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Buying a Pontoon
I'm looking to get myself a pontoon for floating the rivers around Rexburg and taking on some lakes/reservoirs. Just wondering what everyone's opinions are on the different models and what has worked best in these waters.

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Re: [FishingRookie] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
A lot of factors to consider.

Price?

Are you going to want to float rivers with some rapids such as the South Fork? If so you need one that is rated for class 4 waters. Usually that means at least 9-10 ft long. Check out what will be the roughest water you want to get into and gauge by that.

Will you eventually be putting an electric motor on it?

Are you going to have to take it apart to transport it?
Small car or do you have a truck or trailer?

The "Float Tubing" (and Pontoons!) board has a lot of information and reviews. http://www.bigfishtackle.com/.../gforum.cgi?forum=81 Post on there and search in its back posts.

I personally like the North Fork Outdoors Renegade or Assault. They are both rated for class 5 whitewater. They are 9 ft long, weigh between 25 to 30 pounds and are frameless. They fold up and will fit in the back of a small car. The are really high quality, but are spendy when compared to some of the cheaper Chinese stuff. They will last you a lifetime though. http://northforkoutdoors.com/...012showspecials.html

Next choice would be the Outcast, Sportsman's, and Buck's Bags pontoons. They are also really well made.
Watch for them second hand on Craigslist and in local papers. If you are not in a rush you can find some good deals.

Good luck!

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Re: [FishingRookie] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Cgives excellent advise. My first choice of course is North Fork but you have Outcast and Bucks Bags made Boise.

As mentioned, if you are going to per chance hit white water, get one with a trust worthy reputation and frame. It will cost more. Also check Craigs List or KSL.

I am liking my Assault for the rivers and great on stillwater. So easy to pack down to the water. And the XX is a great one man OR two people (plus a weiner dog)and weighs about 36 lbs.







CHECK OUT MY BLOG http://utahflygoddess.blogspot.com/
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(This post was edited by flygoddess on Apr 26, 2012, 12:04 PM)

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Re: [FishingRookie] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
FishinRookie ,
I just went thru what your thinking of. I will say this I agree with IF you are thinking of any kind of whitewater then get the best you can afford. I totally excluded North Fork ( Scadden ) for that reason. I agree they are a great option for flat water , minor rapids but not the best choice for any kind of whitewater. Not that they have not been used for it just better choices out there. I looked at them ALL believe me.
I have rafted all over the east coast and did a 14 day Main and Middle Fork Salmon River trip a year ago. A present to myself after having 2 heart attacks a yr before ( i wanted to do it before i no longer could ) LMAO Wink
I went with Canyon White Water Inflatables . I would as an alternative go with Catchercraft then Steelheader.com. For the next level down either Bucks Bronco Supreme or Pac900fs , Scadden X5
If also the possibilities of hiking in with unit then I think North Fork's Renegade is the top pick .
As far as ANYONE classing their units for whitewater they can pretty much say what they want - as far as I could find out there is no certification as such. Bottom line is it is your backside that is taking the ride Crazy and it is jst my opinions which others may not agree with.
Attached a few pics to look at The green cataraft grouping is the set- up I ordered . Yellow is Bucks , single green Pac 900FS , Red Scadden X5
Good luck in your search. Fishin'

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Re: [FishingRookie] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
I have a couple of the Creek Co Sport and Sport LT's. I would not recommend them. My son likes his and it is light but they don't have PVC covers and they don't handle extra weight well at all.

I had a Sportsman's warehouse 9' and it was a fantastic boat. I used it to float the Snake river MANY times. We got into some class II splashers a few times. The Creek Co sport handled them too.
I sold the 9' to a friend that would not take no for an answer. I then got a 10 foot Sportsman's. I like this boat a lot. It is a little slower to turn an takes a little more Ron power to kick and turn but it will handle a big load of gear.

The PVC covers are mandatory in my book. Just think about dropping a walleye, perch, crappie, or a small catfish. I could see one of them giving the pontoon the old spiky fin-a-ru. The older Sportsman's models have HEAVY PVC covers. My 10 foot is 900 denier on top and 1200 on the bottom. That gives me some peace of mind about accidents.
They are made by Outcast and I would easily buy some of their other models.

