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Old 07-11-2011, 07:12 AM
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Default Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

I’ve watched video of Scadden and Watermaster inflatable boats/toons on rivers. I must buy frameless & specifally narrowed it to Wm's Kodiak, and NFO's Assault, Renegade and Rampage. Lots of video on how they move downstream. However, I do have concerns about how well they travel on smooth lakes, esp in to the wind on lakes or upriver. I don’t want to lag behind when my buddies are rowing in a framed toon. Of course, I want the ability to travel with decent speed when rowing but I don’t want to be blown about like crazy when the wind is up. Anyone have any advice?
1* I was initially looking at the Watermaster Kodiak and D.Scadden’s Outlaw Assault. I feel they are both good quality but do any of these inflatables present with a good balance between speed and wind control?
* I’ve also started considering Scadden’s frameless toon-style inflatables.
2A* How do the open front inflatables compare to Kodiak/Assault as far as boat control when finning/rowing goes? I don’t care if I have to climb over a boat.
2B* Is there a risk of running into a rock with the foot bar of the toon style if on rougher water? Does the enclosed model offer more safety in this circumstance?
2C* When considering the Outlaw Rampage (~10”Lx5’W), does it become more difficult to row or fin this larger boat as compared to the enclosed models or smaller inflatables in general? Is this larger boat slower overall? I've been considering this over Renegade only because it is probably more stable to occ sight fish (standing). Otherwise, overkill?

* the fins from the 2 manufacturers are different lengths. Any thoughts?

*Tearing down the inflatables
3A* How much room is available in the Watermaster vs. the Scadden boat backpacks? Is it similar to trying to cram a tent into its bag or do the correctly folded/rolled boats slide in reasonable well? I assume pump and oars also go into the backpack.
3B* I’ve got an idea of packed weights. I’d feel comfortable loading the <30# models on my back and riding on my mtn bike back to my car. Doable, but is this practical with the Rampage/Kodiak? I weigh 145# & am most concerned about balancing bulk not necessarily weight.

I will be using an inflatable on small lakes, very small rivers locally, but will use it on small-med rivers in N. WI and N. MN frequently too(Flambeau, St. Louis, Nam). I expect up to class ll when I have more experience. I believe it will be vital to purchase an anchor system. I’m hoping a collapsible stripping apron that goes around my waist will be approp if I get an NFO boat.
Lots of questions. Answers to some or all of questions will be appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

I have had three wm. Moving water great. Slow in still water and difficult to row. You push a wave in front with every stroke. Very stable but you will get a work out if you have very far to go on still water. I am also considering a Scadden and the gigbob.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

Thanks for the answer! VERY helpful. Did you use the Kodiak? I'm not sure how much the lrger dia tibes and the pointed end would lessen the stillwater thing. I wonder how Scadden's Assault would compare. Wm seems to be exc craftsmanship. Did you use the stripping apron? Handy?
gigbob? will look Google that. Better not take me to an x-rated site. LOL!
Good luck with the next boat!
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

I've got an NFO, and a guy that I fish with often has the WM. Just a few observations. Both similar construction, and materials. His whole bottom surface sits on the water. The NFO is rocker design so less surface area friction on the water. The NFO is more manuerable for this reason, but downside it can be blown around by wind easier. His seat sits on a wood plank, the NFO seat sits on an inflateable bladder. Both boats fold up to about the same size.
Both very good IMO. Give me the NFO. A little bias maybe. I wouldn't trade for anything.
One more thing. Dave Scadden and NFO customer service are unequaled.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

Thanks Jimmie.
Is it reasonable to stand on the Assault in the still water and fish for short periods of time? Why did you choose the Assault and not the Renegade (frameless toon style) or similar? Leaning toward NFO, although either product seems to be a smart buy.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

No it's not real pratical to stand in the Assault even though it could be done. I went with the Assault rather than the open end for what is probably unfounded fears. I wanted to also be able to float through fast water without fear of catching a tip of the open end boat. My buddy said that wouldn't happen (I don't see why not). I guess both could be flipped.
Another plus of the closed end is I've got my fish finder sitting right on the bow facing me.
The biggest downside is getting in/out, but really no biggie.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

I have the NFO Rampage, but only have had a chance to get it on the water twice (new girlfriend) so I have limited experience. Here are my observations so far. The first trip out was on Delaney lakes with a wind of 30 mph gusting into the 40's. I launched on the leeward shore, was able to row out about 50 yards into the wind before getting tired (I'm 65) then I put the electric trolling motor down and motored up to the upwind side of the lake and decided to just troll using the wind. Waves were probably a foot high and the boat felt extremely stable. The next trip out was on New Fork lake in very flat conditions, virtually no wind and the boat is a breeze to row, it will move extremely fast when using the oars, but I mainly used the fins to maneuver from one spot to another. We are still in spring runoff conditions with all the rivers at flood stage so I haven't had the opportunity to try it out on a river yet, but plan to take it down the Green River below Flaming Gorge once the river drops to normal summer levels. Last time I looked they were still dumping 9,000 CFS from Flaming Gorge so I will just have to wait to attempt that float. The overall quality of the NFO pontoon is just great!

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Old 07-13-2011, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

Jimmie, good info. Never thought about fish finder. I wondered about the foot bar of toon style smacking a rock...not that I'd be floating that type of water... yet. Thx, Lisa

Larry, 30-40mph & you went? Hardcore! Did you land fish? I'd probably lie down on the thing, nap, and hope the wind died down. Could a gal put a boyfriend in the back in lieu of a big cooler & paddle hole to hole? I was curious how it would handle on still water. Thanks. Did the boat with the bags, paddles all come to you fitting in the backpack/roller suitcase? If so, any hope that the avg person would put it back in backpack w/o having a cow? I'm guessing the 38# wt on the specs page is for boat only, not everything. I'll try to call Dave today though and check that stuff out. I'll be doing some rowing in a buddy's 3p toon Sunday. Water levels there are back to normal so maybe fish will bite. I'm a distance from you, though, hope you're on the water soon.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

Thanks for all the replies! Today, I told Dave Scadden I decided to get the Rampage. I'll never need a larger boat. If I want to take a long hike in somewhere, I'll probably get a float tube...when I can afford it again!
Dave was extremely helpful on the phone and helped to set me up with what I actually needed to get out on the water in a more affordable manner. He was very honest and enthusiastic about this furthering of my fly fishing adventures. Not sure when I'll get the boat, but I'll post a review of some sort. Thanks again for the input. Lisa
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Comparing NFO to Watermaster Inflatables

Twitch,
I know you already bought your raft, but I thought I would give you my observations. I have had my Rampage for a year now. I floated the Green, South Fork, Lower Provo, and fished on Strawberry Res. and Deer Creek Res. here in Utah. Rowing/finning is a breeze. I can keep up with the guys with motors with my oars (Litespeed) and have fished into a strong wind with just the fins. It was a workout, but it can be done. It's very maneuverable in white water. I've never tried standing. I have Force Fins and love them. I tried the cheaper ones (Outcast) and bought the others after one trip. I don't know anything about Dave's fins. They look like they would work. I'm not sure about riding a bike with that thing on my back. It's not necessarily the weight, but the bulk and distribution. Balance would be tough. Now that you have (or almost have) it, you have to set it up. I'm still working on that. Do a web search for Outlaw Rampage and look at the photos by Flygoddess. She has done some pretty nice work on her boat. I especially like the glue on rod holders. Have fun!

Mike
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