Wilderness Systems [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Wilderness Systems

05-30-2002, 10:41 AM
Does anyone have any experience with Wilderness Systems Yaks? I took a look at the website and they had some really good looking boats designed specifically for fishing ( Tarpon Angler caught my eye )

I'm thinking of buying one in the near future and would like some feedback to wich Manufacturers & Models you more experienced Yaker's prefer.

05-30-2002, 11:39 AM
I think there is a link on Billington Sea Kayak's site. Check out that banner right over head. :rolleyes:

05-30-2002, 12:05 PM
Yes I checked out the link but was wondering basically if anyone has one or has tried one? Also what kyaks do Forum members reccomend for a newbie?

05-30-2002, 12:19 PM
Steelheadmike -

Give us a little more to work with. You cover a lot of territory in your profile. Are you going out in open water or staying in those rivers you fish? Will you use the boat to get to inaccessible shore and then wade-fish, or fish from the boat the whole time? How early/late in the season will you be using it? Any other applications--duck hunting/family trips/etc? How big are you? How much weight can you wrestle on top of a roof rack?

Whatever info you get here, (and you'll get good input) you've ultimately got to paddle some boats on your own, ideally from a dealer who has some experience with the applications you intend from the boat.

Another place to find both product reviews and a good forum on kayak fishing is: http://paddling.net/
There are a couple of questions similar to yours on the fishing forum right now.

05-30-2002, 12:37 PM
I like the Pungo. It's a sit inside but has a very large cockpit so you can move around and access gear easily. If you're going to fish from the boat it's a good choice. I don't have any experience with the sit on tops but it seems a lot of people like them.

05-30-2002, 01:18 PM
Ok here are my Stats.
5'6 175lbs. I plan on using this to access flats and also a little more open water. as well as river mouths and estuaries. A good deal of it will be in Long Island Sound and the Hudson. I only would use it to get 100-200 yards of the shore ( if that ). You know how it is when you wish you could wade or cast another 50-100ft to blitzing fish. Not looking for super high performance just a good stable platform on which a beginner could feel comfortable learning as well as get me out to some of those juicy spots that you usually see birds working.

I was thinking along th lines of a sit on top but not quite sure of the pro's vs conns and whether or not to get a rudder or not.

I really liked the looks of :

The Pamlico
The Tarpon
The Ride Angler.

I'm sure there were 10,000 variables you guys went over in your head before you made a purchase and hopefully with your help I could narrow down the feild with all of your sage advice.

05-30-2002, 01:38 PM

I have a Tarpon angler - my first Yak which I bought this season. Only downside is its a bit heavy at 60+ilbs but otherwise I love it. ! I have used it on the Hudson, Salmon river and Housie estuary. My selection was based on accessibility to fishing spots which I could wade fish but I found myself fishing from it as well. Its one of the fastest SOTs out there.

05-30-2002, 03:14 PM
I have a Pungo and Pamlico tandam. Don't have much experience with either but will offer this. The Pungo seems to be an ideal compromise for performance, stability, fishability and neophyte freindliness. Probably can't go wrong. At about 6'5" the Pungo is a bit of a marginal fit for me. The Pamlico Tandem fits me nicely solo and is probably somewhat comical with my wife sitting in front. The Pungo is about 50 lbs and the Pamilco 70.

The Tarpon and the new Pamlico 140 look real interesting. I'd go try them all but suspect you can't go wrong with any of them.

05-31-2002, 11:19 AM
Mike -

Like a couple of other folks here, I fish from a Pungo. After being blown around in a canoe for too many years, the lower profile (which you get from any yak), and the superior tracking from the hard chines sold me on the Pungo. Like Fred, I'm a big guy, but the Pungo cockpit allows me easy exit and entry to fish on foot. With a skirt (which acts as a flyline basket), I fish into November.

I saw Adrian's Tarpon at the Nauset floating line clave and that looks like an extraordinarily sweet SOT. The added length of the Tarpon's wetted hull (over the Pungo and the Loons) definitely means more speed. I'll say again: Paddle several side by side before you buy. The Angler option, for both the Pungo and Tarpon represents a couple hundred extra bucks. You may want to get the entry level boat and rig it out to your own needs as you get familiar with how you and the boat interact while paddling and fishing.

