Submitted: 10-06-2006 by jerlfletcher
My Old Town Loon 138 is the second kayak I've bought. Got it used for $300. Sit insides don't hold value in Houston, its SOT country. Bought it for fishing. Its the older model, now called the Predator 138, with a larger cockpit than the newer Loon 138s. The large cockpit helps for fishing, as well as entry and exit.
I primarily fish freshwater lakes for catfish, bass, bluegill, crappie,and white bass. The Loon is an excellent fishing platform. I've been able to handle up to 20 lb fish from the kayak with no problem.
Tracking...it tracks true, whether into or against the wind.
Ease of paddling...it is a wide craft, so its a bit slow, but not too bad. I usually put in about 6-8 hours when I fish and paddle/fish 3-4 miles, it does fine. Just wish for more speed when I'm ready to go back the the launch site.
Stability...very stable kayak, the width and length help.
Turning...not the smallest turning radius, it is a wide and fairly long boat.
Comfort...lots of room, but mine has the hard plastic sliding seat, it could be softer, but after a few times out, your but gets used to it.
Staying dry...the only water that gets into the Loon is what I put there fishing and with paddle drips...sloppy paddler.
Ease of loading...not great in the loading department. Also, have to check my straps and tie downs often as the kayak seems to have a tendency to slide a forward a bit. The narrow bow and stern contribute to the difficulty in loading the kayak, it tends to want to turn on you.
Hull slap, other sounds...its very quiet on the water, lets me get close to birds I scared away in my old kayak.
Storage capacity...good, adequete for overnighters. Mine doesn't have hatches, so need to use dry bags for gear and clothes.
Fun...great fun, good cruising kayak, if a bit slow.
Buy another...probably not, nothing against the Loon, but would probably look at other options, maybe the new WS Ride or Liquid Logic Manta Ray. If I should decide to get another kayak, the Loon will remain in the fleet.
Recommendation...all kayaks have strong points and limitations. Consider you use and needs when buying, paddle the kayak if you can. The Loon, if it meets your needs and expectations, is a great kayak.