NFR 'toon Time


Active Member
So its time for me to grow a pair and get a 'toon. Any suggestions on a good starter? I have been crusing CL for the last week looking for a good one and so far everyone I call or email is a dead end (sold). Should I go for an 8'? I will be fishing mostly the NF of the CDA, Spokane, Little Spokane and St. Joe with it. I have float tubed the Spokane once...if that counts.
Another thing to consider is I almost always go alone so I was thinking of picking up a folding bike to strap to the back of the 'toon. So.... any advice would be great and even anyone looking to sell a 'toon or folding bike near the Spokane/CDA area.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
I start with asking how much do you weigh? If you're going to be in moving water and you're not on the lighter side compared to the buoyancy rating of the boat I do bigger. I'm also unsure what what your budget limitations are. There are a tremendously large variety of quality boats from framed boats that are out of the box for custom. There are frameless boats like the water master and the assault.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
if you are going to do rivers, I would go with a 9'er. The Pontoons are a bit bigger, better buoyancy. And the longer oars are better also.


Active Member
I'm 6'2" and weigh 190. I dont think I will have any problems packing a heavier 'toon down to the river if it has a frame. I will most likely end up with a framed 'toon because of budget. Not exactly made of money right now. I have been on a drift boat a few times but being that I dont have much experience rowing maybe I should practice on a lake first so I dont become one with the fish on a river...

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Find yourself a mild river and just float it without all your gear on and see how you handle yourself. The Yakima isn't too bad unless there are a lot of downed trees. I did it in a water master and I didn't have any problems And I'm a klutz..


Active Member
I had crapped out on CL Seattle, and so took a look in CL Portland. Bingo! two days later (literally) I was floating. If you're going to buy used, you might want to narrow your acceptable options down to a few and then go looking. You can find lots of 'light duty' boats on CL, if that's what you want to ride. From what you said, though I suspect you need/want something a bit more robust. Good luck!


Active Member

If interested, I have a 9' pontoon boat in our demo fleet that I'd be happy to let you try.

It is currently located in North Bend but could get to Ellensburg easy enough to try on a local pond and/or the lower canyon (easy water).


Skunk Happens
My first tubes were 8 foot. I'm 6'1" 165. No problem for me...

I definitely agree with trying it on a lake first if you have no experience rowing. If you want somebody to float with the first time, I'd go as long as I'm available. I also have a copy of "How to Row a Drift Boat" that you can borrow.

Be patient with CL if you can. Rivers are about to runoff anyway.

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
I have been on a drift boat a few times but being that I dont have much experience rowing maybe I should practice on a lake first so I dont become one with the fish on a river...
I was new to rowing when I got my Water Master and did a couple of easy floats. later I read River Safety: A Floaters Guide by Stan Bradshaw. In addition to basic river navigation and rowing technique, it has a number of case studies on what some people did, unfortunately after they did it, and how to avoid their fates. Some folks call BS on this but I took the author's recommendation and took a Drift Boat and Pontoon Boat Rowing Class from an instructor who maintains his Swift Water Rescue cert; a $200 investment that is well worth it. Jesse might have a line on someone on your side of the hill.
We have a couple of Outcast pontoons in our rental fleet they are 8' boats you are welcome to come by and get one and take it to a local lake for an outing. One or both of these older models may be for sale as we are bringing in some new stock. Stop by and see us.
I am 5'11" 200, live in Spokane, and fish all the rivers you mentioned. 8' toons will serve you just fine on moving water and stillwaters in the area. I would take Jesse up on his offer and take a look at his.
Also, just a heads up, you can't float the Little Spokane in a 'toon, at least not through the State land (below St Georges down to the big river). Must be in a closed bottom like a canoe. Just FYI.
I was told it is to protect the river-bed and banks. For this reason my understanding is that you are also not allowed to get out and walk the bank or walk the river-bed. There are signs posting the restricted boating requirements, but I can't remember if the no wading is posted, but that is what the park ranger told me as I was putting in the canoe, when I asked the reasoning behind the rules.

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