Pontoon boat selection

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by flatpick, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. I am ready to purchase my first pontoon boat. Looking at the Bucks Bags and the JW. Outfitters. Both are about the same price. Any suggestions or opinions?? I have read several posts about the Bucks Bags, but not much about the JW Outfitters.
  2. Check with a dist. for the Creek cCompany.I use Gregs rods in Lake Stevens.Creek has a pontoon that costs about a third of what the others do.It's more than adequate for local lake and small rivers. :COOK
  3. Have you seen the boats by Dave Scadden? They are great boats that comes with a great warranty. He has multiple styles and price ranges. www.davescaddenpontooncraft.com
  4. I have a couple questions for you before I give my recommendations. Do you haave a price range? What are you planning to do with this boat (primarily float point A to B or actually fish from the boat?). What types of water are you planning to run (moderate rivers or soome more technical rivers like the upper Sky, upper Duc, or upper Green for examples). I am a hardcore catarafter, but I won't push a cat if you only needd a more "pontoon" stylee boat. There is a difference, even if people say they're the same.

    You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
  5. I am looking for a boat that will cover all of the bases for me. I will use it for transportation on rivers and fish from it on the lakes. The BRONCO is my top choice so far. It seems to be getting good reviews from most owners. :DUNNO
  6. Lotech Joe
    I'm with thomas on pontoon boats. Creek Co makes darned good boats. I was over 300 pounds when I bought my ODC 816, and found it would float me like a cork. It has a life-time guarantee, and the MSRP is $499. You can get them from Cabelas.com for $325. They come with a two way pump that makes short work of inflation. I'm taking mine to Dry Falls lake this Saturday, Apr. 20, if you want to see how they work. Try www.cabelas.com/flyfishing/pontoon. :THUMBSUP
  7. I have recently purchaced the Waterskeeter Back Cast from oregonfishing.com for $380.00. This boat is very strong with 1200-denier I use it on the Upper Columbia by the Canadian boarder this is fast water. This boat is by far the best for its price. You should at least check their out their web site. I give this boat :THUMBSUP :THUMBSUP
  8. Well, I have settled for the BRONCO by bucks bags. I will post an opinon as soon as I get it wet.
  9. Like Flatpick, I'm looking for a pontoon boat. Something that will work on class III and smaller rapids, as well as lakes. Up to $600, but prefer to spend around $350. Any recommendations?

  10. Hi guys although I am bias to the boats that I build If you are interested I can tell you pros and cons of most manufactures pontoon boats remember that with a pontoon boat you get what you pay for a $300.00 boat is just that and a $1000.00 dollar boat well lets say you just bought a great investment. Thanks Scott Melton BlackBear Pontoons P.S feel free to email me.
  11. Hey Scott, you make a nice boat. I've preached what you said for years. Most guys think they can find top notch boats at $300. Usually the tubes alone run in the $1K+ range. I run bigger boats, even on a one man. But I double mine as whitewater boats. Usually you won't run a class IV/V with anything under 12', unless you're insane. Done them in a 9' whitewater boat, and that was one trip too many. Class III/IV max on a good 9' cat.

    You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
  12. hmmmm. got it dial'd

    I purchased a waterskeeter river tamer for 612.00$ with tax and have had no problems running any river in WA. I am though, a white water guide on the Skykomish so that might help. But for the price you can't find a better 9 foot boat w/ 1 and 1/2 inch aluminum tubing frame and all the added features that come w/ it. 7 foot breakdown oars etc... you should check it out at www.waterskeeter.com. I got mine @ G.I. Joes and the price was considerably less than what they wanted at that website.(750.00) anyway good luck finding a boat. and always remember. WEAR A PFD ON THE RIVER! :LOVEIT
  13. Yes, that makes a world of difference. You know how to run the sticks in those type of conditions. I ran an old 8' Outcast down the Sappho run of the Duc and a few stretches on the upper Toutle. Talk about working the sticks in OT. I ran boulder drop in my 9' Steelheader. Since I saw you are a whitewater guide, you'd know that one. Had a blast, but damned glad I had my helmet and vest on. Personally speaking, a guy who has very limited time on the sticks shouldn't take anything very technical in one of those boats. I almost flipped my old Outcast on high water through the Oxbow. Those rocker hulls aren't very forgiving.

    You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
  14. Last year I had the privlage of running the upper Clacumus river in Oregon class IV/V I chose to use a our 10FT Cat Model and lets just say that with the bigger tubes and long flat surface on our tubes we were able to out perform boats in the 12FT and 13FT range.As a manufacture of pontoon boats we get asked why should I pay a $1000.00+ for a pontoon boat when I can get one at WalMart for $300.00 or GI joes for $600.00 or $700.00 and one of my first replies is why do you think they are so cheap? (1 most of these boats are made over seas (2 they use cheaper material to build them. (3 most of them only have a 3-5 yar warranty (4 we sell a lot of replacement pontoons after there warranty expires (5 and customer service ( 6 can you put a value on your life.( 7 are boats offer the most versitality on the market to day. Thanks Scott Melton BlackBear Pontoons Inc.
  15. Of course you get what you pay for, but are there some good pontoon boats for a great price? What about used boats?

