High gas prices, what is the 'new' best fly fishing/recreating vehicle?


"Ride'n Dirty."
Right now is the time to pick up two cars for cheap. One should consider picking up a good, non-hybrid, used civic or corolla, for cheap. Or even a luxury SUV for cheap. You can buy a Land Cruiser used with decent miles for about 15-17k (65k new), or a corolla with decent miles for about 7-9k. On those two examples you'd still not have to lay down 40k for a new highlander hybrid. Which I think is a great car, I'm sure, but 40k? come on!!
Suburu's are great cars, I had a 92 outback wagon in high school that would go anywhere, and I mean anywhere. A buddy of mine uses his '06 outback to guide out of. He gets around 20 mpg towing his skiff, and around 28 without it. It has plenty of room for three people and gear so it would be a great family car, and maneuverable enough in the city, put a ski rack on it and you'll be at the hill in the winter in no time. I traded in my dodge dakota because the 16-20 mpg I thought I would get quickly turned in 12 with my drift boat behind it. I got a 2002 lexus RX 300 that is very roomy, and when I'm not out getting it as dirty as possible, has a very quiet, luxurious ride in the city. With the cruise control set at 75 I get 24.6 mpg, did I mention on board computer, in town I get around 18-20. It's got a 3.2 litre v6 so it tows my 16 ft RO drift just fine, but I think towing a larger power boat or a camp trailer could start to get difficult. Did I mention the ladies love it. I guess since you have a new kid you probably don't really care what the girls think. Tight lines.:thumb:


Active Member
I generally own a car as a daily driver and a truck for when I need a truck. Truck has been my fishing vehicle too.

On Memorial Day I traded in my car (4.0L V8) for a 2.5L H4 Subaru Outback. I don't really keep track of mileage, but it seems like a tank of gas gets me the same number of miles in the Subaru as it did with the V8. Difference is the old car had a 21 gal tank, the new one is 15. (I tend to fill the tank and run it to near empty.)

The gutless thing worried me some. I was warned about it before buying. I live in North Bend and spend a lot of time going 70+ uphill. But still, I figured that if I was going to compromise on power anyway, I might as well do a real compromise and get a 4 banger. It hasn't been a problem. Obviously the Subaru doesn't have the passing power of my old car, but I've moved right one lane and pull the hills just fine.

Also, the Subaru has done double duty as my fishing vehicle. I've only driven the truck a couple of times since buying the new car. Maybe that's just the novelty of the new car and I'll go back to using the truck more when that wears off. We'll see. But, I can also imagine that I'd only use the truck as a fishing vehicle when I need to haul the pontoon or sleep in the back.

Richard E

Active Member
How about a Ford Escape Hybrid? 4WD and good on gas. Look decent too. Going to be the wifes next car.
I really, really want to like this car; I want to support Ford, the prices are right (relative to other hybrids), it seems like a decent vehicle. However, it has no towing capacity. Like, none. I don't even believe Ford even gives it a rating. :confused:


Hey you guys
At least my son and I live near some good water here in Yakima. My wife and I returned from the East side of the state after attending a 40 year class reunion and spoke with a couple at a gas station along the way fueling up his motorcycle. He said they just drove 150 miles on one gal.of gas. I said yeah me to in my Mercury SUV, yeah sure. I was not 59 years young I sure would consider a m/cycle, but then I can fall out of a lawn chair and I doubt that my wife would want to ride sitting behind me, but I sure would like to get 150 miles on a gal. of gas.
Just an idea - think about it a bit differently.

My combo is :

Toyota Prius + Watermaster boat + pay for shuttle service if/when you need it (or use a bike)

I get 45-50 MPG, and the Prius has a ton of cargo room in back - I love it
Honda Element!

Positives: AWD, tons of room, can sleep 2, good gas mileage, easy to clean, easily tow a drift boat, reasonably priced, kid friendly, Seattle friendly, reliable.

