Frameless Inflatables: Looking 4 nitty gritty on NFO & Watermaster

#16
I had a large framed boat, similar to the Skookum Steelheader- 9 ft pontoons.
The scadden I rowed was frameless-and its a nice boat- but there were small things I didn't like...open front being the biggest.
Im my WM (kodiak- the big one) its like a little oasis in the middle of the water!

Everything fits in the bag and 2 can fit in the back of a car! we do this all the time. The back deck on the WM can hold 500lbs of gear according to BSI. it holds all I need and more.

oh- and I like the smaller fins. Easy to maneuver and they are easier to lift keep away from the rocks!

pull the trigger!

to be really honest- I don't care about standing in them. In still water you are up high enough to fish, hook and land fish- no problem at all.it would be pretty unstable w/o an anchor system.
 
#18
thanks troutpocket. Is there any significant difference between how each move in the water? Is the Kodiak really that much better on still water?
The Kodiak is a little longer and wider with a larger cargo deck. If I'm driving to the spot, I use the the Kodiak. If I'm hiking in to the access, I take the Grizzly. The weight difference on your back is noticeable. The differences in how they handle on the water is not.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#19
...If I were going to carry it any distance, I'd load the whole thing in a proper portage pack/dry bag with thick padded should straps and a regular padded waist belt like the biggest ones by Seattle Sports or Seal Line. I wouldn't want to carry the stock one very far...
If I'm going to carry my Kodiak any distance, I secure the drybag/backpack to an old REI Cruiser backpack frame with thick padded should straps and a regular padded waist belt. I loop the drybag straps over the frame top and bottom bars, cinch them tight, then tighten down around the middle with two "stablizer"/compression straps attached to the frame's vertical bars. I could probably fit the deflated WM in my MSR frame pack (similar in design to a Jansport D5) but I'd have to strap oars and other accessories to the outside, and I wouldn't have the drybag.

My WM's fit in the stock bag with oars, pump, seat, fins, anchor, spare dry bag for extra clothes, lunch, and water bottles...
iagree
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#20
Kent, are you saying framed toons and the frameless boats will all be subject equally to being blown around by wind d/t similar underwater ftprint? I just figured weight and rigidity of boat would come into play some way. But I could see how a light boat could be blown about or conversely be rowed more ez'ily. Interesting. I could see the rockered bottom coming in handy.
Yes - that's exactly what I'm saying. While the average pontoon is generally heavier than a WM, we're not talking about hundreds of pounds heavier. At most maybe 30 pounds difference. By far the heaviest thing either boat will be carrying is you.

Let's be crystal clear on another point here and that's the perceived 'ease' of lugging a WM into a remote location. While the idea of shoulder straps on the WM storage bags sounds appealing and evokes the image of being able to hump one into a mountain lake up a remote trail, nothing could be further from the truth. Here's why.

The 'package weight' of a Kodiak according to BSI is 43 pounds. That's just the raft, oars, apron, pump and bags. That number doesn't count your waders, boots, jacket, fishing gear, lunch, water, PFD, beer or whatever other goodies you think are essential to a day on the water.

Having just got back from an off-trail trip into a mountain lake, my pack, minus the float tube I was carrying, was about 28 pounds (which after 6 hours of bushwhacking in and back, was about 28 pounds too heavy!). The pack itself weighs 4 pounds, so all my additional gear besides the boat and pack weighed 24 pounds. Assuming that you could fit all that gear into the WM's dry bag(s), the resulting dead weight would be on the order of 67 pounds (43 for the WM and 24 for the gear).

I don't care how macho you think you are, carrying 67 pounds on your back, even for just one mile over rough terrain, is far beyond what the vast majority of folks here are capable of (in real life, that is, not on an anonymous fishing forum on the Internet, where everyone is superhuman!) If you're realistically considering lugging a WM and gear anything beyond a couple hundred yards, I guarantee that's something you'll probably do just once.

K
 
#21
I have one word for standing on a WM, WS, or Assault--SPLASH! There just is not enough room to do it safely, in my opinion. And, fishing from my Assault or my Wilderness Access (think Water Strider), you do not need to.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#22
Mumbles, how much does that Kodiak weigh? did you get the Expedition pkg? I'm very curious about how much effort goes into getting boat and needed accessories into their bags. On NFO video, he shows folding and packing of inflatables into bags, but never adds the oars, the pump, fins, etc., which make the product truly packable/hikeable. If I get it narrowed down to 2 and one packs up like trying to zipper a size 34 pant into a sz 38 body, but the other feels like a sz 30 or 32, I'd go there.
On still water can you realistically stand on the Kodiak and the Assault & fish? It won't happen a lot, but if a boat is packable and I can stand on it to f.fish for musky some of the time, I'd feel close to heaven.
BTW, I can't seem to get out of wind this year. Also, I've rowed a 2p framed toon into heavy wind in tstorm & it was a b%$#@. Hence my focus on this. & when on H2O fishing, I will prob be last off. FF is a drug.
So, any specific reason u stick with enclosed models? Other than less ez access, what would you consider any cons? How easy is it to land fish w/o net or get rod tip close to water? Thx for your response! I've seen your others and hoped you would.
Sorry so long before responding. I'll address the things you shot my way.

