Opinions on Predator K111

First, a little background. I’m an LSU student who wants to get into a kayak for several reasons. I’d like to be able to take advantage of a kayak for fishing purposes naturally, but also I dabble in some photography and besides that, I think it would be just a fun pastime where I could get a bit of exercise as well. My experience level isn’t that great. I’ve paddled canoes before and one SOT kayak. As for locations where I’d be fishing, mainly it would be bayous, slow moving rivers, and generally flat lakes/marshes.

I’ve been poking around online and going to outfitters to check out various kayaks, both SOTs and SIKs. So far, even though a lot of fishermen use SOTs for fishing, I find that they don’t really appeal to me. I’d be using it for other stuff than just straight fishing, plus I probably wouldn’t be too inclined to get out and wade about frequently. Anyway, as you’ve guessed, I’m considering an Old Town Predator K111. I’m a relatively small guy (5’11 and 160 pounds), don’t really feel like hauling around a huge kayak, and want maneuverability in those bayous and swamps so I think the size of the K111 would suit me. I do have one main concern although. Even though I don’t really require much storage space at all, I am concerned about it a bit. Would the K111 be able to accommodate a smallish ice chest comfortably in the cockpit? Other than that, I’d love some general opinions on the boat and if you think it would fit my conditions well.

Its a great kayak. Tracks well,
maneuvers well, and is stable. The kayak has a large cockpit, so a small soft sided or soft sides with plastic insert should be fine. But, my Loon 138 has the same cocpit and my Playmate cooler is a bit much for me and the cockpit. You may be able to fit a small cooler behind the seat too.

You may want to register at
kayayfishingstuff.com, do a search for a fellow named yakalou, and send him a message. Yakalou lives in Louisiana and can give you lots of help in determining what kayak may be best for your intended use. He’s a friendly guy.

– Last Updated: Jan-28-08 8:49 PM EST –

Predator's are only available in camoflage. It's a color I think should be banned from using in a kayak. If you are set on a sit inside then look at the Dirigo by Old Town. It's similar to the Predator but you can get it in brighter colors.

Personally, for sporting and photography, I recommend the sit on tops. It's going to give you much more room to work with and carry accessories like a dry box for your camera.

Dirigo is a great sit inside.
It has a nice hatch area, large cockpit, and the 120 model is as easy to maneuver as the the P111. I like the flatter back deck of the Dirigo also. As for the SOT being a better platform for photography, of that, I cannot attest. Its difficult to find a more stable platform than the Loon (Predator) or Dirigo families.

Check out a Stingray 12.
50" by 20" is a HUGE cockpit. Lot’s of room for you and gear. Also, there’s a sealed rear hatch. Very stable, as much as the Old Towns, but also a slight bit narrower for a little faster paddling. Not a noticeable difference, probably, though. Very maneuverable. I can’t compare the OT’s to it, because I’ve only paddled a Loon 120 for about 10 minutes on a test paddle. It was nice.

I have the 14’ Stingray, last year’s Liquid Logic version. I suggest the 12 footer because you’re lighter than I at 220. And because you stated you didn’t want a lot of weight. I think the Stingray’s weight will be less than the poly3 of the OT’s.

Heritage makes the Stingray now. More comfortable seat, supposedly, but mine is great. They now leave out the storage system behind the seat, though, and there’s more room than in mine. Depending on you, you might like the old version better than the new (I do). If so, look for a used LL Stingray 12 for probably a really good price, or look for a new one at still a hundred or more less than a new OT.

I’ve done a bit more poking around and…
My thanks for all the suggestions, especially of the Stingray. I’m going to look into all the SIKs suggested as well as the OTs, but also because of looking at the Stingrays, I discovered the Manta Rays. These are the first SOTs that I’ve seen that have really appealed to me for some reason. They also apparently seem to review well (not too surprising considering what I can see from pictures). I was wondering what the differences (if any) are between the Liquid Logic MRs and the Native Watercraft MRs? Any opinions on these as well?

Anyway, like I said, I definitely want to try all the aforementioned suggestions as well as the MRs. The only problem I have is trying to figure out how, when, and where to demo all these different kayaks (especially the LL MRs being discontinued).

They are the same. Both are owned by
the same company. The Manta Ray line was moved to Native Watercraft last year as part of realignment of the three brands, Native, Heritage, and Liquid Logic. Liquid Logic now produces primarily white water boats. Heritage a mix of SOT and sit inside craft, and Native its canoe like boats that kayak fishermen like to call kayaks because of negative information they swallow about canoes and the Manta Ray SOT’s. Take a look at the Native Watercraft Ultimate. It may fit the bill. Very stable, open cockpit and, from all I’ve read, a great boat.

Check with ShenandoahRiverRat
He’s got two. They have high initial stability (good for fishing and photography) and are far faster than you’d expect from an 11’ recreational kayak.

A good all-around recreational sit-in kayak suitable for flat-water to moderate current. You wouldn’t want to play in rapids with one, but you can run modest rapids. S-RiverRat takes his through 2+ rapids on fishing trips. That’s not it’s purpose, but he does it with relative safety.

The only complaint I have heard about that model is that the seat cuts into the backs of some people’s thighs uncomfortably. The complaint is resolved with a cushion sitting on the deck just in front of the seat to relieve that pressure.

If you can get a fair price on one, it sounds like a suitable craft for what you want to do.

