I love this kayak. It is my first one. I did a lot of research before deciding. This one had a great sale price and had the features I wanted. Very stable and has a ton of storage space if you are going to be kayak camping. We did a camping trip where we paddled to a platform to camp on and had plenty of room for our gear and I was able to easily pull an inner tube with more gear behind me as well. This is a heavy kayak and is definitely meant for fishing. You aren't going to be winning any races in it but it tracks well and is great to fish from.
3 issues that still do not make me want to take off a star: 1) The first day I took it out the clip on the back of one of the foot pegs popped off (wasnt secured) and fell through the scupper hole and was gone. It took some effort on my part but I did get them to send me a replacement part. 2) The seat it came with was garbage. I upgraded it to a Seairsports Pacific Angler Kayak Seat and it is perfect. 3) The large hatch cover is kind of a pain to get on and off. I definitely already tore the handle off but I don't use it enough to care too much.
All in all a great kayak especially for someone just getting into kayak fishing like me. My boyfriend actually waited for it to go on sale again and got one as well because we liked mine so much.
Me and my wife love our kayaks! Every place we go we get "good looking kayak"!
I have had my kayak since about June of this year. I spend most of my time on the river. Because of the dam we may have 6 inches of water in places and we have lots of rocks. I am 6 feet tall and weigh 245.
For the money you can not beat this boat. Hands down it has been wonderful to me. I bought it as my first kayak because I wanted to be sure I like it before I dropped double to triple the price on a kayak.
It is very stable when paddeling. The matching field and stream paddle is very nice and is a good compliment. Where the stability is a little shaky is when you have to reach behind you or are drifting and bump a rock. It can toss you a little.
With that said I have loaded it down the a tent, sleeping bag, cooler, camping pad, food, wood and fishing gear and she did great. Keep in mind the higher you pack the less stable it will be.
She tracks straight and glides through the water with ease.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars is I have had a few issis with it. I have contacted Field and Stream and they said they would send the items out, but I have never gotten them. I will be calling again. My handles fell off the second week of owning it. (Those are the parts I am waiting for) I checked and all the screws on the boat were about a half turn loose.
The other thing is the center cubby hole leakes. I have taken it off and siliconed it and it still leaks so it has to be the seal.
This just happen this week- the foot pedals are failing. They won’t stay in the holes. I will be contacting Field and stream.
The last issue is the seat. HORRIBLE! I replaced it with a Manta Ray, back support is wonderful, seat bottom is less a little hard.
So I put a few negatives in there, but do not let they sway you to a different boat. This kayak is wonderful. I have used it more in the few moths that I have owned it than most people do in a lifetime. It is also very durable. I do use a cart to move it around. So I do not have to carry or lift it more than necessary.
The question is would I buy it again? Yes! I am kicking myself for not getting one for my wife at the same time. A side note. A full size crate will NOT fit in the back. However, if you cut the corners of the crate it will fit just fine.
Love, love, love this kayak
At 68 lbs, it is not too heavy but still odd to lift. Floats well, and I can fish easily out of it.
You can fit 4 rods in the cavity of the boat, life jacket, paddle, hog trough, dry box for the anchor so it doesn't slide around and a dry bag. I can stand on it but its shaky, don't try to stand and pee off the side.
Ripped one of the rubber lids on the front. Called field and stream customer service and they sent me a new one within 3 days, no questions asked. You can't beat this yak for the price if you're looking for a fishing kayak.
This is a $599 list price boat, that is frequently on sale for $500 or less, so it's not quite fair to compare this to kayaks more than double or triple the price.
FOR it's price, and in the sub $750 kayak world, this is a pretty good SOT.
The weight rating is 400 lbs. I weigh 290, and it floated me, although I did have to plug the scupper holes. It's a bit narrow for a big guy like me, but many of you like that.
I found it fairly stable, with decent primary stability, and I'd have to work a bit to flip it... which I never tried.
It's lightweight, no trouble carrying by the side handle.
Tracked pretty well, not super speedy, but it's a fishing kayak, not a touring model.
It sounds like it should be a 10 star for the price (again, not in the absolute world, but for the price)... But the seat is miserable. No padding. No back support. You NEED to plug the scuppers under the seat unless you like a wet butt.
