Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Review
The Tarpon 120 is an excellent all purpose sit on top kayak. Its not really designed to be quick, and its quite top heavy at about 63 lbs, but can carry quite a bit of gear. With a load capacity of over 350 pounds, this makes a great diving kayak, as well as a fishing model.
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Other attributes that stand out to me is the Orbix midship hatch, which is for dry compartment storage, the AirPro seating system which comes standard with all Wilderness Systems products, and the additional pockets located near the front. Keep in mind however, that it doesn’t come with a dashboard like the Pungo, if anything this is similar to the Perception Sports Pescador.
The Tarpon has most of Wilderness Systems patented designs, but also includes a couple of extras that you don’t see in their other models. Near the front is a bungee designed to hold on to your paddle. The hatch is an Orbix and is foamed to keep all of your gear nice and dry.
On the left is an adjustable fishing rod, and near the front are adjustable foot braces. The foot brace system is called Keepers, and allows you to easily change the height threshold of the kayak so you have the necessary room to push off of while paddling, which is very important. If you’ve ever paddled, you’ll know just how hard it is to leverage your weight, this makes it simple and easy to do.
The Tarpon does not include a dashboard, however, it does include another orbix hatch near the center of the kayak, as well as mesh pockets on the side for storing small accessories such as a waterproof cellphone or knives.
The AllPro seating system is a 3 stage adjustable, with different levels of support. There is also a height adjuster near the thigh padding, which is very important because you will want to get closer to the water while paddling, and prop yourself up when your stationary and fishing.
The back includes two more Slide Trax, and two additional rod holders. There is a TON of storage in the back, probably a bit overkill here, but they are definitely looking out for the fisherman, just in case you need the room. In the very back there is a hook up for a troll motor.>> Click to Read More Reviews and Information on the Model <<
Positives About the Model
Like all Wilderness Systems products, the features are top of the line. As an angler, I prefer sit on top kayaks, because I have a lot more leverage when casting and I can move about the kayak easier as opposed to SIK’s.
The cockpit is also quite large, another hallmark of this brand, so you have plenty of room width width wise to move about, yet its stable enough to be steady.
There is plenty of room for additional addons in case you want to attach a camera or a fish finder, and three rod holders is perfect if your an kayak fisherman.
Negatives About the Product
Despite the width of the cockpit, I really wish there was additional lateral space. Its simply average. Also, like all Wilderness kayaks, this guy is quite expensive, and is really meant for a single person. I wouldn’t advise bringing along any extra occupants, as the cockpit area was sacrificed in favor of the storage area.
This is a hefty price to pay for a kayak, but your going to pay a bit more for a sit on top. The features are pretty standard for the brand, and you can expect top of the line tracking, comfort, stability, and storage area.
When directly compared to the Pungo, its a slightly smaller, more stable version of the SiK. However, if I’m going for straight fishing, I definitely go with this one because its a sit on top version, and the central dry hatch is much more convenient than a dashboard.