Old Town Topwater 106

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Old Town Topwater 106 – Review

Specs:

Length: 10 ft 6 in
Width: 34.5 in
Weight: 75 lb
Capacity: 440 lb

Old Town is a historic name in the canoe and kayak business, these guys have been around since Noah’s day, well maybe not, but if they had, they might have survived better than most! 

They have been at it for over a century and it’s easy to see why they’re a much loved and revered brand. 

The Old Town Topwater 106 features Old Town’s DoubleU hull design which provides a stable and comfortable platform. Coupled with non-slip deck pads make this a top choice for those who like to stand and fish from their kayaks. 

ProsCons
Trusted brand
Ultra stable
ElementAir™ breathable high/low position seat
Stand assist strap
Open and spacious deck
Sealed front hatch (With decent sized opening)
Non-slip deck pads
Mounting tracks for accessories
Cup holders
Well placed flush mount rod holders
Underseat storage
Large rear tankwell
Universal transducer mount
Limited Lifetime hull warranty (https://www.oldtowncanoe.com/warranty)
Weight capacity 440 lb
Seat could have some more padding (An upgraded seat is available on the Sportsman)

Not the fastest – that is to be expected though with this style of kayak…

Stability

Lets face it, if youre looking to buy an Old Town Topwater you are most likely in the market for a stable fishing kayak. This is where the Topwater models really excel. There are plenty of clips out there showing the extreme stability of them, people pushing them to their limits.

What I’d like to show you is a quick video showing a bigger guy standing comfortably and fishing. I think this is great for those of you who are maybe a little less confident with your balance as it shows that these kayaks are one of the most stable options out there, suitable for many different types of people.

Comfort

Adjustable and breathable lawn chair style seating with hi-low positioning and well placed rod and cup holders lead to a comfortable experience.

Storage

  • Large sealed front hatch
  • Large rear tank well
  • Underseat storage
  • Plenty of deck space

Fishing Features

  • 3 flush mount rod holders
  • Mounting tracks for additional attachments
  • Universal transducer mount
  • EVA foam deck pads
  • Oversized rear tank well

Capacity

It also boasts a whopping 440 lb total boat capacity! It weighs 75 lb which leaves 365 lb for people and gear.
If you happen to be on the bigger side, like to carry loads of gear or even both, this is definitely worth looking at.

One of the many Old Town Topwater 106 happy customers…

Topwater 106 – potential issues?

I had to search really hard to find any negative issues people had with this kayak. Here’s what I found…

Some complained that it is not the fastest kayak on the market but it’s not slow either. To me this goes without saying, if I was looking for a fast kayak I would be looking for one with a longer and narrower shape/design.
This kayak has been designed predominantly for lake fishing to provide a solid stable platform. It fufills this purpose perfectly. Remember it’s always a trade off, speed has been sacrificed for stability. 

People have complained that the seat in the Topwater isn’t comfortable. Unfortunately, as seat comfort is very subjective it’s hard to tell whether it would suit you or not untill you sit in it yourself. Most either used a cushion or upgraded therefore if it’s likely to be a concern then I would recommend going for a seat upgrade.
What is good about the seat is that It’s a mesh seat designed to be quick drying.

It is important to note that some potential issues may be addressed in new Topwater models, the sentence below is from their website 
Some Topwaters will contain updated and enhanced features found on the new Sportsman line that have not been photographed yet.”

Also, if you are looking for all these features but in a longer package, we suggest you check out the Old Town Topwater 120.


Old Town Topwater vs Sportsman – A brief overview

If you’re looking at Old Town’s fishing kayaks, they have produced a new line up branded the Sportsman which are well worth checking out.
Among these is the Sportsman 120 and Sportsman 106 prospectively. The hull appears to be the same as the Topwater series (don’t quote me on that) but they feature some upgrades which you can see in the clip below. (I had to slow it down a bit to get a good look). This review is based on the 120 models.

If you don’t want to watch the video here is a quick comparison.

Topwater 120Sportsman 120
Offset Stern Handle Molded in-Stern Handles (One on either side of the keel making it easier to carry it flat)
Element Air SeatNew Premium Seat
EVA Foam Floor PadsNew Premium Floor Pads
Narrower Stern TankwellExpanded Stern Tankwell

Old Town Topwater 106 – Summary

Designed to be ultra stable the Old Town Top Water 106 is a fantastic kayak. Extremely roomy and stable whilst not being overly big makes it ideal for lake and river fishing.


If you mostly fish flatwater and want a super stable platform that still paddles well the Old Town Topwater 106 would be our top pick for you.


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