Don't know from experience but I was shopping the other day and looking at the Tarpon 140 I think(can't remember the length), the guy pointed me to the Ride, said that was the one I wanted for the surf. I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Ride. Looking at the bottom it was kind of concave/pontoon-like. Anyway it looked like it'd be stable, but I'd like to try one in the water. He did say that the Ride is easy to get back on to if you get dumped, and you can stand and cast if you want to.
tarpon 140 and 160. the 140 is 14' and the 160 is 16'.
I think that a little long(jmo)
there is a tarpon 100 (10') and it's stable.
I assume the 120 is good to.
but I would look at the sharter tarpons like the 100 or 120
I don't know where this "short yak for deploying baits" idea started, but IMHO its a crock.
There is very little difference in how fast a 9 ft yak will turn and how fast a 12 ft yak will turn. There is a major difference in speed.
The biggest problem, beside staying in the yak, you will probably ever encounter deploying baits, is getting over the breakers on the way out during rough surf conditions.
A breaking wave can actually stop a slow yak like a Frenzy and push it backward when a faster yak would go over the same wave. I've had this happen to me and surfing a yak backward isn't that much fun.
Bait deployment is basically a straight out past the breakers to deep water and back trip. When the surf is rough, you need a fast yak to get there.
IMHO here are the things you look for in a bait deploying yak.
First, get a yak that is stable enough for heavy surf, in smooth conditions anything will work.
Second, get the fastest yak you can afford. Longer generally = faster.
Third, make sure you have enough room to store the yak out of the sun and a means to transport it to the beach. Longer takes a bigger place to store it and is harder to transport.
How quick a yak will turn, only becomes important to me, if I'm using it to cut back and forth, trying to surf the waves and that is a totally different application from bait deployment. Besides the longer yaks turn plenty fast if you change your mind on the way out and decide to come back, even if you are still in the breakers when you turn.
BTW: I do know to keep paddling when I hit a wave.
Just my two cents....I'm a real newbie to kayaking...but I have checked out the frenzy and currently am storing a 15' boat for my brother-in-law. I've had the 15' (Aquatrend) out about 3 miles from the beach fishing all around. I will say this with extreme confidence. If you want more out of your kayak than just running out baits then by all means please get a longer one. This boat I'm using is very stable in the breakers...You just cut right through them. From the limited experience I have I'm looking at it like this. If you were running a mile and my legs are a foot longer than yours, guess what, it's gonna take alot more strides for you to keep up. Same with the kayak. If your in a 9 footer and I'm in the 15 footer and were cruising out to fish, your gonna wear yourself out trying to keep up. Another thing, I'm in questionable shape at best...lol....and paddling that 15' boat is almost effortless once you get out past the break. I can cover alot of water really quickly, without getting all winded. Another good tip I figured out REALLY quick is....get a good seat and backrest. You'll probably have to spend a couple of bucks but it's WELL worth it. The lightest weight paddle you can afford is also a good thing. I'm very excited about this new found sport. It's so peaceful out there past the breakers. I have to tell ya'll too that last weekend down at Matagorda I witnessed a pelican get totally hammered by a REALLY large shark about a mile from the beach. I just happened to be looking at the right spot when about 100yds from me a shark with a head that had to be from 18" to 24" wide shot straight up out of the water directly underneath a floating pelican. I saw the whole thing and it was awesome!!! Feathers just exploded in a big brown puff and this shark (which I guesstimate at about 10') came out of the water about 3/4" of the length of it's body. It was wild because the shark didn't fall in an arc or land on it's side. It just came straight up, blowing thru the pelican and then went straight back down with the precision of an olympic diver....hardly made a splash! Then I sat there contemplating the fact that I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a shark doing that to my kayak...lol. Glad I don't look like a floating pelican out there....lol.
Gundoctor- I dont think 12' is a long yak. now 15' or 16' thats getting up there.
IMO I wouldn't recommend a tarpon 160 for dropping off bait , I like the 100 I've tried it ouT, but I would try the 120 out first( if I was going to buy 1 of them).
What I usually recommend is find some where you can rent one.
the main reason i'm not crazy about the longer (16'ers) is what i've seen. Example, SLP watching a guy come in on a T160, nose went right into the sand bar and he went staight over the top (back coming staight up and over). scared me seening that. I that he might be dead (it looked bad) but he was fine.
I think if he had something 10'-12' this wouldn't of happened. the gentleman kayaking felt the same way.
Longer yaks have a tendency to bury their bows when coming back to the beach from the surf. This is why most long rodders, who yak their baits out, prefer shorter yaks. I've almost buried my Tarpon 140's bow while coming back to the beach in a thunderstorm. Also, it's easier to capsize a longer yak without a rudder in the surf when coming back to the beach. I have two yaks, a WS Tarpon 140 and an OK Scupper Pro TW and I much prefer the TW for yakking in the Gulf. Although my TW is 14' 9" long and my T-140 is 14' long; I find the width of my TW at 26" is better for going out through the surf, to get beyond the surf zone, than the 28" width of my T-140. When I come back to the beach, I have to come back at an angle to keep from burying the bow of both yaks.
A word about burying the bow - the length had less to do with submarining the bow than the bow shape. WS boats have fine pointed bows with only a little flare, so the bow will submerge easly. OK and Cobra boats have wider, taller, fuller bows, Which helps them stay ontop of the water. Check out the bow on the 15' OK Prowler - lots of flare, lots of volume. Compare that to the T140 - a little flare, but not much volume. NightWings's SPTW is the same as the Prowler, maybe even a little more volume in the bow - this will keep the nose out of the sand. My 12' Walden Cuda is the other way - fine entry and no flare - This makes for a great flatwater boat, but on the other hand, my boat surfs about as good as a torpedo. Anything more than a little chop and I know the bow will go under while surfing.
You see guys thats what is kicking me in the head. I've wanted a Kayak for a long time. I've always liked the Tarpon 160. I want it for the back lakes. I also want it for deploying baits in the surf for my 12/0 and my 9/0. It sounds just like I expected. Trouble with that long narrow bow. I noticed from pictures that most of the shark fishermen use that short stubby Yak that i really don't care for. Oh well decisions decisions.
Take a look at a Perception boat...Kyle Ligon has one, and a friend of mine has one also. If you have the cash, I'd say, these have more "Bang for the Buck", then most of the others. Perfect in calm waters and able to take on the big waves also.