Pontoon boat selection

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.
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

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
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.
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
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
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
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?

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.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
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.


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

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
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.
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.
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?