Wilderness Systems have been making kayaks since 1985 using innovative designs tuned for performance, premium outfitting and top-notch quality. Wilderness systems currently have 4 models of fishing kayak on the market, each offering different lengths to accommodate for different size yakkers but also for the differing needs of individuals.
The Ride comes in both a 115 and a 135 model, with the 115 being the short distance, maneuverable kayak, perfect for ponds, flat water lakes and skinny water. The 135 is of course longer but also slimmer and so is better for longer distances but is not as stable because of it.
5 Features that set this model apart
- Enough stability to fly fish standing up!
- Big load capacity for lots of gear or bigger anglers
- Comfy seat that can be slid backwards and forwards for comfort and to aid stability and tracking
- Short length makes it very maneuverable, easy to store and transport
- Advance angler model comes pre-rigged with Scotty rod holders
If you’re looking for a kayak that is short enough to put in the corner of your garage, put in the back of your truck for easy transport but still want enough stability to stand up and fish, I suggest you keep on reading! This boat really is the first on the market that offers a sub 12ft size but allows all anglers the ability to fish standing up and more importantly, fish standing up comfortably.
OK so since this boat is made short and wide, it isn’t exactly the fastest kayak in the world. BUT It’s not really an issue as this yak is really suited to smaller bodies of flat water and fishing the margins with a fly or bait-casting. I’m not going to write too much here as it’s like saying a Ferrari isn’t great for transporting the weekly shopping, two kids, the wife and a dog. We all know that and this yak isn’t designed for speed, but for what it was designed for it’s great.
The Wilderness Ride 115 has to features that enable great tracking. First of all, the hull is shaped in such a way that makes it super stable, but also has a keel in the center. If you look at the hull, it’s shaped like pontoon boat with a keel running down the middle to keep it dead straight when paddling.
The Ride 115 has a second trick up its sleeve when it comes to tracking. The sliding seat like in a car allows you to shift your weight forwards and back. By shifting your weight forward, it helps to dig the nose in and track super straight when paddling up river but then allows you to shift the weight back for increased stability for fishing, stop the nose digging in when going met with white water or getting out through surf. The other ability of the sliding seat is that it allows you to slide it all the way back, making way for a large flat area to stand from and get sight casting to those fish you never thought you could get from a kayak.
MANEUVERABILITY – This is where the sliding seat really comes in to play again. The sliding seat allows you to shift your weight so that it is dead center so that you can get the best possible handling out of it. As a sub 12ft kayak, it really does perform well in the maneuverability stakes but Wilderness Systems have also made an aftermarket rudder system available for those that want the ultimate in both tracking and maneuverability.
STABILITY – Well, If you have read this far I think you have a pretty good idea of how stable this kayak really is. I won’t say any more than if you want a stable kayak, you really can’t get more stable than this.
CARGO CAPACITY AND STORAGE – Obviously as this is a 12ft kayak its space isn’t going to be the same as a larger kayak but still, the Ride 115 has plenty of space for a days fishing gear. The center area has plenty of features such as a drinks holder and little areas to store lures, hooks and sinkers. The 10 inch center hatch has a really great feature of being cantered to allow you to put rods inside much more easily than other kayaks on the market. Behind the seat there is a fairly large area for a milk crate or bags to be stored. Up at the front, there is a big, oval hatch which has plenty of storage space. Both hatches offer leashes inside to attach your items and are gasket sealed so no water gets inside.
WEIGHT CAPACITY – Crazy weight capacity for its size. At 500lbs this is as good as it gets in terms of weight capacity considering it’s under 12ft long.
FISHABILITY – If this kayak was designed for one thing, it’s fishing, and fishing standing up at that. It’s not a kayak first that’s been retro-fitted with some rod holders and then been called a fishing kayak. If you’re looking for a kayak that you can fish standing up, throw in the truck and doesn’t take up too much room in the garage, this is your kayak.