Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 Review

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 Review

Simon Coward
4 minute read

Reviewer:  Simon Coward

The revamped Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 was launched for the 2020  northern hemisphere paddling season. Now, things got a little derailed with the whole pandemic thing, so the availability of the boat this year was somewhat limited (like, a lot limited).

We filmed this quick review in the late winter and wanted to share it again as we go into 'planning for paddling' season here in Canada.  The season otherwise known as winter.

Our video review is just below, some other info in words are below the video.  

FIRST THOUGHTS - WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TARPON 105

I was a big fan of the previous Tarpon models, the 100 and 120, so, I met the switch to a new design with some scepticism. My concern was that in the quest to get the boat more 'shelf' appeal they would sacrifice some of the performance the existing models provided.

Fortunately, this was not the case. The 2020 Tarpon 105 retained the speed and ease of paddling of the original models. I also feel that the stability improved a little bit, so that was a nice by-product.

The boat definitely has less internal storage access than the older model and although it has lots of pre-attached tracking, there are no built-in rod holder tubes.

So, in a nutshell, the Pros and Cons (IMHO) of the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105.

PROS

  • Great paddling performance.
  • Tracks well and it is faster than you would expect a 10'5" sit on top kayak to be
  • Annecdotally, it has improved primary stability over the older model
  • New colour ways look great

CONS

  • Less internal storage access
  • No built-in rod holder
  • Still a few little plastic bits that are prone to breaking

What is the Tarpon 105 Best Used For?

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 suits a variety of paddlers.  See the list below to help decide if this boat could be right for you:

  • A great sit down fishing boat. Smaller people can stand in it, though it IS NOT designed for stand up fishing.
  • It is a really comfortable and relatively light recreational sit on top kayak.
  • Given that it is only 10'5" it is really designed for small to medium sized lakes or very sheltered ocean paddling.
  • The Tarpon 105 is a maneuverable and fun boat to paddle on slow moving rivers. It has a pretty shallow draft so you don't need loads of water to float it in the river.
  • With its river paddling capability it makes a great boat for accessing 'out of the way' fishing honey holes.

SPECIFICATIONS

Length: 10'6" / 320 cm Deck Height: 15.25" / 39 cm 
Width: 32" / 81 cm Max Capacity: 325 lbs / 147 kg
Boat Weight: 55 lbs / 25 kg    

Note:  I think the 325 lbs is a bit liberal as a max capacity.  For best performance and stability I would max out at around 275 lbs with gear and human on board. If you need a larger carrying capacity the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 might be a better fit.

BRAND PROMO VIDEO

SUMMARY

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 is a comfortable, stable and fun to paddle sit on top kayak. It can be used in small to medium sized lakes or more sheltered areas on larger bodies of water.  It can also handle slow-moving rivers with ease and is manueverable enough to feel as though you have some control on the river.

For hardcore fishermen it does lack a few options, though most are easily resolved with aftermarket fishing accessories.

Thanks for checking out this review. If you have any questions or would like further help with this product or other, please don't hesitate to contact us by any of the methods below.

HAPPY PADDLING

Calgary:     1-877-440-9283 | info@aqoutdoors.com
Edmonton:  780-463-4892 | info@aquabaticsedmonton.com

 

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