Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler


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I have the 12' model which I felt was necessary to…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $700


I have the 12' model which I felt was necessary to also take this kayak into saltwater. It is full of features such as large storage in the front and 6" storage near the seat. Very comfortable and redesigned seat and with a track system in place for accessories like fish finders. Very stable platform and very well built with the angler in mind.


  • Good length for fresh or saltwater
  • Lots of areas for accessories
  • Very stable
  • Lots of storage room
  • Built-in track system
  • Paddle holders


  • Narrow area behind seat which makes it tough to find coolers or storage boxes to fit
  • No flush mount rod holders
  • Not built for white water
  • No built-in dry bags in hatches

At first glance you can see the attention to detail and functionality. Very thoughtfully laid out with the angler in mind with a large console for adding such things as a fish finder, GPS, or compass. With the layout and accessory areas it is very user friendly and puts everything within arms reach.

As stated there is plenty of storage space in the hatches with a very large hatch in the front of the bow and a smaller one in front of the seat for smaller items plus with the large recessed rear deck with bungee straps there is added room which with all the space for storage you can easily do a week camping/float trip. There are a lot of things on this kayak out of the box, but not so much that you can't customize it to you own personal taste.

This kayak is very well constructed. It's like a Timex watch, it "Takes a licking and Keeps on Ticking" or floating in this case. It has four carry handles. One on the bow and stern and one on either side so can be carried any number of ways and also provides numerous tie down spots. The kayak is fairly lightweight but because of the length, makes it very cumbersome for one person to carry but, it can be done.

The WS Tarpon 120 has seen many river trips in high and low water conditions where it has scraped against rock and only accrued very minimal scratches to the underside. It has also seen some class 1 and 2 rapids and handled well, handles a little slow so you have to position ahead. Tracks true and the addition of a rudder would help tremendously.

All in all, the WS Tarpon 120 is well thought out with good layout, very stable, and extremely durable. 


Thanks for sharing your Tarpon review, DY. Do you primarily use yours for fishing? Got any pics you're able to share in your review?

4 years ago
Damn Yankee

I don't have any pictures to share yet. I'm in the process of refitting but, will post some pictures when I'm done. I've tried to make every thing modular so that it can be put on and taken off for different uses. I fish salt/fresh water and also just relaxing river or lake trips. Thank you for your questions

4 years ago

Thanks for your answers and info, Damn Yankee.

4 years ago
Damn Yankee

I have added a short video

4 years ago

Great! Thanks a lot, Damn Yankee.

4 years ago

The most important issue being the watertight storage,…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new


The most important issue being the watertight storage, it's sadly not water tight and leaks like a sieve. Mine was purchased at Up & Under, UK, and manufactured under license by Palm Europe International.

It was returned twice because of the bad leak and a full refund issued. No replacement offered as there is a mould (mold) issue and the 120 will always leak. If it was not for the leak it would have scored highly, but a boat that leaks is not much use.


  • The seat


  • Leaks


Used several kayaks.


Too bad about the leaky boat, Gary. Thanks for sharing your experience with us in a review.

3 months ago

Great kayak for fishing calm waters. Not so great…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $1000


Great kayak for fishing calm waters. Not so great for choppy or sea water due to the leaking hatches and hatch design. This makes the kayak unseaworthy for longer trips.


  • Stability
  • Tracks awesome
  • Fair price


  • Hatches leak a lot
  • Footpegs can fall out on surf launches

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Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler


The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen November 5, 2018 at Backcountry.com.

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