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Sat, Dec 03, 2016
Wilderness Systems "A.T.A.K."

Wilderness Systems "A.T.A.K." Hot

 
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Wilderness Systems ATAK

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Wilderness Systems
Model:
ATAK
MSRP ($):
1,795.00
Length (ft):
14

Kayak anglers looking for a fishing kayak designed from the ground up to so solve all their needs should take a hard look at the Wilderness Systems "A.T.A.K" or Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak. Wilderness Systems took all the best features from their "Thresher" and "Ride MAX" series kayaks into a low profile fast paddling kayak with a large open fishing cockpit. The A.T.A.K strikes that hard to find balance between speed and standing stability that all kayak fishermen have longed for. 

Photos

Wilderness Systems ATAK side shot
Wilderness Systems ATAK deck shot
Wilderness Systems ATAK
Standing in the ATAK fishing

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Speed 
 
4.5  (2)
Stability 
 
5.0  (2)
Durability 
 
4.5  (2)
Features 
 
4.5  (2)
Value 
 
4.0  (2)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
Comments
(Updated: July 06, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
3.0

Great boat, not perfect

I haven't had this boat for a really long time, but long enough to know what I do and don't like about it. On the water, this is an amazing boat. Seat is incredibly comfortable. Hard to believe it weighs almost 90 lbs when paddling it. Sits low and is hardly affected by wind in any direction. Have no problem supping, can fly fish or cast from standing without much of an issue. I've taken it down class 3 already, and it's a bit of a beast on tight turns, but it's a 14 ft low riding boat, so to be expected. Not sure if WS is planning on some sort of 2nd seat, something like the viking kid pod would be great, but no problem paddling with a child in the front or rear, you just have to figure out seating on your own.

Initially I thought the lack of factory rod holders and accessories was a plus because of the option to customize as needed. But, this pushes the cost up quite a bit. If outfitting from scratch, it wouldn't be unrealistic to spend several hundred dollars more just to get the boat into a decent fishing setup, but still not at all touching fish finders, motors, the standing seat, etc.

As far as cons, there's a few that have been aggravating for me.

Not a ton of storage space for such a large boat. Rated weight is 550 lbs, but I couldn't imagine fitting half that much in gear on this boat. In any case, most of it is going to have to be secured above the front and rear storage spaces, as neither of these have much capacity. This honestly defeats the purpose of such a low sitting boat and would more or less defeat any gains in the wind.

Mine had a defective seat screw which sheared off 10 minutes into my first trip with it. I wasn't even leaning back and I only weigh about 160, but there no way to get replacements for it so had to rig a 1/4 - 20 threaded rod and an aftermarket wing nut to attach the seat now. So basically, no replacement parts are currently available. Can't even get the rudder kit at this time.

The flexpod isn't the slightest bit watertight. I couldn't imagine putting electronics in it. Maybe it's fine on flat water with no waves but every time I've gone out, even on lakes, it's had water in it at the end of the day. On my last river trip, it was completely full of water several times.

The cup holder doesn't drain so expect it to be completely full of water on all but the most calm days. It should drain into the standing deck space. Of course you can sponge it out, but this is tedious unscrewing the plate, removing anything stored in it, and trying not to lose the included strap. This should have been addressed so far back in the design process, I can't believe they put a nearly $2000 boat into production with this flaw.

If you have virtually any weight in the rear of the boat, the crate space will have about 1/2" of water in it without scupper stoppers. With scupper stoppers, you're also going to have water sitting in it, because of the splashing over the low deck height. Not really any way to win with this space, just plan on having water in the well behind the seat no matter what.

In such an expensive boat, I would have expected it to be a lot more polished before releasing the boat to the public. Anxiously waiting for the rudder and the rumored atak accessories to be released, which there's supposedly now a motor, foot pedals, and a number of others. With that being said, this kayak comes at a very premium cost considering most owners are going to want a number of other, also expensive, accessories for their kayak.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, fast for the weight, great in wind, looks great, very upgradable
Cons:
Expensive, low storage space, some design flaws, heavy for 1 person out of the water, accessory availability
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0

One Advanced Fishing Machine!!!

At first glance one thinks what a beast but I have to say the looks of the ATAK can be very deceiving. My first impression after hitting the water was the openness of the cockpit. The first thing that popped in my head was a jet carrier with all the open space. You have plenty of room to move around and its flat which is key when standing. Next I noticed the stability. It is rock solid. It's so stable I was able to stand on one leg FULLY LOADED with my fishing gear. Second comes the speed, Being 34in wide you just think this is going to be slow going. Wilderness is known for easy paddling kayaks and they hit this one just right. After a couple of starter strokes the kayak moves easy and moves fast. I paddled across Gibbons Creek in TX with little effort into a head wind and chop. As for maneuverability I found it very easy to position myself while fishing along bank or structure lines with a quick move of the paddle. Another key feature I liked was the low profile of the kayak. It reminds me of a Tarpon on the water. I noticed a big difference in the way the wind effects my fishing and I'm 6ft. 215 so just me alone I catch a fair amount of wind. But the low profile really helped to cut down drift compared to other kayaks. With the AirPro Max seat comfort is out of this world and raising and lowering the seat is very easy. While paddling if I moved the seat all the way forward I found the ATAK to track much better than being further back. Being 6ft I still have plenty of room with the seat moved completely forward. It is the heaviest kayak I've paddled any length of time being 83lbs but it's easy to load into the back of my truck with the beefed up handles that have been added. The Flex Pod makes installing a fish finder simple and I still had room inside the battery compartment to store my keys and wallet. All in all the ATAK has really impressed me and Wilderness has hit a homerun in my book. If you are looking to stand and fish for longer than an hour this kayak has your name on it. #wildyfishing

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Open flat cockpit, Speed, Less wind drift, Stability, maneuverability, grab handles
Cons:
When I find one I will let you know. At this time I don't have one.
Wilderness Systems ATAK side shot
Wilderness Systems ATAK deck shot
Wilderness Systems ATAK
Standing in the ATAK fishing
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