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Submitted: 06-12-2003 by Steve

I'm a new Tarpon 160 owner, having bought mine back in the winter. Having 2 decked kayaks and a canoe, I can add some initial comments, even thought I have not had the Tarpon out much so far---more to come later when I've had a chance to really get out on the water.Everyone agrees that this boat is heavy. The plastic is soft, which would skin up easier than a boat such as Perception, etc. Canoe & Kayak evaluated fishing boats this issue and loved the 160, save for the weight...I am 44, out of shape, a bit too heavy and used to being able to feel secure in a decked boat with a brace. My initial observations from the Tarpon 160 are that it feels great to sit on and is easy to paddle. Not being a salt water person, my experience is on flat rivers and lakes. A person with a vertical stroke would have to modify it somewhat to not hit the side of the boat. I paddle with a slow and low angle stroke, so it's no problem. I found my 230 cm paddle to be fine for it. I haven't tried to quick turn it yet, but it turns good on a lake cove, where I was fishing. The multi-chine hull is new to me and still feels a bit shaky when I try to lean it...like I'm going to fall off the top of the boat. I plan to use thigh straps and experiment now that the water is warm enough. I previously had it out in this cold spring, fishing and it was too cold to get in the water. Initially, my only negative remarks are that it is heavy, and I think they should have made the foot rest track out of metal as opposed to plastic. Additionally, the seat needs to be higher for us chubby people who actually need a high seat back to keep us upright! The boat is super comfy and I absolutely love being able to just step on and off the boat---no more having the boat wobble out from under me in sandy or slick river banks. That is affirmed by the lack of having my legs go to sleep. I can move them around freely and drop them off the side of the boat when I am drifting or fishing. Regarding fishing, I have tried it with a fly rod and an ultralight spinning outfit. I think the spinning outfit works well, but I can't say that fly fishing off of it worked well for me. Of course, I'm new to fly fishing, so I won't judge it in that category. I'll write an additional entry later this summer. Happy paddling! Steve
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