First Kayak Purchase Help!

I'm 6'2", 245lb. My buddy and I are selling our 16ft Sundance to get Kayaks.

I'm deciding between the Tarpon 140 and 160. I seem to like those more than the Ocean Kayaks, Prowler and Trident.

We typically fish Snake Bite in Flamingo, and sometimes we access some flats in North Biscayne Bay, we would also like to access more canals and lakes in S. Miami in order to target Peacock and Freshwater Tarpon and Snook since we'll have so much more access on Yaks.

any advice on whether to spend the extra $ on the 160? I understand it's a bit harder to turn in tight spaces because of the added length.

I just don't want to feel like a bigger Kayak would have moved me better through the water... I also like that the 160 brings flush-mount rod holders and the 140 does not, is this a turn off for anyone else?
Wilderness Systems Pro Staff
Heroes On The Water
South Florida Chapter Secretary
[email protected]
Proud US Navy Vet' 2007-2012
Proud Owner Wilderness Systems Ride 135


  • CookinmanCookinman Posts: 880 Officer
    Paddle a few and go w whatever feels good to you. Rod holders can be mounted on anything at all....Fishing Flamingo as you said, Id concentrate on standable kayaks, as opposed to longer leaner offshore yaks.
  • r00kieAnglerr00kieAngler Posts: 256 Deckhand
    I'm with cookinman demo what kayak you've narrowed down to. Just to throw out other brands. Checkout Jackson kayaks (big tuna, cuda). Hobie unless fins is an issue.
  • Mr-OrenoMr-Oreno Posts: 186 Deckhand
    I have the tarpon 14 and the Jackson Cuda. I love the Cuda for comfort alone and it is much more stable. Im 230 lbs myself and cant say enough about the cuda. I could sit on that thing all day and not get sore.
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    If Flush mount are the deal breaker, then get the one without. In Flamingo, flush mounts will be a headache with the mangroves. I recommend rigging the kayak the way YOU want. Most prefer scotty mounts behind the seat that way you can angle the rods down and they won't get caught in the trees/bridges etc.

    Just my .02

    FYI, if you reeeally want them flush mounts are $9 and easy to install :wink
    Heroes On the Water
    South Florida Chapter Coordinator

    "Helping find peace for those who fought to defend it!" :USA

    FSU Alumni GO NOLES!!! >>

    2013 Hobie Outback
  • jaredman1000jaredman1000 Posts: 196 Officer
    Look at the native kayaks . look at the slayer 14 or 12 great kayak
    Native WaterCraft Redfish 14
  •[email protected] Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    Take a look at the Tarpon 140 I just posted for sale. I am 5'9" 275lbs and it worked well for me. The rudder helps a lot. I have navigated some pretty tight slews in high grass. The 160 is going to be harder to turn than the 140. Would love to sell you mine. I am in Gainesville FL.
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin Posts: 559 Officer
    I like the Wilderness brand too, check the Ride 135 out. I'm 6'5'' 220 and feel ver comfortable in it. Like others have said, rig it yourself. I have flush mounts but prefer to use a crate with PVC rod holders. Keeps the reels from getting as wet while paddling.
  • USNavy_AnglerUSNavy_Angler Posts: 473 Officer
    I initially posted in the wrong spot. I reposted in the correct spot, regardless I've already made by purchase and been out fishing here are some photos. I went with the Wilderness System 135 for stability and got a great price on for the 2013 model and I am in LOVE!

    mine is the olive one. Seattle Sports Kayak Cooler 20

    First time on salt water today, Biscayne North off Rickenbaucker (spelling?) Not many fish, but a fun time being that it was my first time out fishing.


    Wilderness Systems Pro Staff
    TEAM DIRTY BADGER :fishing
    Heroes On The Water
    South Florida Chapter Secretary
    [email protected]
    Proud US Navy Vet' 2007-2012
    Proud Owner Wilderness Systems Ride 135
  • Aquaholic IVAquaholic IV Posts: 776 Officer
    Fish the south side of Rickenbacker, West side of ICW, just south of the no motor zone, floating buoys. Use a white DOA 3 inch shrimp with 2 feet of leader under a popping cork. Drift the entire area. Make lots of noise with the cork. Must be on a moving tide. You will catch your limit of trout in two hours or less. There is also Spanish mackerel in there this time of year, use a green Gulfstream jig, looks like a glass minnow, bright green with a tin foil stripe, you can get them at River Marine Supply in Miami. Work them very fast, cast let drop to bottom, reel fast, halfway in let it drop and pop a few times and reel fast again. If they follow and don't bite, reel faster. I want to see a report with pictures as you should slay them.
  • atombombatombomb Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    I have a tarpon 160i, and a Kaku…. the tarpon is great for touring and cruising, but the Kaku is much
    better as a fishing platform for me… and was cheaper...
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