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Discussion Starter #1
What are some down sides to your pontoon? dislikes?

Do you have a standing platform? Do you wish you had one?
If you have one do you use it? or is it more of a gimmick and extra weight?

Do you use the toon the way you intended when you bought it? Pack it in to "x" spots? Do you float moving water in it? Or it a still water pontoon?

Would you have liked to have gotten something bigger to carry an extra person?

Do you ride too high for your liking or do you ride too low?

What would you do or buy different if you were to buy another one?

I want a toon! Just not sure if what I get will be what I need. There are a ton of toons out there with pros and cons to each but trying to narrow it down, I am finding it to be a challenge since I have no experience in one to know what I want or need.

Any other input would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance for your pros and cons of your toon and toon experience(s).
 

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I had a toon and hated it because I bought the wrong one.. 9' was long, clumsy and I rode so high, my flippers were out of the water and rowing was painful while fishing. If I had to do it again, I would have a trolling motor, smaller rig and definitely a standing platform. I passed on one with a platform and never forgave myself. I used a buddy's that was 7' I believe, and it was much better, lighter and easier to move in the water. My fins sat slightly lower which helped a lot too. If I had it to do over, I would get a hard side toon with the shortest possible toons.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
From what i have seen...the ones that have a standing platform are 10' or larger. If you know of one shorter plz give up the details, company name and so forth.
I don't believe I have seen any shorter(not saying there isn't, just have not seen one) and that is a concern for me as well (the clumsyness and portability of a bigger one). I don't want to trailer it. I have a 6 foot bed on the truck with a topper shell and do realize that I will have to deflate and/or disassemble the toon to get it to and from the water.

I thought at times that i should get two. I know that is rediculous thinking but in theory I want to stand, have motor mount, anchor system, thinking frame for rigidity(thinking that is better for rowing? ???), light weight for portability( with out motor), big enough for my self and some gear( I am 220 ok 220ish :smile: ) and whatever else. So two, one for packablity and one for still water with motor and able to handle moving water, not class IV OR V. Rated for that type of water is ok, but I will not enter that type of water myself. I really do not want to own two that is why I am asking these questions.

I have even chcked out some non pontoon one man boats, Sea Eagles and some of Dave Scadden's "rafts" for one to two peeps. Not sure If i want that type of set up. Anyone have experience with those?

Thanks for the feed back Oyey.
 

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Get the standing platform. I don't have one but sooner or later standing up on my swivel seat is gonna send me in the drink lol. Trolling motor is nice if you work big lakes or like trolling. I quit using mine after the first year, now I either drift or just anchor up and jig a spot.

The two rigs idea isn't bad, I keep both the pontoon and the float tube in the truck. When the wind kicks up, the pontoon is absolute misery compared to the float tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
. When the wind kicks up, the pontoon is absolute misery compared to the float tube.
I would have thought the oppisite. I get that the pontoon sits up and has more surface area for the wind to grab but thought it would be easier to move or propel the toon over the tube in the wind? (oars vs flippers) Thinking about it I thought they both would suck in the wind??? (honestly) That is a toon without a motor. ???
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Yes, I think you're describing 2 boats. I have one--Bucks Bags Southfork, 8 ft. Use it on still waters with trolling motor, or just row if not going far. Use it on streams (the Green). Like it because it's light (42 lbs, although I have a homemade deck and motor mount that adds a few pounds). Very comfortable and stable. Don't have much desire to stand. Feet hang in just the right place. Don't have the anchor system. On lakes I just set the anchor on the deck and coil the line in one of the storage bags. Too big and heavy to pack, but I have a belly boat when I need that. The only thing I don't like about the Southfork is the deck is very small, and you can't carry much. When I use the battery and trolling motor, that about does it, otherwise can carry a smallish dry bag.

How you transport it turns out to be a pretty big deal. Mine's a smaller truck, and the thing doesn't fit inside the topper. Started off inflating/deflating the thing every trip. Got old quick. Then carried on top of the topper. It was light enough to do that, but that was getting old, too. Started carrying a slide-in in the truck bed, so went to trailering it which I really like, because I can carry basically all my boat gear in the trailer (trolling motor, battery, oars, etc.).

Since I'm transporting on the trailer now, if I were to buy again, I might look for a 9 footer with a little larger deck and more room for rod holders, etc. But I'd still want it as light as possible. Otherwise the thing has worked well for me in a variety of situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This one was mentioned by a friend to check out:

http://www.porta-bote.com/


not sure if it would be good in moving water.

And there are these as well:

http://www.bigskyinflatables.com/


I still think I would prefer a pontoon or U-shaped type pontoon, but then again what do I know. Thats why I am here asking the REAL FISHING WORLD.

Thanks to those that have replied.
 

