Pontoon or "U" boat

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Kaiserman, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,612
    Ratings: +420 / 0
    I'm trying to decide whether I should buy another pontoon boat, or a "U" tube style boat. I want to take my two older boys out fishing, and they would use the two pontoons I have now. I need a third one, so I'm kinda leaning towards a U boat/tube.

    The thing I'm concerned about, is how well the U boats keep you out of the water. What I mean is, I hated my old float tube after using my pontoon. I love being up higher, and out of the water.

    Are there any U boats that keep you up (your butt) out of the water? It's really hard to tell by the pictures I see online. I see some that look like they will, and others that look just like an open bow float tube...

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Kcahill Active Member

    Posts: 894
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +262 / 2
    I have a fat cat with the inflatable seat and it keeps your butt pretty much out of the water if you keep it inflated properly. The only time there's water up on the seat is when I am kicking hard or squirming around but otherwise its dry.
  3. Steve Unwin Active Member

    Posts: 320
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    I have an Creek Company ODC-420. The seat is above the water line on mine. Water can still get up there, but your butt isn't in the water.

    I really like it. Not as fast as a pontoon I reckon but more maneuverable. I love being able to turn on a dime with my feet while fighting a fish.

    Outcast makes several V-shaped tubes that are similar to mine that people seem to love as well.
    Kaiserman likes this.
  4. Darryl Pahl Active Member

    Posts: 150
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    I just picked up an Outcast Scout from Avid Angler and really like it. I also have a framed 9-foot pontoon and an Outcast FishCat Deluxe for comparison. The pontoon boat is just too much work to setup - using it is a real commitment. I like the maneuverability of the FishCat, but covering an entire lake is a real pain just kicking around. The Scout is a good compromise.

    The Scout is mostly frameless - just a metal crossbar for your feet. It weighs 35 lbs, making it pretty easy to move around with unimproved launch areas. And you can just stand in it, grab the handles, lift up, and start walking. It has two air bladders - the main "U" plus the seat. I can fit it in the back of my Kia easily at about 30% inflation. Setup time is ~ 5-10 minutes if partly inflated.

    I was worried that the extra size/length would make kicking around difficult, but that's not the case. I actually think that I'm faster kicking in the Scout than FishCat - the Scout is more boat-like and less donut-like. Maybe 90% as maneuverable as the FishCat.

    Oars are fine - you can practically leave a wake if you put your back into it. As an example, at one 26 acre lake I fish I usually either fish one end, or the other. I can kick around the whole thing, but rarely do in the FishCat. With the Scout I could fish one end, row to the other, then back to the other end again and cover the entire lake.

    One surprise was that I could oar-kick - holding the rod in my right hand, row with my left, and sort of side kick to keep it all together in a straight line. Not as good as using two oars, but really comes in handy chasing risers around the lake.

    I can safely say that you butt is completely out of the water with the Scout rather than *mostly* out of the water with the FishCat. As a practical matter, I fished a few weekends ago when the air temp was 34, and towards dusk ice was forming up. My fishing window in the FishCat is about 2 hours under those conditions - I was really surprised that I was out for 5 hours in the Scout. Get cold? Prop your feet up and start rowing for a while - that'll warm you up. The inflatable seat is sort of hard, but I think I just need to fine tune how much I inflate it.

    Wind? It's been dead calm for me so far, so can't tell. Moving water? Not tried it yet. It seems to be a rock-solid platform, though. I suspect that the river capabilities lie more with the rower than the boat itself.

    The build quality is excellent - everything that you would expect. No problems there.

    Downsides? When kicking, there is a slight "yaw". Likely exists with float tube - just more noticeable with the Scout due to seeing more of the boat in front of you. Got used to it quickly. I use long fins which make it tough for my inflexible body to get propped up on the foot bar - can't seem to get my feet back enough to clear. I'm going to experiment with moving the adjustable seat back. Price is rather steep, but it is a quality boat.

    As another plug for Avid Angler - they offered me a "try and buy" sort of deal. For $50 you can try the Scout for a day (and I think they have a Commander as well). If you buy one there, they will refund the $50. Good deal just as a rental alone if you need to take a buddy without a float tube lake fishing - pretty comparable to renting skis for example.

