New member here and have a Q

Hello just searching around and stumbled across this site. I am located in NW PA and i am looking into my first kayak. im 6’4" and about 215lbs. im looking at the old town dirigo 120 and 140 and would use it in medium speed rivers and on lakes as a fishing platform (maybe a trip or two but not sure). what would be the best for my application or is it a matter of preference? is there a noticable difference in performance? im 19 and for the past 13 years i have run a 17’ fiberglass race canoe for fishing etc and would like to try a kayak. my friend got the 120 and i really like it but thought i should ask here for thoughts from the pro’s

Thanks for the info, love the site.


The 140
The Dirigo is similar to the Loon 138 that I have. It will be easier paddling than the 120, faster, track straighter and have more room for gear. Kayaks are easier to paddle in the wind. That said, you will find fishing from a sit inside kayak to be a bit more restrictive than fishing from a canoe. I switched from a kayak to a solo canoe and rarely use my kayak anymore. I enjoy the freedom of being able to move around easily in the canoe and easier gear access.

The 140 will be easier to paddle
on lakes, but less maneuverable on narrow rivers w/ current. The 120 is a better option for you if you aren’t paddling against current in the river, aren’t paddling across the lake or long distances. You and I are about the same size and I have both 11’ and 14’ kayaks, although not Dirigos. Probably not an issue with that boat, but my 11’ tracks better than my 14’. So longer doesn’t ALWAYS track better. Although, with two yaks of the same design (Dirigo 120 vs Dirigo 140), it probably will.

Just consider what you will be paddling most, lakes or rivers, and what the river current and width is like. If mostly lakes, with occasional river paddling, the 140 is best for you. But if the other way around, I’d go w/ the 120. The assumption, also, is that your paddling will be limited and you will mostly be fishing and floating.

As far as kayak vs. canoe for fishing, I think you will like a kayak better. Less room, yes, but learn to pack only what you NEED. The nice thing is that with proper outfitting, everything is right around your cockpit and easier to reach, easier to get to. It’s also more maneuverable than a canoe, and with a full skirt, warmer for cold-season fishing.


By the way, welcome and remember one
thing: there are no pros here, so on advice, remember, you get what you pay for. ;~)


I fish from a SOT. I find it less restrictive but wetter and most are self bailing. There are a lot of fishing SOTs out there to choose from in all sizes.

Probably the 120
But that’s my taste. Which rivers you talking about? Alleghany, Clarion? I’d go with a 12’ boat in those rivers. A 14’ may not have the turning speed you desire in a river with a fairly swift current like that.

Again, my preference. Your mileage may vary.

As far as Sit-On-Top kayaks, I think they are better for fishing than are Sit-In kayaks. That said, I fish from a Sit-In kayak. I’m just more comfortable that way.

  • Big D

Generally, Old Town kayaks track
very well. The 140 will do so a bit better. Either will be fine on the lake or river, though if the river presents fast water that requires maneuvering, the 120 will be better. Comfort wise, there won’t be much difference. I’ve and OT Loon 138, about the same size and similar bottom hull lines as the 140. Its great when windy and the waves kick up a bit. But, I do believe I would have been just as happy with a 120.

well i think i will go with the 120 then. with gas prices on the rise i will probably mostly do river fishing with it because i live in Port Allegany and i am 3 blocks from the Allegheny river. luck me lol. As far as fishing gear all i take is lunch a small tackle bag pole and worms. Any one from around here ever fish stevenson dam? good fishing clear water and no motor boats.

thanks again for the info


We have one of each!
Wife and I just bought our first yaks, a 120 and 140 Dirigo! I have had the chance to paddle them both, but only a couple times total. I used hers first and I thought it was prety much a dog. It wasn’t particularly fast and felt “heavy” in the water. Then I tried “my” boat: the 140. I liked it much better as far as paddling it went. It was faster than the 12, felt more nimble to me than the shorter boat and I had no trouble turning it in the little tributary river I went up when fallen trees sent me back. I am about your weight.

The cockpit is notable huger on the 140 than on the 120. It’s 4 feet long! I found that it was a stretch to get ot the dashboard area and the deck rigging was useless for on-the-water access. You are about 4 inches taller than my though so YMMV. The big opening DID allow me to use the deck space in a more canoe-like fasion than the 12 while engaged in “fishing activities” but I think that the smaller cockpit woul dhave been better IF I had bothered to set the boat up as a kayak for fishing and not just treated it as a decked over canoe. The bigger cockpit also alowed a LOT more water to drip in on me.

Finally, I too am trying to “get” the whole fishing from a kayak thing. For personal reasons I want to get into it so I can have ONE solo boat and trade my 12 foot radisson on a family canoe. Other than tracking in the wind I like the canoe better for fishing at this point but I am in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM and expert in kayaks, canoes or fishing!

So, there you go. My quick review/comparo of the two boats.

With time, the water drips will lessen
Play with the drip cups a bit. I get very little water in my Loon 138 when I paddle. Usually, my drip cups are set fairly close to the paddle.

You have already got some great advice from some of the others. But I figured I could still say hello :slight_smile:

well thanks for the warm welcome and advice. i am just now counting down the days until i get my new boat. my dad took my canoe after his got totaled so im boatless…

120, I think you will like it better…
The shorter 120 is just about right for the Allegheney sections you mention. It will also handle ANY water. But you will find the 120 most maneuverable with lots of room for a days worth of gear. The 14 I would recommend if you do lots of overnight camping and need storage room. You will like this shorter boat better on Oswayo or Ishua creeks too, still big enough to tackle Kinzua Lake.