I currently own a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140
SOT. kayak that I use for fishing in saltwater around San Diego Ca. I love this kayak. It does everything I ask of it and more. But, a wise man once said, " The best kayak for your needs is 2 kayaks." I belive this. I am looking for a kayak for freshwater lake fishing and waterfowl hunting. The one kayak that really has me interested it the Old Town Loon 138. I have talked to several Loon owners that had many positive things to say about their kayaks. I plan on trying out a 138 loon in a couple of days. It is next to impossible finding a dealer that has a Loon 138 demo for use on the water here. I found a place up in L.A. that has one in their rental fleet however they are not a dealer. If I decide I like it I can get one from L.L. Bean. Does anyone have any opinions on the Loon 138 for fishing and hunting? I'm 6' 1" 250 lbs and have been paddeling kayaks for 3 years. I
have never owned a sit in kayak before. They look like the way to go for how I intend to use it.
I currently own a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140
Old Town builds a kayak called the
Dirigo that I saw in the LL Bean catalogue oufitted for fishing w/rod holder. I’ve seen the Dirigo at Gander Mountain and it looks pretty good for a sit-in. I checked the OT website and they are now marketing a model series called the Predator. Its geared for fishing. Haven’t seen that one, but from the website, it may be a dolled up Loon.
I fish out of a sit-in, a 9.6 Necky Sky. I guess my question is why don’t you think the Tarpon would do well in fresh water / I see them used in fresh water more than a bit, albeit not fast rivers with cat 3 and higher rapids. A sit-in is more difficult to get in and out of and not as easy to get back into if you capsize. Part of my curiosity is that I’m thinking about getting a SOT for use in freshwater.
I would have no problem fishing from my Tarpon in the freshwater lakes around the San Diego area. However, I am planning on doing lots of
fishing up in the Sierra’s where the water and the weather can get pretty chilly. As far a recovering from a capsize, of course it is a lot easier with a sit on top than a sit in. The Loon looks like a very stable kayak. From what I gather by talking to several Loon 138 owners, it makes a good fishing platform. I agree with you on the Predator. It looks like a dressed up Loon.
I would rather get a Loon 138 and fix it up the way I want it.
The Loon is a very popular kayak,
but one that seems to be available for resale often around Houston and Austin. I almost bought a 138 thatlooked almost new for $350…wished I had. Recently, there was a fellow who posted a very used, but in good shape, 138 for $250, but sold it to a friend. You might want to look around for a deal on a used one, if you have a Craig’s List in San Diego or LA, you might find a good deal on one. Have you checked out the WS Pungo, also a stable kayak.
Thanks for the response! We have C.L. here in San Diego. Unfortunately about the only kayaks for sale on it are ones I have no interest in what so ever to the 1,000,000th power! I am pretty peticular when it comes to buying a kayak. I have always bought new, and have never regretted it for the benifits of the warranty that covers any problems that might arise. When I get one it has to be green, because I will be using it for waterfowl hunting. Cloud, red, or yellow won’t work for me. I can get a brand new in the wrapper, Loon 138 shipped direct to my door for $635 from L.L. Bean. Not a bad deal.
I fish out of a Loon 138. I’m 6’1" 235lbs and it’s a great fishing platform. Very stable, i take my English Setter (50lbs) for short paddles and we have yet to capsize. I did add a “mini skirt” spray skirt which is like a half skirt for late in the year fishing, keeps a lot of water out of the cockpit from paddle drips and what have you.
I use mine for fishing
It is great, very stable, almost to the point of bordom. I built a small wooden deck to mount a fishfinder, and rod holder. Lots of room below deck for exta rods, there are no bulkheads, and the cockpit opening is large, so it is not hard to get an assembled rod in and out. I also have a ful skirt for the chilly days.
Were you able to mount your transducer for your fishfinder inside the hull of your Loon? I like the idea of the mini skirt.
the layered construction of the hull, with the faom in the middle, prevents the through hull approach on the OT boats. If you HAD to have an in the hull mount, you have to remove the inner poly, and the foam, and attach the trans to the outer hull, I don’t think it is a good idea.
I used a 3/4 pipe hanger, bent into a U shape, and screwed between the hull and the ‘skid plate’ on the stern. it works great, and when the transducer is not attached, is not a hinderance to paddling.
How do you power your fishfinder?
Most kayak fishermen (SOT type) I know use 12 volt deer feeder batteries. I use 8 AA batteries in a battery pack purchased from Radio Shack. It connects to a 9 volt battery pig tail that’s then wired to the finder’s leads. Any other ideas? Oh, since wiring mine up, I’ve got about 30 hours on those batteries so the finder doesn’t use much juice.
stable, solid boat
As noted above, the 138 is a very solid, stable boat. Very difficult to damage this hull. Easy to land fish, even large fish by hand. Easy to load, unload, yourself and equipment. It offers a lot of below-deck storage space. Haven’t experienced any oil-canning, etc. An all-around tough boat.
I did mine the same way
I put the batt. holder in a water resitant tupperware bottle, drilled a tight hole for the wire, keeps it all nice and neet.
