Tarpon 140

I’m thinking of getting a tarpon 140 for fishing and was wondering if a rudder is needed for this boat? The 140 is $649 without a rudder and $875 with one. Thats about 40% over the price without the rudder seems like a waste if not needed.

I have a 160 and the only time a
rudder would have helped was on a river with serious current and tight turns.My boat is very responsive and is so low profile that wind hardly bothers it . I think a rudder is a waste of money.

tarpon rudder
not really needed I went out last week in 15-20 knt winds and tide and only needed a few corrective strokes, you’ll love the 140 congrats,have fun!

i have a 160 with a rudder have only used it once!!

Skip it
In well over a thousand miles on a T160 - ocean and inland - never needed one.

Never paddled a T140, but it should need one even less unless it can’t track straight (A wisecrack from someone who thinks shorter was the less intersting way to go with that particular series, and who thinks short boats are pushed on people too much [but also do understand why])

Asking on the fishing forum
might get you a different answer. Someone asked that a few months ago and the majority liked the rudder for fishing. I don’t know why myself but you might want to do a search under “fishing from kayaks and canoes” to get the kayak fisher’s opinions.


Yes and no
I can think of some possible uses fishing (like wind drift trolling & “sleigh” rides")- but also more disadvantages in terms of more to get fouled up.

I think the popularity of rudders among many kayak fishers may have less to do with fishing needs and more to do with general priorities and how that affects equipment choices/info/and skills development.

Primary interest is usually fishing, with paddling being a means to that end. That’s the polite way off saying some may not focus on paddling skills first - may feel more comfortable with the rudder - may have limited paddling info/experience with anything else - may assume they need a rudder to turn - or just as likely got the “Fishing” package which often comes with rudder.

Overall, I’d venture to guess that the majority of posters on the fishing boards are less likely to have much other paddling background. Many may have experience with just one SOT with rudder to form an opinion with (guess that’s true of many here too, but not of most regular posters). Anyone with only one kayak, that has a rudder on it, is very likely going to tell you to get the rudder for any of several possible “reasons”.

I’m not saying their are not excellent paddlers that fish on those boards (many are here too) - but overall the focus is definitely different. Not debating rudders OR skills - just adding another perspective on potential differnces among info sources.

If you don’t need the tankwell - try the 160…

Tank well and rudder
The tank well is a great feature. It nearly always comes in handy if you ever take anything larger than a bottle of water along.

The boat will handle well without a rudder but for those times when you want to drift down a winding mangrove creek while tuning a radio, or openeing a snack, they are a true comfort item.

I don’t think it is needed for paddling but it is nice when you glide into a fishing spot. You can control the boat quitely with a rudder and this is not as easy with a paddle. Just get up a little speed and glide silently into a great fishing hole and never spook the fish. Not sure if it is worth that much extra money though.

the 160 will hold a bucket just fonr between ones leggs. I always wonderd how the heck do you use the live well if its behid you???