Review Detail

 
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler
 
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler 2013-07-15 17:52:08 RayBorbon
Overall Rating of this Kayak For Fishing. 
 
4.0
RayBorbon Reviewed by RayBorbon    July 15, 2013 View all my reviews

2012 Tarpon 120

I bought a 2012 model in about January I think it was. So I've been using it in fresh and salt water this year.

I purchased the 120 on a recommendation from a friend and after reading several reviews.


* It turns around fairly easy with little space necessary...
* The cockpit is well designed with the hatch just in front of the paddler. This allows easy access to hooks, lures, etc.
* The slide track system makes it easy to attach almost any sort of equipment necessary from: Ram rod holders, Yak Attack Mighty Mount with Scotty bases, etc.
* The bow hatch allows easy access to the hull for larger items and this is where I placed my fish finder (shoot through the hull) and battery.
* The seat is fairly comfortable but not quite as good as a high end Surf to Summit. I had no problems with about 8 hours on the water but having used other seats I know it's not the ultimate.
* The tankwell storage area behind the cockpit is generous enough to hold my equipment and a load of fish.
* Performance in the salt water was decent as I did manage to take it out in 4-5 foot swells and it managed fine. The boat also managed well in choppy water paddling against a current and a decent wind. However in the surf the boat is a little bit difficult to maneuver. For example: Once a wave sets you on a course it's hard to get straight going back into shore. Going out into the surf the boat does well and seems to punch through the waves. My experiences were with 3-5 foot waves and nothing larger in the surf. I have not seen a use for a rudder yet but the boat can take one. Overall the boat tracks well and has moderate speed.
* The weight rating is an area where I am skeptical about. I've read that it has a rating of 350 lbs. but even with me and all my fishing gear I think the load is around 250. The way the water goes to the top of the scuppers I suspect the real manageable weight is probably closer 250 lbs.
* The boat weighs more than the foot longer Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 and Ocean Kayak Trident 13. It is manageable for me but I have to wonder where all the weight comes from.
* The cup holder seems like a good place for putting lures. It's a little bit of a reach but no boat is perfect.
* The bungee between the cup holder and the mid hatch seems useless to me. I tried to find a way to use it but couldn't.
* The foot braces are a little bit uncomfortable after an 8 hour tour and perhaps they should just provide the upgraded ones with rubber instead.

I would recommend this boat to anyone but I would also recommend looking closely at the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 as well. The Trident has a different hull design which is probably more suitable for rougher salt water conditions.

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