I think LLBean is running a paddling demo day next weekend; you may want to hike up to Freeport for a series of test drives. Good luck with the choice.

05-31-2002, 12:23 PM
Second the advice on the angler package. I was nervous about drilling holes in a new boat :whoa: but after a couple of outings I started thinking about the changes I need to make - would probably have been better off and saved a few $$ building on the base model.

05-31-2002, 01:05 PM
I took a second look at the Pungo and I have a question: You fish this in the salt alot? Looks more suited for freshwater use. But hey what do I know?

What about the Ride Angler? I keep getting drawn twards it.

05-31-2002, 01:10 PM

Let's try to get together when you're on the cape, plenty of Pungos & Manteos (what the real men use ;) ) for you to demo.

When the Penguin sees this thread I'm sure he'll have some invaluable insight.


05-31-2002, 01:31 PM
That would be great. Don't they have them at Goose H.?? I think I tested a yak over there a couple of years ago. Can't remember ( must have been hit in the head with too many Clousers ):confused:

05-31-2002, 04:23 PM
Mike -

Pungos are most emphatically saltwater boats. In April, a guy posted a query similar to yours over on Jeff Smith's board (A temple of Pungo worshippers), and got this in reply:

Also, just heard on the radio that Bob Smith's Wilderness House is having a big kayak demo day tomorrow at the Hale Reservation in Westwood, MA. They mentioned Wilderness Systems by name. No web site, but the phone is 617-232-1399.

Roop just likes the Manteo because his diet isn't working. :chuckle:

05-31-2002, 10:03 PM
I just bought a WS Cape Horn 15 during the off season. I haven't had a chance to paddle it yet so I can't offer any constructive advice concerning my boat. I gather it may be a bit on the extreme side for what you would use it for. Mine will be more for exercise and paddling to spots that I can wade rather than to fish out of.

I've been left in the Penguin's wake while he paddled off into the fog in his Manteo. He seemed to have absolutely no problem motoring right along, and, without a rudder. The Manteo is the Pungo's big brother.

My best friend's father has a Pungo and he absolutely loves it. Most WS yaks have a multi-chined hull that makes them track straight as an arrow. The initial stability is great on a Pungo and the secondary stability is okay as well. If you are at all claustrophobic it is definitely the boat for you. From your description of your intended paddling environment I don't believe you should have any trepidation about buying a Pungo. If you wanted to paddle a mile off shore I'd tell you to think about a different yak.

I'd take a close look at the Cape Lookout 145 and the Pamlico 140. Both are wide and probably very stable.

My dad and brother both just bought the Necky Zoar Sport and it looks to be one heck of a boat for the money they paid at a Kittery Trading Post paddling expo.

Whatever you do, if you buy a Wilderness System kayak, get one with the Phase 3 seating in it. It is super adjustable and extremely comfortable. Don't bother with an angling package because you can buy the same gear, attach it yourself and save about $100.

Man, if we could all get together for a paddling day you could try out half the Wilderness System product line. We'd have a Cape Horn, a Tarpon, a couple Manteos and Pungos, and a Pamlico tandem.

Can we get a quick run down of the type of boat everyone has?

06-03-2002, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by Broadbill

Roop just likes the Manteo because his diet isn't working. :chuckle:

I think it's working pretty well: all the beer I can drink + plenty of fried food - gonna start smoking butts soon :smokin: , I gotta a TV in my office so I can watch Sally Jessee

06-04-2002, 08:30 AM
Perhaps I should look for something a little more roomy myself.......a Tug Boat might be cramped but good in the slop:hehe:

06-21-2002, 08:39 PM
Wilderness Systems. Any one have an opinion on the Cape Lookout line of yaks?

06-30-2002, 09:10 PM
I mean, did you buy a yak yet?(you might buy one of those other crappy ones):devil: if not I teste about 20 different yaks, I looked for stability, tracking, open cockpit for ease of entry/exit and the Pungo won on all, and was as fast as any glass yak I looked at. and I tested on windy days only. Tom D