Submitted: 09-19-2005 by Badbob
I have heard a lot of good things about the Old Town Loon 138 kayak. I couldn't wait to try one out on the water. I was able to find a place in Southern California that had one available to try out on the water. That place was Sunset Rentals in Sunset Beach. They are located on Huntington Harbor. I had never paddled a sit in kayak before. I currently own a Tarpon 140 sit on top that I use for fishing saltwater around San Diego California. It is a great kayak. However I am looking for a second kayak that I can use mostly on freshwater lakes for day touring, fishing, and waterfowl hunting.
The Loon 138 seemed like it would do all of these well. I liked the looks of the Loon 138 right from the start. It has a very large cockpit opening. It is pretty wide and looks stable. The built in seat is as comfortable as it looks. The construction is first rate. The plastic feels very solid and it doesn't "oil can" like some kayaks do. I was planning on doing some fishing in the loon today. I put my tackle box inside the hull in front of the seat and my 7 ft spinning rod along side of the seat. The cockpit was very roomy. I'm 6' 1" 250 lbs and was very comfortable all day long. I launched and the Loon felt very stable right away. I felt like I had been paddling it for years. It was pretty fast too. I think it would beat my Tarpon 140 in a drag race.
The hull was silent, with no "slap" at all. It has lots of "glide" after you stop paddling. It tracks like it is on rails. The turning was just fine for my needs. I paddled out to the main channel, about 3/4 of a mile, in no time! I was fishing with some plastics along the way and picked up a short halibut that I let go. The Loon 138 was very comfortable to fish from. I just wish the rental had a rod holder. I paddled about a mile and a half out to the mouth of the harbor. There was a considerable amount of boat traffic there. It was fairly choppy with a lot of boat wakes. The Loon 138 handled everything just fine. I fished for about 3 hours and decided to head back in. I stowed my gear and paddled hard and fast to see what the Loon 138 would do. I got back to Sunset Rentals in no time!
I was very impressed with the Loon 138! I think it would do everything that I would want it to do, and do it well. It looks like it will be my second kayak. Give the Loon 138 a try. You will like it.