  • Big D

I assume that you mean that ShenandoahRiverRat has K111’s? I’ll definitely do that then. I’ll also check in with yakalou per yak.canfish’s suggestion.

I guess I should also start attempting trying to find places where I can try out all these boats. Wish there was some kind of All-kayaks-in-one place, but I suppose it should be worth going around to get one that fits me just right.

Here in Baton Rouge

– Last Updated: Jan-29-08 6:05 PM EST –


Old Town says they are a dealer, but I didn't see any OT kayaks on the website. The do have the Dagger Blackwater, Wilderness Systems Pamlico and the Pungo. All are good sit insides.

You may want to get in contact with these folks. You should get loads of information about kayaks best for your needs, plus get in on some neat trips:


They've a list of outfitters, some of which are in your area.

Really…thanks! I found out about the backpacker place here through the OT site myself. I plan on going by there even though they don’t have any in stock. If I do end up choosing a K111 (or any other yak they sell), I’d try to get it from them because they have a wonderful thing called a ‘price match guarantee’.

As for the other site, you have no idea how great that is to me. Fantastic stuff. It’ll just take some time to go through all the outfitters, but that’s just fine with me.

Haystackers is one of the premeir
paddling groups, if not in the nation, then at least in the South. Those guys should be able to tell you anything you want to know about paddling SE Louisiana. I saw a place on the website that sells Native Watercraft.

That is what I meant ShenandoahRiverRat has two of.

But now that you mention it, I presume he has two of other things as well. I tend not to inspect though.

  • Big D

I do indeed have

– Last Updated: Jan-31-08 6:36 PM EST –

2 Loon 111s. One is the standard, the other is the K111...their fishing version of the same boat.

I also have 2 of everything else males are supposed to have: eyes, ears, kidneys, lungs, arms, legs....thats what you meant..right D?

LSU...if you're thinking of the K111, may I suggest you buy the regular 111 (if you can find one used, OT doesn't make them anymore) and outfit it yourself for fishing. You'll save about 200 bucks. There's really nothing on the K111 (except that camo-colored finish) that you can't install yourself. And in some cases, locate in more accesable place. For instance, they use a thru-deck Scotty rod holder but mount it only inches forward of the paddler, right where it interfears with a paddle stroke. I don't use it, and instead mounted 2 Berkley flush mounts just behind the cockpit on either side. A slight twist in the seat and I can easily reach either one.

You have plenty of room for a small soft-side cooler either up front or behind the seat under the decks. I uselly have one with my lunch in it on a downriver float. The Loon 111 is rated for someting like 200+ lbs of carry capacity. (Paddler + gear) But thats conservative given I weigh just over 200 and carry probably 20 lbs of gear during the cool weather. Less in warmer months due to not needing the bail-out bag.

BTW...running 2+ WW in a Loon is..um..not advised until you have a few sessions under your belt. OT doesn't emphisise the Loons capability but it has plenty once you get a feel for the boat and can pull a good hip snap and brace when you need too. (a good quick wet exit is handy to have too...don't embarress me by asking how I know that. ;-)

Here's a link to another website where I describe my K111 and the rigging I did on it. Also has a really nice photo of the boat on my home water.


Click on the watercraft forum, and see the "What do you fish from thread" My entry is on page 2 about 1/3 of the way down.

Good luck with the research...trying diffrent boats is half the fun of buying one.

Editted to include: Wow...I should check the OT website more often, they've completely redone the entire Loon line. I'd go with 120 if I was buying today and rig myself, but rod holders and a work deck would be all you need these days. I like the rear hatch access, but I'm sure it's probably not waterproof. They DO still manufacture the K111, but at 800+ bucks, seems a little pricey for what it is to me. And I was incorrect on the capacity. Seems it's 325lbs instead of 200+...good thing..as I AM a member of the big-boys club.

Oh, if you DO get the K111, get rid of that fold-up, pronged anchor, replace with a 3 lb dumbbell. If that won't hold you where you want to be...you shouldn't have an anchor deployed.

A little better picture:

S.Rat, you’ve got about the same number
of rods on your Loon as I do. Usually carry 5-6, have 5 in the water most of the time. Course, I’m after catfish, not smallies. Used to fish for smallies and guadelupe bass when I lived in central Texas. Nice set up on the 111.

I usually carry 4…tops
but I’m not using all of them at the same time since I’m mostly after smallmouth and whatever toothy critter comes along (muskie). I generally have them rigged so can work the entire water column. One will have a Jig and Pig, another will have a tube or hula-grub/Senko/Fat Ika/or Case stick bait rigged on a jighead or T-rigged. A third will be rigged for a crank or jerk bait and the 4th for topwater. Depending on time of the year, the topwater can be anything from a buzzbait to a weightless lizard or a torpedo…just depends on what the fish want.

These days I have a one man pontoon and I can carry 6 rods on the if I want…but why keep up with that many?

Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club
I’ve already been in touch w/ LSUKayaker and got him squared away w/ our club. The rest of you are welcome to drop in at www.bckfc.org to look around, say “Hi!” and plan a trip to the most productive fishery in the great 48.

PaddlePalooza V, our annual spring tournament is March 15th. Be there or be square!

You don’t have to be a club member to participate but register early so we can help you get squared away with a motel room or campground.

Go get em!!!