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pontoons

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any fly fisherman still use these single man pontoons to float rivers? back when i was fly fishing salmon, steelhead, and summer smallies, i use to see some guys floating the rivers on these. this was probably 10 years ago. anyone still using these? 

 

for example, the colorado XT? or the fish cats? 

 

this sparked my interest after i saw an add. i remember seeing them years ago, but havent in some time. and i have been looking for an easy light weight rig to throw in my truck (just for rivers) rather then loading up the hobie. 

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I had  a small ( 6 or 7'?) one for a while in the 90's. Forget the brand. I used it to fish still water and (a couple of times) inner estuary waters. I let it go as I found that it was bulky and heavy if I stored it set up and a science project if I didn't.  It was an interesting experiment but I found it didn't really fit what I wanted to do with it. Went to a Kayak (and a FatCat float tube) when I sold it and that worked better for me. (Although admittedly the Tube doesn't get used much these days.) 

That said, I'd venture that materials and set up are much improved after 20 years. I could see fishing styles/ situations where the pontoon would work well. I'd buy another if I got the right deal.. 

There  are no perfect boats. Some boats just fit certain situations better than others. 

Give us a review if you decide on one.

Edited by WeeHooker

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I had an outcast in the mid 90s.  Used it quite a bit both fresh and salt.  Had some great Nantucket sleigh rides in Florida tangling with some big jacks.  I let someone borrow it for a weekend and they trashed it and never used it again....  Bought a raft in 2009; sold it and bought a drift boat in 2014; sold that two weeks ago.  The problem with owning paddle powered fly fishing craft is you don't get to fish; you get to row.

 

That being said, I'm considering a flycraft.

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I've had a number of toons in different lengths.

Fishing out of them while on the move isn't great, but they are excellent for getting to different spots then wade fishing.

They certainly open up a lot of water you might not be able to access via strictly wading.

 

I've always been partial to Outcast products. Excellent company and good customer service should you ever need it.

Fish Cat is Outcast value line of products and they are good toons as well.

I'd buy a Fish Cat over the Classic Accessories Colorado all day.

 

Another option you might consider, though more money is a Water Master or CatcherCraft.

Scadden makes some nice crafts but their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

SF

Edited by Stonefish

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I had one of Dave Scadden's original predators at 13 pounds.  The new ones are lighter.  Fantastic boat.  I sold it after it took me an hour to row back to shore against wind and waves on PTown flats - at 80 yrs old - not a good idea.

But would be great for rivers - or anywhere less windy. 

 https://www.davescaddenpaddlesports.com/product-page/dave-scadden-s-carbon-predator

Herb

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I have a Water Master Kodiak.  Tough as nails and built for one person drifts.  I've taken it down slow rivers, fast rivers, saltwater flats and beach fronts.  No rocker design keeps it steady in wind, but a bit tougher to row. 

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5 hours ago, Squish said:

I have a Water Master Kodiak.  Tough as nails and built for one person drifts.  I've taken it down slow rivers, fast rivers, saltwater flats and beach fronts.  No rocker design keeps it steady in wind, but a bit tougher to row. 

Same as Squish.  I have two WM kodiaks.  They are excellent for rivers and ponds.  In ponds or class 1 you can use fins to control boat while fly fishing like a belly boat.  So you can fish out of the boat.

 

In class 2-4 I dont like having my feet hanging down as foot entrapment is a real danger  In those rivers I mainly use water masters to cover distance and wade fish prime areas.  The make an anchor system, but I have not used so cannot comment on its effectiveness.  These boats can run class iv, but you have to be very experienced and know or scout section throughly.  Due to oar length you dont have the power to move as fast to dodge things as on a bigger raft with long oars and big eddy lines can flip you more easily.  They portage very easily and will float in less water so great for creeking areas bigger boats avoid.  If outfitted correctly you can execute long remote multi day trips easily with them.  Did a few 50 mile trips in Alaska and boat was great.

 

Going to try in the salt at somepoint.  Great Whites, darkness, and a rubber boat has me unreasonably afraid to test but eventually I will get over that fear.

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

Going to try in the salt at somepoint.  Great Whites, darkness, and a rubber boat has me unreasonably afraid to test but eventually I will get over that fear.

 

 

Graveyard....

 

Do you have the boat bottom too?  i found the hard way that without the bottom the ocean current was really difficult to row against, even coupled with force fins.  With the bottom on it glides over the surface with ease, even in strong headwinds.  Only downside is you lose foot control, but eventually you learn to use the oars quickly as needed.

 

Squish

Edited by Squish
'

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I've had a Dave Scadden Expedition pontoon for many years and love it.  While I am more into Hobie kayaks these days, when I am floating a large creek and sometimes a river, the Expedition is my go to watercraft.

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8 hours ago, Squish said:

Graveyard....

 

Do you have the boat bottom too?  i found the hard way that without the bottom the ocean current was really difficult to row against, even coupled with force fins.  With the bottom on it glides over the surface with ease, even in strong headwinds.  Only downside is you lose foot control, but eventually you learn to use the oars quickly as needed.

 

Squish

Yes I just picked one up this year.  What you are saying makes sense the rafts were designed to take advantage of constant current direction not fight the current constantly.  All that open bottom drag which is great for tracking and control running a river is a liability in the ocean.  Good to know as am about to test in the salt so i will use the floor.  I did not like the idea of my legs hanging into dark water with flippers on.  Seemed like a good seal impression which is a bad idea these days in Mass waters.

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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