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Old Town Sportsman 106 Review

Mark Armstrong
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The Old Town Sportsman 106 is a compact fishing kayak that’s engineered for both stability and performance. It comes with a comfortable padded seat that offers high and low positioning, plus a custom tackle box.

This is a durable kayak that’s easy to paddle and can be ideal for all skill levels, from beginners up to tournament-level anglers. It’s packed with fishing features.

The deck is designed for standing up easily, with deck pads for traction. There’s also plenty of room on the deck so you can move comfortably as well as organize your kayak fishing gear.

Old Town Sportsman 106Pin
  • Length: 10 foot 6 inches
  • Width: 34.5 inches
  • Weight: 77 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 440 pounds

There’s lots of storage space despite the kayak’s compact size, including dry storage and rod storage.

With its short hull, this is not the fastest kayak out there, or the most spacious in terms of leg room for taller paddlers. But it can be easy to maneuver, especially in small spaces, like narrow rivers and creeks or backwaters.

The Sportsman 106 is designed primarily for flatwater. It can be ideal for fishing in calm coastal waters, lakes, and slow-moving rivers.

There are two other models of this kayak: the PDL 106, with a pedal drive; and the 106 powered by Minn Kota, with a motor drive included.

Why Consider A Sportsman 106 Kayak?

The Old Town Sportsman 106 is a compact fishing kayak that packs a punch when it comes to features. It has features not ordinarily found on such compact kayaks, including a premium seating system, rod and tackle tackle management options, and a standing platform.

It also benefits from premium features not often found on kayaks at this price point, so it can be an affordable option if you want higher quality features without spending too much money.

With its short hull, it can be easier to transport. For example, it could fit in the back of a pickup truck with the tailgate down. This could save you money if you don’t need to buy a kayak roof rack.

The short hull also means it’s easy to maneuver, making it a great boat for fishing in smaller bodies of water.

The standing platform gives you room to cast safely and comfortably and the seat is designed for comfort on long trips.

This is built for stability on flatwater. It’s not a fast boat and it’s not built for fast-moving water or open water conditions. If you’re a large paddler, you may want to opt for the longer 12-foot version to give you more room and a higher load capacity.

Top Features Of The Old Town Sportsman 106

Comfortable Seating System

A key feature of the Old Town Sportsman 106 is the premium seating. The high-back seat is designed to offer comfort and lumbar support so you can stay on the water for longer.

The framed seat lets you sit in an elevated position off the deck to improve your visibility and offer better sight fishing opportunities. You can adjust the seat for a higher or lower position depending on your preferences.

The seat is covered with dual-layer Textilene fabric, so it’s durable and resistant to UV-rays. It’s also easy to clean and breathable. There’s a mid-layer of 3D mesh for comfort. And you can remove the seat for storage and transportation.

For comfortable paddling, there are adjustable foot braces that operate on a sliding rail to suit different leg lengths.

Stable Hull

One of the best features of this fishing kayak is the high degree of stability. It has a Double-U hull so it’s designed with a similar style of hull as a pontoon. This is what gives the Sportsman 106 its excellent stability on a wide range of waters.

The hull is also very wide, helping to provide a spacious platform for standing on. It’s also engineered to glide quietly over the water, which can be useful if you don’t want to scare the fish away as you approach.

The deck features EVA foam deck pads to provide grip for your feet in wet conditions as well as comfort while standing. The deck pads also help to minimize noise from your kayak, such as if you drop lures or other items. So it can help to keep you and your boat quiet while you wait for a fish to bite. 

Customizable Deck

A great thing about the Sportsman 106 is that you can customize it to your own taste and requirements. There are gear tracks to let you easily install your own accessories, such as a fish finder, other electronics, or even extra rod holders (all sold separately).

There are two cup holders built into the sides of the hull, so you can easily reach them from the seat. If you don’t have a beverage to store, these cup holders can double as accessory trays for smaller items, such as lures and fishing lines.

One feature it doesn’t have is a built-in mounting point for a rudder or trolling motor.

There is a paddle clip on the side of the deck to keep your paddle safely stowed while you tend to your catch.

Space For Fishing Gear

Despite being a compact fishing kayak, this Sportsman 106 offers lots of space to store your fishing equipment.

The rear tank well is an oversized design that’s 34-inches long and 19-inches wide at its widest point. This can easily hold a fishing crate or cooler along with a dry bag or two. You’ll find bungee cords to keep your gear safely tied to the cargo deck.

The oval hatch at the bow can be another great place to store additional equipment. This gives access to the interior of the hull, so there is plenty of space under there for large items.

Keep in mind that the hatch does not have an insert, so it’s a good idea to make sure your smaller items are stored inside a dry bag first to stop them getting lost within the hull. You can secure smaller dry bags to the transducer scupper inside the hatch.

You can store tackle trays under the seat and there’s additional storage pockets on the sides. The kayak comes with a custom tackle box included.

As for rod management, you’ll find two rear-facing flush-mount rod holders at the back and one forward-facing rod holder within easy reach of the seat.

