Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Review – A Good Fishing Kayak?
You don’t need to spend thousands on a top-of-the-line fishing kayak to enjoy a great day of kayak fishing on your favorite lake.
Let’s face it, we may not even use half the features on some of those expensive boats, especially if you’re just getting to grips with kayak angling.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a budget fishing kayak that can be great for beginners looking for a first kayak and even casual anglers looking for an affordable boat with essential but basic fishing features.
This compact kayak comes with a paddle included so you can head out on the water right away.
The Tamarack Angler is a durable, stable kayak that can be ideal for both recreational paddling and fishing on flatwater. But the seat isn’t the best in terms of comfort so you may want to upgrade the seat if you’re planning a longer trip.
Its compact size can make it a good option for ponds and small rivers. Compared to other fishing kayaks, it’s also pretty lightweight.
It differs slightly from the standard Tamarack 100 in that it has added fishing features and additional storage options.
You could also consider the Tamarack 120 version if you're after a higher capacity fishing kayak with more storage space.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Overview
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is designed for the casual kayak angler. If you like to fish on calm lakes, slow-moving rivers, or sheltered bays, this could be the ideal kayak.
This is a basic kayak so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that a more expensive fishing kayak might have. But it can be a great kayak if you’re looking for a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-use fishing kayak on a budget. It’s a stable boat with rod holders and storage compartments.
The Tamarack Angler is aimed more toward beginners than experienced kayak anglers. It has enough storage for a short fishing trip but you may find it lacks the capacity to carry lots of heavy fishing equipment, especially if you are a larger paddler.
The seat is a basic seat that may only be comfortable for short periods. The Tamarack Angler also does not have gear tracks or accessory mounts included. So if you’re looking for a kayak that’s ready to be customized with gadgets and accessories, you might want to look at more high-end angler kayaks.
Top Features Of The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
The Tamarack Angler 100 features a flat bottom for increased primary stability. This means it can be very stable on flatwater. It can also feel more stable initially, particularly if you’re new to kayaking, as it can feel less tippy.
The 31-inch wide hull benefits from having a molded-in skeg which can help with tracking performance, meaning it can be easier to paddle in a straight line. The sharp bow is also designed to improve tracking and can help you to cut through the water more efficiently for increased speeds.
However, this is not a speedy boat. It’s built primarily for stability and features channels under the hull to aid tracking. It can also handle gentle rivers with moderate riffles.
While this is a stable kayak, it’s not designed for standing up. There is no standing deck or fully flat area to comfortably stand for casting or retrieving. However, if you have good balance and the water is calm, you might be able to stand up.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is made for fishing. It has two flush-mounted rod holders located behind the seat plus a deck-mounted swivel rod holder within easy reach of the cockpit.
There are two 6-inch hatches, one at the rear and one at the center. These storage hatches are conveniently positioned and easy to access. They can be ideal for storing items that you want to keep safe and dry. The hatches don’t have inserts, so you may want to put smaller items inside another container first so that you can retrieve them more easily.
However, the hatches are not completely waterproof so you may want to store valuables inside a waterproof dry bag before you place them in the hatch.
There is also a paddle keeper bungee so you can secure your paddle while you’re fishing.
A good thing about the Tamarack is that it can be a fun boat to customize to create a personalized craft if you’re into DIY kayak upgrades.
Video: Lifetime Tamarack Angler: My Best Kayak Mods and Seat Upgrade
Compared to other fishing kayaks out there, which can often weigh as much as 100 pounds, the Tamarack Angler 100 is a pretty lightweight kayak, weighing just over 50 pounds.
Its lighter weight means it can be easier to lift and carry down to the water. It can also be easier to lift on top of your car roof rack than some heavier kayaks. Its compact size can also make car-topping a less arduous task.
This kayak is 10 feet long so it’s a more portable size in general than a longer kayak. It can fit more comfortably on the roof of smaller cars and you may even be able to fit it in the back of some pickup trucks.
To make it easier to carry, there are bow and stern toggle handles, as well as carrying handles on the sides.
Due to its compact length, this fishing kayak can be great for smaller bodies of water, as it can be easier to navigate around corners and in small spaces. This can make it an ideal boat for narrow rivers and small lakes and ponds.
Video: Tamarack Angler Review On The River
This ease of maneuverability can also make this vessel a great first kayak, as it can be easier to turn and control if you’re a new paddler, compared with a longer kayak.
The Tamarack Angler is generally not built for extreme comfort. However, there are a few features that are designed to make your paddling or fishing trip a little more comfortable.
Firstly, a seat is included. But this is a basic kayak seat that you may want to upgrade at some point if you want additional lumbar support. The seat consists of a foam seat pad with a separate padded backrest. The backrest can be adjusted using the straps at the side. But it may not offer enough support for long periods on the water, so it might be better suited to shorter trips.