I'm going to say the Kodiak might weigh 28 pounds or so, naked. It takes some time to get either boat folded and put into the bag, but both bags hold the boat and necessary accessories. That ups your pack weight as you add stuff, of course.

Bottom line for both boats. If you pack it and its accessories into a bag, that bag will be heavy. I'm no wussie, but I'm not Mr. Universe either. A full bag with all your gear will be heavy and will not treat you well on long hike ins. My suggestion, get the boat that suits what you want. Getting it where you want to go is another issue. I'll digress for a moment...I have a two child stroller that is state of the art, top notch and even comes with a rickshaw waist strap, two bars back to the buggy and I can take the wheels off and put on skis when it is snowing. I'd put my heavy stuff into this contraption, walk it easily to where I was fishing (lake presumably) and fish without having to kill my back. There are probably other creative ways that will be cheap, functional and good for your back if you must hike in such a boat package. If you know you are going to hike in a lot, choose a different craft...much lighter if you can find one.

Not to be disagreeable to others...hell yes, my cheeseburger eating not exceptioanlly well balanced ass can stand and fish from either the Kodiak or Assault. Orangeradish witnessed me spey casting on the Kalama in slowly moving frog water while standing. Why the budding photographer did not digitially document this remarkable feat is beyond me. I have stood on both. Standing on the watermaster platform is better than standing on the scadden inflatable seat. Splash never happened, but one should expect that if you stand on a craft with a seat that falling is a true possibility.

I like enclosed because I think that I get more floatation, maybe some additional safety feel. I've fished out of toons and love them. Tubes (not the death donuts, but U/V tubes) and love them. In a close comparison I was slightly more in favor of the Assault, so I sold my Kodiak to a gent from the site that, so far as I know, is very happy with his new boat. I have friends with both, and there is not one of us disappointed.

Try one from the gear program (watermaster) and see what it is all about. I think the rocker of the Assault is the tipping point for me. It added some nimble moves that I could not pull off with fins alone in moving water. With less water contact it might be less stable in heavy water, but I'm looking for some fun rowing increasingly challenging water anyway...the fishing in the slower sections in the middle of two tough rapids is usually pretty worth all the splashy stuff to get there!

Spend your money, our economy needs it and you seem motivated. Best of luck.
 
#23
I have the assault and yesterday I went fishing with a buddy that has a fish cat 8 with a 28lb thrust trolling motor and I could keep up to him using my litespeed oars and I am about 50lbs heavier than my buddy and not a good 50lbs if you know what I mean. This boat moves really well with the upgraded oars.
Wayne
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#24
...I don't care how macho you think you are, carrying 67 pounds on your back, even for just one mile over rough terrain, is far beyond what the vast majority of folks here are capable of (in real life, that is, not on an anonymous fishing forum on the Internet, where everyone is superhuman!) If you're realistically considering lugging a WM and gear anything beyond a couple hundred yards, I guarantee that's something you'll probably do just once.K
I am not superhuman and like Kent I use my real name. In my younger days I carried heavy loads at altitude for hours often on skis but in early summer tended to go bouldering instead of alpine climbing to avoid post-holing in rotten waist deep snow as much as avalanche hazzards. At 58, I stay in fair shape. There are lakes without excessive elevation gain where I don't expect solitude but it helps to go during the week. I'm able to pair down my Kodiak expedition kit slightly using lighter oars. Using flyweight waders, minimalist fishing gear, being willing to divert to a drive-to backup if the weather forecast is manky or looks questionable, and leaving the ice chest in the car I'm able to keep the weight down to about 12 lbs of stuff besides the WM kit for day trips. 53-55 lbs is a grunt but is doable on maintained trails without a lot of elevation gain but I'm going to use the Cruiser pack frame. If I were looking at much elevation gain or bushwhacking I'd be packing a tube.
 

Uboatman

Is it possible to fish, surf and golf all at once?
#25
I have a rampage and love it. One thing not mentioned is the 5 chamber design of the scadden rampage. This is huge. Regarding standing on it...ah maybe if you want to go swimming. Framed may be a different story. My position on the open front vs water master style depends on how heavy a river you are going to run with big boulders to high center on. Unless you plan to do long iv runs bouncing around through tight chutes, scadden is fine. In bigger water, I would take the rampage any day. The volume of air just seems more floaty. Regarding packability, it is nothing you would put on your back, but loading up a cooler for multi day is totally in bounds. Love my scadden and I hand pump it very time in a matter of minutes.
 

