Wilderness Systems Thresher 155 Review!

As a Member of the Wilderness Systems Fishing Kayaks Pro Staff, I have the opportunity to provide honest feedback on their products, and today was the day that I finally got to take out my Thresher 155. Although the weather today was the kind of weather that normally does not favor fishing, my goal was to take the Thresher out in Blue Lagoon because I knew that this large body of water would definitely be white capping due to the 20-25 MPH winds. I chose the Thresher because I wish to expand my kayak fishing adventures to offshore, but I first wanted to get a feel for the kayak, especially on a choppy day to see how it handled. Some people have said the the Thresher was just a "Beefed Up" version of the Tarpon, but I assure you, it is quite different. First, was the Thresher's storage space. The front hatch of the Thresher was perfect for my C-Tug, and had some room to spare. I am certain that it will fit a variety of kayak carts that can be "broken down" and I also believe that this hatch would also be terrific for smaller coolers, dry bags, extra gear bags, etc.This hatch kept everything inside of it dry for the entire trip. In addition, the strap running across the top of the hatch was terrific for slipping my paddle blade underneath it for sage keeping and some Conseal really reduced noise. Keeping my gear dry was a concern, but rest assured, this hatch did the job. Second was the center rectangular hatch. I have never had a kayak with any type of pod or raised hatch in the center, and while I was initially concerned about comfort and space for my legs, there was plenty of room and the knobs at the end of the foot slides never came in contact with my legs, which had been a concern of some anglers. With the additional purchase of the "stepped" bin, this hatch was terrific for storing 3-3500 sized utility boxes, as well as a waterproof OtterBox for my valuables. I installed a piece of bungee running side to side to keep the boxes from slipping forward. Again, this hatch kept everything inside bone dry! While the kayak is 15.5' long, it is more of a "Power" kayak than a "Speed" kayak. The kayak did well when paddling against the fast moving current of the Lagoon, and the new "Toe Controlled" rudder system was very responsive and much easier once I became familiar with using my toes rather than pushing my feet forward. I will however say that the kayak did have some severe "Hull Slap" when paddled through larger waves and at times caused water to come up and over the bow, however it quickly drained out of the scupper plugs, and like I said, anything contained within the hatches never saw water. The OS Pod was also a plus for me. It was a simple task of installing my fish finder, and having the ability to remove the pod from the kayak with the Fish Finder intact definitely saves a few minutes of unnecessary fumbling at the launch. At 80 pounds, it took a few strokes of the paddle to get her moving, but once she did, the kayak tracked exceptionally well and tracked true and stayed relatively flat even over choppy water and other wakes from other water crafts. Having previously owned a Tarpon 140, I felt at times, the Tarpon was a little slim in the middle and if a good wake came by, the kayak would seem almost tippy, but the Wilderness Systems Thresher really felt "solid" which added to my comfort and assured me that this kayak would be terrific beyond the breakers! This kayak had far more Pros than Cons. Other than the hull slap, the lack of outside side carry handles did make lifting this kayak a bit of a challenge as far as having something to grab on to. I found that using a "Thigh Strap" to act as a secondary means of leverage, allowed me to control the boat while loading it on top of my SUV. Strangely enough, this kayak is actually more heavier on the front end, which again, made for a interesting challenge when loading it. Now, if you are a angler who is looking for a Bass Fishing Kayak, or something fast, or a kayak for fishing smaller waters then I would probably recommend taking a look at one of the Tarpon or RIde series kayaks, or perhaps even the new ATAK which will be available very soon, however it you are a angler who wishes to fish the Skinny Waters, Marshes, or "Big Water", then the Thresher is definitely worth the look! From it ample storage space, it's sleek lines, it's tremendous stability, and overall fantastic looks, I can honestly say I made the right decision and I look forward to taking it out again! Tight Lines!!!
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Founder Florida Bass Paddlers
Team Kaku Kayak
RedLine Lures Pro Staff

South River Outfitters Fishing Team

Replies

  • Pescatoral PursuitPescatoral Pursuit Posts: 5,065 Admiral
    Snook-One wrote: »
    As a Member of the Wilderness Systems Fishing Kayaks Pro Staff, I have the opportunity to provide honest feedback on their products

    :Spittingcoffee
    cuda-title2_zpsb81e4f1d.jpg
    greggl wrote: »
    Strive for self-sacrificial levels of empathy and sympathy. We are only set free by becoming the scapegoat, or sin eater', rather than picking a target and 'throwing stones.'
    nuevowavo wrote:
    Think you're pretty clever? Think again. Time for a break.
    :rotflmao
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,294 Moderator
    :Spittingcoffee

    Despite the obvious bias (and the excessive use of bold, unformatted text), I'll allow it.
    I have been waiting for reviews on this kayak to come out, and even reviews from their pro-staff are better than none.