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I have had a 8' Buck's Bag Bronco for many years and my experiences on rivers are all from North Idaho and Montana because I'm living in a small apartment here in Colorado Springs with nowhere to keep it when not in use.
To me a perfect river to fish with this boat is the Clark Fork putting in at St Regis and floating down or putting in at Dry Creek and floating to St Regis. It's a good sized river and you can use your fins to keep you in position for most of the float while fishing and use the oars if you want to cross the river to fish the other bank. There are two ways of thinking of using the boat on a river. Like the example above or to use the boat to get you to spots to fish. Now running white water is one thing but we're fishing and if you're floating a river with a lot of stretches where you have to row, you're not fishing and it gets to be a big hassle to get to a spot to pull over to fish and you have to do something with your fins to do it because it's tough to wade fish in your fins. So you take your fins off to fish and then leave them off to get to the next spot to fish and there comes this perfect run to fish but you can't because you didn't put your fins back on and you can't fish while you're rowing! I know it sounds like a non problem to just put the fins on and take them off but when you're getting older like me they get further and further away:). Plus kicking all day with fins over wading boots really works the old hamstrings. I've had both legs cramp up simultaneously and it is no fun. So I like to use booties over my waders and I have fins to fit over the booties and this setup is not real good to wade in. Of course these problems can all be worked around but just something to think about.
On lakes. Once I got the Bronco I've never been back in a float tube. True, you sit up a bit higher in the wind but you have those wonderful oars. When the hawk blows you to the other end of the lake and it's time to go home I'll be packing up while the float tuber is screaming with his leg cramps....and being blown back to the other end of the lake, again:). Plus, when it's cold only your lower legs are in the water when you're kicking and if you start to lose your feet you can pick them up out of the water and row, in a float tube you're in the water.
BUT I have been thinking of a tube just to get around the storage problem but there is no way I'd put it in a river.
 

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If I wanted to use a toon on class I/II rivers and lakes...for me it would be a no brainer..the Water Master. You might pm fishinphil. He has two of them and he could give you some first hand feedback.
 

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I've been using an 8' Outcast Fish Cat since '03 or so, and it's great for the fishing I do, which is mainly ponds, and small-to-medium lakes (the biggest lake I'll typically get on is Horsetooth). The boat is not one of the their top-of-the-line models, so it came with a steel frame, instead of the aluminum version, and is a little heavier than some (~65 lbs unloaded). I find that it is very stable and have fished comfortably in 2 - 3 foot rollers. It is surprisingly maneuverable with either oars or fins (I always wear my fins) and is about 2x as fast as my float tube was with just fins - top speed with oars when a thunderstorm has popped over the hill and I'm on the wrong side of the lake is 3 - 4 mph. Not as fast as a kayak, but not bad. On windy days I like the dual power option - row 'til my arms get tired, and then stow the oars and kick for a while. Repeat as necessary.

I have been tempted to stand up to sight fish a few times but haven't done it yet - the boat doesn't come with a platform or bar, and given my lack of agility, I'd likely end up wet. I have made some modifications to make the 'toon more suited to my personal fishing styles. I have a down rigger I can add, horizontal storage for 6 rods, trolling rod holders for 4 more (two per side, set at different angles), a sonar/GPS finder (that does double-duty as my ice-fishing unit), and, perhaps the most important accessory, a transport wheel that allows me to wheel the 'toon in like a wheelbarrow up to a mile or so to access spots that are somewhat removed from the parking lot. It's really not packable, though I've considered getting a travel bag for it and flying it to a couple of destinations, but I still have my '96-vintage Uboat II for packing into more remote locations.

Storage is decent - the gear bags can hold a pair of regular thickness 3600-series boxes, or a single double thickness 3600-box, along with other gear (like battery, scale, pliers, water, food). On longer trips I sometimes use the rear deck to hold a cooler with food/water, but on most trips I don't bother rigging it.

I think that a boat with 9' pontoons might be a bit better on flowing water, but then I've never taken my 'toon on anything that wasn't flat water, so I'm just speculating. It just seems to make sense that having a bit more length would give you more stability, especially if you were trying to run friskier rivers.
 

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Stay away from the sea eagle! Over priced garbage. I bought one of there inflatable kayaks. First trip out the D rings that hold the seat in snapped.. They say you can hit it with a hammer claw, but they dont mention that the floor is pool toy quality.. I still have it, glued quality d ring patches to it, cover the floor with a camping pad to baby it.. You should not have to do that for what I paid. But it has gotten me down alot of class 4 whitewater here and in Idaho. But I wish I had bought a Aire (They manufacture the outcast stuff) or a bucks bags.

The framed pontoon boats are great, I love my very basic no motor, no standing platform water skeeter. I would love an outcast or bucks better, but I paid $120 for it and have had it for 6 years without a problem. Never needed a anchor system for it, i can hold position well with the fins.
If you want to pack one any distance go with a float tube. hell, buy the float tube anyway they are cheap, convenient, pack small and are light weight and better in wind. You will already have the fins for the pontoon boat anyway.
 
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