loon 138t for fishing

does anyone use am Old Town loon 138t for fishing? If so, got any suggestions on how I should rig mine for (rod holders, anchor, ice chest, tackle box, anything else I might need)

I’m trying to make this boat work instead of buying somehting else, so please don’t respond with “hey, you should try a SOT” or somehting like that.

Thanks all.

While I don’t use the 138T I do use a 138 occasionally. I would move the rear seat to the middle if possible to trim the boat. Then use a milk crate behind the seat to hold a small tackle box and other gear, like pliers, lip grippers, etc. Use 1.5 inch PVC pipe cut to the appropriate length and zip tie them into the corners of the crate, they are now your rod holders. I use two ice chests a small one for drinks and snacks and a little larger one for the fish. I seldom use an anchor as I prefer to drift fish, but when I do I use a variety depending on the area I’m fishing. Most commonly I use a drift anchor, but will sometimes use a homemade anchor(Quikcrete inside a length of 4" PVC pipe with a eyebolt stuck in one end) and seldom but occasionally a brush anchor, if I’m fishing a weedy or brushy area. With my anchors I just tie it onto the boat within easy reach. Attach a float and quick release to the tie off so you can let it go if you get a big fish or a hang up. The float will keep the line on the surface so you can recover your anchor later.

I’ve a Loon 138, but have paddled

– Last Updated: Dec-22-07 6:06 PM EST –

the tandem version on a two night downriver fishing trip. It wasn't rigged for fishing, but carried a load of gear and I liked it. The front seat had been removed and the rear seat moved forward. How far depends on how you like to trim the boat. I found slightly back of mid ship to work best unloaded and midship with a load, but that was as much to accommodate the 100+ pounds of gear I carried...some mine, some my son's.

As for rigging for fishing, the crate method works. I prefer my rods to be in front of me. A crate in the front of me interferes with leg comfort. If you prefer to mount rods in front, Scotty makes a couple of different flush mounts into which the standard rod holder can be inserted, as well as other accessory holders. You just have to find where they don't interfere with paddling.

On my canoe, I've taken a 1" x 6" board, the width of the outside of the gunnels (with the tandem Loon, that would be the outside of the cockpit coaming) On it, I've installed two standard Scotty mounts in which I insert my rod holders. Underneath, there is a 1" x 2" board that fits the underneath of the deck just below the coaming. Two bolts join it to the top board and wing nuts hold it together. In effect, its a clamp that holds the rod board to the coaming. You can adjust it as needed to where its easy to reach and does not intefere with fishing.

I've done the same thing with a small kayak I owned, but instead of the 1" x 6", I used 1/4" plywood and created a working deck. Haven't done that with my canoe, partly because I had the other lumber around and slapped it together in order to get fishing. Been to lazy to redo it.

Size the ice chest to fit and put it in the cockpit toward the bow. Anchor trolleys help with anchors, but some don't like them. I carry a fanny pack for my tackle box. Usually, it just sits between my legs. Other build shelves as part of the work deck to place the small plastic boxes on.

Sit insides make fine fishing craft. They'll get you to where you can catch the fish. Its not so much about the craft that gets the fish, its the fisherman. You've a fine kayak to make into a fishing boat.


– Last Updated: Dec-23-07 5:09 PM EST –

Fine ideas both of you. While reading the posts I came up with an idea, a hybrid of both suggestions.

When out paddling I normally have the front seat pushed back as far as it can go; this puts my torso right at mid ship. I took some measurements with the seats in this configuration and I found that I have just enough room to put a milk crate in the rear seat. Therefore, kayakangler, I'm going with the crate idea so I can utilize rear holders for storage and trolling, and the extra space in the crate to stow my tackle and snacks. (I want to be able to carry a good variety)

However, like you yak.canfish I would also prefer to have a holder in front of me, but for some reason I can't stomach the idea of cutting holes in my hull such as to mount the flush mounts. I can imagine myself cutting holes in my boat only to realize later that I didn't put them in an appropriate position. For this reason, I think your pseudo clamp idea is genius. ((got any pic's of it?)) It's so simple, yet so perfect. I can mount a couple of holders on it, and cut a couple small holes for my pliers, lip gripers, and their short leashes. Furthermore, I've really wanted a cup holder on my boat, and I think I can craft one into the clamp.

The original idea I was toying with was to mount an ice chest in front of me and find a way to mount both rod and cup holders onto it. However, I knew I would compromise leg room with this method. Now, with this new plan I can still have an ice chest on board, but I can put it far enough forward to still afford a comfortable ride; I'll just need to pull it towards me when its time to insert the fish:)

As for an anchor, I really like the idea of the (Quikcrete inside a length of 4" PVC pipe with a eyebolt stuck in one end). I'm going to make a few this week. Any suggestions on the type of rope, float, and quick release to use for my anchor rig?

Any suggestions on a decent landing net?

