Kick Boats

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by wet line, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Leaky, I might have plans to such a boat right here in my tying room. I ran across them recently but I have been throwing away a ton of stuff lately and might have given them the heave-ho. I'll check around and let you know if I find them. Ive
  2. Some really great responses here to consider. Though Alpine Trout standing up on the seat to sight cast is an image I won't soon forget.

    Chris I am thinking about a lake up in "The Farm" in particular that hasn't been fished much in the past 5 or 6 years. Maybe you would want to go in there with me when it opens up and we can tease a bunch of those itty bitty cutts. Sorting through the 14 inchers to get to the big boys can be stressful, but someone has to do it.

    A big thanks to everyone for the responses. I have a lot more to go on to work out a decision.

  3. No one device will meet all of your needs perfectly. If you are going to make only one purchase then you need to ask yourself what you do MOST of the time. I also own a Fat Cat which I thoroughly enjoy (not a SFC with inflatable seat and back rest, just a plain ol’ FC with foam). The FC has backpack straps which I use for some walk-ins. It is great in some situations but not all. In moving water the FC would be out of the question. If you don’t fish moving water then the FC rocks. If you don’t fish large and/or windy, still water the FC rocks.

    On still water, sometimes I want to row, sometimes the damn wind comes up and I have to row. I looked in to the Water Master and also the Water Strider. Dave Inks, the creator of the Water Master, has “moved on”. He is now manufacturing the Water Strider out of Hamilton Montana. I spoke with Dave directly before I purchased the 7’ 10” boat that he is currently manufacturing. It would be equivalent to the Water Master Grizzly in size and most features. Dave explained to me that his new boat has better materials and better baffles. I believe him of course but I can’t see those things. However, I can see that his current boat has an inflatable seat and an inflatable back rest which I don’t think the WM has. My middle age butt and my middle age back can sure as hell feel those things. The WS is more money than the WM so the back rest may not be worth it to you.

    Comparing a SFC or a FC to a WM or a WS is really an apple and oranges comparison. The WM and the WS are kickboats which would be more appropriately compared to a pontoon boat in terms of the types of water they will handle. I just sold my pontoon boat a few months ago. It was just too cumbersome for me. In comparing kickboats to pontoon boats each has some advantages. A KB is much easier to store and to transport in a vehicle. A deflated KB will fit easily in the trunk of small car. A KB is also easier to transport (on your back) if you are walking in to Nunnally for instance. The KB is easier to store in your home also. If your digs are small or crowded the KB beats a PB hands down. Set up and take down is quicker with the KB. Even inexpensive PB’s have pockets or pouches. A KB has none. You can buy an attachment for a KB that functions as a pouch and you put gear in a bag behind the seat, still it has no pouches. A PB can use a modern anchor system. A WS only has a small plastic cleat that attaches to a resting oar. You sit up a bit higher in most PB’s. A WM Grizzly or a WS is 7’ 10” which would be comparable to an 8’ pontoon boat. I believe they can handle pretty much the same water and the same situations so call that a tie.

    As to price there is a decided difference between a SFC, a FC, a WM, a WS, and pontoon boats. A FC is about $300, a SFC is about $370, a WM is $1,095 as shown on their web page and a WS is $1,295. You could buy three SFC’s for the price of one WM. Again, that’s probably not the appropriate comparison. If you don’t want to row then buy a FC or some other modern float tube. If you want to be able to row, or navigate moving water, then consider a KB or a PB. In comparing the price of PB’s to a KB, the KB’s are still virtually always going to be more money particularly for an 8 footer. For the KB you are paying more money than for a PB to buy ease of storage, ease of transportation in your vehicle, ease of portability to the water and at the water, speed of set up and take down. You are paying $200 more dollars for a WS than a WM to buy comfort for your rear end and your lower back.

    If you are beating some serious brush then you ain’t getting’ in with the pontoon boat. A FC carried on your back is inflated. A KB carried on your back is not inflated. In this comparison the profile and size of the WS is smaller and easier to maneuver while beating brush. The bag in which a WM or WS comes is quite roomy. In the bag I put, the boat, the pump and the fins. On the outside of the bag I will clip another small dry bag to hold water bottle, lunch etc. Its actually easier for me to walk with the deflated WS and my gear than it is with my inflated FC.

