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Author Topic: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler  (Read 5085 times)

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Offline stroover

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2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« on: December 12, 2009, 09:54:17 am »
Bought it in April 2009. Started using it while there was still some ice on the waters until last week of duck hunting season. Yep, I also duck hunted with it. I can shoot 3 1/2" magnum shells out of it and don't have to worry At ALL about flipping over, and can carry a douzen decoys no problem! mine is cammo colour, so when I moore in the grassy shore, it blends in well. I use it as a blind and shoot out of it.  Handles terrific!
The rudder is an excellent addition if one is going to fish in moving water or with a back wind, but isn't really necessary for just paddling around IMO, although it does making paddling in swells a lot easier.
The flip-open bulkheads are something else, eh?! My buddy has a 2008 and doesn't have this type of bulkhead (just the traditional wrap-around lids) and envies mine. I don't find the seat to be terribly uncomfortable unless I'm paddling more then 3 hour at a time, at which case I'll need a pee break or whatever anyway. Lol! Speaking of pee breaks, in calm water I can stand up on 'er and have at 'er! (I weigh 165 lbs), but in summertime when it's hot out and I'm paddling in my bathing suit, those scaupper holes come in handy!  ;)

I've used mine for various activities including overnight camping. The only complaint I had was that it's a little slower then the others in the group I was with (theirs were the faster type, like ocean hybrids and what not) but the fact of the matter is that mine was the only sit-on-top with the most cargo space and so I was the workhorse of the crewe. That no doubt contributed to my slowness. But hey, I had all the beer, so what's the hurry, right? (I think that having all the beer may have also contributed to my slower destination arrival). On board my yak was my sleeping bag, self-inflating air mattress, tent, large ice-chest full of everybody's "supplies"  ;), a large cooking pot and cooking utensils, and my fully loaded backpack. Innitially I thought it would be top-heavy and would flip-over, but there was absolutely no problem, even in the 3 foot swells we hit halfway through the largest part of the Kennebecasis River (which at 240' deep is the deepest river flowing into a river in the world).  Speaking of swells, aren't those scauper holes something else, eh? Who needs a pump with those babies?!

If I could make an improvement to it, it would be to somehow make the seat swivel, so that would making fishing off the side of the boat easier and more comfortable (you know, with your feet off the side in the water).

When the weather is colder, I wear neoprene fishing waders and a water proof jacket. When it's kind of cool but not cold I wear waterproof splash pants and a water proof windbreaker. (waterproof mostly because of water drips from the paddling, but also for the occaisional swell that comes over the bow).

I did a lot, and I mean A LOT of shopping around and reading up on yaks before I decided on the Tarpon 120. I think for my needs I couldn't have made a better decision. I would honnestly give it an 11/10!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 09:58:13 am by stroover »


Offline Red Rocket

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Re: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 11:32:25 am »
Great product review, Stroover.  I have a WS Pungo 12 SIK and am thinking about getting a SOT for next season.  The seat in my Pungo is unbelievably good, the best kayak seat I've ever used and I've been at it for over 30 years.  The only question I have for you is, do you thing a 14 ft. Tarpon would be a better platform?
Don

Hobie Outback
Toronto

Offline Greg

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Re: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 12:43:13 pm »
That is a great review stroover, I'm dreaming of a sot for next year and had my eyes on the ocean line, but might go and check out some tarpons.

Greg.

Offline stroover

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Re: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 10:22:09 pm »
@DGW:
If by "platform" you mean could a fella stand on top and fish off it better, then I would say it would be a LITTLE better, but I wouldn't do it unless you're kind of parked somewhat along the bank or something like that to give it more stability. As a former windsurfer I find it quite stable to stand on top of it, but were I NOT, I probably wouldn't stand on it to fish off unless the water was dead calm.  I would difinitely take a leak off the 140 standing up in rougher water compared to the 120, though, former windsurfer or not. Lol!

The thing is, you're also adding the extra weight with the 140. For me, I drive a Toyota 4-Runner, so the extra weight would mean more difficulty for my 5'7" body to load and unload it off the roof of this SUV, which is why I went with the 120 in the first place. At about 70 lbs or so, carrying it over my head from my truck to the water, be it 40 yards or so, is a sinch! With my buddy's 140, he either has to use a kayak caddy or get one of us to help him lug it to the shore.

@ Greg: Speaking of my buddy's 140, after having tried about 8 different yaks during the summer of '08 rangeing from SOT's and SIK's, it was thanks to his Tarpon 140 that I had made my decision on a Tarpon, period. For an all-around kind of yak, if you want to hunt, fish, yak-camp, or just paddle along and explore, IMO the Tarpon (be it the 120, 140, or 160) is the way to go!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 10:25:16 pm by stroover »

Offline Red Rocket

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Re: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 11:15:09 am »
Stroover, I guess I shouldn't have used the word "platform", "option" would have been better. 

My Pungo 12 weighs in at only 49 lb. according to the WS website, which was the main reason why I bought it 5 years ago.  I can easily get it on and off my roof rack myself and it's a cinch to portage almost any distance, inverted resting with the seat on my head.  However, although my background is touring kayaks (all are SIKs) for week-long+ trips, and I'm comfortable with the SIK style, I'm coming round to believing that an SOT is better for fishing and that's what I'm doing with my kayak almost exclusively now.  I weigh in at a svelte 200 lb. so I guess a 14' model would be best for me but WS says it weighs 72 lb. which would be quite a jump for me.

I don't think I'd get rid of my Pungo but I seem to accumulate "things" that don't get used much so maybe I should sell it.  Anyhow, it's just something I'm considering at this point.
Don

Hobie Outback
Toronto

Offline stroover

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Re: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 12:20:37 pm »
DGW, I'm tempted to tell you to go with the 140, but it is a lot heavier then your Pungo, I ain't gonna lie to ya. To me it seems like the 140 weighs a lot more then 79 lbs (?) when I help my buddy with his. My 120 weighs 70 lbs, I think, and it's not too bad to carry over my head with the seat resting on my head like you do with your Pungo.

Keep your eyes open next time you're out, and if you see somebody with one or the other, ask them if you could try it out and also lift it. Chances are they'll be like every yakker I know and will gladly comply to your request.

Offline Here Fishy Fishy

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Re: 2009 Wilderness System Tarpon 120 Angler
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2010, 01:35:46 pm »
Great review stroover

I am new to this sport and I also did much investigating. Since there are no places in my area to test ride I was deciding between the Tarpon 12 you have and the Malibu Stealth 12. I ended up buying the Stealth for a few reasons. I like the casting platform and my wife who is always nervous when I go out on the water liked how it was rated on stability. I think I might hook up that livewell as well. Once I get this on the water i will write a review. I hope I am as happy with the Stealth as you are with the tarpon. If not I can always change

Cheers

Brian


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