Help on Choosing an Inflatable Pontoon or Kayak

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Indian, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Indian New Member

    Posts: 14
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I am new to eastern Washington. I want a portable inflatable to fish the Yakima, Snake and Columbia. It needs to fit in the trunk or back of a SUV and easy to set up. I thought about a pontoon boat but they seem a little bulky and difficult to set up and transport.

    I mostly fly fish but have been known to delve into the evil arts of the darkside and use a spinning reel.

    I have been looking at these

    http://www.seaeagle.com/ExplorerKayaks.aspx

    Any advice from the experts would be great.
  2. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,444
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,622 / 2
    I drive a Scion XB, and have no problem hauling my pontoon boat (which is for sale in the classifieds, I am getting a bigger one that I will haul the same way). I just pull the pontoons off deflate them, and throw them in the car. The frame goes up on top (I don't even have a roof rack). It set up in about 10mins or less.
  3. Indian New Member

    Posts: 14
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Sorry I had a glitch and double posted
  4. Yooper Member

    Posts: 34
    Underwood,WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I have a Tomcat solo from NRS (there tributary series) and I really like it. They start out around 600 ish and are very durable. Also, I have a pontoon that I really like to fish out of and I have fished out of my kayak before, but it wasn't very comfortable and not as nice if I had my pontoon boat. Most pontoon boats have collapassing frames that you could fit in the trunk of a car and starting price for one on the cheap side is only $300. For the price of the Sea Eagle you could get both. I had a Sea Eagle IK in N Cal and didn't like it one bit. The seats they give you are garbage and don't stay put and the back support is horrible. Hope this helps..
  5. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,399
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Water Master Kodiak?
  6. JackJester Member

    Posts: 99
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    If you’ve got the dough, a Scadden Rampage or Renegade is an excellent choice. Set up is very quick, and it is known for its portability. Check out the many Scadden marketing videos on Youtube. This one highlights the benefit of fins and portability:



    But, most pontoons are also easy to transport and set up, especially with a pick up truck. I would not get anything that you can not also use with fins. On slow moving stretches, fins allow you to quickly reposition and fish as you float through the runs. Its hard to tell from the Sea Eagle website pics, but it looks like the floor is not open enough on the frameless pontoons to use fins. The Fins vs Oars thread says it all:

    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/showthread.php/72314-Finns-VS-Oars

    I also would not get anything you can’t easily get in and out of (that rules out the Kayak). I have much more experience on lakes vs river, but its obvious Size does matter for rivers. 8 ft or less and you tend to bob back and forth through the riffles, and it’s a challenge to control. 9 ft is the happy medium for cost vs stabililty. 8 ft is preferred IMO for lakes; easier to land big fish. Everybody has their favorite brand of Pontoon, and you’ll get lots of opinions on this site (Bucks Bags, Outcast, Watermaster, Scadden, etc). I have the 10’6” Rampage and an 8’ Outcast Streamer, and they both have pros and cons. For performance, I prefer the Outcast on lakes and the Rampage on Rivers. In terms of portability, I like to be ready to hit the water within 10 – 15 minutes. Assuming the toons are deflated, the Rampage is closer to 10 min and the Outcast is closer to 15 min, with an electric pump. Portability depends on your vehicle; I have a Suzuki/roof rack and a Dodge Ram. The Outcast is heavier and tough (awkward) to lift on top of a car top roof rack with one person. But its fine for one person to throw into the bed of a pickup. The Rampage is light and works for both conditions, but is too long to fit in my bed fully inflated. I usually have a Truck camper, which eliminates the bed possibility all togehter, but I am thinking of an Easy Packer for the Outcast that others have recently reviewed on this site. http://www.easypacker.com/ When I was shopping, I created a spread sheet on cost vs weight vs speed of set up and the data pointed me to the Outcast. Then I realized it wasn’t as portable as I thought. I forked out more $ for kayak wing mounts so I wouldn’t have to inflate it each time I wanted to zip up to the local lake after work. Lesson learned…..add $200-300 to your estimate for misc things that make portability easier. Check out the classifieds on this site – there’s some smoking deals from time to time (which usually include the misc items for next to nothing).
  7. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    I got the Renegade (9 ft) about a month ago. I already have the framed model X5. I got to say, I have had a fair share of pontoons but the Renegade is got to be the best bang for the buck. It is so comfortable and weighs like 28 lbs. I drive a Grand Vitara and it fits great..

    I have done some modifying in that I put the aluminum deck from my X5 on it because I have two spare scotty rod holders and My sonar mounts to it. Two straps and it is ready to go.
    I also got the Motor Mount for it...three straps and it is ready to go.
    With the inflatable floor under your seat, it rides very level. Someone can even sit on the back at it still rides pretty level. And I can wear hip waders.