No pictures of my system.
Generally, my anchor ropes are 3/8’ nylon. Many use the rubber coated dumbells you can buy at Wal Mart for $3-5. (the weights, not employees). The 3 lb ones work. I do use a milk crate for some goodies, with my canoe, but not my Loon. I’ve 7 PVC holders on it. Six hold rods, one holds my net. Usually, I carry 4-6 rods and have 3-4 in the water at a time. Of course, I’m not casting and using both live and cut bait. Two of the PVC holders in on the crate are angled out from the hull so I can watch for hook ups.

The 138T I borrowed had the front seat removed and he used the rear. That was a pre-1986 Loon and had the hard plastic seats. If yours is one with the soft plastic seats, I’m not sure how they are set in the boat. The older models had aluminum rails the seats slide forward an back on.

well yak
I went and looked at my boat again and noticed that I must have an older loon because my front seat does in fact slide on metal rails. I also noticed that my rear seat seems to only be held in with 4 screws. Therefore, I think I am going to remove the front seat after all, and reposition the rear. This way I can really maximize the space that I have.

As for constructing my clamp, I have lots of wood in virtually all shapes and sizes, but I think a standard fence board for the top will work, what say you? ***Also, on your clamp, are the ends of your bolts with the wing nuts facing the sky, or your knees?

As for an anchor, I REALLY like the wallyworld dumbbell idea. I actually have two set’s on hand (both a 3lb and a 5lb set) and I already have about 30 feet of 3/8 harbor-freight-special nylon rope. So, I’m going to rig one of each and use the heavier when I fish moving water…(one down)


I keep thinking about this scenario, so maybe you can clarify for me.

Ok, your rod’s in your left hand, your net with a fish inside is in your right ….where do you set your rod down to work on the fish?

I’m sure this is simple, but I am just trying to grasp the logistics of fishing from such a small vessel.

I guess the logistic are natural. Never
really thought about it. Usually, I net with my left hand…I’m right handed. The main thing is keeping pressure on the fish while grabbing the net, then maneuvering him toward the net. Usually, I net head into the net. But, mainly, its some sort of automatic process. No one taught me, so I may do it wrong. Never used a net when I fished for bass. But, I do a lot of catfishing these days and a 8 lb cat can be difficult to handle from a kayak or canoe without a net. They don’t lip to well, especially blue catfish.

The fence board will work well. They run about 5 1/2" wide and that should be sufficient for the rod holder base. The wing nuts face upwards, don’t want to scrape the knees. Use stainless or at least galvanized, though I’ve used the cheaper ones and they do alright…will rust so you need to hit them with WD 40. Also, you will want to use fender washers on each side of the wood to keep them from pulling through. I haven’t done it, but a lock washer under the wing nut may help keep it secure.

In addition

– Last Updated: Dec-24-07 7:59 AM EST –

I have used the 3 lb rubbercoated dumbells as anchors and they work well. My wife reacquired them for her workout routine and so I made my own with the Quikcrete. I usually use 1//2 inch poly rope for my anchor line. I get one of those floats in the boating section and knot the rope a foot or so from the end then slip on the float and tie on a carabiner as my quick release.

When I had a sit on top kayak I made a cooler/rodholder combo to fit in my tankwell. It was a large softside with a plastic bucket inside and mesh pockets on the outside. My PVC rod holders went in the mesh pockets and got held in place by 2 bungees wrapped around the cooler. It worked well.

I too use a trolling board. A piece of 1x4 with two rod holders attached to it and this is clamped to the gunwales. I have used the wooden clamps made from the stock leftovers and carriage bolts and wing nuts. However, this year I am thinking of using a couple of C clamps as I almost lost my rods when a big fish hit this fall and the board popped off the gunwale.

When I use my net it is always in my left hand. I net the fish then bring it into the cockpit with me, set the rod butt between my legs and let the rod tip rest on the cockpit coaming while I work the hook out. Most of my fishing is for trout, panfish and smallmouths. I use a standard trout net to land my fish. Mine are the woodframe ones and they seem to work well, though I ding them up pretty good. They fit well inside a kayak or canoe. I'd like to try the aluminium framed ones, but there's something about a wooden one I just like.

Well I made an anchor
Actually, I made 2 of them. I had some pvc laying around, so I went to work with it.

1.5” anchor: (torpedo shape)

I took an end cap, drilled a hole in it, and inserted an eyebolt using Locktite and silicon. I used a double nut on the inside to ensure the eyebolt doesn’t come lose. Then, I cut about a 10” piece of 1.5” pvc and filled it with scrap metal (head bolts, nuts, and other random steel). Then, I used some fine river sand to top it off and fill in any air bubbles, and capped the other end. It weighs in about 4lbs or so.

2” anchor: (L shape)

For this I used the same method of filling and capping mentioned above, but instead of a straight piece of PVC, I used an elbow and attached two 3” pieces on either side, then the caped them off. Therefore, this anchor is shaped like an “L”. I tried this method because I thought the straight anchor would just slide on the river bottom when I started drifting, but the “L” shape may dig-in slightly and provide a bit more stopping power. This one weighs about 5lbs or so.