Blue

Active Member
#26
Kent is right. I have had a pontoon boat, rowed a Scadden, and now I own a Watermaster.
Of all 3- the Watermaster is the best design for what I need.
The pontoon is a vehicle to go from spot to spot- and was easily blown by wind etc.

The scadden seemed less "stable" side to side, possibly due to profile or design.

The watermaster is stable, easily maneuverable and you can fish the whole time on the move.
The scadden seemed bigger when broken down. The WM fist in my vehicle just fine.
The biggest thing for me was the incredible craftsmanship of the WM. It is incredibly well build and from a design standpoint, well thought out for fisherman and fishing.
So, you have tried the Assault? Respectfully disagree. Scadden boats are very stable. Watched that video of a man that just BOUGHT the Renegade. Fished a little then stood up on it with no problem.


Remember all, Dave helped with the design of the WM. I am thinking he improved on a design that has been around for awhile. Not saying it was a bad design to begin with, but I see the rockers AND the inflatable floor/seat area being such a big plus.

Oh forgot, I had an Outcast Alpine Pontoon, an Echo Pontoon and a Cardiac Canyon, I can tell, they are all effected by wind even the Cardiac with small 12" diameter pontoons. I don't get this less effected stuff.
I can say without question, when wind picked up, my pontoons wanted to turn sideways and even do circles. This is not the case with my H3, my Navigator II (NFO), My Escape, My Renegade, My X5. The U shaped boats are more stable and do not twist and turn like a pontoon ( and I am referring to stillwater, not rivers)
 
#27
thanks folks for the continued posts(& video!)...I keep checking back and reading them. Haven't been able to make contact with Dave Scadden and my ride home from a fishing trip was prolonged today, preventing me from calling before his closing hour. Cabela's does not actually stock his product (it ships directly from him) despite their website reporting the models were in stock. So, my chance to actually see them became nil. Rowed my buddy's framed NFO toon yesterday, & I will be excited to own a frameless which, I believe, will take less effort to row on a day trip in high heat/humidity.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#28
...I don't care how macho you think you are, carrying 67 pounds on your back, even for just one mile over rough terrain, is far beyond what the vast majority of folks here are capable of (in real life, that is, not on an anonymous fishing forum on the Internet, where everyone is superhuman!) If you're realistically considering lugging a WM and gear anything beyond a couple hundred yards, I guarantee that's something you'll probably do just once. K
I am not superhuman and like Kent I use my real name. In my younger days I carried heavy loads at altitude for hours often on skis but in early summer tended to go bouldering instead of alpine climbing to avoid post-holing in rotten waist deep snow as much as avalanche hazzards. At 58, I stay in fair shape. There are lakes without excessive elevation gain where I don't expect solitude but it helps to go during the week. I'm able to pair down my Kodiak expedition kit slightly using lighter oars. Using flyweight waders, minimalist fishing gear, being willing to divert to a drive-to backup if the weather forecast is manky or looks questionable, and leaving the ice chest in the car I'm able to keep the weight down to about 12 lbs of stuff besides the WM kit for day trips. 53-55 lbs is a grunt but is doable on maintained trails without a lot of elevation gain but I'm going to use the Cruiser pack frame. If I were looking at much elevation gain or bushwhacking I'd be packing a tube.[/QUOTE]Packed the Kodiak into an alpine lake yesterday. Had it all to myself. Total carry weight was 58 lbs on the scale. Landed a 12” wild Rainbow and a just shy 11” Brookie that slammed a streamer and fought like it was posessed. Missed several. They were taking just about anything I threw out. Admittedly the Kodiak is a beast to pack in even using the pack frame. I'll be honest and say this thread did come to mind as I neared the lake, and as I scouted for a beach with unobstructed access to open water I wished had the money to get a new lightweight tube to replace my vintage and thread-bear Wood Creek (before the split) 1st gen Uboat. Anonymous? Sort of, but honest. Superhuman? No. Do-able? Yup. Do again? Yeah, but I know this thread will come to mind again.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#29
...Watched that video of a man that just BOUGHT the Renegade. Fished a little then stood up on it with no problem.
The video gives some scale... I notice the Renegade is a much smaller boat than a Kodiak, and I'm not saying that's a negative
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#30
Admittedly, it's a tough choice between the Scadden Assault and the Kodiak. I have two Kodiaks, and really like the upgraded oars, additional "goodies" that came with the package. However, I vastly prefer rowing over the fins. If I'd seen the Scadden first, I probably would have gone with that one. Having used tubes, toons, and the WM, I'd say you need to define what the top-level useage will be: will you be targeting lakes, slow-moving rivers and the like for day trips, or will you plan multi-day floats, camping along the way? I purchased the WM's primarily to let me float rivers I wouldn't want to take my drift boat down, primarily due to narrowness or shallow bottoms. The WM allows me to easily carry enough gear for a comfortable camp along the way, and I found I can use the little wheeled kayak carriers to transport the WM over trails if they're wide enough.
 

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