Positive report on Scadden Pontoon boat and customer service

JackJester

Active Member
Unlike some of the previous posts, I am glad to report very good service with NFO. Here’s a rather worded description of my experience; if you are in the market for a new toon, all the detail you can get, the better (IMO). My story begins back in March as another fishing season was upon us. My wife and I primarily spend the summer float tubing the lakes in BC, and she said she was sick of sitting in the cold water and kicking long distances. Aha! -- I saw an opportunity to get her (i.e., me) that pontoon I always wanted. So, I researched much and decided on either the Outcast 8 ft Fish Cat Streamer XL IR or the 9 ft NFO Outlaw Renegade. I wanted something light weight I could easily carry inside my small truck camper or on top if my Suzuki SX4 (assembled). We often go to 2 or 3 lakes in one day and I don’t want to spend 20 minutes setting up the toon each time. The Fish Cat was 56 lbs and the Renegade was 28 lbs. I went with the Fish Cat based on the fact that: 1) it looked like a “traditional” toon, 2) Outcast is known for quality, 3) NFO was much more expensive, and 3) there were no negative reports on the various fishing forums regarding their customer service (unlike NFO). It was heavier than I wanted, but I thought 56 lbs would be no big deal. We fished with it most of the spring. The Fish Cat was easy to maneuver in the water, and quite enjoyable to fish in. But the frame is not light weight aluminum (this is an option, I think). It is really awkward for 1 person to pick up and load on top of a car top or inside my camper. I scraped up the inside of the camper and the Suzuki hood, and got a few bruises just trying to carry it to the water edge (didn’t want to spend more $ on a wheel). My wife loved fishing in it, but was not happy about the scratches and over all pain of transporting it. To do it properly, I would have to break it down each time, or get a trailer (i.e., more $ and pain of navigating on remote, narrow BC Forest service roads), and get a wheel to get to the hike-in lakes. So, instead of getting the trailer to a haul something I didn’t love, I took a chance on NFO and ordered the Renegade. It was quite a bit more $ ($999 spring special) vs $ 600 for the Fish Cat.

So, here’s the NFO experience: I called them up and they took my order. I asked if I had an invoice # -- response, “no we’ll just use your name.” They said the Renegade would take 2-3 weeks. I was OK with that. So, 3 weeks later a big box from UPS shows up. It was heavy. I open it up and there is a post card of Dave Scadden with a hand written note – paraphrasing “You are in luck, we were out of Renegades, but decided to upgrade you to the Rampage at no additional cost – a $700 savings).” So, I’m thinking – damn! The Rampage is bigger than I want. Its 10 ft and 38 lbs. Sure it’s a better boat, but it won’t fit in my camper fully blown up. And, there is no paper work (proof of sale or instructions) and, to top it off, no side cargo bags. Most of the weight was the roller luggage bag to transport the toon (e.g., if I fly to NZ or something like that – dream on). So, I call up NFO and thank them for the upgrade. They were puzzled that there were no Cargo bags, and said they would overnight the bags with my paper work. Then, later that day, the original cargo bags show from UPS. Then the following day, I get the overnighted 2nd set of bags & paper work. NFO customer service was prompt and true to their word. I called asking if they wanted the 2nd set returned. “No. keep them.” So, to wrap this up – I am glad to report that the customer service was excellent, the toon is great (fished Timothy Lake in OR this weekend). The toon blows up quickly (7 minutes with an electric pump, 15 minutes with the dual action hand pump). The Cargo bags are much roomier than the Fish cat and well made with 2 sided zippers and side compartments. There are multiple inflation cells so I can deflate only the end cells and the toon fits in the camper no problem. It is supper cushy on the rear. Best of all, easy to pick up and carry. The way the oars mount into the holders is quite ingenious. The only negative is there is no apron that comes standard. An apron is a must. I either need to make one or buy Scadden’s for $30 (ideas?). Also, forget about using the luggage bag to store it. I could not get that sucker into the bag. BTW – my Outcast is for sale at a great price if anyone is interested (great toon, but not for float tube-like transportation that we were looking for):

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com...cast-Fishcat-Sreamer-XL-IR?highlight=streamer
 

Michael Nelson

Old And In The Way
An apron is a must. I either need to make one or buy Scadden’s for $30 (ideas?).

I too have a Rampage and am delighted with it. I have the NFO apron, but in order to make it work correctly I had to install a couple of D-ring patches. The patches and glue and needed tool are about $50 from NRS, so that makes the apron an $80 deal instead of a $30 one.

Also, forget about using the luggage bag to store it. I could not get that sucker into the bag.

I thought it was impossible to get the Rampage into that rolling duffel too, but Dave Scadden put together a video that shows how to do it, and it works. I don't have any trouble getting mine into the bag now. It's easier on a warm or hot day, and it gets easier as the boat gets broken in. Here's a link to the video:

 

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