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Old 04-23-2010, 05:16 AM
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Default Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

Hi,

This is my first post here, so bear with me. I would really like to get a float tube for fly fishing on the small lakes here. Normally I go out with a kayak, but this has its disadvantages; it's heavy and I have to load it onto the top of my car and strap it down every time I want to go fishing. I've been reading about float tubes and they seem like a good and low cost option for me. I could keep a fully-inflated float tube in the back of my car (hatchback with enormous trunk space) and then could just go fishing whenever I felt like it, without having to go through all of the hassle of getting the big kayak out.

The Fish Cat 4 and Fish Cat Deluxe are both within my budget; I'm just trying to figure out if the difference between the two of them is worth the extra money. It's not a huge amount of money, but the basic one costs 180 and the deluxe costs 265.

Deluxe

Regular

(From the Cabela's website.)

It seems like the main difference is that the Deluxe model has an inflatable seat. Is this enough of a draw to spend the extra cash? Let me know your opinions. Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

I would spend it. The main reason is comfort. By varying the pressure in the seat, one can customize the level of comfort. Also the foam seat sags. By properly inflating the seat, the fisherman sits higher in the boat. The difference may be about a couple of inches, but that keeps one's sight line higher and water from getting onto the seat.

MP
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

Hi goldsmice,

The specs for the two models are identical except for the seat. The inflatable seat puts you higher. It is nice to sit at a higher level but early float tubes had seats where you sat in the water. I never felt it was a big disadvantage. You will have to decide if the higher seat is worth $85.

If you carry the tube in the car like you mentioned, you have to be sure to let some air out of the tube before it goes in the car. You will need a hand pump to top off the tube just before you use it. An inflated tube and a warm day could be a problem in the car. I would also cover it with something to keep the direct sun from beating down on it day after day. Some of those hatch backs have huge windows and some precautions may be in order.

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

Yes, I was planning on letting a little air out of it before putting it in. The car is a SAAB 9-3; I'm pretty sure the tube will fit in the back, with the rear seats folded down. I'll put a blanket or something over it; thanks for the advice.

I think probably I'll just spend the extra money. But keep the advice coming, if anyone has owned or used either of these two tubes.

Also, does it deflate and fold up small enough to put in a carry on bag? I'd like to take it when traveling.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

I'm going to put a "kink" in your decision making on this one. I've used both and I actually sit higher in the Regular than the Deluxe. I used a guides Deluxe on a trip and my butt(I'm 5'9 195#) was in the water the entire time. I made sure I had the seat blown up to the max. A few months later I decided to get a tupe to cover more water. I chose to save money and went with the Regular. The first time out I noticed the Regular sat me higher, my but didn't sit in the water and was a little warmer because of it.

May not be what you want to hear.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

I had a SFC with the foam seat and my weight was not an issue. However, the seat (two piece) After time would start to slide out and put a gap between the two foam. No biggie.
The hubby weighing more had problems with the foam sagging. Ended up sticking thick plexiglass in the pockets of the seat.

Since, I have had a Freestyle H3, a NFO Navigator II and now the Escape, all with inflatable seats. I love them so much more because you can adjust them. In a FC your rear is gong to get wet no matter what as with any V tube. Even my Escape...I am sitting well out of the water, but water will get on the seat from kicking.....IT's A TUBE.
You want dry, go with a Pontoon, canoe, Kayak, etc.

The fact that all air folds up very small is a big plus, but I don't recall the foam seat being a big hassle.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Difference between Fish Cat 4 standard and deluxe float tubes?

I purchased the standard. I am 5'10" at 180 lbs, and my seat was high and dry. I will only use the float tube a few times a year, and the extra money for the inflatable seat did not seem worth it. The whole kit is the size of a very large suitcase (the kit from Orvis came with fins, pump, stripping basket and bag - check the price to compare, it was cheaper from Orvis with all of the accessories).

One advantage to the foam seat is that it will not spring a leak.
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