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Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 AnglerWilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 AnglerWilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler

Kayak Specs

Length
12' 3"
Width
30"
Weight
70 lbs
Capacity
350 lbs
Base Price
US $1,069
Main Propulsion
Paddle
Rudder
Optional
Passengers
1
Hull Type
Sit-On-Top
Production Status
Available

Manufacturer

Brand
Wilderness Systems

This best-selling Tarpon is a versatile sit-on-top that's size isn't as extensive as its performance, yet still has plenty of room for any sized paddler and all their fishing gear.

Features

  • Phase 3 AirPro SOT Seating System
  • Silent Traction System
  • Cupholder
  • Self-Bailing Scupper Holes
  • Made in the USA
  • SlideTrax Universal Mounting Plate
  • Gear Storage Pockets
  • Side Carry Handles with Paddle Holder
  • 8-inch Orbix Midship Hatch
  • Keepers Foot Brace System
  • Flush Mount Rod Holder (2)
  • SlideTrax Accessory System
  • Large Oval Orbix Bow Hatch
  • Scotty Rod Holder
  • Comfort Carry Handles
  • Rudder Ready
  • Tankwell w/ Bungee

User reviews

Average user rating from: 4 user(s)

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Overall Rating of this Kayak For Fishing. 
 
4.0  (4)
 
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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Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler 2009-11-27 13:06:39 Admin
Overall Rating of this Kayak For Fishing. 
 
4.0
Admin Reviewed by Admin    November 27, 2009 View all my reviews

2009 Tarpon 120 Angler

I bought the Tarpon 120 Angler addition (without the rudder) and figured I'd review it for anyone interested. The 140 in general has way more space than I'd need unless I was going on a week long trip or something, so the 120 is perfect.

When I was looking for a yak my important criteria was that I could get it on top of my Scion XB by myself and that it had space for at least a few days of camping gear. After reading up on many yaks I went for the Tarpon 120.

I'll review it based on my weekend on the Chesepeake (Susquehanna flats) camping on a battery island and fishing in the bay.

SPACE: The 120 has plenty of room underneath and on the stern. I have no problem getting my Crate and a good sized cooler in there with plenty of room to sneak something else in if I needed. I just use the extra space as my beer can catcher in the back. In the hatch I had 5 1.5 liter bottles, my personal item dry bag, extra beer..and plenty of room left for more fluids. I put that in the middle to balance weight. I used a large netlike bag to keep things from rolling too far back. Up front I had my solo camping gear (solo tent/food/sleeping bag/and lots of camping supplies in a dry bag all tucked in with no problems. In summary...I'm confident I could easily fit 3 days of supplies (more if creative) using the minimalist solo approach. Lot's of space. Looking at some of the Ocean Kayaks in the store...it was obvious that the space behind the seat on my tarpon was much wider than the yaks I saw.

COMFORT: I have nothing to compare it to...but after 2 days of sitting on it I had no problems. I'm 5'10 and 165lbs. Plenty of leg room, and can sit cross legged, or sidways with my legs hanging off...or stretch out. I think the seat is comfortable enough, but I have read some complaints that for heavier taller people, the backrest can get a bit uncomfortable. I've also read the opposite...so I guess it's personal preference.

PERFORMANCE: No GPS, so I don't know for sure...but I felt really good about the speed I was getting and the ease of paddling. I'm not a kayaker and I know I paddled a good 12-15 miles with little effort that weekend. Lot's of fishing breaks of course. Feels very stable sitting down...a bit wobbly (for me anyway) trying to stand. I've read some people have done ok...but not me. I can stand sort of on the seat...but I get wobbley if I change my balance at all. I need to see how far I can push it before I get wet someday. Waves will splash over the bow if you hit them wrong and an anchor attached at the side is a guaranteed wet butt (but I guess all SOT's are like that). It tracks great most of the time, but if I'm pushing it hard I can feel a bit of side to side. Also if weight is not balanced or 1 line out trolling I do end up making a lot of corrections. I guess the rudder'd edition would fix that (extra $200 bucks though )

TO FISH FROM: That's why we buy these right...Well I can't compare it to anything but I love it. I don't trust the flush rod holders behind the seat for trolling (I'll need to get leashes) and the Scotty Rod holder they install up front is too far to reach without physically moving forward. I find myself leaving the rods in the cockpit area. I need to work something else out, but the Slide Trax they installed might have potential without drilling more holes. Casting, fishing, and (the best thing about a sit on top) landing the fish using the leg scoop was all very easy. Brought some really nice Channel Cats on it with no problem and the side pockets are great places to toss extra lures and tools so I'm not reaching into my crate all the time. Beer holder takes a bit of a lean forward to get too...so I keep it closer to my out of the holder if I'm not moving (until I get a bite).

OVERALL: I love it and I'm glad I bought it as my first kayak (though if I could have afforded a Hobie I probably would have). I take it out all the time now and I'm getting a bit obsessive about going kayak fishing. I can't wait to get my anchor trolley and some better placed rod holders. I have no regrets and my search is over (until I can afford that Hobie with the flippers and spot for the sail someday)

I'll let you know if I change my mind when I get it out on the shore...Love to hear other peoples thoughts on this one.
Reviewer: Bonefish from Phily

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Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler 2009-11-27 13:02:33 Admin
Overall Rating of this Kayak For Fishing. 
 
4.0
Admin Reviewed by Admin    November 27, 2009 View all my reviews

Tarpon 120 Freshwater,

I've used it four times now and have not been skunked yet. My ONLY complaint is that the front rod holder is too far away and you have to scoot up on the seat to actually reach it. I have not gotten a wet bottom yet but I have not been in rough water - only ponds and lakes. I only gave it a 3.5 in rough water because I really don't know how it would do, but I suspect OK. You may want to get the Tarpon 140 for better tracking in rougher water. I am 6'3" and weigh 200 lb and I have plenty of room.
Reviewer: Ibikealot from Delaware, USA

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Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler 2009-11-27 13:01:00 Admin
Overall Rating of this Kayak For Fishing. 
 
4.0
Admin Reviewed by Admin    November 27, 2009 View all my reviews

Tarpon 120 as versatile fishing platform

I bought my 07 tarpon 120 (basic model) used. The 07 still had scuppers behind the seat (horrible idea)but i plugged them with WS scupper plugs and problem solved.
I am 5'8 160 lbs and you will get wet (not soaked) in the surf in this boat. Other than that all but your toes will be bone dry.It tracks well enough and gets you where you need to go without much effort. This boat is excellent if you do ultiple types of fishing and need something versatile. I have installed drilling) two rocket launcher style rod holders behind the seat and an anchor system. I prefer these because they minimize the salt exposure to your reels. I do not have a single complaint about this boat and have adapted it for many types of fishing.It launches fine in the surf and is relatively easy to put on top of my 4-runner (~60 lbs)unless your doing something really specialized (ie billfish on the fly etc) you will not have any complaints about this kayak regardless of your skill level
Reviewer: Jesse from North Carolina

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