    So that's my take.
    Kaiserman likes this.
  5. later_Peter Active Member

    Posts: 106
    Ratings: +26 / 0
    since I had a tendency for severe leg cramps, a U or regular float tube was a nightmare for me. I did like the size/convenience but being out of the water in a pontoon (or the prior version: a Sevylor inflatable boat) was certainly more comfortable for me...
  6. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,015
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +723 / 1
    Pontoon
    I weigh a buck ninety and my butt is always wet in my FatCat. Supposedly rated for 325 lbs. Maybe so, but that would likely require use of a snorkel.
  7. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,288
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +771 / 1
    If money isn't an issue, I have owned a Watermaster for several years now and really like it. Row, kick, or stand up in shallow water...very versatile. And your butt is out of the water, I get hit about mid shins in mine.
    troutpocket and Kent Lufkin like this.
  8. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 890
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +215 / 0
    Boy....I can't add much....Darryl and Roper pretty much sum it up....there is not much difference between a float tube and a U-boat, (I have them both), except the U-boat is easier to get in and out of.......
  9. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,612
    Ratings: +420 / 0
    Thanks for the input gentlemen.

    When I went from my pontoon boat, back to my float tube years back on one trip, I felt like I was going to fall in! I ended up giving my float tube away.

    Guess I'll just have to stick with another toon, or something similar. I like being "up off the water" as much as possible.
  10. Kcahill Active Member

    Posts: 894
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +262 / 2
    I went out in the garage and looked so I guess mine is the Fishcat deluxe 4 lcs version which i guess is different than a fat cat... ;)

    So I retract my statement about the fatcat and will go with the Fishcat deluxe 4 lcs keeps me high and dry out of the water! But they are both made by the same company i think....i have no idea I guess. Mine works :\
  11. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,057
    .
    Ratings: +1,069 / 0
    Why buy another pontoon when you already have a couple? A Super Fat Cat with the inflatable seat will keep you well out of the water unless you are a Chris Christie clone. It will give you another option of versatility in that with the straps you can do walk-ins to lakes you just can't reach in a 'toon. It is much easier to transport also and you can put a couple of them inside an average SUV. I have been fishing out of the same one for over 10 years now and seldom get my butt wet at all. And don't confuse the Fat Cat with the Super Fat Cat, they aren't the same thing. They are easy to fish out of as there are no oars to fool with and I have found over the years that my catch rate is always better in the SFC than it is in either my pontoon boat or pram.

    A Fishin' Buddy attaches easily and a small anchor makes chironomid fishing a breeze. It's 15# of sheer fishing enjoyment as far as I am concerned.

    Ive
  12. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,227
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +216 / 2
    I don't know about your butt but I doubt it is bigger than mine and this will keep mine out of the water. The downside is it weighs 40 pounds. There is a fine line between sitting high enough to keep yourself out of the water but low enough to still be able to use fins for propulsion.

    Attached Files:

    Kaiserman likes this.
  13. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,612
    Ratings: +420 / 0
    Okay, I guess I may have to think about this a bit more...

    Some say there's no difference between a tube and these newer U boats, and others say there are differences, if you get the right one.

    Man, I wish I could find someone to borrow one from to try it out for a day...




    I need/want one for when my two older boys are ready to go with me.
    By the time my other two are old enough to go, the older two better have their own. :p



    This entire thing only weighs 40 lbs? WOW I might be up for something like that.
  14. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,227
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +216 / 2
    If you find yourself in North Bend, I'm sure you could arrange to try it out up at Rattlesnake and maybe even catch a few fish too. I saw risers last night at dusk.

    Rest of Specs:
    Total Length: 8'8"
    Inside width: 17.5"
    Outside width: 42"
    12 inch tube diameter
    Under 40 pounds
    Frame is 20" by 30"
    Kaiserman likes this.
  15. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,288
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +771 / 1
    If you're anywhere near Everett I have a FishCat 4 that you could borrow...OAC...:D

    Seriously, you're welcome to try it out...
    Kaiserman likes this.
  16. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,612
    Ratings: +420 / 0
    Thanks guys.... but I'm way over here in the Spokane Valley.
  17. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,057
    .
    Ratings: +1,069 / 0
    Come on up to Ione after the general season opens. I'll put you in a SFC and on to some fish so you can make a rational decision.

    One trick you guys that fish U-boats need to learn is to buy one of those closed cell exercise mats that cost about $10 at Walmart. Cut a piece to exactly fit the seat of your boat and attach it with double sided carpet tape. It is like sitting on a heating pad. Even if it gets wet it won't hold water and will still feel warm. If you have ever sat on one of those Styrofoam toilet seats up in Alaska you know what I'm talkin' about.

    Ive
    Kaiserman likes this.
  18. cmann886 Active Member

    Posts: 421
    Richland Wa
    Ratings: +56 / 0
    Which model is this? the link doesn't show anything at this length nor tube diameter.
  19. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,227
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +216 / 2
    This is a prototype model we are playing with and are considering adding it to our list of products. Not sure what link you are referring to but those were the dimension we physically took of the boat.
  20. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,390
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +410 / 0
    Thanks for the tip, Ive