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Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

19Tarpon 120 – This is a very solid kayak that has been around for a while.  It was one of the original, most used boats by river fisherman.  The popular 140 and 160 versions are commonly used by saltwater and lake fisherman.  The brand has been around for a long time and is a proven commodity in the kayak world.

Positives: It is very solid and abrasion resistant to handle more wear and tear than some other brands.  Even though it is not really a boat I would endorse standing in, it is still a very stable boat.  The only reason it is hard to stand in is because there is not a good flat place to stand nor did the company make the actual seating space inside wide enough for standing.  Honestly, until recently, no company has even considered why people would need to stand in kayaks so it is understandable why it is hard to stand in most kayaks.  The T-120 is also a fairly fast boat making those long straightaways a little easier to paddle through.  Another27 thing that can be added onto this boat is a skeg for keeping this boat straighter and tracking in a true fashion.  The fact that a skeg can be added is a positive, and for many situations it can be useful.  Just be sure to remember to lift the skeg in the rapids and shoals.  The seat is the next positive for this boat.  It is very comfortable and comes with a backrest already.  The fact that the entire bottom of the seating and foot well area is flat and draining down to the scupper holes is another strong positive for the boat because this will keep you dry throughout your day on the water.  I can’t stand it when water gets all over my fishing gear and rusts it.  The T-120 also has good dry storage space for keeping those dry items safe and secure.

Negatives: Not being able to stand comfortably in a boat will always be one of my main negatives in kayak fishing due to the numerous advantages it provides.  However, this may not be an option for some people anyway so it may not be a negative for you.  The hatch in the front could be a little bigger and have more room inside for extra fishing tackle and/or camping gear.  The weight is a little on the heavy side, but not excessively.  The price for the boat is a little high when similar boats are a hundred, if not two hundred dollars cheaper, but it does hold up well to abuse so it should last a while.

Specs: Length: 12 ft  Width: 28 inches  Weight:  60lbs  Weight Capacity:  350lbs  Price: between $700-900

37Conclusion: Basically the Tarpon is a good all around boat, it isn’t going to blow you away or majorly disappoint you in any one area but it is just solid in all areas.  I know lots of people that own this boat and are very happy with it.  Give one a try and see what you think.

My rating: 7.5 out of 10.

2 Responses to “Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120”

  1. fishtaco says:

    I own an older style WS Tarpon 120 and feel the same way about it. This boat is bulletproof, fast and stable, but not stable enough to stand. I find however that the seat isn’t very comfortable, especially if you’ve sat in a Native. I’ve heard though, that the new Tarpon 120′s have more comfortable seats.

  2. BrokenPaddle says:

    I’ve got a 2008 model. I like it, but I would have opted for the Ride 135. The 120 is stable and quick, but they didnt leave any spot flat enough for your feet to stand and fish. Stability wize its not bad, but theres not a good flat spot for your feet. Also you need to upgrade the seat if you buy one. This seat will make your butt go numb in about an hr. The 2009 model took care of the seat problem and they added scuppers under the seat to keep dry…. My 2 Cents…


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