The Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 - Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak - is taking the kayak angling world by storm. It features an open design that can be customized to meet the needs of almost any angler. The deck is highly walkable and stable - a feature that was achieved without needing to add more width to the boat, allowing for sustained speed and glide. The deck is low-profile and intentionally designed to shed wind. Storage opportunities are abundant and are thoughtfully located throughout. It will also feature the new AirPro MAX seat which becomes even more versatile with the ability to travel the majority of the length of the deck. The ATAK is highly adaptive boat that can fish any environment and target species. Limited number of 2018 closeout colors available, price applies only to stock on hand.
|Length:||14 ft 1 in / 4.29 m|
|Width:||34 in / 86.36 cm|
|Weight:||86 lb / 39.01 kg|
|Capacity:||550 lb / 249.48 kg|
|Leg Room To Peg:||56 in / 142.2 cm|
|Leg Room - Total:||60 in / 152.4 cm|
|Number of Paddlers:||1 - Single/Solo|
|Type of Kayak:||Sit on Top|
So haven't had this for a terribly long time, but enough to post an honest review on it. The pros are pretty well documented. It's a long, stable, kayak with a great seat and virtually unlimited customizability. It's stable enough I feel comfortable fly fishing from the deck, and had no problem supping down rivers, sitting back down for any rapids above class 1+. Did class 3 with my daughter on the boat as well. It's definitely work to turn in tight situations but it's obviously not made for technical rivers and excels in slow rivers and open water. By far the lowest riding kayak I've used. Virtually unaffected by cross winds even without a rudder. Looks amazing, and paddles much faster than the weight would suggest. Get a long paddle for this one as well 260cm and up. Much wider than it seems especially with the seat in the raised position. There are however enough cons for me to easily deduct a star, and seriously considered deducting 2 stars. First off, it's an expensive boat. At the top end of what one could conceivable expect to pay for a boat with the features. Unfortunately with the high cost, you really don't get anything included with it. No rod holders, rudder, skeg, anchor, wheels, scupper plugs, nothing. So, expect to pay another $200 - $500 to outfit this as a proper fishing kayak, not counting motors, fish finders, the stand up seat, etc. Second, there is virtually no accessories available. The stand up seat is available, but replacement parts and the 2015 rudder kit is not. We're half way through 2015 and so far there's no way to repair any ATAK proprietary part, which there's a number of, and no factory rudder option. One example, I somehow sheared off one of the seat bolts sitting in open water, 10 minutes into my first trip, not even leaning back in the seat. I'm 160 lbs and this shouldn't even be possible. It's possible that I got a defective bolt, but if not, have a plan to replace the seat bolts, which by the way are not available so you're going to have to rig your own. Standard 1/4 - 20 threaded just FYI. Third, not water tight and not well draining areas. While this is to be expected of main compartments, what I wasn't expecting is the FlexPod console isn't the slightest bit watertight and it's made for housing electronics... There's no way to drain the cup holder area, so expect it to be full of water if paddling in the ocean or a river. This is just baffling why they wouldn't allow it to drain to the main deck. I also don't have the slightest idea how to make the flexpod water tight. Again, maybe I got a defective one, but I wouldn't store my wallet in here let alone some expensive electronics. Surprisingly the watertight deck storage was actually watertight. Lastly, storage. It doesn't store near as much as I would have liked it to. Front hatch can hold a small volume and besides the crate space behind the seat, there's virtually no other storage space unless you're just planning on strapping it to the front and rear decks above the existing storage hatches. A 550 lb capacity kayak should be able to carry way more gear than what it does. Going to have to get really creative when we do multi day trips with this boat. In conclusion, I would give the boat itself 5 stars, but I'm giving 3 for the overall value which would include out of the box and available accessories and what I would consider some engineering problems that should have been addressed early in the development cycle. Going to get really aggravating if WS can't get ATAK parts available especially the defective ones like my seat bolts. This kayak has a ton of potential, may end up being one of the best fishing kayaks ever made, but there are design issues that shouldn't ever have made it into a production release of this kayak.
I purchased my ATAK in June. I've used it for fishing in the ocean, bays, lakes, and rivers. In almost each situation, I feel that there are significant compromises in the boat design. 1- This is rather heavy kayak. Unless you're really creative, you will need a trailer to load/unload the boat. Otherwise, take a buddy. 2- Maneuverability in moving river water is marginal. Granted, the boat not designed for this type of water but with the weight and lack of maneuverability, I'd avoid any circumstance with moderate to fast moving water. 3- Regardless of how I adapt my paddling, the boat constantly turns right. Another reviewer found the same issue. 4- The seat slides are awful. Move the seat to the desired location and plan to leave it there. You're not moving it while the boat is in use. 5- All closed hatches leak, including the center console which is designed for battery and electronic storage. I've spent a lot of time trying to make mine seal adequately but it's not happening. I was forced to design a separate battery box and mounted my fish finder on a Scotty mount with over the side transducer. One big reason for buying this boat was to avoid this issue. Very disappointing. 6- I wouldn't rate the boat as unstable but this boat is nowhere near a Hobie Pro Angler for stability. If I keep the boat, I'll add outriggers for standing. 7- As previously mentioned, this boat comes with Zero accessories. I had to drill and cut openings for flush mount rod holders and other rail mount accessories. Were it not for my fishing crate, accessible storage would be very limited. 8- Wilderness Systems has performed poorly in releasing accessories for this boat. The fact that it's August '15 and there's still no rudder available, in my opinion, is unacceptable. If I continue to use this kayak, I'll add an electric tolling motor. I'd much prefer a pedal system but I cannot foresee WS having this available in a reasonable time- frame. Maybe I set my expectations too high but this kayak has significantly under-performed. I was expecting this to be the pinnacle of kayak fishing but that's not the case.