    Like:
    - front hatch looks useful, well sealed and seems to have drainage scupper?
    - fish finder pod
    - rudder control/footpegs look comfy

    No like:
    - Heavy huh?
    - No side carrying handles?
    - Hullslap

    Question for Snook-One: Is the rod pod cover hinged at the front? can you open the rod pod fully with the fish finder in place?

    Edit: I'm not giving up my Hobie any time soon, but its nice to see options for the paddle crowd.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • SwampratSwamprat Posts: 1,058 Officer
    jcanracer - If you look at the last pic it appears to be some type of pin for a hinge at the back of where the fish finder is mounted so it looks like it may open forward.

    Hard to believe a yak that big does not come with side carry handles.
    Jackson Cuda 12

    A wade fisherman is the most simplistic but the most adept for the quarry they are after. They are immersed in their challenger's habitat and are in tune with the subtle changes of current, temperature and bottom. In order to be successful at this noble and primal fishing form one must be submerged from their goobs to their boobs, anyone doing this outside of that boundary is either sunbathing or swimming. S.F. Stewart 2015
  • Lt.FireDogLt.FireDog Posts: 1,112 Officer
    Nice review Bill!

    FWIW-
    Two post by Wildy Pro Staff talking about the new Thresher, one gets single out and the other doesn't.........mod's being a bit biased maybe. :grin

    ____________

    It appears that the Thresher has molded in side handles.

    Wilderness-Systems-Thresher-M.jpg
  • JoeyHotFizzleJoeyHotFizzle Posts: 225 Officer
    Sweet kayak but very hard to read.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,294 Moderator
    Lt.FireDog wrote: »
    Two post by Wildy Pro Staff talking about the new Thresher, one gets single out and the other doesn't.........mod's being a bit biased maybe. :grin

    :smiley-computer I missed one? Sorry! I'm only human :rotflmao

    Edit: oh yes, I forgot about Sam's earlier review!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • sake138sake138 Posts: 79 Deckhand
    I get mine this week i hope!
    2015 wilderness systems thresher 140 saffron
  • Snook-OneSnook-One Posts: 146 Deckhand
    jcanracer wrote: »
    Despite the obvious bias (and the excessive use of bold, unformatted text), I'll allow it.
    I have been waiting for reviews on this kayak to come out, and even reviews from their pro-staff are better than none.

    Like:
    - front hatch looks useful, well sealed and seems to have drainage scupper?
    - fish finder pod
    - rudder control/footpegs look comfy

    No like:
    - Heavy huh?
    - No side carrying handles?
    - Hullslap

    Question for Snook-One: Is the rod pod cover hinged at the front? can you open the rod pod fully with the fish finder in place?

    Edit: I'm not giving up my Hobie any time soon, but its nice to see options for the paddle crowd.

    Trust me...My feedback is honest...that is what I am asked to do...although it appears Pescatoral Pursuit feels otherwise...

    First and foremost, the center hatch is hinged on the front and does open all of the way to the FF.

    Second - While the Thresher has molded handles inside of the kayak, I feel handles on the outside would be much more helpful in carrying the kayak, especially with the weight of the kayak being more towards the front.

    Third - Yes...While the kayak punches through chop rather well, there is a lot of hull slap.

    Fourth - I like typing in bold!
    Founder Florida Bass Paddlers
    Team Kaku Kayak
    RedLine Lures Pro Staff

    South River Outfitters Fishing Team
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,294 Moderator
    Meh, was kidding about the bold text, whatever floats your boat haha.
    Good feedback on the other points, and I can see how external handles would make it easier to handle for example when trying to load it onto roof racks.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
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