    As always, for any gear purchase, you need to ask, how will I use this and how often will I use it. You are also always balancing cost against benefit.

    Dang, ain't shoppin' for gear just loads of fun?!!
  4. I am friends with a fellow (Dave Romanik) here up north that distributes the Water Masters and have spent some time demoing them and even touting their wares at a few trade shows. I think the smaller of the 2 may fit your needs quite nicely, and if you are worried about your lunch, there is ample room in the bag for it along with your vest and few other fishing baubles too.
    They are a bit weighty but they do come with a pack bag that is fully equipped with straps ( pack like) and as mentioned above converts into a water proof storage compartment that attaches to the craft.
    The set-up is quick and easy as is the dissembling (is that a word?) and a more stable craft for the portability there is not. In a lake situation they tend to be a tad "skatey" and are a little more at the mercy of the wind than a float tube say, because you don't have the drag of your body in the water. So if you intend to fish casting and retrieving I suggest a 2 anchor set-up.
    For rivers this craft is the dope, bar none. It looks after itself when you stand to fish, and is great in all water types to class 3. (As far as I've gone to date)
    I suggest getting an apron for it, and I personally don't understand why they are an "option" at this date. :confused: Nothing worse than your line trailing between your knees when you are trying to cast in the flow. :mad:
  5. Well in thinking along the lines of middle age and older age. I have to stick with what is lighter. I have a PB which weights in at about 50 lbs and is no small matter trying to carry it anyplace inflated. I don't carry/drag it too far. And it is rated for only lakes. It would suit me better to have something smaller like a FC. But with my big butt I use a PB to keep it out of the water.

    When you get older you try to keep heavy things out of your mind.

  6. Yes, have some pics, gonna figure out how to put em on here or might email you some. Am barely able to turn this thing on so be patient. You are right, "Beadboard" is the sheet styrofoam I have been using. I'll try to get back to you this weekend.
  7. edit: I know, you meant the other Jim, but we are thinking of forming Team Skunk, and hope to get Chiquita as a sponsor.

    Chris, ONLY in my own canoe when going after Coastal Cutthroat or when lake fishing. It doesn't seem to have any effect. NEVER when going in someone else's boat, especially a drift boat or after salmon in the salt. I knew a guy on Oahu who would not let anyone on his boat if they had even eaten a banana that morning. He would search everyone's gear, just in case.

    I'm gonna get me some of those pills.

  8. For hike-in angling, you might want to change your entire paradigm about flotation. Carrying my lightest float tube (9 pounds), my backpack weighs ~30 pounds by the time I add waders, fins, fishing and rain gear, a jacket and dry socks, a flask, water and lunch. The prospect of packing the same amount of gear PLUS the smallest 15 pound WaterMaster Bruin inflatable several miles up the side of a mountain or busting through alder thickets is one my 57 year old body will definitely pass on.

    Serious Alpine lake anglers who prefer to fish lakes that only one or two other people see in a year swear by the Curtis inflatable raft. Since your entire body rides in the raft, there's no need for waders, fins or oars. Locomotion is via hand-held paddles, the seat is a 3/4 length ThermaRest and the bag it comes in doubles as a pump. But at just 22 ounces, you can afford to bring along a sleeping bag, tent, food and cooking gear and fish a couple of days with a pack that still comes in at ~20-25 pounds.

    Here are two photos by David Berger of 86 year old HiLaker Dick Cranz preparing to float the Winchester Wasteway last year in his Curtis raft.

  9. Mr P,
    Thanks for going over all that. I had been thinking pretty much the same thing myself.
    I may end up getting a less expensive float tube, like a Fish Cat 4 or T.U. Togiak, as I don't want to spend $300+ on one. Anyone out there have any experience with or warnings about either of these? Cabelas has a new "low profile" float-tube under their own name in their new catalog. Looks to be OK.

    For rivers, I have also been looking at "white-water prams." About 10' and with drift boat rocker. There are a couple of nice aluminum ones out there. Easier for one person to drag around logjams and back upstream when you find a tree going all the way across the braid you took. My drift-partner and I had to drag his 16' Willie back upstream once, and I wouldn't want to do that by myself. We have also had to slide it aways over dry riverbed to launch when the river was low (Glad it had Gluvit on the bottom).

    A Water Master sounds really attractive...versatile and packable for short distances.