Negative: Looks goofy as hell.
I started riding my bicycle to work and that is worth a 2 hr road trip per week.
Our Subaru Forester gets 24 to 27 mph pulling the boat and 30 mph on the hiway.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
I had an '82 Subaru gl 4X4 wagon I bought new in '82, and it was really a great ski/surf/camping all 'round rig, except that the seats were unbelievably uncomfortable. They were way too close to the floor, and the backrest didn't fit my back at all. A real back killer. Other than this major flaw, it was a great rig. I got anywhere from 26 to 30 mpg depending on how I was driving.

With 216,000 on my '88 Mazda B2200 P/U, I am starting to look around for a replacement, but I will probably drive it til it drops. 24 mpg average. Was 26 mpg, sometimes even 27 hwy, when I got it with 97,000 on the odometer.
Runs hot when I tow my 16 foot boat with it, though. Not so much in the cool of the dawn, so I make sure I leave early. I can't haul this at 60 mph when the temps are hittin' 80 without overheating.:beathead:
Honda Element!

Positives: AWD, tons of room, can sleep 2, good gas mileage, easy to clean, easily tow a drift boat, reasonably priced, kid friendly, Seattle friendly, reliable.

Negative: Looks goofy as hell.

I agree on all accounts. I wish it had a little more ground clearance, less road noise and navigation as an option. They're very reasonably priced at $23500 fully loaded brand new one, but the negatives (particularly in the looks department) keep me from buying one.

Until the economy went south, I was looking to upgrade my vehicle. However, now I'm content with paying $70 to fill up my gas tank of my Exploder 3 times a month. It's paid off and reasonably reliable.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Honda Element!

Positives: AWD, tons of room, can sleep 2, good gas mileage, easy to clean, easily tow a drift boat, reasonably priced, kid friendly, Seattle friendly, reliable.

Negative: Looks goofy as hell.
You forgot to mention that you can just hose out the back.

Shit! I look goofy as hell! Sounds like my rig! Also looking at used Foresters and RAV-4s, but will have to check on the seats first.

Would keep my beater truck with minimal liability insurance for a work/beach rig. I'm always hauling stuff.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
I'm gonna end up fixing my dad's old Geo Metro. You may laugh, but it's a great little car that gets great MPG (45-50) and is actually quite capable on the backroads. Along with what someone else was saying about getting nicer cars for cheap....there's some really nice, cheap Cadillacs on the market now. That'd be pretty sweet.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Timely question Richard - especially after last week's announcement that the top-selling vehicle in the US was no longer the Ford F-150 pickup, but the lowly Toyota Corolla.

IMHO, there's two things to think about when considering this question.

First, while it's tempting to consider buying a new vehicle that delivers better gas mileage, it's important to think about how much you'll be paying for that new ride that gets better mileage. As an example, if you own a pickup that delivers 15mpg and are considering selling it to buy a new ride that delivers 30mpg but which costs $10K more than what you'll get from selling the pickup, then you'll need to factor in that additional $10K cost as an offset to what you'll be saving on gas. In other words, you may be saving money on gas but at the cost of an additional monthly payment or hit to your savings account.

I won't bore you with the math or the notion of depreciation, but no matter what kind of vehicle you own, the bottom line is given how popular new high-mileage vehicles now are, there's no free lunch in saving money on a new vehicle.

Second, getting better mileage is just one way to reduce transportation costs. A news article the other day stated that the average two income family now spends over $6K per year just in gas - a major chunk of their after-tax disposable income. Getting better mileage is part of the solution to controlling fuel costs, but so too is reducing the amount you drive. Which is why so many employers are now switching to 4-day workweeks and telecommuting.

Changing your driving habits is just as big a factor as what you drive. That's one of the reasons more and more people are fishing closer to home instead of regularly driving across the mountains to fish the Yak, the basin lakes, Idaho or Montana. Believe it or not, the fishing isn't always better the further away from home you drive. Our sport has always been about a quality experience and for more and more people cost has become a component of the flyfishing experience.


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