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I'm 155 pounds (right on the low end of the weight range for 8.5), and I've been looking for a 8.1 but I just got a great deal on a 8.5. I was wondering if it was worth waiting for an 8.1 to be better in the weight range, or should I pull the trigger on the 8.5? I don't believe I'll be gaining much weight any time soon. Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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If it's a great deal jump on it. If your a strong paddler you might be fine in it. If it's too big plan on selling/trading it at the beginning of next season at a gear swap or river festival.
 

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I have an 8.5 and weigh in about 165. It seems to punch holes better than my son's 8.1 and surfaces quicker. I can also carry more stuff for multi-day trips. Try it out, and if you feel good in it, go for it. I am also about six foot tall and need the room in the 8.5 for my big feet.
 

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I'm 5'5'' and about 135-140 lbs, have paddled both 8.1 and 8.5 for multiple seasons each, and I prefer the 8.5.

I will say that I find it just slightly harder to roll that the 8.1 (short arms), and the boat will float slightly higher in the water than it's designed for, but that just means you need to be more aggressive with your paddling.
 

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8.5 is really more of a "M" sized creeker than a true "L", compared to other current Large creekers out there. This is consistent with what we're seeing in the new Nomad lineup coming next year, where the new M (8.6) looks like it is roughly the same size as the current 8.5 and the L will be a 9 footer.

New Dagger Nomad - Unsponsored

There are a lot of great deals on the 8.1's and 8.5's right now to make way for the new versions... e.g., http://www.coloradokayak.com/Dagger-Nomad
 

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8.5 Seconded for the 9th time. I paddled the 8.1 years ago. gave it up as it was too small. I'm about 165. probably 155-160 at that time. Back to the 8.5 again after too many years away. Great boat. Maybe the best of all time.
 
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