    Thanks, everyone. :thumb:

  10. I've got three TU boats: the Bighorn, the Togiak and the Gunnison. The Bighorn is literally BIG - like a floating Barcalounger and weighs ~13 pounds dry. The twin tube Togiak has the fewest and smallest pockets. The mesh rear deck means that one's lunch and rain jacket need to be kept in a dry sack to stay dry. The Gunnison is my 9 pound favorite for backpacking and general use. I found mine on sale at Gart Sports in Bellevie for $79 last spring.

  11. Thanks Kent. Any idea how much those Curtis rafts cost, and who sells 'em?
    They look like one rides a little lower in the water, but I guess that's one of the trade-offs for reduced weight.

  12. Jimbo you took the words right out of my mouth. It sounds as if your canoe has the same affliction mine has. Every winter it seems to gain 5 to 10 pounds LOL. Since this has been occuring for the past several years now my canoe must be weighing in at oh maybe, well just a whole bunch.

  13. Yeah, Dave, my back is still sore from over a week ago when I had to drag my canoe up a steep bank, as the tide had dropped so low by the time i got back to the launch at dusk that there was a drop-off at the bottom of the ramp, so I couldn't back my trailer down all the way. I usually carry some home-made "slider ramps" for such occasions, which i used at the time, but even that involves bending over and pulling 75# up a steep slope. Sounds easy to some of you young Team Rugged dudes out there...wait til you hit your mid 50's.

    Kent, I am going to have to check out that T.U. Gunnison. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm looking for one that I can pack in a few miles.

    Any place where I can launch a canoe, I'd rather be in my canoe, as it is a beamy one I can stand and cast in, be lazy and twist MinnKota throttle, even paddle or row if I must, carry a couple of rods and all kinds of gear and a couple of good anchors and a cooler full of lunch, goodies, and beers, etc.
    Gettin old is Hell, but we must not go softly into that dark night, at least not without a couple of good micro brews! :beer2:

  14. I own a T/U Togiak. While I have no complaints about the quality I do have to say it is not made for us bigger guys. The weight capacity is stated at #350 but its a stretch at #250+ I feel. The reason I say this it that on my tube the rear V-shaped section collapses on itself causing the entire web storage area to submerge. The stadium seatback has to be adjusted way forward to compensate for the backward lean. All that aside it does keep me Hi and Dry, almost compleately out of the water from the knees up. But it will get me through one more summer then i can justify selling it and put the money toward a pontoon boat.
  15. A small comment(sp) on the Curtis raft. Being that you are on the tall size, you(Jim) that you probably wouldn't fit.Your feet would probably be outside of the raft. On another note,I used to use a one man raft of that size and all that fit in it was me and nothing else. You had a pair of small oars and getting in and out is a chore. And trying to get out to pee is another story.

  16. Has anyone tried or seen the kick boats that Abel used to make? I think they are discontinued now.... just wondering. I'm still torn between a kick boat and a pontoon... never used either but woulds like a little more freedom and not have to use guides just to have access to water
  17. Dale Coryell still sells the 'Abel', he now calls it Access EXP. I bought one from him 2 years ago and couldn't be happier with it. It is the SAME boat as the 'waterstrider', but a lot less money. The light weight and the inflatable seat is what sold me over the WM grizzly. I'm 5' 10" and the raft seems like it was made for someone my size. If your 6' or more I would get the Grizzly Long.
  18. Mr. P, thanks for the response. I couldn't agree more on the choice of floatation devices. And if anyone is geeky for boats, more than one is the only answer. I too have a Fat Cat and am delightfully pleased with it. It has served me well for it must be 10 years now. Easy to carry and easy to paddle around all day for a week at a time. The water master is a very well made craft and intriques me. I guess daydreams of how to rationalize ithave been in my mind. I have to say that the idea of rowing on a windy lake like Lenice or Lenore is more appealing than kicking a Fat Cat, but the windage sith a Water Master is a concern to me in these situations. I have a Hobe Cat that I literally drag from the parking lot at Lenice to the shore, and even that is much more convenient than trying to coax an inflated Water Master to the water's edge. The answer would seem to be more than one craft: Fat Cat to pack in to smaller lakes, small Water Master for larger pack in lakes and moving waters, pontoon boat for more easily accesed waters (both moving and still). Of course now the Spring Creek pram ad is flashing at the top of my page.


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