If I were Donald trump and could afford what ever I wanted I would get a NFO X5. I would put a 5 hp outboard on the back and a 50 pound thrust electric on the front and I would be set. Ron

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Divin-Demon, why do you think Bucks or Outcast are more suited for white water than NFO? I have used all three and curious of your experience. And they all rate their boats for different white water classing. It is just a rating saying they have been taken down this water by a professional and the boat did fine.
I personally disagree that NFO are not a good choice for white water, or that the equal in Outcast or Bucks is better. Like you said, different opinions, but I have tried all three.





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Re: [flygoddess] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Flygodess, I do not think I said they ( Outcast or Bucks ) where better than North Fork for whitewater. " For the next level down either Bucks Bronco Supreme or Pac900fs , Scadden X5 .
If also the possibilities of hiking in with unit then I think North Fork's Renegade is the top pick . "
Actually I think all three are a poor choice for that as there are much better choices. Have they been used for it yes - and I like how you put it "It is just a rating saying they have been taken down this water by a professional and the boat did fine". Would you or I ( average skills ect ) have the same results running class 4-5 in them ?

If the possibility of running white water then I prefer :

1 TUBES - 20" tubes or better ( AIRE, Hyside, Jack's Plastic, Maravia, NRS and SOTAR ) bladderless type .
2. FRAME - with a whitewater class frame ( heavy duty 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 IPS Aluminum or DOM steel )
3. OARS - whitewater class oars NOT CHEAP THIN ALUMINUM PINNED TOGETHER should have a spare.

I have done a fair amount of whitewater rafting - actually got dumped BAD out of the sweep ( last ) boat on the middle fork last year . I was hammered in a hydraulic and by the time it kicked me out I had a 200 yd swim downriver to the last raft for pick up. Was fun in a nutty way BUT I'm pushing 60 and that taxed me just a little bit LMAO.

I have tried those three ( and more ) for the average person with average skills I do not consider them whitewater class. Actually if I had to pick one of those three I would go with the X-5 JUST for the reverse bow closed tube design as it has some benefit riding up and over standing waves . Then I would strenghten the frame and upgrade their upgraded oars. The pontoon material I'd have to live with. For what it would cost I actually got a better deal the way I went and a better boat to boot. Tongue

I guess it all boils down to opinion and I do not have any relationship with any manufacturer ( before anyone asks).
I will say Catchercraft is one of if not the nicest manufacturers to talk to - AND I did not purchase their product . Instead of hype salesmanship I was given ton's of professional advice.

I am in no way a professional and it IS my butt going for the ride so I want the best I could afford under it. After all the pontoon will make it thru ( busted up or not ) it may not be the same outcome with me.Frown
I compromised on two issues tube length 10- 6 would of preferred 12-6 but storage and transport an issue, oars are pinned 2 pc type but " Sawyer Custom Carbon SST Kevlar Shaft Reinforcement with Rope Wrap and Stop ".

I will close with this : watch some U-tube videos and see what is being used to run whitewater - especially if you do not know what class 3 and above is. Think about your capabilities and what you want to do. Then buy the best you can your life depends on it.

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
By mentioning the Renegade, the Rampage, the Assault, the XX or any of the frameless models and even the X5 you are really talking apples and oranges from the sounds of it.

For the USA made boats you would be looking at same specs

In the 9' range Southfork, PAC 9000 and Renegade. (However, Outcast has told me that any of their pontoons 1100 and smaller are made overseas)

(quote)
1 TUBES - 20" tubes or better ( AIRE, Hyside, Jack's Plastic, Maravia, NRS and SOTAR ) bladderless type .
2. FRAME - with a whitewater class frame ( heavy duty 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 IPS Aluminum or DOM steel )
3. OARS - whitewater class oars NOT CHEAP THIN ALUMINUM PINNED TOGETHER should have a spare.

This is what you prefer and that is a great list, but I am assuming it had to be pieced together as well.

Maybe you should look at the other line of NFO that is more equal to this like the Professional Guide. More apples to apples.

