TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By fish4jules
#2293666
Going to purchase a new kayak. looking at wilderness ride 115 2019 model for 815.00 or the 2020 tarpon 120. 999.00. i know the ride is slow and heavy vs the fast 120. im 240 6ft 2 and will using this kayak in the coastal flats and rivers and lakes. i have a 250 cm bending branches angler ace carbon paddle.ride is 33 in wide 76 pounds and the tarpon 31 in wide 63 pounds.any good advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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By Ron Mc
#2293695
I think the choice is going to come down to the seat.
If you spend a lot of time in coves with your feet inside the boat, you'll like the wider kayak with the tall seat better.
If your goal is distance at the coast, longer, lower and narrower = speed = distance.
The profile of the new Tarpon hull still looks pretty slippery.
My T160 is 28" wide, and I can straddle my legs over both sides to sit up and fish (6'3", 215) - I can also keep going in skinnier water than my friends in most other boats, and the draft might be a concern for you at the coast, especially if you paddle in oyster shell, which is most often quicksand bottom.
Traveling in the wind, you want to sit as low as you can.
I think you'll find either boat to do everything you want in the river.
Maybe Neumie will chime in, i know he's a fan of the older Ride - the 135 had just come out when I bought my T160, but I was looking for the long sternwell to tandem with my daughter, and I'm still glad about my choice 10 years later.

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By SWFinatic
#2293719
I know Wilderness makes a great kayak but with your frame you might take a look at the Viking Profish 400. The added width (32") will make it a lot less tippy for you and it doesn't slow this boat down much at all. It's still fast but has so much more storage room than any of the Wilderness models. The length is 13.5' so keep that in mind for storing and hauling. But that added length is a huge plus on the flats. It's also $999. Ryan with Viking Kayaks USA in Rockport can set you up.
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By Ron Mc
#2293722
short of standing, tippy doesn't apply to a Wilderness kayak, not even a 28"-narrow Tarpon.
Viking makes good slippery boats and especially for his frame, a Longer boat is a great idea for all the reasons I mentioned above.
I agree with you the 13.5' Viking is a good starting point for his frame, and I'd add the T140.

I don't get the trend to wider and wider kayaks, which because of their width, force you to keep your legs inside the hull.
(I would also add tall gunwhales force you to keep your legs inside the hull, but that doesn't apply to Viking).
Though increasing width goes with increasing stability for a tall sit-up chair, which again doesn't apply to Viking.

my buddy Steve probably carries 240 lbs, though we're both 6'3", he sits probably 3" taller and with a little higher CG than I do. He's totally happy in his 28" narrow Hobie Revo 16, though that boat does qualify as tippy with its frame chair.
Caught him here in a moment of near-panic sampling my 26"-wide, very narrow bow Kestrel in beating wind, deep water and waves (and of course he goes way back with skills in low-primary-stability kayaks)
- and this is something you get used to and learn to enjoy because of the speed and endless glide - this boat will do 5kt as soon as you ask.
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By SWFinatic
#2293724
Ron Mc wrote:short of standing, tippy doesn't apply to a Wilderness kayak, not even a 28"-narrow Tarpon.


I'm 6' 210 lbs and I found the Tarpon 140 at 28" wide really tippy for me which is why I went with the Viking Profish 400. The Viking certainly isn't as fast as the 140 but I can be a lot more comfortable in the 400. I know the 140 is a great kayak just not for me.
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By Ron Mc
#2293728
my T160 just fits me like a glove - I'm all limbs, with a 35" inseam.
I can sit with both legs over one side with total stability in all kinds of water. It's also easy to straddle the boat to get in.
You also may note they've added an inch width to the newer Tarpon hull.
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By Ron Mc
#2293786
ps - there's a nice-looking Ride 135 for sale on the forum classifieds.
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By Ron Mc
#2293803
not stable enough to stand and balance, but plenty stable to paddle anywhere and climb into off a tall dock - and back on the tall dock

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No problem launching here - wouldn't try this with my Kestrel

also able to sit with both legs over one side, which you can't do in the Kestrel at all - it would squirt out from under you

you can also rig the slidetrax really nice for fishing - it's no problem to sit sideways in the boat and reach into that milk crate
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here's riding a 35-kt gale wind in a wall-cloud squall with drift sock trolleyed to stern - any boat would capsize you without that rigging - without the stern drag, the wind would instantly spin you sideways and flip you over
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one TKF member capsized his Tarpon offshore when he leaned over to pull a bull red into the boat, but he knew what he did wrong and didn't do it that way again.

Here's Neumie standing in an older 29" (and very fast) boat - the reason he can do this is also the drift sock - if he let the boat windock, he's be right over.
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Another thing to keep in mind is you'll want a rudder with a T140, but the boat comes rigged to accept one.
The reason my 14' Kestrel doesn't need one is you use thigh straps and lean the boat to turn against the totally slick hull curve, but the Kestrel is built for nothing but speed.
Though I did paddle and fish borrow boats before, I'm on my 11th year with T160 and never turtled it (knock on PE).
There's nothing to keep a T140 from being a Great starter boat.
By fish4jules
#2293899
I think ill be buying the 2020 tarpon 120 in fossil color. Thanks for all the advice.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2293905
ok, never mind - enjoy your new boat
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By fish4jules
#2294072
It was a hard choice but i ended up getting the ride 115 in atomic orange. i figured i will do more lake and river fishing. like the stability of the ride. also later i will adding a trolling motor on it and the 500 capacity is also great. should have it here by wed.at 60 years old i figured i would go for more stability. perfect for some fall fishing. thanks again to all for such great advice.
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By Neumie
#2294108
fish4jules wrote:It was a hard choice but i ended up getting the ride 115 in atomic orange. i figured i will do more lake and river fishing. like the stability of the ride. also later i will adding a trolling motor on it and the 500 capacity is also great. should have it here by wed.at 60 years old i figured i would go for more stability. perfect for some fall fishing. thanks again to all for such great advice.

I think the Ride was the right choice for what you want to do. Even though it's known for its stability, the Ride is actually a decent paddling kayak.
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