There are plenty of aftermarket seats you can put on this. but the fact that you need to do this costs this kayak 2 stars.
You can do a LOT worse for the money. If you're looking for an entry level kayak for fishing or seeing if the sport is for you, this would be a good one to choose. But save some money to replace the seat quickly.
My Talon is now the property of my 14 year old son, who is able to walk it to the lake several days a week, and he enjoys the heck out of it (this is his 3rd different kayak).
I've had this kayak for a little over a month and I've used it 3 times. Got one of Dick's great kayak sale deals. While it's not the perfect kayak, I think it's a great value for what I paid. It tracks well in open water while paddling, but does drift a bit as it slows down, more so than my previous kayak. It actually did well in a local river through some riffles and Class I and II's. That's not my normal use. I've stood up on it in a local lake and while I can stand in it (I'm 5'-11 and 195) I did not feel comfortable or stable. Maybe it will be better after some practice, but I didn't have any gear with me when I did that...
I love that it comes well geared with an anchor trolley (partial length), rod holders up front and in the back, paddle holders on both sides. The seat needs an upgrade soon after purchasing it for longer trips. The back storage area won't hold a milk crate, but that isn't a big deal for me.
I'll be taking it to the Keys in November and I hope to have some more trips under my belt. I'm really looking forward to using it more.
I bought the Eagle Talon because I wanted a sit on top for fishing and snorkeling, I needed more than 300 lbs of capacity, and the price was right at a sale at Dicks.
The Talon says it has a 400 lb capacity...I think that's optimistic. It may float with 400 lbs in it, but with my 300 lbs in it, the scuppers are all below the water line. I don't mind being wet, that's why I got a sit on top...but this kayak sits very low in the water, minor chop breaks over the bow, and the scuppers can never drain all the water.
The seat is OK, strong and adjustable, not much padding, and too low for any real back support. I'm replacing it.
The good news is, it tracks well, though it isn't a white water, turn on a dime type 'yak, it does go where you point it, and doesn't require any J-strokes or special techniques to stay straight. Stability is decent, it's narrower than many recreational 'yaks, but that's good, if it were much wider it would be a barge, and require a lot of work to move it.
I think you can do better in the capacity area, or better in the maneuverability, or in the stability...but I'm not sure you can do all three at this price. It's a decent compromise for all 3, but if you have a single specific thing that is a priority for you, I'd suggest some other boat. For instance, I'm now wondering about the Eagle sit-in Eagle Run with a 500 lb capacity....
After looking around for a while and trying some out in the stores, I kept migrating back to the Field and Stream Eagle Talon sit on fishing kayak. Reviews were good, and the price was fairly low for a 12' kayak.
I waited until Field and Stream in Asheville, NC had a sale, marking it down to $399.98, and after signing up for the 15% email coupon, I was able to buy it for around $330. Not bad for this much kayak!
I've taken it out on Lake Cunningham and Lake Greenwood here in South Carolina, and I am pretty impressed. It is pretty heavy - around 70 pounds, but I'm 6'-6"" and in decent shape, so I can move it around well enough. I just drop it in my Leonard 5' x 8' utility trailer, putting a pad in the front so it doesn't damage the nose, and I leave the back on top of the tailgate, hanging over about 2 feet or so.
After tying it up securely, I've been down Interstates with no problem whatsoever, but I can tell the difference in gas mileage dragging the trailer and kayak around.
As far as the kayak performance, it's stable, and it seems to track pretty well. I had a little trouble staying in a straight line yesterday for some reason, but I haven't had that happen since. Since it is so heavy, don't expect to win any races with it, but plain and simple, it gets the job done.
I plan on mountihng a Lowrance Elite 4 HDI fish finder in it soon, and I bought the GCI Seatracker seat The seat in the Eagle Talon is pathetic, so be sure to get some other kind of seat or else your rear will go number and you will be extremely uncomfortable.
Shop around and get inexpensive additions to it, and you can get some good inexpensive ideas from the Kayak Hacks channel on YouTube. One was getting one of the kids' water splashers at Dollar Tree for $1 so you can bail any excess water out, plus a $1 sponge works wonders, too. I haven't had a lot of water in mine, but I plugged the scupper holes under the seat so I wouldn't get that water in.
