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Submitted: 12-31-2003 by SFG

Just completed my first fishing trip with the Tarpon 120. Here are the details:

Kayak - Tarpon 120, orange, three scotty holders at following locations: 12 o'clock, 5 o'clock, and 7 o'clock. Anchor, milk crate system, 230cm Weiner paddle, 2 fishing poles about 6 feet in lenghth with light weight tackle.

Environment - Water temperature was about 50 degrees, weather temperature was about 60 degrees. Tested on Falls Lake, NC on December 29, 2003.

Impression: Very positive experience. Tracks straight and I feel that a rudder is not needed (This saved me a lot of money). Kayak turns very easy and floats in minimal water. Easily went over downed trees that were inches below the surface. The small anchor did a great job in maintaining the fishing position despite an obvious current. Tarpon 120 comes standard with an oar holder and it was easy to use. Tarpon was extremely stable during agressive distance casting. Tarpon 120 was difficult to access items in the rear tank well (milk crate) because I have to twist my torso beyond my comfort level.

My back side got very cold and a seat insulating cushion would have increased my comfort. When leaning forward to access my tackle box, water gushed through the front four scutter holes and flooded my tackle box. Water receeded when I leaned backed into the standard position. I plan to plug these before my next trip.

I can not comment on speed because I do not have a comparison. I did do some trolling and found that I was able to maintain great action on my lures with minimal paddling effort.

This is a wider boat, so plan your paddle purchase carefully. My dealer suggested the 130cm, and it may be too short for this kayak. I had to keep changing hand positions to get powerful strokes.

Tarpon 120 is heavy and loading it on an SUV is difficult. Do not fool yourself into thinking that weight does not matter. I use a side kick for my roof rack, and it is still difficult to load the Tarpon. I am shopping for a kayak trailer which will make this sport a pure joy. But now I wish I would have looked more closely at the bigger boats as they claim to offer more speed.

In summary - Very comfortable and easy to navigate. Extremely stable and fishing is a dream. The speed gives good action on my lures, so I can not really complain. I will plug those scutter holes and buy a trailer - I give it a 9.

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