The 10" anchor will lay flat on its side
when anchored. The wind doesn’t affect that type of anchor adversely. In a current, it could, conceivably slide, but you probably shouldn’t be using an anchor in those conditions. My primary anchor is a sash weight, similar in size to the anchor you made. It just sits. As a secondary anchor, I have a couple of 1 1/4" solid steel rods…taken from an illegal trotline I hung up on that also had corroded hooks. Smaller in diameter, but they hold.

now that i have my anchor built
where should I tie it off to on my boat when it’s in use? Should I install a cleat?

Also, my rod holders and milk crate are in the works. My only dilema here is that the edges of the PVC are so sharp that I think I’m going to scuff up my reels pretty badly…any suggestions here?

I use an anchor trolley. That allows
me to position the anchor so that the wind is not blowing me around so bad. Usually, the anchor is at the bow of the boat. On a lake, I’ll position at the stern with the anchor to avoid wind blowing into my face and to help with casting. I use bait casting reels almost exclusively these days and they don’t cast as well into the wind. Sometimes, I’ll put one anchor out at the bow, one at the stern to hold steady in the wind. For that, I’ve another trolley on the other side of the kayak. On my solo canoe, I have a split trolley system with both on the same side. One controls the front anchor, the other the back anchor.

If the wind is milde…like below 3 mph…I’ll sometimes just drop the anchor over the side. Most of the time, I let out the full length of anchor line, about 25 ft. When you do that, you have to plan where you want your boat to wind up. But, I find the kayak or canoe to ride the waves a bit better. If I fished deeper water, my anchor rope would be 50 ft long, but I don’t like to handle that much rope from a kayak or canoe. boil water in the morning.

But, where possible, I prefer using my brush anchor, a big clip that I hook to branches or stick-ups and other objects. When using the brush anchor, I anchor fairly close to the boat at the middle part where I sit. Drifting is a another good option. A drift sock will slow your rate of drift down. Its a great way to search for fish. If lure or fly fishing, you cast as you drift. Or, with bait, your bait just drifts with your boat.

Anchor Tie Off and PVC Rod Holders
I run piece of coarse sandpaper around the edges of my PVC rodholders to smooth things out. Nothing drastic just a couple of swipes to remove the burrs. I also cut a slot in one side so the reel foot will slip into that and provide a more security.

For my anchor tie off I tie a loop in my rope and thread the rope and carabiner around something like the seat rail in my kayak or the thwart in my canoe, then clip the carabiner into the loop. If I need to unhook real quick I just have to unclip the carabiner and I’m free. Another method I sometimes use is to attach the rope to the boat with a tautline hitch. Very easy to release if needed.

I apply the KISS principle to my canoe and kayak fishing. The more crap I bring or attach to the boat, the more chance there is for a potential problem.

Don’t know if this could help, but you mentioned an ice chest. I got one of the sft ice chest for bringing food home from Sm’s club. It may fit under the front of your boat. It will hold a lot of smaller fish or a large one. Just thought I’d throw that one in. If it doesn’t work for you, maybe it will give you more ideas. I have a SOT so I have my ice chest all the way in the back of my tankwell, behind my office crate. I have to lay my fish in the floor of my boat, or paddle over to an oyster bar to get out and put the fish in the ice chest. i am hoping the soft ice chest will fit up front so I can reach it.

Hey Rouse
that sounds interesting. WHat brand is it?


well fella’s
Here’s a link to some of the stuff I’ve been building. Take a look…give me some feedback.

Thanks all.





Lookin’ Good!
Your are getting it together very nicely. I like the kayak cart you built!

Soft ice chest
djohn, all it says on the front is High performance. I am not sure if that is the actual brand. It is a tyhermal freezer bag that Sam’s sells for take home frozen foods. I guess it is about 2 ft wide and maybe not quite as tall. I believe it cost about $10. I have not used it yet, but I think it will work out OK. It is made in China, of course, but it look like it will hold up well. There is a website on the back of the tag. www.californiainnovations.com. The ad on the tag says it is leakproof, easy clean, heavy duty base, holds up to 14 gallons in the open position. It has a zippered closure on it. It also says it will hold an 18 inch pizza. It was recommended to me by someone else.

best part is…
…the wheels on that cart are on sale ar harbor freight for $4.99. For a moment I thought about buying several pairs and making carts for others. I used the sch-80 threaded pvc so the entire cart can be taken apart, and, it’s wicked strong! I think my total for all pieces including the nylon strap was s bit less then $40. If I went with the white-weak pvc it would have cost about $10-12 less.

Hey Rouse, if you look at the picture of my milk crate setup, you will see that I have a small ice chest(snack & drink holder) installed. The one I picked to use has a little flip top on it for easy access. Get this, it’s a california- innovations too!

After I dug it out of storage I took it inside to wash it and I noticed that the hard inside plastic liner is removable. Better yet, when I removed it I noticed that it’s by far the thickest and strongest plastic liner that I have seen in an ice chest of this size. All of the others that I’ve come across were flimsy and broke with ease. Therefore, if this is any indication of how california innovations make their stuff, I’m all over it!