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Tarpon 120

The Tarpon 120 was the first kayak I bought, and I’ve still got a soft spot for it.

I bought this boat when I was looking for an all rounder which could be used mainly for estuary work, but could also venture further off shore when required, and she’s since become a firm favourite. I really like the quality of the moulding, and the fit out is excellent, with really good hatches, with cam locks, the front hatch being big enough to take a C-Tug. The yak comes equipped with the Slide Trax system, which consists for four rails, two on each side, into which can be bolted a range of accessories, or just simple tie down points or anchors, which makes fitting the yak with rod rests and the like a complete doddle, and if you don’t like where you put something, you can move it. The yak is very well sorted for fishing, with a lot of easily accessible space on top in which to store stuff, as well as a couple of useful storage compartments by your feet, and a range of moulded fitting positions inside the cockpit. The carrying handles are excellent. Although it’s a US design, the 120 is now moulded in Palm’s Clevedon factory.

The main difference between this design and other on the market are the long grooves down the bottom of the yak, which act as a kind of reverse keel, this means that the 120 tracks better than its 12 feet length would suggest, but she can take a little more effort to turn, and she’s definitely slower than OK’s 13 foot offerings.

Buy it for the quality of the moulding, the comfort of the seat and the flexibility of bolting on stuff just where you need it with the excellent Slide Trax fixing system.  On the downside it’s a heavy boat for its length, and can be a little slow when compared to its mostly longer rivals.

Recommended book


Discover Kayak Fishing
by Andy Benham

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