    It is an awesome boat and worth every penny.
  8. JackJester Member

    Posts: 99
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Blue. I'm curious.... Does your Renegade fit in the Grand Vitara fully or partially inflated, or do you always inflate/deflate on site?
    Jack
  9. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Oh, I have to inflate and deflate, but I timed the inflation at 2 minutes total using the LVM and topping off with 25 K-Pump.
    I also have my gear, and the deck/battery/motor. If non of that, then I can somewhat inflate, but it takes no time. All folded
    up it is like 36" x 24" x 10".
    I can't find the site any more but I got that LVM pump for $56.
  10. Indian New Member

    Posts: 14
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thnaks for all the input everyone. I liked the idea of portability of an inflatable kayak but the reality may be it could be too low on the water to fly cast well from and hard to get in and out of if needed. I still think a pontoon may not be portable enough for me. So far, I really like the Rampage concept. It seems to fit both bills being truely portable and fishable all at the same time. I am going to look into all the options discussed but right now I am leaning toward the Rampage. By the way JackJester, do you happen to own stock in the Scadden Rampage company???? ..... LOL
  11. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    If money is an issue, check out the 9' Renegade. All the same features except it is 10 lbs lighter, AND Cabela's carries them.
    I have the X5 which is also 10'6" . I don't notice any difference, but, Idaho has an Invasive Species requirement on any boat OVER 10' (and motors) so the Renegade is under that requirement.
    Just a thought.

    http://s44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/FlyGoddess/Renegade/
  12. Indian New Member

    Posts: 14
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    That Scadden guy sure is proud of his boats !!! .... LOL .... I didn't realize how expensive they are relative to other boats on the market but they are unique and seem to be well built from all the reviews I"ve read. I am definately checking in to them more. Thanks for the info and advice.
  13. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0

    Really? I don't notice them being more money that the other NAME BRAND quality boats.

    As far as Outcast, all of their boats from the 1100 down are ASIAN made, but the price is still up there. But their USA made are in the same ballpark:

    http://www.outcastboats.com/outcast/products/default.aspx?series=5

    http://www.bucksbags.com/cm_cat.asp?id=16

    Also read close because both these companies NOW offer Vinyl bladders on some models, but still urethane price.

    There is less expensive boats and companies too. If you don't use one often then I agree, no need to drop big money.
  14. Ray Pelland Member

    Posts: 42
    Port Ludlow, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Just some thoughts on this. You buy a watercraft once. Then you use it hopefully many times in the coming seasons to carry yourself safely into beautiful fishing locations and put yourself over catchable fish. For most flyfishers I know these are some of the most valuable times we spend. Your watercraft can either be a pain in the ass to deal with or it can be a pleasure. It can require constant maintenance and repair - or it can be mostly carefree and a pleasure to use. It can be difficult to operate or it can be convenient. Even a few hundred dollars difference in price is not so much when you spread the difference over dozens of trips. And besides, a well built, well-designed watercraft, made with quality materials will fetch more if you decide to sell it or trade it later.
  15. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,399
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Well stated Rey, and that is one hell of a good looking boat in your avatar.
  16. Ray Pelland Member

    Posts: 42
    Port Ludlow, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Thank you sir. My wife took that picture of me that a couple of weeks ago out at Dry Falls Lake. Maiden voyage for that one. Great animation the other day BTW.
  17. WinterWaters Grey Man on the River

    Posts: 1
    Stanwood,wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Just a quick statement on driftcraft. Always leave extra room in the certified weight limit,(IE: if its rated at 350lbs i would limit at 275) this is especially important on inflatables on a river so you sit as high as possible. This make navigation and agility 100% easier. There really is not a great still water/river craft that i have found, this is mainly due to the fact that the river crafts require more height at the gunnel and therefore catch a little to much wind in still water. I would pick your primary focus and get a craft to fit those needs. I cannot say enough about my small 1 man pontoon craft, it is agile, forgiving and is priceless at the beginning of the season when i am scouting out the changes from year to year. Always wear you PFD on a one man pontoon boat.( i would suggest eventually getting your hands on a sensor inflated vest so it is not as bulky when you are casting.) You will never get a chance to put it on when you actually need it and by the time you surface you boat will be 30 seconds downstream. I wear an emergency sensor inflatable pfd when i wade, wear it on the outside of your chest waders and always have a wading belt. if you fill your waders 4 PFDs won't float you. Inflatable kyaks are great on lower rivers but only get you in trouble in rapids. Overall craft selection is fitness for purpose and you will enjoy your time on the river with a river craft.
  18. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    WinterWaters, I read pros and cons to the sensor PFD's . Some of the reviews put me off of buying one.
    You have personal experience?
    One thing I read said you have to have them certified.
  19. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,320
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +879 / 0
    I'm with Mumbles: Watermaster Kodiak!
  20. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,399
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Ray, thank you. Now you gotta take a bunch of cataraft porn shots and put them in the watercraft section. Is that a 12' or 14' boat? Looks like you built up something capable of a solo expedition of many many days.