I prefer the Pungo 140 myself.Ive paddled the 138 a few times but found it difficult to turn and slower.
I owned a Tarpon 160 (operative word is owned). Then I got a Loon 138 for fishing in cooler weather. Needless to say I liked the Loon 138 so much more than my Tarpon that I sold the Tarpon. It was just taking up space and gathering dust anyway once I paddled the Loon. Why? More comfortable, drier, faster, more stable, carried more gear. Real nice kayak to fish out of. However, the Loon is now gathering dust as I have discovered the world of solo canoes. Even better for fishing freshwater than a kayak, imho.
agree with bernie and kayakangler
I agree with Bernie. I’ve paddled the Loon and ended up buying the Pungo 140. Much easier for me to maneuver, tracked better, went faster. That said, I’ve also switched over to a solo canoe and find it better suited for the fly fishing I do on fresh water lakes and slow streams.
Loon 138 Test Paddle
I have been wanting to try out a Old Town Loon 138 sit in kayak for a long time. I called all over and only found one place that had one available for rental on the water. That place was Sunset Rentals in Sunset Beach. I got there a little before 9:00 A.M. I talked to Kenny briefly and got set up to give the Loon a try. I brought along a 6 lb 7 ft spinning outfit to work some plastics. I have never paddeled a sit in before, just sit on tops. I liked the looks of the loon 138 right away. It has a large cockpit opening and it is fairly wide. The built in seat looks comfortable, and it is very comfortable. The construction is first rate. It felt very solid. By that I mean the plastic didn't "oil can". I put my tackle box up front inside just in front of my feet and launched. It felt very stable right away. At least as stable as My Tarpon 140. It took no time to become comfortable in this kayak. It has really nice speed and lots of glide. In a race I think in would beat my Tarpon 140. The hull is silent as it goes through the water. (no hull slap) I paddeled a couple hundred yards down to a bridge where I like to work the plastics. On my first cast with a rootbeer 4" Power Grub on a 1/4 oz leadhead I picked up a short halibut. I let him go and worked the bridge some more. I hooked and lost a small bonito. That was it for that area I made a move out to the main channel. The Loon 138 is so easy to paddle and it tracks like it is on rails. I made it out to the main channel in no time thanks to the good speed of the Loon. I tried trolling
in hopes of picking up another bonito. There was a bunch of eel grass and trash around that kept fouling my lures. I should have changed my line last night because it was twisted like crazy. It kept on wraping around the tip constantly. I took my lure off and let out a bunch of line behind the kayak to try to "unwind" it. It helped somewhat, but it still tip wraped a lot. I ran into Dabrew and Seatech. They said fishing was slow for them.
I talked to them for a while at Countess St. It was nice talking to you guys. I made my way over to Simple Green to try some grubs. Man, there is a lot of eel grass over there! There must be spotties all over that place! Unfortunately none of them wanted anything to do with me today.
I talked to a guy in a Oceak Kayak named Dave for a while. It was slow for him too. Nice talking with you Dave. I decided to call it a morning. I stowed my rod inside the front of the Loon's hull and paddeled back to Kenny's. There was more boat traffic out now and the water got choppy in some places. The Loon 138 handled it just fine. Off the water by 11:15.
I really like the Loon 138. It would be a great boat for freshwater lakes
and bays like San Diego. It was different from a sit on top like my Tarpon 140. Obviously there are some things that I wouldn't do with the Loon 138
that I would with my Tarpon 140. Like surf launches and fishing in the open ocean on a less than calm day. I also wouldn't want to carry a bait tank with the Loon. I do like the fact that I stayed totaly dry the entire time. This would be great for the Sierras and possibly waterfowl hunting in the future. I think the Loon 138 is a awesome kayak. It would be easy
to set it up with some rod holders, probably some Scotty's. It has pleanty of room for storage if you plan on putting some camping gear in it and paddeling out for a couple of days. It is very stable and tracks excellent!
It is very well made and is very comfortable to paddle. I'm seriously looking at one for a second kayak. Try one, you'll like it!
Own a Loon 138… .
my old reliable. Indestuctable material, solid fishing platform, the 4 wheel drive of kayaks. Also own a Pungo 140 and like it for the speed. Not as good in shallow water but tracks better than the Loon. Own a Pamlico 140 which I use in the rock filled river near my home. Great for fishing and very solid platform. Not as good tracking as Pungo 140 but equal to the Loon 138. Own an Old Town Pack canoe which I love for it’s light weight and fishability. Own a Tarpon 160i angler which I use mostly at the coast and on our reservoir. Own a Necky Eskia and love it too. But my first love was the Loon 138…Yes, my name is Bo and I’m a paddle-holic…
the Predator is…
a Loon with built in rod holder, work tray and other niceties for fishing/hunting. Great cockpit for getting in and out of, and very stable.
OT makes one predator that is even
bigger than the 138. I’ve only seen one of them, though.
Preception Sundance 12
I have two of these and love them. Huge cockpit, sealed rear bulkhead with rear hatch. Check it out.