I give the Talon a 9 only because the seat is trash. Everything else has been great for my first kayak!
price - it's hard to beat when on sale
basics - it has all the basics for fishing and can handle decent waves and currents.
build - its not real heavy and balanced well
comfort - the seat is horrible and a must replace
center console - not a lot of uses adaptability
With all this said, it is a great starter for yak fishin, good ride and cheap. There are better, but there are definitely worse.
I love this kayak but I never tried it "out of the box" without some slight modifying. After reading tons of reviews I installed scupper plugs under the seat, Changed the seat to a really nice Feel Free kingfisher, and removed the standard scotty mount in the front and installed a Scotty flush mount with a rubber stopper. There are too many reviews that say things like "this would be a great kayak if.... so I changed them from the get go. The result? This is a great kayak. I am 6'3, 240 lbs and I stood up in it with no problem (in my pool) I doubt I will try this on the water because I'd probably go swimming but it wasn't hard to stand. Here are the trials I have put it through so far:
I've used it in open water fishing several miles of the Gulf off crystal river Florida. Not just the flats but out in the fast currents, open water and some island hopping. It handles choppy water fine although I did get a bit wet from the sea spray and small waves. I had to go out and tow my Dad (70 yrs old) back into the harbor who was in my Pungo 120 when he got sucked out between the sandbars far out to sea from the low tide currents. he wasn't a strong enough paddler to come back in on his own. It was a great tow boat. I've been out to the Gulf 6 times this month already (Dad is fine and he stays in the flats now lol.) I have used it to tow my kids when they need assistance or just tethered for safety (line in hand)
I've fished Rodman reservoir (Lake Ocklawaha) and the barge canal bass fishing. The boat was comfy and stable, I wish I brought extra sandwiches. I fished Lake Weir as well as some more Gulf Coast trips to Yankeetown, ft. Island and the Ozello kays, FL. I list these to let you know that I have been getting to know this boat well.
This Kayak is not slow nor is it a wide turning boat. With the proper strokes I can 360 this yak just as easily as the Pungo. Take a few minutes to learn your paddling strokes. The reason it is not as slow as you would assume is probably because it is not 12 feet long, it is 12' 6" which makes a difference. Also, the Talon is not 30 inches wide but an honest 29" at its widest point. I can barely measure out the beam at 29 inches using straight 90 degree reference points pressed to the hull for accuracy, 30 inches is simply not true. The good news is that while it is slightly thinner and longer than reported, it is still a quite stable yet efficient SOT hull design. I just think that marketing believes fishermen want to see nothing less than 30 inches for a beam width.
The crate problem:
If you've read reviews by now then you know a typical milk crate doesn't just slide in behind the seat. I did find a great alternative that needs no modification (but I did anyway.) At Lowes I picked up the Brute Double Bucket by Rubbermaid for around $11 (came in red only) so I painted it, added some rod holders and canopy ties which fasten it directly to the bungee grommets that are already installed for the cargo net. It fits perfectly and was easily accessible.
The front hatch:
Having detailed expensive cars in South Florida in my youth, I knew a little trick to soften black rubber and moisten it while not leaving the rubber shiny and greasy. Use baby oil. Rub it on the hatch cover, both sides and under the lip. It absorbs into the rubber hatch cover leaving it soft and supple and very easy to lift off and put on. Apply each time before your trip for easy access and the added protection against the water. It does not make your hatch greasy , keeps it from drying out and it actually smells quite nice.
As far as the seat goes, like I said. I splurged on an expensive seat but it was worth it. How valuable is your comfort for the day? That is a personal decision. I felt I made the right one by dropping an extra $120 at ack.com for the Feel Free Kingfisher seat. Feel Free has a video which shows you how to properly install the seat on YouTube, it’s worth the three minutes of your life.
That weird little pre-molded hole behind the seat:
It fits the Plano 3600 box perfectly, has a bungee installed to hold it in place AND holds a container of gulp underneath. It does not hold a Plano AND a small bait bucket as advertised. It’s either /or with regards to the bait bucket.
I haven't had any problems with my foot rests but I am a tall guy and they are on the longest setting.
Enjoy your kayak, spend some time, do your research, make the right modifications that make a difference to your preferences and you should have just as great as an experience as I am having with this boat.
This kayak tracks very well and comes complete with a padded seat also. Great fishing kayak for the price and it's rugged too.