See Current Kayaks from Wilderness Systems
in the Buyers' Guide
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide
I don't have a rudder and probably won't get one with this model. I'll save that for my next kayak which will be a bit longer. Not to worry about speed though, b/c the 135 will stay even with any 16'.
I originally was looking at the dagger savannah and the perception carolina, but felt too cramped in the cockpits and low decking hurt the knees. This is definately not a problem with the CL.
It's easy to portage and incredibly stable on the water. Fishing will be much easier once I add a rod holder. The backrest is comfortable, but when reclined back, I found that the 3phase can't be raised completely. It may need some lumbar support, but overall a great seat. Watch out for bolt heads on interior of hatches since they will rip bags when being pulled out of the hatches!
Tracking is at least as good as the Carolina's. Maneuverability is excellent--the CL 135 is great for the paddling I do in narrow, twisty rivers and bayous as well as protected bays and sounds. With a little more cockpit customization and honing of my own paddling/rolling skills, I'm looking forward to taking her out into more open water.
The WS Phase 3 seat in the Cape Lookout is infinitely adjustable for greater comfort, and the cockpit of the CL135 is a bit more roomy, without being TOO big, than the cockpit of the small Carolina. I don't feel too confined, yet I don't feel like I'm paddling in a bathtub either. Again, just right.
For the record, I'm 5'2" and not exactly at "fighting weight." I'm no bruiser either, but some women my height might prefer the tighter cockpit of the Carolina 13. But more padding can always be added, and, again, that Phase 3 seat can't be beat!
I could wish for a little more deck rigging than the CL has, but that's easily added. And it's nice to have both bow and stern bulkheads--I think the Carolina has both also, but a lot of kayaks in this size do not.
By the way, this rating of 8 is an honest 8--I took 2 points off for the less-than-adequate deck rigging. Other than that, I love my CL 135.
100,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!