Old Town Canoe's Loon 126 Angler Edition Kayak
The reintroduction of Old Town Canoe's Loon series means anglers can now stay comfortable out on the water for longer than ever
Twenty years ago, Old Town Canoe launched a kayak that changed the way people thought about taking to the water. This year, Old Town Canoe changed the way people think of the kayak. The Loon 126 Angler could be called the most modern kayak on the water today.
Old Town has introduced a removable dash with a USB connector that can be powered with a 12-volt power supply to keep your phone, camera or blue tooth device going for hours. The compartment is waterproof and has a phone holder with a bungee to hold your phone secure. Convenient trays for the angler, a bottle holder underneath and a recessed holder on top were all added to meet the demands of today’s anglers and kayakers. The tray easily removes by just flipping two levers to the unlock position and off it comes. Once locked, I was able to lift up on it and pick the kayak up without the dashboard coming unattached or loosening.
The next demand of today’s kayakers and anglers was a seat that is not only comfortable, but one that will allow you to enjoy your time on the water for hours. They introduced the Active Comfort System 2.0, which looks like an expensive sports car seat. While sitting in the driver’s seat you can adjust your back with levers on each side. The seat pulls up to allow you to keep your knees bent by pulling a lever between your legs and lifting up or letting down. The flow through ventilation keeps you dry and makes it easy to dry quickly when wet. On the top sides of the cockpit is padding to protect your arms while paddling.
(Photo courtesy of Gary Elliott)
There is separate dry storage in the front and back of the kayak, which have click seal locking hatches. During our testing we never took on any water in any part of the hull. A dry bag could be an option when using the storage areas, but you can never be overly cautious. Plenty of leg room and adjustable pedals make your day’s ride fun and comfortable.
The tri-layer polyethylene hull design makes for a very sturdy hull. The Angler 126 Series has a very spacious hull measuring 23 inches by 56 inches and weighing only 57 pounds, but this kayak can hold up to 450 pounds. The tri-layer hull design allows this kayak to weigh less but carry more. We found the hull to be very stable and never once felt it flex when getting in, getting out or even when carrying it.
The hull design also makes this kayak a dream to paddle. On a calm day on a small lake, it seems to glide forever with one stroke of the paddle. It had great speed and turned easily. The secondary area of the hull really adds to your stability and also allows as a secondary catch when leaning in the kayak. This is something you would need to experience and get a feel for.
The wind dynamics are everywhere on this kayak. The bow of the kayak down to the bungees going across the stern are designed to make air flow easily across and cut down on wind drag. The stern slopes downward like a loon for the purpose of cutting down on wind drag as well, keeping the kayak from turning sideways in the wind. We took the kayak out on a fairly windy day and were really impressed by how well this design works. My sit-on-top kayak was getting turned, while the Loon stayed straight. The sharp keel line keeps this boat on course.
Also part of the angler package are two flush mount rod holders designed to hold your rods at a tight angle for river fishing and an anchor trolley with anchor included. Bungees on the stern and bow allow you to carry your gear, secure your paddle or reenter the kayak should you tip. Well-designed handles on the bow and stern make it very comfortable to carry to and from the lake.
One of the biggest things about this review was not only experiencing the Loon 126 Angler Edition, but getting to meet a new friend. The Michigan representative was great during our review time. He was very kind, helpful and quite knowledgeable – not only about the product line, but kayaking itself. If the staff of Old Town are anything like Mark, I can really see why Old Town has been the bench mark of canoes and kayaks for as long as they have. My total experience with the Loon and Old Town has been awesome. The technology and forethought in the design of not only the Loon but other kayaks in the Old Town and Ocean Kayak line is quite impressive.
For more information, please visit www.oldtowncanoe.com.
Review written by Gary Elliott, facilitator of www.Facebook.com/GarysOutdoorNewsandReviews and @garys_outdoor_news_and_reviews.