Compact Length

The Sportsman 106 is only 10-foot, 6-inches long. This is a very compact kayak that can be a convenient size for storing at home. It can also be easier to transport compared to longer and heavier kayaks.

This kayak can be easily transported in the bed of a pickup truck. You may have to put the tailgate down to tie it down safely.

The short length also means it’s incredibly easy to maneuver both on and off the water. You can make tight turns easily on the water as well as cart it to the water more easily than a longer kayak.

At 77-pounds, the Sportsman 106 is not the lightest kayak, especially for its compact size. But it is definitely not as heavy as some of the larger fishing kayaks which can be over 100-pounds.

However, you may still need a kayak cart or another person to help you carry it down to the water, particularly if you have all your gear loaded in the kayak already.

This kayak can also be car-topped but you might need assistance getting it on your roof if you find the boat heavy to lift.

We’re not the only ones who think this is a great fishing kayak with plenty of room to stand and organize your gear. This user is fully enjoying life with the Old Town Sportsman 106.

Old Town Sportsman 106 Alternatives

Wilderness Systems Radar 115

Wilderness Systems Radar 115 in Midnight colorPin

The Wilderness Systems Radar 115 has similar features to the Sportsman 106 but on a bigger scale. This is a foot longer than the Sportsman 106 and it’s also more expensive.

A great feature of this fishing kayak is that it is compatible with a rudder system (sold separately). This means it can be upgraded for improved tracking if you want to head into open water or moving water to fish.

It also benefits from having the Flex Pod system. This means you can add the Helix pedal drive system or the Helix motor drive system to upgrade your kayak for increased power and speeds over the water. So this kayak has tri-powered capabilities.

The pedal and motor drive systems are not included but can be added as optional extras if required.

This has SMART hull technology for all-around performance. It also has excellent customization options with SlideTrax rails for easily attaching accessories.

The elevated seat is designed for all-day comfort and better visibility and you can also stand to fish.


  • Pedal and motor drive compatible
  • Good performance
  • Comfortable seating system


  • Pricey

Old Town Sportsman 120

Old TownSportsman 120 Pedal KayakPin

If you like the features of the Sportsman 106 but want a little extra space, the Old Town Sportsman 120 could be the ideal kayak. This is the larger version, with a 12-foot hull and a 500-pound capacity. But it is more expensive and heavier.

This one offers faster speeds since it is a little narrower than the Sportsman 106, so you could paddle to your honey hole more quickly. It is also compatible with a rudder system (rudder kit sold separately) so it can be ideal for fishing in open water.

It has a lot more space for gear, which can be useful for longer fishing trips. It can also be more suitable for larger paddlers, with extra leg room and a higher load capacity.

The Sportsman 120 has the same premium seating system as the smaller version and the same rod storage system. It also has the same Double-U hull design for maximum stability.


  • More storage space
  • Increased speeds
  • High capacity


  • Heavier
  • More expensive

Perception Pescador Pro 10

Perception Pescador Pro 10

The Perception Pescador Pro 10 is an affordable fishing kayak that’s designed for fishing in flatwater areas. However, it’s not designed for standing up to fish.

Being 6-inches shorter than the Sportsman 106, this is a compact fishing kayak that can be easy to maneuver both on and off the water. It’s compact enough to fit in the back of most pickup trucks and can be easily car-topped. It’s also very lightweight compared to other fishing kayaks.

The Pescador Pro 10 has an elevated framed seat, rod holders, a center console, and gear tracks to install additional accessories. There’s also decent storage areas, with a mesh-covered storage deck at the bow and a rear tank well with bungees to hold a crate.


  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Good storage space


  • No standing deck

Old Town Sportsman 106 FAQs

Can The Sportsman 106 Be Upgraded To Include The Pedal Drive Or Motor Drive?

No, this kayak cannot have the motor drive or pedal drive system added to it. However, you may be able to add a trolling motor by first installing a mount. 

Are There Options To Add A Center Console To The Sportsman 106?

No, there are no upgrade options to add a center console to this kayak.

Is This Kayak Good For Large Paddlers?

This can be ideal for most paddlers carrying heavy fishing gear. For paddlers over 300-pounds, you might prefer a larger kayak with a higher capacity, such as the Sportsman 120.

Conclusion: Is The Old Town Sportsman 106 Kayak Any Good?

Old Town Sportsman 106Pin


  • Comfortable
  • Excellent storage
  • Very stable
  • Padded standing deck


  • Not the fastest
  • Not the most spacious for taller paddlers

The Old Town Sportsman 106 can be an excellent fishing kayak if you’re looking for a compact kayak that’s easy to use, packed with fishing features, and won’t break the bank.

This is a very stable fishing kayak that provides a comfortable platform for fishing in lakes, ponds, creeks, and slow-moving rivers. It has a generous capacity and well-organized storage space.

If you think this kayak sounds like it’s for you, check it out for yourself by clicking here.

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