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Inflatable Watercraft Rafts, pontoon boats, kickboats, etc.

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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-30-2003 05:45 PM
With my speys

I run my 16' cataraft, so can leave them in one piece. :hehe:

Actually, I had some float rods that were about 11' long that I ran on my 9' Steelheader. Thing is, NEVER EVER leave a rod together that extends beyond the lengths of your boats. It only will cause trouble. Also, you don't want a rod sticking straight up. You can do this on lakes and such, but a big mistake for river running. Especially if you buy full rockered hull boats like the Outcasts/Bucks Bags. There will be times, especially on corners, you'll have overhanging brush. One quick turn and "snip" goes your rod tip. Also same thing about extending beyond length of tubes. Just that one inch over could be enough to damage the tip or ferrule of your rod. Have seen this many times in both situations. My friend mostly fishes speys now. About 4 years ago he got his first cataraft. He copied my laydown rod method I think I described above. He could fit the rod in two pieces within his boat diameters. Basically, he would just take the tip section off and fold. I put those Danielson or Berkeley rod holders that mount on your wall. I think it's the verticle one's. Basically has two pieces that are identicle (one has a foam insert, then a hard rounded bottom for butts to fit in, you don't want that one). Simply take these rod holders and mount them across the side of frame. Depends on boat, you have to do some modifications. In end though, your rod will safely sit in tight soft foam padding. Just a quick pull up, and put the tip on, and you're in business. I wish I had my old boat. I have my 16' ripped apart and refinishing to sell it. But had the holders on it as well.
09-30-2003 03:19 PM
" Up here" several of the fellows just use..

the regular drift boat holders that rotate/click into place. They're held on to the frame with a clamp rather than screwed through the metal frame.

When you pop out the rod holder for transportation the small insert ring for the holder isn't in the way. Given you can 'lock' these into place in a 360 degree config. you can have the rods (full speys) pointing up/down/across (that choice would be anyone's guess). etc.
09-30-2003 11:21 AM
debarb Steelheader (or others): What do you do for spey rod holders for on a pontoon? I fish with a 15 footer in winter, so I'll probably break it down in b/t runs (unless you've got a better idea), and lay it along the tubes somehow, either in some modified pipe insulation "donuts" I've cut or ... something else. I'd be glad to have the info. too on what you do for regular rods. Trying not to reinvent the wheel, and thanks for your--and anyone's--help.
09-29-2003 08:06 PM
Depenindg upon you "budget" also check out the

Sotar made in Grants Pass, OR. Mike Parson's just picked up his a short while ago, and it looks like, short of an RPG round you couldn't sink this thing.

Set up for two folks, gear, and several days on a river.
09-29-2003 05:41 PM
Ooops, rod holders

Actually, I don't like ANY rod holders that strap around tubes. I don't like anything in that water except the hull of the boat. I normally buy the rod holder I like, then buy the adapter piece that mounts to any sized railing from Cabela's. I have them on my big cataraft now, and have had them on all my small catarafts. Great devices. I think they redesigned them. So have to order one or two to check them out.

When you get your boat, let me know. I can show you some ways to setup lay down rod holders too. I usually buy Danielson or Berkley rod holders (the verticle types that hang on wall with hardplastic with foam inserts) and mount them on the boat laying flat. This way, your rod sits steady and secure. Plus, no scarring of the rod with the material. Great for rods you don't plan to fish.
09-29-2003 05:38 PM

Here's my .02.

I used to do volunteer swiftwater rescue. I had to be certified to do it, and was a thankless job most of the time. I found that I would NEVER rely on anything mechanical when it came to vests. They have been proven to be effective, but there's none that are 100% effective. Do you want to risk your life on something that may/maynot open? The self inflatables, stay away from. I've been flipped out of alot of boats (luckily, I have yet to flip one of mine knock on wood). The last thing you have on your mind is pulling the cord. The auto inflates are ok. But same thing, I don't trust mechanical things. Has to be so wet before it inflates. So not sure how much water it'll take to inflate. Only takes half a second for a hydraulic to pull you under. When one does, a quick inflation won't help you get out of it. Have pulled dead people out of hydraulics with high floatation life vests on.

Personally, I'd go with a kayakers type vest. Gives you plenty of mobility to row, and also the floatability you want if you dump the boat. You can find them at some whitewater shops online, can give you links if you want. I still get paper catalogs from most, since to this day I still do some ordering from them. But they do come with a higher price tag. But you won't be sorry in long run.

Onto wheeling. They do have wheels out there that bolt onto frame. The best one I've seen out there escapes me namewise. But I know they make them for the Outcasts, Waterskeeters, Steelheaders, and a couple others. You don't have to disconnect the wheel and remount off the water. It simply pins, and unpins to move it. You can contact me for link to steelheader, he can lead you where to buy them (think he sells them too). I may get them. But I can normally, when healthy, carry my 16' cataraft on my back (300+#'s), so any of the smaller 9-10' boats are normally no sweat. But we'll see once I'm healed up. LOL. Am a bit out of shape backwise. :hehe:

Think I covered them all?
09-29-2003 03:04 PM
airedale OK, a few more rookie boater questions:

1) Do most people wear some sort of personal floatation device like one of those low-no profile neck 'thingys' that you can pull a cord and they inflate or is this overkill? Any brands or models you might recommend?
2) How about rod holders on a pontoon boat? I probably want to bring a dry rod and a nymph rig. I have seen two kinds on the market, Scotty's and Float n Tote...any experience?
3) Also considering adding a "Launching Gear" to a 9foot boat for portability. Any experience with these stowable wheels?