There are molded footrests to give you multiple positions to place your feet so that you can stabilize yourself and improve your paddling posture in the seat.
You’ll also find a cup holder conveniently located in front of the seat so that you can easily access your water bottle or favorite beverage while you’re paddling.
For being a compact kayak, it has a surprising amount of space. As well as the two storage hatches that give access to the hull, there is a rear tank well that can be ideal for storing a small cooler or a fishing crate. This storage deck also benefits from having bungees for securing your gear to the kayak.
Additionally, you’ll find a smaller cargo area at the bow with bungee cords to secure your loose gear. This can be perfect for storing a small dry bag or a rain jacket.
However, the Tamarack Angler is not necessarily designed to carry a huge amount of gear. It has a maximum capacity of 275 pounds, which includes you and your gear.
If you’re a larger or heavier paddler, you may find that you won’t be able to load it up with as much gear. But it may be adequate for smaller or lighter paddlers, as it could give you more capacity to carry heavier gear such as camping equipment if required.
As we said before, the Tamarack Angler can be a fun kayak to modify with custom upgrades. And as you’ll see, there are others out there who feel the same.
Alternatives To The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100
1: Perception Pescador Pro 10
If you’re looking for a better seat and extra fishing features, the Perception Pescador Pro 10 can be a greater alternative. However, it is a more expensive boat.
One of the best features of the Pescador is the upgraded seat. This elevated framed seat features mesh fabric for drainage and can give you a better vantage point for sight fishing. It can also provide more support and added comfort on long fishing trips.
This 10-foot, 6-inch kayak also features YakAttack gear tracks so you can install your own accessories without having to drill into the hull. There are rod holders, a tackle storage console that can be rigged for a fish finder (sold separately), and a 5-inch hatch for hull access.
It also has a spacious rear tank well for a crate or cooler, and a smaller mesh-covered tank well at the bow.
This is a stable kayak that can be ideal for all flatwater environments. It’s also easy to maneuver in smaller lakes and rivers and easy to car-top.
2: Pelican Basscreek 100 XP
The Pelican Basscreek 100 XP is a 10-foot fishing kayak that can be a good alternative if you’re after some upgraded features. The seat is a similar, basic style with a seat pad but features ErgoFit technology to offer a little more support in the padded backrest.
It has a 4-inch dry hatch at the back, which has an insert for keeping valuables safe, as well as a Quick Lock hatch at the bow.
This sit-on-top kayak can hold a bit more than the Tamarack, with a 325-pound capacity. It also has a large rear tank well with bungee cords for storing larger equipment. You’ll find three rod holders, including a swivel rod holder in the center.
For comfort and stability, there are sliding foot braces offering multiple positions for different leg lengths. The multi-chine hull is designed for maximum stability on flatwater. This is also a little lighter than the Tamarack, weighing just 50 pounds.
It can perform well on flatwater, with a compact hull that makes it a good choice for ponds and small lakes.
3: Azul Kayaks Sun 9 Deluxe
The Azul Sun 9 Deluxe can be a less expensive alternative and even comes with a paddle. It’s more compact, at just 8 foot 9 inches long. It’s also a little narrower than the Tamarack (26 inches wide) but with the shorter length of the hull, this shouldn’t affect the stability on flatwater.
This can be an ideal starter kayak both for recreational paddling and for fishing. It features a built-in rod holder in the center, for ease of use. It also benefits from having a small center hatch for storing small items or valuables.
There is a spacious rear cargo deck with a mesh cover to help keep your gear secure. There’s an additional bow storage area with bungees that can be ideal for securing a dry bag.
The seat is a similar design to the Tamarack seat, with a seat pad on the bottom and a separate seatback. A handy feature of this sit-on-top kayak is the wheel under the hull for easy transportation to the water. It also weighs just 44 pounds and has a capacity of 275 pounds.
However, because of its short length, you may find you’re restricted to what you can bring with you in terms of large gear.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 FAQs
Is This A Good Stand Up Kayak, Is It Stable?
The Tamarack Angler is not designed for standing and it does not have a flat deck or much space to stand. However, you may be able to stand if you have good balance.
Is There Room To Fit A Cooler?
Yes, there is room to store a cooler or fishing crate in the rear tank well.
Should I Use The Shipped Seat, Or Buy A Separate One?
The seat it comes with is pretty basic, consisting of a foam seat pad and a separate backrest. This might be fine for shorter trips but if you plan to spend long periods in the kayak, you may want to opt for a more comfortable seat with added support.
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 can be the ideal starter kayak for new anglers and new paddlers on a budget. It has ample room for fishing gear for a short trip, with dedicated storage for three fishing rods and space for a small crate. It can also be useful for casual recreational paddling.
This affordable, compact kayak is easy to paddle and stable on flatwater. If you think the Tamarack Angler might be the best kayak for you, check it out here. Let us know what you think. And if you think your buddies might be interested, share this with them.