How stable are SOT??

I have been fishing in a sit inside kayak for the past two years and am thinking about purchasing a SOT this spring. Do those of you that use SOT find them to be as stable as a sit inside? I fish in a small 10 ft kayak currently and find it to be comfortable in all conditions on the fresh water lakes I fish on. The only reason I am looking to make a change is for more room for gear and the ability to get at the gear when I need it. Thank you for your input.

SOTs are considered more “stable” than SINKs. Reality is that the sense of “stability” is very relative/subjective.

Check out this website and the research tool. There is definitely an SOT out there would meet your criteria. Go go look and test paddle this spring with local shop/outfitter.


I think you’ll be happy with an SOT
I have an SOT (Ocean Kayak Malibu II) and also a few sit-ins (Perception America, Dagger Approach). I fish from all of them, but when I want absolute rock-solid stability for wiggling around and stretch space, it’s the Malibu II I take. I can sit on it sideways, dangling my feet in the water like a kid fishing from a dock. I can turn around, get up on all fours, and root around in the stuff behind the seat. I have helped with rescues by having a friend trapped standing on a rock sit on the front while I paddle her to where her boat was caught. I have loaded it down with my stuff, three other people stuff AND a spare friend on the front in rescues. Great, useful, rock solid stable boat. I’ve even taken it in class II whitewater and it worked beautifully.

There are a ton of SOT kayaks well suited for fishing, but I think Cobra Navigator, OK Drifter, Wilderness Systems Tarpon, and Liquid Logic (somethingorother that’s basically the same as a Tarpon) are the main “pedigreed” fishing SOTs. Get whatever length you need and is appropriate for your water. I prefer shorter boats on my rivers, but if you’re going to be doing long passages on flat-water, you’ll want longer.

Good luck. Have fun.

  • Big D

How about a solo canoe? plenty of storage, and you can get at it all. Very easy to change up your position too so you stay comfy.

Fishing Machine
Personally I believe that the Tarpon 160 angler is something that you should look into. They are stable and allot of room for storage of gear. I believe that speed is worth a mention.

The liquid Logic boat is
now a Native Manta Ray 11/12/14

It’s doesn’t track as hard as the Tarpon and it sits higher out of the water. If you are over 200 lbs, consider the Native over the WS SOT.


that’s the one
Thanks for the backup.

  • Big D

Got Ya
Native makes some nice fishing boats, they just don’t seem to be as easy to find locally.


I have an old
OK Scrambler. Its really stable, but I have dumped it. I was playing with it in the local white water park. I made several runs (in low water conditions) without dumping and dumped a lot just messing around.

Well sure.
Even someone as good of a paddler as you’re reputed to be will dump a non-whitewater kayak playing in whitewater.

But for a pretty typical fishing run, you’d have to admit the Scrambler would do pretty good.

For the record, I dumped a Scrambler my first time surfing at the ocean. Nevertheless, I found it a darned solid boat that I’d be comfortable fishing from in the conditions the OP stated.

Yah sure, you bettcha
I wasn’t knocking it at all. Its great on flat water, made for a dive platform - which I don’t do - and I was using it out of context in the WW just for fun. I was pleased to stay on top of it going down the creek in low water late August conditions.

big game
i love my big game for fishing. Extremely stable and tons of space for rods, boxes, and beer :slight_smile:

I’ve got the LL Sting Ray 14
which is a sit in kayak, but I believe very similar in hull shape to the Manta Ray. It became the Heritage Stingray, though I believe it’s discontinued.

I use mine for fishing (when I do anymore) and would say that if the hull shapes are as similar as I think, the Manta Ray would be great. But as BigD stated, go for shorter if maneuverability is an asset where you fish. The 14’s ok, and probably tracks better/gives better speed than the 12, but turn on a dime it doesn’t.


This is coming kind of late, but SOT kayaks vary in regard to stability. Generally, the wider they are, the more stable they are. Realize also, this will make the kayak travel much slower if you want to fish and move around a lot in it. You don’t have to buy the widest kayak available to fish though. You can still paddle easy and fish from a thinner SOT.


Harder to stand up in a kayak
If I was lake fishing and not planning to get in and out for a lot of wading I would choose a canoe. If I wasn’t a good canoe paddler I’d bring my longest kayak paddle.

My Tarpon 160 is harder to stand up in than a canoe, even though it is easier to stand up in than most sit inside kayaks.

WS has flattened the floors of the

– Last Updated: May-25-10 12:09 PM EST –

Tarpons in their latest models.
I just paddled the 140 and 160 .Both cruise easily at 3.5 mph.I pushed the 160 to 5.2 and the 140 to 4.7, but I can't sustain that.I think these speeds are comaparable to most SINKs and a lot faster than a 10 footer.
I bought the 140 because it turns more quickly than the 160.
I weigh 230.