For one To try and compare your list to a Renegade is truly not a fair comparison. I would be talking Smart car to Chev truck. Both good at what they do however.
I have had this conversation many times and do watch the videos. Great suggestion. Also frequent forums that do specialize in white water. NFO is changing a few minds.
The U shaped toon is ultimate in stability in my mind over two individual toons.

I hope we are not hi jacking the post and rather offering some insight and useful info.


I would take any of the NFO boats down the South Fork or the North Fork depending on MY skills and feel assured the boats would make it a spectacular ride.


Most of my Tooning is stillwater and I prefer a boat that I feel safe on with four foot waves. Which also means after market Longer oars. I would also feel comfortable on most rivers that I frequent to fish.

Now, if I am looking to ride the rapids, then yes, I too would look at a boat made for that and again there are some NFO's that also fit that bill.





CHECK OUT MY BLOG http://utahflygoddess.blogspot.com/
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(This post was edited by flygoddess on Apr 27, 2012, 11:44 AM)

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Re: [flygoddess] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
As I look at some of the "heavy duty" pontoons I can't help but notice that a lot of them are not set up to have your legs and fins in the water. A lot of them set too high. I would be interested to know how the young man wants to use the boat.

For me it is important for me to be able to use my fins. Even if I have a motor and oars I still use my fins 100% of the time as I am fishing. As a fishing boat not having fins in the water would not be good. Your hands would be constantly using the oars and not on a rod. I don't think I would like that at all.

My son tried not using oars the first time he used a toon. It didn't take long and he was missing his fins. Ron

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
You answered it all with the Mountain Buzz. Nuff said there. Is this Riverrunner? Same one that was banned from Washington? Sorry but no linking to other forums.

You brought up a good point however. How well a frame is built. So, coming from hands on and not a "heard it from a friend" Poky can tell you about his NFO flying off his roof at 70 miles an hour, bouncing a few times to finall resting with a broken seat and the oar bushing messed up.
But I like tthe idea of the Gas motor and have been doing it for a couple years now.



The boat is on sale for $1800 for boat.





CHECK OUT MY BLOG http://utahflygoddess.blogspot.com/
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(This post was edited by flygoddess on Apr 27, 2012, 2:18 PM)

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Wow the guys on that forum don't like NFO boats at all. I see the OP is having a sale on some of his items to finance the new boat. I am thinking that the upper end boats might be out of his price range. Ron

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Re: [idahoron] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
I know, that Riverrunner is a piece of work. Dave has asked to meet him face to face but...hmmmm he never shows. The Washington board is quite the opposite.
We love reading that site though..very entertaining. I notice no one has OWNED a NFO either. The old "heard it from a friend" And Riverrunner is the only one dissing or baiting the topic.

Also Ron, they are total white water, not river fishing, BIG difference. Don't know why they try to group them together. NFO have proven they can take white water, what more is needed.





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(This post was edited by flygoddess on Apr 27, 2012, 2:40 PM)

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Re: [flygoddess] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
There is a big difference in river fishing and white water fishing. I would not think of taking my boat down the middle fork I don't have the skills. I have driven to Lewiston several times and I think my boat would handle a lot of the river there if I were to want to do it. If I were going to fish the Salmon from Riggins on down I would not have it loaded as heavy as I do when Catfishing, Sturgeon fishing, or Walleye fishing. On a trip like that I would have my wife drop me off and pick me up down stream. I would be floating without a motor and a lot of other things.

On the other hand a white water boat floating down the snake around Marsing, or fishing for walleyes at Salmon Falls would not be a great use for that boat. In fact I might even say it would be silly to use a large raft in such a way.

That is why there are so many different styles and types of pontoons. There are so many different needs that no one boat would be great at everything. Same goes for motors.

I have to go back to the OP. Until he can enlightens us a bit more We don't know much about his needs. Ron

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Re: [idahoron] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Well said Ron. I bet the OP wants to try the H from a pontoon judging from his avatar. Laugh You know also as you mentioned that even if the boat is white water rated, the person needs to be as well.





