Howdy Form TX!Need some feedback on these 3 Yaks:Manta Ray 12,Wild.sys.Ride135,Tarpon120;My neighbor by my camp on Conroe has a Tarpon 120 and has let me borrow a few times and was impressed.Used to own a Mainstream Kingfish,but was stolen last summer.Had that Yak for 8 yrs-Time to upgrade.My preferences are,Stability,Tracking,and functionality.Open to ALL suggestions.I might just say phooey and go get a Mini-X;They look fun!

Of the the three…
I believe the Ride135 to be the most stable and versatile . They’re all good choices for fishing inland lakes and protected bays as well as being a step up from the Mainstream. 14ft will give more speed and glide.

Can’t go wrong with those three
Sit in each and pick that one that you think you’ll be most comfortable in on the water. Each of the three are great fishing kayaks.

  • Big D

your decision
Don’t think about stability when making a choice. They’re all very stable as fishing platforms. It’s always the first thing out of a customers mouth but it should be the last concern. Mentally you’ll get hung up on the idea of stability and when the time comes (and it will) that stability fails you won’t know what to do. Learn how the kayak behaves without any gear with you.

That being said, the Ride 135 is the most stable of the three you mentioned. This is due to the pontoon hull it has. If you are a fly fisherman or you spend a lot of time sight fishing for redfish or other fish, it is a great option. I have the Commander 120 by Wilderness and use it for this purpose as both have a similar hull. The Ride and Tarpon also have the really sweet Orbix hatches which are easier to use than tupperware style hatches. The Slide Trax (Tarpon series) make it easy to install accessories since you don’t have to drill into the kayak. Just mount onto the track and move it where you need it.

The Manta Ray is a great boat as well and I felt comfortable in it when it got nasty outside. There is a ton of room to mount accessories as well. I think they’ve added a track system to the '10 models also.

Thumbs up
I agree that ‘stability’ and ‘tracking’ are generally over-rated. All fishing SOTs are plenty stable. There is no boat of that size that won’t feel “tippy”. The problem isn’t feeling tippy but actually tipping over. As far as tracking, any boat will go straight with good paddle technique.

So, if you can control your body to keep your shoulders square no matter what your hips are doing, keep your center of gravity over the center of the boat, and learn decent paddle technique, you will be able to use ANY boat.

That said, some boats paddle more easily than others, and some boats are more suited for certain applications than others. All three of the boats you listed above are well suited to fishing in the manner you described.

  • Big D