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Name: guamaniac

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I bought the Mustang Survival M.I.T. inflatable PFD (manual inflate version) to use during the heat of the summer. I use a conventional PFD for the rest of the year. I usually wear my PFD at all times but the summer months in Alabama prove to be too hot. I love the light weight of the inflatable PFD--you feel as if you are not wearing a PFD at all. I bought the manual version of the M.I.T. 100 as I didn't want the PFD to auto-inflate if it fell into the water.

The only negatives to this PFD (I kayak to fish!) is the absence any accessory points on the PFD. I would get use out of a knife attachment point, a pocket and a loop of some kind (for a zinger). These negatives are not deal breakers. I bought the M.I.T. on sale and it was a very good purchase for my needs.

Just note that an inflatable PFD must be worn at all times when on the water to be legal unlike a traditional PFD, which just must be present in the kayak when on the water.

The Hobie Revolution 13: No kayak is a perfect 10 as no one kayak can perform exceptionally in all conditions. But the Revo 13 is so close... Hands-free kayaking is the game changer for kayak fishing and Hobie's attention to detail makes the Revo shine! I paddle a 2011 Revo 13 (since new) and fish so much more of the time on the water because I rarely pick up the paddle. The Revo 13 doesn't have a reverse unless you flip the Mirage Drive around 180 degrees so I plan my route carefully and rarely need to back up. The peddles and the rudder make fighting a big fish much more manageable!

The 2011 Revo 13 is a wonderful kayak but does have it's drawbacks. The cup holder is more useful as a lure holder and the seat area can hold water. I took the bottom of my seat apart and added a cut-to-fit 1 inch closed-cell foam pad to the existing pad and sewed it back up. The added height does keep me much drier and the balance is essentially the same. The seat is comfortable and I have sat in the Hobie for 9 hours without getting out--it was a long day of fishing! The Revo 13 is a fast kayak and you can peddle all day. If the wind picks up, the Hobie really shines!

I have upgraded the rudder to the sailing rudder to make tighter turns. I like the standard Mirage Drive fins as I mostly fish inland and don't need the extra speed. I have added slide tracks to the rear and used them as an attachment point for rod holders (on the rear left) and a bait bucket. I also have a slide track mounted in front right side and I mount a rod holder here (which is cut down a few inches) where I place my rod when I land a fish. To this rod holder I have attached a magnetic fly drier (to hold my hemastats), a rubber O-ring (to hold my Boga Grip 15) and a Bomerang Tool Snip (for cutting fishing line). I have YakAttack Mighty Mounts in the front left for my GoPro camera and in the center back for a YakAttack Visicarbon light/flag (highly recommended). I have a Ram 1 inch ball mounted in the front right for my Garmin fish finder and have the fish finder battery mounted in a glued-in closed-cell foam cradle located beneath the rear hatch. Everything else is I need is carried in the milk crate.

After peddling the Revo 13 for 5 years, I can honestly say that it is money well spent. It is a solid fishing kayak and I have enjoyed it in rivers, lakes, inshore flats, and a couple of miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. The only kayak I would exchange it for is a new Revo 13 or Revo 11 with the elevated seat.
I also paddle a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 and a Perception Pro 100.

I bought my first Tarpon 120 in 2003 and another Tarpon 120 in 2008. Picked up a Tarpon 100 in 2006 and a Tarpon 140 a couple years ago. All the Tarpons were purchased new with the exception of the 140. After 10 years of experience in the Tarpons, I can say with confidence that Wilderness Systems makes a fine fishing platform--the Tarpon started the kayak fishing revolution!

The Tarpon 120 tracks well, is light enough to car-top, has a milk crate sized area in the back and accepts flush-mount rod holders. Two flat surfaces aft of the paddler can be used for Scotty mounts (flush or proud). It even has a level mount for a compass. I like the dual paddle holders and occasionally use them to hold a fishing rod (or fly rod). I never had any problems with leaks or scuppers. This kayak is a true workhorse and will satisfy most fishermen. The newest version has some nice features--tracks on the decks and pockets.

I would have given the Tarpons a 10 except for the cup holders. They are not in a good position or deep enough so that the bottle placed there is always in the way. I always used mine to store fishing lures.

I sold my 10 year old Tarpon for 2/3 of what I paid for it and could have sold 10 more. Paddles recognize that Tarpons are a solid kayak and they are always in demand. I have taken the Tarpon 120 on a multiple 3 day kayak-camping trips to the Bartram Canoe Trail (see trip under Places to Paddle-Alabama) and it performed perfectly. I have taken the Tarpons on 10 mile river paddles, into the Gulf of Mexico and in-shore around Mobile, AL chasing red fish, specs and flounder. I am currently looking for that fifth Tarpon and will probably have one in the livery for quite some time.