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Re: [flygoddess] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
I can't even swim!Crazy Ron

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Re: [idahoron] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Sorry I am not riverrunner whoever that may be. I have no problem meeting anyone in person ask idahoron. Thru my travels Oregon / Idaho and yes Washington - Canyon's, Skookum's , Catchercraft, Bad Cat's a few Outcast's I could go on all night but I see 99-1 those brands ? They are all pretty close in price to North Fork's.
Yes I saw the Washington Fly site and funny pretty much the only ones going for North Fork's are Fly Guides I wonder what is the deal there?
I would mention many other sites all fishing related not whitewater that pretty much gives the same opinions. But I guess that is a no no - sorry I did it in the first place.
I would be happy to show / put Canyon's next to the X-5 which is 10' -6" exactly the same length as Canyon's not much difference SIZE wise.
People talk about using a motor on the X-5. I plan on doing the same for the Snake or larger resevoirs which many also do especially for wind / bad weather. So I ONLY gave up using fins - and for that I will take the better capabilities / construction / safety for any day.
Hey Ron if both boats are pretty much 10 -6 what is the problem being whitewater capable so not suited for lakes or the snake river ? Again 10-6 with fishing frame - motor mounted ( sound like X-5 ) what makes it unsuitable ? If fishingrookie is still looking I will be happy to bring the Canyon so he can try it. Hopefully by the end of May.

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Gas motor is great for getting from point A to point B, but once there they are not great for holding position or moving very slowly. I put an electric on the front for that and the fact that the standing platform slid out so the gas tank and battery can go under the seat (of course, this is with the raised seat). Without the raise seat, the fins are used to steer for hands free fishing.

I have not doubt you are NOT Riverrat, just pointing out, he started that post and has been banned from sites for bashing other dealers to promote his own. Not cool business.
You are sitting major high with the diameter toons, how do you transport?

I will finish this by saying, the three top name in fishing pontoons are NFO, Bucks and Outcast with Asian company Creek Co. making a good showing. As far as a fishing machine that is capable, provided the operator is, to take white water. I feel all of these will do that and be very comfortable. Add to this as even you mentioned, transporting, NFO has got this down. The U shape is far superior to two pontoons for stability in my experience.

Not sure what you mean by more for fly fishers, what would be the difference?

People that have never owned a Scadden seem to be the ones that find fault in them and I am not sure why that is. Maybe because they are different, but I have been a satisfied customer for over 15 years with my first SFC that Dave Scadden designed.





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Re: [flygoddess] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
 "I have not doubt you are NOT Riverrat, just pointing out, he started that post and has been banned from sites for bashing other dealers to promote his own. Not cool business."
Thank You and as far as sites banning people I wonder what their financial interests are. I asked the same question on another site and got harshly warned LMAO.

"Not sure what you mean by more for fly fishers, what would be the difference? "
Almost everyone that I have met that likes and keeps them are Fly fisher er people, now not all but most. I have talked to quite a few that sold them and upgraded to the ones I described and granted their major use was rivers where there is no use for fins really.

Without the raise seat, the fins are used to steer for hands free fishing. I agree 100% and is of some benefit on flat water.As far as any current I can't see somebody trying to use fins to steer and fish. Actually in any type of raft,cataraft ect your not fishing thru whitewater / heavy current. More a means to get to the spot and then fish, either in or out of it.
Transport on a trailer which most of the ones I have seen 10 ' or longer are transported by some type of small trailer especially if using motors. Not that you could not cartop or put in back of pick-up.
I have tried the X-5 and an Avenger /an outcast that had the separated pontoon and a few others. I have been thinking / researching about this since last fall. I think I stated pretty honestly I like the X-5 design a lot. If I was fishing like you are I would not of looked any further and purchased an X - 5 and I think I stated that. Two things that changed my mind considering my use.
1 Quality difference for MY use compared to price difference.
2. Sales demeanor & response to questions.
I think the use was stated for rivers and possibly also some lakes, so I thought ( stupid me I should of asked first ) primary use was rivers.
I tried to give an honest representation of the differences between them and I stand by that.

