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I'm going to be purchasing a pontoon boat in the next month and am looking for advice on which boat to buy. I'll be using the boat on rivers mostly. ( yakima, stilly, kettle, etc.) Would like to spend $800 or less, but not if it means that i'll regret it in two months and wish i had spent the xtra couple hundred. Thanks in advance for the replys. Scott
 

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Spend the extra $200 or so and get a Bucks Bronco or the Outcast Pac 800. You won't regret it. They're worth the dough if you'll be floating rivers often.

I'm very happy with my 9' Bronco Extreme. It's not a cataraft, but then I don't plan on doing any class IV water.
 

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Well let me tell you what I had to do today. I had just bought the ODC Sport from Outdoor Emporium last week. I took it to Dry Falls with the boys. After one day, rust was breaking through the paint at all the welds. I just got back from downtown. They called the Creek Company and asked what to do. They really didn't want to replace it until it broke. But you could clearly see all the weld spots were rusting and the little nicks, from putting it together, hadn't even started to rust. But Outdoor Emporium let me do whatever I wanted. So I upgraded to the ODC 1018. Unlike the ODC Sport, the 1018 has aluminum tubing. It also has extras like a hard deck in the back, anchor pulley and lock, rod holder etc. Since it is a 10 footer, there isn't anything it can't handle. $549 and my hat is off to Jamin at Outdoor Emporium.

Matt

"Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go fishing...is one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
 

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My advice would be to do a search on this site and you will find a ton of information on the subject cause its been talked about alot lately :thumb :thumb .

I like my southfork but I have not ran it on rivers too much yet. But the rivers I have ran it on, it handles them nicely with no concerns yet??

~Patrick ><>
 

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schmokin'reel!!!


glad to hear you made good with that situation. iwas also gonna pick that odc up because of the price . maybe ill save for a litte bit more money for later. Sorry Xcaddis , cant help ya as your way outta my price range. but good luck, when you spend a grand, most anything should be really nice. :beer2 --bhudda
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well I just spent about an hour looking through old archives on this subject. tons of info, should have done that first. my quandry is it seems like you either have to spend $1200 for a kickass boat or you might as well get one for less than half of that. also i'm wondering where i can get some pricing info. on the steelheader. thanks, scott
 

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Do yourself a favor and spend the cash to step up to a steelheader. When you round the bend on the river and the water is churning and there are sweepers to avoid you will be glad you are in a steelheaders. Yes, you could spend alot less dough for other boats, but look at it this way, the extra you are paying is buying two things. First is insurance that may save your life, and second is quality. You cannot buy better quality than a steelheader that will last a lifetime. This boat will outlast two lives of anyother boat. Go to www.steelheader.com for infomation on the steelheader. They are expensive, but you spend a ton of bucks on rods, reels, lines, waders, and etc. Are you now going to worry about the extra bucks for a steelheader? I did see a used steelheader posted for sale on this site and I think it was selling for less than a grand, which is a real buy. One last word,there are two types of fly guys, those that own a steelheader and those who wish they owned one. Have a nice day!
 
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Wow, what an outstanding commercial for steelheader.com. Based on that review, I would expect the boat to catch and cook fish for you too :p

All kidding, and shameless spaming, aside. Steelheader makes a very nice boat. They cost some coin and are built very well but for most peoples applications, they might be a bit of overkill. If you are planning on heavier water and hard steady use, they are certainly well worth looking at.

The ODC 1008 appears to be a good boat for the money. The Pac 800 and 900 Outcasts are good boats. The Fishcats are certainly a step down in quality but for most uses, are a good value.
 

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I live in the town where both the Bucks and outcast are made. To check out their web page they are WWW.Outcastboats.com and www.bucksbags.com Down here it boils down to dollars. You see a lot of the southfork made by Bucksbags, but the outcast I think is a better built boat when you compare the frames and the pontoons.However they do cost a little more. I own the outcast Pac900 and have been very happy, it has a 10 year warranty on the pontoons which I really liked. I also think Outcast has more boats to choose from than Bucks, so you should be able to find something in any price range. Just my thoughts
 

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Wow, speyguy beat me to it.

Yes, I will say this right off the bat, and someone had it right. The Steelheader isn't for everyone. They are for those who truly are hardcore fishermen/women and really use their boats. They offer so much more then class V water running. They offer much better stability, handling, and carrying capacity. Spey guy pretty much hit the nail on the head. Some guys go out and spend thousands of dollars on rods, reels, and lines. But want to skimp on a boat that could save their life.

The Steelheader is gonna run you around $1400. I'd highly suggest if you plan to buy, go with the guide model (10'). It'll carry all the gear you need and float you high. The nice thing about the steelheaders vs every other boat out there is it floats you high and dry. The ODC's aren't bad, but they are cheaper boats. They look ok, but they are built in same factory as the fishcats and alot of other boats out there. Say it this way, a 16' ODC can only carry about 650#'s (may be 800). A 9' Steelheader carries the SAME capacity. The 10' Steelheader carries 1000#'s. That does alot for you river running. Say it this way, the more weight you add on a cataraft/pontoon boat, the more sluggish it will act. The lower weight capacity REALLY slugs boat out when you have 2/3 guys on it. No matter what you do, you want to be able to move your boat. My 16' cataraft carries around 1800#'s. Well over double an ODC. It's the way tubes are built and way the frames are set up.

In the long run, it all comes down to what you want to do. If you're the average joe who plays occasionally, the Steelheader is overkill. But, if you run rivers at all (anything with class 3) you'd be safer in a Steelheader. Handling is a key, and on a bucks or outcast most guys are almost MAXING out weight capacity. Most only handle 300#'s. Max capacity means you have more boat in water. Lessening your hanling capacity. Say it this way, those of you who think the bucks/outcasts handle good, try running a steelheader and you'll see a difference. I too was in same boat about 7-8 years ago. Outcast and Bucks were top of line in 8-9' boat arena. But my Outcasts really floated low in water. They were sluggish compared to my big boats. I could actually row my 16' boat much easier then my 8' and 9' Outcasts. I finally was able to by a Steelheader, and the difference was day and night. Response is so much better, and quality is much better.

So, key is to decide what you want to use boat for. If you are a hardcore guy, who loves to run the oars, save your $$$. If not, and only occasionally will use it. Go the cheap route.

If you have any questions, let me know. Would be glad to help you out.
 
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