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Old 06-19-2012, 02:12 PM
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Default Float tube (belly boat)

I lived in Colorado for 21 years and I fly fished a little in the beginning and a lot the last 10 years I was there. I started fishing lakes and streams so I bought Buck's belly boat and it worked great except when the wind really got strong. If you ever fished Spinney Reservoir in Colorado you would know that it's not a case of if the wind blows but when. So I upgraded in 1997 to a Pontoon boat called an Adventurer and made by J. W. Outfitters and it really worked well.

Well I moved to Arkansas in 2002 and I have only fly fished once since them when I went back in 2005 and I used a buddy’s spare belly boat. Well now I have the bug to start fly fishing again in Arkansas for both warm water and cold water fish. I do not trust my old adventure pontoon boat with 15 year old bladders and the company is out of business so replacements aren't available.

After lots of research I'm thinking seriously about buying a belly boat and the one that I like and gets good reviews is the Fish Cat 4 Deluxe-LCS and I was wondering if anyone up here had one and what their comments were on it.

Thanks
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Float tube (belly boat)

I have an earlier version of the Fish Cat and it is great. It inflates and assembles easily. You sit up high for a float tube and the seat is quite comfortable for a float tube. The Fish Cat is also easy to transport while it is deflated and while it is inflated. If I was getting another float tube that is the one I would get.

Like so many things in fishing a decision depends on how you plan to use a piece of gear, how often you are going to use it, and how much you are willing to spend. If moving by kicking with fins works for you then this is a great choice. If you want to row but don't want to transport or store a full size pontoon boat with a frame then consider a kickboat. They are a good deal more money than a float tube. A kickboat gives you more options for the water you can cover because it has oars. They fold down and can be carried in a backpack style bag that they come with. I have a Water Strider and it is wonderful.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Float tube (belly boat)

Thanks for the input and unless I get comfortable with my 15 year old pontoon boat I'll be buying the Fish Cat 4 Deluxe-LCS in the next week.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Float tube (belly boat)

Pretty sure the Fishcat you're thinking of buying has the inflatable seats. If not, opt for the inflatable seats. Way more comfortable and easier to pack down. Also, get some decent fins, you'll appreciate them when it gets windy.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Float tube (belly boat)

Ditto on the good fins reply from rangerrich99. I totally agree.

The first pair of fins I bought back in the 70's were Jet Fins. They were long and they moved a lot of water. I could put them on over a pair of wading boots. I really liked those fins. The straps both deteriorated over time and there wasn't a replacement that fit.

I tried Caddis fins. They are short and flat. They just don't work very well--lots of effort for very little movement. I tried another brand that I don't remember and I wore them with neoprene, stocking foot waders. My achilles tendon got dang sore and I did NOT like that.

I'm currently using adjustable Force Fins. I can wear them over a solid boot so my tendon doesn't hurt. They are relatively short and provide a good deal of movement for a small amount of effort. I have had them for a number of years and feel like they are the best fins out there.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:11 PM
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Talking Re: Float tube (belly boat)

Well this week I got out my old J W Outfitter Adventurer pontoon boat and aired it up and low and behold if is holding air well as the left pontoon has a very slow leak which I will patch and when my new swin fins arrive I will be out fishing for bass, crappie, bream, and catfish. I will post and tread later on my success.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Float tube (belly boat)

Hey Freebird...nice to hear your toon is holding air. If it starts to leak maybe there's someplace that does custom bladders for you. I hate throwing stuff away.

I've had a FC4 for a while and they are great boats. If you have time to shop, I'd check the nicer boats (Super fat cat, etc) and some of the frameless boats (like the Scadden stuff) out now before buying. When I made my decision, for the $$$ the FC4 was a no brainer. Now, at today's prices, I'm not as sure.

-Mike
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Float tube (belly boat)

before purchasing the FC4, I would recommend you take a look at the cumberland. These are great tubes for the money.

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