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chasing reds in the Tarpon 130X
By Dean Thomas
Slowride Guide Service
Wilderness Systems Pro Staff
Port Aransas, TX
Efficiency and comfort does not always come equipped on the same fishing kayak, but the newest edition to the Wilderness Systems lineup does just that. The Tarpon 130X is designed with an efficient hull, AirPro Lite seating, and just about every accessory option available to kayak fisherman. Efficiency is the Tarpon family’s legacy and I have to admit, I did not expect the high seat and wider hull of the Tarpon 130X to have the glide that I am used to in the original Tarpon series, but the paddling pleasure is definitely comparable. My philosophy on kayak fishing is that the beauty of it is the simplicity; so I've always been a fan of faster paddling fishing kayaks despite the current trends that focus on stability and comfort. But after spending a few days chasing redfish in the comfort of the Tarpon 130X has definitely changed my perspective on that subject. Not only is it fast, but the T130X is light enough for petite anglers to handle while its width still provides stability and comfort for all sizes.
When paddling the wide open flats of South Texas, the wind is the enemy. My home base of Aransas Pass has the highest average sustained winds on the entire Gulf Coast so we are way too familiar with the effort it takes to cross a couple miles of shallow flats in a headwind. I have always emphasized low-profile efficient kayaks and ultralite high quality paddles to battle the wind. Paddling the distance that you have to some days to find big fish can be a challenge, but the sleek hull of the Tarpon 130X offers efficient paddling that will help you reach that goal with minimal effort. When you get there, you can enjoy the comfort and well thought out fishing platform with all your angling tools close at hand.
My standard kayak fishing equipment consists of a crate with rod holders for four rod and reel combos, a small grappling anchor, my camera/GoPro equipment, a soft-sided tackle box and a waterproof Pelican Micro Case to hold my cell phone, wallet, etc.…..all within easy reach while standing in my kayak and sight casting the crystal clear flats. The wide cockpit and slide back seat provide ample space for standing and casting in any direction as well. The Tarpon 130X has been a very well recieved edition to the Slowride Guide Service armada of fishing kayaks here in Aransas Pass. The serenity of paddling around some of the most beautiful islands on the Texas coast combined with the amount of sea trout and red fish swimming in our bays continues to lure anglers in from far and wide. The Tarpon 130X is the next step in the evolution of kayak fishing that will help you reach undisturbed waters and get you back home in comfort and style. It is really cool to see how the needs of kayak anglers have been incorporated into the high quality of Wilderness Systems fishing kayaks and I am always anxious to see what’s coming out next.
Lots of anticipation with the T130X and I'd say it was definitely well worth the wait!