what are your guys opinions on the perception kayaks… i fish in va on the new river and james. i want to be able to take on some rapids. class 2-3. im interested in the carolina 12 and the prodigy 12. any pointers tips? would you recomend these boats or something else for the fishing im doing?

all help appreciated :slight_smile:

Alternate recommendation
I’m familiar with those rivers. Go with either a Dagger Blackwater or a Dagger Approach.

Both of the kayaks you listed are fine kayaks, but not well suited to the squirrelly currents you’ll find yourself in on the James and New, especially running the bigger rapids. The pronounced keels will mess with you two ways. First, they will catch current and throw your rear end in directions you do not intend your rear end to go. The current can also catch them on certain leans and throw you upside down. Second, even without strong swirling current when the water is low and you’re trying to go over a ledge and barely scraping through, when that rear keel gets to the ledge you’ll find yourself unfixed and floating in the front and the back fixed in place balancing on a 1/2" wide keel that got caught on the ledge you were scraping over. Go get a chair and lean back so the front isn’t on the ground. Then imagine trying to continue to balance by taking the rear legs together such that only 1/2" wide by 1" or 2" long surface is on the ground. Do you think you can still balance? You can get pretty wet fishing like that.

Also consider a Tarpon 100 or a Manta Ray 100. If you need the bigger space, go to the 12’, but in squirrelly water, I prefer shorter boats with no keel.

If you go with a Sit-On-Top instead of a Sit-In, get thigh straps (they’re easy to install). If you go with a Sit-In, get a decent quality skirt. The skirt or the thigh straps are not optional. They are important safety equipment when paddling rated rapids.

  • Big D

another question.
big d, thanks for the info… very imformative. what would you think of the loon 120? would it be acceptable for those conditions?

Take a look at
Mad River Synergy (12 or 14). Very maneuverable, great for fast water. I also want to second the Manta Ray, it’s also good for fast water.

i see…
i see you guys are promoting the sit on tops but I dont believe im into that. I want something that i can stay dry in if i have to so i can use it for hunting or cold water fishing.

anyone here with some first hand info on the loon 120? price ranges?

– Last Updated: Feb-27-08 8:29 PM EST –

Go the sit on top route. It's a lot better for fishing and recreational activities. Kayaking is a wet sport. You can get dry tops and bottoms if you are that concerned about being wet.

I use my sit on tops year round. You'll need the same cold weather gear in a sit inside that you will a sit on top.

i dont know…
i may be proved wrong but just the whole thing of kayaking to me is being inside of it… lol… it seems like a sit on top is just a souped raft… once again… anyone have any info on the loon 120

The Loon 120 is a very good fishing
kayak. I don’t fish fast water, so can’t say how it would handle in that environment, but it tracks well. From what Shenendoah River Rat has said about his Loon 111, it does well on fast rivers where you need to maneuver. The 120 is a bit longer and is probably a bit slower to respond, but I doubt the difference is that great.

Haven’t paddled that one
DoahRiverRat paddles the 11’ Loon and does quite nicely in those rivers. I’d think the 12’ model would be fine too. DRR wipes out in the easy flat stuff…

  • Big D

LOL! A compadre
While I recognize that SOT’s are the superior choice for fishing, I still prefer paddling sit-inside kayaks. Glad to hear there’s someone else out there with my hangup.

I think you’d do just fine with a Loon 120. They do not have as pronounced of a rear keel as many recreational kayaks. It’s the big pronounced keel that you want to avoid. They still have a sharp angle of entry, but that’s not as big of a problem as the rear keel shape.

For paddling those rivers, I think the most appropriate full recreational kayak is the Dagger Blackwaters. Try an 11.5. I can’t recommend them highly enough as river fishing vehicles. I have taken a Blackwater 10.5 through big chutes, solid class 2’s, and non-technical class 3’s. It would be very well suited for fishing the James, the New, and the other mid-Atlantic karst limestone rivers we’ve got. If you’ve got some modest paddling skill, then I’d recommend the Dagger Approach.

what is the minimum amount of water a boad like this will travel in with say 250lbs in it… im a question whore lol :slight_smile:

4 inches
In the past few years, I’ve weighed as little as 220 and over 260 (not sure how much more because I stopped looking at scales).

My largest kayak is a Perception America, which is a 13’6" recreational sit-inside kayak. At my largest, I paddled it in water shallow enough that if I were to reach over the side and touch the river bottom, I wouldn’t have gotten my watch wet.

I have a bit deeper draft in my 10’ Dagger Approach, but I’m on a downward trend with my weight again in part to try and relieve that problem.

  • Big D