Hey everyone today were going to discuss this beauty of a kayak the wilderness systems tarpon 120, which is one of the most popular kayaks from the wilderness systems brand which is probably the most renowned brand when it comes to kayak fishing.
It is 12 foot 3 inches long. The weight and the specifics are available in the information sections below. What I wanted to explain now that I had a chance to spend some time on the water with it is some of the things I like about it and what I don’t like about it. There’s aren’t a whole lot of things not to like about the wilderness systems tarpon 120 but a couple of things well mention here.Check Price and Availability Here
So Why The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120?
At the front of the wilderness systems tarpon 120 there is a neat little rubber piece where you can slide in your kayak paddle underneath if you’re not using it or if your fishing and you need to get it out of the way but you don’t want it to fall in the river. That comes in very handy for kayakers, I love it and its fairly quite useful and stable considering it’s just a piece of plastic.
I have had no problems with the front hatch leaking although some users have stated there is an issue. I have been through class 2, class 3 rapids with it and the water has actually come over the bow at some times and actually looked like I was sinking however the scupper holes emptied it out.
I wanted to point out some highlights of the hatch (which opens to one side left to right). Some of the lids on the front hatches have had some reviews about them leaking. However the reason they leak is if you look under the hatch you can see on the joint of the hatch a small plastic piece that connects the hatch to the boat there is a small ream where the joint goes in. In some of the boats the plastic on both sides don’t connect perfectly it’s like they drill straight through it. If you see one like that you should avoid it since it will leak however you can definitely repair this issue by using some type of glue or sealant on that area. I have never had much water come in and I have been in downpours have water come over the top and it’s really held up well – the lids tend to do a good job. You do have to make sure the lid string is pulled inside of it and does not fall out.
The foot pieces work real well, sometimes dependent on what you’re doing the piece is very easy to push in so it will slide up very easily. There is a bungee cord in the center of the kayak I have anywhere from a little small box with baits in to a bigger one you can just strap it in and you will not have to worry about it rolling up.
The two little side accessory spaces have molded in rubber and have good spacing. However if you flip the kayak over anything that’s in there is going to come out. So if it goes into the kayak it goes strapped in, that’s the only way you make sure you’re keeping it!
The center hatch I have had no problems with it leaking however the design does show a little bit of indent around it where it looks like water can get trapped. I have not have problems with water getting inside however it does get trapped around it so if it’s just sitting there when you open it water is going to get in it. Other than that it’s conveniently located and the hatch clicks down tight and has given me no problems.
The seats on these are very comfortable I am a bigger guy and I was a little concerned about the seat however I have spent up to 12 hours in one day inside the kayak and it does really well without issues. I have not done a lot of adjusting with it. I have raised the back up you can pull the front chord to raise it up if you’re trying to rest a little bit other than that you would be fine with keeping it in the down position.
The back has plenty of storage space which would come in handy if you decide to do some overnight trips in it. It has a handle in the back as well for easy carrying.
The wilderness systems tarpon 120 tracks great and I have no problems turning it. When I have to maneuver around rocks and shoals it turns very quickly for me without issue.
It comes in a few colors however I recommend one that is really bright and stands out since it would be safest to have something that is easy to see and spot.
What I don’t like about this kayak is the space under the seat. It has scupper holes however I have never seen a mount. If you are going through any rapids or shoals and water is coming into the kayak you are going to be basically sitting in a puddle of water underneath you. You can use one of the sponges and when it fills up you can stick one of your sponges down there and sponge it out not too big of a deal.
If you’re not doing any kind of white water kayaking where water will be coming in you really don’t need the scupper plugs out. It works great with the plugs in and stays really dry, you might get a couple of drops from your paddle but it’s nothing significant.
With a mount you’re going to get wet, if you’re a big guy when you hit waves the water comes in a little bit of course it runs right out. The front retains a little bit of water but its nothing major.
Features and Specifications
- LENGTH 12′ 3″ / 373 cm WIDTH 30″ / 76 cm MAX CAPACITY 350 lb / 159 kg DECK HEIGHT 13.75″ / 35 cm WEIGHT 67 lb / 30 kg
- Phase 3 AirPro Sit-On-Top-Seat
- Keepers XL Foot Brace System
- Tankwell with Adjustable Bungee
- Orbix Bow and Midship Hatches
- Comfort Carry Handles
- Side Carry Handles with Paddle Holder
- Rudder Ready
- SlideTrax Accessory System
- Self-Bailing Scupper Holes
- Gear Storage Pockets
Overall the wilderness systems tarpon 120 is an awesome kayak to fish out of. We would highly recommend this for any type of fishing kayaker and its definitively one of the most stand out models out there.Check Price and Availability Here