, weight 210, will be fishing small to big lakes including the Great Lakes in Michigan. At this point I have been looking over a Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 or 15 ft and a Tarpon 14 by Wilderness I believe. Any recommendations as far as length, 13, 14 or 15, make of Kayak, rudder use etc, would be appreciated.

Take a look at the Phoenix series from Hurricane. My daughter has the 120 and it is a nice boat. Probably smaller than you want though. The 140 has been newly modified and has some nice features. They are also about 10 lbs lighter than equivalent boats, look better and seem to be a little quicker. While I am not fond of rudders on touring boats, they definitely have a place on fishing kayaks. Go for toe controls on the rudder if you can get them. They are well worth the extra money.

Since you like to get wet, you’ll like
the Tarpon 140. Its a bit on the wet side. Look at the WS Ride 135 (new for '07) and the Liquid Logic Manta Ray 14. Both are great boats. Perception has the Search 135, also a nice SOT. As said above, the Hurricane Phoenix deserves a look, its light for the size. Comes in 120, 130, and 140…think there may also be a 160 now. All are among the best SOT fishing kayaks right now, unless you go for longer like the T-160 or a pedal drive Hobie.

Nothing to add
Just wanted to mention that I like your screen name.

  • Big D

check out

– Last Updated: Apr-11-07 3:45 PM EST –

the Malibu line, they have 2 models you'd want to consider, the X-Factor and the Extreme... both are big water kayaks with the X-factor being possibly the premier big water kayak... The Ocean Kayak Big Game Prowler competes with is but I say the much larger storage capacity of the X-Factor makes it win that argument... Malibu's have a lifetime warranty and a ton of rigging options with a lot of flat areas to mount rod holders and fishfinders... You definately need a rudder if you're going to be on big water and a large stable yak is necessary as well... I'd say stick with a Malibu or OK, Wilderness' are nice but they really lack in storage compared to the previous 2... One think to check is this rating scale of a lot of different kayaks from
click on the "comparisons page" link in the middle of the paragraph... I think you'll see what I mean when it comes down to OK vs. Malibu's as the premier big water yaks... also Malibu has a lifetime warranty whereas OK and WS only have a 1 year warranty..

Have you looked at
the Malibu Pro Explorer? It is a lot less expensive then the X factor, or the Extreme if money is an issue, and it has a 450# load capacity. It is at least $200 cheaper than the other 2. I am still looking myself and the Pro Ex is on the top of my list so far.

I’ve paddled the Malibu XFactor and the eXtreme…and own a Liquid Logic Manta Ray 14. The Manta Ray is the most responsive and fastest. The XFactor is so stable that its like being on your own island. The eXtreme is somewhere in the middle.

I’m 6’2" and 300 pounds. The Manta Ray takes a bit of water at the forward scuppers…six inches beyond my feet. Neither of the Malibu kayaks took on any water.

When paddling hard, the eXtreme began to sink at the bow. It had good stability at speed and in a hard tip. This boat has a very low profile which reduces wind effect.

The XFactor is a Big Rig. I sat sideways and bounced without being able to get it to ship any water in the cockpit. Its a big heavy boat to handle, but its stable enough to easily move around on it. The boat sits high and wind will be a factor.

I like the eXtreme, but I bought the Manta Ray because we paddle lakes and streams. The Liquid Logic boat is lighter, faster, and easier to handle in tight spaces. If I was paddling the ocean or the Great Lakes, I would have chosen the eXtreme.

Big D
I would go with either a T160i or the P15.

Guy, I am in eastern NC. I looked at the website for Malibu and it looked like there were dealers in Virginia Beach VA, and at Hatteras Island NC, but I was told by others that the nearest dealer was in New Jersey. Since all of these places are so far away from me, I will probably choose another brand. I did like what I saw on the Malibu yaks, and I appreciate all the info you gave me on all of them. Who knows? When I buy my 1st yak, I may like it well enough to buy another one just for ocean use or large lakes.

Malibu dealer
The only reason I managed to demo the Malibu models is that we have a dealer just down the road in Albany, OH.

Malibu dealer
I talked to the dealer near me and she has a relative in NC. She might be willing to preposition a demo boat for you.
will ship to any Old Dominion freight yard in your area for $100… Its worth it for their lifetime warranty over Wilderness Systems and Ocean Kayaks 1 year warranty…

Malibu dealer
Guy, thanks for the info. I am in the process of trying out a Redfish 12. I liked what I saw of the Malibu yaks without evere trying one. I am totally new at this. I went to a demo last year, but only tried a couple of yaks for just a few minutes.

Madmoney, I may check out KFS once more for prices on Yaks. I am not much of one to order off the net, but have done it on rare occasions in the past. Could you tell me about the Redfish 12. I haven’t seen many reviews on it, but what I did see was good.

Malibu dealer
Guy, I am in eastern NC, about halfway between Raleigh and Atlantic Beach. Would that dealer’s relative be near me?

fishing kayak demo in Michigan
There is an event June 23 in mid-lower Michigan with several classes on kayak fishing and there will be many brands there to demo too. hard to find dealers that have many fishing kayaks to test paddle.

The other non-fishing classes sure won’t hurt to take too. We are anxious to try casting out of the Native models.

Reply -fishing kayak comparison
The prowlers and tarpon are great, the shorter & wider the slower. the longer boat will go faster/glide farther per paddle stroke. I have a Perception Prism 14’, a O.K. Prowler 13’. If I were to buy another boat today it would be the Prowler 15, maybe it would keep up w/ my Prism. The Tarpon 14 I’ve heard doesn’t track as well w/o a rudder as the O.K. prowlers.

P or T

– Last Updated: Jun-02-07 6:44 AM EST –

I've owned both the Prowler 15 and the Tarpon 160. The 160 I had was before the tankwell so it had two hatches. I owned both at the same time and used then frequently. Some will say one is better than the other, but I found them equal. Perhaps the 160 had a little bit drier ride. The Prowler seemed to be of more durable plastic. Both boats will handle big water very well. I used both in Lake Michigan one summer while visiting the inlaws. I got caught in a summer squall while trolling for Macs and it was a hairy ride. My buddy swamped in his sit inside and had some problems reentering. I never came close to flipping and we were in some big wind and swells.

Rudder on the Prowler? Mine came with one and I enjoyed using it to fish without having to correct my drift with a paddle stroke. On the Tarpon? I didn't have one and really never needed it. But then most of my kayaks never had a rudder and I never felt the need to add one.

I'd skip the 13 or 14 and get the longer versions. They are faster and allow you to haul more gear. Bottom line; either boat will serve you well.

Hobie Quest
Anyone have any experience with this fishing yak? If so, how would you compare it to other fishing yaks?

I’ve paddled it. Competent kayak.
Its one of the best as far as lay out for fishing. Lots of little convenience stuff. The only complaint I’ve heard about it is that it doesn’t track as well as some kayaks, but others say its not a problem. Rouse, all the boats you’ve looked at are great, its a matter of getting one and getting on the water. Spring is gone or almost gone, Summer is getting nearer, get the yak and get fishing. No matter which you get, within a year or two you’ll be getting another.