- Long Term Test
Stillwater Talon: The poor man's
Total Score: 8.58
The year 2001 has proven to be a very successful trout and bass fishing
season for me. Fishing most
of the lakes, rivers, and streams in the San Francisco bay area to as far as the
Eastern Sierras I had to make a judgement between what kind of flotation device I
would want to use for most of my fishing adventures. Being at
TT I had many choices to choose from. My desire to seek out large
fish, especially aggressive leaping trout made me come to the conclusion of
choosing something that is versatile, easy to transport, high performance, and
long by 40" wide|
denier nylon pack cloth (top), 600 denier poly duck fabric
||Detachable shoulder straps, 2 removable foam fly patches, 13
D-rings, carrying bag, neoprene fly reel case, bright safety orange
Tests: A float tube was my choice. I obtained a Stillwater Talon for my
vigorous tests that I will be putting it through for quite some time throughout
my fishing trips. The Talon is a
triangular shaped, also known as “V” shaped float tube. This unique triangular shape has many
benefits over the more traditional donut and U-shaped tubes. The triangular shaped design allows a
person to easily cut through the water and wind with minimal effort resulting in
more fishing time, the ability to be more agile, and much more. Once I was fishing in a lake that was
calm in the morning, but by the afternoon when I was exhausted and ready to get
back to my launch area the wind was blowing against me. The Talon’s shape allowed me to kick my
way back to my car in a short amount of time while using little energy.
aerodynamic "V" shaped design allows easy maneuvering
Another benefit from the “V” shape is the stability the float tube
provides. I have done intensive
tests on this float tube trying to overturn it by leaning hard right, left,
front, and back while sitting down.
The entire tube never lifted off the water. Of course if you throw your entire body
over the sides or front of the float tube you will definitely be in the water (I
am sure that’s true for all float tubes out there today).
Since the float tube is triangular shaped the front is open. The open front is a plus because of the
ease of entry; also getting out is simple.
There is no hassle of getting the tube around you legs first before
putting on your fins, you are able to look down while walking into the water,
and you can easily sit down and snap on the stabilizer bar once you are
afloat. The Stillwater Talon uses a
stabilizer bar to keep the unit as one.
Some say that the open front float tubes are not stable, but not this
one. I felt safe while float tubing
in lakes of any size. The bar in
the front kept my float tube solid.
On the topic of safety the Talon has many features that kept me from
worrying about sinking to the bottom and allowed me to concentrate on
fishing. The float tube’s outer
body is constructed with 420 denier nylon pack cloth on top and heavy duty 600
denier poly duck fabric on the bottom of the tube. Fishing in the summer time can be tough
because of the large amount of concentrated weeds and low water level which
exposes many structures that can puncture your float tube such as trees and
sharp rocks. The tough bottom on
this float tube kept me safe and worry free when I ran into branches that came
up from the bottom of the lake.
The float tube’s outer body is constructed with 420
denier nylon pack cloth on top and heavy duty 600 denier poly duck fabric on
Having at least two bladders in a float tube is a must for me. The float tube I tested had three – one
main and two backrest bladders.
Having three bladders mean that if the main one is punctured, then I will
have two more bladders to get me safely on shore.
Other features that came in handy are the 13 D-rings to attach
accessories on like my trout net and floating live tank, detachable shoulder
straps to carry the float tube while hiking miles into the backcountry waters,
three rod holders for those who carry many rods when bass fishing, and two large
side storage compartments that fits all the necessary gear I need for bass or
One gripe I have about the Stillwater Talon is that there is almost no
additional space to attach any accessories via straps such as a depth finder
because of the location of the front rod holder. The only choice to adding strapped on
items is to sacrifice that space.
420 denier (top) and 600 denier (bottom) fabric protects the float tube
triangular shaped design allows easy movement throughout the water with
$100! Great price for a float tube that has many features
||Loaded with needed features that will make your fishing trip
trouble-free (THREE rod holders!)
separate backrest bladders allow you to inflate them according to your
comfort level. The main bladder gives good back support. The
Talon is created so the person would sit higher on the seat. The "V"
shape is definitely a good engineering idea
float tube allows you to do what you want and when you want. With
the many features and great design, the Talon allows you to begin fishing
Pluses and Minuses:
Best bang for the buck
Minimal to no space for
Easy to transport
Quick to assemble
Conclusion: The Talon is a
float tube with many high quality features without paying the big bucks.
My tube served its purpose and with the abuse I put the float tube through, the
device is still in good working order without any damages. Even if there
are any manufacturer's defects, Stillwater has a lifetime warranty on their
products. Aside from the one complaint I have, I would have to give this
particular float tube a thumbs up!
Have fun and keep on fishin!