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
FG hit on it but for me trolling I need to have my feet in the water to steer with. I am not cutting the heavy duty white water class boats at all. But the ones I am seeing are too tall to steer with my feet. The guys at the other forum were talking a lot about rafts being better to fish out of. To me those are the ones that to be honest would be silly to use on a slow river like the Snake at Marsing or trolling at SFCR. SFCR has so much wind that a large raft would be so hard to use that I just don't see how they could possibly work but that is not what they were designed to do.

We still need to get together some time. I have been real busy with work and counting sage grouse. The grouse count is over now so I am starting to get freed up. I was going to fish today but the weather was so bad that I got more work done around the house. I hope that tomorrow I will get a lot more done so I will have even less to keep me off the water. Lets get together to do some BS'ing. Ron

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Re: [idahoron] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
I just missed buying a pontoon off CL a while back. I was wondering if they are hard to deflate and haul around that way, then inflate at the lake? I'd rather not pull a trailer all the time.

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Re: [idahoron] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Ron, you got it. Whenever is good for you give me a call. I am free pretty much whenever and I go thru Buhl almost every Sunday morning. As far as SFCR you have a point and I was thinking mostly the snake as it is close to home. But heck for SFCR I will hoist a sail and troll ( certified to sail to 35' single handed LOL) where there is a will there is a way. That or buy the motor I been looking at.
Gosh I can hear the comments now LOL. Funny though they do make sail kits for pontoons.
And then the main purpose which was for the Salmon, Clearwater, holly heck I might even try Oregon's rivers. Them steelhead and salmon are getting under my skin so bad I friggin ITCH.
I apologize if I sounded like I was getting on you did not mean for it to be that way.

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Divin-Demon wrote:


as far as any current I can't see somebody trying to use fins to steer and fish. Actually in any type of raft,cataraft ect your not fishing thru whitewater / heavy current. More a means to get to the spot and then fish, either in or out of it.

I think we are kind of talking about different levels of current and white water. I drifted the Snake from Swan Falls to Marsing. Below Swan falls the river last year was going 3 mph on even the slow parts. The fast stuff was pretty fast. In the class II splashers
(that is what I heard the called) we targeted catfish in the "white water" on the trip. We would see slack water behind rocks and use our feet to kick our boats into position to drag the bait around the rocks and into the hole below. It was quite effective.
http://www.youtube.com/...=channel&list=UL

Again this kind of floating is not on par with real white water fishing by any means.

In this video I am keeping in the hole with my fins as I am fighting a 30" catfish on an ultra light rod. If I was in a boat that was taller and I need to row I would have had to either beach or keep floating. In either case the ultra light would be too out classed to get the job done.
http://www.youtube.com/...7xq8Q&playnext=2


When I am Sturgeon fishing I have to use my fins constantly to stay in the holes. When you have a sturgeon on with one of these small boats I don't know if a guy could do it if you had to row all the time.
http://www.youtube.com/...=channel&list=UL

Again I just don't see how one boat can be the best at everything.
I saw one on I think it was steelheader.com called the osprey that I liked a LOT. Ron
(This post was edited by idahoron on Apr 27, 2012, 10:03 PM)

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Re: [Divin-Demon] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Divin-Demon wrote:
Ron, you got it. Whenever is good for you give me a call. I am free pretty much whenever and I go thru Buhl almost every Sunday morning.

I think I am free this Sunday. I will call. Ron

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Re: [idahoron] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
Yes steelheader.com has the osprey. 9' 15" toons and I also looked at it seriously next to the X-5. Not going any further on it. I have a standing platform that I could sit on and use fins with - although the toons are 20" so what affect it would have ? All the things needed to find out if I decided to try that route. That's going to be the fun in it playing on the snake and trying different things. Do they make a perfect boat ? If you ever consider the osprey I am pretty certain they will work with you on outfitting it to your desires.

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Re: [mudsucker] Buying a Pontoon In reply to
mudsucker, I did not mean to ignore your question. I have a friend that cartops a 9' outcast. He has done it both ways. If he is not going to use it for a while he deflates it. Mostly he tries to leave it inflated 3/4 full in the garage , pops it on top of the subaru or in the back of the truck and off he goes. If it is deflated it takes maybe 6-minutes for him to inflate it at the lake.Hopefully others can give a better input.

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