Submitted: 06-05-2008 by dominicrizzo
If you look down this page a few reviews you will find a 6/10 review that I wrote about two weeks after buying my Pungo 120 (posted 5/2/08). I stated that I was going to sell the Pungo 120 but decided that maybe I made a snap judgment and figured it was only fair to give the kayak a few months worth of paddling before I made up my mind. I have now had the boat for six weeks and need to correct my original review.
I took my Pungo to the Monocacy River (in Maryland, it spills into the Potomac) and had the best small mouth bass fishing trip ever. It totally changed my opinion on this boat.
I look at it this way... I didn't know what I was doing. Before April of 2008, I had never paddled a kayak. I was expecting a canoe like experience. I was totally wrong by stating that the boat would be hard to steer in the river. I had to strengthen my paddling technique and read up on the basics of kayaking.
I have discovered that on the slow rivers is where this boat shines. Its super straight tracking allows you to shoot upstream like your paddling in a pond. The molded skeg and very narrow/vertical bow allow you to keep the boat going straight up stream with no tail wagging. For some reason the boat actually feels more stable in a current then on lakes and ponds. The skeg and sharp bow also allow you to keep the bow of the boat perpendicular to the shoreline while drift fishing, without paddling. The current pushes on the bow and stern equally and holds you 90 degrees to the current. The boat won't spin on you. I also learned that the current helps you turn. You can use it to swing the front of the boat around, allowing you to make very tight 180 degree turns.
I have added a few things to my boat. I mounted a scotty rod holder to the d right rear deck and made my own anchor out of a mesh bag full of gravel. I also attached a paracord lanyard to the front of the seat. My gear bag gets attached to the other end of the lanyard and then pushed up into the bow for storage. When I need to change up my lures I just pull it back towards me, when I'm done I kick it back up into the bow. I do need to add a paddle holder of some type, but for now I just stuff it up into the bow with my tackle bag and let the other end rest on the back or side of the cockpit under my arm.
So, now I feel that the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 was a great buy and that I was unfair in my first review. This boat is great for fishing and river paddling. I have to give it a 10 out of 10. Hopefully I did not convince anyone to buy a boat other than the WS Pungo 120 with my first review because I was definitely dumb for giving it a 6/10 before I really learned how to kayak.