    I wouldn't run boulder drop in one, but what about a good pontoon boat for the Yakima, Grande Ronde, Stilly, lower Sauk, etc?
  16. You say that you won't run aggresive rivers but from past experience once you get the surge of exitment you will be looking for more rapids our pontoons are a whitewater pontoons these are the same material that we use to build boats for the GrandCanyon excursions. Scott Melton BlackBear Pontoons check out our website I'm sure you will se the difference WWW.BLACKBEARPONTOONS.COM
  17. Scott u do make a great boat. I had a chance to use a 10' one on the Sky, and It ran wonderfully thru Boulder drop. Very nimble boat, moved w/ almost no effort. The problem is, I fish from my boat and I can't see myself trying to lay out my line in the eddy just river right of house hock. Your're boats are very nice but for a strictly fishing pontoon boat I dont' need to pay a $1000 for a frameset and pontoons then get nickle and dimed to death for all the extra features that I want. The rivers I fish don't require a huge boat as a matter of fact they are simple class I/II. If I wanted to run a whitewater river I would just get into my 14' AIRE. Anyway I don't want to sound like I'm harping on you're product, that's not it I just have different needs. Good luck on the river and remember ALWAYS USE A PFD ON THE RIVER.
  18. Hey Scott, what he's trying to say is he has whitewater boats already, and is an accomplished whitewater guide. I myself have been running catarafts in a pure "whitewater" sense since the mid 80
    s and bought my own in the late 80's. When I say a 12' boat, you hit a big hydraulic or a big rapid, you want as MUCH boat as you can get. I've personally have seen 18' boats get launched by big class IV/V's. I chose a 12' as a one man boat, because I like my boats to be multi functional, and a 12' can be safely arranged as a 2 man boat if needed. But 2 guys on a 10' is a bit crowded and ackward.

    Materials aren't what makes the boat, it's the design you use. Since you've run them, running a solid class IV materials of the tube won't help you if the design isn't there. Been doing this for years, and ran bucket boats when I was very young (late 70's/early 80's). Hell, we used to run old rubber bucket boats in solid class IV's. Old military rafts. Once we used a nice self bailer made a world of difference. Then, once I ran with a friend on his cataraft, I said goodbye to rafts. I remember a guy in our whitewater group built his own tubes. Saw alot of experimentation back then. Triple tube boats, one 22" tube with two small 8" tubes at base of tubes. Double tubed and quadruple tubed cats. Funny how they all go back to the single tubed cat and a few of the double tubes. You do make a good tube. But I love my Aire's, and I have a top notch frame builder who builds inexpensively for me. So I'm pretty much set. I have one of the original Aire Ocelot's. I mean ORIGINAL. 16' with segmented tubes. It is a machine. I know I already have a line of 4-5 guys who want the tubes if I sell them. Funny how people love those old Ocelots. But if you go to different bulletin boards, you'll see I preach if you want a boat to fish from, buy a good boat. If you only plan to float mellow rivers, buy one of these little pontoon boats. Why overkill when you don't need it? Plus, alot of guys don't want the adrenaline rush of whitewater.

    You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
  19. I would have to disagree with you about nickle and dime to death if you were to compare are boats to a bucks Bags 10ft try $1200.00 and a 10Ft outcast is $1499.00 are 10Ft with 7FT B/D oars and open oar locks $1178.50 and a 10Ft cat boat is $1305.50 hardly nickle and dimed Scott Melton
  20. Scott, I think he means he can get by with say an 8-9' boat. You can pick them up for maybe $400. No, they aren't whitewater class, but most guys move moderate rivers like the Nooch, if not less. He wasn't saying the bigger boats. You don't need a 10' for a one man if all you're doing is floating small moderate rivers (hell, even bigger rivers too). Just when you get in to technical stuff, you want a little more tube in the water digging into the waves. That's all he was saying. He doesn't need a boat of that caliber. When you get that big you do pay more (hence the $1K+ price tag). Most guys can get by with an 8-9' boat, and aren't even willing to try hairy water. They will walk easy shoots, just because they're slightly rough. Prime example. There are tons of guys who have the small Buck's and Outcasts, they only float from Morgan's down to Minnie. Won't go any further. Nice easy water. Won't go past Minnie. Since they only float that style water, don't need anything extreme. Why I ask (what's your price range and what types of water you plan to fish and do you plan to fish from the boat standing up). Some people only need a small cheap boat. I don't tell people to buy an expensive boat if they don't need it. Why waste your money on a boat of yours and the Steelheaders quality when you can get buy with a less expensive boat that serves all your needs? I know it doesn't help you financially, but makes sense to those having to buy. I only buy whitewater grade boats. I buy the tubes and custom make my frames. Most don't want to get that extreme. So be it.

    You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.

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