Cataract Mini-Magnum Oars & Cobra oar Locks

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by SpeyFitter, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Hey I'm just looking for an upgrade oar for my Pac 1100 down the line. Maybe not tommorrow but sometime in the next 6 monthes perhaps. I've heard the Cataract Mini-Magnums are supposed to be pretty darn good. I'd get the 7.5' ones obviously as that would be a slight upgrade over my stock Outcast 7' oars. Anyways, a few questions.

    1) Do you have these? What do you think of 'em? How much of a difference do they make over stock or standard oars like the Outcast oars?

    2) I've heard it's no problem to put oar rites (or blade rites, whatever you call them) over top of the rope rap. Have you done this and has it been a problem?

    3) Are there any other products as good or better in the 1 1/4 to 1 3/8" shaft in 7.5' comparable to the Cataract Mini-Mags?

    4) Can you replace just the blade if something happens to it? I know with the Outcast oars if you snap a blade the whole oar is toast.

    5) Has anyone tried the Cobra Oar locks? They're supposed to be made of a really good alloy and supposedly the design allows increased blade angle compared to most standard oar locks. They advertise being made out of a really strong Bronze Alloy or something along those lines.

  2. 1. I have the 7.5 ft 1pc mini mags and they are a great upgrade from the Carlisle aluminum plastic oars; much lighter and better rebound on hard strokes. I use them on my 10ft cataraft for whitewater with no worries, but I do carry a spare and I would not use them for a really heavy boat (i.e. over 11 ft or more than one person).

    2. I found small-sized oar-rites that fit great on the rope wrap.

    3. the only comparable product are Sawyer SSTs, which seem to be pretty much the same idea, but with added blade protection options.

    4. Blade is not replaceable and the cost of a new oar is really not that much. Carry a spare.

    5. mini Cobra oarlocks work great with these oars, but I had to sand down the corners on my oar-rites a tad to reduce friction. <5 min fix.
  3. I've got both the Mini-Mags and Sawyer SSTs in 7-foot lengths. I like the Sawyer better -- a little more rebound than the Cataracts, but also a bit more backbone when I need to lever off rocks. Both are great oars, though. The Cataracts are a little lighter weight.
  4. Hey Fellas, Thanks for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate your input!

    Another question - I'm not even sure they MAKE these for the smaller shafts (I know they do for the 1 7/8 to 2" oar shafts). But I saw them in a few catalogues/online so I'm naturally curious - if they do make 'em for the smaller shafts, are counter balancers worth the money? I seem to recall reading somewhere that "they" say a balanced oar will rest perfectly horizontal, obviously the oars I'm using are not balanced. But are they worth it? Do they make that much of a difference in the long run as far as reduced fatigue, easing rowing, etc?

    Thanks again.
  5. The Cataract Mini Mags are light enough that I never felt they needed to be counterbalanced, which I don't think they make them like that any least from the factory. I use them all the time and think they are great oars for 10 foot pontoon boats. I used the Cobra oar locks with them for a while but never did feel they added much to the set up. If you get the 2 piece, you might be able to replace the broken section without replacing the entire oar. But generally, the oar blades are not replaceable like the larger oars i.e., they are not sold separately from the oar shaft. As mentioned, Sawyer makes a comparable oar to the Mini Mag but they only go to 7 feet in length, not 7.5 feet. Oar rights are available for the smaller diameter shafts.
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  6. Agreed, no need for counterbalancing. My mini mags are lighter in the hands than my counterbalanced 10ft Cataract oars on my big cataraft.
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  7. Actually, I talked to the Sawyer guys at the OR trade show last month and looked at their full line of oars. They offer the SST up to 8' in one-piece configuration and 8'6" in two-piece configuration.

    Like others have said, no need to even consider counterbalancing these lightweight small diameter oars.
  8. Thanks, good to know though I guess I would prefer not to ship one piece oars in 8 foot lengths, at least for our business. Shipping the 2 piece oars are costly enough for our customers.
  9. I agree pretty much with what the others have already said in answer to your questions.

    In addition, I would recommend saving your money and not getting the Cobra oar locks. I do not have them on my PAC1000 (on which I have Mini-Mag oars) but I do have 2 sets of Cobra oar locks for my drift boat. They are also not needed for the type of rowing and waters I float in my drift boat either, IMO.

    Perhaps Cobras might be an advantage if you do serious white water rowing, or want the possible extra angle of oar deflection that they supposedly permit, but I can't see that in a small pontoon boat, with light weight oars.

    Better yet, I'd spend the money saved on upgraded standard polished brass oar locks, and/or blade rests and oar tethers. Also, I personally question whether oar rites are needed on such small oars as you'll be using since they are so easily righted by turning the grip in your hand when needed. I've had oar rites on a larger cataraft the past, and I found them to be more of a nuisance than a benefit, and no longer use them (it is difficult to adjust the angle of the blade entering the water when using them, for example, when you want to row forward versus backward.)

    These are just my opinions, and I'm sure others will feel differently.

  10. A few things - I was going to go with 7.5' oars but I'm wondering - would 8' oars be too big on my boat (Outcast Pac1100) and would they have any further advantages or disadvantages to consider? I don't think the 7' foot Outcast oars I have no aren't too bad of a length. I seem to remember that the old Outcast Pac 1100 HD had 8' Outcast oars if I'm not mistaken.

    Also, I sent an email to Sawyer, but I'm wondering what some of their options are if you know, and if you know how "worthy" they are for oar improvement. If you go to this link:

    And scroll down to the options section - I'm familiar with "rope wrap" and would not need the stop as I use Oar rights (my opinion of course) but what exactly are the other options?:

    • Dynel and Kevlar Pro-Tip
    • Dynel Wrap & Rubber Stop
    • Rope Wrap & Rubber Stop
      Available in Black or White Rope
  11. I've got the Sawyer SST in the two-piece break down version with rope-wraps. I've used them on a Scadden Assualt XXX with an added frame carrying myself and two anglers. With the frame, the 7' lengths were too short but they had plenty of strength/backbone for rowing several sections of the Yakima (most Ensign-Bullfrog and Bristol-Thorp) during both high water and low water flows. I kept the SSTs for when I use the raft without the frame, and for rowing the frame, I upgraded to 8.5' Sawyer MXS (again, two piece and rope-wrapped) in Cobra oarlocks.
  12. Are there any places in Northern Washington near the border that carry either oar, and maybe have them in stock or can order them in? Any shops you can recommend?

  13. I may have some business in your area sometime this fall. If your timing is right, I may be able to meet up with you and deliver some oars, especially if the fishing happens to be particularly good at that time.

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