Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak Review 

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The Tamarack Angler 100 fishing kayak by Lifetime is a good choice for experienced and new anglers who want to go on a solo fishing trip on a calm lake, river, or large pond. The kayak is very stable which makes it an even better choice for beginners. 

It’s also a great buy for the angler on a budget. Most of the time, kayaks in this price range begin to sacrifice quality and only tend to last a season. Fortunately, this kayak by Lifetime comes with a five-year product warranty, which shows they stand by their products. 

Lifetime is a company that’s known for their mid and lower priced fishing kayaks. While many of them aren’t able to handle a variety of water conditions, most have an excellent reputation for durability. 

Our Verdict: This kayak isn’t designed for fast moving water conditions, in fact, it has been described as very sluggish by most anglers. It could also use some upgrades in terms of seating, but this is fairly common among kayaks in this price range. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a solid recreational kayak that’s stable, then the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 kayak fits the bill.

Continue reading to learn more about this best-selling model.

Overview and Features 

Kayaks in this price range have their limits. They usually don’t come equipped with many extras and have a hard time with tracking and maneuverability. Which is why we were surprised to learn that the Tamarack scored really high in both of these areas. While it’s not the most versatile angling kayak on the market, it can be the best option for anglers looking for a stable, reliable kayak that allows them to stand when they cast. 

This is a great kayak for fishing on ocean bays, rivers, and calm lakes. The hull design provides a nice sturdy base that allows the user to easily maneuver and navigate through tight channels. 

This model is not designed for longer fishing trips. The included seat is very uncomfortable, and the smaller cockpit tends to feel more cramped as time goes on. It’s also not designed for rough waters like the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 fishing kayak is. So, if you’re looking for a kayak that can handle rougher waters, the Tamarack isn’t it. This is because its designed first with stability in mind. The kayak isn’t able to cut through the water like longer, narrower kayaks can. This can make paddling in rough water conditions difficult because you’ll have to exert a lot more energy in order to keep the kayak on track. 

This model comes with a couple of flush mount rod holders, rear and front six-inch storage hatches, a paddle cradle, stern and bow carrying handles, and molded footwells. The kayak also offers a top-mounted rod holder and a deep hull designed for tracking channels. 

At ten-feet in length, the kayak provides a slower performance that’s perfect for flat water. It’s also thirty-one inches wide, which can help to improve stability. 

Weighing just fifty-two pounds, loading and unloading this kayak is simple. 

Unfortunately, it has a max user weight of just two hundred and seventy-five pounds which can really limit how much gear you can bring along. 

Given the cramped cockpit, we don’t recommend this kayak to anglers above six feet, four inches tall. 

Performance

This model is built tough and made out of a high-density polyethylene. This kayak will never crack of fade since it’s made out of this type of sturdy material, which is also UV-protected.

If you plan on spending plenty of time on the water whether paddling around or catching some fish, then you’ll appreciate the seat’s comfortable backing. While the seat can’t quite compare to the seats you’ll find on higher priced models, they do offer better than average back support. For day long fishing trips you may want to upgrade or buy a gel-topped seat cushion.

The multi-footrest options allow the kayak to accommodate anglers and users of all sizes, so you’ll have more than enough space to stretch out.

Obviously, considering speed isn’t this kayak’s strong suit, but durability is, this kayak will excel in calmer waters. Because it’s so stable, the angler can stand and cast without rocking the kayak. The tough material and durable design also makes it suitable for a variety of water conditions and ensures that it will last for many seasons to come.

Hull Design

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The hull design is one of the kayak’s best features and goes to show the kayak’s design was well thought out. The innovative hull design helps to improve the kayak’s tracking ability while also improving overall stability. Thanks to the chine rails, smaller anglers can stand up in the kayak when casting. This is a huge selling point for some anglers. 

The kayak’s flat bottom is also what makes this model so stable. The deep tracking channels combined with the chine rails are make it nearly impossible to capsize this beast.

While it’s true that this kayak is very stable, it’s also fairly slow, which makes it a poor choice for fast moving water conditions. This kayak has been described as sluggish and a model that can’t handle ocean angling. Of course, if you prefer to fish out on calm lakes, bays, large ponds, or slow moving rivers, then this won’t be an issue.

But in terms of handling choppy water conditions, rapids, and waves, this kayak simply isn’t up to the challenge. Often, a kayak’s stability is compromised with a longer, narrower design. It seems that you can’t have both a stable and fast kayak. In terms of fishing kayaks, it’s always best to choose a model that’s stable over a kayak that’s fast. If you prefer to stand when casting, then you can’t go wrong with the Tamarack Angler 100, a kayak with a reputation for stability and quality.

If you want a kayak designed specifically for speed or whitewater conditions, click here to learn more about the different styles of kayaks available in our buyer’s guide, which showcases the top fishing kayaks on the market. 

Storage

The kayak also offers ample storage, allowing you to carry larger items such as a big tackle box, cooler, and a backpack. However, considering how low the user max weight is, you’ll need to plan your trip carefully. If you go over the recommended max weight, you’ll end up negatively impacting the kayak’s tracking. You can also end up taking on water, depending on how much weight you’re hauling. If you do end up traveling in rougher waters when you’re over the weight capacity, you can use basic tips to bail out water quickly and efficiently. To learn more, you can read our article on how to get water out of a kayak.

The kayak’s two six-inch hatches are located in the bow and the middle of the boat and can be used to store smaller items such as your phone, drinks, keys, lures, and other personal items. Both of these storage spaces are easily accessible and will come in handy whenever you need a secure, dry space to store important gear. 

If you need more space to store your gear, your fishing equipment and supplies can be stored using the rear and front shock cord straps.

Rod Holders Galore

Of course, what fishing kayak is complete without a bunch of rod holders? As we mentioned earlier, this model comes with three. On the side of the kayak you’ll find one swivel top mounted model, and two flush mounted holders on each side of the kayak. 

Extras

You’ll also get some side and front bungees which are designed to hold the paddle in place, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it in the water when you’re distracted and struggling to reel in a fish. As we mentioned earlier, these bungee systems can also be used to attach extra gear. 

Advantages & Disadvantages

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Pros
  • Low price
  • Excellent stability
  • Above average tracking
  • Users can stand to cast
  • Three rod holders
  • Plenty of storage
  • Five-year warranty
  • Solid tracking ability
  • Lightweight design
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Cons
  • Low max weight
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Slow
  • Not designed for rough water use
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Conclusion and Rating

Paddle Go.com Product Rating: (4/5)

The Tamarack fishing kayak by Lifetime isn’t designed for ocean angling and it can’t handle whitewater conditions. It’s not the fastest kayak, but it is one of the most stable and the best buy you’ll find in this price range. It’s equipped with some great extras that you normally wouldn’t find on a lower priced model. The built-in rods and the storage hatches definitely boost the kayak’s fishability. 

The fact that anglers can stand as they cast is huge. Most kayaks this size don’t offer the type of stability that’s necessary for a standing cast, which just goes to show how stable the Tamarack really is. 

The five-year warranty can give consumers confidence in this type of important investment. 

Overall, this budget-friendly kayak is ideal for beginners who are looking for a fishing kayak that’s easy to handle, and it can even work for the seasoned angler who normally fishes calmer waters.We gave this model a rating of four out of five stars.

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