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Other Gear All other fly fishing gear including tools, gadgets, clothing, float tubes, pontoons and other boats.

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Old 06-21-2014, 05:27 PM
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Default Pontoon Features - What's important?

It's time to replace my 20+ year old Buck's Bags bullet float tube. It has served me amazingly well but after all these years its time to retire it.

Since it's been so long since I've made a purchase like this I'm a bit surprised by all the changes...Back in the day the options were Bucks or Caddis...now they seem to have very little market share and the bigger players aren't one's I'm familiar with. Heck when I purchased the float tube, pontoons weren't even an option.

After careful consideration, I've decided to go with a pontoon boat. With the amazing durability my buck's tube showed I was eager to be a repeat customer but it concerns me that they don't seem to be the player they use to be...Has their quality dropped off? Has the service changed? Have they become a buyer beware type of manufacturer?

The boat will be used almost exclusively on still water small mountain lakes with maybe an occasional river run and if I get a wild hair fishing some estuaries in the sea of Cortez. (Usually fish yellowtail and bill fish when in MX)

Features I'm looking for:
  • Multi chambered pontoons
    lower profile to resist wind
    straight tracking boat
    most rust resistant frame
    manufacturer who stand behind their product
    solid ore locks
    small enough to still be able to use as kick boat
    urethane bladders

Storage and transporting aren't issues or factors in the decision.

The two I have at the top of my list are Bucks bags river ghost and the outcast pac9000.

Any feed back on these two options? Is stainless steel frame better than aluminum?

Any features I should be factoring in? Any that you've found sound good but turn out to not be important?

I appreciate both positive and negative feedback...at the cost of these things I want to make the right decision.

Thanks,

Larry
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

No pontoon users?
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

For low profile I have an old Fish Cat Cougar, they make one called Panther now, same boat. They have 4 10" tubes as opposed to 2 fat ones. It's been a good float trip raft for years, I have several Fish Cats and they are good with a 5 year warranty. You need a dealer close to access warranty claims though, I wouldn't want to try dealing with it through long distance.

Buy from a raft dealer because if you do have a bladder or valve go bad you'll want it replaced pronto.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

You might want to look at the boats from the Creek Company the are well made easy to set up & handle well,you set up a little higher which makes casting better ,you stay drier, the wind can be a factor but not much of a bother,I had there ODC 816 for years fished it in ponds & on rivers hard with no trouble.
Dennis
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

thanks for the feedback. I will keep the comments in mind.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

One of ours is a Creek Club. It has 2 huge pockets that work as well as a separate tackle bag, and hold standard Plano tackle box inserts.
We added swivels to the seats on all 3 of our boats. If you ever choose to add a little electric trolling motor, or just don't like to row, it makes life easier. Padded seats are also nice I have some serious back issues, but fishing from the pontoon boat is like being in a floating La-Z-Boy.
For me, one of the biggest advantages of a pontoon over a float tube is being able to sit above the water, not in it. In Idaho, the water is always cold where we fish. So, in 90 degree weather, quick dry nylon pants beat waders, hands down. Too hot for waders, too cold to have your nether regions in the water.
All of ours are 9 ' long, and handle well. There was a gent at Henry's lake last Saturday with a 6' toon. It was very windy, and after a couple of attempts at launching off the beach, he gave up.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

I joined the forum two years ago this month with the intent on replacing my 20 year old float-tube. Since then I think I have replaced most everything except my float-tube but now I have finally done it.

With Father's Day and our wedding anniversary coming up my wife said go for it. It has all the feature I wanted except the price but if is last half as well as my original Bucks Tube I'll get my money's worth.



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Old 06-23-2016, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

We have a small river here that one of these pontoons would work really well on but the river is rocky. How do the pontoons hold up against punctures?

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Old 06-23-2016, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luked View Post
We have a small river here that one of these pontoons would work really well on but the river is rocky. How do the pontoons hold up against punctures?

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I'm certain it will hold up well. I'm taking out this weekend for the first time.
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Features - What's important?

Hi scoutm,

I was getting ready to write a long review of the Bucks Bags pontoons and was gathering information and pictures. Then I happen to scan down to the rest of the thread and see that you got the River Ghost. What a good choice. Bug Bags makes a great pontoon boat. I had mine for 17 years and finally gave it to my nephew last year. It was still like new. The stainless frame is great. Strong and exceptional good welding.

The River Ghost meets all of your requirements and will be a great boat. It has less rocker than a single tube pontoon so may not be quite as maneuverable with swim fins. I found a pontoon fishes better if you use swim fins to help control the boat while fishing. Keeps you from picking up the oars to control your drift. The twin tubes gives you a great place to store the ores in the split on top.

I think you will be very happy with your new pontoon. I didn't see on Bucks Bags web site what material and weight the pontoon are now. Nice design on the frame. Do you think the quality is still top notch like it was in the past I haven't seen on of the newer boats.

Frank
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