I will start by saying that I love Wilderness Systems kayaks and have had countless successful fishing trips in my Tarpon. Since the ATAKs came out I have wanted one, I love the endless features, primarily the deck space and stability. So, I finally caught one on sale and could not pass it up. Given both the price and the quality of this kayak I feel it is necessary to give an attempt at a detailed review of Wilderness Systems top fishing kayak. I will begin with the Cons, which to me is the most important information for other potential buyers out there. To my discredit I have only taken it out on the water twice and did not attempt to contact the manufacturer for support. Cons - The airpro max seat - the nuts on the chair are not thread lock nuts and one had fallen off the lumbar strap at some point before my second trip rendering back support almost impossible (could use some Loctite or different nuts). The structure of the chair's base appears to be a form of plastic (or blend) that attaches to a metal base. Because of this, the chair creaks a bit when adjusting. More to this point the chair has the ability to slide left to right on the supporting metal crossbars. There is no locking mechanism that allows the chair to lock movements from left to right (again can create an issue with unintentional shifting or noise). As expensive as the chair is, they could at least match the quality of the hardware with the material used. Rudder System - I opted to install the rudder system myself, firstly the attachment that holds the rudder blade (on my kayak) will not tighten as tight as it should be (it wobbles) and no, it was not cross threaded. The pulley system is way to tight and difficult to engage/disengage the rudder (this could have been the way I installed it however, it is a simple mechanism and I am capable of proper installation of various hardware) - My biggest problem was with the installation of the foot pedals, with either an error in production with the pedals themselves or the threaded sleeves/inserts in the kayak itself either way, one of the holes was off by maybe a 1/16 of an inch just enough to not line up properly for the screw to miss the sleeve. After purchasing some large thread screws and drilling some holes into the pedal tracks the problem was solved (for now). It is also (in my opinion) important to note that the wires that control the rudder are in-fact not wire but some sort of fiber? That you are expected to TIE onto the foot pedals (no facets or shrink tubing come with the kit that would make a much cleaner and rugged connection). Flex Pod - for electronic storage, you would think it would be waterproof - it is not. The hinge on the lid is a solid roll pin and pod itself near the hinge is not cut for the lid causing increase of resistance as you open the lid itself. It is more irritating than anything and really is not an issue but again, why use premium materials with poor/inappropriate hardware? Especially on a patented feature and selling points of the ATAK 140. Hull storage beneath the seat - unless your 6ft + tall, your seat will likely cover the dry storage making it impossible to access with out adjusting the seat further back. For the price point, every part of this kayak should be well thought out, and designed and constructed accordingly. Pros - The airmax seat - very comfortable aside from previous issues listed. Stability - I have stood on the side of this kayak without taking on water or falling over. Storage - I have not had any issues with water in the bow storage area thus far, and it is a nice place to store anything you may need on your trip. I can keep a small cooler and a milk crate with rod tubes behind the seat easily. Not including the generous deck space. Aesthetics - There is not a kayak that looks as nice as this (in my opinion). Room for mounts like cameras, flags and pretty much anything else you may need. Not to mention the multiple rails available for any accessory. Flex Pod - I mounted a Garmin 7SV and the transducer on the flex pod and it snugly fits a 12v 8amp battery perfect for a solid day of fishing. Deck Pads - easy to install and reduce noise *Tracking and speed If I had to do it again, I would still buy the ATAK 140 only this time allow ACK to install the rudder. It looks nice and sleek, it is rigid, stable and fast. Hats off to ACK, it shipped in a timely manner without a scratch on it. I look forward to getting this kayak out on the water for many years to come.
UPDATE*** I ended up buying a second ATAK at a deal I couldn't pass up. This time, I purchased a 2016 model in sunset orange. I have been taking the ATAK in lakes, rivers, and saltwater bays for over a year now. I have not had a problem with more than a few cups of water getting into the rod staging area. I am unsure if there are any major differences in build between the 2015 and 2016 models, but I have not ( so far ) had any bad or scary experiences with this ATAK ( such as taking water into the hull a mile from shore from large waves and heavy rain) like I was having with the previous model. I would recommend this kayak to anyone who wants to fish a solid, customizable, stable kayak.