Thk you all for the sage advice. I love these boards as they sure help educate you prior to purchasing useless things and alleviate buyer's remorse!!

Fish On-----
09-23-2003 04:34 AM
Steelheader69 I think the key is to figure out what you want out of a boat. For myself, I like the watermasters. Not a bad boat for portability if you simply want to get out and fish. But I want my small boats as small driftboats. Something that will handle hard water, yet I can anchor up and fish from the boat without wobbling or getting out. My main purpose is a smaller rendition that I can pack down and toss in back of a car if needed. Why I went with the Steelheaders. After years of fishing float tubes, cheaper pontoon type boats, and the likes, was nice when a true whitewater grade cataraft came on the market. Was actually about to build a pram, or look into a mini drifter. But, got me really hooked into catarafts (when it was mostly a whitewater thing back then lol)
09-20-2003 10:18 PM
juro Our sponsor shop Rod Builder's Workshop carries them and Smitty swears by them. He's pretty particular about the gear he uses but he uses these all over the country when he's hunting or fishing.

I have been looking for something very light to use for fishing certain flats where wading is risky due to extreme tides. Something like the 15 pound unit they talk about would be too easy to carry to resist trying. The problem is when the tide goes out you have to walk 3/4 mile to water sometimes. When it comes rushing in it brings hordes of hungry fish, but you have to then get back to shore somehow. Something that is very light and packable for a little ways would be key to this fishery.

It's the one they haven't put pics up for yet... the "bruin" I think? Curious to see what it looks like.
09-20-2003 08:48 PM
Water Masters are great...

AirDale, I have owned just about everything that floats and as a boat of choice in the small inflatable's I choose the Water Masters they are the simpelest and fastest to set up and will handle all but the most "Foolhardy" situations with safety and comfort.
In my opinion the single most important function of the WM's that is the least advertised is how simple they are to just stand up and walk down a run casting overhand or Spey without ever leaving your boat it just hangs around your waist, knees or ankles depending on the water depth. So you never have to make your way back up the pool to retreive your boat and gear. This is really nice when a mean spirited Grizzly takes exception at your sharing his or her water!
Juro sounds like I have to buy another WM, that light weight you are refering to at my age makes it a no brainer I'm sold where do I sign? I did not find a reference on the Sponsors Website for the light one, give me a clue mon.
09-20-2003 03:12 PM
debarb I'm lousy at looking for fine print, so I always err on the safe side. (Had my first beer at 31, and never go faster than 45 on I 84). Anyway, thanks Juro, and I'll write Bill at Skookum.
09-20-2003 02:56 PM
juro Thanks for being concerned about the policy. It's much simpler than that - we figure since there is good information to be shared, we don't prohibit direct hyperlinks... we just ask that the linker follow up with the promoted company with an email in his/her own words letting them know about us and suggesting sponsorship to highlight their products in our community. This also lets us remain fair to our existing sponsors who are the life blood of the site.

CC: sponsorships(at) so we can follow up and give you credit if the company comes on line with us. That's it!
09-20-2003 02:43 PM
debarb I assume the policy is not to include hyperlinks to non-sponsors, so happy to edit it out of my post.

Airedale, the skookum 10' (with the big 19" pontoons, anchor package, 7.5 foot Cataract breakdown oars (accept no substitutes) will run you about 1700. But note that those tubes are very tough, thicker than just about anything else you can buy (no bladders). Stores don't sell them, though depending on where you live, you could probably find someone who has one and would let you take a look. I live in Portland, but there are plenty in WA, and Bill's place is, or at least was (if he hasn't moved everything to Bend yet) in Woodinville, WA., close to Seattle. I bought mine sight unseen, I have to admit. You could go with the smaller pontoons, which takes about $200 off the price (I think, but check). Once you put them together once, you can pump up the the tubes, and assemble the whole thing in about 15 minutes (faster if steelhead are rolling). The Outcast 8s and 9s are probably lighter and easier to portage; it just depends on what you want. Good luck.
09-19-2003 10:35 PM
juro Hey check out watermaster,

Now what about our hyperlink policy? They are now a proud sponsor!

Great products, I can't wait to check out the 15 # packable!

Banner and direct hyperlink will be ready shortly.
09-19-2003 10:29 PM
airedale Ok, now I'm interested in Skookum boats. Checked out the website..where can you see these in person? Do any shops carry them? I definitely have to see, sit in, and disassemble/assemble one before I purchase....also, how much is the Osprey 10footer?

thx again to all for the info and keep it coming.. the more educated you are, the better you can form your own opinions as opposed to that of the fly shops'.

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