Submitted: 06-28-2002 by Philip
I purchased a Tarpon Angler after testing several other kayaks. I recently tested the boat under various sea conditions, one which included an afternoon spent deliberately falling out of it and practicing re entries I have also fished it off the southern California coast north of LA.
Overall I am pleased. This is a fast boat and tracks very straight. It is also quiet and turns pretty well especially with a good head of steam. Its primary stability is excellent and its secondary is OK. I can scramble around in it and bunk myself forward to open the front hatch over deep water and stay fairly stable while I grab gear.
After tipping myself out of the kayak it is easy to land on the gull, grab the far carrying handle and tip it back up then scramble in again, which is important to me as I fish on the open ocean.
I have an angler's seat which is wide backed and comfortable. The boat doesn't keep much water in it which is a real plus in colder water. Again, its fast. Overall I like to paddle this baby and also fish out of it. I'd give it a 10 IF it wasn't so heavy to shove onto my truck. If they came up with a Kevlar or lighter weight version of the TARPON I'd buy it in a flat second. It could use an empty well in the back too. But it launches into medium surf no sweat and although it broaches on the way in like ALL my previous kayaks, it is steadier. Wilderness Systems got this one right, its design, shape and performance is really great. Again though...I'm praying hard for one ten pounds or more lighter. Someone will get it right, as the other bathtubs I tried don't even come close to the ride this one delivers. Yesterday I was cruising with some foldable kayaks and it was a breeze.