Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak

Nothing has expanded the reach of my fly rod more than the acquisition of a kayak. Places that were previously out of reach wading, are now open for adventure.

My criteria for purchasing this kayak was simple: portability, versatility, and cost. I chose the Tarpon 100 model because, at 10ft long and 55lbs, I can easily lift it in and out of my car by myself and it fits nicely in the corner of the yard. I chose a ‘sit on top’ model opposed to an enclosed model as I often combine wading with kayaking and require easy in and out access with the ability to drain unwanted water. Buying used off of craigslist fulfilled the cost criteria. Upon using this kayak for three years on rivers, lakes, and the ocean, the following are my observations:

  • Capable all around kayak, most ideal for river floats and still water

  • Large amount of storage space (two hatches open the entire hull for storage, rear exterior straps for cinching down gear

  • Comfortable seat, vertical adjusting backrest and reclinable

  • Adjustable foot rests, good for extra paddling torque 

  • Light and durable, but unsturdy for stand up casting

  • Highly maneuverable, but not as fast tracking as longer kayaks

  • Scupper holes great for drainage

  • Useful straps although occasional fly line snags are an inevitability

  • Highly customizable for rod holders, anchor rigs, ect.  

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Kayak $700 MSRP